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ADHD in Women

Depressed and Tired of It

Hello everyone,

I was recently diagnosed with Inattentive ADD about a month or so ago.  Though I’m grateful that I was finally diagnosed, I’m now starting to see how difficult it is to live with this.

I still struggle with deadlines and procrastination.  I do things at the last minute, though I make a note to get done early.  I also struggle with motivation, finishing projects and interacting with people—which probably explains why I don’t like being around people for too long.  I’m moody and don’t have much patience for things—the list goes on. 

I was taking Strattera, but it made me sick.  I’m not taking anything and I’m afraid to, so I’m struggling with keeping my symptoms in check.  Meanwhile, I am discouraged because I can’t find a job in the social work field and think my ADD is to blame.

I’m doing everything I can to learn about the disorder, but there’s so much and I feel like I’m drowning in it. 

I guess I’m writing all of this because I need support.

Replies

Depression is a big part of my ADHD, too, because I am so tired of all the symptoms.  I was started on Straterra at 40mgs then bumped up to 80 and it made me so sick I lost 15 pounds.  I finally went off, then started back on it at 18mg.  I started getting sick again so my psychiatrist recommended taking it with a full meal.  The side effects are gone but I don’t feel like it’s really doing much, if anything, for the symptoms.  I’m sure we will try increasing it after awhile.  Many people with ADHD also require antidepressants so you may want to consider that.  Have you considered lowering the dose of the straterra?

Posted by LindaVB19 on Apr 26, 2014 at 2:06am

I presume that what has gotten both of you stuck in an endless loop of adjusting & readjusting Strattera doses (plus attempting to combat the GI distress it so often causes with diet modification) is primarily based on the fact that taking a “non-stimulant” seems preferable to taking a stimulant. 

Or is there some other reason to explain why one would continue to tolerate minimal or unsatisfactory results combined with bad side effects for so long when there are other pharmaceutical options with a higher success rate and generally fewer side effects?

I ask because I’m wondering what the reason is for what seems like a huge increase in people taking Strattera very recently (at least from my view here on the forum…maybe my view is skewed).  I wonder if they (Eli Lilly) are on some sort of a rabid consumer advertisement campaign OR a rabid medical professional advertising campaign.

Posted by BC on Apr 26, 2014 at 2:57am

You’re right, the information can be overwhelming! I’m 44 and diagnosed combined just 3 years ago. I had struggled with depression not realizing that it was related to anything but my inability to cope with life. I learned better. I must suggest listening or watching Dr. Russell Barkley speak on the matter. Even if he is discussing children, it will help you understand how you are wired. His book Taking Charge of Adult ADHD. has changed my life (get an audio book if you have trouble finishing books).

I also recommend finding a doctor who specializes in ADHD for managing your ADHD. As much as I love my family practioner of over 20 years, she failed miserably in being up to date with research, medication management, and lifestyle strategies for creating a comprehensive treatment plan.

Most of all remember that you are uniquely and wonderfully created. Your ADHD has been a part of you for a very long time. It has been a part of shaping you into the person you are today (the person who earned the credentials to work in the field of social work & recognize the need to post here!!).

Take heart, you’re not alone. We’re a pretty amazing band of folks! You can do this.

Posted by Gothope! on Apr 26, 2014 at 3:06am

The reason I am on Straterra is because the stimulants sent my blood pressure sky high.

Posted by LindaVB19 on Apr 26, 2014 at 4:10am

LindaVB19:

Sorry to hear that you’re stuck trying to manage the GI side effects of Strattera (due to BP).  As you go up on the dosage another thing to try along with always taking it with a full meal is to take it twice a day instead of only once.

Posted by BC on Apr 26, 2014 at 4:30am

Bones,

You said you need support, but we’re giving you advice.

What you’re dealing with is common when diagnosed as an adult. You’re an intelligent woman. You’re on the right track, there’s been some great suggestions here. (Many you may have read or heard of before). I encourage you to stay the course until you find what works for you. Don’t settle until you do.

Do you have someone who can hold you accountable to taking one step toward resolution? “Finishing” is hard for us! (We forget, we’re late, we get lost). I think this is the biggest struggle as adults with ADHD. We know what we need to do but lack the executive functioning skills to see it through!! All of these suggestions don’t mean squat if you don’t act.

