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General Medication Discussion This section is to be used for general medication discussion and other medications not broken out in their own respective forums.

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  #16  
Old 08-22-04, 02:30 PM
SB_UK SB_UK is offline
 
 

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Private message excerpts:

From G:

..but for myself I find if I take it on a regular basis then I get used to the effect and its like its not working, when really it is it just that I am just getting oblivious to the real me , the foggy brain me.

Points:

-Occasional use of stimulants when required reduces likelihood of Tolerance?
-Does prolonged use of stimulants lead to Tolerance? or Adaption to the new medicated self --> creating the impression of 'Tolerance' ?

Drom D:

..Back in school I knew a few people who had been on it for 5-6 years, and they had no problems with tolerance, but since then they have stopped using it (some people loose add/adhd as they get older).
The euphoric feeling you get when you first get them fades quickly over a few months and that might make you feel like you are getting tolerant, but, for me at least, they certainly still make me able to concentrate/generally function normally, which I still can't really do without them. My psychologist treats a person who is doing his phd at uni now, and he apparently has been on them for ages (10 years or so). I guess its just something that you have to try for yourself, I remember worrying about getting tolerance to it, but it hasn't happened yet (I have stayed on the same 3x5mg dose ever since I started taking them four years ago).

Points:

-No Tolerance at 4 years (Dosage 15mg - quite low) [1 person]/5-6 years[several people]/10 years [1 person]?
-Perception of Tolerance within months, however not due to loss of therapeutic effects [on focus], instead due to diminuition in euphoric effect of meds?
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  #17  
Old 08-22-04, 03:01 PM
SB_UK SB_UK is offline
 
 

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Excerpts from threads from other forums:

Those of you taking Adderall, do you ever feel like the effectiveness of the drug doesn't last as long after long periods of time. Like, for instance, if I take 30 mg in the morning for 2-3 weeks... or whenever.. I start to notice that it's not as effective.. so if I add 5 mg (with doctors approval only), then it works again. They call this addiction (it's a type of addiction)... your body becomes tolerant of a certain level and it takes more and more of that drug for you to reach it's maximum effectiveness. I was curious if anyone else is going through this too.

Points:
-1 individual - Tolerance
-Time on medication not in post

Before they found out I was ADD, they had me on Effexor for anixety and depression. I noticed after taking that for a while the effectiveness wore off, so I am sure that can happen with Adderall..

Points:
-1 individual - Tolerance
-Time on medication not in post

Some doctors have the parents switch meds every month so this tolerance does not get built. Adderall one month Concerta the next. It seems to work for them without having to incease the dosage

Points:
-Based on observations by several people - Tolerance avoided by alternating Ritalin/Dexedrine (monthly)
-Time over which this protocol has succeeded in avoiding Tolerance not in post

I also felt as if I was building up a tolerance. That kind of bothers me.

Points:
-1 individual - Tolerance
-Time on medication not listed in post

As for the tolorence I quit adderall about once every 2 months for 2 weeks and when I start taking it again its like my tolerance is reset. I can always tell when I need to stop taking it because I start tering paper into little balls and playing with everything in site like it was before I was on it.

Points:
-1 individual - Tolerance avoided by 6 weeks on medication/2 weeks off
-Time over which this protocol has succeeded in avoiding Tolerance not in post
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  #18  
Old 08-22-04, 10:07 PM
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You will get more complaints in the forums than praise. Another group I've visited, you'd think effexor was pure poison by the volume of frightening posts complaining about the withdrawal but there are also a good number of very satisfied customers in the mix.

Here's another thread with anecdotes:
http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...edication+poll

I have been on Ritalin for the past 11 years.

I have taken dexedrine for 10 years before, but that was when I was 4 til 14 and I dont remember

I have taken Welbutrin for 6 years since being diagnosed with ADD and dysthymia

My daughter was on Adderral for three years... constantly battling her weight loss and not eating.

I was started on Ritalin at age 53 (four years ago) ...This year I switched to Metadate ER... I have never had any bad side effects.

My ADHD Daughter is 10 yrs old and takes Generic Ritalin during the school year, 15 mgs in the morning and 10mgs at lunch time. Behavioral Mods have helped her enough that she doesnt need to take the Ritalin on weekends or school breaks.

and a search of the forums using "medication years"

I started taking meds when I was at my worst point...and was on them for 2 years....However, the 2 years I was on them allowed for me to be better focused and in that time I was able to learn better coping strategies, reprogrammed my way of thinking about various things, etc....and because I was able to be clear with the meds to gain this new insight....I was able to finally get off of them because I learned how to function properly...the drugs were no longer my crutch.

ugh, I'll give you the link for this next one (try those search words "medication years"):
http://www.addforums.com/forums/show...dication+years

i am thirty year old male who is bottoming out. i was informally diagnosed with ADD as a kid but never treated it. ...this persisted throughout college and graduate school. ...and i finallly got an official diagnosis and began taking ritalin. the effect was dramatic. ....well that was a few years ago. more recently (bout a year ago), I sunk into a much more serious depression due to family and relationship issues. I took wellbutrin and after about a year i had pulled myself up out of it. now i am at a point where i dont feel any deep depression but all those secondary symptoms have returned.... about two months ago, i ran out of all my medication. my doc from columbia couldnt prescribe me anything remotely so i stupidly thought it would be alright if i came off both medications. it was about time to come off the wellbutrin anyway. the effect, however, has been dreadful. I'm not really depressed like i said but everything else came unhinged. i've maxed out all my credit cards and i''m broke. literally broke. i havent managed to get a lick of work done since i came off the ritalin.
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  #19  
Old 08-22-04, 11:46 PM
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Hey, SB:

Here are some quick points from the end of your post:

Quote:
*STABILE - To be clear, we believe that AD/HD is symptomatic of an ongoing speciation event.*

(SB) …scientists (are) attempting to understand …the genetics of ADD (by) find(ing) …‘mutations’ that …predispose the individual to the disease…

(several examples…)

…the argument is that mutations …conferred an advantage at some point in our evolution, but (they) are not of any use to us today…

an example (is) (t)he immune reaction …to parasitic infections (that) bears …similarities to the pointless …reactions …to dust mites and to grass pollen.

…why (would) genes conferring a risk of ADD have selected…(c)ould …Hyperactivity …increase…survival, (or) Inattentive type within females increase the likelihood of mating?
There’s a desperate sense to the genetic studies I’ve seen. The problem is that the statistical view has a compelling nature, and the dangers aren’t obvious. But the result is bad science, in my not so humble opinion.

What we are increasingly doing, in this modern world of studies that reanalyze and reinterpret data from other studies, is giving up on the scientific idea of actually explaining the mechanisms at work in some process of nature.

There is even an idea being promoted that it is somehow morally incorrect to try to understand such connections when they involve the function of the mind. This by some big guns, too, most notably Noam Chomsky.

Here is our problem with the type of study that you cite: we know that there is an additional level of logic between the context that is directly affected by genetic information and the conscious experiential context in which we identify AD/HD. This additional layer of logic makes the contribution of the genetic material indirect, at best.

Think of a person driving a car in which the brakes have failed, perhaps because the alloy used in the brake lines wasn’t appropriate for the stress of the application.

ADD is comparable to the emotional situation of the driver as he/she bears down on a sharp curve, out of control.

The kind of genetic information in these studies is comparable to the concise metallurgical definition of the alloy.

There is an obvious connection to the failure and the situation, but it is only a tiny part if the whole.

In the context of the situation, most would agree that considering such information would be a dangerous waste of effort. It isn’t any help at all in dealing with the issue of staying calm and getting the car stopped safely.

When we are able to talk specifically about the connection of the genes involved to the mechanisms that give rise to various symptoms of AD/HD, then such information might be of some interest.

If that doesn’t do it for you, try this:

There is a strong (and correct) statistical relationship between a certain percentage of high speed automobile accidents and blown tires. But the problem isn’t poor design, substandard materials, or anything else to do with the tires. It’s almost always due to under inflation, and that’s a social problem with the driver, not a mechanical problem with the tires.

It’s like that. We just make note of these kinds of genetic studies for now, because they might have an interesting application in the future. But other than that, we ignore them. The people doing them aren’t interested enough in what they’re studying to even try to connect their results to ADD.

And that doesn’t do it for us. We set out to understand this stuff. It’s not like it’s rocket science.

OK, it is, but they could still try a bit harder…

Quote:
In effect …certain changes within DNA maximized the potential of that DNA to survive and propagate. Viruses like HIV have the capacity to mutate quickly, to avoid any restraints on their growth …and this evolution occurs quickly, …essential to …the survival …of their DNA.
You have to be careful of how you characterize this stuff. It’s not an ‘ability’, even though we humans have a powerful impulse to see it as such.

Quote:
…in stark contrast to lower organisms, higher eukaryotes evolve much less quickly…
Not necessarily; next generation adaptation has been observed. There isn’t anything in principle that prohibits it.

