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Old 02-19-18, 05:01 AM
Taketori Taketori is offline
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Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

Hey guys! This is my first post on here. I gotta say, I have some aspergers and have some trouble reading social cues and I never post on forums, so I hope it's ok to make my first post here where I can just get straight to the point.

So I was diagnosed with ADD and aspergers last August at the age of 23, pretty late for anyone to get diagnosed I think. It was a huge relief to know, and the system in my country has helped me a lot in many ways. I'm male, btw.

Fast forward to today, and I've been taking Ritalin LA slow release for about 2 months now. My experience with it in general has been more positive than quick release methylphenidate because I don't get a lot of side effects such as cold hands and feet, very fast heart beats, suppressed appetite to name a few. I take 10 mg. Initially I thought that maybe the effect was a little too mild, so I tried taking two pills for a short time, but that proved too much for me and my dad told me I was staring off into space like a zombie and I generally felt like life was too much for me and I didn't want to continue living, which has never happened to me before, and I'd go back to normal once the meds stopped working.

So now I'm taking 10 mg on most days. It helps me do my readings for uni, whereas without them I usually wouldn't get far with a text. But recently I noticed that I might have some anxiety related symptoms maybe caused by the meds. So this whole weekend I've been trying to do homework. I will take my meds and then start reading, and it's going great. I feel engaged in it, or at least enough to skim through it and get ready for the prof to explain it in easier terms in class, but then suddenly I will remember something that's been nagging me a little, but I'll start to feel so bad about it that I'm just thinking about it constantly, and suddenly 3 hours have passed and I haven't finished anything. I told this to my psychiatrist and gave some suggestions for things I might be able to take without taking benzos and ****, like GABA, phenibut, L-theanine etc. and he said something I was expecting but hoped he wouldn't say to me:

"If the ritalin is giving you anxiety you need to stop. Usually patients need to deal with their anxiety before starting their ADHD treatment, so stop taking it now and let's talk about it next month. All that stuff about GABA is just theories"

This annoys me, not because he doesn't believe in GABA, cause doctors never do or aren't allowed to recommend natural medicine, but because he wants me to stop the ritalin treatment. I don't want to. Yes, it seems that I get some anxiety attacks, and they might be because of ritalin, but I don't really get a LOT of that in my daily life otherwise. Yes of course I can sit and ponder and feel bad about stuff, feel depressed, worried about what others think about me for a long time, that's kinda the deal with aspergers and ADD (AS especially!), but outside of taking meds I don't suddenly get so anxious about something seemingly insignificant that I can't even focus on studying. But maybe that's his point, I don't know. Do you think he's right?

I'm probably not going to stop just yet. I'm going to experiment with green tea for a natural source of L-theanine (I had coffee with my ritalin yesterday, so maybe the excess caffeine contributed to anxiety as well), then maybe I'll try an L-theanine supplement or something. Another thing that usually always helps is .... I'm just gonna be completely honest here, but sexual release pretty reliably calms me down every time, but ****, that gets difficult to do everyday cause my libido can't keep up with that lol, sorry for the tmi. And of course you're going to suggest exercise, but I do exercise, hit the gym pretty regularly actually. It's just that RIGHT now I'm a little behind with homework and I NEED to catch up ASAP, so I've been putting off going to the gym to deal with that first, but alas..

Any advice, or any comments in general, are most welcome. Thank you.
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Old 02-19-18, 10:08 AM
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Re: Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

Hi Tak, I think I understand your concern. I strongly suggest to talk to your Doc first.

I think it is very important to develop and maintain a high level of trust w/ your physician. Without this I believe it will negatively impact your treatment. For me it requires that you both negotiate on how your treatment is to proceed, come to an agreement, and then you honor that agreement. If you disagree, you detail your rationale on why your approach is better and your Doc responds. If you still disagree, you propose alternatives that you can both live with. If you still think the Doc is wrong and unreasonable, find another Doc.

In your case, I think if you want to "not stop" taking the Ritalin, you need to first tell your doctor that and see if you can come to agreement. A possible outcome of you taking the Ritalin against your Doc's instructions could get future prescriptions cut-off, get you flagged in your medical system for abusing the meds, and make your future treatment very difficult. Talk to your Doc and good luck. -LN
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Old 02-19-18, 12:17 PM
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Re: Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nut View Post
Hi Tak, I think I understand your concern. I strongly suggest to talk to your Doc first.

I think it is very important to develop and maintain a high level of trust w/ your physician. Without this I believe it will negatively impact your treatment. For me it requires that you both negotiate on how your treatment is to proceed, come to an agreement, and then you honor that agreement. If you disagree, you detail your rationale on why your approach is better and your Doc responds. If you still disagree, you propose alternatives that you can both live with. If you still think the Doc is wrong and unreasonable, find another Doc.

