View Full Version : Focalin vs Ritalin (IR & XR)?


Nonzens
08-27-13, 11:23 AM
I got a Ritalin LA script, but it's not normally covered by my insurance company, so my psych messaged my insurance company to request coverage. That was five days ago and haven't heard a word from the insurance company. Today I was looking at the stimulants covered by my insurance and noticed Focalin XR. I read that Focalin XR releases in the same way as Ritalin LA, so I left a message with my psych suggesting to try this if the Ritalin LA doesn't go through. Haven't heard back yet. I called three nearby pharmacies, and none of them currently carry either of these drugs, but one said they'd have it in two days if I brought them a script.

Anyway, I haven't heard much about Focalin and haven't seen ANYONE talk about Ritalin LA, but I'd be interested in hearing about the difference in experiences with Focalin IR/XR and Ritalin (LA). Focalin sounds pretty promising and like it has less side effects generally, but I've read that some people find Ritalin more effective for some reason.

Nonzens
08-27-13, 02:46 PM
Update: Just got a call saying my prescription for Focalin XR is ready to be picked up. Can't wait to try it. *hopeful*

bobabuoy
08-28-13, 01:07 AM
Please let us know how the Focalin XR works. I am currently on Focalin IR and need to take it every 3.5 hours, so I am concerned about the XR and whether it would work for me.

Thanks,

Nonzens
08-28-13, 11:52 AM
Yeah, I prefer IR drugs, but my psych is stupid and doesn't believe in them.

Nonzens
08-28-13, 06:00 PM
I just took my first Focalin pill. It's supposed to take effect within 30 minutes, but I've been waiting for 50 minutes and don't feel a single thing... It's 10mg, which means 5mg released immediately. Considering that I read that Focalin is 2-3.5x stronger than Ritalin, and that 5mgx2 Ritalin is what worked really well for me, this is distressing. I will wait till tomorrow to try doubling the dose if this continues for the rest of the night, which I expect it will.

I haven't taken any methylphenidate or amphetamine since exactly two months ago, and for months before that I was only taking anything once every 2-3 weeks (small doses Concerta). I took Wellbutrin total of 7 days ending 1.5 weeks ago and don't know if that could be keeping my tolerance high. I'm really frustrated that my tolerance level will just never, ever go back down.

^Update: 10 minutes after writing this, I have noticed that I can feel blood going through my veins much more strongly, which I think means increased blood pressure. But still no effect on concentration.

Nonzens
08-29-13, 09:50 AM
So, again, Focalin did not affect concentration. Only thing is, increased heartbeat, a little jitters, and... ugh, insomnia! I was up till past 5am and woke up at 7 and went back to sleep, woke up at 9:18... can't get back to sleep, my heart is still beating fast/hard. Now I may want to wait another day before taking more because I know these drugs are less effective when you're exhausted. I also don't want to take one in the morning when I took the last at 5:08pm, and while still feeling yesterday's drug, because that could increase tolerance. Insomnia would've been worth it had the drug actually worked, but now I'm not so sure... should wait one more day as it is anyway. Yes, I'll plan on waiting another day unless I can get at least 2-3 more hours of sleep.

G252013
08-29-13, 11:53 AM
yeah focalin is not the most user friendly, but is worth all the work in the end. i appreciate your detailed journal to share with us

Nonzens
08-29-13, 07:39 PM
What do you mean by "Focalin is not the most user-friendly"?

I did not get any more sleep, will take more Focalin tomorrow. Today I am surprisingly energetic in spite of my lack of sleep over the last few days. Might be the Focalin lingering... stimulants usually last a lot longer on the first time I take them.

G252013
08-29-13, 09:37 PM
focalin can be a tough one to crack. Not very user friendly, as in it will fool you into thinking it does not work, when it actually does. You have to feel it out

ana futura
08-29-13, 11:55 PM
focalin can be a tough one to crack. Not very user friendly, as in it will fool you into thinking it does not work, when it actually does. You have to feel it out

Exactly. It's invisible. When it's working, you can't feel it at all. It's super subtle- and the changes in you will be super subtle as well. But if you pay attention you will notice yourself becoming better. It happens slowly over time- it's especially good for developing self discipline long term motivation. Motivation and discipline that comes from you and not a drug.

Drugs like Ritalin and amphetamines are very noticeable. I always feel them, at any dose. In my experience, if you can feel Focalin, the dose is too high. It's supposed to be a side effect free med. If you feel it, you're feeling side effects, and the dose needs to come down to where you don't.

If you are used to meds like Adderall that have a noticeable kick, focalin will be very hard to adjust to.

It's odd that the OP has insomnia from it- Focalin and Ritalin have never given me sleep trouble, but I had loads of trouble with amps- Dexedrine destroyed my sleep patterns. I pretty much always fall asleep easier when I have taken focalin vs. when I don't. Again that might be a sign the dose is too high.

Nonzens
08-30-13, 10:52 AM
It's odd that the OP has insomnia from it- Focalin and Ritalin have never given me sleep trouble, but I had loads of trouble with amps- Dexedrine destroyed my sleep patterns. I pretty much always fall asleep easier when I have taken focalin vs. when I don't. Again that might be a sign the dose is too high.

I don't think it's odd. Everyone has different experiences. All stimulants cause me insomnia the first time I take them. Adderall did cause me far greater insomnia than Ritalin/Concerta. Concerta was worse than Ritalin, if I remember correctly, but Ritalin only caused me insomnia if I took it late in the day (which is how I took my first Focalin pill - eek!) and on the first day I ever took it.

Nonzens
08-30-13, 10:58 AM
focalin can be a tough one to crack. Not very user friendly, as in it will fool you into thinking it does not work, when it actually does. You have to feel it out

Interesting. So I took yesterday off Focalin because I took it so late the previous day, and it seemed I was still feeling the effects of the drug well into yesterday. I felt pretty wide awake the entire day despite being sleep deprived. Although I didn't notice a positive impact on concentration the actual night I took it, it seemed like there was a slight positive impact the following day, though I can't be 100% sure that's where it was coming from because lately my concentration has kind of been up in general a little bit.

Now that you say that it seems like it's not working when it is, I think I'll stick to the dose of 20mg until I run out and see if effects improve over time. I am not intending to reduce my dose just because I feel some strong side effects today - because I know that I normally feel stronger than usual side effects the first day I take anything. Will reassess after another day or two on the drug.

Here is the journal entry I just wrote for my second day on Focalin so far. The day is just beginning:

Woke up at 9am, five minutes later took two pills today instead of the prescribed one. Took yesterday off since the first pill was taken at 5pm the previous day. Actually seemed to help me focus slightly the day after taking it, but not 100% sure that was where that was coming from.

About thirty minutes after taking the Focalin this morning, I was doing dishes and started to feel it in my body. Slightly uncomfortable, but nbd… just feels like my nerves are a tad on edge. It did increase my pace/intensity of washing dishes, and I washed all of the house’s dishes, not just my own, and didn’t just do a half-***** job by only washing 5 dishes like I often do.


Came back to my room and immediately started cleaning a little, but much more intently than usual. Was going to eat something when I was in the kitchen, but my appetite is suppressed. Haven’t had breakfast and little-to-no desire now at 10:45am. Strength of drug probably stronger due to empty stomach - last time took an hour to feel just a little, but I also just finished a big meal 30min before taking it.


NOT feeling as focused as I did that one month on Ritalin. Feeling more direct impact on my nervous system, yet not very jittery (though I notice jitteriness less in home setting). Not feeling like I’m about to start focusing on top priorities, i.e. job hunt…. but we shall see. Do feel like this state of mind will be at least a little easier to focus on such things, but perhaps not dramatically so.


Not sure if still need to increase dosage due to remaining stimulant tolerance, or if this is all Focalin is going to give me. Once again wishing I could be on Ritalin to actually compare to how it worked before, because it could just be the Focalin… I’ve heard people noticing differences, though the drugs are so similar that most people at least experience some positive effects from both, from what I’ve read.


As I type this, starting to feel like the drug is already wearing off a little. Maybe?

