View Full Version : Living in a fog, struggling to take control, slipping into hopelessness


Tarantulis
04-21-16, 02:54 PM
I'm a 24-year-old with ADHD and a history of depression. I've been on vyvanse for over six years. I've always considered it a great tool for staying focused and productive as a person and (more important to me) as an artist. But I've been experiencing an uncharacteristic lack of energy that's preventing me from functioning normally, and my productivity is beginning to suffer.

It used to help me see more clearly. Now it just increases the intensity of the stare.

Waking up early, which has never been a problem for me, is now a constant struggle. It's gotten so bad that I now keep 4oz of cold brew coffee concentrate by my bed for immediate ingestion when the alarm goes off. I usually go straight to the gym for an easy 20-minute jog, but now I find myself out of breath and barely able to finish (or get there at all). My diet has never been a problem either; Iím a skinny guy, I exercise, and I usually eat semi-healthy stuff. I usually have to remind myself to eat, but now Iím constantly hungry, I never feel full, and I suddenly have this craving for junk food. There have been days where Iíve literally just caved at10am*and eaten nonstop until evening. Then Iíll spend the next week eating light, stick to fruits and vegetables and lean meats, and experience zero pay-off in energy.

At work, I feel the vyvanse's effects only for a few hours and spend the rest of the day fighting to keep my eyes open. I've always been a hard worker who devours assignments and goes above and beyond what's asked of meóalwaysówhich led to me finally landing a job with a great company that pays me well and appreciates my input. And now I can hardly muster up the motivation to finish the simplest tasks, Iím suddenly making basic mistakes, and to be honest there are days where I do almost nothing at all. This is the first truly good company Iíve worked for, they took a chance on me even though I wasnít qualified for the position, all because I have a proven track record of exceeding whatís expected of me, so the fact that Iím performing this way fills me with guilt, but that shame is somehow outweighed by this crushing exhaustion and boredom Iím feeling.

My 9-to-5 is not my life, though; in my mind, my life occurs in the evenings and weekends, when Iím able to focus entirely on my art, and this is whatís most discouraging lately. Outside of work, I spend every free moment on my music (about 40-50 hours a week) so that I can be a real composer someday. But now I donít seem to have the energy, and when I get home from work I have to fight the urge to go straight to bed. Iíve tried drinking coffee once I get home, or taking the vyvanse later in the day so that it kicks in by the time work ends, but it only provides a 1-2 hour boost in energy that does nothing to clear the cobwebs from my head and leaves me just as foggy as before.

Sleep doesnít seem to affect anything and has become the most frustrating part of all. Iíve endlessly experimented with my sleep schedule and it seems I just canít get it right. Waking up is a nightmare, I spend all day wanting to sleep, and by the time itís actually time for bed Iím too restless to do so. I lay awake for hours. It doesnít seem to matter if I sleep for 3 hours, 7 hours, or 9; I wake up just as groggy.

I donít know why this is happening to me but itís beginning to make me feel hopeless. It feels like Iím sitting on the sidelines of my own life, unable to play an active role. I donít see how I will ever achieve my dreams if Iím unable to work hard, and the vyvanseís effects seem to have disappeared and taken my spirit with them. And yet I donít know how to function without it. If I skip a day, the exhaustion is even worse, to the point where I want to do nothing but eat and sleep, and donít care enough to do anything about it. The past 24 hours are what have ultimately led me here:

Yesterday I got home and took a shot of cold brew and protein powder to stay awake, then fell asleep. Woke up groggy and too tired to do anything. I wandered the streets, got some coconut water from the bodega, came back and tried to sleep. Woke up this morning at 5, took another 4oz of cold brew and popped a vyvanse, fell back asleep. Woke up, went to the gym, and had to stop after three minutes on the treadmill. Stood in the shower crying and punching myself in the head, then went to my car and screamed as loud as I could. I dont even feel the vyvanse today. Wondering if I even took it now but I know I did.

I canít keep living like this. I donít know what to do. Please advise.

