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  #346  
Old 11-10-10, 01:01 AM
Technojunkie Technojunkie is offline
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Two books to read: "Hypothyroidism Type 2" by Dr. Mark Starr and "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolf. The first because I'm suspecting that there are adrenal and/or thyroid issues at work with SCT and the second because immune system issues underlie an awful lot of ADHD. Paleo makes a strong case for removing grains from your diet to remove a whole lot of stress on your immune system. Gluten free is a start but not optimal. Thyroid and adrenals are tough because you're going to have to find a doctor who doesn't blindly use TSH blood tests. Searching for "functional medicine" nearest_major_city might point you to one.

Basal Temperature Test for hypothyroidism: before you get out of bed in the morning, hold a mercury thermometer in your armpit for 5 minutes (shake down the thermometer the night before) and record the temperature. Record temps for at least 5 days and average them. 98.6F is optimal. Roughly a degree less than that indicates hypothyroidism. I'm well under that. Electric blankets will skew your results. While this test isn't perfect it's a lot more relevant than the TSH blood test and it's free. Treatment is with natural dessicated thyroid hormones, which is very inexpensive. Synthetic hormones should not be used. The lower temp is a sign that your metabolism is sluggish. Seems relevant to SCT. Adrenal fatigue needs to be addressed first, if present. Adrenal testing is done on saliva samples taken over the course of a day.

It's late, that's enough of a brain dump for now. I'll fill in any gaps that I can but my mind is far from 100% yet.
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  #347  
Old 11-18-10, 09:11 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Again, Iv gone through all this before and to no avail. Armour thyroid, hydrocortisone, etc. etc.

There is a reason that these things arent recognised by the medical establishement....no evidence. There may be anecdotal evidence but this is not strong enough to warrant treatment options, only to warrant further invesitgations.
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  #348  
Old 11-18-10, 10:06 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

I have ADD, NLD (Nonverbal Learning Disorder) a visual perceptual disorder and anorexia. My anorexia makes my ADD and NLD worse and often it makes my mind feel like it's slow and can make my brain seem retarded, but I don't have SCT per see, but I do have ADD, NLD, visual perceptual disorder and anorexia and they kind of make each other worse and increase the other's symptoms which can make it seem like SCT, but I don't think I really have the SCT type, you know? How certain disorders can make symptoms appear. My executive functions and fine motor skills are pretty bad. Starvation can cause my brain to kind of slow down.
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Old 11-21-10, 08:00 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Wow, this is one long thread! I'm going to have to go back and read all of this material -- it looks like there's a lot of good info here! I like Adele Diamond's abstract. But here's my question: What about the folks, like myself, who read incessantly, and who HAVE been good in school, including math, and who are in fact incredibly conceptual, but have all the problems involved in inattention and basically are not good at dealing with physical reality? And what if some of these folks were very fidgety as kids, but otherwise not hyper or impulsive?
Is that ADHD-PI, or is that SCT, or is that Combined?
I bring this up because it's a very important subset. I am a therapist and I'm amazed to see A LOT of this particular constellation of symptoms, but I don't see it described anywhere.
BTW, I am, myself, using Cogmed, testing it out to see whether I think it's worth offering as a service. Personally, I was skeptical, but it seems to be working. I have less spaciness, more executive functioning and far more motivation and "stick-to-it-iveness," especially around keeping track of the details of life, than I've had in a long time, or maybe ever. I've done the exercizes, which are very difficult and which take an hour to do every time, 18 times at this point (you do them 25 times, hopefully in five weeks, but I haven't been able to do it that often).
I think $1500 is overly expensive. But if I continue making progress and the benefits "stick," then I'll have to say that it may be worth the money. OTOH, it's hard to know completely. I'm so focused on working on my ADHD, maybe it's my desire for it to work that's making it work so well for me.
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Old 11-21-10, 09:32 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
Wow, this is one long thread! I'm going to have to go back and read all of this material -- it looks like there's a lot of good info here! I like Adele Diamond's abstract. But here's my question: What about the folks, like myself, who read incessantly, and who HAVE been good in school, including math, and who are in fact incredibly conceptual, but have all the problems involved in inattention and basically are not good at dealing with physical reality? And what if some of these folks were very fidgety as kids, but otherwise not hyper or impulsive?
Is that ADHD-PI, or is that SCT, or is that Combined?
I bring this up because it's a very important subset. I am a therapist and I'm amazed to see A LOT of this particular constellation of symptoms, but I don't see it described anywhere.
Wordman,

SCT symptoms are found in a subset of those who have ADHD-PI. I fit a lot of the SCT symptoms myself. And, like you, I did well in school, loved reading, and my favorite subject was Math. In fact, I started college majoring in Math but found Calculus too abstract for me so I eventually switched to Accounting.