But we’re not talking about the same thing, here. We’re talking about a speciation event, a fact that is almost universally misunderstood. Speciation events are a special case in evolutionary theory, involving a species wide emergent system.

Speciation is an emergent event with a dynamic entirely different than the sort of evolutionary systems usually studied.

Quote:
Is it possible that we should be searching for the reason for ADD, not in the future but in the past?
Nope, but it’s an annoyingly popular idea. Don’t get us started. (grin…)

Quote:
Have we been subject to sufficient selective pressure and over a sufficiently long time-frame to support the theory that we are evolving towards ADD, as opposed to evolving away from ADD?
This is only a counter-argument, and don’t forget I’m an ADDer – I’m just an ADDer that likes to test theories ( :-) ).
Emergent systems don’t have the same idea of selective pressure. In fact, this point of view tends toward the incorrect, because it misses the point of selective pressure.

The best way to describe how selective systems work is the idea of the ‘magic filter’. Our son Bryan did a classical gene splicing experiment for a science fair project when he was in eighth grade. He focused right in on the interesting question, which is how the massively random splicing results in correct sequences.

Of course, the answer is simple: it doesn’t. The process makes zillions of incorrect strands, and then runs them through the magic filter: only the pitifully small percentage of correctly assembled strands can produce a viable organism.

Selective pressure is a magic filter, and such filters have a very important characteristic: they don’t deselect. In the absence of any competition, traits tend to hang on. This is an important source of adaptive characteristics.

But there isn’t any purpose, or anticipation. Stuff just happens to be there, or it doesn’t. In an emergent system, the combination of external circumstance and internal happenstance conspire to weave a tapestry that is completely new, initially resisted but ultimately prevailing. And what it gets woven into is just accidental, or perhaps serendipitous.

The single underlying principle is that an organism will take advantage of anything that pops up, in any way it seems to render an advantage.

That makes it all the more remarkable that there’s a similarity between the original event that gave rise to homo sapiens and the event currently underway. Both involve the development of a commonly shared internal logical experiential context.

Quote:
OK-so where does my ad hoc theory fall down?
I find it quite difficult to understand how ADHD with hyperactivity and ADD-Inattentive type, with such seemingly different behaviours can be as tightly bound as they appear to be (ie within the same syndrome and with the same medications). Although Inattentive Type is more common in females, what is driving the appearance of Inattentive type in males (my type)?

From a poll on this site, it appears as though Inattentive type is the most common form of ADD in adults.
It’s probably a good idea to quash the impulse to categorize things until you have a good sound sense of their context. We find that the various types you mention aren’t really all that helpful.

Quote:
In actual fact, I prefer your theory for explaining Inattentive Type in males ( :-) )
Thanks – we like it. (big grins…)

Quote:
– Why?
Because I think it is associated with a tendency towards philosophy and contemplation. I feel that our society is flawed in that we are taught from an early age that having an expensive house, car, holiday etc… ie capitalist ideals are our goals in life. Although these are associated with an increased likelihood of our DNA being propagated ie finding a mate, is it possible that a tendency towards philosphy could break this evolutionary imperative and actually herald the next stage in evolution ie towards the development of a better society.
Well, there’s a bit of a stretch here. These things are not actually “associated with an increased likelihood of …finding a mate”. Instead, they’re a complicated sort of flag that has been co-opted to signify some underlying suitability for reproductive success.

But the joke is on us; the pursuit of these ‘flags’ only results in the appearance of the underlying characteristic. Does anyone really believe that Donald Trump actually represents the best chance for reproductive success?

Incidentally, this refers to the status driven modern reproductive strategy, one of two that all humans possess. The other is a primitive strategy Kay and I call “quickie under a bush.”

Quote:
Alternatively, I don’t think there’s any dispute that the majority of ADD diagnoses occur in the United States. Is it possible that this is due to an increased awareness of the problem –or- an increased frequency of ADHD genes in American society (since individuals choosing to leave their native country and colonise America would have been more likely to exhibit aspects of ADD eg ‘thrill seeking’)
No, not thrill seeking. Forget those terms, until we can all be sure we understand the context.

This is a good example of how the thinking on this stuff is backwards. One of the low level drivers we all possess is called the ‘social impulse’. The social impulse is the strongest of our low level drivers, and the most poorly understood. It touches almost every aspect of our existence.

In this context, the significant bit is a feeling of empowerment and determination to correct any behavior that signals an incorrect understanding of reality itself. That’s the fundamental difficulty that normals have when confronted by ADD.

That’s also the short description of the social pressure that resulted in the colonization of America. Draw your own conclusions, but it’s running from something that’s more threatening towards a less threatening situation, not risk taking or thrill seeking behavior.

Quote:
–or- perhaps related to the unique cultural pressures that an American will feel whilst growing up.

Using a generalization, it appears to me as a non-USA resident, that Americans are subject to great pressure to succeed, in the terms I described above. Is it possible that the stress associated with growing up in this environment increases the likelihood of any underlying ADD mutant genes expressing their functionality? In formal genetics speak, that is, that stress increases the penetrance of ADD susceptibility genotypes. OK, so to rephrase that last bit, Is it possible that ADD is a disease that has arisen through the unnatural (at least through our evolution from lower organisms) stress that is placed on Americans (and now spreading to other Western countries) to achieve?
If life were simpler, would symptoms of ADD be seen? I will retire at some point in the next 10 years to France, and I’m sure that without the stresses and strains of succeeding in our current cultural climate, that ADD will cease to be a problem.
No, no, yes, no, …wait, I lost my place. (grin)

OK, the problem we have with this up front is the characterization of AD/HD as a disease. It’s not. It’s also not a disorder, or due to a deficit of attention. In fact, it’s more accurate to characterize it as due to an excess of attention.

Again, we don’t see any reason to make this more complicated than it needs to be. Occam’s razor holds, and the simple answer is that there actually is a single, simple underlying causative factor that gives rise to the amazingly complex array of symptoms and behaviors that are associated with AD/HD.

The complexity in how it’s expressed is a clue to the complexity of the system that supports it, i.e., us. Since we came from the other direction, from the complex expression itself, we aren’t surprised by the occasionally contradictory nature of AD/HD. But if you start by looking at AD/HD, it is a big stretch.

Quote:
So…I guess I’m asking whether ADD has its roots in evolution, but is only becoming a problem because of the way that we collectively currently choose to drive our society forwards.
Hmmmm… Are you suggesting, then, that cultural influences could be looked at as a sort of external genetic material? (grin…)

Quote:
*Stabile-Every ADDer …is faced with the fact that we have …knowledge about ourselves and our (reality) that sets us apart…*

(SB) …the reason why (we are) better (at)contemplative thought, is that (we’re) better at focusing inwards, rather than outward(s)...

To the Non-Adder, questions relating to the point of life …may never be asked. The Adder …looking inwardly, may ask these questions…

There is a flip-side …abandoning …ideals is fine, as long as there’s something to replace them. Without something to replace them, there(s) no motivation for living.
Sorry, I could have included a bit more about this. I wrote a letter to a friend a while back that addresses this in more depth; if you’re interested, I’d be happy to send you a copy.

The reason we have a greater knowledge about ourselves is that we can encode information much more richly and efficiently using a new kind of logical structure in the brain. Our ability to maintain two (or more) threads of conscious awareness at one time, one of the fundamental experiential aspects of ADD, opens the door to our use of such structures.

A rich encoding is correspondingly rich with implications. We look inward simply because we can. But it’s a mistake to assume that we don’t have just as good a view in the other direction, as well.

The problem of abandoning ideals never materializes, because they aren’t abandoned at all; they’re superceded and displaced. The use of these new logical structures necessarily results in a kind of enforced moral consistency, another point of severe contention with normals.

Quote:
*Stabile-We believe dealing with that epiphany is the last and biggest chapter of the story of our drugs and therapies losing effectiveness.*
I’m sorry, could you expand on this point?
A richer and more complex logical structure takes longer to reach maturity – we believe that isolated examples typically begin to mature at about age 40. Clearly, a community (such as this forum) engenders the process. But we’ll be surprised if that can be lowered too much below thirty, maybe twenty-five or twenty-six.

In this, we speak from personal experience. However, the important point isn’t how long, but what results. The epiphany we speak of is a sort of avalanche effect, as the mature logical structure begins to synchronize with nature in an ever more complete way.

Eventually, each point that comes into sync begins to generate more and more additional points, until there is a very real feeling of the whole suddenly coalescing out of the void.

If a rich and complex representation is correspondingly rich with implications, you can imagine the effect of a substantially complete structure. Implications of a different sort spring forth, and they are both irrefutable and impossible to ignore.

Perhaps most fundamental is the absolute sense of exactly how reality arises, and the extent to which it is merely an artifact of it’s own logical representation. A close second is a deep appreciation of how much we cannot express if we are to be restricted to existing language.