Greyhound1
04-21-16, 08:10 PM
I would talk with your Dr. about your dosage and issues. You didn't mention your dose but perhaps you need a boost or trying another medication. I would avoid the caffeine especially in the evenings.

Good sleep is critcal for stimulants to work well or at all for me. I would work on your getting better sleep and make an appointment and discuss with your Dr. Perhaps another medication would work better.

I tried Vyvanse and had trouble with anxiety about 4 hrs. after taking in the morning. I am dextroamphetamine IR now and works better for me. Not to mention dex. only cost me $10/month. Vyvanse was going to cost $225/mos. that's with insurance and a mfg. coupon for $75 off per mos. from my Dr.

Daydreamin22
04-21-16, 09:03 PM
I'm sorry. This sounds temporary/fixable. It sounds like it could be depression or burn out... Here is a good article from a great website run by Harvard/NIMH. I would definitely see a therapist for help and a dr. about the meds as well.

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/preventing-burnout.htm

WildCard7
04-21-16, 10:49 PM
I've never taken Vyvanse, is this a known side effect? Also, you should contact your doctor regarding this. In the meantime do you work out at all? Maybe you should try going for a light jog. You probably won't feel like it at first but if you keep it up the body is going to need more energy and I've always found that it helps me be more awake.

QuasarMind
04-26-16, 08:02 PM
I am not a fan of anti-depressants, or at least those other than Wellbutrin, but when I took antidepressants for short term depression I found that Lexapro had wake promoting properties to it. Without ever mentioning this I had a friend that switched from Zoloft 100mg to Lexapro 20mg and he randomly told me it felt like a mild stimulant to him. Any SSRI can have sexual side effects but I found Lexapro to have the least with 10mg not having any sexual side effects, but when I took it, I mostly took 20mg.

The truth is, is that I think the Lexapro is a little more wake promoting but I take 400mg Wellbutrin SR every morning to boost my Vyvanse for ADD. For me the Wellbutrin doesn't have hardly any, if any, stimulant properties to it but it does help a good bit making me feel more clear headed and less foggy. Me personally, with my hatred of SSRI's, I would shoot for the Wellbutrin first. I also found the Wellbutrin to be pretty useless for depression but if you get the same result as me, feeling more clear headed, you might feel less depressed as a result.



I'm a 24-year-old with ADHD and a history of depression. I've been on vyvanse for over six years. I've always considered it a great tool for staying focused and productive as a person and (more important to me) as an artist. But I've been experiencing an uncharacteristic lack of energy that's preventing me from functioning normally, and my productivity is beginning to suffer.

It used to help me see more clearly. Now it just increases the intensity of the stare.

Waking up early, which has never been a problem for me, is now a constant struggle. It's gotten so bad that I now keep 4oz of cold brew coffee concentrate by my bed for immediate ingestion when the alarm goes off. I usually go straight to the gym for an easy 20-minute jog, but now I find myself out of breath and barely able to finish (or get there at all). My diet has never been a problem either; Iím a skinny guy, I exercise, and I usually eat semi-healthy stuff. I usually have to remind myself to eat, but now Iím constantly hungry, I never feel full, and I suddenly have this craving for junk food. There have been days where Iíve literally just caved at10am*and eaten nonstop until evening. Then Iíll spend the next week eating light, stick to fruits and vegetables and lean meats, and experience zero pay-off in energy.

At work, I feel the vyvanse's effects only for a few hours and spend the rest of the day fighting to keep my eyes open. I've always been a hard worker who devours assignments and goes above and beyond what's asked of meóalwaysówhich led to me finally landing a job with a great company that pays me well and appreciates my input. And now I can hardly muster up the motivation to finish the simplest tasks, Iím suddenly making basic mistakes, and to be honest there are days where I do almost nothing at all. This is the first truly good company Iíve worked for, they took a chance on me even though I wasnít qualified for the position, all because I have a proven track record of exceeding whatís expected of me, so the fact that Iím performing this way fills me with guilt, but that shame is somehow outweighed by this crushing exhaustion and boredom Iím feeling.

