View Full Version : Very confused -- mixed feedback
11-16-05, 02:06 AM
I'm very confused and getting mixed feedback on the effectiveness of my Concerta. I've felt recently that I finally got the right timing and the right amounts and so forth and have been more relaxed in my own skin, better with my kids, and more productive. Tonight I get an earfull from my husband who says he liked me better before meds and wouldn't have married this person.:( He says I'm less productive, more hostile, and so forth. I don't know what to do. I finally am starting to feel at home in my own skin -- things aren't perfect but they feel so much better than back in March when I started meds. I don't think he realizes what a mess I was in back then. Am I missing something again or is he? I'm pretty scared to just stop the meds but he keeps comparing me to a speed junkie. I don't feel speedy at all -- quite the opposite my meds usually help relax me. I've dropped my dose at my request, so it's not like I'm needing more or anything. I cut back to just once a day, but got so behind -- I was a fairly happy space cadet just taking it in the afternoon, but I was definately out patroling the ozone and tuning out my kids. I feel pretty overwhelmed and discouraged. I wonder what would happen if I just quit it all -- would I end up back where I was before or have I learned enough to go on without the meds okay? :confused: For a number of years I did okay without meds (not perfect, but acceptable). Is there a way back there from here?
11-17-05, 08:59 PM
To be perfectly honest, I think that if you believe that the meds help significantly, then you should stay. If I were you i would have a conversation with my husband and try to explain to him why you feel you should stay on the meds. Address all his problems with you on the meds.
I have been taking Concerta for a while now and I feel that my temperament has not been at all altered by the medication. It merely slows down my thoughts and collects them into meaningful interpretations.
I may not be the best person to be giving you advice, but I think that you deserve to get some feedback.
11-17-05, 11:55 PM
I really don't know your situation, so it's hard to say. On the one hand, it could be that you're not a doormat anymore, and your husband doesn't like that. Or you could be more aggressive. Or a combination.
At any rate, families usually dislike change, even if it's for the better. I think you just need to convince your husband that you are in a better place now, don't want to go back to the old you, and maybe try to address his specific grievances about your behavior.
11-18-05, 02:32 AM
Thanks Moe.ron and Umnichu. I really wish I had a close friend around here who'd known me before and after meds to get some feedback from. We're fairly new to this community, so most people haven't known me well before meds and have no reference point. When I was visiting my parents a couple months ago, my mom said I just didn't seem like myself and seemed depressed, but I had just lost a pregnancy and had two major surgeries and two minor surgeries, so I'm not sure how much weight to give that.
My husband says he's isn't pushing me to stop meds, but his complaining sure makes them harder to take. Oh well, for the moment I don't know how I'd handle life without them, so .... I don't know! I guess I'll talk to my counselor about it.
11-18-05, 11:22 AM
IMHO....your husband doesn't sound very understanding, considering all you've been through. And I think it's kind of cruel to say he wouldn't have married the person you are now.
Perhaps he is the type that likes to focus on every disagreement or 'fault' on your part, and generalize... saying that you are 'always' irritable, or hostile, or less productive when it's just the situation or whatever else happened that day. Also, if he is saying this when you are doing or saying something that bothers him, blaming you and the meds is a way of taking the focus off of himself.....when you may have a legitimate complaint.
See if you can discuss this at a time when everything is going smoothly between you, when he's cooled off from whatever his latest 'issue' is with you. And be sure to tell him how much better you feel on meds.
11-19-05, 12:35 PM
Hi Scattered. Sorry about the feedback from your husband.
Re: someone's comment, in family systems theory when one person changes it affects the entire system, everyone needs to change and adjust not just the person with the identified "problem" and sometimes others in the family don't like that. They don't want to change. It could be that you could all benefit from some family or couples sessions with your psychologist. Also, maybe you and husband are defining "productive" different or maybe you're being productive on things that aren't out in plain sight. Maybe you used to have 5 things on your list and would get one done. Now you have 5 things on your list and get 4 done. But what if #5 was put away laundry and hubby sees that laundry is still sitting out. Hubby thinks you haven't done anything, but you're feeling great because you crossed off 4 things from your list.
