Women With ADHD ADD

For Women with ADHD ADD Who Want to Connect

Does anyone here know if any "legal" stimulants work for focusing?  I've noticed that Claritin D 24 helps as well as caffeine, nicotine (either in cigs or gum), and sugar seems to help. And, of course, I cannot leave out exercise and yoga for focus improvement.

 

I don't want to have another bad doctor visit, when I actually feel worse afterwards from their recommendations, so I'm taking my care on my own now and want to self-medicate and treat my symptoms however I legally can.

 

 I am also afraid of the stimulant pill tolerance and upping dosages - does that ever end?  Everyone I know who is on Adderall must keep taking more of it to keep it working well, and seems to have aquired an addict mindset about having and taking the pills, and is getting scary skinny.  And then when it's been decided that you've had enough, I hear there is a terrible withdrawal/depression involved with discontinuing these types of drugs.  Don't need that either.  Good reason to start smoking again!

Views: 10275

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Check out this free audio class:

http://www.addclasses.com/course/category.php?id=30

 

Leigh,

 

I feel your pain.  I have been on and off medication for Depression/ADD for over 10 years now.  I had real aversion to the meds because I didn't want to be "stuck taking them the rest of my life" or maybe somewhere inside I felt that giving in and taking them would mean I was admitting that there was something "wrong" with me and I wasn't normal.  I recent years I have gotten over that and now just want to be able to function at work and not feel panicked every month or so when everything I've been juggling and putting off starts to tumble down around me.  Of course it took me awhile to actually make the appointment, and to take the pills consistently, but for me to get to a better place, it's so worth it. 

I would agree with what you said, and the information from Tara's link . . . exercise is the best alternative method for focus out there.  Any time I exercise, I notice an almost immediate affect . . . If only I could exercise consistently . . . sigh . . . so I would definitely recommend you stick with that approach.

I have also found that 5-hour energy drinks work for me in a crunch.  But I only resort to those when I've hit a wall and have so much catch up to do, I can't think straight.  Of course it will keep you awake, so I wouldn't recommend taking in the evenings unless you plan to pull and all-nighter, which is never good.  I hope you find something that works for you, but don't lose hope.  Stay strong and do what works for you. 

Thank you!

Tara McGillicuddy said:

Check out this free audio class:

http://www.addclasses.com/course/category.php?id=30

 


Thank you, Nicole.  I'm happy you've found help!  I didn't think about the 5 hour energy drinks.  I don't really mind taking a drug if it works, I've just found that antidepressants made me extremely moody and feeling crappy about myself, and actually worsened my symptoms to the point that I felt I was going to have a nervous breakdown.  I would not mind taking a small dosage of stimulant, but I'm wary of having to take more and more and more and more and of how I would feel when I needed to get off of it (I've read that the drugs are not for forever use). 
Nicole said:

Leigh,

 

I feel your pain.  I have been on and off medication for Depression/ADD for over 10 years now.  I had real aversion to the meds because I didn't want to be "stuck taking them the rest of my life" or maybe somewhere inside I felt that giving in and taking them would mean I was admitting that there was something "wrong" with me and I wasn't normal.  I recent years I have gotten over that and now just want to be able to function at work and not feel panicked every month or so when everything I've been juggling and putting off starts to tumble down around me.  Of course it took me awhile to actually make the appointment, and to take the pills consistently, but for me to get to a better place, it's so worth it. 

I would agree with what you said, and the information from Tara's link . . . exercise is the best alternative method for focus out there.  Any time I exercise, I notice an almost immediate affect . . . If only I could exercise consistently . . . sigh . . . so I would definitely recommend you stick with that approach.

I have also found that 5-hour energy drinks work for me in a crunch.  But I only resort to those when I've hit a wall and have so much catch up to do, I can't think straight.  Of course it will keep you awake, so I wouldn't recommend taking in the evenings unless you plan to pull and all-nighter, which is never good.  I hope you find something that works for you, but don't lose hope.  Stay strong and do what works for you. 

When I first started seeing my psychiatrist, he told me that I was depressed and "probably" also had ADHD...  Depressed?!  No kidding!  I couldn't prioritize things in my life, no wonder I was depressed and suffered from anxiety.

 

He tried to prescribe something for the depression (Prozac) but on my way to get the script filled, I thought about what he'd said and I realized that I didn't want the depression meds.  I believed my depression was a result of my other issues, not the other way around - and from what i've read, it's fairly common for people with ADD/ADHD to initially be diagnosed and treated for depression.  When I spoke to my Dr. about this, he tested me to see if his suspicion of ADHD was correct - and it was.  So he decided to tackle that first and see if I did better.  So I'm on meds for the ADHD and it's really still only the beginning of my journey as I was diagnosed last month so it will take a while to figure out the right balance of meds, but the strattera seems to be helping a lot with my anxiety and a little bit with focus in that it does seem to help me stick to something before i move on to the next thing.  The adderall I think might need to be tweaked but he said that is to be expected.

 

Claritin D and other allergy type meds containing ephedrine derivatives do seem to help some but I'm not sure I'd want to go that route JUST for the ADD/ADHD - remember that there are other ingredients in those types of meds that are actually for allergies.  If you don't have allergies, you're ingesting something that your body really doesn't need just to get a little bit of one of the ingredients you are looking for. This is why personally I opted to go with the meds to treat my ADHD specifically rather than self-medicate.

