Women With ADHD ADD

For Women with ADHD ADD Who Want to Connect

I have been on Zoloft for depression for a while, and just recently found out that I also have ADD. My doctor put me on Wellbutrin XR for the ADD because he said it will also help with the depression.

I want to go on a stimulant because I don't think that the wellbutrin is helping me that much. My doc said he does not want to put me on one yet because it could make my depression worse.

Anyone have experience with this? Help! :-)

Views: 1750

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

If you don't feel like the Wellbutrin is helping, you need to go back to your doctor and talk with him. I personally cannot tolerate Wellbutrin; it makes me feel even crazier than ever. You know your body best.
I took Welbutrin once for depression before I knew I had ADHD -It didnt last too long. I got very weird side effects. I was misdiagnosed for many, many years with depression before my boss diagnosed me with ADHD.  The stimulant will not make you more depressed.  You will be less depressed because you will be able to focus better and things will be more clear among other things.  I take Vyvanse and it works well for me.  I'm a lot less depressed -

Welbutrin made me more depressed and a side effect of the depression was that I would stay up all night reading. Because I had just moved away from home for the first time and had just broken up with my first boyfriend, my practitioner at the time did not believe that the meds were making me more depressed. He just prescribed sleeping meds, which only helped a little.  It took me about 9 months to a year to convince him to take me off it and as soon as I got past the withdrawals from the Welbutrin, I immediately started seeing a huge difference. And I am not alone, a friend of mine with ADD had the same experience.  Except that Welbutrin made her depressed and sleepy. 


I was diagnosed when i was 14, so i have been on a lot of stimulants. Ritalin was the first, then adderal, then and adderall XR, then back to adderal.  The XR made me get really angry.  The plain adderall had the same effect on my Brother, who also has ADD. But in both cases, the reaction stopped as soon as we stopped taking the meds.  I am currently on Concerta and have been for almost 10 years.  The other ones seemed to stop working after about 2 or 3 years, but not this one. If you have a strange reaction call your doctor.


The trick is to find a good doctor who really understands this condition.  My current doctor has children with ADD, so he knows. Find a new doctor or a specialist if you feel that you need more help than what your current one is giving you.  It would have saved me a lot of sleepless nights if I had just spoken up sooner. I hope that this helps!
I'll look for the info, I think it was a podcast but John Ratey (MD) points out that stimulants have been used for 100 yrs for ADD and have a better safety profile than aspirin. Ignorance is always aggravating but I get so mad when it's the MD's themselves that can't be bothered to learn about the meds they are giving, or refusing to give. Yes, I am a horrible patient. But I am pretty obssessive about research. I'll try to find the info in writing. Then you can give it to the doctor.

OK, Delivered from Distraction, by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey, MD's page 240 of paperback about whether it's safe to medicate your kids- Both have kids with ADD, and have chosen to medicate at least one. Basically, it's 65 yrs, not 100, lol. They started using ritalin in 1937. Safe as other drugs if taken as prescribed. Single most effective treatment- not the only though. In MY opinion, I have been able to use the other help better on the meds than off. 

And the person above me is right. Your doc isn't comfortable and I actually do respect that. He needs to get you a referral or find someone to direct him in caring for you. Nothing wrong with him IF he helps you find someone who is qualified. If he doesn't, he isn't helping. I get nervous giving certain meds to some patients- at one contract I prescribed (the MD's approved it before the pt got the med), and hated giving antidepressants to ppl. Sometimes they cause mania. It's scary writing for a med not knowing. It's his job to find the answer though. Personally, I'd rather give a stimulant than Wellbutrin, but that's my fear of mania from the wellbutrin......

IF no one in your area is well versed in adult ADD, usually pediatricians or pediatric neurologists can be helpful too, sometimes more than the adult ones.

Not sure how useful my advice can be, being pretty new to all of this, but here's what I've got...  I was diagnosed with ADHD about six weeks ago after having been told for YEARS that I had depression (and being on plenty of meds to try to treat that).  When I was finally referred to the awesome psych NP who I'm working with now, the first thing he did was up the Wellbutrin I'd just started taking in addition to the Prozac I was already on.  He said for a lot of people with ADHD/ADD it does help their symptoms, and, hopefully it was going to help with my depression/anxiety.  I had a follow-up appointment a week later.


