Saturday, November 01, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 bobalou, Community Member, asks

Q: Can you have both OCD and ADHD.

My PCP diagnosed my ADD/ADHD as OCD and put me on yet another type of anti-depressant, Paxill. I'm sure I display OCD characteristic's. But my childhood is without a doubt ADHD from everything I've read. I would like my PCP to treat me with ADHD meds to see if they will work better for me. He said ADHD meds would agravate my OCD, PCP wants to contiue with anti-depressants for the time being. I will continue to push him to treat me for ADD/ADHD. Because anti-depressants no matter what kind and I have been on quite few over the years have not worked very well if at all. I'm a otherwise a well 54 year old male.I can't afford a psychologist. I've read so many life changing stories about people who have been treated with ADHD meds and how it helped to make them feel very positive and whole. I want to feel whole for the first time in my life.Anti-depressants don't cut it. Thanks very much.

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Answers (8)
Dr. Diana L Walcutt, Health Guide
12/20/08 10:56pm

Hi Bobalou:

It certainly sounds like you are struggling, and I'm sorry. I have seen many ADD/HD adults in my practice and know that many of them have symptoms of OCD in order to control the disorganization, you know?

OCD is an anxiety disorder that helps us feel in control and some antidepressants, usually at very high doses, can control it. If the OCD is causing the attention problem, then the antidepressant makes sense.

However, if the ADD is causing the OCD, then, yes, you are probably correct in thinking that a stimulant-type of medication would help. You might ask your doctor to put you on a trial of ADHD meds, so the two of you can "experiment" to see if it works. If it makes your ADD worse, then you have the answer. If it helps, you have your answer as well.

If you have insurance for a PCP, then I would think that it would cover a psychiatrist who might be able to understand your problem more clearly. If you don't have insurance, then you might call your local medical association to see if there are any psychiatrists in your area who work on a sliding scale.

It doesn't sound like you need a psychologist, just a psychiatrist. The difference is that one can prescribe and the other cannot.

I hope this helps,

Dr. Diana Walcutt

 

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Capy, Community Member
2/27/11 1:45pm

Dr Diane-

Between my PCP, my nurse practioner as well as my psycotherapist, I have been diagnosed with moderate depression, profound anxiety disorder and severe OCD.  I am 51 right now, but my report cards show definite learning problems, although I never failed a grade, and never made to repeat a grade. Over the years I have self medicated to help calm myself around crowds. I do like people but get severe stress quite often at times. i have self injured to help me deal with some issues regarding sexual molestation.

My mind goes 'click-click-click' kind of like a slide projector does with flashing images.  I cannot stay concentrated  many things at all. I tend to hoard and it all drives me insane. I was diagnosed as an 'infinity counter (?)' since I am rarely ever NOT counting, even as I try to sleep.  My sleep is a few hours here and there, but if I lay down to try to sleep, my eyes shift 'right to left' until i feel insane. My counting number is, and always has been #2.

At this time I am on 150mg of trazadon 1mg of zanax and 20 mg of prozac. I have been being treated for a little over 4 months.  Anything else I might should know or inquire with my health officials about? Oh yeah, I am addicted to Afrin nose spray since the drugs I take give me severe dry mouth and my nose actes the same way. Afrin lets me sleep, when I do get sleep, and  I just wanted to add that to my story.

Thank you so much for listening to my condition.

Cappy

 

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thays2, Community Member
5/21/09 5:12pm

Hi, I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through and do understand your frustration. I'm bipolar and have both ADHD and OCD and could not do anything but get frustrated because I was on my bipolar meds and was told I could not take anything for the ADHD or OCD but when I kept having manic episodes from the frustration of the ADHA/OCD then I told my new doctor and he said that yes he could treat me for the ADHD and prescribed CONCERTA. Not only does this control my ADHD, but it has almost stopped my OCD all together.  Maybe you could suggest this to your doctor or just change doctors. There are a lot of really good Phyciatrist that are understanding and will give you the medication that you need to work with your symptoms and not just give you something you dont need.  I would keep pushing until you can get this resolved. Until you feel better. Dont take no for an answer.

