60 year-old woman on Adderal for short time

by Debbie
(Central Florida)

I always knew something was wrong with me and have fought depression, mostly untreated, for most of my life. I have many, if not all, of the symptoms I've been reading about since my diagnosis.


During the past three years, family problems kept piling up, and I was not effectively coping with them, at all. Consequently, I was extremely anxious and depressed. I became so upset, several times, that I was afraid something bad would happen to me - like a heart attack or stroke, so I went to a doctor to get myself straightened out.

Long story short - and this took about a year and a half: My doctor had an ergo moment and realized that I've likely had undiagnosed ADHD my entire life and started me on a low-dose Adderal regimine. My doctor said, if his diagnosis was accurate, I would see dramatic results, immediately, and my life would improve for the better, that I probably should have been taking medication for the disease for 50 years!

My doctor was right-on-target, and for the past week and a half I've been functioning well, sleeping well, my stress level has decreased, my thoughts are not so negative, and I feel much happier. It feels almost as though my mind has been infused with fresh spring air!

I actually believe the improved thought process likely saved my life, and the lives of several others, on the second day of taking the drug, because my quick thinking helped me avoid what would have become a five-car (maybe more) crash with a car that was speeding in excess of 100 mph, had I not been able to quickly figure out what to do in order to avoid the potential crash.

So, the way I'm going to look at taking this medication is: Hey, maybe I am getting hooked on this drug, but it is helping me to function effectively.

From the reading I've done, my brains needs a stimulant drug to help the neurons in the frontal cortex fire properly.

If anything negative pops up, my doctor and I will readdress the problem.

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Feb 20, 2016
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prescribing
by: Anonymous

Problem is many docs worry that folks can jury rig the diagnosis to get meds. And they don't have the time to delve into proper diagnosis. If this happens find a different doc.

Feb 14, 2016
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Thank you
by: Dan Rice

Your comments have been very helpful to me. Thanks.

Dec 28, 2015
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Where was Adderall when I was in grade school
by: Muzzleer

Remember the old TV sets with the rabbit ear antenna ? I'm 52 now and have been on the same dose for 2 yrs. I was concerned my Dr would think I was losing it if I broached the subject. But the more I read I knew it was something I had to address with him. Before adderall my thought process was like every out of focus pixel on the old black & white tv. Since the adderall has adjusted the rabbit ears in my brain to were I have a crystal clear colored picture of life and responsibilities. Not every medication is for everyone. Before the adderall and after a back injury I was prescribed Lyrica (50mg). Wow, I did not like the effects. My wife takes 150mg 3x per day without a single negative effect. I don't and haven't abused medications. I wish I was the person that could function normally without any chemical enhancements. Don't warn and caution people of your short comings if adderall wasn't for you.

Apr 22, 2015
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67 and I totally agree
by: Anonymous

I am stunned reading your comment. Except a new counselor had the aha moment. Did all the testing for physical anomaly an I am fine. Except I can only think two to three thoughts before squirrel! I am that dog in UP. So with great trepidation I started the drug. She told me if it wasn't ADHD I would be bouncing off the walls. In fact I am more calm then I ever have been. Some increase in pulse but that's about it. Not a big druggy but this is actual living for me. Thanks again.

Jun 14, 2013
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Question
by: Anonymous

Are you taking XR adderall or a low dose a couple of times a day? I am taking the XR and after a few hours around midday I stsrt to feel lousy. Tired and unmotivated.

Jul 26, 2012
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Adderall and Divorce
by: Linda31652

My sixty year old husband convinced a doctor he has ADD and was prescribed Adderall. A man he works with gave him the doctor's name, symptoms of ADD and off he went (despite my pleas). He had Hep C which has been dormant for years and when he was "using", meth was his drug of choice. Now he has left me, took every cent we had and filed for divorce. Without warning. I am devastated. After starting to take Adderall he became aggressive, angry, sullen, moody, overly critical of me and all around a miserable person. I love him and I tried to fight for our marriage but it's too late. Careful with the Adderall, it can destroy your life.

Jul 25, 2012
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Anxiety & Stimulants
by: Tj Chambers

Stimulant medications are known to create more anxiety, tics, depression, OCD, and other issues.

So will it help?

It could make things worse and sometimes they are irreversible. So that depends on what happens.

