I'm a Newbie...A little about my journey..& A request for advice!

Hello all, I'm new here and I think I've found my happy place. It's so nice to have a safe place to ask questions, share stories or just to be understood. I just turned 50 (a very young non-menopausal 50 LOL).

Here is my story, in kindergarten my teacher said I was a social butterfly, in first (and all grades forward) My teachers would always tell my parents that if I would pay more attention on my work instead of my neighbors I would do very well. While in school my parents & teachers would say if I would just apply myself then I would get good grades. My dad would say that I could go to college and be anything I wanted to be...but the during those conversations I would be screaming in my head..."NO I'M NOT SMART...I JUST DON'T GET IT. I had problems reading (my generation was taught "site reading"). Then I got into middle school, /high school and my impulse control was nonexistent.... boys, driving, school work & attendance, etc. Of course, this didn’t help my grades, however I did graduate with a 3.0. I did finally realize that I may not be book smart, but I have great common sense and the ability to figure things out…but I still struggle with my confidence.

I got married and had my son at 20. He had problems from preschool on...He had no impulse control and would just walk up a push a child...when asked why he did it, he would say I don't know. I finally believed him and took him to a specialist that treated ADHD. During his appointment I just sat there with tears rolling down my face. I told the doctor he was explaining my entire childhood. My son and I were both evaluated and prescribed Imipramine. When my son started high school, he refused to take his meds. I continued but a different doctor switched me to Adderall XR. I have been taking Adderall for over 20+ years. My issue now is I feel it’s not working as well as it used to. I’m not sure if it has to do with my age or some other medical issues. One thing I’m dealing with is…always being tired. If I don’t take my meds I just want to stay in bed and either sleep or watch TV. No motivation…for anything. Even when I take my meds my energy is low, if I have something to do or go to I do ok…probably because adrenaline kicks in a bit.?? I also think I may have sleep apnea and my diet sucks. (Note I honestly think I’ve had sleep apnea for 15 years or so and a bad diet for most of the time) My plan now is to keep the meds as is, go to the doctor for sleep apnea and I’ve already changed my eating habits. I’ve also noticed that my interpersonal communication skills have gotten way worse. What I’m think just blurts out my mouth, and sometimes when I’m trying to explain something I ramble, my thoughts are out of order, or I just plain loose my train of thought. Do you think after taking the same meds for a long period of time can make them less effective? If yes, what meds have worked well for you or what would you recommend? I just changed insurance back to Kaiser. So that means I can’t go through a General MD, I must go through the Mental Health Dept. which might be a good thing.

Sorry that this was so long and thank you for any advice you can share.

Lorrain :)

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Hi Lorrain, welcome to the boards!

I am not a doctor, but I do know poor sleep and lack of exercise are two things that can REALLY exacerbate ADHD symptoms, and could also be contributing to the tiredness. I think changing your diet and going to the sleep dr are pretty heroic changes and I’d be surprised if they didn’t alleviate your symptoms at least a little!

I’ve heard a lot of people on these boards mention that after long use sometimes the effectiveness of a drug can decrease and switching does help, but I don’t have experience with that so I’ll let someone else offer advice on that!

One other possibility might be hormones. As women age our estrogen naturally decreases, and because estrogen regulates dopamine, when our estrogen drops our ADHD symptoms tend to get much worse. In fact this worsening of symptoms for many women in their 50s and 60s leads to many women who’ve never been diagnosed before to seek diagnoses and treatment for ADHD. Some of the treatments for the stronger ADHD symptoms include increasing med dosages, and doing more activities that naturally increase dopamine such as exercise and more social activities.

The ADHD women’s palooza conference ( adhdpalooza.com/schedule201... ) just did an amazing talk about this in last night’s in the video “Treating Midlife Onset ADHD with Thomas E Brown, PhD” which you can find at : vimeo.com/254593032/a09789e42c , it should be available for free until at least 9pm tonight. While the middle-age onset part doesn’t apply to you, the explanation on how hormones affect ADHD are really useful!

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Thank you so much for your reply. I just swtiched insurance and I made an appointment with the mental health dept. (which Kaiser requirers) :o( I hate asking for them to up my dose...I've ran into doctors that make me feel like I'm a big drugie.

I 100% believe diet and exercise is key! I jusst need to get off my lazy butt and DO IT!!! I have a great hubby that will push me to the gym (which I've asked him to do). He is strong in that area and me not so much.

I willl also check out the video.

Again thanks for all the imput.

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I was on adderall Xr but switched to the generic version and the short acting dose twice a day. My psychiatrist instructed me to take both doses once a day in the morning and it’s working very well for me. So I guess the dose I was taking before over the years was not working effectively anymore. Also, get a physical and blood work done. I had experienced a few years ago being very tied sleeping way more then already did and depressed. Turned out I had a thyroid imbalance and he put me on a low dose of thyroid medicine and after a few weeks a was feeling back to my normal self again. Extremely glad my doctor tested for that first and not jumping into putting me on other medication I may not have needed

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