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court3484, Community Member
9/ 4/09 10:09pm

You're posting has given a bit of reassurance.  I've been diagnosed with ADHD since I was a young child although I've only been medicated with a stimulant for a few short months as a teenager.  The stimulant caused me to have and eating disorder and they put me on wellbutrin a couple of years later when I developed OCD.  Prior to the wellbutrin I never showed any signs of OCD.  About a year after I got off the medication the OCD seemed to much better.  Although, I still had some signs left.  I went back to the psychiatrist about 10 years of not being medicated and he put me on adderall, which made me very very nervous that my OCD would come back full speed.  I've been on Adderall for around one week now and it almosts seems as though the OCD has even become better.  The doctor told me that it could help the OCD but I was still very skeptical due to many many sites and people stating the stimulants cause OCD!  So, your posting was very helpful and reassuring!  :)

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Squirrelly, Community Member
1/ 3/10 8:34pm

thanks for the post. i think i too am biolar, ocd and adhd.  always felt i had ocd, recently (within five years) diagnosed with bipolar and then adhd.  its a catch 22 too, because as someone posted earlier, most doctors are reluctant and reasonably so to medicate a bipolar person for adhd with stimulants.  so, is the concerta taking care of all three?  even the bipolar?  sorry so many questions, just trying to figure this all out :)

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ShadowCat, Community Member
12/23/09 3:10pm

I see you have already been given a good reply by a doctor, but I can't resist adding my two cents. I have good reason to know: You can indeed have both ADD and OCD. I have had both since childhood.

   The OCD was diagnosed much later, though looking back I can see that I had it all along. In my early teens I was part of a study on ADD along with other family members. When I was first brought in, the doctor conducting the research wasn't even sure I had ADD. I had been almost constantly medicated for years except for brief periods of transition from one medication to another. But the researcher had a shocking revelation for me: I almost definitely had OCD. I was in shock; it took me at least a day to realize that OCD wasn't just something related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It was summer, so the researcher had us take me of medication completely for a month and bring me back. This time it was clear I did have ADD, but there was still OCD apparent to some extent. It was obvious to the researcher that it had been very much aggravated by the ADD medicine I had been taking. It was suggested I take medication for OCD, but at that point I vehemently refused. I felt that my way of life was under attack; is "hoarding" things really such a problem? Could they prove that I was wrong to value things no one else valued, and not just a representative of an important alternate way of existence? It was bad enough dealing emotionally with being medicated for ADD. The researcher DID have my medication switched to one that was supposed to aggravate the OCD less.

    Some time later I was being severely plagued by dark egodystonic thoughts (which were later joined by depression); somewhere around that time I started seeing a psychiatrist (in addition to my therapist) and was brought round to the idea of OCD medication. Described as a way of balancing out my ADD meds, I didn't object to it. Put like that, it made it easier to deal with being medicated emotionally, not harder.

    You can be medicated for both conditions at the same time, though it's a bit of a balancing act and it takes a few tries sometimes to get right. It takes teamwork between you and your psychiatrist. Additionally, after some time the balance may need to be adjusted if things start slipping in one direction or another. I forget what OCD/antidepressant I started with, but I currently take Zoloft for my OCD and depression and Focalin XR for my ADD.

    Sometimes I wonder if I ever would have gotten depressed in the first place if I didn't have OCD -- the invasive thoughts certainly did not help. But I guess I'll never know.

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giftncurse, Community Member
1/10/10 11:35am

YES you can have both... I do. I've been diagnosed with OCD, ADHD, and Bipolar I. I was diagnosed Bipolar I because I get quite manicy but this is derived in part because I'm hyper... my mind is going reallll fast. The good thing about this though, is that I can be a workhorse. I'm able to think things faster than the average individual which can be a veryyy good thing when it comes to having a job... the downside to this is that i get dark thoughts sometimes. I've recently added 20mg adderall XR to my 150 mg zoloft to read my OCD. the thing about my OCD is that my brain gets stuck and doesn't like to shift my attention, and along with my adhd, my head starts spinning essentially and burning its tires without going anywhere. We're hoping that adding the adderall will help me focus better without getting rid of the energy I get from having ADHD. Our minds are a gift and a curse. My best advice is find food for your brain. Find something that stimulates your naturally... whether its reading, playing sports, etc. For me its doing research and looking up papers so on and so forth. It helps me forget about everything else...its therapeutic. anyways, your not alone. I'm a 22yr old about to graduate college and i've been through some pretty dark days, but hopefully this is the end of it. 

cheers

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ShadowCat, Community Member
1/11/10 9:46am

Smile Wow! The way you describe your brain getting stuck and going around in circles sounds so much like me trying to explain what happens to me! I'm about to turn 20.

 

It seems that the OCD/ADD combo is far from rare, though seem to be the odd one out in some ways, not having a Bipolar disorder.

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josh, Community Member
2/21/10 5:04am

ok i have a simular problem i am unsure what is wrong with me and have become very worried i am trying to understand what you are all saying but dont know very much i have recently been haveing negative thoughts and didnt know what was wrong at first i thought i had adhd as i had many symtoms such as lack of  concentration, easily distracted,cannot sit still,excessive talking, bad temper,easily iritated,and RACING THOUGHTS  so i did a adhd test and got 81% and anything over 70 is said to be adhd  i then read more into my negative thoughts and it s also a symtom of ocd which i have found to be very common in my famiy so i read symptoms and i have or have had syptoms such as fear of germs, focus on religious or moral ideas, suspitions and also a thought that things must have a place i am very unsure of what to do can someone please help me.