Right behind those, and intimately related, is a sense of exactly how much of all of this normals just don’t get, and will never get. We gain a clear insight into the way normal’s use of their brains inherently limits their ability to understand us, themselves, and their context.

What it feels like is the sudden sure understanding that you are Here, and they are all over There, and Here and There are very well defined. And although we can see how we might easily and arbitrarily place ourselves There, if we wanted to make the effort, it’s just as obvious that they haven’t got the same choice.

The certainty with which we are able to see this, and the obvious nature of the distance and difference between us, immediately presents us with several profound and deeply fundamental questions. That immediacy is compelling, and that is the problem.

In a practical sense, it’s like looking at the people all around you every day and not being able to ignore the fact that many, perhaps most, are wearing gorilla suits.

What is it you can say to a person in a gorilla suit? After the novelty wears off (and you realize that they haven’t a clue), it becomes a nagging constant. That’s the challenge for our drugs and coping mechanisms that we were referring to.

And you better have a sense of humor at this point, too, or you can easily be overwhelmed.

Quote:
Can I end this message off with a personal comment.
Sure. Isn’t that what we’re here for? (grins…)

Quote:
I like taking stimulant medication (though I’ve only taken it for 4 months). I think I have a crude idea how stimulant medication works. I don’t really know why ADD is such a problem now, or how it arose, but I am convinced that I have it.
We agree. But we think everyone has the potential; it’s how that potential is expressed that makes a difference. So in a way, if you can make that statement, you are creating the situation in which it is true.

We can say this, though; we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Quote:
Going back to my original message, (!!) all (!!) that I want ( :-) ) is some form of guarantee that if I take the medication in a certain way, that I will benefit, for as long as I am wedded to the medication, in the same way that I benefited during these 4 months.
After reading your message I am heartened by the length of time for which you have taken the medication, and also by the observation of how you feel that the medication is as effective now, as it ever was. Unfortunately though, I cannot fully grasp the idea of how change in one’s life, can make it appear that the medication is losing its effectiveness.

Hopefully I will soon though :-)
OK, it’s simple, really: if you just consider some circumstance as being distracting in a certain way, you can easily imagine a different circumstance that is more distracting.

If meds are helpful in the first circumstance, and your life changes so that you now experience the second, the same meds may not be enough.

All that you have to imagine now is that having ADD has been a constant influence in you life. As you begin to take the meds, and deal with that fact, your circumstances change by definition. And your new circumstances may or may not require a different level of medication, which will then change you circumstances again, and so on.

Quote:
This is kinda’ fun….oh and be gentle to me in your reply, I have ADD…you know.
It is fun, isn’t it? And we could tell…

Thanks. –Tom and Kay
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  #20  
Old 08-22-04, 11:54 PM
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Oops, we missed this one:

Quote:
…is it possible that a tendency towards philosphy could break this evolutionary imperative and actually herald the next stage in evolution ie towards the development of a better society.
Absolutely. How did you figure this out? Nobody even talks about this idea yet, as far as we know.

But it’s still essentially a ‘selfish’ genome at work. Altruism is fine, as long as it selects… (big grins…)
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  #21  
Old 08-23-04, 09:25 AM
SB_UK SB_UK is offline
 
 

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Hi Stabile,


I am absolutely fascinated by much of what you’ve written – and this is why I am launching into a reply almost immediately.


As before, I want to step through your post, rephrasing some of your points in my own language, in the hope that I can gain a greater understanding of your theories on ADD. Invariably, I will be simplifying and adding examples to what you’ve written – not because it’s required – solely because it’s useful for me to do this; if possible, it’d be great if you’d make comments on my personal interpretation of your words, indicating whether or not I’ve inaccurately restated your position.


My first question though, is to ask what yourself and Kay do during the day. The posts that you are delivering suggest that you have an extremely large knowledgebase in psychology, philosophy, science and some…….


Also, I have only really known about the existence of the ADD condition for about a year now, and one of my main attempts to learn more about this subject has involved my reading of as much literature as I can find, of whatever form on the Internet; your theories are without parallel in my search so far, because you turn the prevalent theories on ADD completely on their head. I believe that there’s a lot of truth in what you say, but might I ask if there’re any others that have written about ADD in a similar vein.


Stabile ‘There’s a desperate sense to the genetic studies I’ve seen.’


I agree that there is no attempt to understand the actual mechanistic basis to ADD using the genetics approach; however if 5 and ony 5 genes were implicated in ADD – then mightn’t that provide the basis upon which the next insight into the actual mechanism underlying ADD could be built, and then the next ………..

All disorders of the brain (and particularly the mind) are refractory to this kind of investigation, mostly because a knowledge of the miscreant genes is further from understanding the condition’s aetiology than in diseases of the periphery. I work with a neuroanatomist, who is a strong disbeliever in the application of molecular biology towards gaining insight into the brain.

Although it will be a lot longer in coming, wouldn't the above followed by A--a knowledge of the neuronal connections made within the brain, B--of the pattern of activation that occurs on a given stimulus, C--and of the pattern of this activation on consciousness, lead to a more complete understanding of ADD.


Stabile ‘…much more richly and efficiently using a new kind of logical structure in the brain. Our ability to maintain two (or more) threads of conscious awareness at one time, one of the fundamental experiential aspects of ADD, opens the door to our use of such structures.’


So, do you believe that the ADD mind is different in Stages B and C above ie given a stimulus, the ADD mind takes in not only that stimulus, but others (in the background perhaps or maybe more data on the stimulus itself than the ‘Normal’) and that stages B and C are therefore different in the ADDer vs Normal.
It is often said that the ADD mind is more prone to distraction, and your comment certainly does ring true.
By logical structure, does this refer to one’s ability to process stimuli and thereby to derive conclusions.


ADD appears to be defined as a condition that first manifests itself in early life. The problems that ADDer kids seem to have is an inability to filter out the background and so thereby to appear to lack focus on a job at hand.

You mention that:


Stabile ‘A richer and more complex logical structure takes longer to reach maturity – we believe that isolated examples typically begin to mature at about age 40. Clearly, a community (such as this forum) engenders the process. But we’ll be surprised if that can be lowered too much below thirty, maybe twenty-five or twenty-six.’


Do the external manifestations of ADHD (problems with focus etc..) in the young represent the immaturity of these logical structures, and that must occur as an inevitable consequence of the development to maturity of these structures in later life? Or phrased in a different way, are the problems of distractibility in youth, hugely counterbalanced by the advantages gained in later life through the development of more sophisticated methods (more complex logical structures) of processing sensory data?

If this is so, if we were to gather a large cohort of ADDers and normal individuals at the age of e.g. 50 years old, and subject both groups to a range of tests, any tests…..what specific kinds of tests would one have to engineer in order to discriminate most clearly between these 2 groups?


Stabile ‘The use of these new logical structures necessarily results in a kind of enforced moral consistency, another point of severe contention with normals.’


Would tests of … morality? Lateral thinking? Imagination? Sociability? … be useful?


I can understand how more sophisticated logical structures could lead to more ‘thought’ ie the accumulation of more information and increased processing of that information towards deductive generation of a conclusion – but why would that also lead to an ‘enforced moral consistency’ ?

… unless you’re suggesting that deeper thought on any given subject tends more towards the same outcome. Using chess as an example, as one thinks more moves ahead, the range of moves open to a player at any given time decreases. So, a chess player playing without foresight could move any of his pieces in any direction as permitted by the rules – but this large realm of possibilities reduces as some moves are discounted as blatantly counterproductive in striving towards the defined goal of winning the game. Doesn’t this also mean that any given problem of two or more potential solutions based on different morality platforms, has only one Absolute solution?

Is this the moral consistency that you describe?


If I look at myself, I often think with provisos. It’s a problem I’ve always had. Given any possible problem, I generate ‘what-ifs’ – Is this a component of what you’re suggesting is the ADDers advantage? – the ability (maybe not in the young), but later on in life, to base decisions on more than just the superficial and immediately available facts? If so, isn’t it possible that having too many trains of thought running simulataneously runs the risk of the individual collapsing under a weight of thoughts and becoming chronically indecisive. Funnily enough, it’s often said that in the world of ‘Normals’, having a single-minded determination, wearing blinkers, being closed to possibilities…can be a recipe for success….could these various descriptions also be reinterpreted as having the inability to ‘think’ deeply.


Furthermore…


Stabile ‘A close second is a deep appreciation of how much we cannot express if we are to be restricted to existing language.’

Stabile ‘In fact, it’s more accurate to characterize it as due to an excess of attention.’

Continuing from the point above, I have found that ADDers when thinking deeply do not finish sentences…not because they can’t, but because their thinking has so outstripped their ability to speak, that it appears as though we’ve lost our train of thought. I personally find writing much easier than talking, because it allows me the chance to have those thoughts, but also, to choose only 1 or a couple of them for inclusion.