Being sluggish, daydreaming, having trouble with motivation and working memory problems have nothing to do with intelligence. I had found that medication helped immensely with my working memory problems although it may not work for everyone.

Sometimes it would take me longer to "get" something that everyone else got almost immediately. It wasn't a lack of intelligence; it just took me longer to process the information.

Last edited by ADDMagnet; 11-21-10 at 09:34 PM.. Reason: additional information
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  #351  
Old 11-23-10, 09:45 AM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

I have SCT in spades. It really sucks and has hindered my life in so many ways. For instance, I remember learning about the solar system in my 4th grade science class and I couldn't pay attention even though I really really wanted to! The topic was fascinating to me. I remember staring the teacher down, praying that my mind would un-fog and I would just process the dang details at a normal speed for once. But no, I missed important details as per usual. It's always been this way, I zone in and out during the details when people are speaking (even when I want to learn) and miss important parts of learning. It's not that I didn't want to pay attention in school, it's that I couldn't in ways that others, probably less intelligent, so easily could. Instead I had to go home and teach myself the concepts after school, by the book. I was only prepared for lectures in high school if I reviewed the previous days notes before lecture began. If not it was like I had absolutely no framework to build upon unlike my friends who could pick up where we left off once we got started.

I just thought I had an average-lower level intelligence and would have to compensate for life, yet I knew something was not right with my brain. Still, I was humiliated to admit my disorder, even to myself and so I didn't think of what it meant. I was still smart enough to cope, do my homework... and I never spoke or asked for help so most teachers avoided calling on me, that helped in lessening the embarrassment. So I made A's and B's all throughout school because I worked my butt off to compensate with no one knowing how hard I had to work behind the scenes.

When I was 16 I looked up my symptoms online (daydreaming in class, procrastination, inability to clean, no organization, anxiety with starting things... wow, yeah I could replay a movie/conversation/fanfiction in my head for 60 minutes during class. Seriously, I became so GOOD at not paying attention half the time I'd just stop trying. It was just depressing being in advanced classes with wealthy kids living the teenage dream while I felt so far behind, like I was stuck in time and staring at them enviously through a glass window. Anyway, I looked online and all signs pointed to ADD. My dad (hesitantly) called a psychologist who insisted I get at least 2 evaluations from my teachers for further evidence. Both teachers denied it, claiming there was no way I was ADD because I always had either an A or B in their classes. The shrink made me take a personality test and then diagnosed me with depression, and said it can cause you not to pay attention. I was not depressed, okay maybe a little, but I can't believe he didn't know how to test for AD/HD back then. He didn't even TRY, and that's what really frustrated me. But being sluggish, depressed, and in High School, I accepted the diagnosis with embarrassment and vowed to never see a shrink or hear of this ADD nonsense again.

Now I'm REALLY depressed. Been diagnosed with inattentive by my GP for 6 mo's now, and I think my tolerance to Adderall is unfortunately high. It's the only stimulant/drug I've been on so far. Now I'm on 20mg 3x a day, and they only last about 3 hours, with the last dose rarely being very effective. I had to wait around forever changing generics of corepharma and barr until I got Sandoz, which is the best for my focusing. Corepharma didn't work in the brain at all, and Barr stopped being good after awhile too. Weird. In a few weeks I have my first appointment with a psychiatrist, hopefully hopefully hopefully I can overcome my ADD demons because my life is currently a mess! Wow, that was some hyperfocus writing, pardon me you guys, I've been holding in my feelings on this, living with it apathetically for a very long time, and I'm just so sick of it. Writing really helps me accept it and feel like I'm advocating for myself finally.