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the seeker, Community Member
4/22/10 3:33pm

Dear Bobalou,

 

i really admire your  inquisitive and experimental attitude, not just sitting back passively and doing sheepishly all that is told to you, If you have a computer ypu might be interested in the following article "ADHD treatments:ADHADvs, OCD: brain regions and bloodflow patterns" at"adhd-treatment options-blogspot.com.  In case you do not have a computer, the basic premise of this article is that BOTHADHAD and OCD do indeed share common neural pathways, located in the brain'sPREFRONTAL CORTEX, right behind your eyes or your forehead, a part of the brain that processes INHIBITION of behaviors, or it is considered rather like a neurological "brake"on behaviors.. But the dysfunctions are slightly different  in OCD and ADHD because in ADHD, the PREFRONTAL CORTEX is believed to be UNDERACTIVE which then leads to the IMPULSIVE or NONINHIBITED behaviors so characteristic of ADHD but in OCD, the PREFRONTAL CORTEX is found to be OVERACTIVE. Frankly, the latter does not make much sense to me because I perceive OCD  to ALSO reflect a series of uninhibited behaviors or thoughts. I am researching these conditions in addition to the PREFRONTAL CORTEX, for a book that I am writing about ADHD and many of its comorbid or co-occurring disorders, including OCD and having run into this troubling supposed inconsistency was looking for the answer to the question you posed can you have both ADHD and OCD? I am curious about this because the person who is the subject of my book ALSO appears to have BOTH OCD and ADHD, among other conditions. So, I suppose that I  shall have to keep on researching. Somewhere the answer will come. Anyway, I fear that I have not really been able to answer your question yet but I hope that I have given you some tools to keep on searching and experimenting.

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the seeker, Community Member
4/22/10 3:33pm

Dear Bobalou,

 

i really admire your  inquisitive and experimental attitude, not just sitting back passively and doing sheepishly all that is told to you, If you have a computer ypu might be interested in the following article "ADHD treatments:ADHADvs, OCD: brain regions and bloodflow patterns" at"adhd-treatment options-blogspot.com.  In case you do not have a computer, the basic premise of this article is that BOTHADHAD and OCD do indeed share common neural pathways, located in the brain'sPREFRONTAL CORTEX, right behind your eyes or your forehead, a part of the brain that processes INHIBITION of behaviors, or it is considered rather like a neurological "brake"on behaviors.. But the dysfunctions are slightly different  in OCD and ADHD because in ADHD, the PREFRONTAL CORTEX is believed to be UNDERACTIVE which then leads to the IMPULSIVE or NONINHIBITED behaviors so characteristic of ADHD but in OCD, the PREFRONTAL CORTEX is found to be OVERACTIVE. Frankly, the latter does not make much sense to me because I perceive OCD  to ALSO reflect a series of uninhibited behaviors or thoughts. I am researching these conditions in addition to the PREFRONTAL CORTEX, for a book that I am writing about ADHD and many of its comorbid or co-occurring disorders, including OCD and having run into this troubling supposed inconsistency was looking for the answer to the question you posed can you have both ADHD and OCD? I am curious about this because the person who is the subject of my book ALSO appears to have BOTH OCD and ADHD, among other conditions. So, I suppose that I  shall have to keep on researching. Somewhere the answer will come. Anyway, I fear that I have not really been able to answer your question yet but I hope that I have given you some tools to keep on searching and experimenting.

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diana, Community Member
11/ 8/10 4:42pm

Your doc is right. I have ADD and OCD. THe ADD meds you dont need as ADD can be taken care of through behaivor modification and exercise. The OCD cant. You need to treat that and what ever your issue are with the ADD or ADHD, get some good books off Amazon and self-help for now. I find that keeping a tablet of paper and a list for each day really helps. FInd ways to self-organize that work for you. And let them treat the OCD. Good Luck!

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jfer86, Community Member
2/27/11 9:35am

i have the exact same problem that you do i have went from lexapro to zoloft and now iam currently being treated with paxill it isnt cutting it i am not depressed im if anything the opposite of depressed i want to be able to relax and not feel like i have to be cleaning all the time and my pcp just keeps giving me anit depression meds i have recently taking a friend of mines adhd med just to see how it would make me feel( i know its not recommended) but im just ready to try anything i have been currently taking migraine meds 3 different pills a day when i took the adhd med i was so unbelievably relaxed i could do what i had to do and then relax i did not have to take my migraine meds either that day it was amazing that after all this time and meds that , that one medicine could change it all 

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me, Community Member
9/10/11 8:37am

Please tell us what this medications is!!!

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By bobalou, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/03/14, First Published: 11/26/08