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Stimulants for treatment resistant depression?


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So I'm just curious if anyone else here is taking a stimulent for depression. Bipolar depression in my case. It's been extremely treatment resistant- i sware i've been on everything in the book. My doc is about out of ideas. He came up with this one though, and seemed very pleased with him self and excited that it would work. So now I'm on cymbalta and dexidrine in adition to all my mood stabilizers. [Yeah I'm on lithium, isn't that supposed to lessen the effects??]

Anyway. Show of hands, anyone else doing the treatment resistant depression-stimulant thing? Hmmmm...

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So I'm just curious if anyone else here is taking a stimulent for depression. Bipolar depression in my case. It's been extremely treatment resistant- i sware i've been on everything in the book. My doc is about out of ideas. He came up with this one though, and seemed very pleased with him self and excited that it would work. So now I'm on cymbalta and dexidrine in adition to all my mood stabilizers. [Yeah I'm on lithium, isn't that supposed to lessen the effects??]

Anyway. Show of hands, anyone else doing the treatment resistant depression-stimulant thing? Hmmmm...

i am also very treatment resistant. So far the only medication I have been able to tolerate is Adderal. I am not bi-polar, but I do suffer from depression. I do believe I have A-Typical depression and I'm trying to find out if that's the case.

However, what I do find is that the Adderal does help the depression. Whether it helps because it actually helps chemically, or whether it helps simply because when I feel a little better physically and have the strength to get out of bed, and shower and dress and function even a little, that also helps the depression simply because I feel better and a bit more human.

So I'm not sure exactly how it helps or why. And it doesn't make as big dent as I wish, just a little. But I can see a difference.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My pdoc just started me on dexidrine. I also take abilify, lamictal and wellbutrin. I am going off provigil. I have tried just about everything for depression...I am just about ready to lose my job because I either fall asleep at my desk or go home early to go to bed. I really hope this works because I have been on so many drugs that either work for awhile or just plain don't work at all. It just seems my depression will not let go of me.

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{Raises hand}

I've been prescribed Adderall to supplement my Effexor and it more or less did the trick. I have a sense that an integral part of my problem is that my brain simply does not produce the right kind of internal stimulus on its own. So whereas the average NT would get high on Adderall, the same dose only elevates me to a regular level of alertness, and makes it possible to entertain the occasional positive thought.

Cerberus, just passing through

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i was RXed Adderall XR (30mg) for ADD Inattentive, however i have bipolar 1 and take all kinds of stuff for that.

the adderall has given me more up and go, so to speak, during my down times. i take elevating drugs- WB, abilify, and adderall, and they seem to keep me out of the worst depressions, and i stay awake. the good news is that i sleep like a baby when i should and get up when i should. they've been good for my sleep cycle, and i used to be an insomniac.

i think the adderall will help you focus, and a symptom of depression is lack of focus. it should also give you the energy to not fall asleep at work and the focus, as i said, to be more productive. you won't lose your job.

you may want to come out of the closet to HR and tell them, with a letter from your pdoc, that you are being treated for depression. it is much, much harder to fire you if you have a documented disability (not that they don't look for ways anyway, believe me, i've been there).

best of luck,

loon

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I'd like to try a stimulant but I doubt they'd ever prescribe me one because of my insomnia and anxiety. I think a stimulant like Provigil (modafinil) would be an excellent idea because I have a fucked up sleep cycle and can't get out of bed in the mornings (I haven't been to school for months).

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i can only talk about adderall, but since it is a schedule 2 they guard it like it is heroine or something. they count it literally DOWN TO THE PILL in the pharmacy. you MAY NOT fill your script a day early. they'll think you're a complete drug addict.

remember, there are so many drugs out there for depression. so many. stims carry a lot of risk and shouldn't be taken lightly. driving for me was very unsafe because of my ADD, so i made the choice to try adderall. there are other ways to get your sleep cycle in order besides a stim. talk to your pdoc about those, and be open-minded about what drugs you could take that might work on that depression.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest losenhope

So I'm just curious if anyone else here is taking a stimulent for depression. Bipolar depression in my case. It's been extremely treatment resistant- i sware i've been on everything in the book. My doc is about out of ideas. He came up with this one though, and seemed very pleased with him self and excited that it would work. So now I'm on cymbalta and dexidrine in adition to all my mood stabilizers. [Yeah I'm on lithium, isn't that supposed to lessen the effects??]

