View Full Version : treating adhd made me more depressed?


witchbaby
03-31-08, 11:44 PM
Did anyone find their depression got worse after being diagnosed/treated for ADHD?

I was diagnosed a couple months ago and my dr put me on Dexedrine. Things were going alright for a while but a couple weeks ago something in me just snapped. I feel like I'm always crying or on the verge of tears, I can't eat or sleep or do any of my schoolwork. I'm so sad that I feel physically sick. I stopped taking the Dexedrine because it made me slightly hysterical, but I still feel depressed, just calmer.

I was depressed on and off throughout high school in spite of all the good things going for me (I'm 20 now). I was doing alright for the past few years, but I think maybe I was just in denial. I think taking a medication to make me more attentive has only made me more attentive to how horrible my life has become.

Its like I'm now fully aware of the damage undiagnosed ADHD did to my life and all of the mistakes I've made, bridges I've burned, stupid things I've done. I realize now a lot of that was do to impulsivity, etc. but its seems completely impossible to fix anything. I've lost all of my friends, my job, my family won't speak to me, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to flunk out of school. I have nothing left.

I hate this. I hate being this way.

I was just wondering if anyone has been through anything similar, or has any advice.

Ethereal
04-01-08, 06:54 AM
I'm going through the same right now, I'm on Ritalin and an anti-depressant, but lately, I've been feeling so depressed, especially in the evenings, I've ended up in tears every night for over a week now. I'm going to ask my shrink for advice when I see her on thursday, maybe I need to switch to another anti-depressant. I don't want to quit taking Ritalin, it's helping me in so many ways.

theta
04-01-08, 08:08 AM
I was diagnosed a couple months ago and my dr put me on Dexedrine. Things were going alright for a while but a couple weeks ago something in me just snapped. I feel like I'm always crying or on the verge of tears, I can't eat or sleep or do any of my schoolwork.

Loss of appetite and insomnia are common stimulant side effects to. I felt close to tears on some non-stimulants like wellbutrin but Dexedrine might still have similar effects in some.

I've struggled with depression all my life so I'm very good at detecting it in myself. My thoughts change to negative thinking. Though at your young age you may have lost all memory of past positive thinking if its been a number of years. Anyway its highly recommended that depression is treated before ADHD
is.

newfdog
04-01-08, 12:50 PM
Witchbaby

My pdoc told me when I was diagnosed with ADHD after being already treated for depression, that after a while the depression may return. He was right and we have had to start working on the depression.

I think it comes from after we are diagnosed with the ADHD, we now have the reason for our weird behaviors in the past, now we begain to think and possibly dwell on the past and about the what ifs. I would talk to your doc and let him know what is going on so he can adjust or change your meds. It's Hell getting back out of depression and get back on track, even with the meds, or at least in my case.

Good luck and hope it gets better

Mincan
04-01-08, 01:03 PM
Yes, my doctor has me on Zoloft, without it I'd go nuts, and I know, because I tried last month to ween myself off it and felt like killing myself or going to the psych ward two wednesdays ago. Back up to half what he prescribed me...it's just that it kills my lifeforce if that makes any sense. When I take it, it kills the part of me that feels anything, including depression. So I take a small dose (only 25mg in the evening) with the hopes that being a little depressed but still able to feel joy and such is better than just being hum drum all the time, that equals boring, which equals better off dead anyway.

MJwatson
04-01-08, 01:10 PM
I wonder how many of us alults take an anti-depressant and ADD meds...I do!

newfdog
04-01-08, 03:19 PM
I wonder how many of us alults take an anti-depressant and ADD meds...I do!

I do, and ya know I am so sick of taking pills. I used to laugh at my mother for having one of those pill organizers.... She had one I have two:( its the only way I can keep track of them

texasmissb
04-03-08, 04:14 PM
I'm being treated for the depression first and then he will see in three weeks. I was already coming out of the depression on my own which I read (I'm going to take the time and find where I had read this) that people without treatment come out of depression eventually. I had been very depressed for between 1-2 years. In taking the wellbutrin for three days now I feel even less depressed but I was already headed that way. It seems to have made my inattintive part worse, I'm more spacey and have a case of the dumb***** but dont really care. I've noticed that when I argued with my bf I actually keep my point together better though, I guess when the adrenalin kicks in with the wellbutrin I do better.
Witchbaby, You sound just like I did when I was really down. You need to get treated for the depression, see your doc and best wishes!

Jibber
04-13-08, 12:40 PM
I recently switched from focalin (side effects and crash were too much) and am now on Vyvanse. I am not and have never been a depressive person - I am BP and ADD and the manic stuff is what gets me in trouble.

Long story short, I have been so depressed that I've been sick to my stomach. Now, I just had a recent breakup (few months ago) with a GF and we got into it last week (We're trying to be friends). but again, I'm not a depressive type and I've been very snappy with her and some co-workers.