Train wreck.  The Wellbutrin did nothing for the ADHD or the anxiety/depression and made me totally restless and actually physically shaky.  He had me wean off of the Wellbutrin and start on Adderall, and I'm feeling great.  Slowly getting off the Prozac, too, and that's been a great move, as well.  His theory is that the chaos and frustration the ADHD has been causing in my life has been the true cause of my depression all of these years...  and now that I'm getting that under control, the depression is lifting.  I can totally feel that happening, and it's awesome.


Work with your doc.  Explain how you're feeling--why you think the Wellbutrin isn't working (go in with reasons, not just vague ideas) and see what he says.  If you don't feel comfortable with this doc, see if you can find another one to get a second opinion.  My family practitioner (who I actually really like and trust) was the one who finally referred me out to the psych NP so I could work with someone with more experience with this stuff, and it's the best move we ever made!

Thanks everyone for all the helpful info, so, so helpful. I will be going to my next appt armed. I will be prepared to change docs if I have to. I am greatful to this doc because he diagnosed me, but now it's time to get adequate treatment and get on with my life. I don't want to put too much stock in a stimulant in fear of being disappointed, but I feel in my heart (and you all have proved) that it will help a great deal. Wish me luck!

I was diagnosed with ADHD 2 weeks ago. I've been struggling with the "Stimulant/Non-Stimulant" Debate as well. My Psych NP prescribed 15 mg Adderall XR (am) with 5 mg Adderall IR (mid-afternoon). Very low dose. However, I discovered after 3 days that I am extremely sensitive to stimulants because I completely came unglued. After 3 days, I was a panicky, anxiety-stricken mess. So wigged out & picking at my skin like crazy, I decided to call my NP. I was crying so hard on the phone I could barely speak. NP stopped the Adderall and the anxiety lifted almost immediately. After 2 hours, I felt almost back to normal. Amphetamines and I do not mix.


As of yesterday, I'm on Strattera (Non-Stimulant) and we'll see how things go. I've been on Wellbutrin (400 mg) and Lamictal (125 mg) for the last 2 years (tried Effexor XR for years before that), but these do not seem to be helping with depression or anxiety or mood swings. It's my hope that once my ADHD is under control, my depression & anxiety symptoms will decrease & the need for anti-depressants will no longer be necessary. Or seriously reduced. Crossing my fingers.


It's such a crap shoot. Trial & error. It would be so nice if there was a formula that worked for all of us.


I began with treatment for depression with celexa and eventually added Welbutrin.  It was the welbutrin that helped me turn the corner and almost totally eliminated the anxiety I had felt for years but did not even know was there. About two years later I got the diagnosis of ADHD.  I take concerta and it helps me tremendously. My doc monitored me for any problems when adding the conceta but I am so glad for how it turned out. It did not make the depression worse.  In fact it has changed my life so significantly I feel like I am finally able to be the person I am supposed to be.  My Dr. specializes in ADHD.  I would recommend you look for a doctor who is very informed about ADHD and mediations and perhaps get a second opinion.  Of course I know that my course is not everyone else's course and sometimes medications need to be changed occasionally.  Just keep trying and listen to your body. 



Wellbutrin is much less likely to cause mania than the other AD's and, hence, is actually one of the ones recommended for Bipolar DO. I find that it helps with depression and increasing motivation, but not so much with the anxiety and focus. The tiny bit of effexor [37.5mg] with 200mg Wellbutrin seems to be a good combo for, at least, my depression and amotivation. I tried effexor by itself, but once I got above 37.5mg, I became way too sedated. It's like my body adjusted to the speediness of it and overcompensated. I can't help but wonder if the same thing wouldn't happen if I ended up trying Strattera for the ADHD, being it is very similar.

Galadriel said:

" I'd rather give a stimulant than Wellbutrin, but that's my fear of mania from the wellbutrin......"




I took wellbutrin for many years & had great results with add & depression.  My body chemistry must have changed because it stopped working for me.  After years of not being able to focus I went to my dr. & started adderall.  the generic version about 30 mg per day.  It worked great & now the pharmacies can't get it in stock.  Ugghhhhh & today is my first day of vyvanse. 30 mg.  Don't feel much from it yet....Good luck & I think stimulants help the depression.  At least this is my experience. 

UPDATE: I saw my new psych md today and finally got my stimulant. I start taking Vyvanse tomorrow. I hope this helps, wish me luck.

BTW, my new MDs name is Dr. Brain:)

Reply to Discussion


Great Resources for Women with ADHD

© 2014   Created by Terry Matlen, ACSW.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service