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ADHD Adults


I am a 30 year old woman who was diagnosed with ADHD about two years ago. There’s no doubt in my mind that I have it. Things made sense after my diagnosis and I have read multiple threads here and relate with so many of you! I’m scared. I’m scared of treating it although I know I need to. I was treated with Paxil for post partum depression thirteen years ago and have yet been able to get off of it. There’s always a reason for doctors not to take me off…family deaths, break ups, job loss…etc. Paxil is a terrible drug and I am hopelessly addicted to it physically. The withdrawals are painful and unbearable. There are even websites dedicated to it. Along with several lawsuits against Paxil and its detrimental effects.

That said, I KNOW I need to treat my ADHD and I know life would be more manageable with treatment but I’m scared if becoming dependent on another drug and I’m paranoid of becoming psychotic or something due to adverse side effects.

I’m a single mom of three, a college student and am still struggling with the loss of my relationship which was partly due to my ADHD symptoms. He is still very involved but encourages me to get on meds ASAP.

Please help! I’m desperate and scared. What are some “good” meds? Experiences?


My son and I both take Vyvanse.  His pediatrician told me that Vyvanse is also sometimes prescribed for depression.  So, it might be a good one for you to try?

Posted by Unleadedbrunette on Dec 03, 2012 at 9:26am

Seems that any practioner can monitor you while coming off of Paxil. I did not think any anti dep was addictive. You can taper Paxil while getting on another anti dep. med.  as far as sdding something for ADD I have been in bith Ritalin and adderal both work great and I still am in celexa . Do go see a doctor with AdD knowledge. Let us know, good luck things will get better

Posted by Deborah on Dec 03, 2012 at 9:53am

I can relate to the not wanting a difficult withdrawl.  I did not do well with Wellbutrin and Effexor.  I had a double long taper with the Effexor and was flat on my back dizzy after the last quarter pill.  Yuk!  I have been very reluctant to take anything since that experience.  However, since being diagnosed officially 2 years ago, I am on a low dose of Ritalin.  It helps me feel less unraveled, and more focused.  I tried a higher dose, but my body wouldn’t tolerate it.  I take a good multivitamin, magnesium, vitamin C and enzymes to digest my food.  I’m not “cured”, but I do feel and function better.  Ritalin is one of those meds that you have regular check ins with the person prescribing to see that you are doing OK.  So there’s lots of opportunity to tweak something that youd like to change. There are days I forget to take the Ritalin in the afternoon.  There are changes in how I function with ADD, but no real phsycal changes.  Hope that helps.

Posted by whizinc on Dec 03, 2012 at 11:04am

ADD medication as made my life much more manageable and I think you should give it a try if your doctor recommends it. You must remember that there are multiple medications available now that there were not in the past. I would not let the fear of side effects keep me from giving them a try. I only wish I had the ADD diagnosis before I was 37 or 38 years old. My life would have been totally different today if I had the right diagnosis earlier. I was initially put on Strattera (it is considered to be non-addictive) with good results. I am now on Concerta with even better results. Do your own research and discuss it fully with your ADD specialist. Your life can be better and you deserve it.

Posted by TM on Dec 03, 2012 at 5:41pm

All of your realizations have merit. It is scary to be addicted, it is scary to be scared.
I had a fairly serious problem while I was taking Strattera. Not only was I on much to high of a dose I was drinking a lot of beer on top of it. After a few years I started to have some real anger issues. It took me about 2 years under a Dr’s assistance to be weaned off of it. It took Jesus to get me away from the rest of my destructive behaviours. Christianity may not be the answer for you, but I think you have already determined that you need to do something. I have many problems, too many to list here. I am pretty much unemmployable. So I raise cows. I do not take anything for my ADD, but that is not the right option for everyone. I do not have a problem with you taking med’s for your ADD and depression, that is a blessing for many. Addictions have a way of becoming the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Your situation is not hopeless. But you do need to take some kind of action to get your life back to happy and not scared. I am not being very helpful, but it sounds like you are getting better advice from others. I just wanted you to know that you are not the only person who has found themselves in a scary time of their live. I have just said a prayer for you. God bless you.

