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About chipmunk

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  1. Navitus just sent me a letter saying "Happy New Year! Your brand-name Adderall will now cost you $400/month because we're assholes!" (I now have to pay the difference between brand-name and generic if I want brand-name.) The problem is that I've tried generics and either they give me diarrhea and are barely absorbed (lactose-intolerant) and/or they release inconsistently and just generally work like shit (bad come-down, etc.). Are there generics that people are generally happy with? My former doctor told me at some point that the molds had been licensed to someone so that the generics they made were very close to the original but he died of pancreatic cancer so I can't ask him. I have to wait until June to switch insurance plans (thank god that's an option, at least at the moment . . . ) which is longer than what I have a stash for so I need to figure something out. Thanks so much for any info!
  2. What Lamictal is good at in terms of combating the depression is evening out my mood. For me, it's the downward spiral that's especially dangerous. I start ruminating on things and get myself more and more depressed. Lamictal helps with the rumination - I can choose to think of something else, whereas without it (even with an SSRI), my thoughts get stuck and I end up sucked into the black hole.
  3. I was diagnosed with DSPS and Restless Legs Syndrome. The two are somewhat related in that RLS tends to be worst between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. (give or take), so many people with RLS end up staying up until 5 or 6 a.m. and then sleeping until early afternoon. However, DSPS has another component, and that is that your sleep architecture is different, and markedly better, in the morning vs.in the evening/early night because all of those hormones that ebb and flow during the night are on a delayed schedule. So while it was semi-comforting to have a real doctor tell me that being a night owl wasn't just a personal preference, the best thing would be if there was a way to treat it. What has worked best for me is #1 finding a different job that allows me to work different hours than 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and #2 really paying attention to my light exposure throughout the day. My sleep doc said to get exposure to bright light as early in the morning as possible, and to start to reduce light exposure after 5 p.m. There is a recent study which would suggest that people with DSPS are actually just hyper-sensitive to light cues from their environment. When they took a bunch of people camping for a week, with no artificial light exposure, what they found was that the night owls' bodies adjusted to match the sun's schedule faster than those of the historically early-risers. Also, before the week camping, the night owls kept producing melatonin in the morning, with the peak *after* waking, whereas the non-night owls' melatonin levels subsided prior to awakening, as it should be. After the natural light exposure, the night owls' levels also shifted to subside before awakening, suggesting that their bodies were responding to the dawn light. I think I am going to try one of those alarm clocks that gradually increases the light intensity prior to your wake time and see if that helps. I know I stay up too late because I'm on my computer or iPad and the light means I never get tired, so i'm trying to work on that end as well. Here is a link to that paper: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982213007641 "Entrainment of the human circadian clock to the natural light-dark cycle"
  4. That's awful! Try going to a nicer salon, not luxury but a place where they have long-term professionals with whom you can build a relationship. My hair stylist has seen it all, from scalp issues to people with no ears and she's a professional from start to finish.
  5. Looks like the original coupon isn't available anymore, but they have this one for Lamictal XR: https://www.lamictalxr.com/about_lamictal_xr/how_to_take_lamictal_xr/sign_up_for_more_information.html
  6. My boyfriend in college had a penis that was somewhere around 2-3 inches. Best. sex. ever. Why? He took the time to figure out what I liked. Besides, most women can't come from vaginal stimulation alone, so your penis is secondary to the rest of the show, so to speak.
  7. It can be a real physical addiction. I read recently (would have to dig for the source) that when people get a text message, people like their post on Facebook, etc., they get a rush of dopamine and the reward pathways light up. So people keep checking their phones/the internet for that reward. I would venture to say it's a reaction similar to a slot machine, "oooh, next quarter I'm going to win" but it's "oooh, maybe next time I check Facebook someone will have 'liked' my post", so I imagine it would be just as addicting, perhaps worse because the internet can provide real emotional support and connection, which a slot machine never would.
  8. I have the opposite problem. I have notifications set to "daily digest" and I get an email each and every time someone replies to a post. This morning I opened up my email and had 15 messages from yesterday about two threads. I should have had two emails updating me about the replies in each thread, and that's it.
  9. Haha, that's exactly how I feel when I read your posts. I am also in academia and struggle with the way I am responsible for managing my time. I get so overwhelmed, feeling ashamed that I'm three weeks behind on grading papers that I am paralyzed and do nothing, which of course makes it worse. That's where I'm learning to *choose* to do things, telling myself, ok, just grade one student's homework and at least you'll have a little progress. Before I wouldn't have been able to stop, for example, looking up articles about some obscure part of my field, learning a lot but getting nothing of immediate value done.
