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Addicted to ritalin - adult - how to taper off


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#1 Dpmommy33

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 03:38 PM

Hi,

I suffer from depersonalization and derealization since a trauma since 4 years. I am also depressed. Anxious. Well.

I saw my old psychiatrist, he gave me Ritalin to help my AD (Prozac). At first, for the first time, I felt OUT OF MY BUBBLE! I felt happy, I could go to the store, shop, being happy, I was wow! For the first time in 4 years. It lasted 2 hours, then I had to take more.

At first, I was at 20 mg a day. Then 30. Then 40. I realized that I needed more and just took in late PM because when I took it in the day, I had a down period and after, at work, I was confused, anxious and even taking more didn't help. So I began to take it in the night to help being organized at home, no tears, no thinking about dp/dr. Still, I had d^/dr but I didn't think about it, my boyfriend was happy, so was I (for 1-2 hours).

I continued taking klonopin (2 mg) and sleep pill because I wasn't unable to stop since 4 years. But in the meantime I took ritalin, I began to work, finally found a job and stopped crying all the time. I was productive. Very. People was happy. But I began to feel like a robot, not me, I am dp and it didn't help. It just calmed me, like a benzo!

Now it's been 6 months since I take those pills, and I am at 60 mg Ritalin a day, sometimes I reached 80. Please don't tell me it's dangerous, please. I know. I try to withdraw, but I don't know how. I don't know what could be a schedule to taper off. My doctor prescribe me the pill, and wont stop. My boyfriend can't tolerate when I don't take it, and me neither. Another psychiatrist that I saw recently told me I wasn't ill at all, dpdr was just because I never took responsabilities in my life, it was a way to protect myself, and I just needed to stop taking pills like that and that's all. Thanks.

I just wonder HOW to SAFELY stop taking ritalin. Is it harmful to my brain? Sometimes I am so scared to be depersonalized BECAUSE of that, but I was before too. I just don't know how to stop, because when I take it, I feel normal for a while, and then, bang! I remember vaguely all that I've done, I become withdrawn, and I am SURE I will be crazy soon.

If you have tricks on how to stop please tell. I begin a new job soon and I can't go into rehab. I want to to it slowly. I hate being addicted.

Thanks.

p.s. I also see a psychologist how don't think I should taper off quick.

Dpmommy33


#2 null0trooper

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 07:39 PM

But I began to feel like a robot, not me, I am dp and it didn't help. It just calmed me, like a benzo!

Is it harmful to my brain? Sometimes I am so scared to be depersonalized BECAUSE of that, but I was before too.


When you take enough of a psychoactive drug long enough, the brain figures out how to compensate to the extent it can be up- or down-regulating receptors and neurotransmitter function. Stimulant abuse can result in symptoms on discontinuing the drug that are the result of down-regulating noradrenaline and dopamine... and look a lot like ADHD and worsened depression.

I'd like to point out that if you were depressed, etc. before starting Ritalin, then it can't have caused the problems. Retroactive drugs belong in scifi shows and playtime, not medical practice. So, in my opinion a doctor stupid enough to blame depression on pills that weren't started until after the depression became unmanageable is someone who should not be trusted to see you through breaking the addiction and starting recovery.

I do NOT know if Ritalin detox is as hellish as some of the other drugs, but detox program or not you'll need a doctor that can stick with you, and a good therapist - because everything's going to be more difficult for the next 6 months to 2 years. Depending on what you're leaving out of your post, you are still within the dose range for ADHD (I know someone on 80 mg Ritalin/day, but he's a big guy) so I would suggest working out a taper down on the Ritalin with a careful introduction and increase of Wellbutrin, Strattera, or one of the noradrenergic TCAs. i.e., "cold turkey" isn't out of the question, but I'm not a professional, so I'm not confortable telling someone to just butch it out unless they have a place to stay in rehab.

If the depersonalization has never really been addressed, skip the Wellbutrin for one of the other NARIs, and maybe consider adding topiramate now and to see you through. It's used (very) off-label for addiction - including to cocaine. I'm not sure it would really help, but it could. If you're stable and coping for now, you've time to look things up and determine whether the risks and benefits match up to what you can handle.