Posted by Rancher John on Dec 03, 2012 at 6:44pm

I was just diagnosed with ADD last year, at 49. The doctor put me on Adderall and it has definetly improved my outlook. 10 years ago, due to constant stress headaches, I was mis-diagnosed with depression and put on Paxil, I started taking the pills before researching (never again!).  After gaining 40 lbs, living in a costant fog and feeling worse than ever, I begged my doctor to take me off the Paxil. It took me 3 months and a step down plan with Wellbutrin to get off the stuff.  Yes, Adderall has addictive qualities but for people who truly have ADD it can be life changing. Life is always going to throw you curve balls, so there is never a “good time” to stop taking something like Paxil, if your current doctor won’t listen to your wishes to stop taking the Paxil, find one who will. You can withdrawal safely and you will feel 100% better once its behind you. As far as losing a relationship to ADD symptoms, consider it a blessing. this just opens the door to someone who will love you unconditionally.  ADD will always be a part of you, the right person will accept this and focus on the good qualities ADDers bring to the table.

Posted by Jan33 on Dec 03, 2012 at 7:09pm

yea, getting off of some meds is terrible. but if you are determined enough, you can do it. i was on effexxor and that stuff is evil. it did it’s job, but if you forgot to take it you go through these brain snaps, like zaps and if you move your eyes sideways you feel sick and dizzy. i am stubborn, and i stopped it cold turkey, i did a cleanse and got that out of my system as fast as i could. look online for blogs were others found out a successful way to get off of it,. like small tapering amounts first. and cleanses your liver. maybe a colon cleansing to flush your system clean.

Posted by cherryblossom on Dec 03, 2012 at 11:37pm

For those posters who haven’t heard, Paxil has a well-documented history of being profoundly addictive. In many cases, it simply isn’t possible to stop taking it even under a doctor’s supervision because it has caused permanent changes in the brain.

I’ve found that “good” drugs are a lot like “good” chess moves—certain ones are good for certain people in certain situations. You can’t separate the merits of a drug from the individual any more than you can separate the merits of a move from the particular game. It all depends. I’ve been on Adderall and Ritalin and didn’t tolerate either very well. I felt like I was constantly crashing from a caffeine high. I did great on Strattera, but not everyone does. Since I’ve been without insurance for several months, I’ve been taking Wellbutrin alone. ADHD is an off-label use for Wellbutrin, but it works to some extent. Since my insurance will be kicking in again this month, I’m going to see about going back on Strattera.

Posted by MrsPerky on Dec 04, 2012 at 12:56am

Thank you all so much for your understanding and advice! I’m so glad I joined this group. It’s been tough going it alone. My family isn’t very supportive at all and the ex doesn’t understand how terrified I am of medication due to my experiences with Paxil. They just say “Get on meds already” but it’s not that simple.

I’m not worried in the least about addiction or abuse of medication. I don’t have an addictive personality, I’ve never taken a hard drug. The worst I’ve done is smoke pot in my teen years.

I’m worried about becoming a prisoner again. Paxil is horrible. If I try to get off, I’m fuzzy headed, teary, extremely irritable, I experience electrical shocks in my head and I’m sick like a flu. And that’s only if I miss two doses! Paxil is a terrible drug and like I said, has had multiple lawsuits thrown at the manufacturers as a result. I would liken it to coming off of heroin, it’s a mess.

I know I need something, if I don’t drink multiple cups of coffee, I can’t think. I’m impulsive, I forget everything. I don’t pay my bills, I hardly make important appointments and I’m constantly running myself down.

I am very intelligent and always have been, I’m studying vet medicine right now and I know my damn ADHD will ruin it all, if I let it.

I will get on meds within a week, and really just needed support and advice. Thank you all so much!!!! It means so much to me!

Posted by ladymachiatto on Dec 04, 2012 at 3:57am

Hi Ladymachiado , reading your entry reminded me of the terrifying feeling I got from the withdrawal symptoms of the Effexor , your comments brought back those horrible memories, my advice is , dont try effexor I am not an expert , but my personal experience with it was bad and regarding medicine my personal view is I rather try alternative and natural , like everyone stated before everyone is different , and I hope if you do decide to go back to medicine , that I hope it helps you , because all of us who suffer this condition , knows that there ups and downs but at the end of the day do what deep in your gut and your inner self tells you it’s never wrong , for me like one of the earlier people said god has played a big role in my coping skills , alternative methods, nutrition , and exercise has been really good for me again I wish you lots of success and luck dealing with your issue.

