View Full Version : Manic for 3 1/2 years on Ritalin


fracturedstory
09-25-13, 01:26 AM
I've been avoiding posting in this section because I wasn't sure if I was ever going to stop taking Ritalin.

To be clear I never knew Ritalin was making me manic. It was only around March or April this year when during one manic episode (lasting weeks/months with on/off depression) I wanted to have bipolar, so I researched it. My favourite folk singer had bipolar and killed himself (added that to say I'm not admiring for having bipolar) and I always viewed my own mood disorder as being too rapid cycling. At this time I didn't know PMDD was actually a mood disorder (I thought of it as 'hormone disorder') so didn't know how closely it related to bipolar disorder.

I also wanted to read up about it because my sister has it and I wanted to learn more about what she goes through.

Then I found out that not only are stimulant medications bad for people with bipolar they can switch it on in people with a predisposition to it.

I've tried about four times to go off, usually after a particularly nasty depressive or mixed (accompanied by much paranoia) episode. But I'd become manic again and think I was doing ok. I've been struggling with such contrasting thoughts since June.

I finally told my doctor, blurted it out really...that I think Ritalin has made me manic or even given me bipolar disorder, so he's stopped my prescription, put me on Ritalin LA which is too damn expensive for me (and I don't want to take it because it might still trigger my moods) and I'm basically keeping a journal of my mood symptoms to see if I'll still have them without taking Ritalin so my doctor can see whether I require any other type of medication.

So, there you go. For awhile there I had purposely taken Ritalin to become manic. I had maybe only taken 10mg washed down with beer to give me instant euphoria and then proceeded to photograph bands whilst so manic and overstimulated I could barely walk. I've chatted to band members which made me think I still needed to be manic so that can continue. I've talked to my heroes, basically.

I would be the chattiest loudest and most arrogant person inside the venue who everyone could hear. I sped around like the Flash. I became so impulsive that I left my purse on the merch desk. I embarrassed myself in front of band members I admired the most. I had such crippling anxiety around a band member I like the most, and at one point had eroticmania and limerence so bad that when I came down into such a deep and long depression I could have killed myself.

Most people know how often I've had intense suicidal thoughts. That was one reason why I decided to stop taking Ritalin. I was also getting manic on 5mg, couldn't eat and just felt sick in my body.

When I went up to 25-30mg I almost had a heart attack or broke all my teeth from waking up and grinding them so bad. Nevermind the seizures I've had since late 2010.

The last time I was drinking with Ritalin in my system the morning after I collapsed onto my bathroom wall, landed on the floor with my neck bent slightly and my glasses broke and stabbed right beside my eye. So, I almost broke my neck and damaged my vision.

I realised that if I kept taking Ritalin I would just run into worse situations like this. I'm glad that it never got to a catastrophic point. Because of my epilepsy I can't take high doses or even drink too much alcohol.

Before this I never cared about drugs or getting high. A Ritalin and weed combo made me psychotic so I now stay away from weed. But now that I realise I was essentially getting high I probably would take harder drugs if it wasn't for the seizures and thinking I'd probably die after one whiff of cocaine.

I just thought I had finally got control over ADHD, could read and write anything I could possibly want to, talk to anyone and get into debates, not to mention have the motivation to do anything. I almost taught myself bass but my rapid cycling was just too intense by then.
What I had really done was destroy my life, damage my brain and embarrass myself in front of people. I broke quite a lot of friendships too because people were triggering my moods. They will never accept my mania as an excuse and so I just have to let them go.

Thanks for reading.

IndieVisible
09-25-13, 01:55 AM
If you were manic for 3 1/2 years you may want to contact guinness book of world records because that would certainly break any record. The longest I ever heard of was 6 months. Generally they only last 3 to 8 weeks. May be you were just over med?

fracturedstory
09-25-13, 02:04 AM
If you were manic for 3 1/2 years you may want to contact guinness book of world records because that would certainly break any record. The longest I ever heard of was 6 months. Generally they only last 3 to 8 weeks. May be you were just over med?

Of course someone's going to misinterpret what I said...

My first year on Ritalin I was completely manic, then came the depression and then mania and depression was on and off.

I've only been constantly manic for no longer than five days. I have very rapid cycling moods. Depression lasts no longer than 24 hours.

