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ADD! meds!

H/A AltH/A Alt Registered User new member
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
This forum was a great help for me when I was first diagnosed with depression - after a number of different meds over the last couple of years, I'm happy to report that a few months ago I found an antidepressant that works incredibly well, and I'm feeling much much better.

A few months into my first anti-depressant (which was decent, but didn't quite do it), after my brain-fog had lifted somewhat, I started to think that if my depression wasn't what a well-functioning person should be experiencing, then maybe some other aspects of my life were not "normal" too. I eventually came to the conclusion after a bunch of research and self-reflection that I most likely suffered from ADD (primarily inattentive) - that it had been plaguing me most of my life, and it was potentially what helped contribute to my depression in the first place.

I didn't do anything about it though. I was paranoid that I was being a hypocondriac, or the doctors would think I was a drug-seeker, and a whole bunch of other excuses.

Finally last week, I felt good enough about myself that I talked to my doctor about it. I did some written evaluation tests, talked to her for quite a while, and she decided that I should try Concerta (18mg/day). (note: I'm in canada, the method of gaining a prescription may differ from where you are - I did not have to get a prescription from a psychiatrist).

The doctor told me that within a week to ten days I'd know if it was helping, and we'd see about adjusting the dose from there. She also said that if after two weeks I didn't notice any difference, then they would take me off of it and see what else might be affecting me, because it wouldn't be ADD.

So, it seemed to work at first, and now I don't know that it is anymore. The first four days, I felt... like a normal person! I was alert, I could focus, I didn't have the overwhelming urge to sleep all day, and I actually had the energy to do a good amount of housework - not anything like hyperfocus, just what it seems like a "regular" person would be able to accomplish on any given day. These last three days however, the pills seem to be having less and less of an effect - I still feel some measure of "almost normal"ness, however the intense desire to sleep has been coming back and my focus is disappearing.

I will be talking to my doctor of course (next week) - however I'm also looking for advice from you guys. Is this something that should be expected if treatment is working (but perhaps I need a different dose), or is this what it looks like when it's not going to work at all?

(and in case it is relevant, I will note that I'm currently rather overweight (though this is getting better now!) and have a slightly higher anti-depressant dose than a slim person because of it.)

Thanks for reading - hopefully I'll be able to get some insight like the last time.

H/A Alt on

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    Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I'd just reccomend taking it a day at a time and wait at least 2 weeks/a month before you aynalise yourself and how the drugs are affecting you. I know you are probably feeling pretty energetic right now and want to talk about all this, but when you start a medication/come off it the first few days are usually a bit of a rollercoaster. Just chill out and give it a few weeks, then decide if you need to worry about how they are affecting you.

    I was as high as a kite for a week straight after coming off some medication recentley but it wore off, plus the effects of starting medication can be just as dizzying.

    Hotlead Junkie on
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    WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    My wife was diagnosed with ADD - she was prescribed Focalin and it seems to really help her in retention and focus. Interaction with other drugs can sometimes nullify effects and bodies can indeed adapt to make those chemicals less effective. The problem is that you'll have to run the full course of the medication in order to start changing it - complete the regimen and then talk about how it worked or didnt work.

    If you start feeling worse or start thinking about suicide, stop immeadiately and call the doctor.

    Other than that its just a period of adjustments - try different medicines, try different dosage levels. Eventually you find one, you just gotta be super patient.

    WildEEP on
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    KlorgnumKlorgnum Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    H/A Alt wrote: »
    So, it seemed to work at first, and now I don't know that it is anymore. The first four days, I felt... like a normal person! I was alert, I could focus, I didn't have the overwhelming urge to sleep all day, and I actually had the energy to do a good amount of housework - not anything like hyperfocus, just what it seems like a "regular" person would be able to accomplish on any given day. These last three days however, the pills seem to be having less and less of an effect - I still feel some measure of "almost normal"ness, however the intense desire to sleep has been coming back and my focus is disappearing.

    First, I'm not a doctor. I have never been on ADD meds.
    That said, I'm wondering if it might be tolerance. I believe it's a concern for long term users of ADD medications (which are almost all stimulants, by the way. Adderall is almost straight up amphetamines).

    Really though, talk to your doctor. Don't take any more than the recommended dosage, either.

    Klorgnum on
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    Raif SeveranceRaif Severance Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    H/A Alt wrote: »
    This forum was a great help for me when I was first diagnosed with depression - after a number of different meds over the last couple of years, I'm happy to report that a few months ago I found an antidepressant that works incredibly well, and I'm feeling much much better.

    A few months into my first anti-depressant (which was decent, but didn't quite do it), after my brain-fog had lifted somewhat, I started to think that if my depression wasn't what a well-functioning person should be experiencing, then maybe some other aspects of my life were not "normal" too. I eventually came to the conclusion after a bunch of research and self-reflection that I most likely suffered from ADD (primarily inattentive) - that it had been plaguing me most of my life, and it was potentially what helped contribute to my depression in the first place.

    I didn't do anything about it though. I was paranoid that I was being a hypocondriac, or the doctors would think I was a drug-seeker, and a whole bunch of other excuses.

    Finally last week, I felt good enough about myself that I talked to my doctor about it. I did some written evaluation tests, talked to her for quite a while, and she decided that I should try Concerta (18mg/day). (note: I'm in canada, the method of gaining a prescription may differ from where you are - I did not have to get a prescription from a psychiatrist).

    The doctor told me that within a week to ten days I'd know if it was helping, and we'd see about adjusting the dose from there. She also said that if after two weeks I didn't notice any difference, then they would take me off of it and see what else might be affecting me, because it wouldn't be ADD.

    So, it seemed to work at first, and now I don't know that it is anymore. The first four days, I felt... like a normal person! I was alert, I could focus, I didn't have the overwhelming urge to sleep all day, and I actually had the energy to do a good amount of housework - not anything like hyperfocus, just what it seems like a "regular" person would be able to accomplish on any given day. These last three days however, the pills seem to be having less and less of an effect - I still feel some measure of "almost normal"ness, however the intense desire to sleep has been coming back and my focus is disappearing.

    I will be talking to my doctor of course (next week) - however I'm also looking for advice from you guys. Is this something that should be expected if treatment is working (but perhaps I need a different dose), or is this what it looks like when it's not going to work at all?

    (and in case it is relevant, I will note that I'm currently rather overweight (though this is getting better now!) and have a slightly higher anti-depressant dose than a slim person because of it.)

    Thanks for reading - hopefully I'll be able to get some insight like the last time.


    One thing that sticks out to me is how you say that you have a lack of energy and this medicine gave you more. Concerta is extended-release methylphenidate which is, above all else, a CNS stimulant. The extended-release part doesn't give you the same jolt as the immediate-release, but it's still present. These stimulants are great at providing lots of energy and reducing hunger (all the best weight loss drugs were CNS stimulants). Unfortunately the effect of these drugs are short-lived and tolerance is acquired fairly quickly.

    I don't think you should try to equate your lack of energy to a lack of focus because the way you described your experience it seemed you could substitute the Concerta for a Red Bull and get the same result. You and your doctor will of course know much more than I do about what's best for you but just be really candid about your experience on the medicine with them.

    Raif Severance on
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