After several conversations with my mother, who also happens to be my employer, I've begun to think that I may have ADD or ADHD.(Not sure of difference) I've been on Zoloft for three years due to SEVERE panic attacks. I also have a rage problem. It seems that my anxiety manifests itself through outbursts of anger. The Zoloft has all but cured the panic attacks. (Haven't had one since I started Zoloft) I still have an extremely short fuse though. Looking back at when my panic attacks started, they were work related, I think that the anxiety may have been brought on by my inability to perform my work duties. I was a financial planner, and often would forget to return phone calls, which would lead to a client calling to yell at me, which would lead to a spike in my anxiety, which would lead to a panic attack. I have had tons of jobs in my life and besides working for my parents insurance company, I rarely last more than a few months at any one place. I also flunked out of college. I've always been told by everyone that I was lazy, but I swear I've always tried my best.
Well, my mother recently saw a show on ADD, and called me to tell me that she thinks I may have it. I certainly do fit the profile. I'm beginning to think that the panic attack problem and the anger problem may have been due to ADD.
Now, on a side note, my sister began Zoloft around the same time as me. She didn't have panic attacks, just severe depression. She had problems performing at work as well. She recently went to her doctor, and she prescribed her Adderall. My sister cannot be happier. She's been on it for four months, and says that it's completely turned her life around. I went to the doctor yesterday hoping for the same results.
My doctor, although in the same office as my sister's doctor, was very reluctant to prescribe Adderall, as he says it is "legal speed". He prescribed Wellbutrin instead. I understand why many doctors feel uncomfortable prescribing Adderall, but I was convinced he would prescribe me Adderall since it worked for my sister, and we are genetically similiar.(Not sure if ADD is genetic or not). I guess I may be impatient, but listening to my sister, I can't wait to improve my work life and personal life.(My fiance is getting pretty tired of my temper issues) Should I try the Wellbutrin, or see another doctor who would be more willing to prescribe Adderall? I know I'm being impatient, but after years of struggling with an inability to multitask, a temper problem, a procrastination problem, and work related stress, and now finding out that ALL of these problems are possibly fixable, I'm very excited to turn my life around. Do I have a bad attitude about this whole situation? I don't know what to think.
Well, I decided to see my other doctor today.(Again in the same office) I explained exactly what I posted above to him. He also was reluctant to prescribe Adderall, but did prescribe Strattera. I am very happy. I will still take the Welbutrin for quitting smoking, but I'm glad for the Strattera because it is specifically for ADHD, where as Wellbutrin is not. I just felt like the doctor I saw yesterday brushed over my possible ADHD, and just wanted me to quit smoking. Hopefully the Strattera will make a difference.
Hi Notcoolzeus I'am sorry you didn't get any other replys yet but weekends on any board are slow and I just saw your post now. I tried strattera and while it helped it didn't do the whole trick because the way I could tell after the adderall which I take also wore off the strattera didn't help my concentration with some things such as reading. My doctor thought it was a benfit to me because it helped my depression annd I could multi-task better on my job which is phyical as I'am a nursing assistant and sometimes you're pulled in different directions when different patients want things at the same time. I probably would have stayed on it but eventually it raised my blood pressure too much. I take it you are young which at 44 I like to think I'am young lol but that is the age that things like high blood pressure can start so I don't that would be a problem for you if you are as young as I think you are. I hope it helps you and you can have the kind of life you want and should have. If I an be of any more help to you let me know . Btw is there any other name I can call you but if you want to stick to your screen name that cool too. sincerelyCarly
Thanks for responding. You're right, I am young(Well at least I think so), I'm 29. I have had high blood pressure problems in my life, but I'm pretty sure they're behind me. I had a "webbing" in my renal artery. It was congenitive, but didn't manifest itself until I was 21. My blood pressure was 200/160 for two years!!!! I even had a mini stroke at the age of 22. I saw all of the best cardiologists in my city, Phila******a, but all of them simply tried rotating blood pressure meds, which would work for a week, and then my blood pressure would skyrocket again. Finally, a nephrologist did an MRI of my kidneys and found the webbing. I had angioplasty to break up the webbing, and since then, my blood pressure is 120/80 every time. However, due to two years of extremely high blood pressure, I may have some damage in my heart which will manifest itself later in life. If Starttera does raise my pressure, I think I might have to stop it. I went through too much to get my blood pressure back to normal, so I don't like messing with it, especially with a potentially weakened heart.
By the way, you can call me Jay.