 

There's also another factor to keep in mind (and I know this because I DO suffer from awful seasonal allergies) - allergy products with ephedrine derivatives in them are limited by law in the US now.  This is because of all the meth-heads out there who were buying them up and using them to make crystal meth.  Thanks to them now anytime you purchase these types of products, you will be asked for your drivers license, which they swipe.  When you reach the "legal" monthly limit, they won't sell you any more, no matter what store you go to.  This is especially fun if you really do suffer from allergies and just use those things up like candy because they become less and less effective over time.  This is what happened to me last year and at one point the store told me they couldn't sell me any more.  Suddenly I felt as if they thought perhaps I was one of those meth-heads.  It's mortifying.  After that, I decided to see an allergist.  She put me on allergy meds that work so I don't have to go through that silliness again.

 

By the way - I have read that ADD/ADHD people who suffer from certain allergies can experience heightened symptoms of their condition if the allergies are left untreated.

 

My two cents for whatever they're worth.

Thanks Pepper!  I'm happy that Strattera is working for you.  It worked well for me until the 6th week, and literally overnight I changed into a moody monster, and felt very aggressive.  Please be on the lookout.  I'm post-menopausal now, and it was like the worst case of PMS that I had ever experienced.  It reminded me that I'm sooooooooo happy to be done with PMS though!

 

One positive thing I noticed with Strattera is that I had no chronic pain, and it has returned since I stopped it.  I have lupus and my neck and shoulders have the tender pressure point pain that is described with fibromyalgia.  I felt like a normal person for awhile.  So it's disappointing to me that it changed my psyche so drastically and suddenly. 

I only take the allergy meds when I'm suffering from allergy symptoms or doing an 11 hour drive, but I may start taking them to get stuff done as I find that I just cannot do any type of organizational activity without a stimulant.  It's so sad that I'm like that - and I'm not making it up to get a script of Adderall - like the docs accuse so many of us of.  It's so easy to buy on the street, I'm not sure why they think I need them for it anyway!

 

I, too, understand your frustration with needing stimulants, but the meds not being quite right.  My way of coping is to make sure I take mega doses of EFAs, morning and night, with my new medication, which is Vyvanse.  I don't have lupis, but I have licumplanis from low vitamin D levels, so I have to take a large dose of D weekly to hold my mucus membranes together and ease allergy symptoms.

I was diagnosed when my son was diagnosed, and I was scared to take or give him meds because my brother took Ritalin as a kid, and our undiagnosed ADHD parents couldn't keep his treatment going consistently because my dad became unemployed and we couldn't afford it. We were all more concerned with day-to-day survival at that point, and then my brother became a teen who dropped out of school and developed a nasty cocaine habit that nearly killed him.  Not knowing better, I associated his taste for speed with his ritalin use as a kid (rather than his need to self-medicate) and so I tried everything to avoid taking meds.  But my son wasn't learning to read, so I finally decided I would be the guinea pig and became engaged in a Focalyn study to give meds a try.  The results were so good, we both went on Concerta for two years.  Then we both developed an intolerance to Concerta (my son stopped gaining weight and developed skin problems, I got heart palpitations, numb fingers, lost too much weight.)  

I knew we needed a break, and it just so happened that was the year the Oxford study results re: EFA and ADHD came out.  It was a small study, but compelling - My son and I took EFA for Children.  It took 12 weeks to see results, but after that time, we had very good improvement over non-use, especially with regards to mood swings, for two years.  I went back to being the heavy coffee-drinker I was before my diagnosis, but now I was using the caffeine more deliberately, especially to help me get through projects.  My stomach lining suffered, but I got by with Maalox & Tums. 

However, by the end of the two years my life had spiraled back out of control, and my son was doing poorly in school, so we gave Vyvanse a try.  Vyvanse is working well for us, and we notice we are more comfortable and have less "crash" at the end of the day by keeping up our EFA for Children dosing.  The EFA's are very helpful.

Whether you can take prescription stimulants, or self-medicate, I believe it is important to keep up your EFA levels (and get your vitamin D level checked!)  

Here's an article about EFA and ADHD: http://newideas.net/adhd/research/essential-fatty-acids

I hope that helps, no matter what stimulant you use!

 

Oh - and I have a really hard time organizing myself to exercise if I'm not on meds, so exercise never worked for me as an off-meds stimulant - but it certainly helps to exercise on or off your meds!  When on, I can keep up a routine of regular exercise without much trouble (except for occasional lateness to class...*sigh*)

 

Thanks for your insight and recommendations.  Yes, I also read that Omega 3 is crucial for functioning.  Plus it's great for our skin.  I usually eat walnuts in my salad every day because I do not like fish!

DistractableDeb said:

Oh - and I have a really hard time organizing myself to exercise if I'm not on meds, so exercise never worked for me as an off-meds stimulant - but it certainly helps to exercise on or off your meds!  When on, I can keep up a routine of regular exercise without much trouble (except for occasional lateness to class...*sigh*)

 

I have always told people nicotine was almost as good as adderall for me (effect only last for minutes though) and was always told it was an excuse to keep smoking. But I know what I know and nicotine definitely helps me, lol.

I finally switched over to an ecig (so proud of myself) and also decided to use a higher mg nicotine liquid in it. I really do not think I could maintain a suitable level of functioning without it. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Dana

There is a supplement stack that I swear by named Addrena that works great. I start out taking a half of a pill at once and now I take a whole one. The nootropic stack for focus and the way it can boost energy naturally with herbal stimulants is very effective for me personally. It is a stimulant product, so if you don't want soemthing with stims don't get it though. http://addrena.com/how-adhd-med-alternative-addrena-works/

I stay away from these.  With anxiety, depression AND ADHD; plus too much caffeine causes me to panic, I won't go there.

Also, if you guys read the warnings and if you are diagnosed with depression and anxiety, most warning labels will say "do not take if you have... depression, anxiety..."

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Great Resources for Women with ADHD

© 2014   Created by Terry Matlen, ACSW.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service