ADD / ADHD Community
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1390055 tn?1365618655

Getting off of ADHD medications

I used to take ADHD medication to manage my condition beginning when I was about 13 years old. I am now 23.

I continued this for about 5 or 6 years, and then gradually came down off of my medications. I had been put on a number of different medications at different times to see which medication worked best for me, and we finally settled on taking Concerta, and did this so for about 3 or 4 years.

In the time I was off of my medications, I developed Major Depression, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, problems with managing stress which lead to PTSD, developed non-bacterial chronic prostatitis from the stress, formed more Obsessive Compulsive behaviors, and a horrible case of Hypochondria.

These emotional problems and mental disorders I have been diagnosed with were never a problem when I was younger, for I never experienced them (aside from Hypochondria, for I used to panic about the way my heart would beat a lot when I was about 8 years old, even though my heartbeat was normal).

These emotional problems and mental disorders listed above developed real slowly after I graduated from high school and stopped taking my ADHD meds "safely", and I thought it was just part of the anxiety with growing up, but I have come to find out from a therapist that this is definitely not the case.

I have recently been put back on Concerta so I can go back to college and concentrate better. I've noticed in the past few days I have been able to manage my emotional stress better, and I have been less anti-social issues.

Could the fact that I was no longer managing my ADHD with medication have a factor in me developing these disorders?
9 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
  All of the research I have done and personal posts I have seen on this forum would indicate that it was certainly a contributing factor.  
  Unfortunately, many parents would see the pill as the solution.  However, all studies I have seen, show that some type of behavior modification training is also needed.  Its not your parents fault.  And it would be very typical if they only used a family doctor, not a psychiatrist.  
  I don't know if it will help, but there is an adult web site devoted to ADD where a lot of good information is shared.  You might want to check it out.  Its called  

   You also might want to check out this site which was a recent pbs special on adult ADD.
    Best wishes!
189897 tn?1441130118
   By the way, check out the posts by Capita 2010 and Stubborn fight.  Do post back and let us know how it is going.  The three of you are in kind of similar situations!
189897 tn?1441130118
the blocked site is **********.com  its worth looking at.
1390055 tn?1365618655
I saw the site link before it was blocked, but I come here to the forums for help, not to be directed to external websites that I have never heard of.
189897 tn?1441130118
   The reason I recommended the sites is that I wanted you to see that what you are going through is not that unusual for adults with ADD.  There is no way that I could relay some of the personal stories on those sites or the advice given by adults who do use the meds on a regular basis.   I also have a feeling that if you had more information about ADD, you would realize what it can do to adults if left untreated.
   And I also would like to say that just taking meds (while helpful), is only dealing with part of the problem.  The more you understand yourself and ADD, the greater chance you will have of dealing with it.  Best Wishes!
Avatar universal
I don't get it
Avatar universal
Have you ever been tested for Celiac Disease? About 1/3 of people have the genes for it, but it has to trigger for you to develop problems and symptoms. It involves the body attacking your intestines, so you will have trouble getting enough nutrients. And as a result, it can affect any part of the body, including the mind.

The longer it goes untreated after it triggers, the worse the symptoms get, and the more symptoms/problems you tend to develop. When they randomly test thousands of folks, about 3% who tested positive had been diagnosed by their doctors, because the symptoms that docs thought went with this disease turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg.

I know that the ADHD drugs can obviously cause issues, but the reason I mention this is the following:
- when celiac disease triggers in children, a common misdiagnosis is ADD or ADHD
- It typically results in low seratonin and melatonin, because of poor tryptophan absorption, and that results in anger, anxiety, and stress issues and depression, quite often. Not to mention a host of other psychological issues that can result from it.
- it can cause issues with the heart, including the feeling of the heart pounding or racing when there seems to be no change (as you mentioned happened as a child)...although this last is more from conversations from celiacs than from research studies.
- It can cause problems in any other bodily system that could result from nutritional deficiencies, from gall bladder to skin and everything in between.
- and celiacs are often labeled hypochondriacs, as well.

This disease is triggered by eating gluten (wheat, rye, or barley). The symptoms disappear when a person stops eating these. That's all. There aren't any drugs to help with the condition, which unfortunately means that drug companies aren't funding a lot of continuing education about it, so many doctors aren't aware of the new information about the disease. The test for it is a simple blood panel for Celiac disease, although there is new evidence that some people seem to have non-celiac gluten intolerance where they test negative on the tests, but symptoms resolve on the diet.

I know that this may not at all be an issue in your life, or that perhaps the ADHD is totally unrelated and you have this as well, but after my family's diagnosis, we had a huge number of psychological issues resolve for the four of us who had it. Depression, anxiety and panic attacks, ADHD like behavior, heart palpitations, uncontrollable anger and sadness, stress that would rage out of control - it all went away with just a change in diet. With so little known about this disease among most doctors, I just wanted to put this out there in case you care to look into it as a possible issue.

Take care, and best of luck
189897 tn?1441130118
   Very interesting - thank you for posting!
1390055 tn?1365618655
I never have problems with bread or any yeast products. In fact, when my bread/yeast consumption increased recently, things weren't as bad.

I don't have problems with my heart or anything of that sort now. I never really did, it was just all mental. I guess I made it sound physical, but that wasn't my intention. I just remember hearing about heart failure when I was a little kid, like on television and whatever, and I was just sacred stiff of my heart giving out, so I would be very self-aware of heart function. Maybe too much so.
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