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  #16  
Old 09-26-17, 02:39 PM
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Re: Stimulant treatment - uncontrolled bipolar.

I took stimulants for a long time before getting on mood disorder medications for bipolar. At most, they just increased the amount of manic episodes (Adderall XR specifically) Vyvanse didn't do much as an adult, but as a teenager it would result in crashing and low mood at the end of the day, but I think a lot of that had to do with stifling hunger and then it suddenly come crashing on me (I get very hangry)

I've honestly found more success with non-stimulant Strattera. Though for me, getting the bipolar under control is what made managing the ADHD more simpler. Life is harder when your a rapid cycler, and the mood needs to be stable so your attention span has a chance to focus. At least, thats how it is in my experience.
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Old 09-27-17, 12:37 AM
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Re: Stimulant treatment - uncontrolled bipolar.

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Originally Posted by Arei View Post
I took stimulants for a long time before getting on mood disorder medications for bipolar. At most, they just increased the amount of manic episodes (Adderall XR specifically) Vyvanse didn't do much as an adult, but as a teenager it would result in crashing and low mood at the end of the day, but I think a lot of that had to do with stifling hunger and then it suddenly come crashing on me (I get very hangry)

I've honestly found more success with non-stimulant Strattera. Though for me, getting the bipolar under control is what made managing the ADHD more simpler. Life is harder when your a rapid cycler, and the mood needs to be stable so your attention span has a chance to focus. At least, thats how it is in my experience.
As you may have noticed in this thread and maybe some others, I continue to try and explore this proverbial "line" between innate stimulant sensitivity and the possibility of low-grade bipolar (or mood disorder NOS.) I'm sure you're aware I'm hypersensitive to drugs including stimulants, and often experience a "buzz" even with low doses of stimulant drugs of every class. I'm wondering whether this is just strange "sensitive" brain chemistry, or if it represents a trend that suggests a possible mood disorder.

A 2-part question I'm going to keep asking, even if I keep getting an answer:

Are mood disorder folks typically oversensitive to stimulants? Is caffeine thought to be an accelerant for rapid-cycling or hypomania, in untreated mood disorder?

I hope I don't annoy anyone by repeating this question yet again. I'm asking because I get vastly different opinions on this, and I think it may be better to canvas the replies, to have a deeper understanding.
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Old 09-27-17, 02:48 PM
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Re: Stimulant treatment - uncontrolled bipolar.

I'm not overly sensitive to stimulants, in fact a lot of them have no effect on me. Adderall is the only one that had a significant affect, but it didn't really trigger mood swings or unwanted effects, it just amped me up. Caffeine doesn't affect my moods (except coffee makes me happier at work lol), and even before I was treated this never seemed to bother me. I do know people who are untreated that caffeine causes spells of anxiety and low mood, but it's never done that to me.

I have a friend thats real sensitive like you to medication, but doesn't have any mood or mental disorders. Sometimes the hypersensitivity may be related, and sometimes its not. I think thats gonna be a very hard question to answer for you, because there's so many variables in brain chemistry between people.

But if I had to take a guess, based on what I'VE experienced and seen as a layperson in myself and other people, that hypersensitivity to medication doesn't always mean you have a mood disorder. I do know a few people who are extremely hypersensitive to medications/stimulants and caffeine that are mentally sound, while I'm sitting over here with a lack of sensitivity to a lot of things and have pretty debilitating bipolar (when untreated).
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Old 09-28-17, 01:03 AM
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Re: Stimulant treatment - uncontrolled bipolar.

Thanks for weighing in.

My gut response to this continues to be, it's just gotta be the way I'm wired. It probably does not imply a mood disorder.

I've talked to folks on the net both with and without mental disorders who have virtually no response at all to caffeine, they don't get a buzz.

I've talked to folks with and without mental disorders who are profoundly sensitive to caffeine, they get a damn good buzz (I've talked to some who experience the euphoria like I did, too), and others who can't take it because of jitters, although there is a lot of overlap, it seems the sensitive types are sensitive to both good and bad effects.

Some folks are sensitive to stimulants (and other drugs); others are not.

I know I get a good buzz from caffeine and have for years. Sometimes it can make me an irritable jerk or worsen anxiety, but from what I have read these effects are common for caffeine and don't implicate a mood disorder.

I will admit that I did experience extreme and unusual effects from Ritalin when I tried it years ago (not as directed, and yes I was an idiot.) I experienced an amazing buzz for 30-40 minutes followed by a massive emotional crash, alternating between paranoia and depression, which would last a couple of hours usually. I confided in my psychiatrist at the time about this and he made no mention of a mood disorder, he said it could be a "classic rebound" effect, which I interpreted as meaning it was not profoundly rare.

I did not get any kind of "psychosis" but yes these rebound spells did include paranoia and profound melancholy. Could it be possible that potent stimulants, with sensitivity as a given, may *bring out* latent mood disorder symptoms temporarily? I think this could be another way to look at it.
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