Edit: I do hate the stim in the morning, benzo at night pattern. To me, that always looks like too much of something's being taken and the person's physical needs are being forced to take a back seat.

Edited by null0trooper, 02 March 2008 - 07:41 PM.

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 12:20 PM

thanks.

I feel soooo alone in that. SO alone. I can't handle it anymore. I work now, it's my dinner time, nobody can tell I feel so depersonalized and confused and sad, but I AM. I feel like I am not there, not me anymore.

I am so out of control inside. Outside, everything is okay. Inside I freak out, I feel I am gonna live NOT myself and not intelligent all my life.

I am so scared, I can't cry now because I will return to work, but I feel VERY VERY sad inside. Discouraged.

What the hell is derealization and dp? How to feel better (not worse)? I feel worse and worse inside since I stopped drinking, began Prozac (5 mg) and began to think that I am not ill, like a new psychiatrsit said.

I feel ill. I don't feel happy, never, never well. Never.

My bf doesn't get it. He's fed up. I am fed up too. I think nobody will help me. Nothing.

#4 Velvet Elvis

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 02:51 PM

The dose you're at is within the range of what's considered normal, though a bit on the high side.

Note that decreased effectiveness over time is normal. At therapeutic doses it is not physically addictive though anything can be psychologically addictive.

The regular Ritalin wears off after a few hours. I think I was having to take 30-40 mgs every three and a half hours to keep from crashing in the middle of the day. The twice a day dosing schedule is intended for schoolchildren who don't need to be able to function later in the day. Adults and older kids have to take it several times a day because most people need to be able to use their brains for more than 6-8 hours a day.

As long as you stay within the therapeutic dosage range, it normally has fewer side effects than caffine.

If you depersonalize because of an anxiety disorder or because of seizures of some kind, it does have the potential to make it worse. It's often a good idea to take care of anxiety problems before starting a stimulant. A norepenephric antidepressant such as strattera would be less likely to cause problems with anxiety.

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 06:13 PM

The dose you're at is within the range of what's considered normal, though a bit on the high side.

Note that decreased effectiveness over time is normal. At therapeutic doses it is not physically addictive though anything can be psychologically addictive.

The regular Ritalin wears off after a few hours. I think I was having to take 30-40 mgs every three and a half hours to keep from crashing in the middle of the day. The twice a day dosing schedule is intended for schoolchildren who don't need to be able to function later in the day. Adults and older kids have to take it several times a day because most people need to be able to use their brains for more than 6-8 hours a day.

As long as you stay within the therapeutic dosage range, it normally has fewer side effects than caffine.

If you depersonalize because of an anxiety disorder or because of seizures of some kind, it does have the potential to make it worse. It's often a good idea to take care of anxiety problems before starting a stimulant. A norepenephric antidepressant such as strattera would be less likely to cause problems with anxiety.



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Posted 03 March 2008 - 06:17 PM

What is strattera? Less addictive than ritalin??? Please tell me how to withdraw from Ritalin safely. It's the only thing that helps me get out of my bubble for 2 hours. Being happy for 1-2 hours. Alert. Then I return to a depressed and anxious mood. Also, I take benzos (klono 2 mg) and zopiclone (sleep pill) and since 4 years I try to taper off. It helped dp/dr a bit first, then now nothing. How to taper off??

Also does taking Prozac 5 mg can HELP panic and dp/dr?

I am so stuck, please tell me that my brain isn't poor because of ritalin addiction. I work, and people think I feel okay, but in the day I feel so out of it, not there. I am very afraid that it disturbed my brain. Maybe I am just plain depressed and anxious. Maybe. ;)






The dose you're at is within the range of what's considered normal, though a bit on the high side.

Note that decreased effectiveness over time is normal. At therapeutic doses it is not physically addictive though anything can be psychologically addictive.

The regular Ritalin wears off after a few hours. I think I was having to take 30-40 mgs every three and a half hours to keep from crashing in the middle of the day. The twice a day dosing schedule is intended for schoolchildren who don't need to be able to function later in the day. Adults and older kids have to take it several times a day because most people need to be able to use their brains for more than 6-8 hours a day.

