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General Medication Discussion This section is to be used for general medication discussion and other medications not broken out in their own respective forums.

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  #1  
Old 03-02-11, 08:40 AM
kinglizard kinglizard is offline
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hyper-sensitive to stimulants

I wasn't really sure where to post this, since unfortunately there isn't a generalized forum on ADD meds.

Anyway, I've been experiencing some difficulties with the past three ADD meds I've tried - Ritalin LA, Dexedrine, and now Strattera.

In each case, I find that I tend to get overstimulated - not in the sense that I feel more mentally racy as you might expect, but rather, I end up in this strange state where my mind feels blank and constricted. When I try to read, for example, it's like I'm so hyperfocused that I'm almost manually trying to force the words into my head, and I end up forgetting parts of what I'm reading as I go along - as if there were this shutter on my mind that's closing every 2-3 seconds. I feel dissociated, numb yet alert, and experience a horrible inner agitation/writhing-in-my-skin feeling that's very uncomfortable. I also become irritable and completely intolerant of my family.

My guess is that these are all signs of overstimulation, but what confuses me is why I'm so prone to it. Is it a temporary side-effect (since I've never stayed on the above meds longer than 2 weeks)? It seems to occur at smallish doses - 40mg of Ritalin La, 10mg of Dexedrine, 25mg of Strattera - so it's not like I'm exactly overdosing.

Since I also suffer from OCD/extreme anxiety, I'm curious whether that means I'm somehow more vulnerable to falling into this state? Does what I describe sound familiar to anyone at all?

I'm wondering whether adding in an SSRI might potentially ease these symptoms, or whether I am simply doomed to not tolerating stimulants.
  #2  
Old 03-02-11, 01:36 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

I don't believe your problem is hyper sensitivity. It sounds more like your meds are counteracting your disorder and you don't like the feeling. When it comes the point that you feel overstimulated/disassociated, you should meditate. This is what helped me when I experienced similar side effects. Drop what your doing no matter how important, lay down/sit down, and contemplate your life. This usually brings on a boost of determination to accomplish what ever task is set before me. Meditation refreshes the mind.
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Old 03-02-11, 02:20 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

This sounds like a mixed (bipolar) episode to me. The numbness, blank and constricted mind, depersonalization/derealization, and cognitive dysfunction sound like depressive symptoms, while the psychomotor agitation and irritability are hypomanic symptoms. Stimulants often cause these episodes, even if you weren't previously symptomatic of bipolar disorder; the stimulants are often enough to trigger an underlying predisposition. OCD also is often comorbid with bipolar disorder, as are anxiety disorders. Anxiety-like features are part and parcel of depressive, mixed, and (hypo)manic episodes.
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Old 03-02-11, 03:00 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

I am more sensitive than you with Stimulant meds (I get pretty bad anxiety). I only take 5mg or less at a time, but when first starting them I took tiny fractions of a tablet and worked myself up.

Try even smaller doses again with typical ADHD meds, it can help a lot.
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Old 03-02-11, 04:47 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nova, not everyone on the ****ing forum is bipolar just because you desire to be so.
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Old 03-02-11, 04:58 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

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Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nova, not everyone on the ****ing forum is bipolar just because you desire to be so.

^^^^^^

That
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Old 03-02-11, 05:44 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

It sounds like you're taking stimulants and have anxiety issues. This can cause you to react negatively to them.

What it doesn't sound like is bipolar disorder. So don't worry about that.
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Old 03-03-11, 01:19 AM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nova, not everyone on the ****ing forum is bipolar just because you desire to be so.
Why would I desire it to be so? Isn't it a little deranged for you to even suggest such a thing?

I suggest it often because I see it often. I call it like I see it, and I hope others will do the same. I realize that might offend some people, but often this is due to a lack of knowledge rather than anything legitimate. Bipolar disorder is vastly UNDERdiagnosed. People, on average, have to wait 7-10 years to be properly diagnosed. Most are first misdiagnosed with major depression--and treated with antidepressants, which likely worsen the course of bipolar illness. Highly recurrent major depression appears to respond best to mood stabilizers and other bipolar treatments, suggesting that it is most accurately viewed, at least for treatment purposes, as a bipolar "spectrum" disorder. Bipolar disorder, particularly with residual and mixed symptoms, often encompasses a lot of anxiety-like symptoms. They are called "anxiety-like" because while the symptoms are similar, they don't necessarily the same etiology or root cause. A lot of these symptoms, and bipolar 2 mixed episodes in general, are precisely what the OP described.