Now, after I posted yesterday about the Strattera, I read an awful lot of bad things about the side effects on this website. Lots of strange sexual side effects and urination problems in men. That is something that I am most definitely worried about. I understand the reluctance to prescribe Adderall, but my doctors are making me feel like I'm just trying to get speed. It really makes me uncomfortable. I just want to feel normal. It's not my fault that amphetimines are one of the best ways to treat ADHD. I will stick it out with the Strattera, however. If I start to notice any of these side effects, I'll just call my doctor immediately.
Every time we discuss Adderall, my doctors say, "There's a lot of potential for abuse and addiction with that drug." If my doctor prescribes me Adderall, how can I become addicted? I imagine I'll be taking it every day anyway. And how could I abuse it? Taking it more frequently than I'm supposed to? Like I said, I'm very confused.
It bothers me because a bunch of college kids are abusing these medications, it makes it difficult for me and others who actually suffer from ADHD to get the proper medication. Oh well, I'm venting.
I know I'm posting the crap out of this thread, but I keep coming up with questions because I'm new to this whole ADHD situation. I don't know how the medicine is supposed to make me feel. I've just gotten so used to not being able to focus and having a short temper that I can't even imagine how I would be without these things. I've always considered these things part of my personality, and not symptoms of ADHD. Now, I've read that Strattera is supposed to take a week before you feel any difference, but I took one yesterday, and felt wierd about three hours after, and now I took one this morning, and again, about three hours later, I'm feeling the same thing. I feel very mellowed out, like I took a Xanex or something. Is this what it feels like to focus? I certainly can't imagine getting angry right now, because I'm so relaxed, so it seems like this could fix my short temper. Is this what I should expect to feel like every day? I don't know if I can handle being this mellow all the time. Plus, I'm confused because Strattera is supposed to take a week or so to kick in, and I'm feeling this after my forst dose. Has anyone had similiar feelings while on Strattera?
Zuess - my guess is that what you are feeling is sleepiness/relaxation as a side effect of the medication. While it is true that it can take weeks to get Strattera's full benefit as far as ADD goes, side effects can occur immediately. Sedation and mild nausea are common.
Your feelings are normal...it will take a week to get it leveled out in your system so you won't feel those strange feelings. Just give it time, you'll see after a week........if not, let your doctor know...........
Bob here. 53 year old but newly diagnosed and still on the ADHD management learning curve.
From what Iíve read Strattera does not work for everyone especially for those with the primarily ďinattentive typeĒ of ADD. That is what I have. No one argues that stimulants like Adderral are hands down the most effective. But dead without ADHD is probably worse than living with it though sometimes I wonder. Stimulants can raise blood pressure. So you do need to be careful.
Also, all stimulants have the potential for abuse. It is no small matter. My rational is all drugs are potentially dangerous. So if danger is the problem take them all off the market immediately. Incidentally, there is no ADHD med anywhere near as dangerous as an automobile statistically speaking. Whatís more I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the doctors when any drug damages a patient. Not for taking a calculated risk, but for not closely following the patient. To me, it is no different that giving a running chain saw to child and walking away expecting heíll cut wood with it and not his leg off.
The bigger issue is, do you have ADHD? There are a zillion conditions and disorders that can mimic its symptoms. You cannot solve a problem until the problem is defined. I urge you to get evaluated first. I know you want immediate relief. Struggling with an inability to focus is no fun whatever the cause. But letís do a reality check: Even if it is ADHD, there is no magic pill for it. Here is the cycle I am experiencing. First, the medís euphoriant properties will be at work. You wonít believe how good youíll feel. Youíll run around like a lunatic accomplishing all sorts of things you always wanted to but couldnít. Ahhhhh, relief at last. Until stage 2. Youíll become tolerant to the drugís euphoriant properties. But youíll notice that its anti-ADHD properties are holding up. Now the work begins. Iíll speak in the first person. Iím trying to learn all the good habits I couldnít learn with unmanaged ADHD symptoms. We are talking work here, my friend. Why canít they just invent a pill that fixes it without me doing anything? Stage 3 is a mature understanding of the disorder and a workable schedule in place for managing it. Letís say you are more motivated than average to get the beast in a cage. Incidentally, in a cage is the best we will ever do. A dead ADHD beast is not a do. Six months is the absolute minimum between therapy start and stage 3. And, I wouldnít be a least bit surprised if the more experienced on this board flame me for being unrealistically optimistic. The ADHD beast does not go willing into the cage. He will do everything in his power to kick your you know what. Sometimes you win the battle, sometimes the beast wins. The goal though is to win the war. That takes time and a lot of effort.
