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  #1  
Old 05-14-18, 05:25 PM
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Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

Hello all! Hoping I can get some incite here.

I’ve suspected I’ve had ADHD for a long time, but it wasn’t until last year I got diagnosed. I had anxiety about seeking meds because my brother said they are basically meth and can do damage to your heart, but things are so bad at work with my inattention that I decided to seek meds finally.

I have read a lot about the meds making a night and day difference in people right away, but I’m not feeling it. In fact, I just feel the physical effects, but I just feel my anxiety getting worse. The other day my anxiety got so bad, and a few hours after taking my second dose, I got really tired and depressed. They prescribed me generic Adderall. Starting on half doses twice a day.

My mom thinks I don’t have ADHD because I don’t get tired when I drink coffee, and she says that people with ADHD typically get more tired with caffeine. Is that true?

I’ve struggled so long with not being able to focus on things, even when I really really want to, and my therapist and doctor seem to think I’m ADHD as well, but maybe I’m not if things aren’t working for me… 🙁

For context, I’m 30, and I’ve had problems with focus most my life, but it really started to affect my life half way through my first year of high school. My mom used to joke that I had it bc I could never sit still and often would do things with my hands without realizing (mess with/tear up paper, and stuff like that), but we didn’t have the money to actually diagnose something like that. It really started to affect me as a teen when I went from a nearly straight A student in jr high with moderate effort to “C’s get degrees” in high school with a ton of effort. I just couldn’t focus in class or get my homework done because of lack of focus.

I used to pull all nighters all the time in college, but it was never me being extra studious. It was literally just getting basic stuff done. Assignments or readings that would take most people around an hour would take me several hours — some times days if the class was particularly rough, or I had zero interest in it. I just could never focus on anything for more than 5 minutes.

I always just chocked it up to lack of will power, but even for fun things I really want to focus on, like studying languages or doing crafts, I just can’t. It really sucks!

I was really hoping this diagnosis would be a life changer, but so far, I feel worse 🙁
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Old 05-14-18, 07:33 PM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

How many mg is your adderall pill?
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Old 05-14-18, 09:52 PM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

The pills are 20mg each, so last week I was doing 10mg per dose. The nurse that called to check on things told me to up it to a full pill per dose this week.
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Old 05-14-18, 10:19 PM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

I'd give it a bit of time.

When I started my meds I noticed the effects right away. I started on Ritalin. Mine calmed me down quite a bit. But I didn't have the fatigue as bad as it was. It helps my anxiety somehow and I have pretty sever anxiety. Not sure how that works.

But everyone is a different. YMMV. Depression and anxiety can also come with concentration problems.

Give the meds a little bit longer and then see your doctor to go over how you were or were not affected and come up with a plan from there.
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Old 05-15-18, 04:49 AM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

Quote:
Originally Posted by maryjanewatson View Post
I’ve suspected I’ve had ADHD for a long time, but it wasn’t until last year I got diagnosed. I had anxiety about seeking meds because my brother said they are basically meth and can do damage to your heart, but things are so bad at work with my inattention that I decided to seek meds finally.
I am glad you didnt listen to your brother because he is soooo wrong. These meds are not like meth or "legal speed" its wrong to say so.
Quote:
My mom thinks I don’t have ADHD because I don’t get tired when I drink coffee, and she says that people with ADHD typically get more tired with caffeine. Is that true?
No. someone's response so caffeine or stimulants is not indicative of whether or not they have adhd. Some people just are immune to coffee and stuff like that. Some people have issues with the way meds work for them. It has nothing to do with whether or not they have adhd.

Quote:
I’ve struggled so long with not being able to focus on things, even
I was really hoping this diagnosis would be a life changer, but so far, I feel worse 🙁
The diagnosis is a life changer and meds can be as well. You havent been on them long enough to determine that. I would make notes about how your meds make you feel on a daily basis and make an appt asap with the doctor and talk to him/her about it.
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  #6  
Old 06-15-18, 01:42 PM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

It's been a month, I see. But I thought I'd offer my advice anyway. If you're not here, at least others might benefit.

Sounds like you know it already, but don't listen to your Mother or Brother. There are more ignorant beliefs about ADHD and stimulant medication than any other subject I can think of. If it's not a subject a person has spent hours of academic study and practice in (or personal experience), then ignore them. I could debunk these beliefs, but that's probably better for another thread.

Finding the right medication at the right dose can take some time. I will offer some advice based on my experience trying to get my meds right (which is almost there but not quite after nearly 6 months).

1) Adderall can be picky around diet (acidic foods before or right after taking it can diminish effects, so can vitamin C, for example). Do some reading on diet and Adderall, including supplements that help or hinder. Doctors tend not to advise in this area, which is a shame.

2) Other stimulants, like caffeine and nicotine, can exaggerate side effects. Avoid them, at least at first, if you use either.

3) XR (extended release) works better for some, while IR (instant release) can work better for others. Some even use a combo of both.

4) Until you find the right dose, taken at the right times, it can feel like it'll never work well.

5) Once you have meds in good shape, you still have to do intentional work to break old habits and create new, effective ones.

6) Bonus note: not all generics are the same. I had to have "Brand Name Only" designated because the generic I was often getting only brought side effects and depression. Not to mention my pharmacy was inconsistent in which generics it used, and switching generics can be very disruptive to the therapeutic progress. Unfortunately, this can be a battle with your insurance company or your pharmacy, but it's worth the effort.
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Old 06-17-18, 12:12 AM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

Thanks everyone for your insights!