I think you're on the right track with wanting someone who knew you before/after for feedback. What about your psychologist? Did they meet with you for a bit before meds to have some frame of reference? Mine observed during at least two visits while on Adderall-XR that I was seeming more intense and serious, and leaning toward obsessive on a couple things. Not necessarily irritable, but not my normal more laid back, cheerful self who finds many things amusing so I tend to laugh easily.
At first I disagreed. Trying meds was not done lightly, I had been a little nervous about it, so it was important to me and I was serious about observing how it was affecting me and if it seemed to be working, etc. So, of course I was serious. Also there were some side effects including not sleeping well, etc. So maybe that was why I seemed off. I mentioned to a classmate who knows about all this that Dr. asked did I find myself more serious or more irritable. My classmate said that they thought I'd been more irritable than normal the last week!
Really? :confused: Leaving chapel most people hand back bulletins to greeters, apparently he'd tried to take mine but there was a reason why I wanted to keep it. He thought I'd been a little more abrupt with him when communicating that than I normally am. I hadn't realized. :o Then because of all my sleep being messed up, a day came when I had intentionally slept in to catch up, but by the time I got up and going it was almost noon and I didn't want to take the med and then be up really late. So I was not on it when I went to my appt with my psychologist that day. At the appointment I felt very "light", almost giddy, I was laughing a lot and felt more like my "old" self. So I reflected on all these things.
I realized I was hyperfocusing or something more than normal on the med (I'd get locked into something - like reading up on ADD, and then find it hard to break away), I'd been a little more irritable (but that's hard to judge because there are other factors like sleep and hormones that also could account for it, I had my share of irritable days when I was never on meds), and I felt heavier/more serious, etc.
So that's when we decided to try the Concerta instead. So far I have felt much more like my old self on Concerta. I don't know how much benefit I'm getting though. I still procrastinate and etc. So I may need to try something else eventually. But it's not any less effective than the Adderall-XR. So for now I'm willing to stay with this for a bit since it's only been about a month, and not even a month on this current dose and for a week and a half of that I was sick as a dog, so hard to judge the effect.
Anyway, all this rambling to say: I agree with person who said if you talk to hubby about it, find a time when you're not in the middle of a disagreement. Think about couples counseling in case it isn't that the med is having a negative effect but that hubby can't deal with the fact that things are changing. Talk to your psychologist about how they experience you on the med in case there is some effect on your personality that you're not aware of. Maybe keep a journal or something to keep track of how you're feeling, what you get done (productivity), and interactions with husband and family.
You might also talk to your psychologist about what they think about going off meds. I don't think going off meds is necessarily a bad thing, in fact I'm thinking I'll try it once I'm out of school. But I think the key is that right now you feel you're better off while on them. I would only go off after consulting with your doctor once you feel comfortable with the idea of being off them, and ready to try it.
As for your mom saying you seemed depressed and didn't seem like yourself... well dang, what did she expect after losing a pregnancy and several surgeries? Hello? I think I'd be more concerned if you had seemed like yourself. So I don't know how much weight I'd give that statement.
Okay, normally I'd go back and edit this since it's long. But I've gotten off-task enough. Hee Hee! So I'm just going to post and try to get myself back on track.
Hang in there!
You mentioned in your first post that your husband compared you to a speed junkie. Does he get what stimulants are about - maybe he's judgmental about the idea of taking meds?
Bythesea makes a good point about family systems and the reality that changes in one person require other family members to bend as well. Hopefully your hubby is made more of bamboo (flexible) than oak (not so flexible).
If you're interested in doing some reading on couples stuff, a psychologist named John Gottman has written a number of great books about relationships that are all based on research he has conducted over the past 30 years or so (he used to be at the Univ. of Washington in Seattle, but now he has his own organization called The Gottman Institute). I've read a few of his books, both to help my relationship function better and to help clients, and he really knows his stuff.
