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Concerta (methylphenidate) Time released Ritalin - 10 hour long acting tablet.

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Old 07-12-11, 10:33 AM
robotic robotic is offline
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Postgrad on concerta?

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Just started on 36 mg of Concerta (after 2 weeks on 18mg) after being diagnosed with ADHD primarily inattentive. I'm 36 and up until now I've managed to get by without meds.- as a teacher I always had the 'bell' and the students to make sure I was in the right place and prepared. Anyway at the moment I'm off work trying to finish a 'Masters' in literature and I've had serious difficulties focusing on long pieces of work -2000 words I can follow the thread but 5000 or more and I go off in a million different directions; also massive procrastination - 1 month's work done in last 3 months almost like I need someone sitting beside me with a gun to my head to make me want to do it. So desperate I went to an ADHD specialist psychiatrist and after making me fill in a questionnaire and speaking to me for 50 minutes; he decided I had the sort of space cadet qualities (circuitous thinking- diverging instead of converging thoughts) of the 'inattentive hypoactive (as opposed to hyperactive) dopamine deficient ADHD candidate' . He admitted he wasn't 100% sure (how can anyone be?) but decided to try me out on concerta.

Just started on 36 mg of Concerta (after 2 weeks on 18mg) after being diagnosed with ADHD primarily inattentive. I'm 36 and up until now I've managed to get by without meds.- as a teacher I always had the 'bell' and the students to make sure I was in the right place and prepared. Anyway at the moment I'm off work trying to finish a 'Masters' in literature and I've had serious difficulties focusing on long pieces of work -2000 words I can follow the thread but 5000 or more and I go off in a million different directions; also massive procrastination - 1 month's work done in last 3 months almost like I need someone sitting beside me with a gun to my head to make me want to do it. So desperate I went to an ADHD specialist psychiatrist and after making me fill in a questionnaire and speaking to me for 50 minutes; he decided I had the sort of space cadet qualities (circuitous thinking- diverging instead of converging thoughts) of the 'inattentive hypoactive (as opposed to hyperactive) dopamine deficient ADHD candidate' . He admitted he wasn't 100% sure (how can anyone be?) but decided to try me out on concerta.

The result is after two weeks I feel like an over focused 'zombie' but I can't focus on anything I actually need to do. I have also stopped going out so much and seeing my friends and feel socially awkward as though my eyes are burning a hole in people instead of connecting with the surface humour. Instead I've spent 10 hours a day wading through theses forums trying to work out the answers to some questions and educate myself on this drug/condition, which a) I might not have and b) might not actually exist on the scale it's supposed to and is perhaps sometimes given to people to make them 'fit' or conform. I've literally spent the last two weeks self-consciously observing my own brain activity as though I'm some kind of a guinea pig in my own experiment and got next to nothing done and I'm getting worried that I'm losing time (I need to hand in 30,000 words by end of September).I don't even get that emotional anxiety anymore which drives me towards my work or friends. So anyway here are my questions and I'd really appreciate it if someone with a lot of experience with ADHD (or anyone for that matter could answer).
I)Do I really need to be medicated (I'm from the UK and here they literally only medicate people who can not focus at all) because maybe my 'spaciness' is just creativity; and can be managed or converted into focus/productivity with exercise, diet and vitamins. So do I need meds?
2) Why do I feel so anti-social and socially awkward since taking them - flat?
3)Am I on the wrong meds.?
4) If I use this 'focusing' window to actually start on my work. Will I get stuff done?
5)If I took short lasting meds. would they wear off earlier and allow me be social in the evening. (I feel no warmth to people I even feel like I'm coldly analysing my own girlfriend at dinner like a psychiatrist!).
6)How long should I give them the opportunity to 'work' (I've been on them for 2 weeks)?
7)Isn't adult ADHD often connected to adrenal fatigue- and the stimulants actually make it worse?
8)If I do have 'rare brain waves' why in the hell would I want to have the same ones as everybody else? Surely thinking 'out of the box' has some value?

Sorry for posting so many questions. If anybody could advise me on this I'd much appreciate it. I took these pills to help me become more productive yet they're slowing me right down.

Please, please help.
Sincerely,
Desperate, 'robotic' and in London
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Old 07-12-11, 12:36 PM
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namazu namazu is offline
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Re: Postgrad on concerta?

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Originally Posted by robotic View Post
I)Do I really need to be medicated (I'm from the UK and here they literally only medicate people who can not focus at all) because maybe my 'spaciness' is just creativity; and can be managed or converted into focus/productivity with exercise, diet and vitamins. So do I need meds?
This is a question no one here can really answer for you.

I would certainly recommend trying strategies like maintaining regular exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep patterns. They will do you good regardless of whether or not you have ADHD, and if you do have ADHD, they will help you function better whether or not you are taking medication.

If you are simply a misunderstood genius without ADHD, or even a misunderstood genius with mild ADHD, these strategies -- and perhaps some changes to your study and work habits and environment, etc. -- may indeed be sufficient.

If you have moderate to severe ADHD, then these strategies may help some, but are unlikely to be sufficient. In this case, as long as you stay in the same line of work, which requires you to read lengthy texts and does not automatically provide much structure to your day, you will likely struggle.