Nonzens
08-30-13, 11:10 AM
Quick update: So after I finished writing that post, finally had opportunity to sit at computer thinking about doing something productive. Not successful so far. I am in a weird state of mind where I don't feel like mindlessly browsing the internet as usual, but at the same time don't feel a mental kick to actually get focused on my job hunt or other major things I've been avoiding! So I'm just sitting here feeling intense and being like "what to do..." It seems like it's more of a physical kicker, like I could jump up right now and wash my clothes, but I already decided to wait till later to do that... hmm.......

But if others' description of the drug is what I'm experiencing, I guess I have to combine the drug with some personal growth techniques....

Nonzens
08-30-13, 12:19 PM
Yeah, so basically I don't think this is affecting my executive function much if at all, at least not directly. I still feel energetic, jittery, fast-paced, and a constant feeling of "must do something of urgency, but don't know what and don't feel motivated to start much of anything new." I did meditate for 20 minutes after brainstorming things I could actually motivate myself to do. Haven't meditated for that long in ages, and it went well. Otherwise haven't accomplished much in the last hour. Oh, I did change my mind about washing my clothes and went and did that since I couldn't think of anything else to do. Everything either seems not urgent enough to bother doing right now or too complicated, I guess...

ana futura
08-30-13, 02:46 PM
I don't think it's odd. Everyone has different experiences. All stimulants cause me insomnia the first time I take them. Adderall did cause me far greater insomnia than Ritalin/Concerta. Concerta was worse than Ritalin, if I remember correctly, but Ritalin only caused me insomnia if I took it late in the day (which is how I took my first Focalin pill - eek!) and on the first day I ever took it.

For some reason I thought you meant your insomnia was worse than on other meds. Simply because of the short half life alone you should have far less sleep issues on focalin than Adderall, and focalin should feel similar to Ritalin as far as sleep (at a comparable dose)

ana futura
08-30-13, 02:48 PM
Yeah, so basically I don't think this is affecting my executive function much if at all, at least not directly. I still feel energetic, jittery, fast-paced, and a constant feeling of "must do something of urgency, but don't know what and don't feel motivated to start much of anything new." I did meditate for 20 minutes after brainstorming things I could actually motivate myself to do. Haven't meditated for that long in ages, and it went well. Otherwise haven't accomplished much in the last hour. Oh, I did change my mind about washing my clothes and went and did that since I couldn't think of anything else to do. Everything either seems not urgent enough to bother doing right now or too complicated, I guess...

I know it sounds counter intuitive, but it sounds like your dose might be too high. You'll never feel a "kick" from focalin. You have to be a lot more self directed on it compared to other meds. It's hard, but once you get used to it it's so worth it. I truly love this med, but it's unlike any other med.



But if others' description of the drug is what I'm experiencing, I guess I have to combine the drug with some personal growth techniques....

Exactly. This part is really important.

Also I HATED focalin when I first started it. It was awful. I think it took me about 3 weeks to get to where I felt comfortable on it (but I wasn't taking it daily). It took a couple months till I understood exactly why it's such a good med.

Nonzens
08-30-13, 05:18 PM
Also I HATED focalin when I first started it. It was awful. I think it took me about 3 weeks to get to where I felt comfortable on it (but I wasn't taking it daily). It took a couple months till I understood exactly why it's such a good med.
Super interesting. I'll keep this in mind, but the fact that only 20mg had much effect at all still makes me think it might be that my tolerance is too high for 20mg. Because the experience I had today on Focalin is similar to experiences I had on Concerta and Adderall when my tolerance was too high... it would cease to affect my concentration, but would still affect my nervous system by making me jittery and uncomfortable. Even when I'd increase the dose, there'd be little or no effect on concentration, but instead the jitters would get even worse than they were when I was taking Ritalin daily and it was working very well on my concentration. This is very similar, so I just don't know. I'm not gonna increase my dose for now, though... we'll just see if it gets better over time.

Today I didn't accomplish much, at least not much of high priority. Certainly no more than I have the rest of the week, which has been relatively quite productive.

It's just over 8 hours since I took the pills, so that should be about the end of it. I felt a slight kick in side effects at 4 hours in, but the first release was a lot stronger. Even though I ate nothing until an hour ago. I do now feel like the drug has mostly worn off, but not entirely. I'm still feeling nervous system effects and still feeling mentally intense, though not like I'm in charge.

I think the side effects might have decreased my productivity because I was either feeling too uncomfortable to do certain things, or kept thinking they weren't urgent enough... I wanted to see if any motivation arose to do high priority things, but my mind was also filled with a sense of urgency directly induced by the drugs.

I hope tomorrow's better, at least in terms of reduced side effects if nothing else. I'm going dancing in the evening, so it would be super annoying if I spent the night feeling jittery.

I'm worried that this drug just won't work for me, when I desperately need help right now, but I'm willing to continue giving it a shot without changing my dose after reading about others' experiences.

Nonzens
08-30-13, 05:24 PM
I know it sounds counter intuitive, but it sounds like your dose might be too high. You'll never feel a "kick" from focalin. You have to be a lot more self directed on it compared to other meds. It's hard, but once you get used to it it's so worth it. I truly love this med, but it's unlike any other med.
Maybe you're right. Drugs are so confusing. :(

Maybe the 10mg *was* the right dose. After all, it did seem to have a slight effect the following day... maybe it's something that doesn't take effect right away like the other drugs, and that's not made to be felt as intensely as Ritalin.

Or maybe I'm hopeless. :confused:

Did y'all experience this on both Focalin IR and XR? That it took a while to figure it out?

ana futura
08-30-13, 06:59 PM
Maybe you're right. Drugs are so confusing. :(

Maybe the 10mg *was* the right dose. After all, it did seem to have a slight effect the following day... maybe it's something that doesn't take effect right away like the other drugs, and that's not made to be felt as intensely as Ritalin.

Or maybe I'm hopeless. :confused:

Did y'all experience this on both Focalin IR and XR? That it took a while to figure it out?

I only tried xr briefly, it seems even less noticeable than IR does to me. I never figured XR out. Now that I'm used to IR I think I could go back to XR and have it work.

It's really not meant to be felt at all. If you can feel it, most of what you'll feel are unpleasant side effects.

It's an odd med, and it does take a lot of lifestyle training to get the best results. Without external structure, focalin will fail. to do lists are my best friend.

ana futura
08-30-13, 07:06 PM
Everything your describing is what I felt like when i was still acclimating to the med. the first time I took it my anxiety skyrocketed and i felt this huge rush of manic, directionless energy. It felt awful, like I was having a panic attack. I dropped my dose down till that feeling went away (it took a while)

Once that feeling levelled out everything turned around and got awesome.

But i also was treating my anxiety with meditation at the same tine, and i think that helped. Part of it was acclimating, part of it was learning to control my anxious response to the med.

I actually went down to 2.5 mg doses till i got used to it, any more and i would freak. 5mgs is perfect for me now.

The only reason I stuck it out was that it didn't affect my sleep or appetite like other meds did, and i felt like my personality was unchanged on it (apart from being anxious and edgy as hell)

It was my last hope. I stopped and started it a few times. It took me realizing that every other med was a complete disaster for me.

Nonzens
08-31-13, 12:13 AM
Okay... hmm... well... I will be sad if I don't continue to feel appetite loss because that was my favorite side effect of Ritalin... I lost a bunch of weight, and that was nice. But when I go off the drugs, my weight goes right back up to where it was before.

The nice thing about IRs is that it's easier to raise/lower the dose a small amount. If I wanted to cut an XR pill in half, it would be complicated.

"It took me realizing that every other med was a complete disaster for me."

Right. Well, every other med was a disaster for me but Ritalin, which my psych won't prescribe. :( I mean, if it works, it's better than nothing. But I'd rather have something with immediate effects right now considering I will have like $150 or less left after I pay my bills for September and no job... I will have to ask friends for money if i don't get a job in the next week, which is embarrassing and stressful, to say the least.

ana futura
08-31-13, 12:19 AM
Do you have a coach or therapist? I think it's really helpful.

Why won't your doc prescribe Ritalin?

As far as weight loss, I find that focalin doesn't suppress appetite, but it does encourage me to make wiser choices about food.

