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Re: ADD and Anxiety... how do you tell the difference?

Posted by anna on December 30, 1999, at 14:33:21

In reply to ADD and Anxiety... how do you tell the difference?, posted by Janice on December 28, 1999, at 8:21:22

If you are asking how to tell if what you are feeling at a given time is due to anxiety or ADD--I have been wondering the same thing myself. But, I try not to drive myself crazy about it. I think I read in "driven to distraction" that panic, aniety, depression, add, etc are all related. While I went off daily Klonipin immediately when I began Adderal (I just did it on my own--like something snapped), I do find some situations where I still take a klonipin--ones that hisotrically caused me anxiety--airplanes, job interviews and, rarely, when I have taken the adderall and after an hour still feel that...anxious-jumpy thing. (I still will not go on a boat or a propeller plane--no drug or therapy will get me to do either of those--holdovers from panic disorder I cannot shake!)

Adderall doesn't make me sleepy, BUT, I can take 20 mg of adderall when I get up and then go right back to sleep. ( FYI--I began taking benzos, ssris, etc many years ago for panic, aniety, depression. Also recently stopped buspar and now just on adderal, wellbruitrin and zoloft--trying to stop latter.

Bottom line--I don't knwo how old you are, but I've been dealing with all this, treated or not, since I was a kid (the pediatrician had me on Miltowns --a "'60" tranquelizer--at age 8...) I don't think I can just say "if all my former anxiety was really add", why do I still get anxious?--it's not that clear cut, and I think it's different for all of us. Maybe I've always had them all together--or close to together-- maybe the add came first, and I was frustrated so I became anxious--and then no kid would play with me (not true, I had the best Barbies) so I became depressed. Or, maybe the anxiety came on because mom made me a wreck about something or another and the ADD appeared at the same time due to my brain chemistry....What am I trying to say, and trying to accept myself, is that some how my wiring is not what is deemed "normal", but I take stuff to regulate it and jsut try to get on with things. I try not to obsess on which "disorder" is causing which syptom. Maybe not medically right, but it's a practical approach

> When I first started taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication 6 years ago, most of my anxiety, hyperchondria, panic attacks and most of my phobias dissapated.
> All I was left with was an intense fear of flying and driving. 2 months ago, I took a trip to Hawaii. Now instead of knocking myself out with anti-anxiety pills (like I usually do), I took an extra Dexedrine instead. And it worked. I was, for the first time in my life, a rational, sane person on the plane. Even better I didn't have to recover from the Ativan hangover.
> Last night I had a sleepless night (2 in 2 weeks) and had to call in sick to my new job today. All my 'anxiety' was about this new job and my lack of confidence, and how the whole scene is scaring the crap out of me. I took 1.5mg of Ativan, and it did nothing.
> In the past, whenever I can't sleep I take .5 mg of Ativan. This has always worked up till the past 2 I am suspecting that it is the mental, out-of-control, part of the ADD that has been keeping me up lately. And that this mental, out-of-control part of ADD is not biologically related to anxiety although they manifest themselves similarly (if that sentence does not give it away, I'm not a scientist.)
> Next time this happens, I'm going to try a Dexedrine instead of an Ativan.
> so my questions are;
> anyone else get confused between ADD and anxiety, or have a similar experience? and how is it you can differentiate between the two disorders?
> Could anyone explain to me (in layman's terms) why these 2 disorders manifest themselves so similarly and yet are treated with medication from opposite families?
> I hope i have explained myself half decently, it's now 6:22 and I am finally beginning to feel sleepy. thanks Janice.




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