View Full Version : Started taking meds


Uminchu
05-15-06, 12:32 AM
About 7 months after my diagnosis with ADHD, I have decided to start taking meds. The main reason is that stress and anxiety are taking a toll on my body.

Since my late 20s (35 now), my stomach would start hurting if I drank too much coffee, especially on not enough sleep (pretty common for me, the king of the all-night working sessions). Since a few weeks ago, my stomach would start hurting after even one cup of coffee. Or after pulling an all-nighter, even with no coffee. The doctor told me I'm on the verge of getting an ulcer...

Additionally, over the past 6 months I've gained about 10 pounds, and It's been getting harder than usual to focus.

I've been getting not quite anxiety attacks, more like I can feel the pulse in my neck and I start getting a sense of dread and impending doom. I have felt this before, but it seems worse now.

So at my last visit, I told my doctor that I wanted to try meds. The psych put me on very low doses of Ritalin and Luvox (for anxiety). The Luvox in particular is a very low dose: I'm taking 12.5 mg two out of three days. He said I had a 50% of not noticing any change, but at least the side effects should be non-existent. For the Ritalin, I was given 24 five-mg pills, and told to take them "as needed" but no more than 2 in a day, and aim to take 2 every 3 days.

He also gave me 5 of these horse pill-looking things, and told my wife to give one to me if I start getting really wound up. I guess they're like chill pills... :) Finally, he gave me a medince to reduce my production of stomach acid -- he said I should be able to start drinking coffee again in a few days -- yippee! :)

This is for the first month.

I've tried the Ritalin, and it seems very effective. I'll post about that in the Ritalin section. If I see any difference with the Luvox at all, it's supposed to take 2 weeks to kick in, so I'll have to wait on that one.

ms_sunshine
05-15-06, 06:00 AM
Wow, Uminchu....just wow. It's a big step for you to try stimulant meds. Please keep us all posted on how it's going for you. I wish you the very best with this :)

heavyd2
05-15-06, 08:04 AM
Here's an interesting thought your love of coffee:

I am 50 years old, I have had ADHD my whole life finaly addressed it in Oct 05 just last year.

I tried several medications but found Aderal worked best for me. I take 30-40 mg a day and my life has completely turned around.

Instead of going to a regular Doctor for general testing I went to a Phyciatrist for an evaluation and a series of interviews. Honestly this was the smartest Dr. I have ever met in my life.

Throughout the interviews we had talked about all of the addictions I had gone through my whole life Gambling, Drugs, Overeating Smoking you name it I have done them all. ( I had a blast too with all of them too:)) with that said, I was lucky enough to be able to never let any of them take a complete hold of my life and, I was able to walk away without any of them destroying me.

Here is my point to this long post, What I had found out was this, all of the drugs I enjoyed the most were stimulants, cocaine, speed, nicotine, caffene, chocolate.

This Dr. specializes in addiction and what he has found is people are self medicating without even realizing it.

Since taking the Aderal I do not crave coffee all day long. I always have 1 cup in the morning and maybe 1 cup in the afternoon but not very often. So the reasoning behind your love of coffee could be somthing else other than enjoying the taste.

My advise to you would be to look at this pattern with yourself and do not be so concerned about taking the medication. With any of the stimulants you will have to take them for a while and probably increase dosage with time, however there will be a point where you will level off.

ADHD and ADD is now being studied as one of the causes to drug abuse, many patients are being diagnosed and able to free themselves of addiction after taking ADHD meds.

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to point out that the love of coffee and ADHD go together.

Uminchu
05-15-06, 08:16 AM
Wow, Uminchu....just wow. It's a big step for you to try stimulant meds. Please keep us all posted on how it's going for you. I wish you the very best with this :)Thanks! I was never so worried about taking stims per se... Believe me, I have used many different substances over the years, many of dubious legal standing, and have never felt guilt about it.