My 9-to-5 is not my life, though; in my mind, my life occurs in the evenings and weekends, when Iím able to focus entirely on my art, and this is whatís most discouraging lately. Outside of work, I spend every free moment on my music (about 40-50 hours a week) so that I can be a real composer someday. But now I donít seem to have the energy, and when I get home from work I have to fight the urge to go straight to bed. Iíve tried drinking coffee once I get home, or taking the vyvanse later in the day so that it kicks in by the time work ends, but it only provides a 1-2 hour boost in energy that does nothing to clear the cobwebs from my head and leaves me just as foggy as before.

Sleep doesnít seem to affect anything and has become the most frustrating part of all. Iíve endlessly experimented with my sleep schedule and it seems I just canít get it right. Waking up is a nightmare, I spend all day wanting to sleep, and by the time itís actually time for bed Iím too restless to do so. I lay awake for hours. It doesnít seem to matter if I sleep for 3 hours, 7 hours, or 9; I wake up just as groggy.

I donít know why this is happening to me but itís beginning to make me feel hopeless. It feels like Iím sitting on the sidelines of my own life, unable to play an active role. I donít see how I will ever achieve my dreams if Iím unable to work hard, and the vyvanseís effects seem to have disappeared and taken my spirit with them. And yet I donít know how to function without it. If I skip a day, the exhaustion is even worse, to the point where I want to do nothing but eat and sleep, and donít care enough to do anything about it. The past 24 hours are what have ultimately led me here:

Yesterday I got home and took a shot of cold brew and protein powder to stay awake, then fell asleep. Woke up groggy and too tired to do anything. I wandered the streets, got some coconut water from the bodega, came back and tried to sleep. Woke up this morning at 5, took another 4oz of cold brew and popped a vyvanse, fell back asleep. Woke up, went to the gym, and had to stop after three minutes on the treadmill. Stood in the shower crying and punching myself in the head, then went to my car and screamed as loud as I could. I dont even feel the vyvanse today. Wondering if I even took it now but I know I did.

I canít keep living like this. I donít know what to do. Please advise.

Cyllya
04-27-16, 04:03 AM
Tarantulis, that sounds really severe. Sorry you are having such a hard time. Definitely go to a doctor about it ASAP.

It's a little unclear--is this how you were before you started taking the Vyvanse and it seems like the Vyvanse has suddenly stopped working? Or are you thinking it's a side effect of the Vyvanse?

Seems like it could be a different health problem, maybe some kind of hormone issue.

Pilgrim
04-27-16, 06:17 AM
Easy to say; I find when I really start to pressure myself stuff starts going downhill.

Sounds like you could do better med wise. There is definitely a point where all the good preparation stops and it becomes mental. Routine oriented.

QuasarMind
04-27-16, 05:24 PM
After reading your post again, you defiantly need an anti-depressant and my guess is Wellbutrin wont be strong enough even if it does help your ADD. Also please avoid any alcohol in a depressed state, especially if you respond well to stimulants, the last thing you need is alcohol messing up your balance, even a little bit. I want to emphasize this because it is the most important...

the rest of my response is mostly a really long detailed rant about bad doctors and medications, which while it brings up a very critical problem, my experiences might be worse than typical. I think a large part of my problem is moving from a modern city to rural Oklahoma which is very "backwards" to say the least.


Also avoid doing "pointless" things, I don't know anything about your social life and hobbies but try to figure out something that is fun to take up some of your time. While I am no doctor, me personally, I have had a 100% failure rate with anti-psychotics. I have found that at least for me, only one doctor out of quite a few understood that anti-psychotics can hurt you, especially someone who responds well to Adderall (presumably any stimulant).

Before my move, I did some pretty poor research on anti-psychotics and one day I insisted that I try one and my doctor tried to explain how it was a bad idea and completely contradicted the Adderall which I badly needed responded well too. He game me some samples anyway, I don't remember what it was other than it was name brand so presumably modern, but it felt like the life was sucked out of me.

It wasn't a pleasant feeling nor would I want to live my life like that. When I moved to Oklahoma I explained I thought I was having borderline psychosis from my brain feeling so "vague" and that I couldn't keep track of anything, even explaining that I suffered "the opposite of racing thoughts".

