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Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

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Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby samx » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:42 pm

Hello, I have a question about ADD in adults.

I have never been hyperactive but recently I saw something about adult ADD and some of the symptoms reminded me of myself. I also have been depressed and anxious for years which I already tried celexa for but it didn't work. I asked my psychiatrist about ADD and he said I could very well have it and that the easiest way to find out would simply be taking Ritalin and see what happens.
But Ritalin has a long list of scary side effects. I worry what if I take this and then my depression and anxiety go thru the roof? Or what if I turn manic? I asked my doc about these things and he said he doesn't think so I should simply try it. But I really don't know what to think about this.
Is this a good idea? Even if I really should have ADD and if Ritalin should help against ADD then my biggest issue is still the depression and being anxious and Ritalin is probably not going do cure this so I don't know if it makes sense to even try it. :?

I also saw a second psychiatrist for another opinion on ADD and he said that he doesn't think I have ADD cause I didn't have problems in school and wasn't hyperactive. Does this rule out ADD?

I have always been vulnerable to stress or simply impressions. When too much is happening around me I feel like my mind is racing like the feeling you get when you're sleep deprived.
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Re: Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby jasmin » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:19 pm

Hi, samx! Then ask the second psych what you should do, ask them to help you. Maybe look for a third opinion too?
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Re: Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby samx » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:02 pm

jasmin wrote:Hi, samx! Then ask the second psych what you should do, ask them to help you. Maybe look for a third opinion too?


Hello, I went to get a second opinion. I thought that he would do tests to see if I have ADD but he simply said he doesn't think I have it because I didn't have problems in school. I don't know if it is that simple to rule out ADD. I listened to broadcasts from ADD therapists and a lot of the stuff they mentioned reminds me of myself.
It's really upsetting because the clinic I went to is specialized on ADD. They could have tested me but since the doctor thinks I don't have it they also won't do further testing.
Basically my first doctor was right. The simplest way to find out would be simply taking ritalin and then see what happens but I'm scared of this.
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Re: Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby lilnumber9 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:07 am

You don't need to be hyperactive or have problems with school to have ADD. I'd consult a different specialist, which means researching possible doctors beforehand. If you want a full line of tests, look for a doctor specializing in ADD/ADHD at a college campus - they're usually the most thorough, from what I've seen. A friend of mine went to a specialist at the OSU medical center and they put him through a 6 hour screening.

Here's a quick overview of the disorder: Link

Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about trying the ritalin if I were in your place, but that's just me. I'd stop taking it and contact the prescribing doctor if I noticed any negative side-effects that were more than I was willing to tolerate. I've been through the full gamut of meds for ADHD and that's generally how I've treated each one.
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Re: Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby samx » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:46 am

Hello,
I have actually been to a clinic which also has a department for adult ADD!
But if the doctor only asks a few questions and then says I dont have ADD then I cannot do much about it.
And besides this I dont know how helpful it is to go through endless testing. What if they come out with unclear results? The psychiatrist who suggested Ritalin to me said that some people have unspecific ADD. I doubt that you can properly rule out ADD in every single case.
He said that if you want to really know if you have ADD you have to take Ritalin and see what happens. This sounds logical to me. But what if non-ADDers would also feel a difference on Ritalin? After all they also take Ritalin. Then feeling a change wouldnt mean that you necessarily have ADD.

But I just worry what would Ritalin, even if I should have ADD, do to depression and anxiety?
What if it would make them worse? Then the costs wouldnt be worth the benefits. :(

I also wonder about side effects of Ritalin like heart rhythm disorders or other stuff. As soon as I read the leaflet with all the side effects I was totally scared and felt like I cant possibly take this.
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Re: Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby jasmin » Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:48 pm

Maybe the best person to tell you this would be the doc himself? Maybe you could ask a few more questions when you see them again.
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Re: Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby lilnumber9 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:13 am

I have to agree with what jasmin's posted. :)

If you're hesitant about getting a thorough assessment, then simply giving the ritalin a trial run while paying attention to the effects it has on you could be the easiest solution. The worst case is that it produces some negative effects and you have to contact the prescribing doctor about changing or terminating the treatment. It might be wise to talk to the first doctor about your concerns before trying it, though.
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Re: Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby samx » Wed May 30, 2012 11:41 pm

Hello!

I also thought that simply trying ritalin and then see what happens would be a good idea but
the problem is that even people who don't have ADD may react positively to ritalin and get more
focus. Otherwise people wouldn't abuse ritalin and take it even if they don't have ADD. Doesn't this
mean that even if I felt better under ritalin then this wouldn't prove that I have ADD?

What I'd also worry about is getting addicted to it. I wouldn't want to risk this and not take it all
the time but only when needed. But I don't know if this works or if you need to take it all the time
once you get on it.
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Re: Taking Ritalin when you're depressed and anxious?

Postby take_too2 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:31 am

Stress can cause all the symptoms of ADD. Anxiety can also be caused by stress and depression is often part of the stress/anxiety cycle when it has been going on long enough.

I've been a very anxious person from a young age, I don't handle stress well, but have been diagnosed with lots of different mental health disorders and been given medication for them. My most recent diagnosis was adult ADD and I've tried two kinds of medication, the last one being Ritalin, which I'm currently struggling with horrible withdrawals from..... depression and fatigue. It actually made my anxiety worse. I tried dexamphetamine first and that seemed to 'cure' my anxiety initially, but then it flipped on me and I started getting bad rebound effects and it gave me OCD.

I have been trying to find the right balance of meds for about a year, but now I'm suffering from the stress of it all, my body is really paying a heavy price and my brain chemistry is even more messed up than before.

My opinion is if you know your main problem is anxiety and depression, then get the best possible counseling and therapy you can for those conditions and devote yourself to learning new ways of thinking and behaving and minimize the stress in your life as much as possible. Don't mess with your already vulnerable brain chemistry.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

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