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Tyrosine for lack of focus and motivation?


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I'm bipolar 2, tending more toward the depressive side of things.  I also have trouble with anxiety and irritability.  I've been fairly stable for awhile now on Trileptal and Lexapro, and PRN Ativan.  If I stop drinking coffee, I get downright mellow.  Unfortunately I also turn into a lump  ;)

So I drink one cup of coffee in the morning (and occasionally another in the afternoon), and I have energy ... and it helps with focus somewhat.  However it also makes me irritable and I find myself popping an Ativan at the first frustrating parenting sitch of the day.  And I'm still not particularly motivated to any activity that isn't stimulating and novel.  Pdoc doesn't want to try any ADD meds at this point, probably because I was on Trileptal+Wellbutrin before this and my anxieties (as well as my orthostatic hypotension) were worse. I would guess L-tyrosine carries the potential for similar SE's, but I'm really floundering in the motivation department, and willing to give it a try now that the Lex has me pretty low.  Even if I just got the benefits of coffee without the irritability, it would be worth it.

Any experiences to share?!

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  • 2 weeks later...

L-tyrosine made my concentration somewhat better, but I was also on Edronax at the time.

Be careful before taking it with a SNRI, but SSRI's shouldn't be a problem.

As long as you check for interactions with your current meds first, give it a try! It can't hurt you, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. You can't lose anything, except your money, it's quite expensive.

Good Luck!

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Thanks!  I did try it.  Unfortunately I can't bring myself to stop drinking coffee to give it a proper trial  ;) I tried taking 500mg L-tyrosine a couple times at different times of the day (after my morning joe), and it just aggravated my aggravation.  To be expected, I s'pose. 

So for now I'm just sticking to my coffee-plus-sometimes-Ativan.  <snort>  I know how lame that is.  But ... it works!  Sorta.

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Gretl,

I used to have a lot of anxiety with depression as well as the physical effects of indegestion, heartburn, insomnia and general jumpiness. I was so miserable that I figured quitting coffee couldn't make me feel any worse than I already was. So I did.

The caffeine withdrawal headache was gone within four days. But the feeling of not being able to wake all the way up lasted for several weeks. But it DID go away. The indegestion and heartburn stopped too. But that may have been as much from the new antidepressant as quitting caffeine.

It's worth a try, but you have to hang in for awhile. I did, at least, having been a coffee drinker for decades.

Greeny

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Greeny - thank you!  I do know it's worth it, I've done a few times.  And not too long ago, at that.  So it's fresh in my mind, how nice and mellow I felt  ;)

I have Chronic Fatigue issues - which, contrary to popular belief, is not sleepiness, so that's not what I use the coffee for; actually coffee likely makes it worse.  Anyhow, I'm finally truly getting "better" <knock wood> working with a naturopath for the past 9 months.  In the beginning, he put me on a month-long elimination diet, culminating in a week-long fast.  (He also prescribed a mega-nutrition replacement drink mix though; no way could I do a typical fast with my hypoglycemic tendencies.)  I had to stop coffee before starting that and it was difficult.  And I eventually went back to it.  Then not long ago I had a relapse after a very stressful period in my life, and I did an abbreviated week-long version of the elimination diet/fast/drink.  On Day 3, I decided I didn't feel like drinking coffee.  That was it.  I stopped cold turkey and had ZERO withdrawal effects!!  It was amazing.

However a few weeks later I caved in once or twice to the desire to have a little energy and focus in the afternoons.  And that's the slippery slope, isn't it?!  Besides, I *love* my morning coffee.  ::whimper::

::grin::

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