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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Chronic Insomnia: ADD or substance abuse?

My son is 23. Has a history of substance abuse. Has been clean over a year. But struggles with chronic insomnia, severe at times, like now. I’ve had him see a counselor who believes he shows signs of ADD. Thinks he might have PTSD and possibly Executive Dysfunction of some sort. We have seen an MD. The first prescribed amitriptylene, but my son didn’t like how it made him feel. He is now trying trazadone. Took 3 last night. Will see how he does. He referred him to a pulmonologist for sleep eval. In network. We can’t get in before 9/30. My son doesn’t believe ADD is legitimate diagnosis. Thinks his insomnia is caused by the former drug abuse. But now he is so sleep deprived and desperate, hes willing to talk to anyone. I’m trying to get in with a local psychiatrist who treats substance abuse and ADHD. But can’t get in for several weeks. Also in network. I need advice, recommendations, referral, anything would be appreciated. At what point can I take him to the emergency room? And would they do anything to help him sleep? I’ve never seen him as distraught as he was last night. It really concerns me.


I cannot answer to the severity of the sleep deprivation and have no idea if the emergency room would take it seriously. It sounds like a very serious problem for him though.

Since it is to a dire point, I imagine you have tried many over-the-counter sleep remedies. I wonder if you knew to try Melatonin though. It’s a natural supplement that aides in falling asleep, but it is not well known outside of ADHD and menopause communities. My son struggles with falling asleep and Melatonin knocks him out within an hour of taking it.

Some of the sleepytime teas have helped him too.

There are other strategies as well for ADHDers who have trouble sleeping. Reference these articles for more ideas:

Ultimately, working with physicians to find the cause of his insomnia is the key. I hope you both find relief very soon!

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 01, 2014 at 1:18pm

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