Well SCT chums, all I can say is we have to keep chuggin along. One day the public will realize how narrow and discriminatory their view of AD/HD really was, and maybe we'll get the respect we rightly deserve. But I'm glad to be a part of this forum, It's really nice to find people like me after all these years of daydreaming inside my head and thinking I was the most messed up person alive.
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  #352  
Old 11-23-10, 03:13 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

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Originally Posted by natg989 View Post
I have SCT in spades. It really sucks and has hindered my life in so many ways. For instance, I remember learning about the solar system in my 4th grade science class and I couldn't pay attention even though I really really wanted to! The topic was fascinating to me. I remember staring the teacher down, praying that my mind would un-fog and I would just process the dang details at a normal speed for once. But no, I missed important details as per usual. It's always been this way, I zone in and out during the details when people are speaking (even when I want to learn) and miss important parts of learning. It's not that I didn't want to pay attention in school, it's that I couldn't in ways that others, probably less intelligent, so easily could. Instead I had to go home and teach myself the concepts after school, by the book. I was only prepared for lectures in high school if I reviewed the previous days notes before lecture began. If not it was like I had absolutely no framework to build upon unlike my friends who could pick up where we left off once we got started.

I just thought I had an average-lower level intelligence and would have to compensate for life, yet I knew something was not right with my brain. Still, I was humiliated to admit my disorder, even to myself and so I didn't think of what it meant. I was still smart enough to cope, do my homework... and I never spoke or asked for help so most teachers avoided calling on me, that helped in lessening the embarrassment. So I made A's and B's all throughout school because I worked my butt off to compensate with no one knowing how hard I had to work behind the scenes.

When I was 16 I looked up my symptoms online (daydreaming in class, procrastination, inability to clean, no organization, anxiety with starting things... wow, yeah I could replay a movie/conversation/fanfiction in my head for 60 minutes during class. Seriously, I became so GOOD at not paying attention half the time I'd just stop trying. It was just depressing being in advanced classes with wealthy kids living the teenage dream while I felt so far behind, like I was stuck in time and staring at them enviously through a glass window. Anyway, I looked online and all signs pointed to ADD. My dad (hesitantly) called a psychologist who insisted I get at least 2 evaluations from my teachers for further evidence. Both teachers denied it, claiming there was no way I was ADD because I always had either an A or B in their classes. The shrink made me take a personality test and then diagnosed me with depression, and said it can cause you not to pay attention. I was not depressed, okay maybe a little, but I can't believe he didn't know how to test for AD/HD back then. He didn't even TRY, and that's what really frustrated me. But being sluggish, depressed, and in High School, I accepted the diagnosis with embarrassment and vowed to never see a shrink or hear of this ADD nonsense again.

Now I'm REALLY depressed. Been diagnosed with inattentive by my GP for 6 mo's now, and I think my tolerance to Adderall is unfortunately high. It's the only stimulant/drug I've been on so far. Now I'm on 20mg 3x a day, and they only last about 3 hours, with the last dose rarely being very effective. I had to wait around forever changing generics of corepharma and barr until I got Sandoz, which is the best for my focusing. Corepharma didn't work in the brain at all, and Barr stopped being good after awhile too. Weird. In a few weeks I have my first appointment with a psychiatrist, hopefully hopefully hopefully I can overcome my ADD demons because my life is currently a mess! Wow, that was some hyperfocus writing, pardon me you guys, I've been holding in my feelings on this, living with it apathetically for a very long time, and I'm just so sick of it. Writing really helps me accept it and feel like I'm advocating for myself finally.

Well SCT chums, all I can say is we have to keep chuggin along. One day the public will realize how narrow and discriminatory their view of AD/HD really was, and maybe we'll get the respect we rightly deserve. But I'm glad to be a part of this forum, It's really nice to find people like me after all these years of daydreaming inside my head and thinking I was the most messed up person alive.
You're not alone in this at all. I can guarantee you that mess is a keyword governing many ADDicts' actions and behaviors. It's good to get it off your chest, though, because bottling it up may make you feel like a freak.

On another note, though, not that I'm a wizard of ADHD or anything like that, but I always try to find a pattern in my chaos. I know that mess appears to be a complete negation of structure, but we all follow certain idiosyncratic patterns. If there's anything I would suggest in the beginning is that you spend a week or so observing and focusing on what informs your messiness and compare/contrast all those moments in terms of time of the day, place/environment, and emotional state. For the sake of keeping the amount of variables manageable, maybe you can force yourself to keep your eating and sleeping habits more disciplined in order to eliminate/reduce their influence and start from there. That way you realize that you can actually regain control over your life. In my case, I know precisely that a small failure, even if just perceived by me as failure, has the potential to trigger off an avalanche leading to disorganization, disintegration, chaos, and unhealthy habits, so now I know how to approach the ways in which I perceive what's coming my way and shift that perception if necessary. Of course, I still stumble and fall, but I no longer get depressed because of this. I've gotten much better about it all.

