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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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  #1  
Old 03-01-10, 11:11 PM
Nick Nick is offline
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ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

I am pretty sure I have ADD. I also have pretty bad anxiety disorders. PTSD, GAD, and a million little symptoms that go along with it.

I just don't know how to proceed.

I went to my family doctor. He prescribed me Lexapro and Klonopin. I asked for lexapro because I took it once before, and it really helped me. I also asked for a benzo, because I genuinely need one.

He first gave me Xanax. I used Xanax before a few years ago, and it brought me instant relief. I then moved away and never got more of it. But when I tried it again recently, it did not provide me with much relief.

I also take propranolol, a beta blocker which slows my heart down, and it is a great medication.

I know I need a stimulant to help me, but I am worried because of my anxiety issues. Stimulants will make my anxiety issues worse.

I did not talk to my family doctor about the ADD because I wanted to treat the anxiety first.

So, I am doing a lot of research. I am wondering if this combo might work for me:

Propranolol or a beta blocker while on a stimulant to prevent my heart rate from going to high.

An antidepressant while on a stimulant. Will this help with the anxiety associated with stimulant use.

And can I take all of these with a benzo.

Because I think if I can control the anxiety while taking stimulant medications, then my problem is solved, as far as medication goes.

I have gone my whole life with ADD undiagnosed, and it really has robbed me of reaching my potential. I'm 26 years old, and I need to go back to college, and I know I need stimulant medications to help me succeed, but I also cannot deal with the anxiety that comes with them.

I tried adderall, but never took it appropriately. I took it as needed, instead of taking it everyday and getting used to it. It did give me some anxiety. And now, since that time, my anxiety got worse, so now, I am in fear of course that if I take it again, I will have a problem.

Then last year, I tried Concerta, and I was tired all the time on it, and it made me feel kind of mentally disabled. I couldn't think on it at all. It was definitly not the medication for me.

So, I am not sure how to proceed from here to be honest.

My family doctor is excellent, but I almost feel bad about placing this burden on him. I know I need to find a good psychiatrist, but it seems as if finding good doctors is a job in itself nowadays.

So, that is my situation basically. I need to manage my ADD as well as my anxiety issues, and I don't know how to do this and really need some advice.
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Old 03-01-10, 11:19 PM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

hi nick,

i'm short on advice for your dilemma (i don't have anxiety), but you might check out the co-existing conditions sub-section on anxiety/ocd, too. there are probably loads of people in your situation and you could find some valuable info there since it's more focused discussion.

best wishes and i hope you find some relief soon
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Old 03-01-10, 11:27 PM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

Thanks. I've been looking there quite a bit, but haven't found as many answers as I would like. ADD in itself is just such a complicated condition. And then when you add other conditions, it just becomes one big mess that's hard to treat.

On another note though, I will say that caffiene would usually make me kind of tired, and unfocused, as well as a bit grumpy. Since I have been taking klonopin though, I have been drinking coffee with none of those side effects, which is interesting to me, and it also gives me hope that maybe, taking klonopin with a stimulant, might take away some of the stimulant anxiety as well.

I believe that we must be our own best advocates, if we are capable of doing so. The other issue is trying to get a doctor to understand it all, and listen.
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Old 03-01-10, 11:37 PM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

I take comfort though in reading this forum, and hearing people's stories that totally describe myself. It really makes me feel a lot better.

Because with ADD, sometimes it's hard to diagnose. I mean, I have always thought I was lazy, or a procrastinator, or other things. I always blamed myself, and assumed it was my "personality" or nature, but I've come to realize that yes in fact, I do have ADD.

Just because I was never hyperactive or had behavioural issues, I flew under the radar, and it was never dealt with.

I got pretty good grades up until the end of middle school because I am smart, and it was easy for me. Then pre Algebra came around, and I couldn't make sense of it. Then I went to high school. I did ok with almost no effort, but had my share of problems.

I was never convinced I had ADD. I then went to a doctor 5 years ago with the intention of getting a stimulant and trying it, and it really did help me, but I took it sporadically, and that was the wrong choice. I should have taken it every day. I only took it when I thought I needed it, to do papers or study etc. And instead of getting mostly a therapeutic benefit, I was on a dose too high, and it caused me anxiety.

But the one time I remember knowing this is what I needed is when this happened: I was in a music recording class, and we had to come in and have a one on one exam with the professor. I need to tell him how all the buttons worked on the recording board etc.

I did not know anything, and I was so worried about it. I never took Adderall and went out in public before, but being desperate, I took a 10mg instant release adderall, or maybe I broke it in half, I can't remember.

