Adult ADHD / Anxiety / Coping Strategies / Depression

ADHD, Anxiety & “mood disorder unspecified”

So guess what…I feel like a person again.

Because we are still sorting out the why and the how and the what of my mood disruptions, it didn’t seem the time to give me a specific diagnosis…though we needed one to function within for insurance purposes: “mood disorder, unspecified”.

I feel good about this for a variety of reasons. It gives my provider and I a context – a way to acknowledge that something is clearly and quantifiably occurring, something that requires treatment. But it leaves room for the fact that my current situation is complex – I have a lot of situational stress that I’m working on developing a new relationship with. I do have a history of depression and maybe a little hypomania thrown in there. I do seem to have a lifelong anxiety disorder of some kind – my therapist says that my circuits are just very excitable and responsive, lol. As a metaphor, not a medical opinion. Any of those things could cause the mood issues I’m having. Hence…mood disorder, unspecified.

Gotta love a prescriber who says to prioritize exercise like it’s food, check out some Buddhist teachings, and oh yeah, let’s try a little medication to get you functional.

So…I feel like a person again. Specifically, I feel like myself. I feel like me. I feel happy, motivated, effective, mentally clear, able to set goals and follow through on them. Able to interact socially, with ease. Able to make lists and work through them. My handwriting looks normal again.

The medication appears to be working, which has cleared the way for me to be able to do things like research gym memberships (because I live in a part of the country where it’s freezing cold from now until April), look into dance classes, figure out how to “fill” my exercise prescription.

I ended up waiting a handful of days to see what might happen with the Abilify, before adding in the Vyvanse. First two days on Abilify, I was waaaaaay too groggy, so I cut the dose in half to see what would happen. What happened was I felt awesome. I tend to have quicker reactions to medications. When docs say “you’ll feel something after a couple weeks” I know that I can generally expect some kind of result in a few days. In this case, prescriber said “probably 7-10 days” and really, I felt great after three days and after that slight dosage adjustment. Like a switch was flipped off on my anxiety and…what I now realize was depression.

How do I always, always forget that my depression has an assaultive anxiety component?! I don’t know…but once the Abilify lifted the lid off of all that shit that was killing me, I realized that I wasn’t just consumed by anxiety, or feeling a little seasonally blue…but was also extremely depressed. Not anymore.

On the fifth day of feeling great, I added the Vyvanse in. Smallest dose possible, 20mg. And I basically organized and rearranged my whole kitchen. Next day, I replaced a faucet and drain in my downstairs bathroom, something I’ve been wanting to do since we moved into the house (a handful of years ago). I continue to be able to move through my days, and my creative inspiration has returned.

And there you have it. On the 8th day, she rested. Peacefully, productively, gratefully.



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