As long as you stay within the therapeutic dosage range, it normally has fewer side effects than caffine.

If you depersonalize because of an anxiety disorder or because of seizures of some kind, it does have the potential to make it worse. It's often a good idea to take care of anxiety problems before starting a stimulant. A norepenephric antidepressant such as strattera would be less likely to cause problems with anxiety.



#7 Velvet Elvis

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 08:50 PM

Have you talked to your doctor about this? If not, you need to.

The max recommended dose is 60mgs per day. If you are taking that much or less it's unlikely you are physically addicted. If it's making you feel like crap it should be safe to just quit taking it.

Why do you think you are addicted?

5mgs prozac is a tiny dose. If you are on that it's likely because your doctor is planning on increasing your dose later.

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#8 Guest_Guest_Dpmommy33_*_*

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:15 PM

I feel good when I take it (I really do have more alertness and I have a whoosh of feeling good mentally and physically when I take it) but I don't take it in the day, only at 4-5 PM, I begin to take it to handle the night with my family. I feel addict because I can take 5 pills in one night.(!) It's no good.

I just don't know how to not feel dp/dr. That's all. My F?))((*&(* psychiatrist dont care about it, really, and I tried to have another one, who said to me I was just anxious and dp was a result of fear of reponsabilities. I just have to say that I live in a small town, dans if they rejected me first, because I wasn't ill (cough), I can't return there. I am stuck. They said to me I wasn't ill, I was just doing this to have attention, because I had a personaliy problem. I asked to see a psychiatrist in MY town because my other one is in Montreal and here, in my town, I could have one psychologist for free, and social worker, etc. Now I am stuck.

Sorry to repeat myself. I am so down inside, I feel alone even with my bf. I don't know anymore how to handle stress that goes along with dp/dr. And sadness. Before, I was handling it with sleep pills and klonopin, now it doesn't have the same effect. I also see a psychologist but she does CBT and relaxation, it doesn't help much.

TKS,






Have you talked to your doctor about this? If not, you need to.

The max recommended dose is 60mgs per day. If you are taking that much or less it's unlikely you are physically addicted. If it's making you feel like crap it should be safe to just quit taking it.

Why do you think you are addicted?

5mgs prozac is a tiny dose. If you are on that it's likely because your doctor is planning on increasing your dose later.



#9 null0trooper

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 08:07 PM

I feel addict because I can take 5 pills in one night.(!) It's no good.


No, it's not good. Stimulants work by releasing chemicals in the brain, not by throttling production/transport/destruction of the chemicals. So the effects of taking 5 mg now, 5 mg in an hour, 5 mg 30 min. later, will never add up to the same effect as taking one dose and letting it run its course. Each time there's less and less stuff to release a smaller fraction of, and more chemicals hanging around to get in the way.


I just don't know how to not feel dp/dr. That's all. My F?))((*&(* psychiatrist dont care about it, really,


Psychiatrists are trained to deal with the physical aspects of mental illness. Personalization and derealization, unless they are symptoms of an organic illness (i.e., cells not working right) or a medication side effect are usually *psychological* problems, and there isn't a pill to make them better.


I also see a psychologist but she does CBT and relaxation, it doesn't help much.


Then it's not another psychiatrist you need, but another psychologist or other licensed therapist. Relaxation techniques are wonderful for working your way through a panic attack or other stressful situation - but they are a "right here, right now" coping strategy that doesn't deal with the baggage you're carrying with you yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The same goes with Ritalin and other stimulants - they wear off and you're still the same person you were before, with all the same problems.

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#10 mrsloony

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 09:12 PM

You said your doctor won't stop the Ritalin. But if you want to go off it that is your right to decide. Unless there is some court order- noone can make you take meds if you don't want to.

You'd probably do well to tell doc that you are going to go off it but that you want to do it safely and can only do that with his help.
If he says no ( also can't stand a pdoc who says you can't face responsibility and there is nothing wrong- that is so unproffesional and ignorant. ) it may well be time to do whatever you have to to find a new doc.

Best of luck- and I'd say never to stop a med without supervision- could be dangerous.
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#11 Guest_Guest_Dpmommy33_*_*

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:21 PM

Tks.

