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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 10-10-10, 06:50 PM
lonesoldier lonesoldier is offline
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PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

When I was younger I was diagnosed with ADHD and placed on medication. Later in life my parents took me off the meds and I learned to control the symptoms. I did fine for years, until after a second deployment to Iraq which was 10x more stress fulll and hell on me psychologically and eventually led to my diagnosis of PTSD. Well since that second tour my symptoms have got to the point where it was affecting adversly and I have been having issues to the point where I have had to go back on medication just to function normal again. Could the PTSD amplify the ADHD or visa versa. I really do not want to be on the meds but I was put on a downward spiral.

Since I have been on adderall I have had no issues but I am curous if I should be seeking treatment for PTSD and not ADHD, if I can control one I could control the other. I am curious if others have had similar experiences in regards to digressing in being able to control your ADHD?
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Old 10-10-10, 07:17 PM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

Hi, Welcome to the Forum
And Thank You for your service to our country!!

When I got PTSD (caused by severe illness/medical procedure gone very badly involving loss of body parts/function) My ADHD became soooo severe that I was literally unable to function normally 95% of the time. I would get lost literally in areas I had grown up in for like 20 years, had zero concentration, hyperfocus got really weird, anger and anxiety level went off the charts, etc. It was way worse than what I had experienced with ADHD previously.
Eventually, I had absolutely no choice but to try medication. I was extremely hesitant (as my PTSD is medical experience related) to try meds. But, I was about to lose everything I ever cared about, and couldn't stand living like that another day. I gave medication a try, the first one worked for me...WELL. I am such a different person since that day over a year ago. My life is much more managable and my ADHD is better managed. I have to tell you though, without the counseling that I went through, I would not have gone into recovery from the PTSD.
It is vital that you find someone that YOU can start to trust, and talk to, that can treat the PTSD. I think it will also be important to find others that have been through something similiar (war related) and to talk to someone that can truely understand exactly what you endured there. From what you describe, the medication is worth the try, you will know very shortly if those meds are going to help or not.
Best of luck to you Lonesoldier, and again Thank you for your service to our country~!!
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Old 10-11-10, 12:29 AM
lonesoldier lonesoldier is offline
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

I have already started taking the meds and noticed an imediate turn around. I just want to be on them forever. I have began to look for another job as the one I currently have requires me to work 12 hours a day and is extremely stressfull, which I am sure can not be helping much either.

Is there any really effective alternatives to taking meds? In regards to ADHD that is.
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Old 10-12-10, 12:01 AM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

Finding a less stressful job is a great start. Even if it pays less...all that extra stress is so unhealthy for your body and mind.

In regard to other treatments for ADHD, there are some. But sometimes the way you need to look at it is, If you had hypertension or diabetes, you would need meds to help control those disorders (usually)
ADHD is a Medical disorder. So if the meds are helping and you are seeing benefits that is awesome. I know for me, with the PTSD and ADHD, I definately need to stay on meds for life time. However, it just depends on the severity of both conditions. My ADHD is severe, and my PTSD is still very much present at times. (when it comes to anything medical related really, and since i have medical conditions this is typical for me...my husband absolutely hates going to the doctors office with me when i need to go...I will tend to go off (big time), if told the wrong info or if a doc tends to presume they know what the better choices are, for me)

Other non med treatments for ADHD that you can provide for yourself are caffiene (usually helps), provide yourself daily schedule and structure, exercise (stimulates the cerebelum), changes in lifestyle (less TV, more time spent with family and friends, less game time, etc),reduction or elimination of all junk food, food additives, food colorings, flavorings, (can make a huge difference).. education on adhd and ptsd (enpowers you), counseling, and ADD coach (someone with some real hands on experience) can be very helpful as well, but kinda pricey.

Also is important for you to find areas in which you feel safe. For me, that meant moving entirely away from the area in which my trauma occurred. It was one of the best things i did for myself. Also finding a cause to fight for, can be healing as well, it can be a good way to let out some of the PTSD anger and frustration in a positive way. And stay far away from the things that trigger the ptsd (as much as you can)
My best to you.
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Old 10-14-10, 08:22 PM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

Lonesoldier, did you think that the military helped with the ADHD? I myself was in for 4 years, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, left the military and was finally diagnosed with ADHD. At least for a while the set scheduling, motivation of others, and my desire to succeed kept my symptoms in check. After I left I sought help for the ADHD because my first semester of college after the military was terrible. I had 5 semesters before I entered the service of nearly straight A's, and the first semester I had one A and four C's. I thought that this was due to the lack of motivation and the freedom to do as I pleased. I myself have not sought treatment for PTSD but it is weird because I have had to tell a lot of my friends to talk to counselors. I think that the meds, changing behaviors, and talking with friends about the PTSD and ADHD has helped me. Treating my ADHD has helped me with the other stuff.

Also, you don't get Adderall through the VA do you? I do not believe they are able to prescribe it. I was on adderall, but I switched over from my school to the VA. The doctors then they stuck me on dexamphetamine which works just not as well as the adderall did.
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Old 10-14-10, 10:10 PM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

If Adderall is making your life better then why do you want to change it?

