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ADHD and Paranoia?

KamarKamar Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok, HA, I have a two related things I want to ask about. My first question is, does anyone here know if paranoia is ever a symptom of ADD or ADHD? I was diagnosed with it looooong ago, and I ended up going through a phase where I felt the Adderall was suffocating me mentally and stopped taking it...and never got back on it.

Now, though, I'm 20 and my symptoms are as bad as ever, and what used to be a minor symptom has been getting slightly worse; paranoia. Not even normalish stuff, like fear people talk behind my back; irrational crap, like a fear that I'll turn around and have something out of a horror movie staring at me. Being a sane, rational person I dismiss the fear for the most part and ignore it, but little things like not being able to wear headphones because I can't hear my surroundings are beginning to annoy me.

It used to be a thing that only happened when I was alone for a long time or really tired, and even then it happened rarely. Now I have issues almost every day.

Now, this is the part that leads into my second question: A bit of testing has confirmed that ADD meds like Focalin and Adderall fix all my symptoms without creating any of their own, including the paranoia. Which makes me really think it IS some form of ADHD and not something worse.

But as I mentioned earlier, I, uh, don't have a prescription and haven't for years. So when I go to the doctor, do I keep silent about that last bit? I'd like to give all the information I can, but I'd rather not get myself in trouble.

Thanks in advance for any responses!

Kamar on

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    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2010
    That is not paranoia that is SAD

    EliteLamer on
    SEGA
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    RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    As far as I know, paranoia is not a symptom of ADHD. I don't have a DSM IV in front of me, though. Before you have someone labeling you Schizophrenic, why don't you look at what role your environment might be playing in your fears. Do you get enough sleep? What's your diet look like? Do you get regular exercise? Do you watch a lot of horror or scary media? You would be amazed at how those things can affect your brain and the way you perceive things.

    RocketSauce on
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    KamarKamar Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Get plenty of sleep, have a good diet, don't get much exercise, don't get much scary media at all.

    What's weird is that I've always had a minor fear of the dark or whatever, but it had been getting better until very recently. In the period where things have gotten worse, though, the only things that have really changed are that I started drinking less (diet) soda and drinking more coffee, and I've started eating a lot of yogurt.

    I kind of doubt these are the culprits.

    I almost wonder if I didn't just have a few bad episodes where I didn't see any roommates or friends or whatever for a while and got paranoid, and now that I'm...paranoid about getting paranoid I'm working myself into it by over thinking things. For the most part it seems I don't get creeped out until I have a stray thought like "this situation is kind of creepy".

    I guess I'll add another question, though, now that I'm thinking about it: What could the issue be, if it isn't some weird result of ADD and an overactive imagination, but is fixed by ADD meds? I mean, hell, I even had a friend help me blind-test myself to check and see if it was a placebo effect; it wasn't.

    Kamar on
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    RendRend Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I am ADHD, and I do not believe paranoia is a symptom of any of the myriad types of ADHD that are out there. If you've got it, use caffeine. Caffeine will medicate you lightly for your ADHD, calming you down and allowing you to get more focused. If you find that you are less paranoid due to the caffeine, then you've just found yourself a medication you won't mind taking.

    Unless of course a cup of coffee every morning disgusts the crap out of you.

    Rend on
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    KamarKamar Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Yeah, caffeine helps a bit.

    Maybe the cutting back on soda is what did it, then?

    Kamar on
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    RendRend Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Kamar wrote: »
    Yeah, caffeine helps a bit.

    Maybe the cutting back on soda is what did it, then?

    Most people should try and keep their caffeine intake to a manageable level, but we are different. I know I personally don't like coffee, but if I don't have a cup in the morning it is really hard to focus. And I find that if I drink a moderate level of caffeine every day, it helps me keep track of stuff.

    Do you have a coffee pot? Coffee is pretty good for caffeine without the super sugar intake soda normally gives you, and it might be worth a try.

    Rend on
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    KamarKamar Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I can't believe it's something this stupid...in addition to cutting back on soda, I've been using a smaller coffee cup. Since I only drink a cup at a time since I loathe old coffee, that means I've been drinking much less coffee as well.

    I guess this is more or less solved.

    Though I'm still curious if I can safely tell the doctor that I've had success controlling my symptoms using drugs I had no business having, when I finally get in to see one.

    Edit: though I suppose there's a chance that specifically mentioning a pill that has a certain popularity with my age group might make the doctor think I'm faking/lying/whatever for pills, other considerations aside.

    Kamar on
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    SamSam Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    anxiety is a side effect of adderall.

    anxiety can be experienced as paranoia.

    i imagine it's worse if you don't exercise. exercise makes the blood flow, makes you think more clearly and handle negative emotions more intelligently.

    if you're smoking pot, that could contribute to the paranoia too, especially if you're on adderall at the same time.

    Sam on
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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Kamar wrote: »
    I can't believe it's something this stupid...in addition to cutting back on soda, I've been using a smaller coffee cup. Since I only drink a cup at a time since I loathe old coffee, that means I've been drinking much less coffee as well.

    I guess this is more or less solved.

    Though I'm still curious if I can safely tell the doctor that I've had success controlling my symptoms using drugs I had no business having, when I finally get in to see one.

    Edit: though I suppose there's a chance that specifically mentioning a pill that has a certain popularity with my age group might make the doctor think I'm faking/lying/whatever for pills, other considerations aside.

    This isn't really how it works with a good doctor, if you want to ask about something, ask about it. Don't demand it specifically, but if you're being treated for something and you want to try another drug, they'll probably have no problem at all with it.

    Try and get it taken care of though, Anxiety has a way of only getting worse over time.

    dispatch.o on
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