Just in case anyone thinks I think I have a beast living in me, I do.
Thank you everyone for your responses. It's nice to know that there are other people out there that know what you're going through. Well, it's day 2 of Strattera and I'm already getting most of the side effects that I've heard others complain about. I'm soooooo tired, I'm ready to fall asleep at work. Before I couldn't focus, now I can't stay awake. Also having feelings like I have to urinate constantly, yet I cannot. I'm NOT looking forward to sexual side effects. I'm sticking it out for at least a week, as many people have said that these side effects disappear after a week or so. My question now is if it is okay to drink extra coffee on Strattera. If I don't, I'm gonna pass out. I already drink too much coffee, and now I feel like I need more.
Jay, I won't go into all the detail - if you want to read the history, do a search on this board with my name and you'll find lots. In a nutshell, my son struggled with ADD (inattentive) forever. We tried him on Ritalin then Dexedrine when he was 5. Three months on each. Ritalin brought on tics and made him zombie-like, Dexedrine he seemed so happy, but the teacher said he did better in the classroom on Ritalin. Pulled him off everything to reevaluate. Didn't like meds so young in the first place and no one could prove to me that he 'really' needed it.
Went back on meds when he started 7th grade (13 yo) due to declining grades and years of social misbehavior in the classroom. I wanted to make sure he had the best start possible and didn't want to ignore the obvious (by now) signs. If there was something that could help, you need to go after it. He was having trouble with his relationship with dad and brother too. It really makes a difference when the people who are around you understand how to deal with this and not escalate situations. There is a method to the madness. Takes lots of patience and practice to get a good rythm going.
Doctor wanted to put son on Concerta. Son CANNOT swallow. Tried all kinds of things. So, I asked the doctor for Adderall. He was a bit reluctant because he was not as familiar with Adderall as he was with Concerta. But, we weren't doing Ritalin again because of the tics. He did start on regular and went to XR. For him, the XR did not work. Went back on regular. He took 30mg once in the morning on school days only. With Adderall you do not have to build up a tolerance like Strattera - you feel the affects right away. His grades greatly improved and he started getting nice comments on his report cards about him being a pleasure in class!
Ok, where am I going with all this...I have to tell you that only once I took a pill to see how it affected me. I work at a computer all day and am always 'wandering' off topic. Well, I sat and actually did work all day. I think this med can probably help anyone even if they are not ADD/ADHD. If your insurance covers the cost and your doctor has prescribed you Strattera, that means that he believes you have ADD. There is no reason you should not be able to insist on the med you have done research on. If the doctor monitors you with Strattera, he'll monitor you just as well with Adderall. Sometimes I think it's what the doctors need to 'push' for their suppliers (sounds bad - lol). If you are not having good results with Strattera, and I would think being that sleepy could cause big trouble, you need to be aggressive.
If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.
Zuess, the sleepiness as a side effect will pass with time. If you aren't already, try taking it at night. That's when my son takes it.
As for insisting on a Adderall, I've got to tell you that, in my experience, the LEAST likely way to get a prescription for an addictive, controlled substance is to insist on it. Doctors are going to assume you are a druggie.
IMHO, a doctor who prescribes a drug just because a patient asks for it is terribly remiss.
It sounds to me that your doctor had good reasons for not starting you on Adderall. A stimulant like Adderall may very well INCREASE your panic attacks. It may very well also INCREASE your rage. Strattera, on the other hand, tends to have some anti-depressant properties and may help with those symptoms. There is some risk with both stimulants and Strattera that they may increase your heart rate and blood pressure; the risk is slightly higher with stimulants (like Adderall).
As Bob said, perhaps you don't have ADD at all. I personally believe that antidepressants like Zoloft (which I also take) exacerbate symptoms of inattention. The question is what you were like as a child. Are your symptoms of relatively recent onset or have they always been there?