I had ADHD my whole life and will always have it, that's why I'm going to be on medication from now on too.
I have to take my medication to function in society.

I hope everything goes well for you. Thank you for your service.
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Old 10-15-10, 12:39 AM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

PTSD can cause ADHD-like symptoms in and of itself.
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Old 02-23-11, 09:32 AM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

Ok I am 48 and was about 2 1/2 years ago diagnosed with ADHD . I had suffered through my whole life with the symptons of ADHD but I just worked through them through the help of (good/ bad) of my partners. I finally divorced and in ways rid myself of a very bad influence in my life. Unfortunately it left me to fend administratively by myself and wham went into a free fall....... Then the worst happened I was attacked while viewing a home for sale by a young gentlemen with a knife whom severely (career ending as a contractor) injured me while attempting to rob me after attacking me from behind. (yes cauz you will ask anyway...He was caught and convicted and had a alleged lengthy criminal history). My question is I am seeking treatment for both conditions and yes my ADHD symptoms have become worse. It has been a year .. I am going to go on meds .... My question is I have been educating myself the best I can a lot and have talked about it w/my therapist but I am kinda curious what may be working for you... I am thinking concerta 18mg at first for ADHD but my night time lack of sleep and nightmares concern me...... I also have a pain issues that are injury related both short and long term in nature... to include an arthritic condition Any thoughts? FYI i am going to be going thru rehab both physical and vocational due to these conditions
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Old 02-23-11, 12:04 PM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

Might be a confession to DX's yes, But I have been in therapy for 1yr and as I have become more educated about the diseases I wanted to give a little background as to issues so I may get persons that may have suffered the same as I to get the most relevent Information in return...

Thanx
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Old 02-23-11, 10:43 PM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

I think that's actually a pretty good point, and it would also explain why my ADD is so much worse than my mother's.

By the way, thank you for serving your country and going through hell so we don't have to. I'd hug you if you were here.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:43 PM
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Unhappy Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

Soldier,

I'm sorry that you are having the experiences that you are.

I have apparently had ADHD traits all of my life, but they did not rise to the level of a disorder for me until I had a major PTSD episode that rocked me back on my heels about three years ago. I was completely disabled from my occupation (lawyer) for 8 months, and spent the last 2+ years rebuilding, healing, etc.

I used Adderall regularly for a while, but it increases my blood pressure, which is through the roof, so I don't take it very often now.

Treating the PTSD helped enormously, but it's a slow process, as I'm sure you've heard.

I found that "alternative" approaches ended up being the most effective PTSD treatments, as hokey as some of them seemed to me. EMDR was effective. I did "brain training." It seemed to help, but I probably needed a lot more sessions and they weren't cheap. Generally, I'm a bit of a skeptic, but I was pretty desperate for something that would work. Medications (primarily anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizers, sleep aids, and anti-depressants) were just temporary fixes and incomplete ones at that. They did not get at the core problem, which involved a lot of "perseverating" (sp?) as one psychiatrist put it. I was just completely incapable of controlling my emotional reactions, could not focus on anything productive, couldn't even watch an entire TV show or read a book. It was terrible.

Talk therapy helped, but not that much, unfortunately. It was primarily the EMDR, and then (unfortunately) time, de-stressing as much as possible, exercise, and just learning to accept that my brain had suffered an injury and giving it space to heal. Those are what did it.

Anyway, I wish you well. Feel free to PM me if you want to know anything more about what worked for me.
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Old 02-23-11, 10:47 PM
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Re: PTSD increase sevarity of ADHD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy4957 View Post
Soldier,

I'm sorry that you are having the experiences that you are.

I have apparently had ADHD traits all of my life, but they did not rise to the level of a disorder for me until I had a major PTSD episode that rocked me back on my heels about three years ago. I was completely disabled from my occupation (lawyer) for 8 months, and spent the last 2+ years rebuilding, healing, etc.

I used Adderall regularly for a while, but it increases my blood pressure, which is through the roof, so I don't take it very often now.

Treating the PTSD helped enormously, but it's a slow process, as I'm sure you've heard.

I found that "alternative" approaches ended up being the most effective PTSD treatments, as hokey as some of them seemed to me. EMDR was effective. I did "brain training." It seemed to help, but I probably needed a lot more sessions and they weren't cheap. Generally, I'm a bit of a skeptic, but I was pretty desperate for something that would work. Medications (primarily anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizers, sleep aids, and anti-depressants) were just temporary fixes and incomplete ones at that. They did not get at the core problem, which involved a lot of "perseverating" (sp?) as one psychiatrist put it. I was just completely incapable of controlling my emotional reactions, could not focus on anything productive, couldn't even watch an entire TV show or read a book. It was terrible.

Talk therapy helped, but not that much, unfortunately. It was primarily the EMDR, and then (unfortunately) time, de-stressing as much as possible, exercise, and just learning to accept that my brain had suffered an injury and giving it space to heal. Those are what did it.

Anyway, I wish you well. Feel free to PM me if you want to know anything more about what worked for me.
What are some good PTSD treatments? I know some relaxation techniques that have helped, but none that really seem to "finish the job."
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