Nonzens
08-31-13, 01:05 AM
I had a therapist, but she moved to another location. I am on the waitlist for a new therapist. I don't know how to find a coach who accepts Medicaid. Does such a thing exist? I tried to turn one of my therapists into a coach and got into a fight with her over it because she only wanted to do CBT, which I found to be a waste of time. She was only a Ph.D candidate, though. My last therapist was good and much more experienced, but not phenomenal. She was not much of a coach either, but I decided not to try to turn her into one.

"Why won't your doc prescribe Ritalin?" She thinks that she can diagnose ADD based solely or primarily on how one responds to drugs... and she thinks that if XRs don't work for me, then I must not need stimulants because I don't have ADD and my attention problems must be caused by anxiety or depression, which I know is not the case and is super annoying. It's hard to get a new psychiatrist, though, if you're poor. It's hard to shop around because you can only have one psych at a time, so the old one knows immediately if you start seeing a new one and such... options are very limited if you're on Medicaid / poor. I have an appointment with a new psych next Friday, but now I'm not sure if it's a good time to switch since I'm giving Focalin a full run.

ana futura
08-31-13, 01:26 AM
I had a therapist who had trained as a coach- so she could do coaching type things, but bill as therapy. It really depends on the person, I think there are more people out there like her.

I think a lot of therapists who are really familiar with ADHD know that we need to be coached, and will include coaching techniques.

Nonzens
08-31-13, 02:02 AM
Gosh, I wish I could find that. I'll look. But if it's anything like my search for a psychiatrist or dentist who takes Medicaid, I think it's going to be a long and laborious research project to find one who takes it. My therapists and current psych all seem to have minimal knowledge about ADD. Pretty sure I know a lot more about ADD than my psych. The only ADD specialist I found for psychiatry in my area doesn't take insurance of any kind.

ana futura
08-31-13, 02:07 AM
Try these-

http://locator.apa.org/

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/?gclid=CNqB6LqCp7kCFY2Z4AodoQgA7Q

You can search by speciality, and sometimes they say what insurance they take.

Nonzens
08-31-13, 01:34 PM
Focalin XR 20mg
Day 2

This is interesting. And strange. :scratch:

Woke up at 9:30, took 2 pills five minutes later.
Was hungry, but decided not to eat anything so I could compare to yesterday under same conditions.

Side effects still there, but only half as strong. Still feel kind of uncomfortable, but much less so. Was def. doing things more intensely, but again did not feel more focused. Again sense of urgency, thoughts racing. But concentration level seemed worse... at least in that I was mindlessly browsing internet right off the bat and not doing much of anything productive for nearly two hours. I felt even less capable of thinking of anything I was motivated to do.

Since I meditated yesterday and wanted to compare, I decided to do that again. This was probably the strangest meditation experience I've ever had, and I have a decent amount of experience. There are times when you meditate and it reveals a lot to you about how your mind works, and this was one of those times.

I set an alarm for 20 minutes at 11:22. Meditation did not go as well as yesterday, at least not for the first 20 minutes. It was like I could concentrate more than usual of late because I wasn't just drifting off and failing at meditation altogether, but at the same time it was like I just. couldn't. concentrate. The end of the first 20 minutes was really weird and uncomfortable... I was meditating with my eyes closed as usual, but my eyes/vision seemed to be going in circles, disrupting all attempts at meditation because I couldn't focus my eyes on one point. Finally the alarm rang. I was so annoyed by this I then put on my eye mask to see if that helped, and reset the alarm for 18min (which I realized, while meditating, I had not finished setting, because it never went off. I was glad).

It took at least a minute or two to adjust under the eye mask but in the process I realized something strange: it seemed to be my fast pulse and high blood pressure (which I could feel very much through my veins in my face near my eyes and elsewhere) that were making my eyes go in circles. The movement of my eyes seemed to go with the rhythm of my heartbeat. I noticed that the pulsations were so strong that they were making the eye mask move to their rhythm.

Then I noticed something even stranger. The rhythm of my thoughts seemed to go with the rhythm of my heartbeat and eyes.

I was concentrating better than usual in that I was focused on that actual act of meditation, but worse in that I couldn't stay focused on anything else within the meditation very well... usually, after meditating for 15-30min with that high of a concentration level, my mind begins to settle down and focus more. But it didn't. Thoughts kept racing in to disrupt the concentration. What I was doing unusually well, sort of, was disrupting the incoming thoughts and going back to try to concentrate on a visual point of colored light that you see when your eyes are closed, or on my hands. I've done this many times before. But what has never happened before is that every time I stopped an incoming thought, the thought would continue for a second or so before actually stopping... or the end of the thought would repeat itself several times like an echo at the pace of my heartbeat. I ended up trying to focus on my pulse, too. I ended up switching between 50 different silent mantras, while normally I'd stick to one. I couldn't stay focused on one of them. Every time I refocused, new thoughts rushed in... they were coming so fast.

It was like I had no executive function, but had a steady stream of semi-urgent thoughts that were so disruptive that I could sort of use them to refocus myself again and again even if I couldn't stay focused... or perhaps like, I had a strong executive function, but it was crowded out by the racing peripheral thoughts and sense of urgency. In any case, my ability to stay focused on a single thing other than the task of meditation and what I was learning about my mind was strangely limited. At one point, I actually started fighting my thoughts with mental vigor, thinking, "Stop! No!" really hard over and over. It worked, but I had to do it incessantly. I tried relaxing, but that was harder.

After quite some time of this (50+ minutes), I thought that maybe I was preventing myself from focusing by thinking with a part of me that this was all inevitable. So I decided to really try to relax and let go of the idea that I couldn't focus. This seemed to actually work to an extent, but I still had the same problem. I'd reach that state of emptiness that I often aim for and achieve - where it's like all my thoughts are being sucked into a black hole the moment they arise. Only this time the black hole wasn't a black hole... I kept going in and out of that state for at least 10ish minutes, and it never lasted for more than a few seconds.

I ended the meditation at 12:30 when I could no longer stay focused much on the act of meditation.

[End of meditation description.]

So I think this gives a lot of insight into what this drug is doing to my mind. I can't tell if it's improving or inhibiting my executive function, directly-speaking, but it's overall pretty annoying. It does seem to go along with what I've experienced on the drug otherwise. This constant, fast-paced stream of thoughts and sense of urgency that is disrupting my concentration, but at the same time allowing me to sink into a broadly-defined activity once I begin it: I can meditate for unusual periods of time and not just drift off, but honing in on something to meditate on is strangely difficult. I was both more and less in control than usual. So far I have no idea how to use the lessons from this meditation session to gain more control over the rest of my life, since I don't think I actually ever increased in degree of control/focus during those 68 minutes, which I very often do after meditating for that long.

Typically after a good, long meditation session, I feel a relative sense of peace and increased ability to linger on something of my choosing, an increased sense of my own consciousness, at least for a few minutes. During this session, I thought at one point that I wasn't human because I had no consciousness to develop.

Again, I don't know if it's just the drug or if my tolerance levels are too high for the part of the brain that directly controls executive function. I might try one more day on 20mg, but if it's still as uncomfortable as today, I think I'll go back to 10mg or try to find a way to split one in half and take 15mg. Maybe take 20mg but actually eat next time.

By the way, I slept fine last night. I started feeling a slight comedown effect after 8-9 hours from taking it, in the form of feeling a little brain-tired, and that put me to sleep at 2:30 (not unusual for me) and I slept for 7 hours.

ana futura
08-31-13, 02:07 PM
I experience a sort of thought "suppression" on ritalin. It's like dead silence. I have never experienced that on focalin.

At the right dose, focalin lets me quite my mind, but I have to work at it. I had something similar to the manic thoughts you described but I think it was only in the beginning, when I was getting used to it and my dose was a little too high.

After a while (and lowering my dose) I got to the point where I felt like I could control my thoughts, and quiet my mind down if I noticed it getting crazy.

I think of focalin like this- other meds control your actions, focalin allows you to control your own actions. But first you have to learn to control them, and if you've been relying on another med to control your actions for you, this part will be really frustrating.

