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About null0trooper

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    The Tropic of 'Byte Me'

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  1. "Mental Illness" If it's interesting, associated in my memory with something that is interesting, frequently needed so it stays queued somewhere, or something still in working memory (just read, or just reviewed for typical "pump and dump" tests) - no problem. I can be "Mr. Trivia". The key thing for me is that one thing needs to be related to another in a way that my brain can access it again. Lots of academic study and review time went less into memorizing lists and buzzwords (which standardized testing is geared for) and more into building a mental framework that could hold the ideas and concepts together. Luckily, my favorite courses have favored looking at the interactions among people/things (history) or required a visual-spatial mental image of the information (geology, chemistry) On the other hand, if I'm interrupted or distracted by unrelated stuff, just about everything in working/short-term memory gets dropped. That include idiots who are convinced that persisting in talking to me Right Now!! while I'm doing something unrelated is OK because "I just need to ask this one thing." It's not the couple of minutes they got that I miss, but the minutes or hours needed to find my place and mentally reload everything I needed to use. With missing words/names sometimes I just have to say I don't remember *right now*, but it will come to me later. That may be a couple of days later, but it should be the thought that counts, right? It sometimes happens to non-ADHD people too. I had one graduate class taught by a professor who could make the entire lesson topic seem crystal clear. As soon as we walked out of the room, several of us usually found we had no idea what the devil he'd been talking about.
  2. I can't speak to BP II, but massive amounts of caffeine (or too much Adderall, but many people do self-medicate with caffeine) can seem to single-track my thinking without doing anything to alleviate hyperfocus. Intellectually, I recognize that "normal" people do follow a line of thinking from point to point until they reach a conclusion or a stopping point they can come right back to. I started medication for ADHD late enough in life that I find it disconcerting when I'm the one doing that. Wierd, huh?
  3. A variation on toast's and ElectricFeel's suggestions is to prioritize the hardest, most critical, or most time-sensitive parts/tasks up-front on your work timeline, so if you do still end up pushing against a deadline there should be less work needed to tie things up. That does tend to drive mid-level managers above one crazy, but that can be a benefit of its own.
  4. No studies I know of, sorry about that. Pushing selegiline dosage up to the point where MAO-A inhibition kicks in might work for MDD, but I'm not sure that would play well with l-dopa. Parnate mostly worked for me, but it felt like eventually too much serotonin was being retained (YMMV, my reaction to Lexapro was much more adverse than I or my doctor had expected)
  5. Nearly every other person I know who has ADD/ADHD is an avid reader who tends to block out other stimuli while reading. While there is still a tendency when reading technical literature for a person's train of thought to follow a tangent that starts with the material read, or to daydream a bit while reading fiction, it's not at all about "losing interest" or unrelated visualizations intruding into the process. But if there's an environmental stimulus they can't block out, or a mental process that's caught their full attention, there's hardly a hope in hell of concentrating on that book or paper. Impulsiveness isn't strictly a feature of ADHD, and what you are thinking of as "hyperactive" may be an expression of mild mania. It doesn't matter that you may be always "on the go", do more stuff, talk more than the average person around you - that's actually not what we're talking about with ADHD. It's not the goal-driven or pressured bipolar impulse of "Let's go shopping/have fun!" or "I want a new car/dress/apartment/etc.". It's more like That One Guy (or Gal) who has no filter between their brain and the mouth they're about to shove their foot into. Unlike someone with bipolar disorder or even schizophrenia, it's pointless to ask what were they thinking ... because thought just didn't have much to do with it (or if it did, they have no clue anymore what it was. But it seemed like a good idea at the time. Maybe. Why? I dunno.) Or, it's the driver who - if you're stupid enough to pipe up and tell them to turn off the road HERE - may just DO IT, while driving on an overpass or bridge. The hyperactive "Ritalin kid" isn't moving around, fidgeting, drumming fingers, foot tapping, etc. because they've just got to do something or because of anxiety, but because they forgot not to and may not even consciously know they're doing it at first. In that way, there's a bit of overlap with autistic "self-stimming". If anything, the moment they stop being physically and/or mentally stimulated, they lose track of stuff and may even just fall asleep. Later in the evening, the same person may need to drink coffee or take a stimulant to go to sleep. As a result, the one thing an ADDer's parent or teacher does NOT want to hear is "I'm bored." There's also such a thing as "too quiet" ... because that means their dear, sweet, walking, talking motor of mischief and mayhem is concentrating extra hard (hyperfocus) on whatever it is they're doing. To the outside observer - especially psychologists who think ADHD is on a spectrum with schizophrenia - the behaviors may look the same, but