The only reason that I brought up Adderall at all to my doctor is because that is what my sister has been taking for 6 months now and she says that she has never been better. I'm fine with trying non-stimulant medications, but this sleepiness is ridiculous. I will definitely try to take it at night. I guess I should have mentioned in one of my earlier posts that after looking back upon my childhood, which everyone has told me is a great indicator of whether or not you do have ADD, the signs certainly have pointed to me having it. I was tested with a pretty high IQ, but always did mediocre at best in school. Any class in which I was able to learn in a more hands-on type fashion, I did extremely well. Any class which was mostly lecture, or going over textbooks I did horribly. I always thought it was because they didn't hold my interest, which is partly true. But from what I have been told, these are symptoms of ADD. College was ridiculous. I didn't even last a year. It was all lecture and reading on your own, which was a HUGE problem for me. It was a pretty bad experience as my parents paid a lot of money to send me to a private high school, and then I preceded to flunk out of 6, yes 6, different colleges. Credit-wise, I'm a 28 year old college freshman, with absolutely no desire to ever go back. After my second visit to the doctor in which he prescribed Strattera, I'm very happy. I haven't been insisting on Adderall. It's just that the first time I saw the doctor, he prescribed Wellbutrin, which is not typically an ADD medication. I felt as though he brushed over the fact that I may have ADD, and was more interested in me quitting smoking. Something that my doctor constantly pressures me to do. That is why I went back to see my other doctor. If Strattera ends up working, I would be ecstatic. I would actually prefer a non-stimulant medication over Adderall or Ritalin. At this point, I think that I may look into an ADD specialist to be positive that I have it. Thanks again everyone for your responses.
I can identify with everything you wrote to a tee. Not that it much matters, but I'll be surprised if anything other than ADHD is at root. Keep us posted.
I have an RN friend that recommends ADHD books for me to read. The books I get from her are written by doctors for doctors hence are not commonly seen in bookstores or the net. I am going to quote for you word-for-word from one such book:
"Depending on the local concern about the prescription of Schedule II drugs (usually considerable), the prescribing physician is well advised to support his position legally and medically. From a practical standpoint, it is a good idea to get an independent confirmation of the diagnosis of ADHD from another physician and also, probably, to have the latter discuss the rationale for using stimulants in an adult. If one plans to treat more than an occasional patient, it may be helpful to contact the local branch of the Drug Enforcement Administration and ask what special safeguards should be employed and whether the agency wants the physician to institute any special procedures."
End of quote and back to my humble opinion. You are more trouble than you are worth to your doctor. He knows Strattera is a poor excuse for an ADHD med but his backend is covered. What is at stake are HIS interests not yours.
Yes, yes, yes, find an ADD specialist. Best move you can make.
PS You are at the south end of Penn*******sylvania. Too bad, I could turn you on to a very good ADHD specialist IF you move north. Think Anthracite. You know where I am.
I've been taking Straterra for about 2 months now and I haven't noticed crap. (Had been on Aderall XR. Moody on it. Wanted to try something else) A counterpart at work did mention being extremely "lazy" in his beginnings of Straterra. As for the sexual side effects... yeah, my wife mentioned I may want to try something else. Got the non-XR Aderall prescription yesterday. I used it as needed while I was "waiting" for Straterra to "kick in".
My doc specializes in ADD in adults and said his expierience with Straterra and other patients is that it takes about 2 months (not a week or so) for results. Like I said, I haven't seen a difference yet. (I have a base line of focus related items I can do to actually tell if there is a difference in the meds I'm trying).
About not know what to feel with the meds... I went through the same thing. Here's my expierience on that and i hope this helps. While on Aderall, you don't want to mistake the "energy" you get for focus (easy to do). To high a dos for you will do that. My doc gives me guide lines I can play with on Aderall to see what's best. Normal me feels like I just woke up after about 5 hours of sleep all the time, kinda groggy. Everything is very "shifty" in my mind and thoughts. Time has no cohesion. Like everything is at once. I think of one thing I need to do and it I have to do it and another task comes into view. Now I have 2 thing I've got to do and so on and so on. Overwhelming feelings bubble up, which come quite often with this process... as it has most of my life. But while on Aderall, I'm down to a low enough dose as to not feel the "speed" effect, just awake and alert (Note: It's best to try different doses to see what dose works for you. It's not a one size fits all deal. Trust me on this one) Time has cohesion, meaning I know I have all my tasks and I can work one without another that comes to mind suddenly taking over. I simply know I'll need to remember to do it and carry on with the current task. I make a todo list everyday to help.
I'd like to mention that in my case, I expected a cure. Sudden organization abilites, able to carry on great conversation, never get overwhelmed again. Miracle cure... Nope. I had to learn to organize (from scratch I might add), still learning the art of conversation (I've always been an extreme introvert) and still get overwhelmed at my job. But at least it's manageable as before it was impossible. Things are quieter in my mind and I can function better. Still need to sharpen the skills that have been dull due to ADD all my life but I can at least sharpen them now. -Cheers tm