ADHD can greatly affect "depression and anger issues."
Think of ADHD being, at its core, a challenge with self-regulation. For many people with ADHD, that includes challenges with regulating one's emotions, including anger and irritability.
Some people with late-diagnosis ADHD have even gotten into the habit of "self-medicating" with anger and provocation, because it "wakes up" their brain. This isn't intentional, but it can be an unconscious habit.
Have you ever been prescribed a first-line medication for ADHD: one of the stimulant classes? Cymbalta is not generally recognized as helpful for ADHD on its own.
The fact that you might not see your anger and irritability can also be an ADHD-related challenge -- something called "low insight." The right medication often helps with this, too.
I suggest that you ask your doctor why you are taking Cymbalta; what was the treatment goal with that choice? Sad to say, some doctors will just pick a "favorite" medication and hope it works for most of their patients. This isn't the way to find an effecting treatment regimen for ADHD, however.
I hope this helps.
Gina Pera, author is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?View Thread
The word is that people with ADHD don't "habituate" to the stimulants. In other words, many people can take the same dose of stimulant for years, with equally good effect.
That said, Adderall isn't a simple neurostimulant, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, etc.). Its mechanisms are a little more complex.
For this reason, and in my experience -- from talking to hundreds of people taking medication for ADHD -- Adderall can also cause side effects that might not show up for a few months.
Over time, all the stimulants can back-suppress serotonin in parts of the brain, thus creating new problems with anxiety, depression, OCD-like behavior, etc. But Adderall seems to do this to a more severe degree in some people.
Keep in mind, too, that some of these medications will put more demand on your B vitamin -- vitamins and minerals actually help to carry these molecules along the synapse. So, you want to be sure you're doing well in the nutrition department.
Overall, the top experts I've spoken with are leaning away from the old-school formulations (Adderal, Ritalin, etc.) and moving towards the newer-formulations (Concerta, Vyvanse, Daytrana) because they have lower side-effect profiles.
Beyond all that, many people with ADHD do tend to forget over time what life was like before they took medication. When the change that medication brings loses its novelty, they assume that the medication has stopped working. This is another reason why it's important to keep a journal about symptoms, so you can note your progress and also remember where you started.
Lots of responses here, but I haven't noticed anyone mention the phenomenon of stimulants backsuppressing serotonin in parts of the brain, thus increasing anxiety. Including 'picking'-type behaviors, hair-twirling, etc.
I know MANY people with ADHD who deal with these behaviors, and it does sometimes seem more of a problem for those taking Adderall. But any stimulant (dopamine-targeting) can decrease serotonin in parts of the brain. And, if you already have a vulnerability to serotonin loss, this could push you over the edge into the serotonin-associated conditions, such as depression, anxiety, eating-disorders, OCD, etc.
Conversely, serotonin-targeting medications can do the same with dopamine. Which might be why you feel your Adderall is no longer working as well, though there could be many other reasons for that as well.