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Lasia, I was diagnosed at the age of 45 with major depression and ADHD. I am a recovering opiate/heroin addict since the age of 34. I'm now 48 and for three years have been on 60-80 mg of Adderall (yes, a lot) for ADHD and 40 of Paxil for depression and anxiety.

I like you was always self-conscious, shy, anxious, scatter-brained and all that - that is why opiates were soooo good - made me feel at ease with people but unfortunately it did not take me long to become addicted to it all and most of my adult life up until the age of 34 was a mess but anyway....

I ended up in psychotherapy with a doctor for depression and have been seeing her for the past three years. She suspected in the beginning I was ADHD but I insisted no. I finally agreed 5 or 6 months later to take the test and see a psychiatrist who did agree with her that yes, I was ADHD (not a lot of "H" but some). Just make sure you find the right health care provider that you feel comfortable with where you can trust their judgement, no matter which way it goes. If you don't care for this provider, find another one until you are satisfied that either you do or don't have ADD. I didn't want to be "it" but I finally started listening to her, my therapist, and agreed after the visit with the psychiatrist. I can only look back at my life and wonder what life would have been like had I had the opportunity to be diagnosed at a young age such as yours vs. the "self-medicating" I went through and going in and out of rehabs for drug addiction.

My doctor just took me off Adderall and switched me to this Strattera for ADHD but it has been within the past week so I can't tell you how the Strattera is working because it takes a month or so to get the full effect from it. The Adderall did this for me - gave me patience with standing in lines, driving, people, helped me carry on a conversation one-on-one without losing track of my thought or topic, and the ability to speak in front of a group whereas before Adderall, I was a nervous wreck if I had to do such a thing! It helped me focus better but at times hyperfocus on one thing for a long period of time and suddenly would find myself surrounded by another mess - coffee cups, papers, books, soda cans. I write database applications out of my home on my computer and can really bury myself in my work without paying attention to time and so on. And I am still always either 3 minutes late or just on time for appointments no matter what time I start getting ready to go and have to go back into the house at least once or twice before actually pulling out of my driveway, and then at that may have to turn around because I forgot something. Adderall, along with the Paxil, also helped significantly with that free-floating anxiety. My confidence and self esteem rose significantly. (Although, could that be "age"?!) The withdrawal from Adderall was not pleasant. I've been exhausted for the past few days but feel better today.

So yeah, there are pros and cons to medication. Adderall is a stimulant that works on the part of your brain where Dopamine is produced. Sort of the pleasure center of your brain. So my doctor, after he himself going to rehab for alcoholism, learned all about how recovering addicts like me should not take anything that affects that part of the brain so he, against MY want, took me off it after a battle that lasted about an hour and lots of tears and I'm not happy but am willing to give this Strattera six weeks and then call him and let him know how it is going. Didn't have much of a choice but I do hope it works. I do plan on taking flax seed or oil each day as that, along with ADD "diets", can supposedly aid in the control of ADD/ADHD. Your local health food store should know about ADD and what to eat. Or search on google.

This is a great opportunity for you to change your life - don't wait too long to find out! Let us know how you make out.

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