I know that if I said to him I will taper off Ritalin, he will say oki, and schedule a crazy way to taper off, because he doesn't know.

I am pissed off, it's been 4 years, 4 YEARS that I try to find psychiatrists, that I see one who said that I was having all the illnesses, then another one who don't care, another one who talked about anxiety, another one who said that maybe it was TLE, another one who said I was having nothing.

I wrote, phoned to ALL psychiatrists I can, I saw ALL psychologists I can, even one in the iSSD database. It didn't help so I stopped, and I had no money to go.

I am pissed off because of all my 4 years, I just want to feel happy, calm, happy and myself right there right now again.

It's not faire to have this illness, I'd rather have EVERYTHING ELSE THAN THAT. Even schizo know what they have, they are treated for that.

Me, I am stuck and nobody sees that, they just see I am sad and complain about not being there. I suffer from agoraphobia, I have to face all my fears all day. Nobody understand.

I tried alcohol w meds, I stopped. I tried to kill myself sometimes, now I stopped because I know it wouldn't be a good idea. But the idea to feel like that all my life is destroying me. So put yourself at my place, what would you do? When nobody understand, they try to help, they can't, and you feel pain inside and cry ALL NIGHT because you have enough, when a pill like ritalin smooth all for 1 hour, you take it because you can't stand it anymore.

It's been 4 years since I don't live, my family don't live, I have no real project, no happyness, I just don't know whos right, whos wrong. You understand, I feel so alone and my bf is so tired to liscen to me that I don't talk about it anymore, but my face says it all.

Before the birth of my baby I was insecure and anxious, but I was HAPPY, no DP. I had dp/dr at 18 (pot use) it went away alone. Also at 12 (I don't know why) it went away alone after months. I FORGOT IT. Now, I am stuck. I live again all the moments that I've lived at 12 and 18 : psychiatrists, fear of psychiatrist, fear of schizophrenia, feeling ill for the rest of my life, crying, I remember so well all the crying that I've done at 12 and 18. I remember my mother asking me what I had, and me, trying to explain : I don't feel there. Just thinking about it makes me cry.

It's not fair that I can't be like before, before the birth, I was happy. Why it can't go away????

Sorry, I feel bad ;) I have to return to work, I work as a notary secretary and it's complicated, it's a new job. Nobody can see my despair, except me inside.

p.s. I was taking Paxil before, it didn't help at all derealization but helped just depersonalization, but I had memory problems and dissociation more than ever, but it helped depression. Sometimes I wonder if I should return to Paxil, maybe with wellbutrin instead of Ritalin.

Sorry to write here, I feel alone in the world. Yesterday I felt I need to cut myself like I did before, and I know it's a sign that something is wrong, that I feel overloaded in emotions and need help, a therapist, somebody who understands trauma and dissociation.

#12 ldo

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 11:17 PM

I've read that sometimes stimulants can be used to break a depression that isn't responding to other treatments. And it sounds to me like maybe depression is a big part of your picture. Afraid I don't know much about that dp/dr business. But I know that Focalyn (which is one of the chemicals in Ritalin) makes me emotionally flat.

Which version of Ritalin are you taking? It may help to take a slower release version, but it does have a reputation for leaving you with a nasty "rebound" when it wears off. I know that I used to get cranky when Focalyn wore off. That may make you feel more addicted than you are? Seems like if you're taking what sounds fairly close to a normal therapeutic dose, the physical part of addiction won't be a big problem if you give it up.

If your doc ramps up the Prozac and it works, you may feel a lot better about things. But it may take up to two months. Maybe you won't need those sleeping pills so much.

If you get too emotionally flat, one of the other stimulants (Dexedrine, Adderall) may act differently and still help, but be aware that there might be anxiety problems. Particularly with Adderall. However, it doesn't last all that long and maybe you could start with a small amount. Probably not a great idea to take this stuff and Ritalin on the same day, though. Keep in mind that I'm no expert and people react differently to this stuff, so these are just possibilities, not certanties, and you really need a psychiatrist to figure these things out.

