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Old 02-16-09, 08:45 PM
gradstudentish gradstudentish is offline
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is Ritalin not working or am I not working

I was diagnosed at the beginning of the month and put on Ritalin (2 10mg throughout the day, then 4 throughout the day).

The first day I maybe got euphoria, I maybe could concentrate more. But really, nothing really happened. Then I got a little depressed. Then, more nothing.

I still can't get anything done, my house is still a mess, I still do the thing where I can't remember to follow through with my vague plan to take a shower and then when I do finally start the water it ends up staying running while I make a meal and start checking my e-mail and flip through TV.

Worst of all, when I'm at the library, I still get the feeling where I look around at everyone else studying and think "how do they do that? They have to be faking. This is completely impossible." That was the one thing that I read in other ADDers' stories that made me think my diagnosis was the real deal and that I hoped would change on the medication.

All the other "Ritalin not working" posts seem to be about side effects. That's not my problem. My problem is the that ritalin isn't doing what it's supposed to do, or anything, really. When I take the pills I feel something happen. My head feels different, physically, and my mind could best be described in the words of another poster as "some lights being on others not at all." But it doesn't change any of my behavior.

Is this the Ritalin not working or is the problem here me?

If the former: did anybody else have this issue with Ritalin, and can it be fixed with another medication?
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Old 02-16-09, 09:14 PM
NosillassiM NosillassiM is offline
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Re: is Ritalin not working or am I not working

Maybe your dose is too low. I started out on a taper to find my dose, increasing it after every 2 days if it didn't work. I went from 5mg dose twice daily, to 10mg twice daily, to 15 twice daily and finally to 20 mg twice daily. Then with an extra pill, i took it three times in a day, and when I went back to follow up with my doctor, he prescribed me 20 mg three times daily, which seems to work. I find I still can't focus in my house because the external stimuli is still too tempting even with my mind beign able to focus on things...
Anyhow, I do the shower thing a lot too. I lose my keys a lot, and I do a lot of things that can't be quantified that the ritalin seems to help. It may not help me focus, but I don't ramble as much or interrupt myself anymore. So if it's not your dose, maybe your other symptoms of ADD are being taken care of, but you don't notice it?
Good luck. I'm curious what you're a grad student in- I'm a grad student too, recently diagnosed. My doctor was very impressed and said it was rare, so I'm just curious.
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Old 02-19-09, 02:01 AM
Scarletta Scarletta is offline
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Re: is Ritalin not working or am I not working

It could also be that it's half-life is only 2-4 hours and a dose's effects only last from like 1-3 hours. You could try spacing out the doses to avoid any "non-coverage" during the day.

Because of the short half-life, I would crash big time after almost every dose. Totally unworkable for me.

Also, another consideration is that your natural dopamine levels may be low. If so, the Ritalin doesn't have much to work with since it just blocks reuptake.

You may need something like Adderall instead, which in addition to the reuptake blocking, it releases stored dopamine from their vesicles so there's more to work with.
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Old 08-24-10, 10:37 AM
Aristotle Aristotle is offline
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Re: is Ritalin not working or am I not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradstudentish View Post

.... When I'm at the library, I still get the feeling where I look around at everyone else studying and think "how do they do that? They have to be faking. This is completely impossible." .... All the other "Ritalin not working" posts seem to be about side effects. That's not my problem. My problem is the that ritalin isn't doing what it's supposed to do, or anything, really. When I take the pills I feel something happen. My head feels different, physically, and my mind could best be described in the words of another poster as "some lights being on others not at all." But it doesn't change any of my behavior....
Hey gradstudentish,
I know I am a latecomer on this thread, however I am experiencing a similar problem with my recent diagnosis and medication. I was diagnosed at the beginning of the year with ADHD - Innatentive Type, and I started medication (Ritalin 10, 2x a day for 2 weeks, and now up to 3x a day.) Aside from a strange fuzzy euphoria the first time, and a little anxiety when the second and third dose wore off, I can't say that I have noticed any difference when taking Ritalin. At all.

I am now into my third week of taking it, and I seem to experience no side effects or theraputic effects at all. I even looked up the tablet components in my flatmate's pharmacology textbook to see if it was actually a stimulant! It could have been sugar for all I know- it seems to be doing nothing! I find it difficult to fathom that people can get hooked on this medication.

I am still unable to pay attention, my apartment is a disaster zone, I can't organise myself, I still get distracted, I can't study for exams except on the day the exam is scheduled, I still costantly zone out, and I still can't write my essays except the night before/day they are due. It doesn't seem to do anything for focus at all. Am I just not trying hard enough? What was your experience? Has the Ritalin improved over time, or did you change medication regimes? I noticed someone suggested Adderall.

Also, I noticed you are a Grad student. I am currently studying a LLB and a BA in Politics. Do you know any strategies that have worked for you (i.e. for studying, learning information, planning work etc?) I am just finishing my second year now, and I dont know how much longer I can maintain cramming everything the morning of the exams. I seem physically incapable of studying beforehand, because I just cannot get focused to do it. I cannot even connect with the information. I can relate to your library example completely. It is only when I am under intense pressure (in other words, the exam is in 3 hours or the essay is due in 4 hours) that I can get anything done.

It is hard to find good advice for tertiary study techniques, because as someone else mentioned, people who are diagnosed with AD/HD as adults generally don't get to University. My doctor was very suprised that I was accepted into two degrees (especially one being Law) when most of his ADHD patients who were diagnosed as adults didn't finish high school, and even more suprised that I was getting through all my essays and exams through on-the-day cramming.