I have thought that ADD was a condition, in which thoughts occurred far too quickly to be tamed and used effectively and also in a way due to an excess of attention, as you suggest . Part of the reason that I was going to reject this theory, was because it seems accepted in the scientific press that the stimulant drugs potentiate dopamine bioactivity, and that since increased dopamine bioactivity is associated with increased attention, that the drugs were increasing and not decreasing attention.


-----ADD as a condition or disorder?-----


Stabile ‘That makes it all the more remarkable that there’s a similarity between the original event that gave rise to homo sapiens and the event currently underway. Both involve the development of a commonly shared internal logical experiential context.’


I guess I need to believe that the benefits of having ADD in a world in which
ADD is the normal state, are greater than the benefits of being a nonADDer in a world of nonADDers.


Stabile ‘the significant bit is a feeling of empowerment and determination to correct any behavior that signals an incorrect understanding of reality itself.’


Is this previous sentence a brief description of your opinion on the advantage an ADDer mind has over a nonADDer?


I can think of arguments on both sides. My initial feelings are that being an ADDer in a predominantly nonADDer environment is not a good thing. From the various statistics around, it appears as though ADDers are more inclined to ‘get into trouble’ through delinquency and drug abuse. I believe that these facts and figures are generally well accepted now, and are perhaps just evidence, that the ADDer’s mind is simply a mind in which the sensation of pleasure is harder to attain and recruit in everyday life, through a relative insensitivity to the ‘pleasure’ molecule.


So, we seem to have the argument representing the standard dogma in ADD, of dopamine insensitivity vs. your argument.


It’s often said that some great works and thought have arisen from severely depressed individuals. Might it not be true, that in a similar way, ADDers increased tendency towards thinking about certain things more deeply, is merely a mechanism of striving towards normality or alternatively, that the ADDers urge to feel pleasure, motivates the ADDer more so than the nonADDer to strive more intently in any given field, with the single goal of reaching that threshold and feeling pleasure, satisfied, a sense of reward.


Some would say that living in blissful ignorance is better than having to face up to the harsh realities of existence. We’ve evolved from lower organisms whose only driving force for life was to maintain their unique complement of DNA; Is it not possible that our ability to ruminate on our purpose can only be counterproductive, if our sole reason for living is the same as our evolutionarily related ancestors? However, since we do have the ability to reason, think and process, I am readily willing to agree that this trait has arisen for some reason, and that this trait might be undergoing further modification within the ADDer. Perhaps higher thinking evolved to permit the planet to support a larger population of people (or variant genomes), and the force driving the explosion in ADD is exactly this force, although in a different guise, this time attempting to prevent population destruction through counterproductive social behaviour.

Also, if NonADDers were better capable of using more complex logical structures, I can believe that more diagnoses of ADD would occur at a later age, but why would these individuals take medication to emulate the thought processes of nonADDers, if their pattern of thought processing was both mature and better. Is it merely to fit in with the majority at present?

And is your suggestion of:

‘the story of our drugs and therapies losing effectiveness.’

….an allusion to a world filled only of ADDers.

There are a number of diseases that affect the mind including depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, ADD, but what is it that separates the condition (and not the disorder) ADD from these other disorders or diseases? In some ways, mightn’t the different perspective that any sufferer from a classical mental disorder exhibits, which in turn defines a different reality for them – be considered in this same way ie as a condition and not a disease.

Stabile ‘Hmmmm… Are you suggesting, then, that cultural influences could be looked at as a sort of external genetic material? (grin…)’

I guess the way that I understand the field of complex genetic traits, is that the combination of genetic mutation switched on by the presence of an environmental trigger, leads to the appearance of the external symptoms of that disease. So, in the same way that an asthmatic living in a world free from allergens, will never have an asthmatic fit, mightn’t an ADDer living in a world free from stress (academic, to succeed), also never outwardly display the signs of problems with focus, attention, concentration and motivation?

Stabile ‘Think of a person driving a car in which the brakes have failed, perhaps because the alloy used in the brake lines wasn’t appropriate for the stress of the application.’

Stabile ‘There is an obvious connection to the failure and the situation, but it is only a tiny part if the whole.’

If the brake lines are the genes, and the line weakens as the 5 genes associated with ADD occur in their mutant forms within an individual and if the stress of the application, represents the stress of succeeding in modern society – ie a pressure that is ubiquitously present in the modern world -- then just echoing my point above, couldn’t this knowledge ie the knowledge of the presence of a set of ADD susceptibility genes x an ADD susceptibility environmental effect represent the absolute basis upon which the next insight, ie effects of this combination on neuronal cell connection formation in development and firing on stimuli, might at the next level eventually yield a better understanding of the different conscious thought processes in ADD.

So I guess what I’m saying is that although it may be a tiny part of the whole, mightn’t it also be regarded as a necessity for the ADD condition to be expressed.

Stabile ‘There is a strong (and correct) statistical relationship between a certain percentage of high speed automobile accidents and blown tires. But the problem isn’t poor design, substandard materials, or anything else to do with the tires. It’s almost always due to under inflation, and that’s a social problem with the driver, not a mechanical problem with the tires.’

Carrying on our example from above, mightn’t the problem with the car driver be a genetic or otherwise propensity to evoke a stress reaction, ie a tendency towards anxiety, which modifies (strengthens) the environmental part of the gene-environment equation, increasing the likelihood of displaying outward signs of ADD.

I guess, I adore what you’ve written, but with my pathetically miniscule knowledge on ADD, ADD medications and ADD psychology compared to you, as I look at myself on medication, even excluding the euphoric effects which I have felt on occasion, I like the feeling of my thoughts slowing and becoming ordered.

One of the big areas that complex geneticists like to venture, is into the field of transgenic mouse construction. If the mutant forms of the 5 ADD genes were superimposed onto a wild type mouse background, and some of the more obvious features of human ADD were then recapitulated, would it be wrong to also assume that the higher features of conscious thought, that I think you’re suggesting are seen within humans, should also be seen in these mice? Or is it perhaps a fundamentally flawed experiment, because of man’s intrinsic difference to the mouse, in his ability to perform complex deductive reasoning.

Stabile ‘It’s probably a good idea to quash the impulse to categorize things’.

I have read about attempts using PETand SPECT to categorize ADDers into subgroups, sometimes 3 and in the case of Dr Amen – I believe 5 or 6 subgroups, defined by the pattern of blood flow within the ADDer brain.

Do you think that these sorts of empirical classifications of individuals with ADD are useful?

Stabile ‘Sorry, I could have included a bit more about this. I wrote a letter to a friend a while back that addresses this in more depth; if you’re interested, I’d be happy to send you a copy.’

I’d love to read the letter if possible (thanks!)

Stabile ‘The epiphany we speak of is a sort of avalanche effect, as the mature logical structure begins to synchronize with nature in an ever more complete way.’

You paint a delightful picture of a field filled with flowers, all coming into bloom, with the process filmed using a standard video camera, and the film watched with the speed exponentially increasing from the blooming of the first flower, to the blooming of all of the flowers within the field.

Stabile ‘We agree. But we think everyone has the potential’

Does this mean that you believe that ADD is a potentially learnable trait?

This would set the ‘cat amongst the pidgeons’ wouldn’t it?

It might also be taken to mean that the apparent familial nature of ADD is defined both by the sharing of genetic material, but also by the sharing of the family environment.

Stabile ‘OK, it’s simple, really: if you just consider some circumstance as being distracting in a certain way, you cat easily imagine a different circumstance that is more distracting.’

I am nearly there, but you couldn’t explain that with examples, could you?

In my previous post I described the reading of a newspaper. If stimulant medication is taken, and one changes, and then one takes some more medication, and one changes again – surely one should not revert back to one’s starting position, but more, to a different place where either one’s ability to read the paper is either severely diminished or better than initially, and that it should plateau at this point – neither increasing nor decreasing.

I guess the simplistic way that I was observing this phenomenon, was of tolerance to the medication and reversion to almost the exact same mental state as prior to taking the medication.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

These posts of yours aren’t easy to precis :-) -- in fact trying to play with some of these ideas is extremely hard, and even though my brain is hurting, it’s that pleasant kind of a hurt that you feel in your legs after running a marathon :-)

Apologies if I haven’t been consistent in my reply to you. I have the problem that I’m viewing ADD in the context that it’s usually considered, attempting to take on some of your beliefs, and then occasionally proposing arguments that could be levelled from both sides at the other. It’s just a sign of the state of flux that you’ve initiated, and btw…Thanks for that :-)

From this last post, it seems as though you’re theorizing that the ADD mind is subtly different from the nonADDer mind, and that viewed in a nonADDer context, it is ‘substandard’, but viewed in an ADDer context, it is far superior. The reason why it is superior, is because the nonADDer definition of ADD (distractibility, constant thought …) is evidence in the young mind, not of a problem, but of a brain developing to be better capable of handling many more stimuli simultaneously, integrating more memories into thought processing leading in effect, to an improved capacity for thought. In much the same way that computer technology advances by increasing the number of bits that may be handled and transported within its CPU register at once, so ADDers vs nonADDers have developed the human analogue of these technological advances through the rewiring of our own neuronal circuits.

