Adult ADD and Aderall. Any Other Mommys and Daddys on This?

Updated on January 24, 2012
R.A. asks from Marathon, WI
7 answers

I was diagonsed with ADHD at the age of 4 and was on meds through my teen years. Then when I was 22 and went back to school I was on Ritalin LA until I became prego with my first. After my son was born my Doc. thought I was suffering from post partum and was on an antidepressent for about 9 months.

Well the past few years and another son later I have come to the conclusion that something is just not right with me and went to talk to my Doctor. After reviweing my childhood records together we came to the conclusion that I should try and control the ADD part and then maybe my anxiety/ depression like symtoms would deminish. That being said I wa sperscribed 10mg of Aderall to take once daily in the morning. I have only been taking the meds now for 2 days but am interested in other adults who are also on theis medication? Are you experiencing any side effects, notice a difference etc.

For those of you who feel ADD/ADHD does not exist please refrain from anwsering. I am not looking for a lecture here, rather input on to handle this better as an adult and keep my family from having to deal with the backlash of my situation.

Also I take an omega 3 every day along with a multi vitamin and calcium supplement. I keep refined sugar to a minimal, and have been on the weight loss kick the last 6 months so I eat fresh fruit and vegis, try buying all organic, and eat lean meats like chicken and turkey. I am also working on cutting out dyes in foods

I feel alone in this journey and don't really ahve anyone that fully understand my day to day and how my brain works so Thanks ahead of time for your input!

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answers from Seattle on

If you draw a relatively straight but wavy line across a sheet of paper... you've just drawn a neurotypical person. The normal ups and downs in a day/week/month.

Now, over the top of that line daw a VERY wavy line. The highest peak about 1-2 inches above, and the valleys about 1-2 inches below.

Now on top of that line, draw a line that is pure peaks and valleys. VERY wavy, with the highest peak 4 inches above, and 4 inches below.

What you're looking at is the emotional variation between a neurotypical person (the mostly straight line), an ADHD person (the 2 inches above and below), and a Bipolar person (the extreme line).

When ADHD people are happy, everyone around us is happy (until we start to annoy them). Our joys are ecstatic, our eyes shine, we light up whole rooms. When we're sad... we're down in the depression range. We're FAR more similar to someone who is bipolar, than someone who is neurotypical. Our emotional swings aren't as severe as a bipolar person AND we can learn through coping mechanisms to control them to a degree (bipolar people can't)... but the emotional swings, and the intensity of them, is part and parcel with ADHD. Right along with giftedness, sensory "schtuff" (similar to SPD), hyperfocus, and all the things that don't make the press.

A quirky thing with ADHD is pure memory & pure emotion. Most people's emotions fade over time. If they get embarrassed, that embarrassment lessens until it's just a memory with no emotion attached to it. If an (unmedicated) ADHD person gets embarrassed that embarrassment stays the same for HOURS. It doesn't fade. Moreover, the emotional response *usually* gets tagged with the memory. So if you're remembering something 5, 10, however many years later... the same flush/nauseous/shame strikes as if it had just happened (until the embarrassment gets untagged, by believing differently). Most people remember being embarrassed at the time, but they don't feel embarrassed all over again. ((Or angry, afraid, happy, etc.)). Most people don't feel an emotion, at full strength, for HOURS, until it's replaced by another emotion.

Stimulants (and other ADHD meds) DON'T "just" make us focus better. They bring our emotional range into a more normal area, turn off part or all of our hyperfocus, alter how emotions get attached to memories, alter the time in which we feel emotions.

Anxiety levels PLUMMET as our minds calm down and our emotions are regulated. Whew! Depressions lift (adhd depression is often closely linked with our anxiety levels; esp fear of not being good enough, getting enough done, perfectionism, etc. Then you link the sustained emotional capacity, and those fears/ doubts/ plagues of low self worth stemming from anxiety become depression). Our "highs" don't tend to go as high anymore, but with the shorter "high/ feeling good/ happy" they're more *sustained* (which for most people is worth the trade off... esp as on the RIGHT meds, a person can usually intentionally get as happy/ goofy/ excited -the 'high' marks as they can off meds. It just takes intention, instead of randomly popping in... AND when it's time to stop, we're able to get serious again).

