View Full Version : Mental exhaustion


SmashPotato
07-22-14, 04:58 AM
For the past month I've been completely off my meds and I am also experimenting with other things to combat my symptoms such healthy eating (I follow Paul Jaminet's "Perfect health Diet"), abstaining from watching porn and not doing anything over stimulating like games, movies, tv shows, etc, and instead, have just been reading novels in my leisure time.

I can say that my symptoms have improved massively from the days when I used to play world of warcraft and eat frozen pizza every night. Some symptoms have completely disappeared. I no longer have huge difficulty with focus, motivation, day dreaming, organisation and boredom.

However, one problem that has persisted is that I suffer from mental burnout so easily. So much so, that this horrible feeling can occur every day for long periods of the day if I let it. Avoiding it means walking on egg shells and avoiding tasks that will rob me of my mental energy. I think it mainly happens when I try to do something that involves a lot of reading and thinking combined. For example, I don't have a huge problem reading a fact based book but surfing the net to research something can lead me to become overwhelmed very easily. At the moment I am on job seekers benefit but I struggle to look for a job because I get burnout every time I try.

I believe this is "Sluggish Cognitive Tempo" but I could be wrong as I find it difficult to fully distinguish this from ADHD-PI. I have a friend who also has ADHD but his symptoms are very different from mine. He doesn't seem to have this lack of mental resources that I have. I am just very worried that it will not improve and I might have to go back on the medication. My goal is to go 90 days without meds and then evaluate things.

Does anyone else have this problem? Have you found anything that helps? I know the medication works, but I don't like the way it makes me a zombie and completely changes my personality.

peripatetic
08-09-14, 02:31 AM
welcome to the forums. i don't have sct or a primarily inattentive diagnosis, but hopefully those in this section can offer some help distinguishing.

best wishes

sarahsweets
08-09-14, 05:10 AM
What meds are you takingq?

SmashPotato
08-09-14, 05:57 AM
I was taking dexamfetamine 5 mg 2-3 times daily but I am trying cope with my symptoms without meds.

Darkneko
08-09-14, 06:24 AM
I have always been easily mentally exchausted but I always put it down to being an introvert and saying social activities take a lot out of me. I guess thats not always true though, espicially now I am much more extrovert now I'm happier. I find meds make me more mentally exhausted than without. I eat healthy and avoid caffine and sugar which helps. I have snacks with me too like meusli bars and packs of popcorm etc to keep up my energy. Food high in fibre keep you fuller and more energised for longer. Low GI foods as well. Are you sure you are on the right meds and dosages? I think that maybe the personality changes may be meds working too well. My Ritalin keeps me really calm(like I can't get annoyed or angry) but the dosage is good because I can still express positive emotions and be passionate but not respond with anger or out bursts.

SmashPotato
08-09-14, 02:31 PM
I have always been easily mentally exchausted but I always put it down to being an introvert and saying social activities take a lot out of me. I guess thats not always true though, espicially now I am much more extrovert now I'm happier. I find meds make me more mentally exhausted than without. I eat healthy and avoid caffine and sugar which helps. I have snacks with me too like meusli bars and packs of popcorm etc to keep up my energy. Food high in fibre keep you fuller and more energised for longer. Low GI foods as well. Are you sure you are on the right meds and dosages? I think that maybe the personality changes may be meds working too well. My Ritalin keeps me really calm(like I can't get annoyed or angry) but the dosage is good because I can still express positive emotions and be passionate but not respond with anger or out bursts.

Possibly. My meds always feel very strong even though it's only 5 mg, but 2.5 mg never quite did it for me. It could be because I took magnesium daily to combat tolerance. Anyway, I am functional enough now without meds. I don't really see them as a viable option because it limits productivity to only half of the day and the rest of the day I felt tired, plus the personality alteration thing.

I'm surprised not many others have the mental fatigue thing, or maybe they are not replying. Basically I just wanted to reach out and see who's in the same boat, but things have improved and I am slowly gaining energy as my brain rebalances from being adjusted to taking meds.

Batman55
08-10-14, 12:52 AM
I've always been a skeptic of the idea that you can reduce intensity of ADD by abstaining from desirable/stimulating activities. Maybe to a slight extent, I'd say.

I could maybe see it working IF you are taking the right medication and finally getting things done, and therefore blocking out the distractions because now you have the ability to stay on the straight path. But I don't necessarily see it working without the meds.. how much can someone just "white-knuckle" their way to a zone of zero distraction? It wouldn't be ADD, if you could pull that off... IMO anyway.

SmashPotato
08-10-14, 04:20 AM
I've always been a skeptic of the idea that you can reduce intensity of ADD by abstaining from desirable/stimulating activities. Maybe to a slight extent, I'd say.

I could maybe see it working IF you are taking the right medication and finally getting things done, and therefore blocking out the distractions because now you have the ability to stay on the straight path. But I don't necessarily see it working without the meds.. how much can someone just "white-knuckle" their way to a zone of zero distraction? It wouldn't be ADD, if you could pull that off... IMO anyway.

I don't really get distracted by external stimuli, more like I have problems processing information fast enough and I get distracted by my own thoughts. That's why I thought I might have SCT.

