CHADD's ADHD Parents Together

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willandgrace profile image
15 Replies

my 20 year old daughter has inattentive ADHD. She went undiagnosed until she was 18. She takes 50mg Vyvanse. She likes it very much for the focus. I am not sure if it's related to the vyvanse (I really don't think so, ,but probably makes it worse), but she has anxiety- especially social anxiety. And within the last year or so, Ive found her to be really irritable and often cranky. She takes Vyvanse and Guanfacine (to help the crash from Vyvnse). I realize anxiety is often another condition found with ADHD- HERE IS MY QUESTION

I don't know what to do about the anxiety/irritability/crankiness. Are they all the same thing? Does she need something like Zoloft for that? Is it actually a mood disorder? We have tried psychiatrist, and that was just a big waste of time and money. He just wanted to prescribe everything under the sun. Does anyone out there have a late teen/young adult who has similar symptoms? her focus is handled very well with the Vyvanse so she doesn't want to switch- She tried several other meds first, and none worked. Im wondering if something for anxiety, like Zoloft or Celexa would help but that makes THREE meds she would be on. HELP!

15 Replies
Shamasamdrew profile image

ADHD and anxiety are co morbid conditions. It is very common for people to need medications for both. If the doctor you saw wasn’t a good fit, see a different one and see if you can work together to come up with a solution that works for both conditions. Also, I have read many times that some ADHD meds amplify anxiety symptoms in some people. I am not sure if Vyvanse is one or not, but best to get a doctor who is knowledgeable and can help guide you.

willandgrace profile image
willandgrace in reply to Shamasamdrew


anirush profile image

My adult daughter took Celexa for awhile for anxiety and I thought she did really well on it. But she claimed she did not notice a difference and did not want to take off work to go to doctor's appointments to continue on it. So I walk on eggshells around her half the time and have to be very careful what kind of advice I offer or she thinks I am interfering.

willandgrace profile image
willandgrace in reply to anirush

Walking on egg shells is exactly what I do! Ty so much. Does she take meds like Vyvanse for ADHD?

anirush profile image
anirush in reply to willandgrace

She doesn't take anything. She doesn't have a problem according to her, it's everyone else who does.

She also has 4 children, 2 of whom are not stable and she has constant meltdowns dealing with them.

She has a good job in a nice house but she is not a happy person most of the time. I just try to keep some stability in her kids lives.

willandgrace profile image
willandgrace in reply to anirush

Got it. My daughter seems to think it’s everyone else too

Hopefulstill profile image
Hopefulstill in reply to willandgrace

Mine too... it is just part of it.

ng24 profile image

Ask your dr if 1 mg Riaperispne would help. Usually in the evening

dubstepMaul profile image

My adult daughter takes adzynis for ADHD and prozac for depression/anxiety. She is doing very well on both.

As a child she really didn't manifest ADHD symptoms, as she always did well in school (my son had the severe ADHD and so our focus was on getting help for him). But by high school my daughter was starting to show signs of depression and anxiety which at first just seemed like hormonal teenage girl. When she went away to college it got worse and she was put on Zoloft which she did great on. But this is where she started her "I'm doing fine I don't need to take anything" mantra. For about the next 10 years she went through periods of depression/anxiety which would worsen to the point of almost crises, "mom I'm such a failure I can't do anything right" etc etc sobbing on the phone to me where I would be talking her out of a tree and pleading with her to see a psychiatrist and get on a med, she would comply, do well for several months and then stop taking it again. Rinse and repeat.

Finally after the last episode I finally got through to her that depression is not a character flaw and needing medication for a chemical imbalance is no different then needing prescription medication for thyroid imbalance or diabetes. She found a good practitioner at that point and this is when she got her ADHD diagnosis as well. Of course by this time we understood so much more about how ADHD presents differently in girls so often. My daughter did well in school growing up because she LIKED school and that kept her focus.

Good luck with your daughter, you are not alone. God bless.

willandgrace profile image

thank you so much for that reply!

bdhb96 profile image

You might want to first address the anxiety fully then see what’s still happening a few months later. It’s hard to tell until you tease the two things apart. The generalized anxiety can become paralyzing and an even larger problem than ADHD. The irritability you mentioned sounds more like anxiety in my experience.

Good ole Prozac (generic version is fluoxetine) has been very helpful for my 18 yr old who started it about 1.5 yrs ago (had 4 other types for anxiety before this). She refuses to take her ADHD/ADD meds for the last year unfortunately...but what can I do? She’s 18 and she doesn’t feel like the Vyvance or Quillichew helped her inattentive ADD at all. At least she’ll take the anxiety med regularly! We need to go back to the psychiatric nurse again to try again. Or get her to start swallowing pills since that limits her med options!

She still sees the same psychologist for the last 5 yrs who’s been so helpful and patient. It took about a year of weekly appointments before my daughter opened up to her, but then it was very helpful for her to have a non-parent to confide in and talk about all the things she wouldn’t say to us. Basically she was having an existential crisis in high school! Although she consistently tested above average in IQ, due to her inattentive ADD she was 3yrs younger than her peers in her ability to focus, prioritize tasks, organize her thoughts, compose written work (has a written communication disorder, dyslexia), etc. But yet that’s what was demanded of her in high school. It was a long tough road and she squeaked by. Now in community college and living at home, she’s “recovering” from all the years since 3rd grade, taking college slowly and on her own terms. She has a solid group of long time friends and boyfriend, thank goodness! She’s going to find her way, slowly but surely.

willandgrace profile image

Ty so much for that reply. Very helpful. I really appreciate your sharing!!

Olddognewtricks profile image

My daughter takes Concerta for the ADHD symptoms, and it has worked well. Is your daughter willing to try counseling for coping with the other symptoms? My daughter had counseling for over a year. She doesn’t want to go now, but I saw how she was better at problem solving regarding her feelings. I would love for her to go back.

Lingerly profile image

Hello, I agree with what several have wrote that the mood disorder / anxiety and ADHD will each require their own treatments. Additionally, it may take several adjustments of dosage and meds to find the right combination. And, the final piece is the coaching / skills group / talk therapy. The meds help with the brain adjustments, but the therapeutic or peer support group component provides skills for managing / regulating emotions and behaviors.

Well I just joined the conversation today and am obviously 3 years behind the eight ball on this one! That said have you considered a non-drug alternative like Mindfulness Meditation for your daughter? Here is a link to a Harvard review of studies on Mindfulness Meditation and anxiety - it seems to work for some health.harvard.edu/blog/min...

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