Anyway, I went in there to do the exam, and it was like all the puzzle pieces formed into the puzzle. The dots were connected. Without even thinking, all the answers automatically came to me. I was able to identify all of the buttons on the board, and tell the professor how it worked, and he thought I knew what I was doing. The truth was, I really did not. But with the Adderall, I was able to do this.

So, I realized that there was a big disconnect going on somewhere in my brain, and that this medication connected everything for me. Even on such a super low dose.

So, I know I need this medication, and if I start taking it again, I will take a small dose, everyday, and try to get the benefit from the minimum dose.

I just wish my parents would have payed more attention to me, and gotten me treatment at a young age. I guess being the oldest kid in the family doing decent was good enough for them, and they were never concerned. I also think the stigma of anything mental health in my family also played a role in me never getting any sort of treatment.
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Old 03-02-10, 12:01 AM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

hey there,

i did a quick search and found this thread (which seems similar to your concerns):

http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...ulants+anxiety

it's pretty recent, too. if you click on it you can also look down at the bottom of the page and it will list threads like it. fyi--this one was in diagnosis and treatment, so i might have been sending you down the wrong path with the earlier suggestion.

best of luck
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Old 03-02-10, 12:11 AM
Nick Nick is offline
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

Thanks. There was one particular post that was pretty nice to see. Someone taking all the medications I am interested in taking, anf having success with them. Thanks again.
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Old 03-02-10, 02:16 AM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

Since I started Dexedrine my anxiety has gone down. It was definitely related to my ADHD so you may be pleasantly surprised. I've never tried adderall, but from what I've heard that can make anxiety worse because of the effects on the PNS.

I hope you find some relief!
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Diagnoses: Anorexia Nervosa, PTSD, GAD, ADHD inattentive, Depression
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Old 03-02-10, 07:49 AM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
,
I also take propranolol, a beta blocker which slows my heart down, and it is a great medication
I have to take a physical yearly because of hypertension,it started about 3 yrs ago. It was very difficult to find a med that would lower my bp and still keep me awake and alert to drive. I was also getting debillitating headaches so my gp and I were experimenting with all kinds of stuff. One of the drugs she prescribed me was propranolol and weehaa that was NOT a good drug for me to take while sitting on top of 80,000 lbs flying like a bullet going down the highway. I stopped it after a couple of days of just not wanting to do anything and not remembering what I was supposed to do anyway. Then sometime afterwards I heard it was a drug used in experiments trying to remove memory. Of course,that's just me.
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Old 03-02-10, 09:49 AM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

For me, propranolol is great because it lowers my blood pressure and heart rate. Keeps me cool and collected. I've had no side effects from it, as far as I know.
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Old 03-04-10, 12:50 AM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

lots of xanax
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Old 03-04-10, 08:02 AM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

i had an extreme form of something some docs called anxiety ,

i found lamactil completely killed it , steady all day every day

and made me need much less adderall

and has no sedating effect on me
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Old 03-04-10, 09:09 AM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

Long live Xanax!
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Old 03-04-10, 11:43 AM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

Xanax works but just make sure you never run out! It took me two months to get off it.
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Old 03-04-10, 12:18 PM
Nick Nick is offline
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

Yeah, I tried Xanax and Klonopin, and found I liked the klonopin better, and think because of it lasting so long, it would be the best thing to take with a stimulant.

Xanax is good to have on hand though. The problem is getting a doctor to prescribe you a stimulant, Xanax, and klonopin. Most of them probably won't do this I assume.


At this point, it's about quality of life. So I don't care if I become dependent on a benzo. I know they are hard to come off of, but I think it can't be that bad if you do it slow and smart.
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Old 03-04-10, 02:22 PM
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Re: ADD plus anxiety disorders. How to treat this?

If your so called anxiety disorder is actually anxiety secondary to untreated ADHD, then stimulants would be expected to improve it rather than make you anxiety worse.

I was misdiagnosed as GAD by over 5 docs until I saw an ADHD specialist at age 34. No wonder the SSRIs did nothing for me....

The new extened release guanfacine (Intuniv) as a stimulant add on has worked wonders for my anxiety and turning off the constant chatter and worrying and inability to be in the moment due to all the other stuff I was anxious about all the time. Really it has made a huge difference. Also there is the advantage of not being reliant on benzos and potential benzo withdrawal (although guanfacine can cause rebound hypertension so also not perfect but I'll take high bp over a seizure anyday).

When choosing a stim for a patient with anxiety, in general find one that is 1) maximally centrally acting and minimally peripherally acting (adderall bad, dex/vyvanse or focalin good). And 2) extended realease formulation over IR formulation. Tjis minimizes stim anxiety exacerbation.

Hope that helps.

Cheers.
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