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ADHD and College and Higher Education

Hello Everyone

I am a University student and lately I am struggling with my ADHD. Its been very difficult throughout my life but school used to be better. Now when I went to University I didn’t show up to class or couldn’t comprehend anything that was being said. So I decided to take distance education and now I can’t seem to get anything done either. I just want to sleep all the time.  I just don’t know how to get started.

Replies

If you just want to sleep all the time it could be any number of things—depression, de-motivation, other medical causes (thyroid, anemia, ETC).  I would highly recommend a thorough medical & behavioral/mental assessment to find out why things are so much more difficult now.  If it’s determined that it really is “only” ADHD you will certainly NOT be the first to discover that higher education brings a whole new set of challenges nor the first to discover that distance education (or online learning) can be even more challenging than a regular classroom (because the lack of structure & much “looser” expectations OR lack of any strict deadlines can be the equivalent of kryptonite to ADHD).

You don’t mention taking any medications for ADHD, so that leads me to assume you aren’t taking anything.  Is that a correct assumption?

Posted by BC on Jul 14, 2014 at 12:20am

Hi BC,
I have depression, Borderline personality disorder and anxiety and PTSD and ADHD. I am taking Adderall, Prozac right now but have taken a few combinations that didn’t work out so well. I also have anemia which is very controlled. Ive had a full medical check up and am healthy.

Posted by Rajjj on Jul 14, 2014 at 12:26am

So…“having anemia” (which comes in many different types—iron deficiency, hemolytic, aplastic, vitamin deficiency, sickle cell, etc) but considering it to be “very controlled” suggests that you’ve EITHER had blood work done in the very recent past (OR that whatever type you “had” at one time has been corrected and followed up with one or more “normal” results).  At any time were any thyroid levels reported as well? 

Is the doctor who is managing this aware of the fact that you just want to sleep all day?  Is there some chance that whatever anemia problem you “have” could be rearing its ugly head once more?

If you’ve had a few combinations of drugs that haven’t worked out so well in the past that is unfortunate…But what is even more unfortunate is that Prozac & Adderall have a very significant drug-drug interaction (Adderall is a substrate of cytochrome P450 2D6 and Prozac is a potent inhibitor of the same enzyme—so that means the Prozac is causing Adderall levels to build up over time).  So the fact that you want to sleep all day despite the fact that you could potentially have an AUC of as much as 5X greater than it would be if you were not taking Prozac with Adderall seems very troubling to me (could indicate a very severe anemic state currently). 

OR, the fact that you want to sleep all day could indicate a very severe depressive disorder that is resistant to pharmacotherapy (is not being alleviated by taking the Prozac at all). 

OR, there are other things that could be causing you to want to sleep all day—only one of which could be feeling as if you are a failure from not being able to successfully accomplish your course of study at University or through a non-structured distance learning program.  I can think of several other possible reasons as well.

How long have you been feeling like you just want to sleep all day, and are you sure that the Adderall is effectively treating the ADHD portion of this very complex problem?

Posted by BC on Jul 14, 2014 at 4:24am

I’m a university student too.I have A.D.D and iron-deficiency anemia, and I have similar problems as well. I can’t focus- I’m either distracted by my own thoughts (which is most of the time!) or I’m just too tired to do anything. I try to eat a healthy diet and take my iron supplements to improve my situation. Then, I discovered I have A.D.D last year…
For me it’s a balancing thing. I need to make sure I’m not really fidgety while I’m studying or sitting in class, and also make sure I’m not dosing off when I burn out all my energy. There are a lot of good links and websites that help me with this. I recommend ‘Totally A.D.D’ and ‘Gifted With A.D.D’ for your A.D.D, and if you think you may have depression or any other disorder, I highly recommend that you go for a diagnoses to check it out. Better to be safe than sorry smile
Best of luck!

Posted by R.J on Jul 15, 2014 at 2:48pm

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