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Depression and ADHD


This is going to be a long post.  Sorry. :(

Hi I am 46 years and I have been on and off in therapy all my life.  But recently since March I have been in therapy and found an excellent therapist.  We have come to the conclusion that I am ADD/ADHD, major depression, major anxiety, and some bipolar.  So I started with my general doctor and we tried Adderall and I couldn’t sleep so she told me to try Vyanese and that didn’t do much at all.  So between my therapist, general dr., and me we decided I should see a psychiatrist.  So I did see that one that my therapist highly recommended and he is highly educated and well liked.  So anyhow I spent 15 minutes with him talking about everything that is going on lately and he said that I am bipolar and gave me Senoqual at 100mg.  I took it Thursday night and oh boy Friday I couldn’t function I was so tired and out of it.  So then he told me if it made me feel like that to split it in half and I did Friday night and I still felt so groggy.

I am not 100% sure that I am 100% bipolar.  I believe I am add/adhd, depression, bipolar, anxiety, and etc.  I don’t know what to do.

Went and saw another psychiatrist for the first time and liked her but can’t continue seeing her in the new year because she is not covered under my new insurance.  :(  But I saw her and she said I am not Bipolar and that I have anxiety and depression and all she said was let’s up your Zoloft from 50 mg to 100 mg.  Ugh!!!

I am seeing another psychiatrist to get tested for ADD/ADHD in January.

I am not even sure what to do at this point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :(

I come from a history of having a very unsupportive, unencouraging, and negative upbringing.  I have 2 sisters and my parents and I was always brought up being negative.  My sisters are twins and they were always great and I was OK my parents always said. 

I have a husband who is supportive, encouraging, loving and etc and we have been married for 20 years.  I have two wonderful kids who are just awesome. 

So since being in therapy since March we have come to the conclusion that I am scared to death of positive things in my life.  I am so scared when something positive comes into my life that I do everything to make it horrible and etc so I don’t have to deal with the negative or the failure.  I could go on an on but I won’t. 

I have not been able to hold down a job for a long time.  I have had 10 jobs in the past year and I got fired from my most recent one in July and am taking a break from working to get myself mentally better.  Which right now I am so frustrated with because nothing seems to be getting better. 

WHAT TO DO?????? 

Any suggestions, comments, anything at all would be greatly appreciated


Hi Hawaii,
I’m sorry to hear that you are having to deal with all of these different issues.  The first thing that I would recommend is to find a psychiatrist that you feel comfortable with, who you respect, and who you feel that you can work well with and be totally open and honest with.  I am fortunate that I now work with a psychiatrist who has been great for me, but I have had my share one ones that I didn’t care for all that much, as well.  Unfortunately it seems that we tend to view doctors and therapists and other health professionals in a different light as other professionals, thinking that we need to stick with them even if we aren’t happy with the work we are doing.  I always tell people “if you had a plumber, and he kept ignoring what you were telling him and doing things you didn’t want him to do, would you keep him as your plumber?”  The same thing applies to a therapist, psychiatrist, or any other health professional, especially since the relationship that you have with them can be the single most important thing as far as finding a treatment that works and sticking to it.  One reason that I really like working with my psychiatrist for example, is that he has a philosophy that the ideal way to do things is to use as few medications as possible to achieve the needed effects, and I am an active participant in my treatment.  If I am every uncomfortable about anything, or uncertain about it, I know that I can bring up those concerns and he will listen.

As far as the fear of positive things in your life goes, this is a very common issue for people dealing with depression and anxiety.  I have had this same concern for years, and it is only fairly recently that I have started to overcome it with the help of therapy.  I honestly believe that the media doesn’t help us at all in this regard.  How many movies are there that have someone getting hit by a bus after finally overcoming their problems, or news stories that start “Everything in John Smith’s life was going great until the one night that changed his life forever.”  I try to remember, when I recognize the fear of happiness or positive things happening, that a lot of it is simply me playing those tapes in my head, convinced that because something happened in a movie, or on an episode of Dateline, it must mean it will happen for me.  I also think “man, if that’s the case, then I have a lot of happiness coming my way for all the years I suffered with depression and feeling shitty all the time.”

Additionally, there was an interesting piece in the most recent Scientific American Mind about how some people do fear feeling good.  The article goes on to say “Recognizing this fear and targeting it with therapy may be a critical first step before other mental illness can be treated.”  The article can be found here, if you are interested in reading more:

I think that one of the hardest things to do, especially once you start treatment, as paradoxical as it sounds, is to be patient and treat yourself kindly.  Often when the diagnosis comes, it is a huge relief, and we hope that because of that diagnosis, things will quickly get better.  Try to remember that you have been dealing with these issues for many years, and it will take a while to get everything sorted out, but that things will get better, and that it is very important to celebrate all progress you make.  It could be something as small as standing up for yourself instead of letting someone push you around, or getting out of bed every morning for a week.  My therapist once said that every once in a while she loves to have her clients go back and read the initial diagnostic interview, because it helps people realize just how far they have come. 