I'm going to keep trying this stuff in hopes that its just the ex-GF thing, but I just hope that if this Vyvanse is really the problem that something else will do better. I really like this stuff too. No crash in the evening (I don't even know it wears off until I get lazy at home) and its very smooth.

Bipolarruledout
05-01-08, 09:08 PM
It seems somewhat common for people to get more emotional when coming off of stimulants and having even low levels of depression can make this bad. Part of this the emotional blunting of stimulants. I have been noticing this myself. And even my shrink thinks I might be depressed but didn't put me on anything. Of course I'm depressed having no money and having just lost my job and thats what I said. Does that mean it's clinical?

Anyway at 20 your really still devoloping both physicaly and mentally and some depression is NORMAL during these years. Believe me things get A LOT better. I don't know what else to say other than deal with it the best you can and don't be affraid to question what doctors tell you. If you don't feel comfortable with a treatment than try something else.

Dreaming Again
05-02-08, 12:17 AM
When I found out I was ADD and I started on Ritalin, I was really excited because I could read through books at lightening speed. I used to get stuck in a loop and I could get through a page, because my mind was being pulled in so many directions. Then when I realized all of the ADD things I did and how it affected my career and life, it started to get to me. I felt anxiety and possibly depression, I am not exactly sure what true depression is for me.

I have to say that going to an ADDA conference, focusing on my strengths, talking openly about the way I am with my friends and family has really helped. I know it is hard to be positive all of the time, but try and keep your strengths in mind and do more of what you are good at and don't worry about the other stuff.

I am in sales. I am the king of waiting to the last two days of the month to bring in more than half of my sales. I would bring in $30,000 in two days, with a monthly goal of lets say $50,000 to $60,000. So rather than feel good about what I just did, I used to get very critical of myself. I would take what people would say like, "why can't you do that everyday?", "why do you wait until the end of the month?"

I now know that the reason I waited to the end of the month was because I loved the attention, that I got a rush from it and that I was hyperfocusing. Now, knowing what I know, I thrive on it. I don't get down on myself, because I am sure there will be someone else that can think of something negative to say to me and I try to let it go. This part is hard. My current boss knows that I am ADD. I have told him that he is ADD too. He is constantly in a panick mode about everything and he trys to bring me along for the ride. It is tough, but again, I try to use my strengths more than my weaknesses.

ADDAWAY
05-02-08, 01:11 AM
I'm on arsenic & morphine medication plus deepening sleep therapy ... it's getting darker but not feeling much depression or much at all now ... ooooooh is that a light at the end of a ... beginning of a first ring spiraling down, descending, getting warmer .... oooops .... is there an Undo (Ctrl + Z) option around here??? :(;)

thehighlndr
05-04-08, 03:11 PM
Did anyone find their depression got worse after being diagnosed/treated for ADHD?

I was depressed on and off throughout high school in spite of all the good things going for me (I'm 20 now). ...

I think taking a medication to make me more attentive has only made me more attentive to how horrible my life has become.

Its like I'm now fully aware of the damage undiagnosed ADHD did to my life and all of the mistakes I've made, bridges I've burned, stupid things I've done. I realize now a lot of that was do to impulsivity, etc. but its seems completely impossible to fix anything. I've lost all of my friends, my job, my family won't speak to me, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to flunk out of school. I have nothing left.

I hate this. I hate being this way.

I was just wondering if anyone has been through anything similar, or has any advice.


Yes..oh god yes...I'm going through this right now. I was just diagnosed with ADHD on April 18 this year, but with moderate depression (which was no doubt related).

I find a good article here that explains our dilemma:
http://www.addresources.org/article_adhd_bag_of_tricks_rob.php

I only did the research to suspect ADHD when Googling symptoms when I knew I had depression. It was striking to read the ADHD behavior and symptoms as a chronicle of every stupid thing I have done in my life....and why I was totally unaware of it.

The rule I read was "treat the worst first", but I have seen advice both ways for ADHD & Depression together. My feeling was since functioning was critical to keeping my job and ADHD stims work quickly...lets test those out first and see if it helps and then add in stuff for Depression if needed.

I started on Adderall XR and figured out that somewhere around 50mg/day (staggered) seemed to give me the best bang for the buck (up to 60mg/day for adults is safe...but follow the increase schedule aka up-titration agreed with your doctor....typ. 3-7 days before trying higher).

I just started on Wellbutrin XL (day2) and I think it is going to help with the depression a lot...I just need to give it time...all anti-depression drugs must be given 6-8 weeks to reach full effectiveness and dosage can be modified.

Either way...I had a bit of an anxiety bout on both Thurs and Fri brought on by my worrying about financial and work issues that are only at a crisis point because of my ADHD mistakes and that I am not magically making myself better in a couple of weeks in terms of my behavior.

I may be working through stuff and emotionally messed up like you right now, but I can still offer you hope. I am 36-years old and I just wish that I knew when I was 20-years old (that's one of the main things I am angry about and beating myself up a bit about...must stop, but it's hard).

