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Insight regarding cyclothymia and adhd



New member
Apr 14, 2018
I know this is going to seem like a lot, but I'd really like some guidance:

I'm a 29 year old female therapist. I started depression meds in college, then my symptoms of mood shifts got worse, highs and lows (hypomanic and depressive symptoms but not consecutive enough to constitute a hypomanic or depressive episode), then when my menstrual cycle comes, my depressive symptoms amplify so much so that I feel like a completely different person that dissociates, lacks all sense of responsibility and motivation and is tearful and overreactive.

Long story short, one year ago I decided to share my thoughts about my unspecified bipolar-ish symptoms. We decided it was likely a mood disorder. Started lamictal, felt wonderful (literally so fucking happy ) and for months I thought it was all a dream because it was nothing I had felt before.
After some increases in my lamictal and antidepressant, things kind of plateaued and I felt like I couldn't get out of bed in the morning and work was a nightmare.
I'm sitting with people dealing with real life situations, sharing very private things with me, and I can't seem to remained engaged (even though I actually care a lot about what they say and I want to help).
Being disengaged and daydreaming have always been a thing, but as an adult I haven't been employed as someone who spends a lengthy amount of one-on-one time multiple times a day listening to people.

After speaking with my doctor, we kind of brought up ADHD as a possibility.
I had never considered this because I have always been extremely mellow as a kid. I could just never comprehend anything that was taught to me and I slid by. College was the hardest thing in the entire world, forcing me for once in my life to rely on myself to get good grades.

I started thinking about the kids I see with ADHD and some of them aren't bouncing off the walls.

What I'm getting at is, my family has a history of drug abuse with amphetamines. After filling out a questionnaire, it said I had all the symptoms. I got an Adderall prescription. I tried it with caution. I have been very productive, focused, motivated, but calm. My anxiety symptoms have decreased, my mood has been consistent.

Perhaps this is an anxious thought, but I feel like I'm doing something wrong by taking the medication because it makes me into this version of myself I've never seen. It's a better version, sure, but is it me? Does that mean I'm "high" when I'm focused? I'm not sure how it EXACTLY is supposed to feel.
Does ADHD make sense in this situation considering my mood disorder?
What is the likelihood that I do not actually have a mood disorder, but have ADHD?
I don't know why I have guilt about it at all. Perhaps because of my negative associations with the drug. Regardless, it's been a wonderful change in my life and in my job, I'm just concerned about being artificial or taking something not meant for me because I overanalyze everything.
Idk what I want, just insight I guess.

Thanks for reading.


:welcome: to the forum. Sorry you suffer with depression and hypomania. I hope you can find some consistent relief. Good job for being a therapist while you yourself suffer with mental illness. Pat yourself on the back and say good job me. Have you thought about going to therapy yourself? I know it isn't for everyone though. :hug:


New member
Mar 7, 2019
hi Snoozan. I read your post with interest as I have asked myself the same question many times. I still don't really know if my symptoms are ADHD or Cyclothymic. Im 53 yr male - not diagnosed but it was suggested I would be either one or the other by councillor apx 5 yrs ago during a 4yr on/off therapy. NHS won't give me assistance as Im able to hold down a decent job and I don't tick the right boxes for them - and I can't afford private. I swing in a series of layers - euphoric/depressive daily - usually very up in morning and down in evening - but also theres a longer term set of waves, roughly 2 yearly, in which the predominant is either positive or negative for noticeable long stretches. Councillor also diagnosed me as clear CPTSD - but causality/interaction difficult to pin down.
What I notice most is that I get exaggerated moods from everyday occurrences. Negative events make me very sad and positive events make me super happy/giddy. I get very triggered by compliments (makes me overjoyed) and criticism (makes me V depressed). This is apparently part and parcel of the disorder.
To be blunt - it so f**ks me off I can't begin to explain. I hate the incessant merrygoround roller coaster. When I'm down Im also very irritable and I've pi*sed so many people off, especially people I wish I hadn't. Its made me retreat from the world socially. I live and work alone as I can't trust people and my hyper vigilance leads to catatrophising - which is a feedback loop that makes the effects worse.
Im very eager to exchange and share all this with anyone who gets the same as I've never met anyone who feels this way or understands. In fact the few people I've shared this with have vanished pretty quickly.
So if you, or anyone else reading this, gets what I'm talking about and wants to exchange, please message.
Stay strong!