I've read these two books:
Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How to Make Yours Last (1995)
The Seven Principles for making Marriage Work (2000)
I liked the newer one better, because it has more recent research findings and the format is succinct. He also has a website at www.gottman.com that has useful information.
I hope your situation improves and you get the support you need from those around you. :)
11-20-05, 11:53 PM
Joyous56, Do you know my husband?:eyebrow: You've pretty much got his number! He does tend to everything is this way, just because something just was.
Bythesea, I'd love to get off meds too, when I can -- I'm just not sure enough has changed in my daily life yet for me to pull it off. Being a stay at home mom of two little ones plus homeschooling the oldest makes it difficult for me to have enough mental challenge to turn my brain on, especially since the only time I usually see other adults is once a week at church. I need to work on that.
Hstarr, thanks for the books references -- we could definately use some couples work, but my husband has a pretty low opinion of counselors, so I don't see that happening.
I guess the truth of it is that I feel enough like a failure needing to take meds that when I get flack on top of it, it's about more than I can handle. My eight year old daughter who is unbelievably like me is starting to have anxiety issues on top of her ADHD. My husband is totally unwilling to look at medication and points to what a mess he thinks it's made of me as the reason. He says it's just a crutch. I'm concerned for her because she is struggling with her school work in very ADHD related areas, such as math, writing and such (she soars in science and such), but it's really the comorbid stuff that has me the most worried. My anxiety/depression issues started in childhood some years after my ADHD showed up and have caused me a lot more trouble than my ADHD ever did, but I think the ADHD is what made me so vulnerable to stress intolerance and emotional reactivity.
Thanks for the feedback and support -- it's much appreciated!
11-23-05, 11:53 AM
I had a long talk with my husband last night which more productive. We both agree I seem to have rage issues that I didn't have before meds and much bigger mood swings. I can be fine and some little thing will set me off and I the rage I feel can be pretty overwhelming. This isn't really me -- especially with my kids -- I was usually very laid back.
After the holiday, I'm going to talk to my therapist about helping me wean off meds and substitute a program of exercise, meditation, journaling, connectedness and so forth plus plenty of structure and strategies to see if I can find a better way for me. Kind of scared about it, but kind of scared about what the meds are doing too. I'm not working outside my home right now, so if I can just keep up with my kid's homeschooling needs and keep my emotions in check -- I'll be okay. I'd just like a little peace and quiet inside -- hope that's not asking too much.
I totally relate to the moodiness/rage thing. I cut my Adderall dosage in half a few months ago and pretty much stopped fighting with my boyfriend because of it. We still disagree about things and get annoyed with each other, but I don't feel those moments of blind rage sweep over me that led to some pretty nasty interactions that were becoming toxic to the relationship.
I flirt with the idea of some day getting off medication, because I can still notice how it makes me irritable and interferes with my sleep if I don't take a sleeping pill.
Good luck with the substitution program. I look forward to hearing how it goes for you. :)
11-23-05, 02:58 PM
I'll keep you posted how it goes. I managed to get through college and university successfully without meds, so I'm trying to remember all the things I did that seemed to make it work back then. I know a lot of exercise was involved, plus a pretty rigid schedule and I was heavily involved in music, so I'm picking up my piano and guitar again and working on the spiritual side of things as well.
It's weird how big the rage can feel -- I don't act on it -- although sometimes it's right on the edge -- way to close for comfort. It's pretty obvious to those around me though how I'm feeling. I'm reading William Glasser's book on Choice Theory -- it's been sitting unread on my shelf for quite a while now. He has some interesting things to say about anger, depression and so forth. I was skimming another of his more recent books at Borders (something like Warning: Psychiatry Can be Hazarous to Your Health)-- he really holds a pretty low opinion of meds and think we don't give therapy enough of a chance these days. I'm not sure how I feel about it all. Normally, I wouldn't give much credence to such a book, but I respect his body of work. I studied about him in my counseling program and was pretty impressed that his work was effective at least with certain populations. I'm glad the meds where there when I hit the wall, but if I can get off them I'd like it even better. We'll see. Thanks for your feedback!