I just didn't want to think I was using meds as a "crutch" when I didn't really need them. I know that sounds kind of silly, but I have read that people with anxiety issues tend to hold themselves to unreasonable standards. So it kind of all makes sense.

I have used that anxiety to motivate myself over the years, and I think that thanks to it, I have accomplished a fair amount. But I have also paid the price...

In the end, I was like, this is ridiculous ... why destroy your body to prove a point?

Uminchu
05-15-06, 08:22 AM
Since taking the Aderal I do not crave coffee all day long. I always have 1 cup in the morning and maybe 1 cup in the afternoon but not very often. So the reasoning behind your love of coffee could be somthing else other than enjoying the taste.Oh, I'm right with you on this one, heavyd2. I know that the good old caffeine is what I crave. When I was in my teens, I invented a drink: Brewed coffee with a Lipton tea bag in it. Double whammy! I have been mainlining cafe latte's since I was 13 (before anybody had heard of Starbuck's). Whenever I had some really boring thing to do, I'd always be like -- triple espresso to go! :)

I also have been into many different types of stimulation. Luckily I never got into cocaine -- I tried it once, and didn't feel any "high." It wasn't fun, so I moved on to other pursuits... :rolleyes:

Foot-in-mouth
05-15-06, 12:48 PM
I've been getting not quite anxiety attacks, more like I can feel the pulse in my neck and I start getting a sense of dread and impending doom.


I just didn't want to think I was using meds as a "crutch" when I didn't really need them.

Yup I feel that. I used to have that feeling of dread and doom and anxiety all the time so I started talking Zoloft. I feel much better but it took me 10 years to admit that I needed it.

I have not taken any stims yet. I am affraid to because I have mild hypertension. yet I feel like I am masking the symptoms of depression brought on be the root cause, my ADD which cripples me socially.

Uminchu
05-15-06, 10:19 PM
If left unchecked, the anxiety really can spiral out of control. As I lost the ability to tank up on coffee and pull all nighters to bring in work just on deadline, I started questioning my suitability for my career as a whole.

Then I started kicking myself because I had been offerred an in-house position at a well known IT company last year, yet turned it down. Ended up in a spiral of self doubt, stress, and anxiety. Some days the ring of the phone would give me an overwhelming feeling of dread, thinking I was about to be informed of some way in which I had failed...

During this time, I had been making a number of accomplishments, but somehow that made it even worse. Like I was just setting myself up for an ever farther fall. I knew I couldn't keep my current house of cards standing, adding more stories was just going to make it worse when it came tumbling down...

It all seems so silly, doesn't it? But I guess the big step was admitting that no, "toughing it out" wasn't going to cut it. :o

When I am on the Ritalin, the anxiety is much better. And just knowing that I am doing something about this problem also seems to have improved my anxiety. Either that, or the Luvox has kicked in already... :)

ArtsyAthlete
05-16-06, 03:20 PM
Stress and depressed related to ADD were also taking a toll on my body... Caffeine all day to stay awake, melatonin, valerian, prescription sleeping pills to fall asleep. I felt crummy all the time. I just started Adderall a week ago and the results so far are good. It's tough to admit to myself that I need medications to maintain "balance," but really, that's what I've been doing all along... self-medicating to try to cope with the negative effects ADD was having on my life. The trick is in finding the *right* medications that are more than just a band-aid.

I've never tried any illegal stimulants. I have a daily mega latte habit that I'm not sure is due to the yummy taste or the caffeine... both, I think. Although I only have the one mega latte in the morning and sometimes some green tea or diet soda in the afternoon, the thought of quitting caffeine scares me. :)

On the flip side, I often have trouble sleeping because my mind won't stop racing... I only use sleeping pills (Halcion) if I am really wound up (maybe 1 - 2 nights per week). I love them. When the Halcion starts kicking in and I get to feeling all woozy, it feels really good to me. Silly.