Oh look, you triggered me. Thanks. Why do people always have to be so sarcastic and doubtful? I've spent the last 6 months living through this rapid cycling h*ll. Ritalin is known as a switch on drug for bipolar. So are anti-depressants which I was on maybe a year before Ritalin. I've also taken the pill that triggered another mood disorder.

How can I be over medicated on 5-10mg of Ritalin? Granted the 15mg doses made it worse but compared to most people that's hardly anything.

I'm pretty sure I know what's going on in my life more than you do. I wasn't asking for advice but just sharing my story.

IndieVisible
09-25-13, 02:17 AM
I'm sorry I triggered you. Not my intent. But I have serious doubts you are bipolar and what ever it is you get I doubt it's manic. BTW rapid cycling bipolar cycles about twice a year. And it is not triggered. Borderline Personality Disorder is often mistaken for bipolar because it appears their mood changes rapidly from high to low, typically it can last for minutes to hours and occasionally 2 days. They can also cycle back and forth through out the day. And this cycling can go on every day with occasional breaks. Their mood shifts are indeed triggered. I appreciate you sharing your story. Have you ever been diagnosed by a doctor?

Daydreamin22
09-25-13, 03:29 AM
Ugh fractured story, that sucks. Drug induced mania. I'm sorry. Happens to the best of us.

sarahsweets
09-25-13, 04:23 AM
So sorry fractured! I am bipolar as well and I will tell you that not all stimulants make mania, or bp worse. For me, ritalin caused rapid mood changes, horrible crashes and unpredictable symptoms. Dexedrine and adderall have worked wonders for me, but I think that I tolerate the amphetamine class of drugs much better than anything from the methylphenidate class of drugs.

daveddd
09-25-13, 06:37 AM
you may call it manic

but its incredibly similar to the buzz people get off of speed based meds

the teeth grinding , chatty, zipping around


that isnt mania

Hayden_NZ
09-25-13, 09:36 AM
I'm really sorry the Methylphenidate has not worked out for you, it must be really disheartening to feel you had the answer to your problem/challenge with ADHD, and it has not worked out in the long run. That would really suck !!!, especially since you vested so much time in going through the side effects of the medication, and also thinking you had an answer and found something that helped.

Even though the medication for my ADHD is only part of the Puzzle, it has helped me very much, I seem to have the opposite effects to you, in that it makes me calmer, with less racing thoughts and anxiety.

Maybe the Methylphenidate might be right for you after some other issues/comorbidities have been addressed first, ( of course I'm not a Doctor though).

I do really feel for you. I tried so many anti depressants and nothing worked, it was so disheartening. But as soon as I found the right medication and diagnosis it all fell into place, ( my undiagnosed ADHD was making me anxious which lead to depression, and the antidepressants were not helping my ADHD, the cause of my anxiety and depression).

I'll keep reading your posts to see how your getting on.

Hugz

Hayden

ana futura
09-25-13, 10:16 AM
In my experience untreated anxiety combined with ADHD meds can produce a lot of "manic" symptoms- racing thoughts, weird shifting energy levels, shifting sleep patterns, edginess, and anger outbursts.

Recently I was going through a period of thinking I might be bipolar- when someone point out to me that all of my "symptoms" could also stem from anxiety. In fact, the way I was obsessing over having bipolar was related to anxiety as well.

I have no idea what you're going through or if this is at all relevant to you, but it's something to consider.

It also might just be that Ritalin is a terrible fit for you, but you've tried and tried to make it work, and in this process the drug has progressively unsettled you. You must believe that you will return to "normal" upon cessation, the brain is powerful thing and tends to "manifest" what it believes, if that makes sense.

IndieVisible
09-25-13, 07:01 PM
This thread reminds me of the latest episodic or fad of celebrities saying they have bipolar. More and more stars are suddenly bipolar as if it was the latest hollywood in thing. I think people should read up more on bipolar.

ana futura
09-25-13, 07:04 PM
This thread reminds me of the latest episodic or fad of celebrities saying they have bipolar. More and more stars are suddenly bipolar as if it was the latest hollywood in thing. I think people should read up more on bipolar.