12-03-05, 01:40 AM
Well, I've been off my Concerta for five or six days now. There are definately things I screw up more (leaving my purse in Borders, letting the coffee overflow every time because I forgot I put it on, poor proofing on my post, but none of those things constitutes a major impairment. Not even cracking a book for two days for my daughters homeschool probably would qualify but I've gotten back on track with that -- more specifically my eight year old daughter has gotten on the band wagon, made a class schedule and is making me stick to it!:eek: The upside is that I feel happier, more relaxed and haven't had a rage attack -- some irritation, but nothing outlandish.
I also discovered that when I took Claritin for my sinuses that I suddenly got the house cleaned up as if by magic. Suddenly my executive functions really kicked in -- it was AMAZING! I knew how to organize, prioritize and even could figure out what to throw away and where to put the rest of it!!!:D My husband and I discussed it and think I should ask the doctor about trying Adderall since it's more closely related to Claritin chemically. I could really enjoy life if suddenly the same amount of effort yielded so much higher a return! We'll see what my doc says.
The Concerta helps my anxiety, listening skills, memory, motivation, and stick-to-it-ness, but my other executive functions still work at a snail's pace. For now, I don't think I'm going back on it.
12-17-05, 02:41 AM
Well, after screwing up big time and doing something I haven't done the entire time I've been on med, I decided I'd better start back. Things are better. I am going to ask my doctor about giving Adderall a try.
12-17-05, 11:37 AM
Ack - sorry to hear about the screw up, just remember we're all human and make mistakes (even people without ADD). I know you earnestly wanted to try it without meds, so I know you must be a little disappointed. I hope you and your doctor are able to find a med that works well for you and doesn't result in some of the moodiness stuff that you and hubby were concerned about. In the meantime are you feeling better back on the Concerta? How is hubby dealing with this turn in events?
Hang in there! Based on the meditation and spirituality thread I know you've got Someone else to lean on too. ;)
12-22-05, 01:14 PM
I haven't told my husband that I'm back on meds. Amazing how his complaints about my behavior on meds drop off when he doesn't know I'm on them. I'll tell him eventually but I'd like to have a little history to point to first. I saw my doctor (a Mayo clinic graduate) yesterday and he doesn't want to put me (or any other of his patients of Adderall because of the risk to some people's hearts). He said Concerta was the safest thing out there from his research and has a very good 10 year record. He did write me a prescription for Claritin D which helps my allergies and thinking processes.:)
I think my counselor and I have figured out that the aggressive feelings which only occur at a certain time of the month are hormonal (they came up without meds too). Apparently the neurotransmitter seratonin's reuptake and release is also affected by the monthly cycle. My doctor suggested St John's Wort -- it inhances serotonin production and has some pretty good studies backing it up. So I'm sticking with Concerta and adding St John's Wort. Hopefully that will help! He also said I could take an SSRI or something that's like a mild prozac specifically for PMS, but we decided I'd try St John's first.
My psychologist feels the next phase of therapy is my acceptance of my particular neurology and need for medications whether or not I like it. He feels in taking a med holiday and falling flat on my face again :faint: might be just what I needed to accept reality. :rolleyes: (He said it nicer than that but was just as direct!). Actually, it's kind of a relief to be back on meds. I'm getting way more done, my mood is better, my interaction with my kids is better, and I don't feel like I'm having to work so hard at everything. I also found a book that really helps me understand why I was able to cope for years without meds (before becoming a stay at home mom of two kids, while in university or working a stimulating job, etc) by John Ratey and Catherine Johnson called Shadow Syndromes -- desribing the milder forms of serious mental problems including ADHD and how they can be quite fluid and get worse when one's life is no longer acting as their self medication by stimulating their brain.
And I'm definately relying on my connection to that friend you mentioned!;)
12-22-05, 06:47 PM
It seems it has worked out for the best as of now. Have a merry christmas!