Any advice would be great - with medication so ineffective, I dont know how much longer I am going to be able to cram before exams or wing essays before a serious academic disaster occurs.
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Old 08-24-10, 11:31 AM
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Re: is Ritalin not working or am I not working

Methylphenidate doesn't work for everyone. It could be the dose, or it could be the formulation. It's also available as Focalin, Concerta, and several other varieties that may work better for you. Sometimes the active ingredient in a different formulation works better (or worse.)

It could also be that you need an additional medication with a complementary action (for you. . .) A common combination for people with ADD with or without depression is a methylphenidate medication and a buproprion medication.

The other possibility is that methylphenidate simply doesn't work for you, and you need to switch to an amphetamine based medication. If it's not working for you, you need to talk to your doctor - if you can afford it, and/or your insurance allows you, don't wait the full four weeks, make a new appointment. Stimulant medications show whether or not they're effective almost right away, so if it doesn't work now, it's not going to work later without some kind of change.
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Old 11-25-10, 04:29 PM
Stef78 Stef78 is offline
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Re: is Ritalin not working or am I not working

I tried concerta and it did nothing for as well, when I increased my dose all I had were the side effects. At times it seems that my symptoms were worse. I could do any work at all( I'm a university student as well). Also, they were times that I felt like I was high in drugs or something. my brain would get so heavy. Anyway I told my doctor , she told me that I might not have ADD.
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Old 12-10-10, 02:06 AM
Gwnck Gwnck is offline
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Re: is Ritalin not working or am I not working

I'm so glad I found this now I know I'm not the only one. I'm in college and currently on Ritalin, I was supposed to take 5mg daily as my Doctor didn't think I have ADHD and the Ritalin was most likely going to make me hyper and give me a huge rush.

First day I took it I felt a little more awake, maybe concentrated a little more, after that nothing. I have gone from taking 5mg in one sitting to 20mg and I don't feel anything regardless of what I take. I honestly thought he prescribed me a placebo (sugar pills) or something because it isn't doing anything, I am also very tempted to give some to a friend to see if it's real. I'm currently supposed to be studying for a final but instead I'm googling random stuff and I realized I'm on Ritalin and I'm supposed to be studying. Studying with people, by myself, it doesn't matter, the only thing that saved my *** was the rush of learning a months worth of organic chemistry in 10 hours, and getting better grades than my friends who studied constantly for 4 weeks. But I don't have that rush anymore so now I don't really study at all for any test. I am/was Pre-Med, I doubt any post-graduate school will accept me with this semester's performance.

But anyway my Doctor thought I may have ADHD inattentive type, I have all the symptoms and it sounds like me exactly. I'm quiet and day dream constantly but I'm the biggest adrenaline junkie around.

Few years ago I went to a psychologist and he gave me an iQ test and made me click X's on a computer screen for 20 minutes. He said my reaction time was very fast but my concentration was average and my iQ was too high to have ADHD. I told him I have to react fast and click things on a screen all day when I play computer games but he said nothing back. My iQ was 128 and this was at 8am and I know I made a bunch of stupid mistakes, I could have done better.

So if Ritalin doesn't work for any of you either what does? And does that most likely mean that I have ADHD because a lot of people don't believe me because it's so overly diagnosed. Not to mention that Adderall is easily available on college campuses ($5 a pill here) I never took any but I really don't want to go on Adderall because then people will think I'm pretending to have ADHD just to get free Adderall. I took a 7 day trial of Nuvigil 150mg and that actually worked, first 2 days I got head aches but after that I just felt normal. The funny thing is that drug is supposed to not be addicting at all but Ritalin is supposed to be very addicting. I would take Nuvigil in a second over Ritalin because it actually made me feel normal.
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Old 12-11-10, 02:07 PM
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Re: is Ritalin not working or am I not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwnck View Post
I'm so glad I found this now I know I'm not the only one. I'm in college and currently on Ritalin, I was supposed to take 5mg daily as my Doctor didn't think I have ADHD and the Ritalin was most likely going to make me hyper and give me a huge rush.
I'm also a graduate student (BSc physics, MSc CS, then PhD in computer science). I haven't been diagnosd with ADD yet, still on a waiting list... I match all the symptoms (confirmed by my long-term girlfriend). I'm quite successful in what I do and people might be surprised that I claim to have ADD. I've managed to do an inhuman amount of damage control all those years, that's all. I can go into more details if anyone is interested...

I just started taking medication yesterday and I can't tell whether what I'm currently experiencing is a true physiological effect or placebo. All I can say is that I'm feeling a similar effect as when I go out of the gym after a long workout. Some kind of a constant "down to earth" effect that allows me to better put things into perspective and focus on the matter at hand. Less "escaping" thoughts spoiling my concentration.

I was put on Ritalin, 10 mg, thrice a day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwnck View Post
He said my reaction time was very fast but my concentration was average and my iQ was too high to have ADHD.
I'm *extremely* surprised to hear that. People diagnosed with ADD are part of every spheres of the society (working class, CEO's, PhDs, scientists, physicians, etc). This fact has been confirmed by the psychiatrist I saw at the University. The psychologist that you saw must have been either old (there has been significant research conducted on adult ADD in the past few years) or completely ignorant. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me could comment on this.
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