More and more people are being diagnosed with bipolar. If anyone needs to do any reading up on bipolar, it's the professionals.

ana futura
09-25-13, 07:07 PM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18466044

Fewer than half the patients who reported that they had been previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder based on the SCID. Patients with SCID-diagnosed bipolar disorder had a significantly higher morbid risk of bipolar disorder than patients who self-reported a previous diagnosis of bipolar disorder that was not confirmed by the SCID (p < .02). Patients who self-reported a previous diagnosis of bipolar disorder that was not confirmed by the SCID did not have a significantly higher morbid risk for bipolar disorder than the patients who were negative for bipolar disorder by self-report and the SCID.

Not only is there a problem with underdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, but also an equal if not greater problem exists with overdiagnosis.

Note the conclusion? Much like ADHD...

Anyway Fractured, sorry for the derail. Whatever's going on with you, bipolar or no, things obviously aren't working out for you and I hope that changes soon.

daveddd
09-25-13, 07:08 PM
i didnt mean that in a bad way either, just ritalin doesnt cause bipolar, there is enough stigma out there...you just seem very sensitive to stimulant meds

psychology is currently ignored in favor of terms like chemical imbalance

therefore if a case presents where someone repressing a large amount of rage and occasionally it explodes onto someone

doctors are left with nothing

the closest chemical imbalance is bipolar, so thats what they call you

fracturedstory
09-25-13, 10:13 PM
I love how people on the internet have been telling me what's going on in my life.

YOU ARE NOT HELPING! Even the regulars who I would have considered friends. I mean do you always have to be so right that you upset someone? That's directed at you Dave.

I do not get a buzz. The buzz is when I take it with alcohol. That lasts an hour. Mania is not always a good experience.

I have bipolar in my family.

I've been off Ritalin for days but I'm still becoming manic. I know what mania is. I have been manic for almost a week at a time.

And don't give me that BS about rapid cycling. There is ultra rapid ultradian cycling which I just fit and my sister and my best friend has. Without medication the episodes are more spaced out. Yeah, Ana, that's how we are different. When the medication wears off the episodes don't stop. And I still haven't recovered from the side effects I got from the pill in 2008 or anti-depressants in 2009.

I've probably read up more about bipolar than anyone here, besides Keliza.

The only reason why I have anxiety is because of the mania and depression. I was fine before I took Ritalin. Sure, I developed PTSD after a trauma but that's while I was on Ritalin.

Oh and Dave, Ritalin gave me epilepsy. Permanently. How's your magic wonder drug now? Sure it helps some people but not everyone can take it.

I don't want bipolar. I have been suicidal, delusional and done some stupid f**king things whilst manic. I don't care what it is. I just need a name for it so I can do my own treatment while I go through this diagnosis process.


I put this here to confess something I had done to people I once trusted with personal information. But now that's all over.

So, just because you people had to be right to a person who has been completely mental for the last 6 months and is now sick from withdrawals, you've lost a friend. If I was ever a friend to begin with. This place taught me empathy but you people are showing me very little, besides Hayden.

Anyway, I'm just going to see what happens when all this Ritalin gets out of my system. If I go back to normal then I guess it was just Ritalin but if there's space between each episode then well, I guess I'm going on mood stabilisers.

I really hate a lot of you right now. I've always been an honest person. I don't care if mods edit this, delete it, warn me or ban me. I'm sick of having to listen to some of you.

And thanks for making the assumption that I haven't researched bipolar to death. I love assumptions just as much as people telling me what's really going on in my life despite not actually having spent one day with me.

IndieVisible
09-25-13, 10:27 PM
Have you actually been diagnosed with bipolar by an actual psychiatrist?

sarahsweets
09-26-13, 04:33 AM
I dont think I said anything that was unsupportive but if it seemed that way im sorry.

daveddd
09-26-13, 06:04 AM
I love how people on the internet have been telling me what's going on in my life.

YOU ARE NOT HELPING! Even the regulars who I would have considered friends. I mean do you always have to be so right that you upset someone? That's directed at you Dave.

I do not get a buzz. The buzz is when I take it with alcohol. That lasts an hour. Mania is not always a good experience.

I have bipolar in my family.

I've been off Ritalin for days but I'm still becoming manic. I know what mania is. I have been manic for almost a week at a time.