It could happen, or maybe not.

Jul 25, 2012
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Advice
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your post. I too am 47 and have just been prescribed Adderal for ADHD. Overall, I am nervous about medication, although, I am anxious about most things. This is why I went to see a psychiatrist to begin with. My anxiety, obsessive thoughts and an inability to deal well with stress have been just awful. Personal relationships have also begun to suffer. ADD runs in my family. I was never diagnosed when I was child as it wasn't really a diagnosis back then. I look back and all the behaviors were there as long as I can remember. My Dr. is handling the ADD issues first to see if anxiety issues improve. I am beginning therapy per her recommendation. I feel positive that I am finally taking steps to improve the quality of my life so that I may nurture my relationships better. I'm not sure if that makes sense. I don't live in the present. I focus on the past and worry about the future. At times, I wish I could shut my brain off. Today was day 1. I took half a tablet in the morning(10mg) and half mid day. The morning table made me jittery and edgy, which is the opposite of what I need. I had my morning coffee(about 1 1/2 cups). The afternoon tablet was much better. Should I eliminate coffee? Does this medication take time to get used to? Does anyone else suffer from social anxiety as I do? If so, I am curious how you are doing on this medication. My Dr. feels the anxiety probably developed due to my inability to cope with ADD behaviors. I feel such relief to know I am not alone. Thank you for any and all input.

Mar 24, 2012
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I respectfully disagree TJ
by: Anonymous

I mentioned in a previous post that this medicine has helped me tremendously and I was not prescribed adderall until 2000, when I was 47...I will be sixty in June, have remained on the same low dose without a need to increase, and my blood pressure is like that of a younger person. Doctors prescribe this medication at the lowest effective dose..For some people, their symptoms make their lives unbearable. I think it is splitting hairs to argue whether it is a disease or a disorder...either way ADD/ADHD can be debilitating. I imagine some with a milder case can cope with alternative methods. I am lucky in that an extremely low dose is like being in a dark room and turning on a light switch. I have no adverse symptoms whatsoever. I just think it's wrong to try to discourage someone from taking a medicine that can change their life for the better, especially when they are experiencing no adverse effects. Everyone is different. For me, Adderall has improved my life in ways that would fill many pages. I understand it may not be for everyone. But for those here who have been helped as I have, my suggestion is to keep doing what you're doing, have checkups (I have my BP and heart rate checked once a month when I pick up my prescription), eat a healthy diet, exercise, and live life with purpose...to do that you need to be able to focus..and some of us, regardless of how hard we try, cannot do so without great difficulty, frustration and stress.

Mar 24, 2012
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started adderall at the age of 47-a Lifesaver
by: Siobhan

My story is similar..I'll be sixty in a few months and was literally saved by my low dose adderall (10mg..regular not XL...3 times per day)..My life was a virtual mess. I have remained on the same dose with no need to increase since 2000...Whereas my blood pressure was always on the low end, it is only recently (age 59) that it has increased to an average BP..equivalent to that of a healthy 25 year old..I attribute this slight increase to my need to exercise more..I also drink a cup of coffee or two a day with no furthur increases in BP..This medicine makes me feel focused and even...almost like a fog has cleared and the sun comes out..it's not dramatic in that I don't feel high..just "together" if that makes sense..It does not affect my appetite and I usually eat between doses anyway..If anything, I need to shed about fifteen pounds..Really glad to know it is so helpful for you too. I do want to live a long healthy life, and hope that down the road they don't discover that it shortens life..But if it's not one thing it's another..My quality of life is the most important, and living a long one would be an extra bonus. I believe anxiety/depression (really just expressions of the same problem..and I've experienced both) will get you sooner..All I can say is thank God for this medicine..I wish it had been available to me as a kid, but I focus on the present now, and enjoy the improved quality of life adderall has given me.