I also like the sensations pre-surgery drugs give you... groooovy. :) I think it's neat to go to sleep *just like that* because that never happens otherwise. But I don't like being drunk. Yuck.

Since starting Adderall, I am sleeping better and feeling less tired and foggy. Maybe I'll switch to decaf????? :confused:

Scattered
05-21-06, 07:50 PM
Hi Umnichu,

Wow, I missed this one someone -- big step. I'm glad the Ritalin seems to be working. Having tried both Ritalin and Concerta -- I think for me the Concerta is a little gentler with the ups and downs as it kicks in and wears off.

I found the same thing that you are finding -- that the anxiety was a much bigger problem then the other ADHD symptoms. The first thing I noticed big time when I started my Concerta was that this huge knot of anxiety in my stomach released. I also haven't have panic attacks on the medications (although a few times in the evening when they've worn off I've had some mild symptoms). I think the constant assault on our systems is pretty draining and also adds up over time. I've had stomach ulcers on and off since I was 20. I'm definately feeling the healthiest I've felt in years now that I've been on the meds about a year now.

Let us know how it goes for you. I hope this combo of medications works well for you.

Scattered

Uminchu
05-21-06, 08:47 PM
Yeah, the anxiety was literally killing me. The Luvox seems to have really cut that off.

I have since upped my dose of Ritalin to 10 mg, also taking as needed.

On the Ritalin, I feel very calm and steady. The more boring things aren't so hard to do. I can sit down and work when there is not a deadline breathing down my neck. I am also much more careful in my work.

On the other hand, I work significantly more slowly than when I am off meds and cranking under a deadline. In terms of speed, if my deadline crankage mode were 100, my medicated mode would be about 60 and my unmedicated, no deadline mode would be about 20...

So I have kind of a conundrum. On the one hand, my most efficient work style would be to take Ritalin when I have minor tasks to do, do the big projects off meds, and then maybe use a pill to review my work before delivery (reviewing my work puts me to sleep off meds... :o ).

On the other hand, if I take Ritalin on a more regular basis I would get less work done, but I would be more pleasant to be around, a better husband and father, and be able to live a more structured and "normal" life.

Another thing I will say is, the feeling of being on Ritalin is not particularly pleasant. Not particularly unpleasant either, but I like the effects more than the feeling. It's like putting your power switch on 50% to reduce the danger of sparks and shorts... The cutoff is very abrupt -- you know exactly when it's gone -- but that's not so bad for me. I usually take the opportunity to get some exercise. :)

Scattered
05-21-06, 10:12 PM
It sounds like you're doing what you need to when you come down. I really didn't like the hard kick in with Ritalin and equally hard come down. I don't feel my Concerta kick in or out anymore. I also relate to what you said about not being as fast in a crunch. I've always been a terrible procrastinator, but under the gun at the last minute I could always pull things together. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore -- I've have three big events that I've totally blown -- my parents coming to visit, my daughter's birthday party, and now my husband's parents coming to visit. I don't seem to have that reliable extra kick I used to count on. I don't know if it's other changes, but I was just wondering today, if it is in fact the Concerta. I don't seem to have an over drive speed anymore -- I wonder if that is because my anxiety is down (which is what used to push me to get things done) or just the ADHD switch toggled down or some underlying depression. Don't know -- may have to experiment. I hate to be less reliable temperment and emotion wise -- but wow I sure miss that emergency kick in the pants!:eek: Get 'er dun!:cool: No easy answers are there?:eyebrow:


Scattered

Uminchu
05-22-06, 02:51 AM
Scattered, I think you have hit the nail on the head. You don't have that "push" to get through the humps any more. Since I have relied on that to get things done practically my whole life, it's hard not to have it. I suppose that getting by without it would entail learning to plan to get things done without an adrenaline-fueled dash at the end...