All of that said, if you feel like you do not want to take medication, you do not have to take it (but taper off slowly, with your doctor's help).

Quote:
2) Why do I feel so anti-social and socially awkward since taking them - flat?
3)Am I on the wrong meds.?
Let's take question 3 first, shall we?

It sounds like this medication is not right for you, or perhaps the dose is simply too high (you could try 18mg). Explain to your doctor how the medication makes you feel.

If you are taking a medication that helps the way it's supposed to, it should not make you feel like a zombie, a robot, emotionally flat, or asocial.

Quote:
4) If I use this 'focusing' window to actually start on my work. Will I get stuff done?
Possibly! You may also need to work on setting shorter-term goals for yourself (read 2 pages, or read for 15 minutes, stretch, repeat).

Quote:
5)If I took short lasting meds. would they wear off earlier and allow me be social in the evening. (I feel no warmth to people I even feel like I'm coldly analysing my own girlfriend at dinner like a psychiatrist!).
Yes, short-acting meds would wear off earlier. However, some doctors are hesitant to prescribe them (especially to new patients) because they are more easily abused.

All of that notwithstanding, I don't think you should willingly accept the degree of emotional/cognitive side effects you seem to be experiencing, even only during working hours.

Quote:
6)How long should I give them the opportunity to 'work' (I've been on them for 2 weeks)?
2 weeks should be long enough to tell if a stimulant at a given dose is working. In your case, this medication and dose don't sound right for you.

Quote:
7)Isn't adult ADHD often connected to adrenal fatigue- and the stimulants actually make it worse?
This is controversial, not least because "adrenal fatigue" is not widely acknowledged by the medical establishment as a real condition.

However, many adults with ADHD do respond favorably to stimulants, some of them over long time periods.

In your case, since you did not experience much, if any, impairment before (thanks to external structure, milder concentration difficulties, coping skills you devised, or other factors), I think it would be important to seriously consider the possibility of burnout as an explanation for your difficulty (+/- ADHD).

Maybe you need a change of pace or some time off, or maybe you need a kick in the pants or a conference to attend that will fire you back up.

Quote:
8)If I do have 'rare brain waves' why in the hell would I want to have the same ones as everybody else? Surely thinking 'out of the box' has some value?
Both large diamonds and mega-tsunamis are rare, yet they do not share the same value in most people's minds. ADHD is, of course, neither of those, but I'm just trying to make the point that "rare" can be perceived as good and/or bad; in itself it is not a value judgment.

Some commentators (and you yourself) have suggested that medication is a kind of straitjacket that enforces some hegemonic notion of social norms. I disagree with that idea (at least in cases where it is appropriately prescribed), but you do not have to choose to conform if you don't wish to do so. You, as an autonomous adult, could presumably avoid such medications if you believe that's one of their major functions.

If you feel that the way your mind works is, on balance, advantageous and leads to greater creativity, then I would suggest not trying to medicate your free-associative tendencies away.

If your poor focus and disorganization are sufficiently impairing that they actually prevent you from expressing your talents in the literary realm, and also cause significant adversity in other aspects of your day-to-day life, then medication might be justified.

In sum, I suggest:
- speaking with your doctor, telling him/her how the medication has affected you,
- considering a lower dose of Concerta or a different medication (or no meds) altogether,
- reevaluating your study/work/sleep/exercise/food patterns and experimenting with changes as necessary,
- setting short-term goals for yourself,
- identifying other possible contributing factors to your poor focus and modifying them.

Good luck!
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Old 07-12-11, 02:29 PM
ilovemusic ilovemusic is offline
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Re: Postgrad on concerta?

Concerta should start working in one hour or a bit more. If they don't work, they don't work. Period. At least based on my experience I can say it for sure. I don't have much experience but so far when I feel them working I don't think I'm anti-social at all. It's the opposite. I just can't comprehend how anybody can be social when they lack attention. At most they can be entertaining clowns probably, but not to be taken seriously.
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Old 07-13-11, 02:12 AM
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Re: Postgrad on concerta?

Adding Wellbutrin to the Concerta can do wonders for some people.
I just added Wellbutrin to my daily Concerta a week ago and have had great results.

When I was just taking the Concerta I would have problems with it lasting a full 10hours and could always tell that I had a drug in my system assisting me.

Adding Wellbutrin completely changed the effects, I feel "normal" and have no sense of being on any medication but can use my brain as I see fit without limitation, the only side effect was increased sensitivity to skin abrasion and it is very minor.

For me, the two medications together worked perfectly and may be an option you could try.

P.S.- Caffeine + Concerta and Wellbutrin is very, very bad, limit caffeine intake to very small doses or massive discomfort could result.

Last edited by stones; 07-13-11 at 02:16 AM.. Reason: PS
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Old 07-13-11, 12:21 PM
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Re: Postgrad on concerta?

Thanks for all your responces. I really didn't think I'd get any.

I was actually moved by the depth of thought and warmth that had gone into Namazu's reply (I'm going to see the doctor next week).The fact I was 'moved' means that I must still have some emotion passing through my synapses....though I didn't take my concerta today...
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