My request was denied and I was prescribed what was supposed to be an anti-psychotic called Abilify that worked both ways on dopamine receptors which might help me and not have any typical side effects. At first I thought it did nothing, not help nor hurt or even feel like I took a pill but I quickly discovered I was having a series of anger problems that I had never had in the past.

At first I thought I was experiencing situational frustration with my move from Texas to a far more backwards Oklahoma but it was clear I was handling my self extremely poorly. I never fought anyone but I was totally verbally lashing out at people and kicking my foot into doors and crap... never ever happened in my life.

Finally after about 4 months my medication ran out and I didn't care to get it refilled because I knew it wasn't helping me or until then I thought having any effect whatsoever but as soon as I quit taking it my anger problems completely went away. I told my doctor about this and he just said "well I guess it didn't work for you, but since you are doing better off the med that is what counts, we can try another antipsychotic if you want but it is up to you" and "no way are you getting Adderall or Vyvanse, those are highly addictive and dangerous controlled substances that we do not prescribe".

He also claimed it could trigger paranoia or worsen the condition I complained about despite pointing out my history with Adderall/Vyvanse and that I had the "opposite of racing thoughts". He said even if it was within policy to prescribe he wouldn't do it anyway because I appeared to be in a fragile state, which was true, because I was off Adderall.

At some point, despite being drowsy all day, I have always had sleep trouble, I asked for a sleep med. He suggested Trazadone which doesn't work, I told him Ambien didn't work but he said he wouldn't give it to me anyway, then he suggested Prolixin. I knew Haldol would actually make it harder for me to sleep but to my surprise the Prolixin actually helped me get to sleep but I didn't know that it had a multi-day half-life. I quickly started having the feeling like my world is going to end and "there is something wrong with me", as soon as I saw the half-life on the Prolixin I quit the medication and about 3 days later I returned to normal.

At some point I was encouraged to take Zyprexa which supposedly had a benzodiazepine in it and a mild side effect profile. It did help me sleep but it also kept me sleepy the next day, while it didn't give me a "end of the world feeling" I quickly discovered it considerably prevented my brain from feeling excitement, leaving me feeling like a zombie but not as uncomfortable as the other anti-psychotics.

I was getting much better sleep but I quit taking it because of the side effects. So after nearly 6 years of living here and seeing about 5 or 6 different state doctors and doing research on all the other private ones, who also said they wouldn't prescribe Adderall, I found out the state place got a new doctor who was supposedly a good one. I started to explain all my problems and how anti-psychotics have extremely gone the wrong direction and how bad my ADD was which wasn't helped by Strattera, she said "Have you tried Vyvanse?" and I said "Yes, that and Adderall, it worked great but I thought you guys didn't prescribe that" and she said "We sometimes I do for the patients who need it and have no drug abuse history"....

and I was like sign me up and she started me on 50mg January 13th saying she would give me 70mg the next month, I told her I could easily take the 70mg to start with but I said I had no objections to her plan.

She said unless I have any problems with it she will be mailing me my prescription for the next 3 months and claimed the medication was generally safe for those who don't have substance abuse problems.

I agreed except my personal opinion is that people with substance abuse problems should take it to keep off substances but that's just a guess. I tried to get her to give me Adderall instead since I believe its stronger and less sensitive to your stomach condition but she refused very wrongly claiming it has a higher abuse potential, I tried to explain short of shooting the crap up or snorting it there was no difference between Vyvanse and Adderall.

She said something about the half-life being longer with Vyvanse where I called her out on that again, even using my past experiences with benzodiazepines being what doctors thought was the safest one, Klonopin, based on its half-life, was much more habit forming than Xanax because the Klonopin gave me a "Fukitol" feeling, which didn't lead to me abusing it, just ceasing the medication.