How about your feeling on the medicine? I feel calm and relaxed, but also like I have lost my sharpness; I don't get many of those intuitive flashes. Is it something that gets better, something you get used to?

meadd823
05-22-06, 03:58 AM
also have been into many different types of stimulation. Luckily I never got into cocaine -- I tried it once, and didn't feel any "high." It wasn't fun, so I moved on to other pursuits.

Ditto cocaine was a waste for me too. I was a very drug specific type of “abuser” I was only interested in two drugs the rest I had no interest in what so ever. I seemed to know what worked. I was clean for almost three years before I began stimulants and yes taking the medication shown light upon my preferences! I worry even less than I used to about “relapse” as I now know why I did some of the things I did. Thankfully I no longer have to resort to such behavior to function (when necessary).

I do go without my medications at times simply because I am off work or just feel like being ADHD for a while ;) I have also forgotten to take them even at work, which isn’t a problem until I have to do paper work or other mundane task(bills-Uggg)!

I quite taking the Ritalin type medications because of the "hills" and “valleys". When Ritalin wore off it is like gone in a flash. When it first began taking effect I got terrible head aches. I switched to Adderall years before Concerta came out. Now I won't consider switching meds because I have "done my time".

I have had some anxiety problems on and off during really difficult phases like when Gene was dying of cancer. Most recently I began getting dizzy spells I thought I was having "sympathy dizziness" because my mom was having dizziness with her brain swelling. Turned out to be anxiety. I don't "feel" the anxiety I do not know I am anxious until I have physical symptoms related to it. My doctor prescribed Xanax as needed which I rarely take unless I an having muscle spasms, chest pain, or dizziness, because it takes way my “bounce” and really hinders my ability to post! :eek:

Glad things are working for you Uminchu! :D

Uminchu
05-22-06, 12:07 PM
I quite taking the Ritalin type medications because of the "hills" and “valleys". When Ritalin wore off it is like gone in a flash. When it first began taking effect I got terrible head aches. I switched to Adderall years before Concerta came out. Now I won't consider switching meds because I have "done my time".No headaches here, or any bad side effects for that matter. It's true that when it wears off, it just goes out like a candle. But for some reason that doesn't bother me too much.

No headaches, and very calm like I said, but it feels like everything you do is deliberate... I'm kind of more used to my various parts taking a little more initiative on their own... ;)

I think some people have mentioned feeling like they are under water? That's kind of like how it feels for me. Under water but very steady? Is that even possible? :p

And the same thing with the old brain. You tell it to do something, and it just goes through the steps like they were beads on a string, no shuffling or skipping around.

Not exactly a bad thing, but it will take some getting used to...

Glad things are working for you Uminchu! :DThanks -- me too! :)

Scattered
05-22-06, 12:40 PM
Scattered, I think you have hit the nail on the head. You don't have that "push" to get through the humps any more. Since I have relied on that to get things done practically my whole life, it's hard not to have it. I suppose that getting by without it would entail learning to plan to get things done without an adrenaline-fueled dash at the end...I could use one of those adrenaline rushes about now with company comoing tomorrow!:eek: But I'm having trouble caring enough about it -- seems to have made me a lot less anxious about what others think -- maybe that's not all bad. But I am going to need to order my life a bit differently at least around the boring stuff, since I'm still not a good organizer and am still a terrible procrastinator. I'm not sure yet -- I'm going to have to pay more attention to it -- but I think around things I'm interested it I gear up to high just fine. On my trip to Florida for the ADDA Conference -- I got around to a ton of stuff I'd been putting off to get my business going and even was packed early -- something I NEVER do. Still gets back to interest to fully wake up my brain I guess.

