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Irritable, difficulty showing emotion, over thinking, have to constantly do something. Prescribed Ritalin for ADHD. Professional advice?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 983 Questions

My name is AAAAA -- I have a few symptoms and I'm not sure what it is. I'll list some of the issues I've been having and see if it's something you would be able to give me some information on.

1) I'm easily irritable - example; I can't handle certain noises, if I'm reading and someone keeps talking to me I get mad instantly, If I'm trying to finish anything and someone asks a simple favor of me I get mad.
2) I'm not happy that often and have a very hard time showing emotion unless it's negative
3) One of the main problems I have is over thinking and making things WAY more complicated then they are, even VERY simple things such as a kiss, mowing the lawn, holding hands etc- EX- When I had my first girlfriend I couldn't even give her a SIMPLE kiss. I would over-think ever little detail of it. Top lip, bottom lip, turning my head right, or left?!? I would go on and I would obsess about it for months and never be able to get the courage to do it (that was along time ago, just an example) Once I do something I'm fine, but my problem is if I haven't done something I think about it and do the what if- what if this happens, then this happens, or this happens?!
4) I have to constantly be doing something. It doesn't matter what as long as I'm doing something, that's why I was obsessed with video games for so long because it was constantly keeping my mind going.
5) I worry about things that don't matter at all. When I was little I would go to my dads every other weekend and I was just worry, what if my mom gets in a wreck?! What if someone shoots her!?
6) Once I get onto a task I am very interested in it's all I think about. I can't turn my brain off to that subject until I have it figured out or bored of it. I can be on a subjects for weeks so I get nothing done I need to get done.
7) When I was younger I would get very angry at myself because I was "stupid" and nobody liked me, even though I had plenty of friends. I would take little things and blow it out of proportion.

Things I have done: I saw a doctor and he said I have adhd, he gave me ritalin (which was probably to high of a dose) and I felt AMAZING. For the first time in my life I just felt good. My brain wasn't going 1,000 miles an hour. I wasn't focused on one task but whatever I needed to do. I was actually happy and could carry on a great conversation and remember things I hadn't remembered in years. People noticed a huge difference in me because I could actually sit and have a XXXXXXX conversation with them. I was a LOT more affectionate to my wife because when I was with her I didn't think about anything else but making her happy (when I wasn't on it my mind is all over the place) After it wore off I couldn't even remember my address to give to the lady cutting my hair. I couldn't think at all. I was just in a major fog. I took it 1 more day and the same thing happened. I quit taking it and for four months anytime I would over think anything I would get a weird fog headache that would last for about 4-6 hours and it would drive me nuts. I would visualize just taking a screwdriver to my head to release all the pressure ( wouldn't actually do it I just imagined how great that would feel) Awhile later I got onto vyvanese which helped also, not as much but it helped. I ended up getting off of it because it was raising my blood levels way to much.
Another point; I'm not a heavy drinker at all, very very rare occasions, but when I do drink it gives me the same affects of ritalin+vyvanese. It calms my brain down so I am way more focused and just lets my brain relax so I'm not all over the place.

Family- My grandpa takes bi-polar and Schizophrenia medication, my mom-aunt and grandma have depression quite frequently and my mom is also bi-polar. My brothers are diagnosed with adhd also.
My doctor didn't ask me any questions at all because my brothers are already diagnosed with adhd he just started giving me pills. So I would LOVE a professional to give me there best advice to what I might have.
Posted Sun, 16 Sep 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Aparna Kohli 18 hours later

Thanks for writing in.
I work in the department of neurology and given your history, I seriously doubt if a neurological disorder is causing your symptoms. Although ADHD is a possibility, please answer the following questions so that we can definitely know whether its ADHD or something else we're looking at:
Which of the following describe you?
•     Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
•     Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
•     Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
•     Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
•     Often have trouble organizing activities.
•     Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
•     Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
•     Is often easily distracted.
•     Is often forgetful in daily activities.
•     Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat when sitting still is expected.
•     Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
•     Often excessively runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
•     Often has trouble playing or doing leisure activities quietly.
•     Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".
•     Often talks excessively.
•     Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
•     Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
•     Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).
Q2. Were any of the symptoms present when you were less than 7 years old?
Q3. How is this affecting your life/work etc?
Q4. Do you have sudden mood swings or feel disassociated from the world at times?
In my opinion, we should be getting your complaints evaluated by a psychiatrist as he would be the best judge. We would be sending it to a psychiatrist. However, if you still wish to get an opinion from a neurologist, let us know.
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