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Avatar universal

ADD and Schizophrenia

Can someone have both schizophrenia and ADD or ADHD?  My latest psychiatrist seems to think I have ADD but that I have never been schizophrenic.  He did not see me when I had 3 SEVERELY psychotic episodes all within about two years before I finally was put on an antipsychotic Zyprexa 7 to 8 years ago which worked like a charm.  However, I am now on Abilify at 45 mg. and Lamictal 100mg. for now.  I am curious as to why he seems to be so insistent about the ADD because every other doctor I have ever been to has without a doubt diagnosed me with schizophrenia.  I agree with the new psychiatrist that I have all the symptoms of ADD or even ADHD, but I also have the symptoms of schizophrenia.  So what is it?  Or is it possible to have both?  He wants to put me on a drug for ADD but from what I've read, those drugs can exacerbate schizphrenia symptoms.  
15 Responses
585414 tn?1288944902
A person can have both ADD and schizophrenia. The medications used to treat ADD can worsen the symptoms of schizophrenia but they can be used within a psychiatrist's discretion as long as the effects are monitored for. Ask your psychiatrist more about why they came to these conclusions to begin with.
Avatar universal
Actually I've read that with schizophrenia the levels of dopamine are high and with ADD the levels of dopamine are low so it does confuse me unless I read something wrong.... I also read somewhere that glutamate levels are the main culprit for schizophrenia NOT dopamine... This is more recent research as well.  

I took a neurotransmitter test and my levels of dopamine were barely normal on the low spectrum, my DOPAC (a byproduct I think of dopamine also a neurotransmitter) and my glutamate was normal, although I am on Abilify which might tweek those a bit.  Several other neurotransmitters were terribly low like Norepinephrine, epinephrine, Serotonin, 5 HIAA,Taurine was too low to mention, and others out of 13 different transmitters they tested were low normal.  

This test is very interesting.... I highly recommend getting one done.  I got my test done through NEUROSCIENCE, if you want to google the company.  You have to have a psychiatrist that can read the results and is very familiar with these kinds of tests.  
Avatar universal
I meant to say in there that my DOPAC was extremely low so much lower than the dopmaine.  I think Dopac is the result of dopmaine being processed in the body and it is the end result?  NOt sure will have to do research on this.  
585414 tn?1288944902
Yes I am aware of what you said as I am taking (under psychiatric supervision) an antipsychotic agent in Phase II FDA study which is called glycine which is a glutamate antagonist (technically NMDA receptor modulate, for more information google "Dr. Javitt, glycine" they increase the level of glutamate transmission) but I was providing information as regards currently available antipsychotics as those won't be out for a long time. Depending on how the case study goes they may or may not do further testing on me. Thanks for the information.
Avatar universal
That is so interesting!  Have you had a neurotransmitter test?  If so what were the findings if you don't mind disclosing that?  Also are you currently having intense episodes of schizophrenia or is it chronic?  JUst wondering based on results from such a test, how your symptoms correlate....  If anyone reading this has had a neurotransmitter test and doesn't mind discussing results and comparing notes please join our discussion...
Avatar universal
My glycine was normal and my glutamate was normal exactly in the optimal range and as far as my schizophrenia symptoms go... I have bouts of it every now and then I will get unrealistically paranoid and it tends to snowball but nothing like my first 3 psychotic breaks.  It involved every aspect of my life back then, I mean there was nowhere I could go without thinking I was being watched, followed, listened to and harrassed.  I also had very intense hallucinations involving all 5 senses.

Anyway, I have not known very many other schizophrenics because I always felt even more paranoid around them because I was thinking "what are they thinking I am thinking they are thinking I am thinking and so forth."  So, support groups didn't work out for me.  

Why I bring up my breakdowns is because I am amazed at how I've recovered and am wondering if this doctor is right about me never having it?  But how can those breakdowns be explained especially when i tried antidepressants and they didn't work and then Zyprexa did for once.  So that tells me there was a chemical imbalance maybe severe back then but not as much now???
585414 tn?1288944902
My recovery from schizoaffective disorder is "as good as on any FDA approved antipsychotics or better". I basically don't have any psychotic thoughts and my moodswings have been brought under relative control. My recovery from schizoaffective disorder and some of the criteria for the neurological disabilities I experience are in clinical study themselves. They will come to further conclusions once the case study is published but by regulations I can't post a case study here but I did include in one of my journal entries a standard mental health consumer newsletter (that is provider supervised and approved) that discusses it a bit. They haven't done a PET scan on me or any other specific form of test other than an MRI and EEG (which showed normal results) and I've inquired about it but its up to the researchers at this point. Thanks for inquiring though.
Avatar universal
Just curious, but when is the study expected to wrap up or is that something you don't know or cannot talk about...  Reason being that I would like to read about this study and follow this sort of research closely because i have never been so confused about what has happened to me and my current symptoms and diagnoses as I have been in the last couple years...  I mean, I also have temporal lobe abnormalities which may or may not cause prolonged staring spells that last hours...  I have been to countless neurologists who have found both seizure activity and normal activity when in fact it appeared that I was having a seizure.  I was recently told to seek psychiatric help for the seizures or staring spells as they called them "psychogenic" in origin.  So this is very depressing because they are basically saying that it is not a pill that will make it go away but probably years of therapy that would cure a psychosomatic disorder like that....Not to get off the subject but this relates to my schizophrenia in a roundabout way....
Avatar universal
Can you send a link to this test? I couldn't find it on google and would like to test my own levels because I have a lot of symptoms of both Schozophrenia, BPD and Bipolar.
Avatar universal

I haven't perused this site that much but if you read anything that is interesting let us know.  I have been prescribed their supplements to balance the neurotransmitters but I can't really afford them so I have tried to find the same supplements through a health food store.  Ideally I would like to buy their supplements because of the proper balance of vitamins and amino acids in their supplements for the specific problems I have.  

My doctor is a D. O. Psychiatrist, not an M.D.so he kind of treats the whole body to treat the brain specifically.  It is interesting, I have never been to a D.O.
He even wants to test my hormone levels because he says an overabundance of estrogen, androgens or testosterone in women can cause all kinds of problems related to psychiatry.  I  do not like the idea of supplementing hormones in my regimen.  I think this test is available through Neurorelief.com as well if you are interested?  
889322 tn?1263667847
i have ADD and schizophrenia it started out with ADD in like third grade so they put me on redolin at age 23 i got schiozphenia .....some time i wounder if the redolin and adderal  my have caused my schizophenia  
585414 tn?1288944902
No but they can worsen psychosis in a person with schizophrenia as they are stimulants and are activating.
Avatar universal
Is Strattera a better stimulant drug for ADD than the others as far as not making schizophrenia symptoms worse?  I am considering trying Strattera and have heard that it is the only non-narcotic available for ADD.  I also have breathing problems and faintness at times which is a concern with ADD drugs and schizophrenia drugs as well...  If anyone has tried this drug for ADD and has Schizophrenia and has had no problems with it I'd like to know about YOUR experience with it before I try it....  Or the other way around, if you have had a bad experience with it too let me know.

585414 tn?1288944902
You would mean amphetamine not narcotic and for that reason Strattera is safer than Ritalin in general.
Avatar universal
how did ur doctor diagnos u with adhd. i need thoae meds because i have learning disibility has norhing to do with my sciZophrenia
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