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Old 08-23-11, 01:57 PM
theoriginalaks theoriginalaks is offline
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My wonderful experience with ADD medication.

"Taking ADD medication is easily the greatest choice I have ever made." - Me.

Here's my story. I am a twenty year old male, blisteringly intelligent if test scores and the universal comment of every teacher and mentor I have ever had are to be believed. However, before the medication I might as well been an idiot. My natural gifts were the only thing from keeping me afloat in nearly all aspects of life.

I was sad and lonely, essentially a failure as a person according to my own internal thoughts. It was impossible for me to maintain any sort of serious relationship, the ability to connect emotionally with others simply was not there. I was a constant turmoil of anxious thoughts. I was not constantly depressed in terms of pure sadness, but things like happiness and hope were truly foreign concepts. Before I even considered ADD seriously these symptoms where noticed by a counselor I decided to see and I was placed on paxil. With no effect.

In terms of attention, it was not there but it was not mine to control. I was focused on whatever I happened to be focused on. The best way I can articulate the experience was I lacked an internal system that perhaps allowed other people to accomplish tasks they decided needed to get done. In school note taking was a dirty word, outside any sort of studying or work was rarely even considered.

talking more about school I never came off as jittery or unfocused, and that combined with a shear level of intelligence that had nothing to do with my own merit I was able always able to crawl by while doing literally nothing more that I could get away with. The fact that I could easily and very quickly achieve competence at an above average level in nearly every subject meant there was never any reason to look deeper at my overall performance than shear lazyness.

In essence I was the poster child for the teacher cliche "Very smart, but does not apply himself."


It may sound like I am bragging, and I sort of am, but this interplay played a very serious and dramatic role in my internal debates on the subject of ADD. I did spend years considering ADD, the biggest negative always being just how convenient an excuse it would be. I was always viscous with myself, I found it much more likely to assume that all the failure in my life was a direct result of my own failure as a person. The idea of there being a condition that could explain so much, and in my heart of hearts, absolve so much, was to good to be true.

But after entering college and gradually performing worse and worse as the buffer that had cropped me up for so many years became less and less effective. Culminating in losing a state scholarship because I could not maintain my GPA, I finally decided to get the testing done.

Even after deciding it took me weeks, and a lucky break of being bed-ridden all day from the flu before I was able to devote enough attention to take the time to find a professional who could administer the test. But I did, and to quote the psychologist "It become readily apparent to me within ten minutes of meeting you that you most likely have ADD."

The test results backed him up, I passed with flying colors. 86 out of 90, right on the clinical line between moderate and severe. He prescribed me to a psychiatrist to deal with the finer prospects of medication. Though I could not wait and approached my GP first, though I still plan to keep the appointment with the psychiatrist, on the 8th of September.

I have now been on 40mg of daily Vyvanse since the 10th of August, and after a rocky start the first two doses, I am a differen't person now. Scratch that, I am a person now. This is the best decision I have made and if I may be so bold could ever make, because every decision I make that I could not have made before will be a gift from this medication

I can not without turning this into a short novel, explain enough how it has had some benefit in every aspect of who I fundamentally am. But to give the most relavent one, my ability to plan future tasks and then not only do them but enjoy getting them done has not improved, it has not gotten better it has appeared.

To explain just how pathetic I was before; On the medication I was able to see that my laundry basket was growing full, plan to do my laundry the next day when it would be full, and actually do it all in one day. I have literally never done that or anything like that in my entire life. Let alone do it more than once.

In less relavent to ADD proper my day to day anxiety and falt effect is GONE. Most days I can feel a hope for the future and a happiness I can not remember ever feeling before. I have noticed that I still in some ways I act as though I still have the anxiety but the underlying thoughts that would always drag me down are GONE completely on the medication.

I feel more open emotionally, to new experiences, and to people. Every day I am blown away by what I see inside myself, for the first time in my history introspection makes me happy.