I have used and will continue to use whatever external tool I need until I’ve found what works for me to be as independently successful as I want to be. For example, you may not need a buddy-system next week or next year, but you might today. You may take an antidepressant temporarily to get you out of the fog so you can make clear decisions about what your next steps should be. Hope this helps

Posted by Gothope! on Apr 26, 2014 at 4:48am

Bones,
It’s all good. We all have the same goal here. We want to see you have some success and know you’re not alone.

Posted by Gothope! on Apr 26, 2014 at 5:27am

Medication for me is only part of the solution.  First, find something that doesn’t give you side effects.  You are already doing the second thing…asking other ADDers for suggestions and guidance.  Try an in-person ADHD group for even more inspiration if one is available.  For me hearing how others organize their days, keep track of meetings and appointments, relax & maintain energy levels(exercise-meditation-etc) is a way of building my own ADHD tool kit that I use to monitor my productivity levels and keep me even and on track. Reading articles in ADDitude and Attention are also quite helpful.  Plus, with my therapist we do tapping etc.
Good luck and hope to hear what you try and how it’s working.

Posted by Ruthizabel on Apr 27, 2014 at 1:00am

I guess I am kind of the odd one out because I have been on and off meds since I was 7 years old.  Thankfully I have been on the same one and about the same dosage for almost 10 years now.  Now during that time the needed dosage has gone up and down and changed from slow release to extended release but I feel pretty good most days. 

I know for me one of the biggest things that I have to is some kind of order and schedule.  Most of the time this is set up due to work, social commitments and family but there are days I don’t have anything really planned and are a struggle. 

You really do need to keep reading, learning and trying to figure out what works best for you.  I really like RUTHIZABEL idea of the tool kit and have one for myself.  Another big part is learning what triggers you and how you deal with those things. 

Good Luck and it will get easier!

Posted by Adhamomma44622 on Apr 29, 2014 at 5:55pm

Thank you so much for all the suggestions and kind words. Sorry I haven’t been logged in lately. 

I am doing everything I can to find the right solution for myself. To give you an update, I tried taking Strattera again, but it didn’t do very much of anything other than give me headaches.  So I saw my doctor again today and, though I asked her if she knew of any natural remedies, she wasn’t much help.  So I just asked her for a prescription for generic Adderall.  But it has to be pre-authorized.  In the meantime, I’m not medicated and I have to find some way to finish projects and stay on task.

Posted by BonesMcCoy on May 07, 2014 at 10:43am

They should open a discussion forum for AD/HD trekkies.  My wife sometimes calls my AD/HD Kardassian brain ferment. 

Depression is, well, depressing, and it is all too often our lot.  It is harder for us to change the pattern of negative thinking that tends to lead to long-term depression, but interacting with other people as much as you can is a good start. So is physical exercise, especially if you do it fairly aggressively and regularly. If you cannot change the negative thinking, try as much as you can to change the actual facts in your life that generate the thoughts.  Assuming you have a proper diagnosis there is really no excuse for a physician not to prescribe basic stimulant meds - they are cheaper, less risky and more likely to be effective than Strattera, so put the boots to your doctor or insurer, whichever is holding up the treatment.  Your health is the most important thing here.  For comorbid AD/HD + depressive disorders, one common response is Buproprion (in the US sold as Wellbutrin).  It can be used with stimulants, and in some cases it actually helps with the AD/HD to the point where it can be used to treat both problems without stimulants.

Live long, prosper, and try to keep your brain moving forward, but at the same time below Warp 5.

Posted by Cedar on May 13, 2014 at 8:48am

I read a great book by the ADHD coach called Dreamers, Visionaries and something else, and I can’t remember the name of the coach despite hearing him speak - and he suggests emailing your Goals for the Week to a friend who then emails their goals and it becomes like a Giant To Do list with a daily breakdown of what needs doing. Why it works better than a To Do list is you get round the Procrastination problem, by sticking a day on the goal. I usually leave one day as an ADHD day when it all goes wrong (go shopping, leave my purse at home, get a parking ticket, leave the top of the car off and it rains, go shopping for a recipe and forget the one recipe item needed etc etc) and that seems to work. Anyway, it works for me, and I do it with a Non-Adhder and we check in on a Sunday evening and it kind of supports each other.

Posted by Emma in UK on May 24, 2014 at 11:06pm

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