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Anxiety Disorders, OCD & PTSD A forum to discuss Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Simple Phobias, and Social Anxiety Disorder

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Old 07-15-18, 12:09 PM
Michelleann1123 Michelleann1123 is offline
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How are you treating ADHD with awful anxiety?

Hi everyone! This is my first time posting here. As a child I was diagnosed with ADHD and was treated with 70mg of vyvanse successfully. When I became pregnant with my first child 7 years ago I stopped all medication and thins were going well. I began working again a year ago and a few months had a total nervous breakdown -panic attack after panic attack. I was treated with 100mg of Zoloft which has gone well but was recently upped to 150 because the anxiety is still present. I now feel like the root of all this anxiety is my ADHD since going back to work. How does everyone treat their ADHD with anxiety? I worry vyvanse would make the anxiety worse. Or has it made it better for anyone? Thanks for any insight!
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Old 07-15-18, 09:42 PM
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Re: How are you treating ADHD with awful anxiety?

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Originally Posted by Michelleann1123 View Post
Hi everyone! This is my first time posting here. As a child I was diagnosed with ADHD and was treated with 70mg of vyvanse successfully. When I became pregnant with my first child 7 years ago I stopped all medication and thins were going well. I began working again a year ago and a few months had a total nervous breakdown -panic attack after panic attack. I was treated with 100mg of Zoloft which has gone well but was recently upped to 150 because the anxiety is still present. I now feel like the root of all this anxiety is my ADHD since going back to work. How does everyone treat their ADHD with anxiety? I worry vyvanse would make the anxiety worse. Or has it made it better for anyone? Thanks for any insight!

I'm just now getting treated for ADHD and GAD, but from what I've been told you have to treat both, not one or the other. Usually they pair a stimulant and an anxiety med together
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Old 07-15-18, 11:09 PM
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namazu namazu is offline
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Re: How are you treating ADHD with awful anxiety?

If the anxiety is primarily due to the ADHD -- problems at work due to difficulty with distractibility, follow-through, organization, memory, impulse control, time management, etc. -- then I'd think that treating the ADHD could also mitigate the anxiety to a large degree.

If the anxiety goes beyond the effects of ADHD (and often, by the time you're having panic attacks, it does), then it may help to treat the anxiety separately / in addition to the ADHD.

You're right that stimulants can sometimes exacerbate anxiety. But if the anxiety is ADHD-related, and you've had good experiences with stimulants in the past for treating ADHD, there may be less reason to worry about it.

If you do pursue stimulant treatment, the usual advice is to start with a low dose and titrate slowly upward to the point where you're (hopefully!) getting a good response and not too many side effects.

I have taken sertraline/Zoloft with stimulants to treat ADHD + anxiety/depression, and the combination worked pretty well for me.

Best wishes!
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Old 07-16-18, 12:24 AM
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Re: How are you treating ADHD with awful anxiety?

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Originally Posted by namazu View Post
If the anxiety is primarily due to the ADHD -- problems at work due to difficulty with distractibility, follow-through, organization, memory, impulse control, time management, etc. -- then I'd think that treating the ADHD could also mitigate the anxiety to a large degree.

If the anxiety goes beyond the effects of ADHD (and often, by the time you're having panic attacks, it does), then it may help to treat the anxiety separately / in addition to the ADHD.

You're right that stimulants can sometimes exacerbate anxiety. But if the anxiety is ADHD-related, and you've had good experiences with stimulants in the past for treating ADHD, there may be less reason to worry about it.

If you do pursue stimulant treatment, the usual advice is to start with a low dose and titrate slowly upward to the point where you're (hopefully!) getting a good response and not too many side effects.

I have taken sertraline/Zoloft with stimulants to treat ADHD + anxiety/depression, and the combination worked pretty well for me.

Best wishes!
Agreed, especially about the start low and go slow question.


Anxiety is increasingly being regarded as a core part of ADHD.

Very often the stimulants alone will relieve ADHD associated anxiety rather than worsen it. They also have the advantage of quite a short half life, so they can be stopped reasonably fast if needed.
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Old 07-16-18, 10:10 PM
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Re: How are you treating ADHD with awful anxiety?

I'm sort of in the opposite situation

I've been taking Adderall for the ADHD, and prescriber is adding Prozac now.

I found that Adderall did help treat my anxiety actually, for a while. But ADHD and anxiety do feed off each other and they can cause similar problems.

I think a treatment that works for your ADHD will help with your anxiety too.
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Old 07-17-18, 05:13 AM
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Re: How are you treating ADHD with awful anxiety?

Sometimes a different direction is helpful.
Long term I have found mindfulness the best way to deal with anxiety, and many other issues like low, mood, and chronic pain. It helps the attention issues, but is probably stronger for the others.

Yoga has a good reputation here too, but you need pro[er teaching, and you need to commit to it.
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Old 07-17-18, 05:05 PM
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Re: How are you treating ADHD with awful anxiety?

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Originally Posted by Kunga Dorji View Post
Sometimes a different direction is helpful.
Long term I have found mindfulness the best way to deal with anxiety, and many other issues like low, mood, and chronic pain. It helps the attention issues, but is probably stronger for the others.

Yoga has a good reputation here too, but you need pro[er teaching, and you need to commit to it.
Mindfulness is great. I practice mindfulness and meditation and it helps my overall level of calm and may be great for some people but once my anxiety kicks off it doesn't do sh-. Everything I know goes out the window and I am in fight or flight. 6 mg Ativan down the hatch for a full blown panic attack. My doctor warned me about depressed breathing and I'm like I don't think you understand how bad my anxiety is. I have no concern I'm going to stop breathing. People can't tell the difference between me and 6mg Ativan me. Definitely recommend mindfullness, definitely say you will still need treatment if your anxiety is bad.

Recommend yoga very highly. But yes you need to stick to it. When I first learned I had a video. As always get your doctors approval but you can find really good videos out there to learn the basic if you don't want to/can't enroll in classes. When I started my recent downhill slide the first thing to go was the yoga. And I think that (the absence of) just fed the cycle until I completely broke down.

I have a lot of things that have made my anxiety worse. Of those things Concerta and Adderall are not one. It actually calms me down. I think it's just the way the meds work in the ADHD brain. I was already on all my other meds when I started the ADHD meds so I know it was definately that that took my anxiety down. May as well try it.
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