This medication has given me my life to live as I choose to live it. Before I was a billiard ball, I would go where I went was dependent more on geometry than choice, and so flat on the surface to really enjoy anything or want to go anywhere on my own.

I realize of course that a lot of these results are to do with the general effects of stimulants, I spend a great amount of energy going over my actions and I have kept a very detailed daily journal I plan to show to the psychiatrist when I go. But as a whole I feel that while I may a bit north of normal right now, I am so much closer on this side than I was on the other.

I actually like who I am on the medication. There are downsides though, the cessation of anxiety and depression only lasts five or six hours, at which point I notice my judgement and thoughts switch back to my old self-hating process. The moment that happens I instantly second guess everything I felt during the day, I begin to worry I have only improved because I am taking speed essentially and the ADD is just something I tricked myself into think I have.

Though I have noticed that the duration of the cessation is possibly increasing. At the very least I have noticed that those effects might be starting to last longer.

I do occasionally get buzzing headache cessations though I am hoping that has more to do with stopping the SSRI before I fully finished titrating. Other than if I take my does in the afternoon I have noticed its impossible to go sleep that night, though I sleep fine when I finally do.

I apologize for all this text, this whole thing was more an overflow of the positive feelings I get whenever I think about what this medication has done so far. Really I just wanted to share my story with people who have gone through things similar to me, in all honestly the practice of being able to open up emotionally is incredibly foreign to me so I can go overboard.

I want to thank anyone who read this for indulging that.
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Old 08-23-11, 02:33 PM
theoriginalaks theoriginalaks is offline
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Re: My wonderful experience with ADD medication.

As a side note, those paragraphs look so much longer in the edit box than my monitor screen. haha.
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Old 08-23-11, 02:48 PM
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Re: My wonderful experience with ADD medication.

I've read it through and want to say I have similar positive experiences with Concerta. I've only been taking it for a few days now and still will have to up my dose (to 56mg and then we'll see what and how), but I can already see a significant difference.

It makes me hate the person I was before; but I've come to the realization that that person, was just "me + ADHD" and not "me". This is me. I am able to do the things I've taught myself to do for so many years. And now, I do them - without having to try (and fail). Without having to think about it.

It is not the Concerta that taught me how to plan my household; it is I who did that many years ago. It is the Concerta that aids me to do this, because it's the ADHD that makes it nearly impossible to do the things I know.

Whether ADHD is real or not - There's only one thing I truly care about: I function now. And for the record, I do believe ADHD is real and that I really have it. It explains why so much knowledge was locked up for so long and the "good part of my brain" (as I used to put it before I knew I had ADHD) finally has been able to do what it wanted to do. The bridges in my head are build. And it shines (rightfully so) in the spotlight, which was sponsored by Concerta.
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Old 08-23-11, 06:10 PM
danpan danpan is offline
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Re: My wonderful experience with ADD medication.

This reminds me of myself, sans recovery. I still vividly remember my gifted teacher pulling me aside and, obviously upset, asking, "You're the smartest kid in this class, why don't you apply yourself?!" I was at a loss for words, because I knew I was the smartest, yet I had absolutely no idea why I couldn't apply myself.

I made it through the portions of school I finished on rage, and rage alone. I raged against the system for expecting me to study or do homework, and every test, for me, was like a giant FU to the teachers. In the real world, of course, I have nothing to rage against, so I've lost that advantage.

I just re-enrolled in college, and I can't help but think 9 years back, when I dropped out of high school due to crushing anxiety and an overwhelming sense of failure. Will this happen again? Am I ready to face these feelings with maturity?

I'm determined not to let it happen again, and I have some questions for you to determine if Concerta might help me. First, I have problems with insomnia. Prior to concerta, did you have trouble sleeping? Now that you're taking it, is it any harder to fall asleep if you take the medication in the morning?