As for Adderall, if it gives you moments of lucidity, use those moments to the max to your advantage, i.e. do the most important work, create the most important structure for yourself for the week or month to come, etc. I'm not a psychiatrist or doctor, so I can't really say anything about the medication itself. I've heard many disturbing things about it, but then, again, it affects different people differently, so you must keep experimenting and give yourself the time that you need to keep testing it.
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  #353  
Old 11-24-10, 08:17 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Thanks for the feedback Azoox. Yes, I've read that no structure is the absolute worst thing for an ADDer, and that's the problem I need to fix. I'm the same way, I always feel my best when I accomplish things, especially those things I normally wouldn't accomplish. The problem comes when you are still new to your attention deficit, still young, have the world at your feet, no pressure, absolute freedom, and realize the only thing that matters to you is learning... because you spent your whole life not paying attention because you thought you were stupid. So you read as much as you can and then eventually get bored of books because you can't finish them... and so you turn to the internet for your information junkie fix and the cycle goes on.

But yes, structure is crucial, so I'm going to find a job and try to turn my life around little by little.
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  #354  
Old 11-28-10, 01:44 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

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Originally Posted by Azoox View Post
You're not alone in this at all. You're not alone in this at all. I can guarantee you that mess is a keyword governing many ADDicts' actions and behaviors. [...]
I realize you probably mean nothing by this, but try not to refer to people with ADD as "ADDicts". The general public are largely simple minded. And there are many fanatical opponents of ADD who think nothing of spreading their ignorance through some catchy "misnomer". Remember the "Hindenbus" of a few years ago? That was a term somebody started -perhaps as an innocent joke- to refer to L.A's HydrogenBus, an experimental hydrogen powered bus program back in the 90s. Well that one word, "Hindenbus", quickly took on a life of its own; singled handedly "innoculating" the larger public from ever hearing the actual facts concerning what appeared to its proponents to be a promising new and safe alternative transportation-fuel program for the city.


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Old 11-28-10, 02:17 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

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Originally Posted by bradd View Post
I realize you probably mean nothing by this, but try not to refer to people with ADD as "ADDicts". The general public are largely simple minded. And there are many fanatical opponents of ADD who think nothing of spreading their ignorance through some catchy "misnomer".
Thanks for catching that.

Azooz uses such a tiny font that I must have just moved on down the line to the next post. Sorry, Azooz, but there are so many posts to read and so little time.


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  #356  
Old 12-06-10, 04:12 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and started doing some research on the subject. Classic signs of ADHD never really fit me dead on then I ran across SCT and the light bulb went off and exploded. I never shirked and large projects and infact operate better working on larger projects, at least at first anyway.

Fortunately for me I am one of those fortunate IQ >130 individuals so I haven't experienced all of the same problems as other people. I realized my problems early on, of course I thought they were normal problems, and adapted strategies to get me by.

I've never really struggled with math too awfully bad and took several upper division math class. On the other hand any time the Math involved a graphical representation as opposed to raw math, well lets just say I made the brainy people look slow.

English and Reading were always a problem, I could read and comprehend exceedingly well and recall what I read but it was proportional to being interested in the subject at hand. In the end I usually skimmed through the homework looking at the pictures and reviewing bold word definitions and skating by with As and Bs in school.

I identified my derpression in my teens and adapted as well as my social anxiety and master the techinuqes to overcome them in my early twenties.

As an adult my most significant challenges are the daydreaming, staying on task, and motivation. I have never really been in a position that I have had to attempt to operate my brain at 100% capacity all the time. So these weren't really issues before, but now when I spend 20 minutes spacing out trying to read 3 measly pages of a lesson and I have 50 pages left to go there is a definitive "problem".

Previous work habits to get me by were to let work pile up and tackle it in a way that now made it a challenge and ergo interesting. I am way past that stage now being a father, student, and full time employee I can't afford to fight myself to get on the ball and stay on the ball.

I started 10mg of adderall IR twice a day and felt a huge relief for 4 days. I felt upbeat, energetic, and focused like I have never been before. I picked up my text book and read and not in the mudane sort of way ... I COULD READ! My spouse didn't have to repeat herself several times and i didn't forget where I layed something 5 mintues ago.

Then between days 5 and 8 the effect leveled off. On day 9 it had near 0 effect. Have other people experienced this significant of a rate of decline in effect? I upped my dose to 15mg to try it out and noticed only a marginal difference, debating increasing it further but hesitant without consulting the doc until shes back in the office from vacation.