how the different folks get to those results is by taking different mental paths. Define "severe". Some folks learn enough coping behaviors and job skills in K-12 to function just fine w/o meds or ongoing coaching. Others end up finding out the only way to stay in school or keep a job is to find a way to remind themselves to take the medication they need to remember to take their medication on a regular basis. But yes, my ADD+HFA friend was deadly serious about not distracting her when driving. If I have to look over at my passenger to see what's wrong or make out what they're saying - that can mean I'm paying no attention to the tractor-trailor that just hit the brakes in front of me. And there are times when it's safest by far to not say the first ... or thirty-first thing that comes to mind in an airport, to a policeman, etc. So, Your Mileage May Vary. Nope. Psychosis has nothing at all to do with ADD/ADHD - that will be all part of whatever mood disorder is a problem. Another way to look at that may be that psychosis can lead a person's brain to experience something that isn't really there/happening; ADHD tends to let the brain miss stuff that is really there/happening and so it has to fill in the blanks on the fly. Some days, it even succeeds. Likewise, ADD/ADHD is not really a cause of disorganized behavior or thinking. It may look to others like that when I put my glasses in the refrigerator or open the jar of instant tea to make coffee, but that's just about always the result of being interrupted or otherwise losing track of whatever it was that I was hoping to be doing just then. Not a cognitive failure, but one of executive function. I don't think that it's been shown that ADD/ADHD actually gets better with treatment once the patient is an adult. It also doesn't get much worse unless organic damage to the brain (stroke, concussion, etc.) worsens one or more symptoms. Medication and/or therapy just helps a person manage their life better around what they've always had to deal with. On the other hand, there's not much preventing a mood disorder - especially with psychotic features - from making it harder as the years go by to compensate for what may have originally been a mild instance of comorbid ADD. At the end of the day, if the end result is a treatment plan that improves your quality of life, they can call it "brain cloud" for all that it matters, right?
  6. This is NOT something a pharmacist can diagnose. However, if you still believe in the "probably not med as nothing happened the first couple of weeks." answer, then what you need is a medical doctor, to find out what IS causing the rash.
  7. If that's how the grad student interviewing you sees it, why not ask her point-blank when her mother will be available to see her through the rest of the process? How many of her BFFs from grade school are still hanging out with her? I could see it being important for assessing adult patients that are otherwise still dependent on their parents for day-to-day support. However, for a 37-y.o. adult living independently, a competent practitioner should be able to assess the situation based on what the patient can recall from before middle school - the catch is getting past the patient's tendency to rationalize each symptom away (because "everyone" does that once in a while). On the other hand, if you have friends (especially teachers) who've known you a long time, you might want to ask one or two to give their honest appraisal of your "quirks" via that questionaire. Gearhead's right about the report cards/teacher's notes. Some of my own elementary school "progress report" comments were telling, at least in retrospect. Also, some scheduling changes pushed through by a teacher and a guidance counselor (partly justified by "we've already had to deal with his cousins") in middle school turned out to be ADHD-appropriate accomodations.
  8. Unfortunately, what you are describing is almost certainly not a side-effect. Vyvanse itself is basically a molecule of amphetamine combined with the amino acide lysine, neither of which is commonly considered an allergen. That doesn't mean that you cannot have a sensitivity to the drug, and react to it - just as many people have a "non-allergic sensitivity" to aspirin, ranging from mild to not-at-all-mild. In some cases, if a person is stressed out to begin with, nearly any change will trigger the immune system to overreact. Your Mileage Will Vary. To make matters worse, every morning that you take another Vyvanse - if that is what is triggering the reaction - after a number of hours you have more material back in your bloodstream to react to. That in turn just continues the sensitization process. I've actually had a similar reaction to a much different medication. Continuing to tough it out with OTC antihistamines and other remedies while continuing to take the med just made things worse and worse. So. What I'd do, if I were in your position, is to see my primary care physician for a medical diagnosis ASAP. In my case, the medication plus the reaction to it was masking my body's response to a systemic infection (scarlet fever. yay, me.) Be prepared to be told to discontinue the Vyvanse, and maybe you'll need to see an allergist, but first step would be to see your doctor first thing in the morning. If you start to have trouble breathing, etc., emergency rooms are open all night.
  9. Considering that eyelashes are basically hair and have no nerves, it's hard to see how they could be painful to anyone other than a random troll. However, the eyelids they are attached to on anyone else could be another matter! If the pain's been noticeable for more than a couple of days, it's worthwhile to ask your regular doctor to see if you have an infected sty that needs treatment.