I have a question for you, too, Etcetera. The OP hasn't been on the meds long, and it sounds like he might be going through an initial rush of improvement that could eventually decline... how long have you been on Concerta? Has it affected your sleep at all?
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Old 08-23-11, 09:45 PM
Honeybadger Honeybadger is offline
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Re: My wonderful experience with ADD medication.

You misspelled "sheer" and "relevant." Genius card denied.



I kid It's awesome to hear that things are working for someone.


Keeps me going that one day, I will stumble across a medication that will let me function enough to not be a massive failure in applying all that horsepower in my head, just spinning its cheap dopamine tires away.
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Old 08-24-11, 12:32 AM
Chopsy Chopsy is offline
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Re: My wonderful experience with ADD medication.

Sounds like my life.

I'm glad you have been diagnosed and that you are feeling better and I hope it means you can feel more alive than you have ever felt before
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Old 08-24-11, 02:00 AM
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Re: My wonderful experience with ADD medication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danpan View Post
This reminds me of myself, sans recovery. I still vividly remember my gifted teacher pulling me aside and, obviously upset, asking, "You're the smartest kid in this class, why don't you apply yourself?!" I was at a loss for words, because I knew I was the smartest, yet I had absolutely no idea why I couldn't apply myself.

I made it through the portions of school I finished on rage, and rage alone. I raged against the system for expecting me to study or do homework, and every test, for me, was like a giant FU to the teachers. In the real world, of course, I have nothing to rage against, so I've lost that advantage.

I just re-enrolled in college, and I can't help but think 9 years back, when I dropped out of high school due to crushing anxiety and an overwhelming sense of failure. Will this happen again? Am I ready to face these feelings with maturity?

I'm determined not to let it happen again, and I have some questions for you to determine if Concerta might help me. First, I have problems with insomnia. Prior to concerta, did you have trouble sleeping? Now that you're taking it, is it any harder to fall asleep if you take the medication in the morning?

I have a question for you, too, Etcetera. The OP hasn't been on the meds long, and it sounds like he might be going through an initial rush of improvement that could eventually decline... how long have you been on Concerta? Has it affected your sleep at all?
The OP is on Vyvanse, so I'll just answer both questions.

I haven't been on Concerta for very long (since Friday actually) and have been taking a small dose so far. The plan is to up me to 54 mg within two weeks from now.

I had severe sleeping problems prior to Concerta. I often needed more than an hour, sometimes even over two hours, just to fall asleep. In all honesty, sometimes a game of adult play was the only thing that could make me sleep altogether...

This was a huge concern to me when the doctor suggested a long-working med like Concerta. On Monday, I need to get up at 4AM. On Sunday, I can't be bothered being forced to wake up before 8AM "just because I need to take my Concerta before 8AM - or I won't sleep the next night..." My doctor said that he actually often notices that people sleep better while taking Concerta - because they worry less.

I'm lucky; I'm one of those that fall asleep faster. I do, however, wake up quicker throughout the night - check the time - and fall asleep within a minute again. Despite this waking up in the middle of the night, I am quite rested in the morning; even more so than before.

This night it seemed a bit better.

(I do however believe the waking-up had nothing to do with the Concerta, but more the melatonine I now stopped taking and the Vit B I was taking at the evenings ever since I'm on the Concerta. I skipped that last night to see if it had any effect - and all I can say so far, is that it did have an effect.)

So - in overall, the Concerta helped me with my insomnia. But obviously, Concerta being a stimulant, a known side effect is this very insomnia it helped me with. The only way you'll know what effect it has on you, is by trying it out.

But you won't be hearing any bad word about Concerta out of my mouth. Except it sucks when it wears off. (No side effects, just me noticing my ADHDness again)
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Old 08-24-11, 10:34 AM
danpan danpan is offline
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Re: My wonderful experience with ADD medication.

Yeah, I realized my mistake after I posted, but being new and all, my post was awaiting moderation and couldn't be edited. Thanks for the info.
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