It's fine if he doesn't want to accept my advice... not really any skin off my back, except that I'd regret not being persuasive enough. I don't like people to suffer unnecessarily. That doesn't really include people who deny because they are in denial, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Fortunately, I have found that most people aren't like this, and with the ones who are, I just have to move on and hope that when the dust settles, they discover the truth themselves--and sooner rather than later.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:50 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

My son is 9 and is very sensitive to adhd meds and has not responded to any well but intuniv. He has tried every one and they made him more hyper and anxious and angry. Maybe he could be bipolar but he is overly sensitive to meds. He is still impulsive on the intuniv and i wish we could find a better one. Strattera made him sick, and concerta did nothing the stimulants made him an angry mess. Not sure what to do about it either but pray for a better med to come out until he can learn to control his behaviors better.
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Old 03-03-11, 11:16 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

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Originally Posted by nova2012 View Post
Why would I desire it to be so?

why, indeed
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Old 03-03-11, 11:18 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

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Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
why, indeed
You tell me... you suggested it.

I'm wondering--I've seen a lot of posts by you in some way regarding bipolar. Do you have it? Or do you have some of the symptoms or syndromes that I relate etiologically to bipolar?
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Old 03-03-11, 11:34 PM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

i do not. a number of my closer friends here or formerly here do, including my best friend who is bipolar 1 with psychotic features.
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Old 03-04-11, 12:06 AM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

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Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
i do not. a number of my closer friends here or formerly here do, including my best friend who is bipolar 1 with psychotic features.
It's a horrible illness, to be sure...

I just resent the suggestion that you think I want people to have it... that implies I'm a bad person. And even if I did, that wouldn't cause them to suddenly have it. I don't say things willy nilly with no legitimate basis. I've been researching these conditions for months, largely to pinpoint my own issues. Bipolar disorder is underdiagnosed, as I mentioned, unlike ADHD in the 90s. ADHD can be (comparatively) easily diagnosed based on a particular set of symptoms. We may still be learning what those symptoms and criteria are, but diagnosis is much easier than the mood disorder presentations that are not cookie-cutter. Mood disorders manifest in so many profoundly different, unpredictable ways.

I can cite studies for basically all of my claims. But I generally find that I don't have to, nor do I have the time to do so. And if people question specific arguments or statements, I'm perfectly willing to address and substantiate these. But, someone getting upset--with no elaboration or specific point of contention--because they're annoyed doesn't really qualify. Especially when said person doesn't have this illness in the first place. You'd feel so much differently about it if you did. You'd want to get better--labels be damned. But, you don't. It's much different having a friend with bipolar 1, however affected you might be by it, than having it yourself--much like the difference (only amplified) between second-hand smoke and smoking directly. It's easy for people in the peanut gallery to criticize someone who's trying to help people who actually are affected directly by this, or similar, illness.

A little history lesson might also be in order: Emil Kraepelin's principles of the early 1900s are, sadly (that it took this long), what modern research is fundamentally confirming. Freud's psychoanalytic hysteria largely derailed biological psychiatry and certainly delayed its development. Freud and his fanatical followers were mostly responsible for the profound lack of progress we've made and the lack of knowledge that we really have. I have no doubt that if Kraepelin's theories were addressed and expanded upon, rather than people getting wrapped up in the newest, most radical (and sensationalistic) thing to come along, we'd be a lot farther along in our understanding of mood disorders--and everything else psychiatry. Freud contributed much to our understanding of psychology, but mostly indirectly, not as a result of the various wacko theories he proposed.
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Old 03-04-11, 12:26 AM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

i highly doubt i'm as upset as you are but make no mistake: another's bipolar is NOT as hard for me/do not affect me as it is for that person. i've never made such a daft claim. as far as having or not...i was unaware of your own bipolar diagnosis, i just answered the question as posed.
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Old 03-04-11, 12:31 AM
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Re: hyper-sensitive to stimulants

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Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
i highly doubt i'm as upset as you are but make no mistake: another's bipolar is NOT as hard for me/do not affect me as it is for that person. i've never made such a daft claim. as far as having or not...i was unaware of your own bipolar diagnosis, i just answered the question as posed.
I realize you answered my question, and I appreciate that. I was mainly addressing your suggestion that I seem to want people to be diagnosed with it. That comment did upset me a little bit, just as any falsity about something I've invested so much of my time and energy learning about and spreading awareness of would. That applies to anyone.
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