Please don't hurt yourself. Things may feel pretty bad right now but I don't think you'll feel like that indefinitely.
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Posted 06 April 2008 - 05:32 PM

I really Do need help.

Now, I can't tolerate les ritalin than 60 mg a day. Up to it I am so irritable I could kill someone.

Today I took 30 mg bcause I didn't have it more and felt so derealized and so sad, so sad. I DO need the high feeling it gives for helping me find a job with all issues I have (lost job. sad bf, no money, dp/dr after 4 years....)

Klonopin helped, not now. Not anymore, I feel more dissociated in the day when I take it.
Sleep pills helped, not now I feel so confused in the day when I take it.

My psychiatrist, wants me to taper off ritalin slowly then take wellbutrin. because it seems that I need something that helps with energy. With Paxil dissociation was ALWAYS there. Derealization was too much. With Ritalin it helps to find a jon and it seems that my brain needs it, I mean, to talk, to be contrentrated, then after, I become to DR, confused a bit and anxious. So that is why I NEED and AD.

But how will I be able NOT to take any ritalin for weeks before taking and AD? Which one???? Wellbutrin? Effexor?

Paxil made dp less worse, dr worse and felt dissociated.
Effexor ( 9 days) made me feel so drugged, dp/dr worse at 37,5 mg.
Zoloft at 25 mg for months made me feel not myself a lot.
Celexa 2 months at 30 mg made nothing good for depression andp/dr.
Anafranil, I am afraid of it.


And I feel terribly depressed and anxious and tired. Sometimes my mood changes so drastically I am afraid of myself. I need to feel alive, concentrated on the present, even if present is intolerable right now. My psychiatrist can't help.


PLEASE PLEASE help me think straight!!!

I feel like I am addict to ritalin, and I need to find a job. And the only way to find it and work a bit is to be on Ritalin. Crazy but stupid.

HELP!!!!

Mommy, depersonalized and derealized, who have dissociation and always derealization, and depression. since 4 years.

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 03:35 PM

Maybe take smaller ritalin doses? Try taking 10mg in morning at waking. 10mg at middday, and 10mg at evening [but not after 6pm to mess sleep up]....

Your problems sound very similar to mine and i've tried the ritalin BINGES up to 100mg a day but it doesn't help in the long run....

Relax....get sleep..... lower the ritalin as much as you can and SLOW YOUR THOUGHTS DOWN. Try a different therapist. This sounds like bad ANXIETY to me and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and relaxation and other such treatments are THE BEST for anxiety, especially in the long run if practiced. CBT is already having great improvements for me after 2 weeks....

-J
Strattera 80
Prozac 20
Ritalin 30mg/day [usually take only 15-20]

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 08:51 PM

dpmommy, I feel for you. I also was addicted to ritalin a few years ago, the scene that I was in when I no longer had access to ritalin led me to take other drugs. Wih help from my parents I eventually got in my car and got away fromt he area I was in so I didnt have access to any type of drug and with help from my family I made a positive comeback to where Iam today.

Comments such as you need to stay positive, and look for something to take your mind off everything seem flawed and pointless, like the person giving the advice has no idea of what your going through or that in some way there experiance was differs from yours.

Make the decision yourself, there are many ways to stop yourself from taking these drugs and still be happy and positive. But the answer is what way works best for you. For me it was a lifestyle change, frr others it could be replacing the drug with a healthy routine like exercise.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes you will find the answers to your questions are closer to you than you would have thought.

Keep safe.

Sammy

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 02:55 AM

I am a female, mid-40s, and weigh 112 lbs. I am taking between 120 - 240 mgs of ritalin a day. A doctor upped my dosage and now i cannot seem to cut back. I am looking for SELF-Withdrawel tips. I am having a tough time taking 40 mgs at one time (usually it is 60 or 70) 3 times a day. If I could get down to 40 mgs 3 times a day.. or twice... then I could try to go down more. I cannot get going during the day unless I take 3 (60 mgs) in the morning... and then I'm addicted to that feeling from the amount and do it again, once or sometimes 3 more times a day. I CAN'T GO TO REHAB OR DETOX. Are there any mdeications or holistic alternatives to get me through this? I am exausted and depressed if I don't take it... and am even depressed/anxiety-ridden/unmotivated and am isolating from others... WHEN I DO TAKE IT>

I am a strong person, but this is tough. I need all the suggestions I can get, please!! PS I also drink ALOT of caffeine during the day, too.