Nonzens
08-31-13, 02:29 PM
Right. Maybe that's what I'm experiencing. Good to hear of a similar experience that turned out well. It's funny you describe my thoughts as manic.

mania (mhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/amacr.gifhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/prime.gifnhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/emacr.gif-http://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/schwa.gif, mhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/amacr.gifnhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/prime.gifyhttp://img.tfd.com/hm/GIF/schwa.gif)n.1. An excessively intense enthusiasm, interest, or desire; a craze: a mania for neatness.
2. Psychiatry A manifestation of bipolar disorder, characterized by profuse and rapidly changing ideas, exaggerated sexuality, gaiety, or irritability, and decreased sleep.
3. Violent abnormal behavior.

I guess those definitions do describe that experience a little bit. Mostly the first one.

I never had thought "suprpession" on Ritalin, at least none that occurred to me as such. My mind moved fast on Ritalin, but in a productive way.

BTW, I really appreciate all of your responses. This is super helpful.

hollywood
09-01-13, 12:38 AM
Futura you like focalin over adderall?

ana futura
09-01-13, 12:58 AM
Futura you like focalin over adderall?

Yes but I can't handle amphetamines really. I start to get loopy and weird after being on them for a while. I could never get the dosing worked out. And they wreck my sleep.

Ritalin's okay but it always makes me depressed when it wears off.

The main reason I like focalin is that I don't get along well with other meds. I really like how subtle it feels, but I have to be really disciplined to get things done on it.

Also Focalin's the only med that doesn't make me crash. It wears off really slowly for me over the day. I'll lose my ability to concentrate on academic type things in a couple hours after an IR dose, but the motivation and clarity lasts all day, even if I only take a morning dose. So I don't have a wasted 2 hours of not being able to function when my meds wear off.

And my sleep is awesome on it, better than unmedicated.

I only tried Adderall briefly, most of the time I was on amps I was on dex.

hollywood
09-01-13, 12:59 PM
I started in 9 th grade on ir ritalin. I have an undergrad degree and a masters , so yeah it works. Since concerta came out I have used that as a base plus ir. additionally , I have trailed adderall for stints and its so difficult to stop ritalin and adjust to adderall . My results and effects with adderall are not instant . It took time to adjust once and it worked . It's like a stimulant that you don't feel. It just worked , less inhibited but without the shyness on ritalin . I do not really understand it nor do I feel focused at all whole adjusting to it , the last time adjusted it took 2 weeks . That's a eternity while on a commission based job! I don't have 2 weeks of garbage yet I probably have earned enough to coast without working 4 months honestly . I am quite skilled at trading . Anyways ritalin does not last academically long enough , hence my problem . It's effective , yet I would have to dose every 2.5 hours all day . My job is very detail and mind oriented . It's kind if like outsmarting suppliers all day , so executive processing is key. Ritalin lasers in one one thing while adderall enables better global processing this is even been studied on the SNAP test for adhd . Anyways i feel fuzzy on adderall and it works all day, yet I cannot dig into things as I need - anyways Amps blow mph out of the water concerning duration . Lastly , adderall totally screwed my sleep up last time . Venting and figuring it out . Allergies certainly are a non needed variable

Nonzens
09-01-13, 01:37 PM
Also Focalin's the only med that doesn't make me crash. It wears off really slowly for me over the day. I'll lose my ability to concentrate on academic type things in a couple hours after an IR dose, but the motivation and clarity lasts all day, even if I only take a morning dose. So I don't have a wasted 2 hours of not being able to function when my meds wear off.

And my sleep is awesome on it, better than unmedicated.
interesting.......

Today I decided to take 20mg again, but this time I ate a big bowl of cereal right after taking it. I woke up at 9, but didn't take anything till 10:10 bc I couldn't decide how much to take today, plus didn't get enough sleep. Last night I was at a dance party that went till 3, although I spent the last 2-3 hours sitting around being too tired to do anything or go home, unless someone asked me to dance. The Focalin definitely left me exhausted by 12-1am - I'm normally awake till 3 without a problem. Similar to Ritalin in this way. But I woke up after sleeping for only 5 hours. :( I still feel tired. Ick.

So I felt the focalin kick in after around 30 minutes. I was watching a video dance lesson on YouTube when I started to feel it. I was able to concentrate very well on the video, much better than the last two days watching the same vid. That could be partly because at the dance party I got to actually try the things in the vid and so I could look for nuances to add to what I tried, whereas the last two days I was just reviewing something I already watched... But I also felt more intense. The physical side effects were reduced, and my concentration seemed improved, but still without direction.

Then I got distracted from the vid and went doing random **** online for a while... then I had to go to the Farmer's Market and bike shop before it closed, plus take a shower... so now it's 3.5 hours, and I'm starting to feel a little more physically uncomfortable - could be related to fatigue or maybe I need to eat some more.

I still feel directionless and wish I could go back to sleep, but I'm just about incapable of ever falling back to sleep after waking up, unless my brain is super sleep-deprived. That's not related to stimulants, although once I take stimulants, I can DEFINITELY never go back to sleep until they've worn off.

I think I might need to take a day off since those first two days on 20mg were exhausting... Unless I wake up very well rested tomorrow, I think I'll either take the day off or do that day on just 10mg and probably go back to 20mg the following day. As long as it seems like the side effects are decreasing, I think I'll keep the dose for a while... Today feels like a slight improvement so far on both side effects and intended effects.

Nonzens
09-01-13, 03:06 PM
Any clue what are the best foods to reduce absorption of Focalin? Seems like large bowl of cereal worked, but other foods have not had noticeable effect. I had an avocado and a nectarine not long ago, but no apparent effect... I seem to be feeling increasingly uncomfortable, which to me is a big sign that what I'm eating is having a big impact, because the previous days I felt less side effects over the course of the day.

Nonzens
09-02-13, 03:34 PM
So I had a headache last night, plus was fatigued at the end of the night, so today I just took 10mg. It's actually affecting me a lot more strongly than I anticipated, but I also didn't eat anything. Even this 10mg is making me slightly physically uncomfortable, though not to the extent of the 20mg. I feel physically nervous and slightly intense. Concentration affected similar to 20mg, but without feeling like my mind is jumping in a million directions. Still directionless.

ana futura
09-02-13, 03:59 PM
I don't find that meds ever give me a sense of direction. It's somthing you have to cultivate. Do you have any means of providing structure for yourself, like to do lists?

Nonzens
09-02-13, 05:00 PM
I don't find that meds ever give me a sense of direction. It's somthing you have to cultivate.
You are not me. Ritalin gave me a sense of direction. A very strong one.

Do you have any means of providing structure for yourself, like to do lists?
I've been doing that every day I've been on Focalin. It hasn't helped much. Only thing it's done for me is gotten me to meditate a couple days.

I think that if I weren't pretty much at rock bottom, this might be more advantageous for me, but it's even harder to get myself to concentrate now when I am absolutely tired of working low-paying, stressful restaurant jobs, and not ready to start a better job, and completely broke. It's like, what are my choices? 1. Get another ****ty restaurant job that I will probably quit within 2 months and be right back in the same position. 2. Apply for other jobs, but I won't be able to get one before my money runs out. And I'm not qualified for much of anything and don't have the confidence to do those jobs. 3. Beg my friends for money to stay afloat for another month or two while I try to either work out Focalin or get back on Ritalin. 4. Kill myself.

If I were on Ritalin, however, I'm pretty sure I'd just stop worrying about things and immediately jump into applying for jobs and work on making gradual progress till I get a job I can endure and keep my life moving forward.

ana futura
09-02-13, 06:35 PM
You are not me. Ritalin gave me a sense of direction. A very strong one.


Interesting. How long were you on ritalin for? Do you think this motivation you describe was constant, the entire time you took the med?

Is it possible that you are just in a worse place now mentally, and that is contributing as well?

I find that med effectiveness fluctuates with external factors.

If I'm in a bad place, stimulants won't necessarily be enough to pull me out.

For some reason I suspect focalin is even more dependent on external factors. If you aren't good at self soothing, it can feel rough, rougher than other meds I think.

Of course all of this stuff is highly individual too. Now that you mention it, it's possible that ritalin did give me a better sense of direction than focalin did in the beginning, but the crashes were so bad I got knocked into a deep depression, so whatever extra motivation was there was brief.

I feel you on crummy restaurant jobs, I have had my fill of those.

As far as focalin and a sense of direction- I feel like it just makes me care more about myself. Because I care more about myself, I try harder to structure my life in a way that works for me. So maybe this is what your describing?

