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ThraeIRC
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29 Nov 2012, 3:42 pm

I had heavy, crippling anxiety and depression along with seeming rapid cycling / ultridian bi-polar where I start off a bit depressed early in the day and go into hypomania near bedtime. I do not cycle over days, just per-day. After trying all sorts of different drugs for the last 20-odd years of drug therapy, I think I've finally found one that is working wonders: Adderall / Amphetamines. With only **5mg**, pretty much the lowest dose, my anxiety is nearly GONE for the first time since I can EVER remember. Just 5mg of the stuff. I can even socialize now, where before I had pretty bad social anxiety. And my feelings of being distracted and not being able to concentrate on what my professors are saying is also greatly improved. Mood is also improved, of course

My psychiatrists before never thought of it because I was diagnosed with bi-polar -- they feared mania. If anything, my thoughts have slowed DOWN. They are much more ordered, where before they suffered from anxious interrupts often, different from my hypomania.

I think I ended up trying almost every SSRI under the sun.

Anyone else with success / failure stories with Amphetamines?

PS: Also diagnosed with Asperger's from a long 7-panel neuropsych testing session in my teen years. I've since been adjusted to "Very High-Functioning Asperger's"[u]



BTDT
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29 Nov 2012, 3:53 pm

That is great news! Congratulations on finding something that works!



bigwheel
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29 Nov 2012, 4:45 pm

Fantastic news. Know those meds are supposed to work wonders for them who needs it. Have you compared it to cup of strong black coffee? Have several chums who raised ADDH kids and one say a cup of strong coffee before bedtime make the kid sleep like a baby. Sounded strange enough to be plausible to me..lol. Those uppers make me real anxious and a cup of coffee at bedtime would make me be up to see the nice sunrise. Keeps us posted on how it goes.



redrobin62
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29 Nov 2012, 5:16 pm

Adderall - good for us, bad for football players.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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29 Nov 2012, 6:33 pm

It was the opposite for me -- if I went above 5mg I would get horrible anxiety. OTOH, dexedrine would put me to sleep if I took too much.

Adderal did increase my focus, but it also increased my obsessiveness so that I'd get 'stuck' doing pointless things like arranging my sock drawer for hours.

But, it's cool that it's working for you. Neurobiology is interesting in how different people's brains can be.


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ThraeIRC
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30 Nov 2012, 9:25 am

Doing some research, it seems there is a catch-22 with being diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder: it shares symptoms with ADHD, yet a psychiatrist would normally never try ADHD medication like Adderall because of the risk of mania.

Looking back on my symptomatology, I think most of my symptoms could also be described with an ADHD diagnosis and lack of sleep apnea treatment:

- Racing thoughts...either anxious or *seemingly* hypomanic, especially at bedtime

- Consistent depression (which was made a lot worse when I got sleep apnea, which was untreated for many years)

- Unexplained irritability

- Impulsiveness

- Overeating and feeling I need to eat all the time

- Sleep apnea (mine's pretty severe) causes the effects of varying levels of sleep deprivation, even if you were unconscious for X hours. The affect of sleep deprivation can leave you with a better mood for 1 or 2 days than a crappy mood the rest of the week.

- More sleep deprivation due to sleep cycling, where I would rotate my schedule around, especially on weekends. This is indicated with ADHD because they can have severe trouble falling asleep, to the point where they need to wait until overexhaustion...and if that doesn't come, they/I don't fall asleep.

It was especially the rapid cycling + very small amount of cycling during the week (sleep deprivation) with *seeming* hypomania at nighttime (really racing thoughts, lots of "good ideas") which probably cemented in everyone's mind *bi-polar*, . However, as we see, this can all be explained with ADHD, and especially ADHD + Sleep Apnea.

**Things NOT indicative of bi-polar was that I never really had "really good days".** (I think my psychiatrists always thought I was forgetting about them or lying)

My little brother has been diagnosed with ADHD (and it shows), and it makes me wonder...one of the reasons psychiatrists always thought I had bi-polar is because my mother is diagnosed with bi-polar...but what if she also has ADHD? I mean she IS taking Adderall -- she's the one that gave me the idea of trying it!



SyphonFilter
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30 Nov 2012, 6:48 pm

redrobin62 wrote:
Adderall - good for us, bad for football players.


What were those guys thinking? Clearly Adderall wasn't good enough to earn the Seahawks a victory last weekend.



LadybugS
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30 Nov 2012, 9:45 pm

Great news! :)


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01 Dec 2012, 11:45 am

Ritalin makes race horses run fast.



bigwheel
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01 Dec 2012, 11:46 am

ThraeIRC wrote:
Doing some research, it seems there is a catch-22 with being diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder: it shares symptoms with ADHD, yet a psychiatrist would normally never try ADHD medication like Adderall because of the risk of mania.

Looking back on my symptomatology, I think most of my symptoms could also be described with an ADHD diagnosis and lack of sleep apnea treatment:

- Racing thoughts...either anxious or *seemingly* hypomanic, especially at bedtime

- Consistent depression (which was made a lot worse when I got sleep apnea, which was untreated for many years)

- Unexplained irritability

- Impulsiveness

- Overeating and feeling I need to eat all the time

- Sleep apnea (mine's pretty severe) causes the effects of varying levels of sleep deprivation, even if you were unconscious for X hours. The affect of sleep deprivation can leave you with a better mood for 1 or 2 days than a crappy mood the rest of the week.

