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Old 09-08-18, 12:02 AM
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Tetrahedra Tetrahedra is offline
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Lethargy

Question for you all:

Does anyone else feel tired (when not medicated)?

When I'm not medicated, I get very sleepy in the middle of the day. There are only a few hours throughout the day in which I am at top of my game. I can nap for HOURS. But regardless, I move more slowly (well, I can still move really quickly it's just that I think more slowly or something) and it takes much more effort to start tasks.

I take stimulants and they keep me awake during the day and help give me the extra push to do tasks. I can speak more coherently and I function so much better at my tasks. Overall, I really like the meds. But when I can, I take a day off because I don't like being medicated if I don't need to be. (That goes for any medication that's not 100% necessary.) Recently I took several days off because I could, and its occurred to me that I'm pretty much slow and lethargic without the medication.

Do other people experience this?

One of my fears is that I'll become addicted to medication and I'll convince myself that I NEED it even when I really don't. So I was trying to figure out which is "normal" for people: the slower me or the faster me. Like is everyone else living at the slower pace and they're just able to push themselves to do tasks better than I can because they don't have ADHD? Or is everyone else living at the faster pace and pushing themselves to do tasks isn't as hard for them to begin with? (Essentially I'm asking myself if I'm having deficits more in the "pushing" or the "pacing.") Not sure if that makes sense, so feel free to just answer my question if it doesn't and disregard this paragraph.

Regardless, I do need the medication in the sense that it really has improved my life. I'm not doubting that. I just don't want to feel like I'm worthless without it.
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Old 09-08-18, 09:54 AM
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Re: Lethargy

Hi. I wanted to respond to your post because it could have easily been written by my daughter. She feels exactly the same way you do. Have you ever read about Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)? Do a little internet research and see if you might feel like you fall in that category. My daughter has inattentive adhd and takes stimulants (Adderall works best for her) to help her feel more awake and focused. It makes her feel motivated to do things. When she doesn't take them, she doesn't really want to do much or get much done. However, feels more like 'herself' without them - she is funny, artistic, and creative. She feels that she loses that part of herself when she is on medicine but we don't really notice much of a difference looking at her from the outside - she is still all those things to us.

She also hates taking medicine and feeling dependent on it but she has dreams and goals and knows that the medicine helps bring out the part of the that lets her get those things done. Drugs might help enable you to get those things done but you are the one that is doing it - not the drugs. Please do not think that you are ever worthless without the drugs. I wish I could just give you a hug right now.

What works for my daughter is to take the medicine when she has a lot she needs to get done and to take breaks from it when she doesn't (like on weekends). She pretty much just lays around and gets nothing done on her to do list but she feels restored and able to tackle things the next time she takes the medicine. I don't know if this helped you but at the very least, I wanted to let you know that you are not alone and that others feel this way too.

Last edited by midnightstar; 09-08-18 at 11:24 AM.. Reason: paragraph breaks only, no other edits
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Old 09-08-18, 11:47 AM
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Re: Lethargy

I think it depends a lot on the severity of the symptoms. there will be people who will be able to take a break from the medication and others who will not. We have adhd throughout the day and every day of the week. I, personally, have taken weekend breaks on occasion (only the stimulants), but I prefer to be medicated, I feel better. Being an inattentive, I find it hard to find the energy to do things and stay in it. Lethargy is something that I have to deal with every day, and stimulants make it easier. Greetings.
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Old 09-08-18, 01:07 PM
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Re: Lethargy

Hello

I know this problem, but in my case it is more a physical then mental slowness when doing tasks.I have this problem now for some years, especially with more complex and longer tasks.
But when it comes to reaction time or spontaneous action, I am also kind of sluggish mentally.
This problems I also have when I take my meds.

That`s why I don`t think it is related to medication, because I have this problem also, when I am medication-free for a while and I don`t have the feeling of being addicted to methylphenidate.
Also I didn`t take the Ritalin the whole day everyday, because I don`t want to need more and more in the future. But I don`t think that it causes addiction in ADD-people.

The sleepiness I also know, but it mostly happens when I have sleep disturbances at night.

Have you been checked for your thyroid or anemia?
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Old 09-09-18, 04:01 AM
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Re: Lethargy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetrahedra View Post
Question for you all:

Does anyone else feel tired (when not medicated)?

When I'm not medicated, I get very sleepy in the middle of the day. There are only a few hours throughout the day in which I am at top of my game. I can nap for HOURS. But regardless, I move more slowly (well, I can still move really quickly it's just that I think more slowly or something) and it takes much more effort to start tasks.

I take stimulants and they keep me awake during the day and help give me the extra push to do tasks. I can speak more coherently and I function so much better at my tasks. Overall, I really like the meds. But when I can, I take a day off because I don't like being medicated if I don't need to be. (That goes for any medication that's not 100% necessary.) Recently I took several days off because I could, and its occurred to me that I'm pretty much slow and lethargic without the medication.

Do other people experience this?

One of my fears is that I'll become addicted to medication and I'll convince myself that I NEED it even when I really don't. So I was trying to figure out which is "normal" for people: the slower me or the faster me. Like is everyone else living at the slower pace and they're just able to push themselves to do tasks better than I can because they don't have ADHD? Or is everyone else living at the faster pace and pushing themselves to do tasks isn't as hard for them to begin with? (Essentially I'm asking myself if I'm having deficits more in the "pushing" or the "pacing.") Not sure if that makes sense, so feel free to just answer my question if it doesn't and disregard this paragraph.

Regardless, I do need the medication in the sense that it really has improved my life. I'm not doubting that. I just don't want to feel like I'm worthless without it.

It is important to be clear eyed about this issue. ie When you take the medication and get a drop off in effect at the end of the day, it is too easy to assume you are "addicted" to it when in truth you are just going back to the normal pre-medication state.


So being clear about what you were like, and what you find beneficial about the medication is important.


Stimulants do have a direct effect on the "alertness centre" (the locus coeruleus) via norepinephrine and dysregulation of alertness is a known issue in ADHD, so what you are observing is not unreasonable.

For myself I am keen to find methods to enhance my alertness without medications to ensure I get maximum independence. There are quite a few meditation techniques (esp QiGong), vigorous exercise, and exercise involving a balance challenge that can be done. At least if I keep looking out for these I know I am not being lazy.

The association with meditation is especially important and I often regard it as the art of attention training.




Oh,the other thing too is if you have a concern about being dependent on it, firstly you have a medical condition (ie people normally dont get stressed about being dependent on blood pressure medications), secondly ask your doctor about it. He may be able to reassure you or he may be comfortable with you having the odd trial off medication. This used to be done routinely with children, taking them off on holidays or weekends. It is all information.


Ive actually had atrial of 3 days off, which was very successful until I slept poorly last night due to a cracked rib. Yes the resumption was helpful
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