I actually did flunk out of engineering school on my sixth year of trying to finish a 4-year degree. Then I was able to eventually get in to my home town university, change to a slightly different engineering degree and finish in 3-years after taking continuous semesters of courses because of the patchwork of credits I got and I had to repeat all the stuff I hated too!

I was never diagnosed with ADHD then and I am certain if I had I would have done much better and finished sooner. I have a good job in the auto industry, but didn't realize that also my performance problems at work were related to ADHD, but this realization is now both enlightening as well as depressing.

We can't change overnight, we probably can't change completely anyways and must learn ways to manage, we shouldn't beat ourselves up for all our past burned bridges (even tho we really want to), and we have to really try hard to not be over critical of ourselves as I find the clarity of ADHD drugs makes you more self-aware than you have ever been...combined with the recent ADHD diagnosis...it makes seeing our past and current ADHD flaws far too easy.

Here is my specific advice having been through some of your things without knowing about ADHD:

1) If you haven't been formerly diagnosed by a Psychiatrist...go to one and get that...the schools usually have them on staff and tell them about the ADHD. (I went to a few at my first school and the twits didn't diagnose it)

2) Get them to test and diagnose you for depression (you very likely have it too) There is specific evaluation forms for it as well that rate the severity. Ask to be put on something for that Depression once diagnosed...pretty much all you will get is SSRI's. Wellbutrin is also good for ADHD as well...IF you can handle the combined stimulant effect and are not prone to anxiety/panic attacks without meds.

3) Go to the Dean or Associate Dean of your major. (Arts & Science, Engineering, et.) Make a private appointment...ask for at least 30 min, preferably 1-hour to discuss and come with a written diagnosis of lets assume both conditions. Explain how you were recently diagnosed and you are improving, but fear that you may lose some courses before the treatment is fully effective. Once informed...they will very likely give you some leeway as you improve and if you flunk out...they could put you back the next year on probation for medical reasons.

4) Take a copy of your diagnosis and bring it out and talk about it directly to your immediate family only...and only those you trust (maybe just parents).

5) Cuts your losses and move on with your life either way. You have time to make up your current losses. Trust me...I know and I wish I could wind back the clock and fix the stuff from the age of 20 again as I am sure my road traveled would not have been as rough.

James

P.S. Everyone is always better at giving advice than following it...one of the ironies of the universe.

sloppitty-sue
05-04-08, 04:15 PM
Dear Witchbaby,

Oooo!!! My heart really goes out to you!!! I really believe I know how it is to be in your shoes - it hurts BAD! I've been there too. Please know that I'M not mad at you, and I will speak to you via p.m.'s here any time you want!! I'm sure plenty others here feel the same way. :)

Please don't do anything rash! (I hope you're not feeling suicidal. PLEASE talk to your school health professional or your doctor or an emergency hotline if you do!) I know how hurtful and hopeless it can seem - but things WILL get better!! And being only 20 really IS very young still. There are plenty of changes (ie., IMPROVEMENTS) yet to come in your life. Now is just one of those major "bumps" (more like, Mt. Everests) in the road. At least you'll be getting yours over EARLY ON (which is how I like to think of it).

I take Adderall AND Zoloft. I've been in therapy pretty regularly since I was your age (I'm in my 40's now), and just having the support of a "good" (one that YOU feel is helpful and a support and comfort to you) therapist can make a HUGE difference in getting through these rough times. (I have also had my generous share of "bad" therapists too. I would advise you to not hesitate to leave any therapist who doesn't seem to be helping you, ALWAYS makes you feel bad about yourself, etc. See: www.metanoia.org/choose/gethelp01/htm (http://www.metanoia.org/choose/gethelp01/htm) )

How would you feel about talking to your doctor about your symptoms? If he/she said you seem to be suffering with depression and offered you a trial on an antidepressant, would you be up for it? I believe that my taking Prozac back a while ago, and my currently taking Zoloft (200mg. per day) have helped take THE EDGE OFF my depression - which can make a huge difference in whether or not I'm "FREAKING OUT" all the time. Plus - as much as I complain about it - my counseling is actually pretty therapeutic. I feel fortunate. I'd love for you to get some good support from somewhere too. It'll really help you feel better about things . . . and MORE HOPEFUL!

Please stay in touch. I'm sure I'm not the only one who cares and is concerned and wants to know how you're doing. So please keep in touch with at least someone here (if possible). O.K.??

Sincerely.

Luv,
Sue

thehighlndr
05-04-08, 07:20 PM
BTW: Everything I say can be taken with a grain of salt or sugar. Suggestions or advice are only applicable if it works out well;) I am not an expert, nor do I have my life perfected yet. But your story spoke out to me in a very personal way as you can tell. I didn't know and wasn't diagnosed properly while I was in school. My suggestions may be good for you, I don't know...I just thought of myself at 20-years old and what I would do if I knew then what I know now. Seek help and take action. There is much to hope about once you get help.