View Full Version : 1st week adjusting to Ritalin: Where am I at?

10-16-14, 06:49 AM
Hello All,
This is my first post and my first month in the reality that i supposedly suffer/experience severe ADHD.

I'm not used to posting in forums, so feel free to school me if I'm doing something wrong.

I recently agreed to trail meds (Ritalin) and am unsure where to place my experience thus far- hence running to this website. Ive been searching and searching like i madman for the right answer on the net, but have yet to find what I'm looking for (whatever that is).

(i should mention its mixed with a an anxiety disorder. I refused meds throughout my life until i simply have no where else to go)

The first few days on Ritalin were perplexing: most of my anxiety related symptoms cleared up, i could focus on complicated tasks at work much more easily than usual, i had drive and the ability to follow through, i could communicate effectively and intelligently (usually not that easy) and i didn't feel out of control as i had expected.

But, i defn felt "affected". I knew i was taking a drug, and having experienced amphetamines and various stimulants as a younger adult (I'm 36 now), i was aware of a "high" being experienced.

However, in this case, i felt in control, could sleep without issue at night, and like i said, many of the negative symptoms i suffer were clearing up.

But i could never let do of the fact that i felt "affected". Ive read other posts, websites etc. where people felt nothing, and only via the input of others were aware that they were improving.

After 5 days of feeling all the symptoms that had ruined my slipping away, i had a tough sleep (also reared to some personal stuff going on), and woke up to a really brutal day with plenty of the old symptoms and the fear that i'm a guy just taking drugs and experiencing a high thats getting me through.

So this first week or two: should i feel something like i am, and will it die down? Is a few weeks in the point where i will feel both the positive feelings i have already, plus a reduced "affected" feeling.

Its really a combination of normal and not right now, so i can't put my finger on it.

6 days in: what is the trajectory from here?

Oh, and i started at 10mg twice a day, and instead of going with the psychiatrists recommendation of boosting to 20mg twice daily, I've changed it to 10mg, three times daily to cover my entire long working day.

10-16-14, 10:11 AM

I'm 31 and only recently diagnosed myself. I'm due to start Concerta XR (which is pretty much extended release Ritalin) in the next few weeks. As I haven't been medicated yet I don't have personal experience to answer you. However from being on this site and from doing a bit of research about the effects of Ritalin I think what you're experiencing is to be expected. A lot of people experience a high when they start taking Ritalin but my understanding is this goes away in a week or two. After that you will still have the benefit of the drug but will not feel like you are on anything.


10-16-14, 12:19 PM
I'm about three weeks in and still working to get to the right dose. I've never taken other drugs (I guess I had a sheltered childhood and adolescence) so I can't relate to feeling "high" The first day on meds I felt something, hard to define what, but just as though I was a little more "me" and that's basically where I am 3 weeks later. I'm now on 20mg in the morning and 10mg at Noon, I feel more alert, more aware of things, but not yet any real improvement in focus or motivation. Kind of like a strong cup of coffee, but without the jitters.

I'm off to the Dr this afternoon to see what we do next. I think I need a higher dosage, but I'm really not sure what "normal" looks like. It's hard to know if you've hit the target when you don't know what the target looks like, let alone where it is.

10-17-14, 01:42 AM
Yeah, I think a strong cup of coffee is pretty accurate. And I also feel a bit more myself generally, too.

And speaking of coffee, the strong coffee I start the day with seems to be interacting with the Ritalin a little too strongly coloring my view.

The other main symptom I'm following is heaviness in my head, but like you said, in time it's likely to fade.

Forget sheltered childhood, it was probably smarter than mine.

10-17-14, 03:50 PM
I know what you're talking about - for me I got "used" to the ritalin after a few weeks and no longer felt as "drugged" once I found the right dosage for me.

In my case, 3 doses of 10mg was awesome for the first day or two, but after that it began to make me sleepy, which is usually indicative that you need to step up the dosage. I had to supplement it with Caffeine in order to stay awake!

When I told my Doctor, he stepped me up to 20mg which was much better for me. Also, I might suggest holding off on caffeine until you've become more familiar with the effects of the drug alone. If you've been on caffeine for a while you might have withdrawal symptoms, make sure that if you do go off caffeine, that you don't mistake the withdrawal symptoms as being side effects of the ritalin itself.

For me, I felt comfortable I had found the "right" dosage when I was able to see consistent results over the course of a week at that dosage. Once there, you just get used to it over time and don't feel as drugged. In my case, supplements and watching my diet also helped in this regard. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

10-19-14, 07:58 AM
Thanks a lot, Vandaexpress. That was super helpful and timely.

Ive been vacillating on this for the last few days, and what you have said gave me some perspective.

I cut out coffee a couple of times in the morning and straight away realised that the strong drugged feeling i was experiencing was the interaction between the two drugs. I felt normal in the morning on just the ritalin, then had a coffee later than usual and noticed the euphoria that worried me immediately.

Im on 3x 10mg and yeah, after a little while I'm yawning and feeling a little lethargic. The doc said i could try upping to 20mg each dose after a couple of weeks, so I'll start that next weekend (my second week in).

I think you are right about food, supplements etc. too. Im going to try and really focus on my health (more than usual anyway) this week and figure out the best way to exercise whilst on it (last week i was trying to get my head around exercising at night whilst feeling tired and foggy).

Anyway, thanks again. I guess its just a work in progress.

10-30-14, 11:20 AM
I started this a few weeks ago, after trying dexadrine for a month. Prior to that I was on and off adderall for ten years (mostly on).

I'm not feeling much results, currently taking a 18mg xr, and starting to wonder if the long time use has damaged my brain somehow. I drink a ton of water, make sure to eat, and get 7 hours of sleep (more on weekends).