ADD / ADHD Community
3.38k Members
Avatar universal

Can ADD meds ever help insomnia, can someone with ADD have insomnia for years?

After years of failed Anxiety meds, my psych wants to try an ADD med although doesnt believe I have ADD. I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety disorder since I was 8 years old, I am now 27 and it has gone from bad to worse. I have tried every anxiety med and anti depressant out there, over 30 to 40 meds with my psychiatrist. Nothing as even remotely helped. I have on the brink of losing my job and going on permanently disability and starting the think an ADD med would be best for me but here's the issue, I have two main problems, trouble concentrating, so bad that I can't work. People will be talking to me and the anxiety kicks in and I have no idea what they are saying, my mind is trying so hard to focus but I can't think, i cant rememeber, and both my short term and long term memory is seriously impaired.

Does anyone with ADD have signigicant trouble driving? I get lost everywhere i go, i cant remember what turn i made 2 seconds ago, I have been driving since I was 16 in the same small town I live in and still get lost everywhere i go, everyday, its such a struggle.

Why haven't I tried an ADD med? My second and actually most primary problem I have had since I was 6 is insomnia. Severe insomnia, so severe that every medication ive tried for anxiety and insomnia has made me drowsy but still wont put me to sleep, my mind races from thought to thought a mile a minute. I am afraid a stimulant will make my sleep worse. Most anti depressants I was put on made my insomnia worse.

So what I am wondering is, can I take an ADD/ADHD med and it actually help my racing thoughts so I am able to sleep, anyone with add ever have insomnia?

As a child, and still currently, I was very angry, irritable, impulsive, so I do see traits of ADD in me, but doctors say I only have Anxiety/depression/PTSD because my trouble focusing only happened recently. However, since all else has failed, I want to try an ADD med, but if it makes my insomnia worse, I will literally give up on everything. For the past month I have been off all meds, and getting 1 to 2 hours of sleep a night, if lucky!

Thanks, please anyone with any experience
2 Responses
189897 tn?1441126518
   Dang, just sent you a really long post and this stupid site screwed it up.  Since I am leaving tomorrow on vacation - gonna give you just the short answer.
    Yes, you do show many signs of ADD.  Furthermore, insomnia is very common for people with AD/HD.  It is so common that there are good links with suggestions on how to sleep.   One is here - http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/6/slide-1.html?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=July
     And on a personal basis, I have a brother-in-law with ADHD.  He has a difficult time getting to sleep as his mind is always going.  He uses white noise or meditation music and a melatonin tablet an hour or too before bedtime.   it works for him.
    Don't worry about trying the meds.  Stimulant meds unlike most anxiety and depression meds are out of your system quickly.   A Ritalin type med is only good for 4 hours.   As this link suggests - the dose patterns are important - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/854927?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=96999MR
     Finally here is a really good link on ADHD and sleep - http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/757.html?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=april
    Oh, I also need to mention that anxiety is a very common co-disorder of AD/HD and many times is caused by the undiagosed AD/HD.  And if only the anxiety or depression (also a common co-disorder) is treated and not the root cause - success is limited.
     Anyway, I have a feeling that being in a small town may have been one reason that you were not able to get the help you needed.  I have a lot of info if you need any more information.
   But, essentially,  don't be afraid to do a little trial and error.  It will be much easier and faster to see results then the other meds you have tried.  Good luck!!!!!!!!!
I have been hoping you would answer as I have seen your posts. My mind is having trouble focusing and I will come back to your post but I have a feeling I am really on to something here.

So all my life I was called a bad child, I got in trouble a lot in school, for talking during class, not listening, getting in fights, i am a female!! Then one teacher told me I was really intelligent in my grade 12 English class. But she said I had to change my ways, I would sleep all through her class since i was so tired from insomnia, but still somehow was doing well. In fact, the best in her class she said. She motivated me to go to University but I became a perfectionist and wanted to be "good" so bad that I studied all day, all night and had no other life.

I graduated with the highest mark in my entire program, this is why my psychiatrist will not diagnose me with Add. I did really really well In University. It could be because I had really good short term memory, I could read and memorize an entire book a day before a test and word for word write it out on an exam. But it all came crashing in my last year when I got burnt out and it became over whelming, ever since the trouble focusing has gotten so bad. I have gotten into a job in law enforcement SOMEHOW! And i make it through my day with clonzapam to calm my racing thoughts, but it doesnt help with memory. It's like every single day is a new day, i dont remember any of the rules and regulations from the day before, feels  like i have Alzheimers. It's caught on and my manager has told me to take time off. I also have A LOT of anger at home, I get angry start yelling, I have thrown stuff, broke things. It's starting to all sound more like add, but with my insomnia no one will even believe it.

Anyways, thank you so much for your post, it's a blessing, please have a good vacation, don't feel the need to re write a long post, I just felt some relief from your post so wanted to reply. Thanks again!!!!
189897 tn?1441126518
      wow, you so have all the symptoms of Adult AD/HD  - check this link

    Also, I think the clonazepam may be causing you some of the problems.  Your dose might be to high.  If you haven't read up on it. This link is pretty good.  http://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-clonazepam-use/
    Frankly, I would talk with your psyc about trying some of the other anti-anxiety meds out there.

     Finally, trying to keep it short.  If you do have ADD.  You have been increasing the Seratonin side of your brain causing a bigger imbalance on the executive function side by only treating the anxiety.  Take the time to watch this video by Dr. Parker.   Tune in at the 2:30 mark.  

       You might also like this video by him on ADHD, OCD, or Anxiety

   Keep in touch.  
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Development Answerers
189897 tn?1441126518
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
What to expect in your growing baby
Is the PS3 the new Prozac … or causing ADHD in your kid?
Autism expert Dr. Richard Graff weighs in on the vaccine-autism media scandal.
Could your home be a haven for toxins that can cause ADHD?