Meds CHANGE the way we process and store information. Including emotional information, sensory information (our SPD type schtuff usually alters, we're able to tolerate things we couldn't before), and intellectual information.

Stimulants calm us down, and perk us up at the same time. No longer swimming through mental morass. No more trying to see through goo.

Our brains just react to stimulants and neostimulants differently than neurotypical people. And then in our OWN group of people, our brains react to different stimulants in different ways.

ADDERAL has a nickname, ADDERAGE, because for about half of ADHD types, instead of regulating our emotions, that particular combo triggers irritation and anger. In the other half, it does nothing of the sort. I'm in the half that it causes no irritation whatsoever (but I get other side effects I don't like, so I don't take it... for myself I lose every single drop of creativity I've ever had. But a girlfriend of mine -also adhd, but on adderall- doesn't get THAT side effect. She's not only creative, but PRODUCTIVE on it, because she doesn't perfectionism cripple herself, or get distracted and move onto something else before completing things. I get that SAME effect on different meds, btw.)

To not feel so alone... DO check out "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!?" by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo (Yay! An adult w/ ADHD book written BY adults with ADHD). I recommend this book to parents all the time, because it shows a complete life w/ ADHD and show a lot of the WHY does this, this, and this happen and why is that, that, and that recommended / not recommeded. But the book is written FOR adults with ADHD. Great resource. and Every once in awhile I stumble across an article on there that is baloney (and I, and many other people with ADHD are quick to point out it was written by someone with their head up their bum), but it's the best online resource I've found. Ever. About 95% fantastic. And NOT (thank god) all about kids. I swear... what idiot thought we got a new brain on our 18th bday I'll never understand.

Anyhow... do adhd meds help with depression? ABSOLUTELY. They can also make it worse. It depends on the med and that person's brain chemistry. One of the things to keep an eye on med-wise is exactly how it affects your mood. If you find yourself easily irritated, angry, or depressed... it's the wrong med. If you have GREAT emotional side effects, then it's time to make sure the other side effects are also what you like, and that the dose is where you want it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I know for a fact that my Adderall helps with the depression. Occasionally I get strange mood swings coming off my Adderall but other than that Addrall seems to be a multitasker. I function better with the Adderall plus I haven't had any major depression since I started taking it.

I was always good at handling my ADD but with the Addrall I appear normal.

Oh I get how your brain works. Ask some of my friends here they will tell you I can even translate it into normal speak. :) We are just as predictable as a normal person just not in the same way.

Oh a great book to read is More Attention, Less Deficit. I love it because it isn't written in the you worthless slacker point of view.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

My son has ADHD since he was very young. Tried meds once it was
terrible. As an adult with ADHD he has learned to live with it. Took time
but he has done it. He has a family and is always working or doing something. He does not like to be idle. That works for him. Was never
a fan of meds then or now.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

Hi - I just wanted to commend you on taking the steps to take care of yourself. So often as mothers, our needs come last after everyone else is taken care of.

My husband has ADD and we've been working on it for a couple of years now. We also have 2 sons who have ADHD - ages 18 and 5. When this jounrey all started, I went to the library and read everything I could get my hands on and started to see a counselor to understand my hurt feelings. What I've learned, people with ADD process things differently than the rest of us and typically are very intelligent people. (Who are misunderstood and unjustly classified as slow or dumb because they are different and think differently.) There is so much promising research out there that with medicine and behavior modification training (retraining yourself to do certain things), you can have very positive relationships. Me personally, I had to get over taking his "ignoring me" personally and realize he may not have heard me or is processing it and will get back with me.

As far as side effects of the meds, my husband had a reaction to one of them that made all of his joints ache so they changed him to a different med. The other side effect he's noticed is weight gain. I'm not sure that's because of the meds of just because he's an eating machine.

I'm not sure this will help you in anyway. I just wanted to say good luck in your journey and you are not alone. You always have the moms on this network to ask - it's better than nothing!

