Katie ADHD was becoming compounded by a mood disorder she was not yet aware of

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Katie is a 27 -year-old woman who recently came to Journey Psyche seeking help for her Adult ADHD, predominantly inattentive type. She was experiencing various symptoms such as trouble focusing, being easily distracted, procrastination, difficulty with organization, messiness, and impulsivity. She also suffered from depression and low self-esteem for the past five years, which was further complicated by her recent break-up from a long-term relationship.

During our initial session, we discovered that Katie had exhibited symptoms of inattentive ADHD as a child. Her teachers often commented on her lack of focus and procrastination and noted that she was not working up to her potential. However, despite being prescribed Adderall and Zoloft, Katie’s condition did not improve, and she began experiencing mood swings and irritability. She also had frequent mood swings, spent too much money, and engaged in cleaning binges. Her thoughts raced constantly, and she experienced depression and suicidal thoughts during times of high energy.


After careful evaluation, we realized that Katie’s condition was more complicated than just ADHD. It appeared that her symptoms had evolved into what looked like Bipolar 2 Disorder with rapid cycling, and she was often in a “mixed episode” experiencing symptoms of both depression and hypomania. We ordered a complete physical examination and blood tests to rule out any physical causes, and the results were normal. We then decided to take her off Adderall and Zoloft, which were worsening her condition, and started prescribing Lamictal, a medication that has both mood stabilizing and antidepressant effects.
We also began weekly psychotherapy sessions to help stabilize her mood and address her ADHD. After a month of treatment, her mental confusion began to clear, and her mood lifted and stabilized. We then initiated treatment of her ADHD with Adderall XR 20MG long-acting medication and eventually added 20MG Adderall IR in the afternoons to help her stay focused until 9 PM. We also gave her practical advice on building routines to organize her household and carry out daily housekeeping duties.


As her mental function cleared, we began exploring possible career moves and established an empathic rapport around the challenges of raising two young children. Eventually, Katie landed a full-time corporate manager position at work, and she was thrilled to share the news with us. She was now poised to assume greater responsibility and independence in her life and was beaming with joy.
Katie’s condition was a result of both her ADHD and mood disorder, and the medications she had been taking had worsened both her mood stability and ADHD symptoms. With the right diagnosis and treatment plan, we were able to help Katie stabilize her mood, improve her focus, and achieve her goals.


We have had the privilege of treating over 100 patients with coexisting ADHD and BMD. Our experience has shown that this condition, though challenging, can be treated successfully with proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s essential to address the BMD first before treating ADHD, as ADHD medication may worsen the BMD or lead to mania. Our patients’ outcomes have been overwhelmingly positive thus far. Many of them have shared success stories like Katie’s. Most importantly, they report feeling more stable and confident in fulfilling their roles as spouses, parents, and employees. It’s hard to say whether this improvement is due to enhanced mood stability or better medication compliance resulting from ADHD treatment. However, the key is recognizing both diagnoses’ presence and treating them independently but in a coordinated manner. If your suffering similar issues or you think you have ADHD and potential other disorders, we can help call -800-955-0167 or Go to www.journeypsyche.com

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