Nonzens
09-02-13, 07:42 PM
Interesting. How long were you on ritalin for? Do you think this motivation you describe was constant, the entire time you took the med?

Is it possible that you are just in a worse place now mentally, and that is contributing as well?
Could be part of it, like I said. I was on Ritalin for a month. No, it was not constant, but it was enough. It was enough for me to progress in my life. Where I am right now is barely enough to stay afloat, let alone make progress. I don't think that being in a worse place mentally is the primary reason why Focalin isn't working as well as Ritalin. I am extremely doubtful of that.

I find that med effectiveness fluctuates with external factors.

If I'm in a bad place, stimulants won't necessarily be enough to pull me out.You said Focalin is the only stimulant that works for you, so I'm not comparing my experience to yours with regard to how other stimulants work.

Now that you mention it, it's possible that ritalin did give me a better sense of direction than focalin did in the beginning, but the crashes were so bad I got knocked into a deep depression, so whatever extra motivation was there was brief. Sucks. I did not have awful crashes, but crashes did happen. Mostly just fatigue the next day if I didn't get at least 7 hours of sleep. So far, the Focalin crash doesn't seem to carry over much into the next day, so it's better in that respect.

As far as focalin and a sense of direction- I feel like it just makes me care more about myself. Because I care more about myself, I try harder to structure my life in a way that works for me. So maybe this is what your describing?I don't see the connection for me. I haven't noticed that I care more about myself on the drug. I have noticed a lack of direction that is ongoing.

I'll probably take tomorrow off Focalin because I'm seeing an oral surgeon to have my wisdom teeth removed. If I have surgery tomorrow, I may be spending the rest of the day nursing the wounds.

Nonzens
09-02-13, 08:14 PM
So I actually think that with Ritalin, it's the dopamine impact that gives me that kick in mental functioning that I'm not getting with Focalin. I think that dopamine is highly addictive for me and that my dopamine tolerance is probably still high from Adderall and/or l-tyrosine. Either that or Focalin just doesn't affect dopamine as must as Ritalin. Any idea?

I am basing this thought on the rapid rate at which I developed tolerance to Adderall, rendering it useless, on the way the L-Tyrosine seemed to affect my use of Concerta and to give me euphoria, on the fact that I never got anything resembling euphoria from Focalin... not that I got much in the way of that from Concerta or Ritalin. I'm not sure if I ever got any kind of euphoria from Ritalin - I don't recall that happening, but I know it happened with Concerta once or twice and suspect it has to do with taking Adderall/L-Tyrosine not long before taking Concerta... Adderall had the strongest, most immediate euphoria, and I noticed that after I came off of it, I felt unexpectedly happy despite being in a state of heavy withdrawal - I think this is because it left large amounts of dopamine in my brain. The first time I ever took Concerta, I had a strong euphoria in the evening. I also got euphoria on L-Tyrosine when I took enough of it.

L-Tyrosine is similar to stimulants in that it impacts dopamine/norepinephrine, but it's different in that it's an actual element of the brain, so it works more naturally... It's a dopamine/norepinephrine precursor. Dopamine is a norepinephrine precursor. So the way these are produced in the brain goes: l-tyrosine -> something -> something -> dopamine -> norepinephrine. So basically, l-tyrosine only activates dopamine much if something happens that would naturally produce dopamine... in other words, I only felt euphoric when something happened that I would normally feel excited about. With Concerta, I took it again after I stopped taking l-tyrosine... Now, Concerta had never had any positive impact on my concentration after that first time, until taking it post-l-tyrosine. Then it was really strange, but I was really able to concentrate all day and felt like I was on something (no euphoria)... not only that, but it was like it took about 4 or 5 days for the effects to gradually wear off, which never happened to me with Concerta or anything else before. Clear as day that the drug was the cause. I did the same thing a week later without taking more l-tyrosine, and there was a similar but weaker effect that wore off after 2-3 days. Same thing one week later, no effect whatsoever. Two weeks later, no effect whatsoever. Three weeks later, no effect whatsoever. So I'm pretty sure the Concerta was using the l-tyrosine to help me concentrate. Strange, but I was either building up a tolerance swiftly, or I would've needed to take more l-tyrosine, or both. L-tyrosine made me tired in the long-run, so I won't take it again, at least not in high doses like I did.

Although I can't help but wonder now if an l-tyrosine supplement would boost the Focalin... I just don't want to go through building up more tolerance and getting fatigued and having to backtrack. I found that taking one or two l-tyrosine pills per day along with Concerta didn't do much if anything to boost the Concerta. I ended up taking way too much l-tyrosine after I got off daily Concerta intake (before I got back on) and found that it didn't affect my concentration significantly except the aforementioned times on Concerta. No matter how much I took.

So I think it has to be the right combination and level and timing of effect on both dopamine and epinephrine.

G252013
09-04-13, 11:53 AM
you really have to pay close attention and warm yourself up to focalin

I've found that success is pretty certain if you warm up with a 10MG or 20MG XR, taken every other day to start. It's unlikely you're going to get a rush or anything right away, but what you will find is that your mood will start to become more steady and positive.

Once you notice this effect, you can start to try the IR doses in between the XR dosing's, and eventually you will POP!

Nonzens
09-04-13, 03:43 PM
you really have to pay close attention and warm yourself up to focalin

I've found that success is pretty certain if you warm up with a 10MG or 20MG XR, taken every other day to start. It's unlikely you're going to get a rush or anything right away, but what you will find is that your mood will start to become more steady and positive.

Once you notice this effect, you can start to try the IR doses in between the XR dosing's, and eventually you will POP!

Yeah, actually, I was thinking maybe every other day would be a good way to start. I wish I could try your suggestion with the IRs, but my psych - at least the current one - doesn't prescribe IRs of any kind... also, alas, my insurance doesn't cover Focalin IR. :/

I have an appointment with a new psych on Friday...

I didn't take anything yesterday. I had my four wisdom teeth extracted and think the Focalin from previous days may have intensified the nerves I got before surgery because I have never felt that nervous in my entire life. It was also brought on by the local anesthetic used - the doc stuck me at least 15 times, and I've never felt such painful needles in my mouth before. I also thought I would be put to sleep for the surgery, but I wasn't.

Today I haven't taken anything, and I wish I could... but given that I can barely eat anything... in fact, the only thing I can "eat" is juice... I think it would be a bad idea.

Nonzens
09-07-13, 03:04 PM
So I took a few days off due to my oral surgery. Yesterday I got back on at 10mg. Yesterday I felt nothing.... nothing. I did eat a good meal before taking it. I didn't want any adverse effects since I'm still recovering. The recovery period from surgery will take at least another week or so.

Today I took another 10mg, but this time I didn't eat until after taking it. It did have some mild effects on me. It seemed to increase my concentration/intensity slightly. Intensity more so than concentration, as usual. I didn't accomplish much, but I did read some of this book... not a lot, but I seemed a little more focused on it than usual. Wasted some time, then went to the farmer's market, went shopping, and came home and cooked. That's my day so far. I tried eating something as soon as I started to feel like I was going to get some uncomfortable side effects. I think I feel maybe a little of that, but it's so mild as to be nearly insignificant. I do feel my heart beating hard.

So I am going to tentatively conclude two things about the effects this drug has on me so far:
1. Food makes an enormous difference in how the drug affects me. Pretty sure about this based on the evidence so far.
2. The drug probably also does build up in my system over a period of days, although I did seem to build up an initial tolerance to the strongest effects of the drug. After that, it seems to fluctuate within a certain range of strength based on how much I take, how much I eat, and how much has built up in my system.

I'd like to give this drug a full month of experimentation to get a stronger grasp on how it works and whether it will help me at all. I don't intend to take more than 10mg on any given day, for the rest of the prescription. I'd like to try taking 10mg for several days in a row, eating some days and not eating on others before taking it, and also try taking it every other day if daily is too strong. I might also try throwing in some l-tyrosine to see if that helps.

I'm not a fan of how much this drug seems to be affected by food. That just complicates my eating habits.