- More sleep deprivation due to sleep cycling, where I would rotate my schedule around, especially on weekends. This is indicated with ADHD because they can have severe trouble falling asleep, to the point where they need to wait until overexhaustion...and if that doesn't come, they/I don't fall asleep.

It was especially the rapid cycling + very small amount of cycling during the week (sleep deprivation) with *seeming* hypomania at nighttime (really racing thoughts, lots of "good ideas") which probably cemented in everyone's mind *bi-polar*, . However, as we see, this can all be explained with ADHD, and especially ADHD + Sleep Apnea.

**Things NOT indicative of bi-polar was that I never really had "really good days".** (I think my psychiatrists always thought I was forgetting about them or lying)

My little brother has been diagnosed with ADHD (and it shows), and it makes me wonder...one of the reasons psychiatrists always thought I had bi-polar is because my mother is diagnosed with bi-polar...but what if she also has ADHD? I mean she IS taking Adderall -- she's the one that gave me the idea of trying it!


Sounds like the story of my life here.



hmstmil
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08 Dec 2012, 2:19 am

I dunno...

I felt that way when I first started taking Adderall, too. I was so happy and I thought it was the cure-all. But oh God, it has been a nightmare in the long run for me.

My body kept getting used to the dosage. Of course I wanted to keep the beneficial effects, so I increased the dose. It made me not want to eat all the time (I struggled with binge eating disorder and extreme food cravings). It made me feel calm and content. I could actually complete tasks like work projects or studying for difficult exams, so my confidence rose.

Unfortunately, Adderall is amphetamine. So despite my attempts to control tolerance to its effects, my body would just get used to it. Then it didn't work and I needed more. I actually thought I was stronger than other people, that I'd just force myself to skip days, etc. For awhile, raising the dose worked. But you can't keep doing that forever. I realized too late I was addicted to and dependent on the pills. Getting off them is extremely difficult.

The lack of eating helped me lose weight, and I felt good everyone noticed how good I looked. Then my hair started falling out by the fist-full. My skin got dull. I never slept, which at the time seemed like a good thing...I could get so much done! When you don't sleep and don't eat, bad stuff starts happening. I didn't know it for a long time, but going without eating enough caused hypoglycemia. That manifested in me being incredibly depressed. It took me forever to realize I should eat when I felt that way (feelings of hunger never came to remind me to eat). It was so hard to eat, though, when I just didn't feel like it.

I've aged so quickly since I started taking it. People have sometimes guessed my age at 45-55, when I'm really 32.

I started crashing hard in the afternoons, when the Adderall would wear off. My blood pressure went through the roof. After awhile, I had a big increase in compulsive behavior. I'd spend all day cleaning when I needed to be working, or be unable to leave the store because I had to look at (literally) every thing. It's so frustrating to blow your whole day doing dumb stuff and feel totally powerless to stop.

After a year or so, I started getting really paranoid. I read that prolonged amphetamine use causes psychosis, which can be irreversible. That was enough for me, I knew I had to make myself quit.

I've been quitting for at least a year :( I cut the dose, a little at a time. I wish I never touched the stuff. It seemed like a miracle in the beginning, but it is just like any other amphetamine. It makes you feel great for awhile, but later you pay a high price.

Sorry, I don't mean to rain on your parade. I just wish I had known all this stuff before I started taking Adderall.



NowWhat
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09 Dec 2012, 12:34 am

Adderall eliminated my anxiety too. I've only been taking it for a few months for ADHD.

Even though it works, and is legal I'm switching to strattera to avoid testing positive on drug tests.



BTDT
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10 Dec 2012, 10:07 am

Even if it isn't a long term solution, figuring out exactly what he has is a big win!



Smoke86
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11 Dec 2012, 12:33 pm

I like Adderall, but as another poster mentioned, some of us have problems with a tolerance developing, almost rendering the drug useless. It was a real red-flag for me when I had been taking it for three weeks straight, and noticed that my motivation was starting to go back down to what it was before. Apparently, some people on Adderall have to cycle on and off of it (as in my case). The last three weeks has been very unproductive because without stimulants, I am a very lazy and unmotivated person. Not by choice, though; I've just always have been like that. I suffer from a lot of depression, too; so there's probably a link there.



ThraeIRC
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19 Dec 2012, 2:30 pm

Update: After switching to XR / ER ("Extended Release") and going up to 10mg (I'm a big guy too), now my anxiety is nearly fully under control for the first time in my entire life:

- Obsessive & anxious thoughts no longer influence or plague me.

- I no longer literally fear for my life daily.

- I can speak more clearly, without stutter, and have far less aphasia (switching words with synonyms, making up words, etc.)

- No more "brain fog"!

And most importantly: I can finally get things done without worrying about going insane from pushing myself!

It's like before my brain was only getting 50% power and now it's getting 100% power...without going beyond 100% ;)

This has influence me so greatly that I actually contacted a rare researcher on this type of treatment for the treatment-resistant, who published some of the very few papers on the effectiveness of low doses of Amphetamine Salts (Adderall) to treat anxiety in the treatment-resistant. (Note: all of the papers I've found so far are treating adult ADHD + anxiety and are not very conclusive, including this researcher's)

Isn't it weird that now THREE of my immediate family members are taking Amphetamine Salts, of which only one really has symptoms better related to the diagnosis of ADHD and takes the recommended (much, much larger) dose? That's phenotype vs genotype for ya!



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20 Dec 2012, 9:02 pm

I'm kind of sold on this Adderall stuff. Would give anything to be free from Aspie anxiety.

Better ask my GP


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