However my problems with your theories, I’m sure more borne through my lack of understanding of them are:

-What are the real benefits to society when comparing a world inhabited by only ADDers vs only nonADDers

-What is medication doing in your model of ADD – is it allowing the ADDer to function like a nonADDer – in which case if thinking like a nonADDer is ‘worse’, then why should we not only medicate ourselves, but also want to medicate ourselves?

I think you have the most experience on stimulant medication, of anybody that has answered my call on whether Tolerance exists.

-If we define an effect which benefits from taking stimulant medication eg reading a newspaper, and medication leads to changes within our thought processes, which in turn impacts on our ability to read the paper, why mightn’t we expect, that in some cases we would get faster and faster at reading the paper with time, instead of reverting back to one’s pre-medication ability?

-Is it well established that of the cohort of leading thinkers, intellectuals, ethicists, philosophers…..that ADD is overrepresented.

-Finally, what is the unmedicated you like?

As ever Stabile, thanks for holding my hand on this journey,

SB

Last edited by SB_UK; 08-23-04 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 08-23-04, 10:02 AM
SB_UK SB_UK is offline
 
 

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Thanks Paul,

I totally agree about the nature of the posts.

I don't think that I have much choice other than to accept the bias though.

Partly, I'm hoping for the replies to people claiming tolerance, to include at least some examples of either people that're disputing the fact, or that have worked their way around the problem (as well as those that have experienced the same problem).

So far, it seems that given low enough doses, switches between stimulant medication types and medication holidays -- that medication can be used effectively for quite some time.

Generally - other than the specific examples that you've given me, it's true, I haven't seen too many threads on any of the 4 forums that this message has been posted, which are so positive towards stimulant medication.

Thanks for the 'heads up' on searching the various forums for further evidence - I've tried this out on a couple of forums, and have found other examples of, to be fair, all of the 3/4 groups that're listed above.

I think you mentioned that stimulant medication didn't work for you.

I haven't actually seen many posts with this message...yes, that some medications worked better than others, but not of a complete absence of therapeutic benefit on any stimulant medication.

Are there any other strategies that you're attempting to employ to cope with your ADD?

Cheers,

SB
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Old 08-23-04, 04:14 PM
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Hey, SB, et al:

We’re cranking through these posts a bit at a time. We’ll post more later as we find the time to chew through it all.

That letter we mention is freely available, but we need to email it as an attachment. Contact us if anyone is interested.

Some of the points in the letter are important to understanding the quality of the difference between the ADD mind and the normal way of thinking. It’s not trivial, but anyone out there that wants to can understand it.

However, I’ll address a few of SB’s last points and maybe I can manage to communicate a bit of the flavor.

One thing I should reiterate: we view the drugs we take, particularly the stimulants, as ‘stealth drugs’. When we take them, they allow us to move amongst the normals without setting off their alarms, and they leave us alone.

We developed this metaphor to help our son Bryan adapt to the idea of taking meds (stubborn noncompliance is a huge problem among young ADDers). If we see the meds as a means to control the reactions of normals, rather than correcting some defect in ourselves, it doesn’t have the same stigma or any other negative feel about it.

But it is literally true, too; the meds do shut off normals alarms, and even though it gets a little complicated to understand, it shuts down the same alarms in ourselves. And that can often be the more significant bit, because self criticism is also a huge problem, for ADDers of all ages.


Quote:
One of the big areas that complex geneticists like to venture, is into the field of transgenic mouse construction. If the mutant forms of the 5 ADD genes were superimposed onto a wild type mouse background, and some of the more obvious features of human ADD were then recapitulated, would it be wrong to also assume that the higher features of conscious thought, that I think you’re suggesting are seen within humans, should also be seen in these mice? Or is it perhaps a fundamentally flawed experiment, because of man’s intrinsic difference to the mouse, in his ability to perform complex deductive reasoning.
That would be a significant experiment, because it would for the first time enable us to quantify the extent of consciousness in another species. Our feeling is that mice don’t have the same kind of conscious faculty that we do, and so there should be no evidence of the higher kind of ADD traits evident.

In that sense, you understand exactly what we postulate: the symptoms of AD/HD are all derived in the context of human conscious experience, and require it to arise.

We believe those five genes are going to turn out to affect some delicate balance of neurotransmitters, or something similar. Figuring out how they relate to AD/HD is going to be almost impossible.

You have to start from an entirely different place to get the whole picture.

Incidentally, we base our opinion about the consciousness of mice (or lack thereof) on the fact that they don’t exhibit a common language. The sole reason for our particular form of consciousness is to enable human linguistic ability.

That’s why people like Noam Chomsky get it wrong, thinking that our linguistic ability is the seat of consciousness. It’s not. And the utility of consciousness isn’t in any way limited to linguistics; it’s far more useful than just that.

For example, it’s what allows us to imagine and construct things like airplanes, and large buildings, and also justify the impulse to use one to knock the other down.


Quote:
I have read about attempts using PETand SPECT to categorize ADDers into subgroups, sometimes 3 and in the case of Dr Amen – I believe 5 or 6 subgroups, defined by the pattern of blood flow within the ADDer brain.

Do you think that these sorts of empirical classifications of individuals with ADD are useful?
No, and I’ll reiterate our reasons. First, there isn’t any evidence that the pattern reveals significant differences, even if there is a correlation to ADD. Basing a decision about what or how much medication might be appropriate on such things borders on the criminal, at least here in the United States.

Here’s a question: have you ever seen a before and after pattern that you believed?

More significantly, these patterns are showing the operation of an emulation. It’s like looking at the pattern of power usage in the circuits of your computer. You can run a emulator program that allows you to play old Atari games, and Commodore 64 games, and lots more similar stuff.

But the patterns of power usage in your motherboard wouldn’t reflect what an Atari console would look like, and so on. When we’re looking at an emulation at work, its not possible to see the reasons for the difference. The real differences are in the logic, and these scans don’t reveal that.

What we’re saying is very specific. There isn’t any reason to expect that there is any difficulty associated with the fact that different areas of the brain light up or don’t light up as in these scans. No such connection has been established. The only work we know of that could be applied with any legitimacy is ours.

The new logical structures that ADDers use are more efficient in use than the structures that normals use. Our theory predicts that ADDers’ brains could be expected to be slightly smaller for a similar level of function, and use significantly less energy to perform similar tasks.

But that is not in any way a measure of how well or appropriately the task is being performed. As a last point, we don’t see much really significant controlled scientific work being done on this type of thing. The number of subjects and conditions addressed by the sample tend to shrink as the quality of the study increases.

High quality studies use expensive techniques and yield correspondingly small amounts of data. We believe Amen’s use of scans is more or less a sales gimmick.


Quote:
Stabile ‘The epiphany we speak of is a sort of avalanche effect, as the mature logical structure begins to synchronize with nature in an ever more complete way.’

You paint a delightful picture of a field filled with flowers, all coming into bloom, with the process filmed using a standard video camera, and the film watched with the speed exponentially increasing from the blooming of the first flower, to the blooming of all of the flowers within the field.
Yup. Here’s a bit from that letter to Dave:

…in four space it’s almost the same. There’s plenty to differentiate any metamodel from any other, but each one is its own special case. One tiny change gives a completely new metamodel, as different as any other, and requiring the exact same effort to memorize as the original. In comparison, when I look at twenty metamodels, I see the metalevels in full color, rich with implications resonating through the entire metamodel web. Slightly different metamodels are differentiated solely by the difference, if it’s noticed. If it isn’t, it probably doesn’t matter anyway, but there’s absolutely no way to determine the validity of that in four space.

There’s not only a sense of connectedness, but also the reflection of elements not actually present, and ultimately, of course, the entire web. It’s like being able to look at anything, at anytime, a flower, a stone, a pool of water, and see the reflection of the eye of God.1

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 Or, whatever floats your particular boat. The thing is, the metamodel web implies infinity, but in a different way than the way the extent of the Universe is defined. It has endpoints, and one is obvious, deep inside each of us, where we face only ourselves, and where our self awareness is all there is. But the other endpoint transcends the extent of the Universe itself, from purely logical considerations as sure as our own existence; it breaks through into the realm in which one must stand, should one wish to create a place such as this.

There’s no way to go there, of course, but the certainty of its existence, outside the physical reality that, if it exists at all, encompasses all that is or can be, is a strange comfort, isn’t it?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
…it seems as though you’re theorizing that the ADD mind is subtly different from the nonADDer mind, and that viewed in a nonADDer context, it is ‘substandard’, but viewed in an ADDer context, it is far superior.
Actually, we are certain that the ADDer mind is as good or better in the normal context as the normal mind.

So why do we have problems, if that’s true? We can’t speak for everyone here, but many ADDers find it difficult to make ourselves do anything that seems silly, or stupid, or counterproductive.