For me Xanax in appropriate dosing never felt like a downer or anything but transparent. I never found it habit forming but a friend taking 4x 1mg a day for over a year went through extreme withdrawls and inability to resist taking a Xanax, but my dose was lower and only as needed. He had to stop taking it to get his flight medical which he just got two days ago. I suggested he use Gabapentin/Neurontin to get off the Xanax and it actually worked.

I don't know how my friend would had handled Klonopin, but common sense says you take a high dose of a medication for over a year it is likely to cause dependence problems. He had tried Klonopin but found it too strong. He's also, while I am not allowed to mock someone's illness, but he's also my friend that wound up in an ambulance to a medical hospital thinking he had a heart attack from pure anxiety.

Because he had his pilots license he wouldn't had called for help if he didn't truly believe he was having a life threatening medical problem. I think he finally grew out of most of it though but to me it is no surprise he got hooked on a pill because of his phobia type personality.

Anyway, if you do take an anti-psychotic, I would defiantly be suspicious of it. It works exactly the opposite of Vyvanse, or as I explain to people not familiar with psych meds "the opposite of cocaine, which I hear makes you feel good" hence its abuse. It only makes sense that if you do "the opposite of pleasure" you are going to feel the same way.

Besides my original doctor, I am yet to find a doctor that agrees with that analogy but my original doctor is also the only one who said he has intentionally experimented with the meds he prescribes just to see what they do, the rest claim to have never taken an ADD med or anti-psychotics despite their strong opinions of both. My hypothesis is that doctors commonly prescribe anti-depressants and anti-psychotics at the same time and the patients do report they feel better because of the anti-depressant even if the anti-psychotic is going the wrong way.

I have also never talked to someone taking an anti-psychotic who didn't claim to still have major mental health problems which supports my theory most doctors don't have a clue of what they are really doing. Again, one the moderators would strongly disagree with and advise that this is my personal opinion and not a known fact... somehow I think that if doctors were required to take different types of psych medicine in medical shool, a much higher success rate treating patients would be a fact.

I don't see how Vyvanse is actually worsening your condition but medications can screw you up just as bad as the screwed up reasons you need them. For some paranoid schizophrenic people Vyvanse may greatly hurt them while inattentive ADD people who suffer "the opposite of racing thoughts" it is required to function normally.

Unfortunately medical books only teach to diagnose by the symptoms and not your actual chemical imbalance (impossible to physically measure) which doesn't always represent the typical symptom associated with it... They usually use the right language like "believed to be caused by" or "typically caused by", being a particular neurological state, but since it is the only data to go by doctors seldom come to different conclusions.

Also with any medical publication it is standard practice to never make a claim without substantial clinical trials but when you aren't dealing with the majority stereotype, its virtually impossible to get reliable consistent data in a large clinical trial, hence alternate symptom causes are almost never published. Then you have bad bonehead doctors that have some bizzare idea's about medications, just like I wrongly assumed for the first time that an anti-psychotic might make me more intelligent, clear headed and rational.

That is only true if you have a particular chemical imbalance which is quite rare. I wish doctors asked more questions to figure out if their symptom diagnosis matches the typical chemical imbalance but so far 100% of them don't try to verify that the neurological problem matches the typical cause/treatment/med. If every individual symptom was caused by the same respective neurological imbalance we wouldn't have psych doctors, we would go to a machine at Wal-Mart, put in $5, fill out a multi-choice questionnaire about your symptoms and get dispensed the correct medicine with a 100% success rate.

sarahsweets
04-28-16, 04:29 AM
Anyway, if you do take an anti-psychotic, I would defiantly be suspicious of it. It works exactly the opposite of Vyvanse, or as I explain to people not familiar with psych meds "the opposite of cocaine, which I hear makes you feel good" hence its abuse. It only makes sense that if you do "the opposite of pleasure" you are going to feel the same way. Besides my original doctor, I am yet to find a doctor that agrees with that analogy but my original doctor is also the only one who said he has intentionally experimented with the meds he prescribes just to see what they do, the rest claim to have never taken an ADD med or anti-psychotics despite their strong opinions of both. My hypothesis is that doctors commonly prescribe anti-depressants and anti-psychotics at the same time and the patients do report they feel better because of the anti-depressant even if the anti-psychotic is going the wrong way. I have also never talked to someone taking an anti-psychotic who didn't claim to still have major mental health problems which supports my theory most doctors don't have a clue of what they are really doing.
Some doctors may behave they way yours did but I have a hard time believing that doctors in the mental health field knowingly want to screw their patients with the wrong medications. You say that you have never talked to someone on an antipsyche med that didnt still have major problems, well I am someone on an antipsychotic that has been on one for about 10 years and it saved my life. I was prescribed one my last inpatient stay and it pulled me out of the hole. I take geodon which is an antypical antipsyche but it works well for me.