Sep 26, 2011
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Living in dim lights...
by: Anonymous

As for whatever the details are re: ADHD or ADD I'll leave that to the Medical people. All I'll tell you is at the age of 54 shrink agreed to put me on Adderal. The day of my first dose, it was the most positive experience that I've had regardindg any number of SSRI's, Diasapines, several other drugs for everything from Profounf reaccurring depression to bipolar (1) or whichever the least serious is. Over 7 M.D.' missed the call. ADD caused me a huge amout of pain. The adderral has brought order to my life. Sleeping is not an issue. My apitite is healthy, energy level fine.
A positive addition to my life re: depression, etc.
john

Sep 13, 2011
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reaction to your feedback
by: Dave

TJC - thanks for your comments and keep me posted on your alternative treatment

Sep 13, 2011
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What to do?
by: TJ Chambers

Hi Dave,

You can "just get ADHD". The reason I say that is because there are people that get into a car accident, have head trauma, and cant function like they use to. Doctors diagnose ADHD and give them meds.

So in that sense, you can.

I don't like to deal with symptoms and that is what doctors focus on. Its a failure system to treat symptoms.

I look deeper to see what is going on and where the problem is coming from. Depending on what is happening, this product might help. You may need 2-3 oz a day (2-3 bottles a month). ADHD Liquid Vitamin

I'm working on an informational product that discusses what causes the symptoms of ADHD and what you can do about it. It has been taking me way to long to put together and hopefully I will have it out within a few weeks.

Sep 06, 2011
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need advice from TJ
by: Dave B

TJ - 2 of my children and my wife take adderal and swear by its benefits. I an 54 yrs old and have fought depresion for 15 yrs and recently tried my wifes adderal per her suggestion. I found it changed my attitude and disposition in a major way. It also helped me cope with the my job intensity and demands which are over the top(Investment banking). I went to my physician and discussed my conditions and desire to start a adderal regime. He challenged me saying you "dont just get ADD". Hensent me to a Phycho docter for evaluation and I took 6 ntests only to have him tell me I have a stressful life and need to cope; "your just getting older". The whole process smelled of the realities of the new hcare system(suck it up and dont prescribe). What would you recommend? Is there another alternative I should try - vitamins - tht might help? should I go to another doctor? maybe buy the meds in mexico? thanks for your advice. Dave

Mar 24, 2011
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Thanks, T.J. I'll watch for negative side effects.
by: Anonymous

Thank you, T.J.

Yes, I did know ADHD is not a disease. I quickly dashed-off the letter and did not realize how I'd termed it, until your letter arrived in my inbox. I've been researching ADHD, OCD, bipolar disorder, dyslexia, etc., since I realized I likely had the disorder, about 20 years ago.

As many people do, I hid my shortcomings, in order to protect myself during my entire life. Who would have ever known the internal insecurity I felt? Everybody actually believed I was very happy, optimistic and outgoing, because I used positive thinking to help myself cope all these many years. It was temporarily effective, but quite a chore, because it was not natural to me - I always lived in a state of anxiety!

I did not seek treatment until my coping resources were overtaxed, and I became worried about the EXTREME anxiety I was experiencing. Even then, I termed my problem to my doctor as "depression due to A LOT of ACTUAL problems in my life, not PERCEIVED problems."

Thank you kindly for your concern and warning. I have been alternating between the happiness of finally knowing just exactly what is wrong with me and the extreme worry of becoming dependent on a stimulant drug. The term I used with my family is "cautiously (for my prejudice against mind-altering drugs) optimistic (from the surprisingly unexpected current benefits)."

The side effects I experienced with the anti-depressant drug I'm weaning myself off of (and the others I tried prior to this one) were much worse than the present negative side effects of Adderal, of which I'm experiencing none, at the present time, anyway - only good effects. I'm not jittery, I'm much less anxious, I'm sleeping well, my blood pressure is lower (the effective antidepressant elevated my blood pressure, and I'd never had a problem with my blood pressure prior to taking them), and I'm not jumping from one task to another (like a hyperactive maniac), as usual.

I appreciate your warning and will be on the lookout for changes!

Debbie

Mar 24, 2011
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ADHD is not a Disease
by: TJ Chambers

Debbie, First I want to say that Im glad your life is being changed. It feels good when you address your symptoms.

I have to correct you, ADHD is not a disease. I'm not sure if your doctor said that or if that is your thinking. ADHD is a disorder which is completely different.

The trend of the medication is that it creates a new life in the beginning but then it makes things worse off then they were later on.

Why? Because it does not address the root issue and it has its own side effects.

This is a stimulant drug. There is enough illegal drug usage of speed to know how these drugs effect people.

I hope you keep us updated as time goes on what happens.

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