  10. There are people who take them to Africa to use for pills there. I give my empties to the Pioneers http://attpioneervolunteers.org/__HomeRegion/HomeRegion.html .
  11. My psych says that people with ADHD who are relatively successful always have either really amazing organizational skills or someone who's amazing at organizing them, or both. I would fall in the former category...as long as I have time to create and implement my organizational systems it works brilliantly. But when I'm in a situation where there's no clear priority to put #1 on my task list, I'm paralyzed. As far as whether this diagnosis is for real, from what you've written, you sound like someone with ADHD and some kick-ass compensating mechanisms that have worked to a point for a really long time.
  12. I wouldn't be surprised if it messed with androgen or testosterone levels, as acne is a common enough side effect.
  13. For me, finding the right med/dose/schedule was a multi-year process, so be patient! I started with IR Ritalin (wore off too quickly), then moved to Concerta (didn't work as well as I would like), then Vyvanse (lasted too long and gave me acne), then generic Adderall IR (awful crash), then brand name Adderall IR (kept forgetting to take second dose), and finally Adderall XR (love it!). First you'll need to get an idea of the proper dosage which will be the lowest one that relieves your symptoms. That will be a little more complicated for you because it seems your goal is not necessarily attention on a specific task, but more general life issues, so it will take longer to be able to step back and see results. However, you can use boring tasks to help guide you. At some point you will get to a dose where you don't feel focused anymore, you feel a bit like you just took a Red Bull, and then you'll know you've hit the ceiling. Second you need to find the right med family for you. Ritalin/Concerta is one type of stim, and Vyvanse/Adderall is another, and one tends to work better than the other for a given individual. I found my approximate dosage level through Concerta, and then it's easy to move laterally to a different stim. Third, you'll need to figure out the dosing mechanism/schedule that works best for your needs. I am at such a high dose (60 mg Adderall per day) that I simply do not want to take that every day if I don't need to. My prescription is written for 2-30 mg Adderall XRs in the morning, but I rarely take it like that. Most often I take 1-30 mg Adderall XR at 7:30 a.m. and then take a 15 mg Adderall IR at lunchtime. I might take another at around 4 p.m. if I have to study late or go to a class, but I have to be careful with the late dose because I can be up too late. On weekends, I might take 1-30 mg XR if I'm up by 9:30, otherwise I'll take a 15 mg IR at around noon and maybe a 7.5 mg dose at around 2 p.m. Or sometimes I just take 15 mg and leave it at that. It all depends on my needs for that day. I used to take weekends off, but I get so much less frustrated with myself if I'm medicated. I am hesitant to say I'm "more productive" because that implies that my value is what I produce, and not just relaxing, but the key here is that I WANT to produce things, things that have value to me, like scrapbooking, or planning a trip, or cleaning/decorating my house. I'm not making widgets, I'm concentrating on an activity that I find relaxing and rewarding, and I don't leave it halfway through to wander aimlessly around the house wondering what I was just doing. And lastly (sorry for the book, but you seem like the kind of person who likes details ), you'll need to work on retraining your brain to think more mindfully (no pun intended). I've been on stims for about five years now, and it's just recently that I've been able to step back and use the power that ADHD meds have given me to CHOOSE on what my mind is concentrating. I went from just moving from task to task with no memory that I had or should be doing something else, to concentrating on a task even though it wasn't the task I was supposed to be working on, to being able to say, No, I need to work on XYZ, so I need to put ABC away so I can do that. Sounds easy to "normal" people, like it's willpower, but any ADHD person will tell you it's quite a difficult thing to do, so I'm really amazed at my progress in that regard. Good luck and hope this helped a little!
  14. I have a Philips 10,000 lux SAD light and use that as soon as I wake up in the morning for 60 minutes. I also take adderall for ADHD but find it helps with staying awake during the day and getting to sleep at night (I need to be careful about when I take it though or it can compound the problem). I still sleep like crap until about 7 a.m. and then I start getting really good sleep. Incidentally, when the sleep study gave hard evidence of this, my husband took me more seriously when I said I needed to sleep in later, so a sleep study might be of value to you.
  15. The rule with stims is "start low and go slow", so ideally you should be under-dosed for now, and only need a two-dose option once you find your therapeutic dose. As far as if you know it's working or not, you have to take it under conditions which stress your attention. I would take a pill when I was sitting down to write a paper and I could definitely tell the difference when it kicked in and when it wore off.
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