In your case, I think if you want to "not stop" taking the Ritalin, you need to first tell your doctor that and see if you can come to agreement. A possible outcome of you taking the Ritalin against your Doc's instructions could get future prescriptions cut-off, get you flagged in your medical system for abusing the meds, and make your future treatment very difficult. Talk to your Doc and good luck. -LN
Thanks for the concern.

The doc just told me this in an e-mail, so I haven't had a chance to explain everything to him very clearly. I responded with "I want to keep taking the meds and see if I can deal with these random anxiety attacks, and if I find that they become too frequent I will take a break as you suggest." He hasn't responded. If he wanted to press it further he would have sent another message.

I am open to the idea of trying new meds, but I need to be 100% ready for a possible cessation in the medical treatment, such as planning way ahead in the future so I don't fall off track in school. When I see him next month we'll hopefully figure something out. My own theory is that the meds are causing these attacks, because I've never had them before in my life like that, maybe only once a very long time ago, but still not quite like this. If I could do something to alleviate it when it happens I think I'd be fine. Took the ritalin today, no hiccups so far, been very productive.
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Old 02-19-18, 03:27 PM
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Re: Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

Absolutely drinking coffee when you take any stimulant med can make you
over-stimulated, anxious, jittery. Coffee is also a stimulant. And some teas
contain almost as much stimulant as coffee.

Is Ritalin the only stimulant med available in your country? It does tend to
'zombify' some people and they may do better on Adderall. But Adderall
may cause irritation and anger in some people and they do better on Ritalin.
Figuring out which med and which dose is best for each person is a real puzzle
many times. I hope your doctor will work with you to find your own solution.
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Old 02-19-18, 04:40 PM
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Re: Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
Absolutely drinking coffee when you take any stimulant med can make you
over-stimulated, anxious, jittery. Coffee is also a stimulant. And some teas
contain almost as much stimulant as coffee.

Is Ritalin the only stimulant med available in your country? It does tend to
'zombify' some people and they may do better on Adderall. But Adderall
may cause irritation and anger in some people and they do better on Ritalin.
Figuring out which med and which dose is best for each person is a real puzzle
many times. I hope your doctor will work with you to find your own solution.
I've had no coffee today, and now 3-4 hours after taking my daily meds I feel those thoughts coming back, the "why is everyone in my social circle keeping me out of the loop, they must all hate my guts because I'm a weirdo" thoughts, and then I imagine these future scenarios where people whom I've previously trusted in and felt close with are humiliating me in front of everyone and being completely inconsiderate. Only difference now is that I know this isn't normal. I don't think these thoughts when I don't take the meds. This morning I woke up, thought about all the bad stuff that I'd been thinking of this weekend and thought, "I don't give a damn about all that stuff now. Life is great, the sun is shining, I have a beautiful girlfriend who loves me and I'm going to the gym". Now yet again I fear I won't be able to finish my homework because these thoughts keep taking my attention away from what's really important.

I think I'm taking a break from tomorrow onwards, heeding the doc's advice. I hope I can get some studying done without meds, though at this point it almost feels like I'll get the same amount done either way, so what's the point? We'll see if doc can get me some different meds. I'm from Denmark so I imagine we have access to most kinds of meds, but individual doctors can be very anti specific drugs. I have a feeling that methylphenidate based drugs are the most common here, but there are some amphetamine based ones on the market. I do not currently know my doctor's opinion about them. My theory is that my dosage is currently too high. I feel a positive effect at the beginning and the peak is pleasant but not overwhelmingly euphoric, and then the anxiety or irritability kicks in. It also lasts longer than doc says it should, which is 4 hours, but I feel an effect, both positive and negative, well beyond that.
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Old 02-19-18, 07:02 PM
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Re: Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

The instant release form of Ritalin may last between 2 to 4 hours.
The extended release form should last up to 8 hours.

I'm wondering if your doctor has much experience with these meds?
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Old 02-19-18, 08:05 PM
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Re: Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
The instant release form of Ritalin may last between 2 to 4 hours.
The extended release form should last up to 8 hours.

I'm wondering if your doctor has much experience with these meds?
He should have. He has plenty of ADHD patients. But one thing did confuse me. When he first prescribed me extended release ritalin LA 10 mg he said, just like you, that it would last up to 8 hours, which is why I should take them in the morning. But last time we met he said they only last 4 hours. Very confusing.
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Old 02-23-18, 02:50 AM
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Re: Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

Its worth noting that most green tea contains a good amount of caffeine so if you were going to try that get the non caffeinated kind.
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Old 03-13-18, 06:25 PM
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Re: Anxiety and ritalin, psych. tells me to stop my treatment, conflicted

Well if the Ritalin gives you anxiety, its not smart to kill the anxiety with another medication.

Nearly all anti-anxiety medications have horrible side effects long term. Phenibut are just like benzo in that they give brutal withdrawals from long term usage. You can try weaker non-addictive things like L-theanine but they probably wont work.

Best advice is to switch medication.
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