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Posted 09 November 2009 - 02:57 AM

I am a female, mid-40s, and weigh 112 lbs. I am taking between 120 - 240 mgs of ritalin a day. A doctor upped my dosage and now i cannot seem to cut back. I am looking for SELF-Withdrawel tips. I am having a tough time taking 40 mgs at one time (usually it is 60 or 70) 3 times a day. If I could get down to 40 mgs 3 times a day.. or twice... then I could try to go down more. I cannot get going during the day unless I take 3 (60 mgs) in the morning... and then I'm addicted to that feeling from the amount and do it again, once or sometimes 3 more times a day. I CAN'T GO TO REHAB OR DETOX. Are there any mdeications or holistic alternatives to get me through this? I am exausted and depressed if I don't take it... and am even depressed/anxiety-ridden/unmotivated and am isolating from others... WHEN I DO TAKE IT>

I am a strong person, but this is tough. I need all the suggestions I can get, please!! PS I also drink ALOT of caffeine during the day, too. THANK YOU!!

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 03:27 PM

That is a lot!!!. Ask you health care provider for Concerta. It has the same medication as Ritalin but is extended release and it will last for 8 hours. Question: How do you tapper it off to go to sleep?

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 05:51 PM

Hi,

I really need your help. I am dpmommy33 and now 35, and still taking ritalin. I stopped last june (2009) for 3 months, thanks to 5 days rehab in hospital, they upgraded Paxil to 20 mg, gave me 50 mg topamax and I was prior to that taking already 1,5 mg clonazepam and sleep pills. My doctor let me those benzos for the summer. I was happy but with 50 then 75 mg topamax and 20 mg Paxil, so confused, I had trouble to remember things, my name almost, and was very confused,not able to work, careful when driving and had NO memory. I was less depressed but tired and in a fog all the time. So in august/septemeber, I returned 9thanks to my doctor) to more stimulating thing, because I wanted to live, not sleep all the time , and work. He said maybe I was ADHH. So he tried concerta (made my heart in trouble), Wellbutrin (I had a full week of depersonalization and panic) and even another stimulant. I returned to old ritalin, 30 mg, then 40 mg, and I was helping kids in school (volonteer) 2-3 mornings a week, for the firdt time in months. I was very happy to help childs, feeling confused and sad at the end of the day but happy to help, be with childs. I did this all year, with ritalin in the AM and after 4 PM. In the PM I was too sad and tired to do something. I was also confused and depression returned a lot in the evening. I had little sleep all year. Now, I try to take less Ritalin, but am at 60 mg again, and find it VERY hard because I always think I helps me but it just helps for 1 hours or less..... but I have big trouble no to take it. I am always depressed. Paxil, I tapered to 7,5 mg because I realized I was more confused and dp with it, and never worked with it. I tapered down clonazepam from 2 mg to 1,5, and sleep pills....well I am on it too, because if not I can't sleep at all.


I dont take topamax anymore. I always think I am crazy because I cry all night, and feels so angry/sad/confused in the day. But, I took care of my child all summer, helped him all summer in soccer, natation, all sports, took care of home, talked normally, but I dont feel happy and like myself. I returned from my 1st trip (family one) and I know it was a great one, but I didn't really appreciated because I felt not there mentally, most of the time, and it saddens me sooooo much. I had fun, but didn't feel like me, there. Myself. I took ritalin less, most of the time at night (days were sooooo long) and I realized too that I dont like to eat like before, have pleasure, talk, feel something. I am VERY sad and afraid that even though I stop ritalin and all my scrap (clonazepam since my delivery, sleep pills, paxil) I will NEVER NEVER be able to return to my old self. I am SOOOOOO afraid of that.

Please tell me everything can change if we want, and that while I am ON medication, it's normal that I am confused....

I feel pain because I just have memories of things that happened, but while I do it, I dont feel THERE.

please just confort me.

dpmommy





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