Try to look at therapy and treatment as a journey, with no real “destination,” so to speak, but instead as a series of destinations that sometimes don’t even seem important until you look back on them later.  Reward yourself when you do well, and remember that sometimes it might be two steps forward and one step back.  Finally, don’t’ be afraid to feel your feelings and praise yourself when things go well.  I know it can be terrifying, and can feel like the hardest thing in the world, but know that you are worth it and its’ ok to respect yourself, love yourself, and celebrate what makes you great.  I think taking time off of work to focus on your mental health is a great idea.  At the same time, make sure you keep yourself occupied (although two kids in and of itself is a full-time job!)

Hopefully you will find some of this helpful, and keep us posted on how things are going. A good community and support group, with people who love you for you and not what you do, is essential. Also take time to read books about what you are dealing with, because knowing that you are not alone is very helpful as well. I wish you the very best!

Posted by bburgastros82 on Jan 13, 2014 at 9:36am

I feel for you- I’m 44 and have many of the same issues. I agree that a good mental health expert can help, however, I haven’t been able to find one where I live.

I did run across this article on ADDitude mag last month-

I have Primarily Inattentive type, am currently unmedicated- but Adderall XR helped immensely when I could afford it. None of the anti-depressants worked for me for more that a few weeks at at time, and I gave up on them. My 14yo son is also PrimInatt, and has similar depression issues.

When I read the above article it was like getting my ADD diagnosis all over again- light bulbs going on all over the place. I had my son read it when he came home from school that day and he felt the same way- the Atypical Depression with ADHD fit us both almost to a T. I emailed the article to both our doctor and my parents, they all felt it was right on point for both of us as well.

He started the Intuniv 1mg in the evening 3wks ago, and within 7 days both my Mom and I could see a tremendous difference in his personality. He engaged with us again rather than sulk, be moody and play video games. He’s sleeping better, and this is only his first full week back at school since he started due to holidays- so he said he’d give me a school eval on if it’s really helping his focus at the end of the week. He still takes his 20 mg Adderall XR in the morning, and those are the only2 ADD meds he takes. He was rather sleepy for the first few days, but that also is attributed to the incredible school stress (he’s really far behind). We started it the Saturday he started Christmas vaca.

I should be approved for health insurance in a few weeks and can’t wait to try the Intuniv myself after seeing the change in my son.

Read the article, and see if it fits you-

Good luck to you, and many blessings~

Posted by Valkyrie914 on Jan 13, 2014 at 6:58pm

WOW that is awesome. Thanks for sharing.  I did see that article! 

I am happy that we can relate. If you ever need anything let me know.  I am here for you!

Posted by hawaii92 on Jan 13, 2014 at 7:39pm

I put the wrong link in, lol. As we say in our house- Welcome to my ADD!

Posted by Valkyrie914 on Jan 13, 2014 at 11:04pm

I also can relate to being afraid of positives. I have somethings I have collected for myself to help with the anxiety and the depression.  Maybe a few of them can help you out, I know the exercise does help me.
1.  Instead of fighting the anxiety go with it - fighting it can make is worse and last longer.
2.  Do deep breathing exercises by taking a few deep breaths and releasing slowly. To put it a different way, combing 1 & 2 - ABC’s - Accept, Breath, Challenge. (replace your irrational thoughts with rational ones).
3.  Count backwards from 100 by 3’s when you feel the anxiety coming on. The idea behind this is for you to take control of the anxiety before it controls you. Try doing some deep breathing before you do this.
4.  Do something that you enjoy and can focus on - music, bike ride, go for a walk, meditation etc.
5.  Scent Therapy - Lavender can have a calming effect on people.
6.  Exercising 3-4 times a week, exercise will emit endorphin’s which is a natural tranquilizer.
7.  Hot Bath with Epsom Salt can be relaxing.
8.  Try and stay away from caffeine and sugar. Eat healthy. Drink lots of water.
9.  Laugh - Laughing will produce endorphin’s also.

Also, I met someone on another board that knows of a lady that could use some writers for like 5 websites she has.  She said that she was very nice and very fair with work and also offers incentives for work.
I myself am terrible at anything to do with writing as some of you may have notice from some of my posts. But I did hang on to the link in case anyone would be interested in doing some work at home.  I know for a fact online work is hard to come by and that these sites have been around for awhile.  I actually use their pharmacy site for side effects and stuff because it’s easy to read and understand.
So if anyone is interested they can go here.

Posted by Alanna on Jan 20, 2014 at 11:26pm

Congratulations to everyone for keeping on!  It can be so hard.  I’m 48 and have dealt with depression for as long as I can remember. My siblings, 2older sisters and one brother are survivors of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.  Since I was 30 I’ve been in therapy for depression and PTSD, but therapy and Rx didn’t do much for the lethargy and inability to focus.  At 48 I was suffering major depression, suicidal thoughts and antidepressants weren’t working.  We changed drugs, but things got worse.  Finally I was diagnosed ADD and treated with my current antidepressant, citalopram and Adderall XR.  My life has changed dramatically.  I wake in the morning and I can get out of bed.  I go to work and I’m productive.  The old movies (memories) don’t play over and over in my mind and my PTSD is no longer in control.  I believe in good clinical care and medication.  I’ve done the work in many combinations and cognitive behavioral therapy with proper meds works best for me. Peace will come.

Posted by Boo Boo on Mar 02, 2014 at 6:32pm

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