Good luck

Posted by carlitos on Dec 04, 2012 at 4:20am

This post really struck me. My mom is hooked on Effexor. Do not take it. OMG. My soon to be ex-husband was hooked too, it took months to get off of it and was very painful for him, and my mom when she tried to get off of it. I am terrified of the drug.
That said, I am an adder who also does not want to get hooked on anything. I take dexadrine. Yes, you wean yourself on, and off of it when you and your doctor decide to (I did when I was pregnant). I am currently off meds partially due to the fact of no insurance, partially because I like myself just fine without it (I just have to work a heck of a lot harder). I like the Dexedrine. When on it, I take the extended release spansules-max dose-. It helps me incredibly. I completely understand the terror of trying a drug that you can get hooked on, and being afraid. I lived through my mom and husband missing a dose of effexor and becoming suicidal. It was HORRIBLE!!!! So horrible, I cannot even adequately express it. This board is a great place to ask questions, it is good that you came here. I would talk to your doctor and voice your concerns, then try some medicine. Bring up all of the valid points of addiction, they can help you. I personally have weaned on and off dexedrine for almost 10 years now, and it is ok, no big withdrawl problem, no pain in my head or body, just a feeling of the add symptoms increasing. I found myself sleeping a lot more in the beginning, but that was ok cause I was sleep deprived anyway. Now I use exercise, a good 20 minute walk 3x per day with my dog, along with a high protein diet low in refined carbs (carb loading is self-medicating the add-it brings a sense of calmness and short lived energy-but makes you fat), also, another poster brought up the supplements-they work! I swear by them, I have seen them work in myself. All together, if I do not have medicine, then I do the above. If I have the medicine I take it and do the above. And I don’t have to worry about being hooked on a horrible drug. Hope this helps!

Posted by Laughsalot on Dec 04, 2012 at 8:51pm

Paxil may very well have a well-documented history of being addictive. but so is crack. and i know people who got off that. i believe anything is  i would find others who successfully got off it by doing a search on google and learn from thier

here is a forum dedicated to paxil withdrawal and getting off it

good luck

Posted by cherryblossom on Dec 05, 2012 at 11:22pm

hi im 34 i was recently diagnosed with ADHD and i know what you mean about ur life making sense now i was treat for 13yrs by doctors for depression and was put on several different medications including sleeping tablets as i had chronic insomnia now im on concerta xl which is a slow release tablet (over 12 hours) and i feel like a new person i have no side affects whatsoever from this medication it has really helped me and to be honest i dont know how i ever managed without it i dont think you can get addicted to this type of medication but im not positive

good luck smilesmile

Posted by hayles on Dec 07, 2012 at 7:11am

The only thing I would add is to try  There you can look up where the nearest local meeting is for CHADD.  It’s a support group for parents of children w/ ADD/ADHD, as well as adults ADD/ADHD.  The meeting near me split into two sections, one for the parents, another for the adults.

Posted by ylt222 on Dec 07, 2012 at 2:06pm
Posted by ylt222 on Dec 07, 2012 at 2:08pm
Posted by ylt222 on Dec 07, 2012 at 2:08pm

Hi ladymachiatto. I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 46, two years ago. I have a history of depression and panic attacks, but now I believe that both of these were due to undiagnosed and untreated ADHD. I don’t know what your status is with meds by now, but whether you are getting off Paxil yet or not, I highly recommend you accept drug treatment for your ADHD. From what I understand, the stimulant medications for ADHD can be addictive for people who DO NOT have ADHD, because the effect of stimulants on those people is different than it is for those of us with ADHD. As for getting off of Paxil, it can be done. I know many who have done it, though it is miserable. I was given Paxil to treat anxiety and panic attacks. A short time later I was diagnosed with ADHD, and once I began treatment for ADHD I stopped taking the Paxil (was not dependent because I was only on it for a month or so). Once I learned about ADHD and had a couple of weeks of ADHD meds under my belt, my anxiety symptoms disappeared, and I have not been bothered by them since. I wish you luck and courage in finding the right meds to help you. I cannot tell you how much of a positive difference the ADHD meds have made in my life. I have taken Focalin, which I liked, but now take Vyvanse, since it is longer acting and I do not have to remember to take a second dose during the day. I have had no side effects from either medication, and when I feel like taking a day off my ADHD meds, I do it, with no withdrawal. But I rarely do that because I do so much better at work AND at home when I take my ADHD meds because I can focus, and accomplish what I set out to do. Best wishes to you.

Posted by ral77851 on Dec 11, 2012 at 3:56am

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