I am likewise working on my diet, the adderall has helped that aspect alot as I have not constantly craving food all the time. Sleep I am working on, trying to nap more and get to bed earlier, being a night person this has always been a problem.

Excersise is the big lifestyle hitter for me, I can't get motivatied to get off the couch and get going.

I'm eagrly awaiting the next revision of the DMS. If they do officially recognize SCT then we will see more research into it and with any luck a better pharmaceutcal tailored more for us. At least I can hope anyway.

Overall though I am feeling down about having those focused 4 days realizing what my life might have been like had I been diagnosed earlier.

My wife was particularly vexed at me the other day when I mentioned that I thought everyone else in the work force didn't actually work all day.
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  #357  
Old 12-06-10, 05:11 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

kalmnight: that sounds similar to me. I gave up on Addy. I built up a tolerance fast and couldn't tolerate more than 20mg anyhow. I'm convinced that diet is critical. I'm heading towards a combination of Paleo and Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I am much less sleepy now, reading is easier but I'm not 100% yet. I look a lot better so at least there's that.

Do you have an oversize head by any chance?

Get your eyes checked for Convergence Insufficiency. It will drive you insane until it's diagnosed and treated. I stupidly dropped my gluten free diet after starting vision therapy, not realizing that I needed both. The further right you are on the bell curve the later CI will become obviously symptomatic. Symptoms are similar to ADHD-PI.
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Old 12-06-10, 05:40 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Never heard of that CI before. Doesn't sound like me though. Right now I'm squinting my eyes but i've been at work reading all day now and unless most people don't feel eye fatigue after 7 hours of computer staring I think i'm safe. But it's worth a shot checking into at least, I have good vision insurance.

My melon is of normal size.

I know the diet will take some time to get right too. Right now I'm trying for larger amounts of protein, no sugar, low carbs, and fair amount of fruits and veggies with fish oil and Bcomplex supplements. Not really making a difference yet though.
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Old 12-06-10, 06:17 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Kalmnight

How's your mood and mental health overall...besides the ADD/SCT I mean. The reason I ask is because stimulants don't usually "stop working" - it's quite often that something else is either reducing their efficacy or worsening the inattentive symptoms thus even though the stimulants are doing their job, it appears as if they're not.

You made it to day 8/9 before noticing the effects began to wane...it happened to me on day 2. Yes, I felt almost exactly the same as pre-medicated me on day 2 of adderall IR and concerta, both. Turned out in my case that depression and anxiety were exacerbating my ADD/SCT symptoms so that even the stimulants didn't help much.

Medication is the single most effective and readily available method of managing one's ADD. I think one should give it their full commitment in terms of time and energy before deciding to try alternatives. A nutritionally healthy and balanced diet is good for everyone...not just ADDers. Same goes for exercise. Neither should rule out medication.

Another thing...having a high IQ is both good and bad as far as ADD is concerned. I too range above the 130 mark as far as my IQ goes...that's why I was able to make it through HS and college with decent grades no less. Our ability to cope with our ADD symptoms better than less "gifted" persons often rules out even the possibility of attention/focus/energy problems for far too long. It also depicts us, falsely in my opinion, as relatively "successful" or "normal" people. You may have made it through school with decent or even good grades - you may have a nice job or career - you may be able to read and comprehend better than most folks - etc etc - but remember, it's well below expected levels for someone of your potential. My peers in HS - people with similar or even less admirable grades and potential - are far more successful by any standard of measurement than I am. I too realized that I COULD READ once I started medication. I've read more books in 2 months than in 20 years.

ADHD/SCT is a very serious chronic disorder - it's far too crippling and impairing to risk being misunderstood, particularly those of us who've been diagnosed and made aware.
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  #360  
Old 12-06-10, 06:38 PM
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Re: Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT)

Day 9 was no effect. Day 4 was peak and went down from there.

Usually I'm a pretty laid back kinda guy. Work and school have a lot a stress on me at the moment but I wasn't really doing either when I started the meds. I was on vacation and keeping it low key spending time with the family, watching some tube, etc... it was really a nice vacation even the extended family was well behaved for a change.

I went back to work on day 3, a really low key day (thanksgiving), and left again for5 more days, day 4 was perfect, day 5 I felt okay but at the end I felt a little fog creep in, my wife noticed it too, day 6 more so, 7 and 8 was foggy off an on and day 9 I went back to work and was spacy unfocused and unmotivated all day. I took a higher does this morning and noticed a slight improvement over previous days, but still having problems cutting through the haze.

Depression and anxiety have never been a problem for me outside of my teenager years.
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