Anyway. Show of hands, anyone else doing the treatment resistant depression-stimulant thing? Hmmmm...

I have been in the same boat as you for years. I have tried countless combination/medications. Stimulents work great if you just can't function, like not even being able to get out of bed. From the simplest trial Ritalan work as a trial the problem is you have to medicate every so many hours. But this would answer your question they work. If you find this is the answer sustained release Concerta works great and helps improve concentration. Aderoll sp? also works. THe key set your alarm 2hrs before you must be fuctioning take the med and there is now way the desire to remain in bed will be there.

Hope that helps.

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I was prescribed Focalin XR today (10mg-20mg) for my depression. I'm currently also on Wellbutrin XL 450mg and Zoloft 100mg but he's letting me go off the F**ing Zoloft!! WHOHOO! but anyway, sorry, off topic.

I tried it today and it completely conked me out (fell asleep in the middle of the day for 7 hours) which I think is really really odd, but you aren't alone in being prescribed a stimulant. I hope yours works better than mine! I don't know what gives with my wacky brain chemistry and why I had the opposite reaction to this stim, but we shall see.

luck,

meg

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  • 3 months later...

I know this is an old topic, but... my pdoc prescribed dexedrine after I begged for *something* to help me focus. She kept reminding me that trouble focusing is part of depression and one of the last SEs to go away. But I seriously space out, and I couldn't deal with it, and it jeopardized my job.

10mg knocked me out as if it were 1mg of clonazepam. I thought that was totally weird, and it's interesting to see others have the same reaction to various stimulants.

I eventually went on medical leave and didn't take the dex, because I didn't need the focus. One day, as an experiment, I tried it. 20mg felt like a cup of coffee - no more, no less, and certainly not a help in focusing. 30mg felt like maybe a double espresso (which for me isn't much) - awake, alert, but still spacey (then again, how much concentration does it take to wash dishes?).

Oh yeah, the point of this thread ;) My depression is extremely treatment-resistant. So I was also hoping that the dex would lift me up a bit; the thing is, I don't want to take something that's hard to come off of six months down the road.

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I eventually went on medical leave and didn't take the dex, because I didn't need the focus. One day, as an experiment, I tried it. 20mg felt like a cup of coffee - no more, no less, and certainly not a help in focusing. 30mg felt like maybe a double espresso (which for me isn't much) - awake, alert, but still spacey (then again, how much concentration does it take to wash dishes?).

Oh yeah, the point of this thread ;) My depression is extremely treatment-resistant. So I was also hoping that the dex would lift me up a bit; the thing is, I don't want to take something that's hard to come off of six months down the road.

Well, if you do try another stimulant.. let me know how it goes? I work at Starbucks right now, so I totally understand (and agree) with your coffee reference. I've thought of augmenting with stimulants (to help with fatigue too), but if the med's effect follows anything along the lines of espresso, period.. it's hardly worth mentioning.. 'cause I'd just be resistant to that too.

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Even at high doses, I've found stims much milder than caffeine in terms of anxiety and physical side effects.

Well, that's good for my anxiety then.. but would there really be any effect if coffee isn't strong enough to do anything to me?

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The other day, my pdoc explained that she was adding a stimulant not only to help me focus, but also to "boost" the effects of Cymbalta and Lamictal. She switched me from dexedrine, which was okay but not great, to Adderall XR, which so far is fan-freakin'-tastic. It just clears the cobwebs out of my brain (well, most of them - there are still significant gaps) and really makes me feel like the other ADs (Lamictal was rxed for treatment-resistant depression as well as BPII) are actually working.

As someone above said, whatever it is that makes this a "high" for people with typical brain function seems not to be there for me. There was a little speediness in the first two hours (got a lot accomplished), but then I felt clarity for the first time in months.

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  • 6 years later...

bump.

 

my pdoc proscribed Nuvigil for me when my brother died.  I was sleeping all day every day.

 

That was a few years ago and now very very rarely I take one as a stimulant for my depression. DOes anyone else do this?

Edited by water
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  • 3 weeks later...

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