If you can take a shortcut, it’s hard to get yourself up for a journey the long way around, and that’s a considerable part of why we seem to fail in normals’ eyes.

But there are complexities to this whole thing. Because we fail in normals’ eyes, we also fail in our own eyes. How could that be true? Simple: we are locked into a reality that is defined by words.

Regardless of what other realities we might inhabit, even ones that are supersets of the one defined by our ability to describe it with words, we cannot escape the fact that it is in that reality that success and failure are defined, and in which we tend to judge ourselves.

That’s only half the story, though, or perhaps even less. We are attacked even when we’re successful, and that attack occurs from within, as well. We are sufficiently different that we activate the human conformity alarm associated with the social impulse.

When conformity is the criterion, even our successful efforts are lacking, because we usually find it impossible to do things in a completely normal way. We at least reveal the edges of our ADD when we speak, even if we speak the words we’re required to by custom or fiat.

This is where the drugs work to allow us to slip amongst normals in a stealth mode. There is an effect on our behavior, if from nothing more than the slight change in how we see a situation and begin to evaluate it.

Even though we still do things with an ADD brain, it doesn’t appear to be so different to the casual observer. And that includes our own internal conformity monitoring process.


Quote:
The reason why it is superior, is because the nonADDer definition of ADD (distractibility, constant thought …) is evidence in the young mind, not of a problem, but of a brain developing to be better capable of handling many more stimuli simultaneously, integrating more memories into thought processing leading in effect, to an improved capacity for thought. In much the same way that computer technology advances by increasing the number of bits that may be handled and transported within its CPU register at once, so ADDers vs nonADDers have developed the human analogue of these technological advances through the rewiring of our own neuronal circuits.
OK, here’s where I think I might be able to give a flavor of how the difference between the AD/HD mind and the normal mind is, for lack of a better term, different from other normal differences.

Your example was spot on until you got near the end, and then you fell into the trap that linguistics sets for us: you linearized the example, and lost the important characteristics.

The way that the ADD brain functions (actually, we’re talking about the mind, here, more than the brain itself) isn’t at all like extending the architecture of a computer by expanding the number of bits, or adding registers.

That’s a linear extension, and a simple linear extension would show up on things like IQ tests, standardized tests on schools, great grades, outstanding success, and like that. A simple linear extension wouldn’t cause anyone problems, beyond a bit of jealousy.

You might think of the way our minds function as more analogous to the kind of improvement in computing power that a multiple cpu architecture gives, something like a Cray, or a Beowulf cluster. (Or even Deep Blue, although that one is really pretty limited, and goes off in the wrong direction.)

This is closer to the mark, partially because we are able to keep more threads of execution going at once than a typical normal can. But even normals can get several threads going at once. What they miss out on is having more than one conscious thread at a time.

A better analog, if we’re going to stick to computer architecture, would be a machine that had multiple execution units, and also existed and could compute in several different dimensions simultaneously. In that way, a different (but related) problem could be calculated simultaneously on the same equipment in each of the dimensions it occupies.

From a normal point of view, those other dimensions aren’t visible, and they therefore don’t exist. There is no way at all to explain how we come up with an answer, and how we do it is sufficiently scary that they attack us for using the ability.

They don’t trust the answers we get that way, and rightly so, because they can’t validate the method. If we try to explain it, they can make a case that sometimes convinces us we’re wrong, too.

But when the fan starts flinging excrement, don’t they come a’ running for help? (grin…)


Quote:
As ever Stabile, thanks for holding my hand on this journey,
Well, see, it’s a trick. There’s two of us.

No, wait, I’m kidding. We feel strongly that we’re all holding hands here, and this is as great a help to Kay and me as it has been to anyone, perhaps more so.

And we thank you all for that. –Tom and Kay
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Old 08-23-04, 04:15 PM
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One additional bit:

We feel very strongly that there actually is a relationship between the use of stimulants and our ability to understand and deal with the things in our lives that are related to our ADD.

In that sense, we feel that we are (in a sense) smarter now than we would have been without them.

(This is in no way the effect on IQ that is often referred to. That probably has no significant basis in fact.)

We attribute this to the fact that we are free to explore the effects of how we are different, and that exploration has positive benefits that are reflected in a perception that our cognitive abilities have increased and improved.

Whether or not they actually have, we are much more clear headed than we used to be, and that in itself makes a big difference.

--Tom and Kay
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Old 08-24-04, 09:19 AM
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Thanks again Stabile,

SB.
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Old 08-24-04, 10:59 AM
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SB, yes that's true I don't seem to get much help from stimulants. I'm still pretty unsure of my diagnosis as well. Right now, I'm studying as much as I can about all this but my life is still kind of on hold until I get some kind of answer or magic pill that makes it all click. I'm so jealous. It is my tendency not to accept easy answers and make things more difficult than they are but in the process I believe much is revealed. My wife thinks I'm just lazy & the meds are looking for an easy out... which is true also or more like I’m maybe off on a side track avoiding taking actual action in my life. I figure if I'm going to try these meds, I want to know more about it.

One problem is that I'm a bit of a pot head & a drinker (and maybe that's my real problem?) so anyways all these meds make me feel drugged and that's not the clear-headed solution I had hoped for. OTOH I've self medicated all my life so maybe that's OK, maybe it is acceptable to shop around for a drug that actually improves my functioning even if it does make me feel drugged. Maybe a small dose of speed & some opiates for life is better than being a slug. People say they don't feel drugged when the dose is right but I'm not sure I believe that. Maybe they don't have a history of self medicating or maybe they are fooling themselves. I got high on 10mg of ritalin & it made me even more inclined to hyperfocus than I already am… which is quite a lot… except when I was depressed. Supposedly then I should be trying an antidepressant or anti-anxiety med to make me more relaxed & not lock onto things that way & maybe with that combo, a stimulant could work for me. I had tried a bit of speed & cocaine years ago and was never really attracted to that anyways.

More likely what I’m looking at now is just exploring what the various meds do to my mood and thinking and see what it’s like to feel different ways. They certainly do have an effect on me and it has been valuable to see my life in these different lights. So that’s probably where I’m going with this: it’s like a rehearsal or training where the coach holds your arm & leads you through the proper motion so you know what it feels like. One of the quoted threads I found describes this kind of approach to meds.

My ADD is not that severe, I never had a big problem with school & I can think if I want to, I’ve just got this dreamy scatter-brain syndrome & an amazing ability to avoid things I don’t care for. I’m rather impatient though, like when I’m brushing my teeth I have to walk around the house turning off lights & keeping busy and I resent wasting my time with such a tedious task. I did have an experience yesterday being very frustrated & stupid feeling trying to fill out my time sheet & dial it in through the fax but maybe that was more that I hate doing timesheets than my brain is unable to do them. I was doing other number type work and very productive otherwise. And this is on meds which seem to help & I still fumbled big time with the time sheet.

My latest diagnosis is from a pdoc who I think works more with children & I get the feeling he’s not talking straight with me as if I’m a kid who can’t handle the truth. He says “Repressed Anxiety” with some depression & a bit of attention problems.

Here’s a rundown of the meds I’ve tried:

Ritalin & Adderall
-didn't help me just made me speedy & more hyperfocused on random distractions. One thing that might work is an antidepressant combined with these but I hate the idea of the SSRI antidepressants. I'd be willing to try a stimulant again, at least it didn't interfere with my sleep.

Effexor
-powerful multi-action antidepressant relieved my anxiety but lots of side effects (sweating, sleep problems) and didn't help my concentration (took a month to get out of my system!) After quitting I was delighted to be able to enjoy listening to music & have feelings though I didn't miss anything while taking it, obviously it dulled my emotions. It was amazing though to be so relaxed and carefree on this med. I did feel drugged on it.

Marijuana
-gets me motivated to get off my butt & have lots of positive inspiring thoughts and patient enough to do tedious tasks like watering plants & overall real nice but not the best for serious thinking cause it gets me high (not good for doing paperwork).

Alcohol
-great for relaxing & getting to sleep, sometimes can function really well but obviously gets me drunk so not very useful. Nice for a chance to feel good for a while.

Sleep Pills (depressants)
-have tried a few times in the past and didn't enjoy much, just felt sleepy & dumb. A lot of people take these for anxiety or insomnia. I should try something calming like these if my diagnosis is anxiety just to see what happens. I don't sleep well. Ambien either kept me half-awake or made me wake up drowsey.When I had my appendix out they gave me something strong for pain that just about gave me an out of body experience... no fun!

Amineptine & Amisulpride
-trying these now, seems to help with motivation, getting going & actually do things without feeling stoned like pot. Works on dopamine only, no noradrenaline. Gives kind of a sweet pleasurable feeling that removes depression, socially comfortable & responsive. Like a stimulant but softer, not adrenaline charged and yes, a bit dopey. Doesn't help anxiety when I'm alone but allows me to be active and therefore not worry while I'm busy being productive. The idea of doing paperwork & chores is more appealing. Sleep is better on these! I do feel a bit drugged and maybe anxious but not too bad. I’ve just tried adding some Wellbutrin to these & that gets to feeling a bit more like a regular stimulant.

