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ADD / ADHD Community
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447130 tn?1225474466

Do I have adult ADD?

My doctor has diagnosed me with a mood disorder and put me on Abilify. It has helped a lot but I still have NO energy, have a hard time finishing or starting tasks, poor concentration, and trouble with focus. He said it sounded like a little ADD was going on too and out me on Vyvanse. I still don't have a great amount of motivation and he said it would help this but it hasn't. I've been on it about 3 weeks at 30mg. Is my dose too low? Is it the wring med or wrong diagnosis? What are the symtoms in adults.
I should mention I was a very hyper child, most definately ADD back then but after a 10 year bout with severe depression, I'm having trouble bouncing back. How could I have so much ebergy as a kid and now I have next to none if I'm not on the Vyvanse. If you can help, it would be great. Thank you!!
Erin
4 Responses
Avatar universal
have you asked about adderal? ive been on it for 2 months, and it gives me a lot of energy.
Avatar universal
I use to take Adderall for ADD but have since moved to Birmingham, AL.  Do you know the best way for me to find a doctor who will treat me for adult ADD?
Avatar universal
My doc put me on 70mg of Vyvanse with my Depakote and I feel a hundred times better. I have more motivation in the last week than I have in years. Maybe your dose is just too low at 30mg.
Avatar universal
There are a lot of different medications for ADD, so it might be wise to experiment with a few. Although I'm a bit concerned that your doctor thought it "sounded like a little ADD was going on too" and prescribed medication. Is this doctor a specialist, or just a general practitioner? If they're not a specialist I think it would be wise to get a proper diagnosis, as ADD is not a nice simple clear-cut kind of disorder, it can be co-morbid with lots of things, can be mimicked by other things, and can be hidden by other things. It needs an expert diagnosis to separate out all of these factors. Just trying you out with different drugs until something seems to work isn't a substitute for a real diagnosis!

The fact that you say you were very hyper as a child does suggest it might be ADD; it's quite common for hyperactivity to go away as you grow up, leaving you with other syptoms like attention, memory & motivation problems. Even in people where the ADD seems to have gone away completely, they can be left with a few residual problems, such as learnt bad habits, low self-esteem, anxiety etc.

Things like depression, anxiety & general stress can make you feel tired, unmotivated & unfocused regardless of whether you have ADD or not, so just taking good care of yourself will go a long way towards helping you feel better. You don't mention whether you've had any psychological help; depression is a complex problem, and although doctors often like to throw every drug in the book at it, it is good to try other approaches such as some kind of therapy (CBT, for example, often helps people learn to escape from the cycle of depression. It really helped a close friend of mine). If your depression is linked to some concrete problem, such as feelings of low self-esteem, or frustration at your own apparent inability to do things you feel you should be able to do (which is very common in people with ADD), then it might be more fruitful to tackle that problem directly, through something like therapy or coaching. A lot of people with problems with motivation actually have underlying anxiety issues (I came to realise this was a big problem for me, despite the fact that I never thought of myself as an anxious person!). Anxiety is a funny thing; it can manifest in all sorts of ways which aren't very obvious. We often have unconscious ways of suppressing anxiety, such as avoiding those tasks that make us anxious, deflecting it into other behaviours or thought patterns, etc. I have terrible problems with procrastination, which I think is a learned response to my ADD; I procrastinate over tasks which I know my ADD causes problems with, such as anything where I have to remember thing or think quickly, for example. I think this has become more of a problem for me than the actual ADD symptoms now, but I literally only realised what the problem was less than 6 months ago! I didn't have anything which I recognised as anxiety, because I thought of anxiety as being something more obvious. For me, the actual feelings of anxiety were so brief I didn't notice them before my self-defence kicked in and I deflected my attention to something non-anxiety inducing. Even sleeping a lot can be a reaction to anxiety in some people! It has been a huge help to finally work this out, and I've actually started to solve some of my problems now.

I know this is a long answer, but that's because these kinds of problems aren't simple. There are many, many reasons you could be feeling the way you do, some of which I haven't even touched on. Your doctor seems like they might be overly focused on drugs as a treatment, which is a fairly typical response of many in the medical profession, but it is an oversimplistic way of thinking about psychological problems. The mind is a hugely complicated thing, and your problems are probably not due to one single "fault". Drugs can probably help, but they won't solve it altogether. You need to learn new ways of thinking to break the cycle of depression and low motivation, which probably means some kind of therapy. Don't forget though, that like drugs, different types of therapy (and different therapists) suit different people, so don't be afraid to switch to another method if one doesn't seem to help. Also, don't forget that you're not a completely helpless "victim" of your own mental state. It's easy to allow yourself to feel this way, like you're at the whim of your own brain and you have little control. No matter how bad things are, this isn't true; you CAN gain some control over it, and, in fact, just the act of trying to take what control you can will help you feel better. A lot of depression is about feelings of helplessness, like nothing you can do will make things better. You have to recognise that that is the depression talking, and that you CAN overcome it! That's not to say it's easy, by any means, but it is doable.
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