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Untreated ADD symptoms

I have suffered from ADD symptoms as a result of my drug and alcohol use a decade ago. I have been on many ADD and anti depressant meds but all to no avail except with Wellbutrin XR  and somewhat with Concerta. The Wellbutrin worked amazingly well a long time ago but stopped shortly after I took a small sip of hard liquor. My doctors are perplexed by this but that is the only explanation I can come up with. I have given the medication  a couple of more shots since, as recent as a year ago but all to no avail. I am currently on concerta. It does not have nearly the same results as wellbutrin but it seems to be the only medication that gives me any benefits besides wellbutrin however, I am unemployed and am still struggling with symptoms that prevent me from securing a job. I really want treatment but do not know what would be the best course of action for me or what medication option to take, or should I stay with Concerta since alot of other meds dont seem to help?
3 Responses
1756321 tn?1547095325
Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is a NDRI (norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake Inhibitor). Reuptake Inhibitors are thought to block the reabsorption (reuptake) of the targeted neurotransmitter by certain nerve cells in the brain. This theoretically leaves more of the neurotransmitter in the brain.  

If you have low levels of neurotransmitters to begin with these medications either will not work well or work for a while then stop working.  Alcohol and drugs depletes neurotransmitters so your neurotransmitter tanks were close to empty (for lack of a better description lol) prior to that sip of hard liquor.

I had a look at a lab panel from Modern Herbalist "Request Form For Neurotransmitter Testing" to see what neurotransmitter imbalances they are looking for with ADD and that is a long list of neurotransmitters!

"Neuro Screen / Expanded with 30 minute Telephone Consultation:

Urine analysis: Epinephrine, Norepinephrine, Dopamine, Serotonin, GABA, PEA, Glutamate, Histamine, DOPAC, 5-HIAA, Glycine, Taurine.

Indicated for: ADD / ADHD, Autism, mental focus, anxiety, depression, mood disorders.
The green tea amino acid L Theanine is used as standard treatment in Japan for ADHD which is one way to boost dopamine without the side effects of chemicals.  There are so many supplements on the market that boost neurotransmitters however. You can google each neurotransmitter to see what helps.  

I just chose dopamine and found this article....

Excerpts from an article called "Naturally Increase Dopamine To Help Depression" by Laura Owens...

"Dr. Eric Braverman, author of the book, "The Edge Effect," offers specific nutritional and supplementation plans to increase the levels of key neurotransmitters in the brain depending on a person's deficiency. "The goal of a dopamine diet is to ensure that the body has enough raw materials for a steady supply of tyrosine and phenylalanine, two amino acids that are precursors to dopamine. These amino acids are found in many protein-rich foods." Many protein foods such as meats and dairy products have tyrosine that converts to dopamine including:

apples, bananas, and watermelon
beans and legumes
black or green tea
cottage cheese, cheeses including ricotta
chicken, pork
dark chocolate
duck, wild game
wheat germ

Supplements to Increase Dopamine

There are a number of supplements that increase dopamine levels in the brain. Dr. Braverman recommends the following:

Phenylalnine: An essential amino acid found in the brain and blood plasma that can convert in the body to tyrosine, which in turn is used to synthesize dopamine.

Tyrosine: Another amino acid and precursor to dopamine. Tyrosine is converted from phenylalnine

Methione: An essential amino acid protein that is provided to the body only through diet.L-Methionine is the precursor to SAMe, l-cysteine, taurine, and sulfate. SAM-e supplements can increase dopamine.

Rhodiola: a native plant of Russia. Rhodiola balances the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis, or HPA, the body’s stress regulation center.

Rhodiola balances the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Pyridoxine: A form of vitamin B6 that has a beneficial effect on red blood cell production, cardiovascular health, the immune system and hormone balance. It is necessary for the production of epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin in the body.

Mucuna pruriens: one of the popular Ayurvedic herbs, is also known as velvet bean or cowhage. This herb contains L-Dopa, a precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Phosphatidylserine: A specialized lipid (fat) that occurs naturally in the body. It is a necessary component to regulate the function of all cells and is found in the highest concentration in the brain.

B Complex: Cofactors in the synthesis and proper function of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine

Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo extract, from the leaves of the Ginkgo biloba tree is the most commonly used herbal medicine in Europe, can increase dopamine. Ginko enhances the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain and promoting healthy transmission of nerve impulses.

NADH an activated form of the B vitamin niacin, the amino acid L-theanine, and Omega-3 fatty acids can also elevate dopamine levels."
Avatar universal
As crazy as it sounds going to AA and working a 12 step program helps me. I am still ADD but I took elavil and it helped me alot with depression as well but working a 12 step program has made a big difference for me in. Maybe you already do. I sometimes take ginko biboa (can't remember how to spell it ) for attention span issues and ginseng helps my body keep up with my mind.
Avatar universal
Wow thanks for your comprehensive response to my issue! That was very informative. I have told my Wellbutrin story to many doctors and none were able to explain and were just dumbfounded. I never really liked the idea of relying on harsh medications that may alter my brain chemistry or permanent effects from long term use, not to mention the side effects and interactions so I definitely like a more natural approach with supplements and nutritional foods. However, psychologically I feel that because it is more natural, it may not be as effective or quick acting that I like with medications but in the long run it is less of a payoff. I have tried a few of the supplements mentioned including ginko but to no avail but there are many mentioned that I havent tried that I am looking forward to try and even incorporating a whole meal plan as well. I really hate the trial and error process but that is something I cannot avoid with any approach but at least this is a much safer and nutritional. I was losing hope and coming to terms with my situation so thank you for arming me with many more options! Keeping my fingers crossed
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way off the beaten track!, BC
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