Sobriety
-I always feel a nagging spaceyness when sober for extended periods. Anxious, depressed, unmotivated, uninspired. Working with my shrink to understand this spacey feeling, maybe sometimes it's anxiety or other times more like just feeling sleepy. Maybe that spacey feeling is boredom??? I really don't know what it is. The shrinks all think it’s repressed feelings from childhood but I’ve been over all that a million times.
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Old 08-24-04, 04:12 PM
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Hey, Paul:

That's an interesting post…

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbf
It is my tendency not to accept easy answers and make things more difficult than they are but in the process I believe much is revealed...

I figure if I'm going to try these meds, I want to know more about it…

…it has been valuable to see my life in these different lights. So that’s probably where I’m going with this: it’s like a rehearsal or training where the coach holds your arm & leads you through the proper motion so you know what it feels like…
This is ADD in spades, isn't it? Note that the coach is you, but I'll bet you don't give yourself credit for it.

Quote:
My wife thinks I'm just lazy & the meds are looking for an easy out... which is true also or more like I’m maybe off on a side track avoiding taking actual action in my life…

My ADD is not that severe, I never had a big problem with school & I can think if I want to, I’ve just got this dreamy scatter-brain syndrome & an amazing ability to avoid things I don’t care for...

-I always feel a nagging spaceyness when sober for extended periods. Anxious, depressed, unmotivated, uninspired…Maybe that spacey feeling is boredom???

I’m rather impatient though, like when I’m brushing my teeth I have to walk around the house turning off lights & keeping busy and I resent wasting my time with such a tedious task…
Yep, there it is: "…I'm just lazy & the meds are looking for an easy out..." This is all classic ADD, in our opinion. You've got to cut yourself a break, dude!

We can't tell you what to say to your wife about this, but you're going to have to find a more accurate view of yourself before you tell her, or she's just going to reflect your own negative view of yourself.

You're not doing a thing wrong we can see, and we've read a bunch of your posts. ADD is a b***h, sometimes, and the ground keeps shifting under our feet, whether or not we're successfully dealing with it.

I'm sure you would advise anyone who said they did fine in school that that isn't an indicator – the question is how it affects your life, and school is just a little piece of the picture.

Kay was class valedictorian, and yet inside she was running around howling at the moon. It caught up to her later; grades were an illusion in her case.

And we have to say this about the spaceyness: our subjective definitions of how we feel have bifurcated in a many instances. What we mean by that is terms like 'spaceyness', 'buzz', 'high', and several more describe two subtly different aspects of internal experience.

Over the last ten years Kay and I have seen our own mental state transformed as we began to pull our theoretical work together into a coherent whole. Our internal representation of what we knew about our selves and our context was coalescing into a single complex form that we had described early in our work.

The experience of completely committing to thinking in a different way is both energizing and full of surprises. (I shouldn't give the impression we had a choice. We thrust ourselves into the cauldron, just as you said: "I figure if I'm going to try these meds, I want to know more about it…")

One of the biggest surprises is how unlike the normal way of thinking it can be, particularly with respect to how we are motivated. Sometimes it can feel like we're sitting in the middle of the web, still and alert, waiting for some impulse to trigger us into action.

And that can feel exactly like the spaceyness that you might get with a post-drug experience, or when you're on vacation, without a care, and the fatigue is slowly draining away.

Neither of us liked that feeling, at first, and we both fought it. But ultimately, we came to see it for what it is: a higher state of awareness, in which we are synced into our experiential reality in a completely immersive way.

It's the difference between a bird sitting on a branch, half asleep in the lazy afternoon sun, and a hawk soaring on a thermal under the same sun, just as still, but infinitely alert.

If you're looking for the classic self-motivated, self-actualized, energetic go-getter experience, you're out of luck. What AD/HD ultimately has to offer is the ability to be suspended in perfect readiness, and to be very, very able when the moment to act arises.

That's not an attitude that gives normals that warm fuzzy feeling, and when we judge ourselves by normal standards, we don't feel that good about it either.

Quote:
all these meds make me feel drugged and that's not the clear-headed solution I had hoped for...

People say they don't feel drugged when the dose is right but I'm not sure I believe that. Maybe they don't have a history of self medicating or maybe they are fooling themselves….

I got high on 10mg of ritalin & it made me even more inclined to hyperfocus than I already am… which is quite a lot… except when I was depressed…

-I always feel a nagging spaceyness when sober for extended periods. Anxious, depressed, unmotivated, uninspired. Working with my shrink to understand this spacey feeling, maybe sometimes it's anxiety or other times more like just feeling sleepy. Maybe that spacey feeling is boredom??? I really don't know what it is. The shrinks all think it’s repressed feelings from childhood but I’ve been over all that a million times.
All of these are problematical phrases, just like we described above. Our dr. describes the feeling that we get from Ritalin and Adderall as a 'buzz', and he assigns a greater buzz to Adderall because it's an amphetamine.

But we experience a more physical effect from Ritalin; we think of it as a little ally riding on our shoulder, always ready, but never interfering. We're aware of its presence, but we have to ask it to lend a hand when we need it.

Or you could think of it as consciously applying a tool. Regardless of how you look at it, it appeals to our ADD independent stubborn streak.

On the other hand, Adderall is almost subliminal. It takes hold and operates almost totally out of sight. We like that because it lets us focus on what we're involved in, without having to make any conscious effort to deal with the ADDer pitfalls of living in the normal world.

But the physical effects are very much less pronounced than Ritalin. We can take either and sleep like babes; that's part of the 'contrary effect' that has been talked about in a few threads. Our former dr. was very involved with that; he considered it a confirming sign of a correct diagnosis.

But there's a contradiction here, too: if we have a contradictory effect, why would we get a buzz at all? Kay and I already had an answer for that. We knew as far back as the late sixties that there were often two different responses to drugs that users happily called by the same name.

Almost everyone assumed that the effects were actually the same, even though there were contradictions in their responses, and how they described the effects. 'High' was 'high', regardless, and although we didn't yet have a theory to explain it, we noted the effect with great interest.

You've caught on to this, too: "People say they don't feel drugged …but I'm not sure I believe that... Maybe…they are fooling themselves".

Yup, but it's a trick: we're all fooling ourselves. That's the process of describing anything subjective, but we only notice it when the picture it paints goes outside the lines.

If that's waxing a bit philosophical for your tastes, here's a more concrete take: we believe that the stimulants (and probably other drugs as well) don't act in a direct way, as in increasing or decreasing the activity of some neuroreceptor system.

Instead, we think they affect a regulating system, something that acts a little like a chemical buffer solution. Or perhaps they act directly in that same way. Regardless, the effect is to shift a normalizing system to a different threshold, so that I might experience an increase in a some neurotransmitter (or sensitivity to it), while someone else might actually experience a decrease.

The absolute values would tend toward the same threshold value, or the shifted value, but if we start out at different places in the normal range, we could move in opposite directions by taking the same drug.

I suppose that's a pretty startling idea to SB, and if it isn't, all the better. It's difficult enough to measure this sort of thing, and measuring it under actual operating conditions can be almost impossible.

To be clear about this, I mean literally that the I in SSRI might be a misnomer, in the sense that such drugs might potentiate rather than inhibit activity in the brain, depending on the individual. (That activity would not necessarily be serotonin reuptake; it is more likely to be a more complex system in which serotonin reuptake is a supporting player.)

Quote:
Supposedly then I should be trying an antidepressant or anti-anxiety med to make me more relaxed & not lock onto things that way & maybe with that combo, a stimulant could work for me…

Alcohol
-great for relaxing & getting to sleep, sometimes can function really well but obviously gets me drunk so not very useful. Nice for a chance to feel good for a while…

Maybe a small dose of speed & some opiates for life is better than being a slug...
(grins, here…) Ask some slugs if they would rather be mayflies. Again, we think you might want to look hard at whether you actually are a slug, or rather, if you might not have a different idea about what a slug is than some other people.

We want to point out that if alcohol makes you feel good, and you're not a drunk (and addicted, a whole other story), then you felt good underneath all along. Finding that is the holy grail of ADD, isn't it?

This is probably related to the fact that small amounts of alcohol have shown positive benefits in many studies. It has too many side effects to be a good general purpose solution, but anything that breaks the tension and lets us relax, even temporarily, is likely to contribute to a longer life.

Just for the record, Kay and I don't really drink. Just a few slugs of Mescal, straight from the bottle, three or four nights a week. An occasional beer or glass of wine, too, at social occasions. But a bottle of Monte Alban, even though it’s a little pricey, is it for us.