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answers from Appleton on

I was just diagnosed with adult ADHD last year, I am 39 years old. I have always felt that there was something wrong with me. I would say to my husband, "what do all these women have in their brains that I don't?" I was able to cope almost completely through most of my life, although for about six months after the birth of each of my children (I have 4), I had a very difficult time. I was even put on anti-depressants for a while (they did nothing).

It wasn't until last year, when my sister's family moved in with us and I was all of a sudden trying to cope the schedules of six children that I finally "lost it". I went to my doctor and told her that I thought I was going crazy, that I was losing my mind. I even suggested that I had early onset dementia because there were times I would forget my own name! After asking me a few questions, she inquired whether anybody had ever suggested to me that I had ADHD.

Now, I was a teacher for several years before having children, and the LAST thing I ever thought I had was ADHD. Sometimes I couldn't even get off the couch for cripes sake! How could I have ADHD? She put me on Adderall and sent me to a psychologist. The psychologist gave me this to read I sobbed in her office for 10 minutes straight. The feeling of relief was so immediate! For the first time in my life, I felt normal and that everything was going to be okay.

So much of this article resonated with me. Especially the parts about hos ADHD manifests itself so differently in girls. And how intelligent girls are most likely to be able to "keep it together" and hide the fact that they have it because the come up with so many coping mechanisms.

I have been on Adderall for almost a year, and the difference is amazing! I have finally been able to stay on a diet and lost 25 pounds. I started my own business and am successful. My house is not a mess (at least some of the time ;) My relationships are better. I don't snap at my kids or husband as much. And, happiest of all for me, I am completely present for every situation. My brain is no longer jumping around trying to remember something that I might have forgotten every time I sit quietly for a moment. I can enjoy my life and my family.

I am not saying everybody should be on medication. Far from it. I know that it has worked for me and I am the "me" that I wish I could have been for many years before now. I only wish I would have talked to my doctor sooner instead of assuming that the problem was in my head (no pun intended). I mourn for the years that I could have been more myself. I wish I had taken medication in college, because maybe I could have done better. I wish I had taken medication when my children were younger, because maybe I could have enjoyed their childhood more. My point is, don't be ashamed if you and your doctor feel like you should take medication for your condition. If you had a heart or a skin problem, you wouldn't be ashamed to take medication for that. This is no different.

Blessings and hugs to you whatever you choose. You are not alone :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I just had to write & tell you that your not alone. I don't have ADD but my husband & son both have it. And they are both on adderal. They just started the meds so I can't tell a big difference yet. They don't have any bad side affects off of this.
Personally I don't understand how there mind works, and I can't imagine a mother having this. They are very forgetful. Which is very hard to handle for me. This is quite the disease and I've thought of getting divorced so many times becuz of this. I feel like they are in there own little world & I'm on the outside. I'm sorry I don't have much else to say. I just wanted you to know that your not alone. Kari

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I don't have it myself (at least I don't think ... ohh look shiny) ... ok sorry not meaning to make light of your situation ... just lighten the mood :)

Anyway, My son and my brother both have adhd. My son is medicated my brother is not. I also have a couple friends who are and who medicate. I know with the aderall it takes a little while (I think up to 2 weeks was what my son's doctor said) to fully kick in and build up in the system. So give it at least that amount of time before switching or anything.

I would suggest doing the same thing for yourself as you'd do for a child with add/adhd. break tasks down into smaller more managable tasks. Keep in contact with your doctor and if needed add a mild anti-depressant if that's what you and the doc figure out is needed.

Also maybe sit down and have a family meeting regarding what's going on with you so everyone gets on the same page about what it is, how you're working on it and so forth. And how they can help you. And they don't have to understand what you go through or how your brain works, what they do need to do is accept it and try their best to work with you so everyone gets what they need.

Good luck with everything. I know this is can be a rough journey but you're making steps in the right direction. It may take some experimentation to get everything fine tuned, so don't get discouraged if that becomes the case. You'll get there :) you're doing a good thing :)

1 mom found this helpful
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