  10. ADD/ADHD tends to be a disorder of "executive function": affecting the processing of ambient information or distractions, time awareness, task switching (not just visible tasks, but internal tasks such as managing attention focus and short-term memory), and impulse control. Of the two neurotransmitters most implicated in ADD/ADHD, dopamine, may be dysregulated in bipolar disorder or schizophrenia cases. The other, noradrenaline, can be an issue for anxiety disorders. And, of course, either one or both or neither may be dysregulated in clinical depression. So, while irritability and frustration may be loudly noticeable symptoms of ADD ... there's usually some sort of reason behind the temporary meltdown, very MUCH unlike a mood disorder which can have you in the dumps, flying high emotionally, or both in rapid succession in no damned relation to what's going on in the person's life. i.e., having one doesn't necessitate nor preclude the other. That can be a bit tricky for folks with bipolar disorder (which can respond with a spectacularly bad manic episode to stimulant meds) who also have ADD (and might need a stimulant, although some of the "activating" anti-depressants that are also used for ADD can be much kinder to those folks on the down-swings). ADD's also one of the many reasons that "panic attack in a pill" anti-depressants like bupropion and desipramine carry warnings about somnolence. So does Vyvanse. And Adderall. tl,dr: ADD comorbid with a mood disorder ... complicates things a wee bit. Except when it doesn't. Clinically significant poor impulse control isn't a personality trait, or a moral failing. If you've never, ever done something foolishly risky that seemed like a good idea at the time - there's probably an issue right there. If it's the story of your life, it's past time to visit a good pdoc. Some studies, and lots of anecdotes (Cheaper by the dozen!) do suggest that "self-medication" is common with ADHD. The trouble is that the effects drugs are supposed to have on the general population aren't necessarily what the ADDer may get. So, while the experimentation rate may be somewhat higher, the abuse rate generally isn't. Just ... don't put decaf in the breakroom coffee pot. No, we didn't see the sign in front of it that we literally reached past to get to the carafe in the first place. Unsafe sex. heh, Do you REALLY expect the guy who's spent a half-hour looking for the glasses he was wearing, or the woman whose family has learned to check the refrigerator for the car keys, or either one who needs medication to remember to take their medication (Those cute day-planner pill trays made to keep everything organized in a safe place where it won't get lost? That's comedy gold.) to remember to have fresh condoms on hand for a spur-of-the-moment decision? Your best bet is to stop at a pharmacy on the way home while it's on your mind (maybe you'll remember to get this month's prescriptions filled. Win!) and use the leftovers for party balloons or something. That middle ground between "oops. I thought I had that" and "why do I now have three hammers, some screws, and no nails?" is populated by Martha Stewart, Santa Claus, and Tom Cruise's sanity, as far as I can tell. But, hey, with a bit of sideways thinking and inventiveness (which we ARE good at) there are lots of ways to have fun without risking disease, pregnancy, or other complications :) Unfortunately, there have been a handful of studies comparing different mental illnesses and traffic/motor vehicle convictions. Those did show ADD/ADHD to be a more significant risk factor than any of the mood disorders. So ... in the back of a '57 Chevy, or a front seat of a Mini Cooper, probably not the best of ideas.
  11. It's "Marvin the Paranoid Android" (one version of him anyway) from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. One drawback to the moniker is that he isn't really paranoid, which doesn't matter so much because the universe really is out to get him.
  12. Lithium carbonate should be Li2CO3 Edit: As Muriel already pointed out. Now if anyone can explain why a fairly new 12-sided die was up on a shelf with an old chem text ... ???
  13. 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 are the primary receptor systems of interest for depression, addiction, psychosis, etc., although they obviously only account for part of the story. Oddly enough, it looks like 5-HT3 is one of the few receptors that amitriptyline doesn't bind to.
  14. Being a bit impatient for relief isn't that unusual, and it's not much more unusual for it to take a while to realize that the pdoc to run away from is the one who has the perfect treatment plan from the start (even the ones that just about always work always fail for somebody)! On another board I used to read a lot, it was fairly common for folks to be put on a Wellbutrin/Klonopin combination because of the risk of increased anxiety and irritability (and the seizure risk - which benzos are still used to control). So yes, Wellbutrin *can* work for people dealing with an anxiety disorder, although you may do better on something like Cymbalta that also affects serotonin. Or not. I didn't. (Then again, adding Klonopin to my Wellbutrin dose was not an option - different crazy meds for different crazy people!)
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