Then you have bad bonehead doctors that have some bizzare idea's about medications, just like I wrongly assumed for the first time that an anti-psychotic might make me more intelligent, clear headed and rational. That is only true if you have a particular chemical imbalance which is quite rare. I wish doctors asked more questions to figure out if their symptom diagnosis matches the typical chemical imbalance but so far 100% of them don't try to verify that the neurological problem matches the typical cause/treatment/med. If every individual symptom was caused by the same respective neurological imbalance we wouldn't have psych doctors, we would go to a machine at Wal-Mart, put in $5, fill out a multi-choice questionnaire about your symptoms and get dispensed the correct medicine with a 100% success rate.
Its important for me to share this because these meds are either over-prescribed or have a bad wrap. Alot of doctors will haphazardly prescribe them without being more thorough with their diagnosis but some people really do need them and do well. I wanted to make sure I shared my success to balance out the negative in case someone out there was considering them and I didnt want that person to be scared away from treatment that could help them.

QuasarMind
04-28-16, 07:53 PM
Some doctors may behave they way yours did but I have a hard time believing that doctors in the mental health field knowingly want to screw their patients with the wrong medications. You say that you have never talked to someone on an antipsyche med that didnt still have major problems, well I am someone on an antipsychotic that has been on one for about 10 years and it saved my life. I was prescribed one my last inpatient stay and it pulled me out of the hole. I take geodon which is an antypical antipsyche but it works well for me.
.

I don't thin *any* doctors intentionally screw with their patients, or at least 99.999% of them. What I am saying, is the one good doctor I have had, experimented on himself so he had a better idea of what he was doing to his patients. I have found most others don't seem to understand anti-psychotics very well. What I have found is the doctors think these medications will work for anyone who exhibits even mild symptoms. Anti-psychotics only work one specific way and there are many things in your brain that can go wrong, the drug isn't going to fix the symptom if your neurological issue is "one of those other things". Try giving 100 racists the leading anti-psychotic for 6 months, then find out how many have been cured by the medication.... probably none yet being a racist is psychotic. To practice proper medicine, you have to treat the cause, not the symptom. I have found psych doctors to do the opposite of that. Generally, a physical doctor has enough sense to treat the cause and not the symptom.

sarahsweets
04-29-16, 04:28 AM
I don't thin *any* doctors intentionally screw with their patients, or at least 99.999% of them. What I am saying, is the one good doctor I have had, experimented on himself so he had a better idea of what he was doing to his patients. I have found most others don't seem to understand anti-psychotics very well. What I have found is the doctors think these medications will work for anyone who exhibits even mild symptoms. Anti-psychotics only work one specific way and there are many things in your brain that can go wrong, the drug isn't going to fix the symptom if your neurological issue is "one of those other things".
I suppose this is true. Although I think they can work for people in more than one way. I think they can work for people even if they dont have that one condition that you are speaking of.

Try giving 100 racists the leading anti-psychotic for 6 months, then find out how many have been cured by the medication.... probably none yet being a racist is psychotic. To practice proper medicine, you have to treat the cause, not the symptom. I have found psych doctors to do the opposite of that. Generally, a physical doctor has enough sense to treat the cause and not the symptom.

I dont think I understand this example.
My only point was to offer an alternate view because like you said, they can me misunderstood and I wouldnt want someone to read your experience and have them scared to try them if they need them. I agree they are overused/overprescribed off label, but for those that truly need it they can be life savers.