Update, I had my follow up appointment, and my doc and I decided to stop adderall. She's decided to start me on an anxiety med for the time being to see how that affects my work. I'm waiting a bit to start it bc I've read you should wait 14 days to start a new prescription to avoid possible bad reactions from mixing meds. I'll be starting it not next week, but the week after

I'll keep ya'll updated

Last edited by maryjanewatson; 06-17-18 at 12:28 AM..
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Old 06-20-18, 09:20 PM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

Big congrats to you on getting treated! Life is going to get more manageable for you! Woooooohoooo!

I second what everyone ^^^ else said about not listening to uneducated opinions from those around you, especially those with a stake in the game. My mother didn't want to admit that I had ADHD (which seems so OBVIOUS when I look at my history! SO OBVIOUS!!!), but then after a year of my educating myself and offering up 10,000 pages of medical journal facts that aligned with my reality, she decided she might have it, too.

Also, if meds made us meth heads, none of us would have time to respond on forums, because we'd be busy cookin' up a batch in the bathtub, now wouldn't we?

Anyway, I also second the discussion above about the complexities of meds (great post!). I will add that it probably took me a year of trying meds and adjusting doses to land on that "sweet spot" of getting the dosage right for at least 21 out of 30 days of the month, so don't give up, just persist until you have that "a-ha" moment. I still remember my "a-ha" moment nine years ago-- it was like the world lined up, I was automatically taller and smarter, and little Disney birds did my laundry while pleasantly singing songs about how wonderful the world was for me (more or less ).

There are so many factors involved with meds, especially if you have to combat fluctuating hormones, but you can do this! You have awesome, well-managed days ahead of you - that's exciting - seriously! For me, my worst medicated day was still better than my best non-medicated days, because the medication offers hope (and I have had some seriously crappy medicated days when changing meds).

Most of all, please know that the diagnosis alone will seem to invite all sorts of input and speculation from those around you, 99% of it uninformed or informed by some f'n idiot on the internet tubes who also thinks the moon is made of cheese. AND NONE OF THOSE OPINIONS MATTER (unless people are politely pointing out to you that you are obliviously naked on the roof singing cowboy operas at 2am, in which case maybe calibrate that dose a little, unless, of course, that was routine for you before meds?).

What DOES matter is your experience and your reality. I would put that in caps if I wasn't already tired of hearing myself shout in type at you, so I will repeat - what matters is your reality.

Some people may like you "quieter" (oh, is the dose a little too high and you feel like you could jump-start a car with your buzzing body, but words are impossible to form?). Since you've probably been self-deprecating your own ADHD for years (not accusing like this is a negative thing - it's a coping method! ADDers are fun people!), they're used to you being the unorganized underdog, and that "a-ha" day when you show up and march through your work and life tasks like Sherman bearing down on Atlanta, they'll be taken aback, because the class clown has been replaced by someone scarily competent and they will need to go find themselves a new friendly punching bag (bad news is that you probably won't have Sherman/Atlanta days all the time, so they will have time to get used to the new you).

They may not know how to take the new you, and your changes will probably require some minor adjustments (mostly positive!) from those closest to you, because we all operate in symbiotic systems that compensate for each other. If minor adjustments from them mean they will never/rarely again have to help you scour the house for your cell phone/car keys/pet tarantula, then yeah, they can probably adjust with little to no grumbling.

When you have rough days that spill over into others' orbits, sweetly apologize (for example, Ritalin and its cousins make me Wicked Witch of the West in Turbo, which may have stepped on some toes at one point) kindly remind them that better days for all of you are ahead.

Since getting treatment, I'm a much better friend, daughter, and more, and you will be too, not because you've been bad at anything, but just because you'll be more confident and happy with tools to help manage the difficult parts of your life, and truly confident (not narcissistic jerks) and truly happy people (not artificial Pollyannas - just slap them already?) automatically make everyone else's life better.

Medication isn't a fix-all, but it does line up your brain long enough to understand the confounding logic behind silly stuff neurotypical people do, like putting things away once they're done using them, and not dropping every single file on your computer on your desktop (where you can find it - duh! ). And in those beautiful moments of logic, you will have a chance to set up your own systems that will seem very natural and mostly habitual to you within 6 months to a year.

I didn't mean to type a wall of text - sorry about that, my ADD is not well-managed at present - but I know some challenges are ahead that might be discouraging for you, and at the same time, there are also some truly glorious days you've yet to imagine... a whole new world, in fact.

I'm excited for you that you will get to experience those smooth as butter moments after a lifetime of wrangling the brain octopus! Welcome to the club!
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Old 06-20-18, 09:22 PM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

Jeeeeeez, that ^^^ was long. I'm sorry!
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Old 06-26-18, 05:58 PM
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Re: Diagnosed last year, just started meds last week…but not working…

maryjanewatson, your story practically mimics mine. However, I am a 52-year-old female who was diagnosed (Inattentive ADD) approximately a month ago but have known that I have had it for some 25 years. Luckily I did not have family members belittling my diagnosis.

I spent my first two weeks on Ritalin. 1/2 to full 20 mg. tab twice a day. I actually believe I did see benefits, but one of my worst ADD symptoms has been a pretty severe lack of energy. I am now on Adderall and this is definitely not for me as it makes me want to go to sleep and find myself kind of "zombie-fied"...staring off into space with no desire to use my day effectively. You are not alone! Please keep us informed!
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