G252013
09-07-13, 03:36 PM
Loving all the discussion of new Focalin users experiences. It's not easy, but it worth every bit of pain if you see it through to success

ana futura
09-07-13, 03:36 PM
There is another factor I thought of. L-methylphenidate has been shown to help with depression. D-methylphenidate has not.

You have described some symptoms of depression. It is possible that ritalin was treating your depressive symptoms for you, which focalin will not do.

That lack of motivation can come from any number of factors, depression is one.

While I have depressive symptoms too, I think my own issues stem more from anxiety, which is possibly why I did not receive anti-depressant benefits from ritalin. I think my anxiety is still an issue for me on all meds, including focalin.

For myself, I'm really learning that co-morbid disorders can impact meds hugely.

G252013
09-07-13, 04:14 PM
There is another factor I thought of. L-methylphenidate has been shown to help with depression. D-methylphenidate has not.

You have described some symptoms of depression. It is possible that ritalin was treating your depressive symptoms for you, which focalin will not do.

That lack of motivation can come from any number of factors, depression is one.

While I have depressive symptoms too, I think my own issues stem more from anxiety, which is possibly why I did not receive anti-depressant benefits from ritalin. I think my anxiety is still an issue for me on all meds, including focalin.

For myself, I'm really learning that co-morbid disorders can impact meds hugely.

This is exactly right about the Ritalin, I've read the same thing too

Nonzens
09-08-13, 04:56 PM
I think the main anti-depressant aspect of Ritalin for me is that it helps me concentrate, thereby improving my mood. Being able to get things done, as opposed to not, would improve anyone's mood. I could see it also having an additional anti-depressant factor, because Ritalin did suppress my emotions a tad, in a way that I didn't mind. But that was a small effect on my mood compared to the boost in mood that came from being productive. I think Adderall had the same effect of suppressing my emotions, and the effect was equally strong when I was withdrawing from it as it was when I was on it. I think it has, again, to do with dopamine. Dopamine has a stronger impact on mood than norepinephrine. I think that it suppresses the emotions by putting all your mental energy into accomplishing tasks, thereby zapping the energy you have to focus on emotions. However, when I was on Adderall and withdrawing from it (it didn't work for me long-term), I was in a ****ty mood due to not being able to get **** done or have any motivation... I just felt like my emotions were dulled. So suppressing the emotions isn't the same thing as improving one's mood, but it does prevent me from having the most intense emotions, and if my emotions happen to bad, that is arguably a good thing... it certainly reduced my tendency toward suicidal thought, but only inasmuch as it reduced my tendency toward any thought whatsoever. That's not exactly a positive thing in my mind. I was actually frustrated by this suppression of negative emotions because sometimes I just want to follow the emotions to their full fruition, just as I want to follow any thought to its full fruition... I felt like a zombie.

I think Focalin might also be having a very mild effect of the same nature... because I don't seem to have had any very intense emotions since getting on it. But it's hard to say. Focalin does have some small effect on dopamine, at least.

Today I took 10mg Focalin again. Third day in a row.
I ate a little bit of pudding about 30-45min after taking it, but nothing else. More than five hours later now, I feel pretty mild effects of the drug. It was maybe slightly more intense earlier. So more intense than two days ago when I took it with a lot of food (no effect at all) and less intense than yesterday when I took it with no food. This fits in with my hypothesis that food has a strong impact on the drug absorption. My question is: does food just slow the absorption, or does it block it altogether. I think that I may have been experiencing that when I feel less effects due to food intake upon first taking it, I feel stronger effects later in the day, but hard to say.

I'm starting to get bored of this drug, but I do intend to see it through to the end unless I get a Ritalin script from my new psych - in which case I may or may not finish out this drug before switching over. I really want to finish with this script, but I'm also dying of stagnation in my life. The effects of Focalin seem to be pretty consistent over time, as long as I stay on the same dose and eat a similar amount of food, but they seem to fluctuate dramatically based on food intake. But as far as actually helping me concentrate, the effects (or lack thereof) are quite consistent. I haven't taken the drug at the same dose for more than 3 days in a row so far, so there's the limit of what I can judge.

I'm debating whether tomorrow I should stick with the 10mg, or switch it up and try doing the every other day routine. Any opinions on this are welcome. I'm not having high hopes that my concentration will be improved on a day off. Actually, maybe I should just stick with the daily since I'm seeing my current psych on Thursday (unless I change the appointment date, which I'm considering) and want to be able to report to her that I took this consistently over a certain period of time. She seems quietly judgmental of my experimentation with the drugs without her supervision, despite the fact that I see her so infrequently as to make that impractical.

Nonzens
09-08-13, 09:00 PM
I've been feeling a little nauseous with a pressure in my head all night, which is how I felt last time when I took Focalin three days in a row, so I'm thinking this is something I shouldn't be taking every day. I'm gonna take tomorrow off.

It could also be related to my surgery recovery, but I doubt it.

Nonzens
09-10-13, 11:38 PM
So I took yesterday off and just took l-tyrosine instead. I took one L-T pill when I got up and one in the evening. That was a real kicker - I could feel the dopamine strongly, making me want to dance all night. Not what I was going for, but I ended up having higher concentration that night. However, when I woke up today, I immediately got up and took 10mg focalin without eating anything and then sat down in my room and felt like I had no energy... like I was coming down from the L-T. Then, having no energy to take a shower, and not noticing any effects of the Focalin, I decided to try just reading in bed... oh, boy. That got really intense. It was not a riveting book - I'd been reading it for over a month... today, every time I finished a chapter, I'd be like "ok, time to go do something productive, this isn't even that interesting..." but then I'd be overcome by the need to finish the book and just go on pouring through the pages... till I finished it over three hours later.

Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT intense, but it felt like it... at least a lot more intense than I've been lately. If it had been an actually really interesting book, it would've been more normal. And the whole time, I felt a flutter in my chest that was... not uncomfortable, but was a sign that the L-T/Focalin was at work. Similar to how I felt last night..

Then I tried to get myself to focus on something of higher priority... to not much success. it was similar to other days on Focalin. I tried writing out a list of things I could motivate myself to do, and I could only even motivate myself to write down two things because everything was an immediate "no." The two things were: 1. work on job applications, and 2. prepare for discussion facilitation on Friday. Of these two, the only one I felt I could motivate myself to do was the second, which I had also worked on a little last night. I did this.

And that's been my day. I tried picking up a new book to read, but was utterly bored with it and just ended up skimming through it till I gave up.

I've had a headache for almost the entire day, and I believe focalin is once again the culprit. either one day off is just not enough time for me to recover from Focalin, or the L-T boost increased the speed at which the drug gives me a headache.

Conclusion about L-T: It definitely gave me a boost - however, considering that boost started on an evening when I hadn't taken Focalin that day, it's not entirely clear that this boost interacted with the Focalin, or how or to what extent. I think it did interact with it, and it's actually unusual in my experience to get that much of a boost from L-T, so the boost I felt last night was probably an interaction between L-T and the Focalin lingering in my system. But I can't say for sure. Today, I believe there was a positive relationship between the L-T and Focalin. I felt intense in my body in a way that made me feel more like when I was on Ritalin, which is a good thing.

Nevertheless, I had no evidently increased ability to concentrate on top priorities, although the facilitation thing is at least *a* priority, so that's a step.

I think I'm going to continue experimenting with the combo of L-T and Focalin for now, but I don't think it's going to be sustainable. Maybe it would be better to take L-T right before bed, and then again right after I wake up and 30min before taking Focalin, giving my body time to absorb it but not to waste its effects before the Focalin kicks in, as I think might have happened last night.

But unfortunately I think I need to take another day or two off Focalin to avoid more headaches. The fact that I can't take it every day also makes me think it's not a sustainable drug for me.

Nonzens
09-21-13, 03:03 PM
Sigh... either I ate too much before taking the l-tyrosine today, or I can't take it more than 2 days in a row with the Focalin, I think. For a little while there I was starting to think this could be sustainable, but my confidence is waning.... don't know why I had any confidence in that, really. I think I probably have to limit the l-tyrosine to once or twice a week. And the protein no longer seems to be doing much for me... so it was boosting my dopamine levels, but just like Adderall, that just increased my dopamine tolerance. My tolerance to Focalin itself doesn't seem to increase, but then, the focalin by itself doesn't do much for me.