Abstaining from over stimulating has helped me a lot. I would even go as far as saying that it had a more positive effect than medication because it lasts for 100% of the day. I have found this to be the most effective way of dealing with my symptoms. The benefits are very clear to see. I tried going back to World of Warcraft two months ago and literally from the first day I noticed much of my symptoms returning (losing keys, daydreaming, etc).

SmashPotato
08-10-14, 04:27 AM
Here's a video on the science behind it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqwo9dmIXAQ

Although it is talking about the effect of cocaine on the brain, it is interchangeable with anything that produces a high dopamine response, ie. anything pleasurable, especially concentrated pleasures such as sugar, drugs, alcohol, porn, online games, gambling, etc.

flubio123
08-10-14, 11:32 PM
Caveat: Just had my assessment for inattentive ADHD - awaiting the results - though my symptoms are being improved by Ritalin right now.

I've always been a skeptic of the idea that you can reduce intensity of ADD by abstaining from desirable/stimulating activities. Maybe to a slight extent, I'd say. I could maybe see it working IF you are taking the right medication and finally getting things done, and therefore blocking out the distractions because now you have the ability to stay on the straight path. But I don't necessarily see it working without the meds.. how much can someone just "white-knuckle" their way to a zone of zero distraction? It wouldn't be ADD, if you could pull that off... IMO anyway.

White-knuckling is the worst-cast scenario. In my case, I used to smoke weed which helped a lot with symptoms and then discovered meditation which eventually replaced weed. It means white-knuckling turns into an attentive grasp of what's going on inside of my head. No teeth gritting all the time (just some of the time).

Here's a video on the science behind it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqwo9dmIXAQ

Although it is talking about the effect of cocaine on the brain, it is interchangeable with anything that produces a high dopamine response, ie. anything pleasurable, especially concentrated pleasures such as sugar, drugs, alcohol, porn, online games, gambling, etc.

http://www.printfriendly.com/print/?source=site&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgamertherapist.com%2Fblog%2F2013% 2F08%2F25%2Fdopey-about-dopamine-video-games-drugs-addiction-2%2F

http://infographic-directory.com/2012/09/06/porn-viewing-effects/

Your point is legitimate. I tried this approach. I basically lived like a monk for months. I stopped masturbating, stopped watching TV (serious crutch for me), stopped drinking, no coffee, no sugar. Life became pretty chill. I think it has to do with re-sensitization of the dopamine receptors in the brain (which - correct me if I'm wrong - ADHD/ADD patients have more of). Basically, you're training the brain to only respond to stimuli which most humans would experience before artificial stimulation. The problem is - we live in a world of artificial stimulation, temptation is everywhere. Kudos to you if you can live that way. I ended up getting good grades taking this approach. I eventually went to a psychologist at my school and asked him "Umm... I need some help allowing myself at least some impulses in my life ... I feel content but I have to constantly curve any impulse I have". After 1.5 sessions of talking with me he guessed I had inattentive ADD and referred me (apparently it's a red flag when you have to curtail your entire life around staying focused to accomplish tasks most people take granted).

Batman55
08-11-14, 12:15 AM
Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty logical approach and I'm glad this "de-stimulating" regimen is working for you, it's just that I have trouble seeing it work for myself because I can't seem to "will" myself into proper discipline. I've tried abstaining from some things in the past and inevitably get back to them after a certain amount of time. Also, if I ever "promise" myself never to do this or that again, then I become a rebel to myself and just jump right back into the "vice" in the worst way.

I suppose someone can have ADD/SCT and a lot of discipline/willpower at the same time, perhaps you are such a person? Especially seeing as you could do this without meds. I could hardly imagine that.

SmashPotato
08-11-14, 03:52 AM
Well, it's not easy. It took many many failed attempts to get to where I am now. I read a lot into addiction. At the moment I have gone 42 days without such pleasures which is the longest I've ever gone. I think the thing that changed it for me was the realisation that I needed to do this because I have too much too lose. It's either do this or go on meds. After you have a solid reason for abstaining from something it becomes easy. After all, we are in control of our actions as human beings. We may get urges but if we recognise them as impulses coming from our animal brain they can be separated from our regular thoughts. You just need to be aware of when you are being triggered I think.

sarek
08-11-14, 06:06 AM
Through self awareness and mental deprogramming I have managed to take a few sharp edges off the mental fatigue problem, though its core remains. I feel now that it is most likely not emotional or intellectual sub-system driven but that it may orginate in the moving control system or in the physical substrate.

Another thing that helps is to ensure to keep physically active. This can make a tremendous difference to brain fog. A variety of exercise is needed. Endurance only or intensity only or strength oriented only is not enough, you need to balance this.

I am now exploring for myself the concept of reserving the "right" to have my peace of mind and I am centering much more on myself than i used to. This brings the locus of control from outside of me back to inside. It helps me regulate time, energy and even money issues and all three interact closely.

Related to the above is also that you need to manage the 'quality' of your energies. If you ingest too many heavy and dark energies (news sources, violent movies, other people's emanations) without the proper conscious inoculation, you take away from your own energy. Here too, you have the right and the duty to isolate yourself from such sources.