And don't give me that BS about rapid cycling. There is ultra rapid ultradian cycling which I just fit and my sister and my best friend has. Without medication the episodes are more spaced out. Yeah, Ana, that's how we are different. When the medication wears off the episodes don't stop. And I still haven't recovered from the side effects I got from the pill in 2008 or anti-depressants in 2009.

I've probably read up more about bipolar than anyone here, besides Keliza.

The only reason why I have anxiety is because of the mania and depression. I was fine before I took Ritalin. Sure, I developed PTSD after a trauma but that's while I was on Ritalin.

Oh and Dave, Ritalin gave me epilepsy. Permanently. How's your magic wonder drug now? Sure it helps some people but not everyone can take it.

I don't want bipolar. I have been suicidal, delusional and done some stupid f**king things whilst manic. I don't care what it is. I just need a name for it so I can do my own treatment while I go through this diagnosis process.


I put this here to confess something I had done to people I once trusted with personal information. But now that's all over.

So, just because you people had to be right to a person who has been completely mental for the last 6 months and is now sick from withdrawals, you've lost a friend. If I was ever a friend to begin with. This place taught me empathy but you people are showing me very little, besides Hayden.

Anyway, I'm just going to see what happens when all this Ritalin gets out of my system. If I go back to normal then I guess it was just Ritalin but if there's space between each episode then well, I guess I'm going on mood stabilisers.

I really hate a lot of you right now. I've always been an honest person. I don't care if mods edit this, delete it, warn me or ban me. I'm sick of having to listen to some of you.

And thanks for making the assumption that I haven't researched bipolar to death. I love assumptions just as much as people telling me what's really going on in my life despite not actually having spent one day with me.

your right, sorry then

i dont understand why you would continue to take ritalin if it gave you epilepsy and bipolar

Hayden_NZ
09-27-13, 06:14 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong :-) ,from what she wrote in her previous posts she was experencing some mania, but could not quite put her finger on the cause. Also by the sounds of it she wanted to give the medication and the doctors instructions of taking the medication the benefit of the doubt until she was more sure. Also it seemed it was giving her a possibly artificial manic confidence when out, which would be tempting to continue with when you have anxiety issues.

I'm only going of what I have read as I follow fracturedstory's posts often, but I might be incorrect. Its simplex to ask her why she did not just stop taking the medication, when she was confused about the cause of the mania.

ana futura
09-27-13, 11:26 AM
I have bipolar in my family.Me too.

And don't give me that BS about rapid cycling. There is ultra rapid ultradian cycling which I just fit and my sister and my best friend has. Without medication the episodes are more spaced out. Yeah, Ana, that's how we are different. When the medication wears off the episodes don't stop. That's not how we're different- I experience the same thing.

I don't want bipolar. I have been suicidal, delusional and done some stupid f**king things whilst manic. I don't care what it is. I just need a name for it so I can do my own treatment while I go through this diagnosis process. Ritalin (and Dexedrine) made me have suicidal thoughts as well.

What is "your own treatment"? Often what's good for one form of depression or unstable mood is good for all of them.

Instead of desiring to pinpoint the name of a disorder, can you focus on the issues you are having? If you still have ptsd, that can be causing a host of issues.

Obviously you should talk to a doctor about this, but what's really important here is not the name of a disorder, it's the emotional imbalance you are experiencing.

Anyway, I'm just going to see what happens when all this Ritalin gets out of my system. If I go back to normal then I guess it was just Ritalin but if there's space between each episode then well, I guess I'm going on mood stabilisers.


I think this is a very wise thing to do. The whole point of my post was not to deny your experience, but only to encourage you to not fixate on the bipolar dx, until you speak to your doctor. Once we think we "have something", it's our nature to start looking for it everywhere. This can just make us feel more unwell. That's not to say you can't have bipolar.

If I hadn't switched to focalin and found a way to manage my own mood swings (by resolving past trauma and treating my anxiety) there's no way I could be on stimulant medication right now. And I would be a complete and total mess without it.

I'd say ADHD meds have been a nightmare for my mood (creating issues that continued for WEEKS if I stopped taking them) The moods were already there, meds just made everything worse. To frame it as an underlying disorder that "manifests" because of ADHD medications- I think that approach often does not do us any favors. Our emotions are trying to tell us something. Something is not resolved. What you do with that information is up to you, but I think pathologizing or emotions can often lead to more trouble down the line.

