I'm a male in my mid-twenties with ADHD and some kind of anxiety disorder.
I'm the youngest of five, everyone in my family has either ADHD or an anxiety disorder to a certain degree. We all went un-diagnosed until adulthood due to my parents religious views. Some of us have pretty bad symptoms and others are symptom free for months.
I did well in school as a child, struggling with severe procrastination and lack of focus early on. Somehow throughout high school I found a way to focus and did well enough to get accepted to a mid-high level UC. Once I started schooling at the University level though I found it impossible to focus throughout the long lectures and almost never made it into the library because I couldn't sit down and focus or I would get terrible anxiety just thinking over the amount of work I had to do. After struggling mightily for two years I switched majors to a significantly easier major (From Molecular Biology to Economics) and chalked all my struggles up to college just being harder than high school. I excelled initially but soon began having the exact same problems. Not knowing what to do or think I began self-medicating with alcohol to an extent as I lead a very active social life. Naturally this just made things worse and I became depressed. This culminated when a close friend very unexpectedly took his own life. The schools attempts at outreach were a complete joke and I felt completely alone. I became significantly more depressed and my anxiety and ADHD were so severe that even on the rare occasion I would make it to class, I wouldn't be able to sit down throughout an entire lecture. I either couldn't focus or would have a panic/anxiety attack and have to leave the class. I began failing in school about a year later, having to leave several finals before the tests even began because I would panic so severely.
I dropped out of school and returned home and finally saw a doctor. Because my depression was so severe at the time my treatment started there. Every anti-depressant I tried resulted in significantly worse symptoms and after trying 7 different antidepressants over 10 months my doctor finally began looking closer at my symptoms. I was finally put on an ADHD medication and it was like a haze had finally lifted. I felt like I could do anything, I was productive again excelling at work and began taking steps to begin schooling again. I began taking classes and was doing well but I could still feel the anxiety there nagging at me, making me worry about everything under the sun. I was still having less severe panic attacks during tests and I had even developed a few techniques to calm myself down to an extent. Unfortunately the anxiety eventually began degrading my new found productivity and despite passing the classes with nearly straight A's, I felt I couldn't handle another semester of that kind of anxiety. My Psych I was referred to whom diagnosed my ADHD assumed I was bi-polar and that was the cause of the Anxiety/Depression combination. They had me try a few bipolar meds that made me feel INSANE, but insisted I continue taking them despite my protests. Eventually after a few months of being on the bipolar medication that made me not feel horrendous/crazy I felt I wasn't being listened to anymore and asked my doctor to refer me to a new Psychiatrist.
My new psych started me on a few bi-polar meds, albeit much milder ones, because he too felt that could be my real issue. After unsuccessfully taking those he has started having me try out different variations of anti-depressants I have already taken with mostly similar results. Increased depression, no change or worsening anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, etc.
Now I'm working full time at a good job and am doing everything in my power to manage my anxiety. I work out 5-6 days a week, I recently ran my second half marathon, I eat very healthy, I drink very little, and I even cut back my caffeine consumption to just 2 cups a day. I'm currently taking 40mg Vyvanse and 10 mg Adderall everyday for my ADHD. I typically try to take breaks on weekends just because I hate the thought of what amphetamines must be doing to my circulatory system. I was taking Vybrid in very small doses the past two months, and after just seeing an increase in depression and no change in my Anxiety have been given Cymbalta to try this month.
I'm now on my 12th anti-depressant and I not once have had any kind of improvement. I never miss a dose, and I have never stopped taking any of these without my doctors permission. I'm beginning to get the feeling again that I'm not being listened to. When my psych asked me what my biggest concern is and I stated "Anxiety" he just proceeded to give me another anti-depressant. I feel like anti-depressants are clearly not the answer for my symptoms and in fact are making it worse. I don't think I've ever been given any medication that is just used to treat Anxiety, but I do know doctors are hesitant to prescribe many of them due to abuse potential. My depression is almost entirely cured, I think due to my healthy lifestyle, and the only depression I do have comes about when I feel like my anxiety will never get better.
My question for you all is this. Should I outright tell my doctor I don't want to take anymore anti-depressants and want something for my anxiety? I may be ridiculous to think this but I'm worried he will peg me as a drug seeking individual and take away my ADHD meds which have significantly improved my quality of life. I'm about at my wits end and really don't want to deal with finding another psych. I know it's probably my anxiety that makes me think this but, as I'm sure most of you know, sometimes it's hard to say what you really want to due to the fear of the repercussions. I don't know anything about Anxiety treating drugs and I know everyone responds differently to different meds. but I'm just hoping anyone who has had a similar situation might be able to send some advice my way.
I apologize for the short story I just posted but it will just make me value your opinion that much more
. I appreciate you all taking your time to read this and any suggestions you may have for me.