How about your feeling on the medicine? I feel calm and relaxed, but also like I have lost my sharpness; I don't get many of those intuitive flashes. Is it something that gets better, something you get used to?I've never felt like I've lost my sharpness on medication -- quite the opposite. I feel like I used to feel years ago in that department which is pretty good. I still come up with creative ideas and am actually able to hold on to them long enough to do something with them or at least get them transferred to paper or long term mental storage. Before meds I felt like I had lost myself (as a result of untreated ADHD and life circumstances I had gotten pretty depressed too), so for me the mental acuity and lack of fog has been dramatic. My ADHD stuff isn't 100% controlled on medication -- I still tend to daydream some, forget some, and so forth -- but it's much better. I'm also on a pretty low dose. The one time I tried Ritalin I got an awful lot done and was very focused. Maybe the different delivery system and short duration have an effect on creativity and stuff. My daughter's pediatrician was showing the pattern of Ritalin vs Concerta and telling me that Concerta is easier on the body with out all the spikes and lows.

As far as feelings go, I feel energized and more relaxed. I definately feel more in control on my emotions. That's the big thing with meds for me is that I feel I have the control and am not at the mercy of my feelings, thoughts, etc. I can stick longer or start sooner on a boring job; I can daydream, but turn it off as needed; I can reign my feelings in and think before I respond; and I'm a lot more tuned into my surroundings. Before I tended to always be hyperfocused on something and blur everything else out. I still do some of that but much less.

Scattered

PS: Just had a thought -- is it the Ritalin or the other med you're taking that is having an impact on your creativity? For me Concerta was all I needed to reduce my anxiety. When I added Prozac for three days I was a flat liner, I wasn't creative at all -- I didn't stick with it long enough to know if that would have passed -- I just didn't feel like myself. The problem in my humble unmedical opinion with starting two medications at once is that you don't know which effect you're getting from which med or which effect is an interaction of two or more medications.

Uminchu
05-22-06, 01:21 PM
I've never felt like I've lost my sharpness on medication -- quite the opposite. I feel like I used to feel years ago in that department which is pretty good. It sounds like you're really doing well on your meds.

My main living is as a translator of technical documents. That may not sound like a very creative job, but given the amount of difference between Japanese and English, it can take a lot of creativity to precisely convey the technical information, yet have your translation read like a technical document rather than a translation...

Off meds and in hyperfocus mode, really great translations will just pop into my head. Sometimes it comes out just as fast as I can type it, and it's good stuff... I know it must be good because people pay me a lot of money to do it...

But on the meds, although the translations turn out good (and with fewer careless errors), things don't pop any more. It's like I have to consider each idea before putting it down, whereas off meds I just know it's right, and go for it.

I went from 5 mg to 10 mg because while the 5 mg gave me the calm feeling and tolerance for tedium, it hardly helped my focus at all. With the 10 mg I have enough focus to work, but no snap, crackle pop.

PS: Just had a thought -- is it the Ritalin or the other med you're taking that is having an impact on your creativity? For me Concerta was all I needed to reduce my anxiety. When I added Prozac for three days I was a flat liner, I wasn't creative at all You could be right about this. I will say that when I am off meds (like now), the old flash is back like it never left. But maybe the Ritalin and Luvox together interact in some weird way... to be honest, I don't know much about SSRI's.

Scattered
05-22-06, 01:32 PM
You could be right about this. I will say that when I am off meds (like now), the old flash is back like it never left. But maybe the Ritalin and Luvox together interact in some weird way... to be honest, I don't know much about SSRI's.I don't know a great deal about them either -- I know for some people they really work great. But they definately do have an interaction effect -- I've read that a number of places. That sometimes is a good thing, but not always -- every person's mind is so different.

I remember reading about a criminal trial lawyer who would take his stim medication when preparing for the trial, but not when he was going into court, because he found he was better able to switch direction and come up with on the spot, fit the moment questions off meds. Maybe that is similar to what you experience in coming up with translation ideas "out of the blue". Now I used to facilitate intensive personal growth weakends with 75 people in attendance. I don't know if I'd be able to jump from person to person and keep things flowing now or not. I haven't done it since I started medication -- so does make me wonder. It definately takes a while to get the right dosing, medication, timing of meds and so forth. You'll figure it out in time.

Take care!
Scattered