The next avenue I want to explore is on the dietary side. I mean to reduce my wheat intake and I also want to look into the ketogenic diet. But, as yet no experiences on this side.

sarek
08-11-14, 06:24 AM
Missed one:

Start to move slowly, very slowly. By this I mean not forced relaxing (which is bloody hard for an ADDer in this madhouse world) but impressing upon yourself the notion that there really is pretty much nothing or no one whatsoever out there that is really worth running around or hurrying for.

sarahsweets
08-11-14, 06:49 AM
Because we live in a go-go-go world for me, meds hell me Soto with they mindfulness thar I'm constantly trying to attain.

SmashPotato
08-11-14, 06:55 AM
Through self awareness and mental deprogramming I have managed to take a few sharp edges off the mental fatigue problem, though its core remains. I feel now that it is most likely not emotional or intellectual sub-system driven but that it may orginate in the moving control system or in the physical substrate.

Another thing that helps is to ensure to keep physically active. This can make a tremendous difference to brain fog. A variety of exercise is needed. Endurance only or intensity only or strength oriented only is not enough, you need to balance this.

I am now exploring for myself the concept of reserving the "right" to have my peace of mind and I am centering much more on myself than i used to. This brings the locus of control from outside of me back to inside. It helps me regulate time, energy and even money issues and all three interact closely.

Related to the above is also that you need to manage the 'quality' of your energies. If you ingest too many heavy and dark energies (news sources, violent movies, other people's emanations) without the proper conscious inoculation, you take away from your own energy. Here too, you have the right and the duty to isolate yourself from such sources.

The next avenue I want to explore is on the dietary side. I mean to reduce my wheat intake and I also want to look into the ketogenic diet. But, as yet no experiences on this side.

Wow, okay. Quite a meaty post. So I'm guessing that you have SCT? This problem of mental fatigue seems to be experienced by a minority of ADDers.

You are using some terms I am not familiar with but I think I understand what you mean about managing your energies. I don't watch the news and I am generally quite ignorant about many subjects because I feel I have to save my energy. The problem with this is that it makes me a bit anti-social because most people like to talk about a range of subjects and hop from subject to subject within seconds, which can be exhausting.

petester
08-11-14, 09:39 PM
I get mentally exhausted just trying to avoid talking to normal people that dont understand what this learning disability is like (which is everyone) but I've found that eating strictly healthy 5 days a week and exercise everyday along with vitamins works really good im taking b12, 1 a day multi, d 3, desiccated liver,fish oil and glutamine the b12 and glutamine work great for calming my nerves the glutamine is only 19.95 a kilo and is a miracle drug good luck.

Batman55
08-12-14, 12:17 AM
White-knuckling is the worst-cast scenario. In my case, I used to smoke weed which helped a lot with symptoms and then discovered meditation which eventually replaced weed. It means white-knuckling turns into an attentive grasp of what's going on inside of my head. No teeth gritting all the time (just some of the time).

I must point out an interesting contradiction in your post: you say you stopped TV, stopped caffeine, stopped expressing your natural male libido, and that helped your ADD. But above you talk about smoking pot which also helped your ADD. To me that is really the same as many of the other indulgences, if not even worse (far worse, in some ways), and yet you say it was beneficial...

I consider myself doing relatively well with triggers, if we consider how bad I used to be.. and I used to be REALLY bad. Nowadays I have a hobby that requires a lot of thinking, planning, and virtually no instant reward. I'm a caffeine addict still, but I never have any drinks and don't use any other drugs. I do many of the other things mentioned in this thread but generally moderate them pretty well.

But getting rid of all these enjoyable activities.. ALL of them? I don't see the point in removing enjoyment from life.

Batman55
08-12-14, 12:21 AM
After all, we are in control of our actions as human beings. We may get urges but if we recognise them as impulses coming from our animal brain they can be separated from our regular thoughts. You just need to be aware of when you are being triggered I think.

Some urges are normal and don't need to be suppressed.. only moderated.

aeon
08-12-14, 12:22 AM
If you ingest too many heavy and dark energies (news sources, violent movies, other people's emanations) without the proper conscious inoculation, you take away from your own energy.

This is so important. Especially because one can become addicted to dark energies. They stimulate, but they do not nourish.

flubio123
08-13-14, 12:41 PM
I must point out an interesting contradiction in your post: you say you stopped TV, stopped caffeine, stopped expressing your natural male libido, and that helped your ADD. But above you talk about smoking pot which also helped your ADD. To me that is really the same as many of the other indulgences, if not even worse (far worse, in some ways), and yet you say it was beneficial...

But getting rid of all these enjoyable activities.. ALL of them? I don't see the point in removing enjoyment from life.

Maybe there was some miscommunication on my part. I used pot which helped slow my mind to a pace where I could become aware of myself and my own thoughts in conjunction with meditation. Then I stopped using Pot, watching TV and ignored my libido all at once. Pot is a short term solution to a long term problem and not advised as it is dependency forming for some people (myself included) but was useful in my path of self-treatment.