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Old 04-28-18, 08:06 AM
Liveis Liveis is offline
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About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

Hello everyone

I was recently diagnosed with what my doctor called "severe" inattentive ADHD and I was put on an amphetamine based stimulant about a month ago. You know the drill, I had absolutely massive positive changes in my concentration and can actually function like a normal human being now! Even the insomnia and food related issues don't bother me much because the positives have made my life actually worth living.

I've also been given a PTSD diagnosis, however, and I've always been pretty prone to hallucinations and paranoia under heavy stress. Everything went super good, but I was hit with a rather violent PTSD related breakdown (for the first time in two years) about a week ago, and suddenly things changed drastically and have stayed that way since. I can't properly explain how things changed because I'm not 100% sure, but the way people react to me changed, the way I act changed, I go from ecstatic to horribly anxious in seconds for absolutely no reason and it just gets worse after my stimulants wear off...

People also haven't been able to follow my logic and I've been told my behavior is very odd; that I talk too fast or too quietly, and that I'm difficult to listen to and that I talk in circles. There's this overlooming dread all the time and honestly I'm pretty terrified. I feel like something's horribly, horribly wrong and I don't know what to do about it or what is actually going on, and all of this is new and happened in the span of a week.

This has never happened before, at least not to this sort of an extreme. I'm wondering if it's possible for my ADHD and the resulting low dopamine levels to have prevented stress related psychosis before now. Everything was going fine before the flashback... Has anyone else had these kinds of experiences after starting stimulants? I'm sorry if I sound incoherent. Before it's suggested, I don't want to go to a doctor. If they decide I'm schizophrenic they'll stop taking me seriously for good, and I'd like to avoid that.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-18, 10:28 AM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

i have a lot to say but i had those symptoms before adhd medication. and you can have a schizophrenia diagnosis and be prescribed stimulants BUT you have to be super stable on your APs. though they do stop taking you as seriously, you're right about that. from what you describe, PTSD could account for your symptoms though. what meds are you prescribed and what diagnoses do you have?

how old are you? have you ever had a full on psychotic break? if not, you're just statistically speaking probably not schizophrenic, BUT there is med induced psychosis and you MUST have any mood stabilizers working properly and your AP. those might simply need adjusting to account for the adhd medication. it's a delicate balance.

please reconsider telling your doctor to avoid having things, and what i suspect is your PTSD symptoms unless you have other diagnoses, get worse. i havent had med induced psychosis but i've had plenty of psychotic breaks and dozens of hospitalisations for them. do not tempt psychosis. unaddressed, it will **** your life. a lot
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Old 04-28-18, 11:13 AM
Liveis Liveis is offline
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

I am currently only taking concerta (36 mg daily, once in the morning), since my doctor thought any other mood stabilizers would be unnecessary. I went to her because of a long history of GAD, PTSD and depression but walked out with an ADHD diagnosis.

I'm in my early twenties. I did have one situation which resembled a paranoid breakdown in my teens (Though I'm not 100% sure, as I was generally very attention hungry, confused and all around desperate) that lasted for a year or so but that was likely medically induced, due to my ex doctor putting me on psychostimulants for insomnia (Never again, thank you). As I said though, I don't know how much of it I amped up for attention. I'm usually very self observant but right now I'm just endlessly confused and helpless. I think I was back then too.

I genuinely doubt I have schizophrenia. Nobody in my family has it and I think it would've been uncovered by now I just know from experience my doctors have been very quick to jump to the worst possible conclusion, so I'd like to be careful.

Is drug induced psychosis possible with my dose, since I'm not abusing it in any way? Did they just trigger a sleeping tendency I've always had when put under extreme stress? I don't know, I'm very new to all of this. I'd like to keep my stimulants, since I was practically unable to function before them. I will mention all of this to my therapist though, I think I can trust her to be objective.
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Old 04-28-18, 11:26 AM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

Stimulants, if you're susceptible, can induce psychosis at a normal dose. I think talking to your therapist is a great idea

Also, welcome!
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Old 04-28-18, 11:44 AM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

Do you think I'll be asked to stop stimulants altogether if I bring it up to my doctor? Or maybe just until this entire situation blows over, since it was obviously activated by a clear and identifiable stressor and not just Concerta on it's own? I can't even count how many times I've thought I've gotten my life in order, but then had something like this pop up You know how it is, haha. Gosh I'm tired.

Thank you though, I'm sure I'll enjoy my stay!
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Old 04-28-18, 11:47 AM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

Hmm. Hard to say but I think it'll be ok. When is your therapy appointment?
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Old 04-28-18, 11:50 AM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

On the later end of next week I'm sorry to have been such a bother, thank you for your time.
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Old 04-28-18, 01:04 PM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

You're no bother at all! I hope I was helpful
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  #9  
Old 04-28-18, 06:11 PM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

Perhaps you could try not taking the Concerta for a couple days in order to get good sleep. Maybe good sleep will make your issues go away.

If your issues continue even after the Concerta is out of your system, then psychosis would be a more likely explanation.
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Old 04-29-18, 04:52 AM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

I've actually been sleeping very regularly and in good amounts these past two weeks, as opposed to the first week when 48 hour days became a norm I've never been very good with sleep though, I doubt very many of the people on this forum are, and this has never been caused by a lack of sleep before.

I'll try lowering my dose for a couple of days, just to check if it's aggravating the situation even further. I'm not sure if it's healthy to just drop it outright with no transitional steps.
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Old 04-29-18, 03:12 PM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liveis View Post
I've actually been sleeping very regularly and in good amounts these past two weeks, as opposed to the first week when 48 hour days became a norm I've never been very good with sleep though, I doubt very many of the people on this forum are, and this has never been caused by a lack of sleep before.

I'll try lowering my dose for a couple of days, just to check if it's aggravating the situation even further. I'm not sure if it's healthy to just drop it outright with no transitional steps.
Haha, no, not very many people on this forum have good sleep.

Trying a lower dose might be a good idea. But you're taking Concerta? I'm not sure how you can lower the dose of Concerta since it's just a capsule. You'd have to get a new prescription?

It's not dangerous to abruptly stop a stimulant. But it might make you feel very tired for a few days.
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Old 06-23-18, 05:59 AM
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Re: About ADHD, stimulants and psychosis

Hey, just reporting back to mention that I still have no idea if the concerta had anything to do with the situation. It lasted for about one month. My mother refused to give me my medication for a week because she was certain my symptoms were caused by the stimulants, which only drove the situation into a downward spiral. When she gave them back things eventually stabilized over one week. Thank you for the replies though, I appreciate it. I just thought I'd leave an update at the end.
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