I guess Mescal straight up seems to suit our romantic view of ADD and ourselves. Whatever works, and isn't that the point? It doesn't have to fit anyone else's idea of what's proper…

--(grinning,) Tom and Kay
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Last edited by Stabile; 08-24-04 at 04:15 PM.. Reason: format..
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  #28  
Old 08-24-04, 04:47 PM
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Hey SB:

Here are a few more thoughts…

Quote:
In my previous post I described the reading of a newspaper. If stimulant medication is taken, and one changes, and then one takes some more medication, and one changes again – surely one should not revert back to one’s starting position, but more, to a different place where either one’s ability to read the paper is either severely diminished or better than initially, and that it should plateau at this point – neither increasing nor decreasing.

I guess the simplistic way that I was observing this phenomenon, was of tolerance to the medication and reversion to almost the exact same mental state as prior to taking the medication.
But we see this in ourselves all the time. What it amounts to is that we’ve learned the trick, whatever it is, and we've moved on. Our conscious mind is often the last to get the news.

Think about this: what is your goal in reading the paper? If your life with ADD is typical, you have a whole long list of things that were affected by your ADD that you wish you could experience normally.

But once that barrier has been broken for a particular task, we move on unless it offers us something useful to our current situation. I myself read the local paper through every day for a week or so, and then skim it for several weeks. About once a year, I just ignore it for a few weeks.

All that with no conscious input, too. But I don't let it bother me.

Quote:
It’s often said that some great works and thought have arisen from severely depressed individuals.
Yeah, but it’s never said which came first, the depression or the great work. In our experience, it's a thankless job to break new ground, at least until your work achieves common acclaim.

Think of Vincent van Gogh. There's every reason to believe that he was only crazy by comparison to the norm, and the comparison itself drove him over the edge. He's the definition of a person driven by his vision.

We have other stuff to do, like this, or we would be depressed, too. So, thanks again for that… Tom and Kay
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Old 08-24-04, 11:36 PM
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Thanks Tom!

Here's what I composed today (the care wouldn't start so I skipped work) but no urgency to reply after reading your last message (I haven't added to it since reading you new message):


Hypergraphia sufferers unite!

Quote:
Think of a person driving a car in which the brakes have failed, perhaps because the alloy used in the brake lines wasn’t appropriate for the stress of the application.

ADD is comparable to the emotional situation of the driver as he/she bears down on a sharp curve, out of control.

The kind of genetic information in these (genetic) studies is comparable to the concise metallurgical definition of the alloy.
Ha, I like this metaphor though I don’t agree with all your points. Let me try applying it to the brain scan question. The brain scan as a method for prescribing drugs is like doing concise metallurgical identification of the alloy so you know which ingredients to add to improve the performance for the application.

I understand that it’s not that simple as Amen suggests but it seems he’s onto something that’s generally headed the right direction. The before/after brain images are very clear. I don’t get your criticisms? I’ll PM you with my email & send you a thing that explains the brain scans nicely.


On the subject of things being more complex… I suspect that medications are all really way too blunt of a tool and while they may help in some cases, there are so many other side effects due to the poor precision and the brain is smart enough to work around whatever you throw at it if it has a mind too… that’s where the tolerance comes in, when your brain has adjusted to the new chemistry & learns to go back to it’s old ways in spite of the meds. It seems the only way to heal is to teach the brain to control it’s own chemistry because throwing meds in is essentially damaging normal function (with perhaps some usually temporary benefits as a side effect) and causing the brain to be even less able to manage it’s own chemistry. The other view is that trying meds short term does help you get out of a rut and learn new ways to think and feel. It really is hard to imagine meds could be so effective long term given these lines of reasoning.

Hmm, now the under-inflated tire metaphor has me scratching my head. Are you saying ADD can be overcome by checking your tire pressure on a regular basis?

Quote:
There is a strong (and correct) statistical relationship between a certain percentage of high speed automobile accidents and blown tires. But the problem isn’t poor design, substandard materials, or anything else to do with the tires. It’s almost always due to under inflation, and that’s a social problem with the driver, not a mechanical problem with the tires.
Quote:
The reason we have a greater knowledge about ourselves is that we can encode information much more richly and efficiently using a new kind of logical structure in the brain. Our ability to maintain two (or more) threads of conscious awareness at one time, one of the fundamental experiential aspects of ADD, opens the door to our use of such structures.

The problem of abandoning ideals never materializes, because they aren’t abandoned at all; they’re superceded and displaced. The use of these new logical structures necessarily results in a kind of enforced moral consistency, another point of severe contention with normals.

A richer and more complex logical structure takes longer to reach maturity – we believe that isolated examples typically begin to mature at about age 40.
Heh I like the way you think. So according to this theory, taking meds allows you to think more linear & normal and relieves some of the stress of always having to see everything from every angle?

BTW I totally agree about the enforced moral consistency. I never compromised my ideals ‘cause I simply could not. Eventually this has caught up with me; as an adult I’m expected to be able to abandon my ideals in order to do what’s expected of me but I still refuse. This is sort of the core of my crisis (or maybe I’m just lazy LOL). Well the real problem is that I can’t accomplish my ideals either so I’m left unable to do much besides sit around reading about it & random interesting side projects that don’t lead anywhere particular while my life falls apart.

I guess this maturing at age 40 is what I’m going through (I hope so!!!). Somehow I’m going to come out of this with the ability to take the actions I want to achieve what I want from life. I can’t take the normal road to maturity, I’m compelled to do it the difficult way.

Quote:
SB_UK wrote:
Quote:
It’s often said that some great works and thought have arisen from severely depressed individuals. Might it not be true, that in a similar way, ADDers increased tendency towards thinking about certain things more deeply, is merely a mechanism of striving towards normality or alternatively, that the ADDers urge to feel pleasure, motivates the ADDer more so than the nonADDer to strive more intently in any given field, with the single goal of reaching that threshold and feeling pleasure, satisfied, a sense of reward.
This sounds correct. The inattention is actually excessive attention, it’s more like lack of focus. The pleasure/reward factor is what allows normals to mature early & be responsible and stable. And ADDers struggle so hard to get that reward. We get it but not easily. Maybe that’s how to define maturation: the point where an ADDer actually arrives at that place where the reward can be felt.
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Old 08-25-04, 12:13 AM
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I have been on Adderall for 7 years. I started on Ritalin and remained on it for the first three years after my diagnosis. I changed because Ritalin had such a quick onset I got head aches for about 30 minutes after the medication started in. I was started on 40mg twice daily bumped up to 60mg( 20mg three timesdaily)

I have had two adjustments in dosage.The first adjustment was when I started taking a half dose at night to prevent rebound thus insomnia. Then after about three years I added part time school to my full time job. I went to 20mg four times daily with a 10mg dose at night if necessary, my ceiling is 100mg daily, but I rarely take that much. I take 20mg every 5 to 5.5 hours I am awake. If I don't take my medication during my morning routine I will not remember it then I go about wandering and getting little done. mY AVERAGE IS 70MG daily. I am female weight 120 lbs and am 5 foot 6 inches tall.

The addiction question.....I am a smoker and am addicted to ciggerettes... I have NEVER FORGOT TO SMOKE!!!! I don't need to rely on a routine to remember to do that however I have FORGOTTEN MY MEDICATIONS MULITPLE TIMES IN ONE WEEK!!! Other people notice the medication effects more than I do I have been asked by co-workers if I have taken my medication as they see the change in my focus before I do. The "honeymoon" period that you are referring to my be the time period where you "feel" the medications. After awhile I stopped "feeling" the medication work I just know it does for no other reason than other people notice a difference.

The post above this is correct medication is a part of treatment but it is only a tool. I still have to "make" my self do some things I find boaring like laundry dishes ect.... FEW people can focus on any task for over two hours without
taking a break every now and then. Maybe the medication is working but not as you think it should. You think you should NEVER have your mind wander. You think you shouldn't have to "make" your self focus. You think you shouldn't need a break every now and then. Maybe your medication is making you aware of the fact your brain needs a break for a few minutes, even non-ADDers have to make an effort to focus on task they find boaring, those I have met who have zero ADD traits have caught thierselves "day dreaming" when they should be paying attention to something. Medication aren't supposed to "fix" wandering minds, or "make" you want to do boaring task, only in abusive levels would medication prevent you form needing a brain ( or body) break...medication assist you in knowing yourself and slowing your mind down enough to acknowledging your own needs, desires and behavior (before you react) so you will be able to look at options on how to handle the wandering mind, time your break with a beeping watch, and focus long enough to break down big task into smaller steps.

Hope that helps!!! You wanted a voice of experience.....is eleven years enough???? I had many miconceptions when I first got diagnosed and in 1993 there wasn't near as much information out there about adults, medication and ADD. When I wanted a support group for adults with ADD I had to start one.. I didn't have access to things like this forum so I learned much of what I told you by experience.


KNOWLEDGE BY LEARNING...WISDOM VIA EXPERIENCE...TAMMY ORIGINAL 1996
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