A 51-Year-Old Risk Manager’s Journey with ADHD and Other Problems

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Abbey is a successful 51-year-old Risk Manager who shared her struggles with her primary care doctor. Her husband had been complaining that she has ADHD and couldn’t live with her anymore. Abbey was also experiencing symptoms of anxiety, stress, and mild depression. Her doctor prescribed Zoloft 100 mg a day to help her cope with these symptoms.

Abbey had a history of tightness in her chest, anxiety attacks, and rejection sensitivity. She reported feeling somewhat better on the Zoloft, but she still had fluctuating problems with attention, difficulty in organizing her work and home, being easily distracted, jumping from task to task without completion, interrupting others, acting before thinking, irritability, impatience, messiness, and mental fatigue.

Abbey had earned her master’s degree from USC and worked as a Risk Manager at a large corporation. However, she struggled with her work due to her symptoms. Although she had previously tried Ritalin, it was ineffective and made her feel like she had a weight on her head. The preliminary diagnosis was ADHD predominantly inattentive type, anxiety disorder, and dysthymic disorder.

Abbey also revealed that she hoarded “everything,” took 30-minute showers, brushed her teeth for 10 minutes twice a day, and was a “collector.” She was worried about being a pathological hoarder or having OCD.

To help her cope with her symptoms, Abbey was prescribed Vyvanse 30 mg once a day to treat her ADHD and started psychotherapy. On Vyvanse, she experienced improved attention, less distractibility, better organization abilities, less irritability, kept a more orderly home, and reported reduced mental fatigue.

After two months, Abbey’s dosage of Vyvanse was increased to 30 mg twice a day as she reported doing well on these medications. Additionally, Zoloft was gradually increased up to 150 mg a day. Abbey felt calmer and more personable, as well as more focused and disciplined on this current dose.

As a result, Abbey was promoted and continues to work at the corporation to this day. She has received top performance reviews and is thriving both personally and professionally.

It’s important to be aware that individuals with ADHD often experience additional psychiatric disorders throughout their lifetime. Research has shown that approximately 80 percent of people with ADHD will have at least one other psychiatric disorder at some point in their lives, with the most common being depression and anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Depression is particularly prevalent in those with ADHD, with about 30 percent of individuals experiencing a depressive episode at some point in their lives. This can either be independent of ADHD or can result from ADHD symptoms. Moreover, ADHD can have a significant impact on the course of depression, with studies consistently finding more depressive symptoms in individuals with ADHD than in those without it. Furthermore, the severity of ADHD symptoms is correlated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. When individuals have both ADHD and depression, the symptoms of both conditions can be worse than if they had either disorder alone.

At Journey Psyche, we aim to help individuals with multiple psychiatric disorders, just like Abbey. We understand how challenging it can be to manage these disorders, and we are committed to helping our patients get back to living a fulfilling life. If you or a loved one is struggling with ADHD or any other psychiatric disorder, do not hesitate to reach out to us at 800-955-0167 or visit our website at www.journeypsyche.com.


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