Hayden_NZ
09-29-13, 05:18 AM
I hope your doing OK fracturedstory, I have never had mania or addiction issues, but have had good friends that have ( and have been there for them). I feel for your situation. hope you had a nice weekend :-) .

Hugs

Hayden.

Modafinilguy
09-29-13, 08:42 AM
Well it is VERY important that your bipolar has been diagnosed by a psychiatrist before you believe for certain that you have the disorder. I was not clear if it has?

But if you have bipolar, well in my strong opinion you should not be on Ritalin or other stimulants.

Hayden_NZ
10-04-13, 12:11 AM
@modafinilguy, from what I read they SOMETIMES still prescribe Methlyphenidate to people with bipolar ( of course with comorbid ADHD), once the bipolar has been " controlled"/addressed. Just like they still sometimes prescribe Methylphenidate to people with anxiety comorbid With ADHD, even though anxiety "disorders" are listed as a contraindication to Methylphenidate treatment. From what I read ( I'm in no way a Doctor), it usual practice to " control" the comorbid conditions first ( if there more bothersome than the ADHD), and then if appropriate to start Methylphenidate with small doses and take any dose increases slowly, with increased monitoring for adverse effects.

.Stuck.
10-13-13, 08:01 PM
I really appreciate you writing your post, fractured. Your post actually drew me out of hiding and encouraged me to share some of my thoughts (something that I generally shy away from doing...) . I appreciate you sharing your story.

I kind of relate to your experiences, although my experiences with Ritalin are the complete polar opposite. (No pun intended). I related to your misuse of your prescription in order to make yourself more sociable, chatty (a social elixir of sorts) instead of functional and balanced. (When I sought help for my adhd and depression/anxiety, I thought that my meds were supposed to push me into a state of mania. I was unfortunately pushed into the opposite direction with the wrong meds..but I digress...)

I'm glad that you realized that you were not going about your care in a healthy, safe and proper direction. You sought out help and got a change in your care plan and meds with your doc, and that's a good thing. :) Thank you again for having the courage to share your experiences and mistakes.

Daydreamin22
10-30-13, 10:39 PM
No offense, love you all but skimmed some comments not noticing username and have to say Fractured story has ligitimate cause and a big reason to be frustrated right now with the challenges and opposition. It's a true and accurate account. Fractured story knows what happened and he shared it, simple as that. Don't know why some parts of this thread got so distorted, other than the fact that indie visible initially set the stage w unexpected reaction.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=152158

ClarkG
11-16-13, 02:40 AM
If you are manic or bipolar you should talk to your doctor about this, get on other medications, and you should not be on medications for ADD/ADHD since you do not have it. Ritilian does not stay in your system for long. Good luck.

Fortune
11-19-13, 04:11 AM
On the contrary, many people who have bipolar disorder also have ADHD.

Daydreamin22
11-27-13, 04:45 PM
You can treat both with the right doses of medicine for each disorder. See link I posted above and refer to the Livestrong.com source.

Modafinilguy
11-29-13, 02:45 AM
@modafinilguy, from what I read they SOMETIMES still prescribe Methlyphenidate to people with bipolar ( of course with comorbid ADHD), once the bipolar has been " controlled"/addressed. Just like they still sometimes prescribe Methylphenidate to people with anxiety comorbid With ADHD, even though anxiety "disorders" are listed as a contraindication to Methylphenidate treatment. From what I read ( I'm in no way a Doctor), it usual practice to " control" the comorbid conditions first ( if there more bothersome than the ADHD), and then if appropriate to start Methylphenidate with small doses and take any dose increases slowly, with increased monitoring for adverse effects.

Point well taken. Good point.

I was having panic attacks from age 21-28 (I am 39 now and have not had them in over a decade) but when I was 23 was put on Ritalin for ADHD.

I would not have wanted to be denied the opportunity to try it, because of panic disorder.

Its just I think you have to be cautious.. Bipolar plus ADHD must be a very uncommon dice roll, you want to be sure both diagnosis are correct.

And yes Bipolar stability must come first.