I don't feel like doing anything productive right now. Anything. This is depressing, horrifying, etc... I was finally starting to have hope for my life again between the job training program and this. I have an appointment with my old psych on Monday and one with a totally new psych that was recommended by a friend in a week. I still think I'm going to ask her to try one more month on Focalin, but if it's still only helping me like half the time or less after that, I'll probably give up on Focalin. If my new psych gives me Ritalin, I will probably switch over immediately after completing my first Focalin prescription.

Sigh. Seriously, no motivation... I want to go back to sleep. I am out of l-tyrosine, but just ordered some more last night... so I may not be taking that for another week till the order comes in. It'll be my chance to experiment with just taking the drug plus figure out if there's anything I can do with my diet to improve things...

(see other thread on "Focalin different every day" for details not posted here)

Nonzens
09-22-13, 01:03 PM
OMG, I am sorry... I am so bipolar on this drug...

Yesterday I did nothing productive until about 8 hours AFTER taking the Focalin. That's supposed to be when it ends, right? HAHAHA

Between 8 and 9pm or so, I suddenly started working intently on job applications. Maybe it was spurred on by the fact that this party I really wanted to go to started at 8. I suspect that that was a major reason that I suddenly got to work and was all intense. But the Focalin was definitely allowing me to work that intently. I submitted my first job app, then started looking at a bunch of other job listings... debating whether I should ride out the productivity or go out to the party. I decided to go out and felt like that was a mistake because I didn't enjoy the party that much and could've gotten a lot done. But I got home around 3am and was wide awake and started and finished another job app before going to sleep at 5-something...

Got up at 11 to go to the Farmer's Market. Ate a Boca burger patty for protein. Went to Farmer's Market, sampled some foods, bought some cheese, and fixed my bike. Came home and took Focalin 40 minutes ago. And now working on job apps, feeling intense, but also distracting myself to write this... Have WORK tonight at my old job and I'm tired, but think it'll go well if I stay like this.

Nonzens
09-22-13, 11:05 PM
Yeah, okay, so... today before work I was somewhat productive. Didn't really work on any job apps, but did narrow down to the next jobs I want to apply to. Then had work back at my old job and it went VERY well. Probably my best day ever on that job. Got compliments. They joked that I was a different person they never met before. I was totally energetic, positive, and focused on the job, and the customers liked me more than usual. Finally this simple job is the piece of cake I always thought it should be. I made sure to eat before work, but what I ate was some more protein and a smallish-to-moderate amount of carbs. A small meal. I didn't eat anything at work until it was mostly finished because I didn't want food to interfere with my performance. Normally I'd eat bunches of food during work since it's a restaurant, but I didn't feel like it at all... I did eat some food at the end because they wanted to reward me with it, plus there are always leftovers.

Nonzens
09-23-13, 06:41 PM
Holy ****. I did not get a minute of sleep last night. I've been awake since 11am yesterday. It's almost 7pm right now.

I had to keep going after a certain point because I had an appointment with my psych in the morning. Relief, she gave me another focalin prescription as I wanted and also prescribed me Trazadone to help with sleep. I heard that stuff can be potent, and that sounds good to me because Focalin really potent. How am I still going?! Energizer bunny. My psychiatrist smiled at me as I left her office. She seemed pleased that I was feeling good about the Focalin after our argument over Ritalin.

I didn't take Focalin today because I wanted to be able to sleep when I got home. I was having so much trouble paying attention in my job training program until things got interactive, and that woke me right up. Fittingly, today we did interview practice. But I got pulled out in the middle of it to meet with the job application guy. That was lively. I have my first job interview tomorrow!!! He just put in the number of a job he wanted me to apply for and handed me the phone... I was scared, but the phone convo went well and I got invited for an interview. Then this guy walked me through the interview process, and it was great. He is really good at his job. Today was literally only my third day in this program. Though I didn't take Focalin today, I am still kicking... it's kind of scary. I should sleep now but wanna prepare for this job interview!!!

Last night I ate some protein after work and then took a multivitamin right before bed, and I think a combo of those two things may be why I'm still going...

Nonzens
09-24-13, 03:14 PM
I'm starting a trial period of a new job tomorrow!!! :) My interview went well today and I was told that I sound like I'd be a good manager for the program. :) Only three days in this job training program plus Focalin working for me + here I am starting training at a job I'd never have gone for before.

Nonzens
09-27-13, 11:46 AM
Wow, I am such a mess on Focalin sometimes.... I quit my job trial after two days because even taking all the good stuff combined did not give me near enough energy for that ridiculous job.

I got shortlisted as a candidate for an internship, but then I didn't do well on their step 2 because it was a 30-min challenge that I responded to a few seconds after the deadline. Then I noticed two typos. This is a job where typos are not acceptable. I made not one, but TWO, typos AND turned it in late.

The thing is, I couldn't concentrate at ALL on the article I had to read for the challenge. I was literally just staring at the screen and it wasn't just like my mind was wandering... it was like I felt utterly, UTTERLY incapable of concentrating on the article until I took a second l-tyrosine pill. Even one single sentence. It was all like an impossible blur to my mind. Like imagine if your eyes were blurry and you absolutely could not focus in to make out the words on the page. It was like that, except it was my MIND that was blurry. I could read and recognize a word, but not concentrate on it whatsoever. Same thing happened to me last night when I was trying to practice for the challenge. I couldn't read a single sentence and actually think about what it meant. So 10 minutes into the challenge, I popped another l-tyrosine pill and immediately was totally focused. If I'd taken it right off the bat, I'd have done well on this challenge.

I ******* hate my life. Why is this my life? Missing a simple freaking challenge because I couldn't concentrate for 30 minutes? UGH. Then my job trainer was a debbie downer on my for quitting that stupid canvassing job that I'm clearly not suited for, this morning. Once again, I just want to give up. I go through this whole laborious, tedious, LONG application process, only to **** it up because I couldn't concentrate for 10 crucial minutes. And my job trainer may have ****** me over, too. If he hadn't distracted/frustrated me, I'd have spent my morning preparing for the challenge and noticed that I needed to take more l-tyrosine before the challenge started. :(

Now I can't think about anything else right now. All I can think about is how frustrating this is, and wait to see if they schedule an interview with me. Which I doubt they will, so I'm wasting my time. I can't even be bothered to actually PREPARE for a potential interview because I feel like crap about it right now. I have no idea how I'm going to get through this long day - I have second day back at my old job tonight.

If I did my best and didn't get the job, it wouldn't be so depressing. I'd think, "Well, guess they just had a better candidate, and the economy sucks. Maybe they'll consider me in the future." But I didn't do my best. I rarely do my best. I can't freaking live up to my potential. That's depressing. I'm not going to ask them to consider me in the future if my application sucked.

And the irony of the call with my job trainer frustrates me so much. He just reminds me of my ex now. She is a job trainer for homeless people and is constantly ******** about her clients and saying they don't even try, and that's exactly why we broke up.

Nonzens
10-11-13, 02:44 PM
My experience on this drug has gone steadily downhill since the last post... My concentration level right now is about as low as could be. The only things it's still doing for me are giving me energy, making me alert at work (while simultaneously leaving me spaced out), and making me do some physical activities more intensely (work and exercise)... and making me still talk faster / more intensely. I have to eat a lot of protein now to even get these effects, and I did that today and really just want to go to sleep and never wake up. I went from applying for jobs every day to not being able to do more than glance at job listings. I've tried hard to stay focused on the job search but my brain is utterly incapable of doing that on its own.

Physically, my muscles have a ton of energy due to my high protein intake and overall improved diet. I had SO much energy the other night, went for an unusually long/intense run and then dancing... though now I'm exhausted from that + getting called in to work an extra shift yesterday.

I have no idea how I'm going to make it through the next few weeks. I don't even want to think about it. I just want to give up. I'm tired of trying new drugs and getting disappointed.

G252013
10-11-13, 11:54 PM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=aSPSbQK-x18

See if this helps you release all that adrenaline you have built up

Nonzens
10-19-13, 01:32 AM
LOL, thanks. Ugh... I've been a little more productive the last week, so it's a little less depressing. I also just got back from spending two days with a very loving, long distance lover that made me feel good. He's an editor on the Harvard Law Review and is better than all these stupid job trainers I've been talking to. He edited my cover letter and basically told me he thinks I'm smarter than my job trainers and I should trust my instincts over theirs.

I got my results from my physical in on Tuesday and found out that I am STILL anemic. I think the increased protein has increased my need for iron, plus I didn't keep close enough track to realize that my iron intake had actually decreased when I switched supplements. Also Focalin probably increases my need for iron since it uses more protein.

So... I'm trying not to take the L-Tyrosine pills for a while and maybe in general... that threw me into a horrible cycle in the end, but it made me extremely productive for a while.

My energy overall seems to be recovering. I was so dead that day until I got my physical results over the phone. I was like, "WTF! How am I still borderline anemic, exactly as before?!?!" So I found out that anemic people have a higher recommended daily intake than normal people, which the ignorant doctor and nurse neglected to tell me. They just said, "Take a multivitamin and eat leafy greens. That should do it." Well, no. That did NOT do it. My cells were slightly bigger, but my iron level was slightly smaller.

So after I took iron on Tuesday, I had mad energy for a few hours and got some **** done.

Then on Wednesday I was kind of tired due to sleep deprivation. Then Thursday I read an even higher figure for how much iron I could take and I was feeling inexplicably tired after a good night's rest. So I ended up taking 90mg iron that day, which was probably a little too much because i had a slight stomach ache then and again today when I took iron. Probably my kidneys hurting from excessive iron. So I didn't take any more today. I'll try doing 75mg per day tomorrow and spreading it out more. As long as I'm not experiencing negative side effects, I think it'll be fine.

I definitely had more energy after each time I took an iron pill, and I barely slept last night or on my bus trip back as a result of the iron boost.

It's so weird. Maybe I need to take a break from Focalin if I really want to reach normal levels of iron. I'm afraid that the Focalin is just using up all my iron as I take it, keeping me perpetually deficient.

But that said, I have a lot of energy tonight even though I felt like a zombie from sleep deprivation earlier. I need to sleep, but I'm a little wired right now since I took my Focalin late to prepare me for my night shift. I maybe have eaten a lot of protein as well.

But iron now seems potentially the key to my energy levels. I hope so. Maybe the reason I develop tolerance to meds so easily is more that it depletes my nutrient levels than that my brain is producing less dopamine receptors. I dunno... I think I'll get another blood test in a month or so to see where I'm at because I've realized that being anemic is a horrid problem that may be the primary culprit as to my failing out of university.

I need to make an appointment with the nutritionist at my health center. She should be able to help me deal with this anemia better than the damned doctor/nurses.

Four
10-26-13, 08:09 PM
You sound like you are over responding to and over analyzing changes in your mind-state.
As we all know its kind of hard to tune something as complex as the human body.
This is especially true when the knobs and dials are being adjusted all at once in large increments.
Things are further complicated when these adjustments are made without having some sort of controlled or standard variable in your life.

My best results from stimulants (5 years continued use) have ALWAYS come when I give myself a scheduled, controlled, and POSITIVE environment. This may be difficult to achieve in your current situation but it can be done.
I would start by sticking to a set dosing schedule versus taking the Focalin on an as needed basis, which from what it sounds like is ruining your sleep patterns.

My current situation has me in a scheduled and controlled environment, but I wouldn't call it positive. I'm slipping into a depression because I'm having trouble meeting people now that I'm out of school and in a new town. The meds and techniques that worked before are not working now, purely because of an environment change. Hence the reason I'm back skulking around these forums.

I feel confident (as best I can be while being depressed) that I can get through this by aiming to maintain my good habits and making controlled incremental changes in my life.

I have plenty more to say on this topic but am short for time; I'm also amazed I made it this far without completely erasing what I typed and moving along.

Nonzens
11-17-13, 03:35 AM
I'm giving up on the protein boost thing. Ugh. I actually think I may have ruined my health by that along with some other dietary changes I tried to make to improve my health. I've been dealing with some serious health problems. Stupid.

I think I may have to just accept that no medication will ever really improve my executive function. I'm going to keep trying with Focalin to see if I can use regular techniques to improve my concentration while on it. Taking it regularly without any tricks, just making sure I eat enough that it doesn't cause feelings of discomfort, I am noticing something interesting: it makes me seem kind of more obsessive, but not totally in a bad way. It still helps me at work, though nothing phenomenal. My coworkers are stupid and didn't believe me when I said I was sick, and now they are back to hating me because I wasn't performing as well. When I recover, I'm not sure how it will be. I think I am less anxious on this medication for sure, because it intensifies my focus. When I really get into something, it's more intense. My executive function is horrible lately, so that's where the obsession comes from. I haven't been focused on priorities much like the job search. I've been obsessing over my health problems, reading up on solutions constantly... I promised my therapist to stop that, so I have. But now it's just ... writing up lots of random comments online instead of working on cover letters. Ugh. But I didn't take the medication for a day and was going to take today off because I've been having heart problems. However, I ended up taking it anyway when I realized that I was just sitting there worrying about stuff with no energy at all. Then I was right back to feeling intense and energetic on my computer. At least looking up various things online, and writing things online, is a lot less anxiety-inducing than sitting there being like, "What should I do now? Go to store? But I don't feel well. And I have no energy propelling me to do much of anything..." And on and on just sitting there... I do that a lot, without medication... and I hate it. It's so pathetic. I also definitely talk more intensely while on it, which I like. So at least there are these things. Just......... no real progress in life. It makes life overall better, but it doesn't make it better in the sense of progress. So far, anyway.

Sigh. I still have a huge lack of motivation when it comes to a lot of things. Like cover letters.

hollywood
11-24-13, 01:24 AM
What you should research is a ssri or an snri .. Hocus pocus your looking into everything , protein this protein that !!! Hello anxiety disorder meet denial !

Nonzens
11-24-13, 02:16 AM
What you should research is a ssri or an snri .. Hocus pocus your looking into everything , protein this protein that !!! Hello anxiety disorder meet denial !
WTF? Get out of my thread. You're not my psychiatrist or therapist or anything, so **** off.

And by the way, since my last post, I have surprisingly found that my concentration has been VERY good, almost unwaveringly so. I don't know why. I'm not doing anything special with my diet anymore. I applied to 13 jobs in four days this week.

davinci10
11-24-13, 05:26 AM
is focalin methylphenidate like Ritalin?, if the trade name is different then there must be some difference in chemical compound as well. Can somebody please tell me?

Bouncingoffwall
04-11-16, 07:01 PM
is focalin methylphenidate like Ritalin?, if the trade name is different then there must be some difference in chemical compound as well. Can somebody please tell me?

Methylphenidate and Focalin are two separate drugs. Methylphenidate (brand name: Ritalin) is 50/50 racemic mixture of l-methylphenidate and d-methylphenidate. It goes by the generic name, "Methylphenidate." It is also know under various (immediate-release and long-acting) names such as Concerta, Ritalin LA, Metadate, Methylin and Methylphenidate ER.

Focalin IS Methylphenidate (technically), but it consists of 100% d-methylphenidate, and it's generic name is "Dexmethylphenidate." The "d-" or dextratory isomer of the drug is the one responsible for the majority of central nervous system effects, as the "D" molecule more effectively penetrates the grey matter of the frontal cortex. The frontal cortex is responsible for executive functioning of the brain, such as planning, impulse control, thought processing, attentional and emotional regulation. People with ADHD show deficits in the aforementioned areas due to abnormalities in the functioning of the prefrontal cortex.

So theoretically, a stimulant consisting entirely of the "d" entaniomer should be more effective in addressing the symptoms of ADHD.

The "l" entaniomer is pharmacologically active as well, but it's more know for its "peripheral" rather than "central" nervous system effects. The "l" entaniomers of stimulants produce more "stimulating" effects, i.e. blood vessel constriction, increase of heartbeat, increase in metabolism, increase in body temperature, increase in movement, etc. The "l" molecule is responsible for the "dirty, jittery-feeling" side-effects of stimulant drugs.

Remember, "Methylphenidate" (Ritalin) is the racemic (50/50) mixture. Theoretically, it produces more unpleasant side effects than Focalin. Hope I was able to clarify your confusion :)