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Waiting Anxiously


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Hi, all. I am new to this board. This is not really a question, just what I'm going through.

I have had attention problems through my whole life. I was almost held back in second grade, because I was so hopelessly behind on the work. I have never been able to use my time productively, except for a few brief periods of hyperproductivity that lasted about 6 months each. I am a computer programmer by training, but I have never been able to be productive at it for any length of time. This led to my losing my first job after college. I worked at a completely different kind of job for a few years, but I am currently unemployed.

My experience of psychiatry spans about five or six years, if you ignore a false start in about 2003. By the time I saw a pdoc, I was severely depressed and suffering from a lot of anxiety. I have been on antidepressants the whole time. Attention problems, of course, can be caused by almost any psychiatric illness. In particular, it's a symptom of MDD and anxiety disorders. This clouded the picture, and has allowed my pdocs (there have been several) to avoid treating me for ADD with stimulants, which many doctors prefer to avoid. I also admitted to varying amounts of illicit drug use to different doctors, which makes them suspicious.

Right now, I feel like I'm at the point where something has to give. At every job that I've ever held, concentration and lack of time management has been a major issue. I should be working hard to find a new job right now, but I hate going to an interview and trying to convince somebody to give me a chance, when I know that sooner or later my attention problems will become serious, and they will undoubtedly regret hiring me. I can usually manage to be a good employee for a while, but this is while being a good employee is the sole focus of my life, and I can't keep that up forever.

I have gone through trials of a bunch of weak ADD meds, such as Strattera, Tenex (worthless), Aricept (worthless), and Wellbutrin (helped for a while, but pooped out). I have also gone through a lot of antidepressants on the theory that my attention problems were secondary to MDD. The ADs have seemed to help with other problems, but have not really improved my attention. Three weeks ago I made an appointment with my current pdoc and told him my situation and that I think it's ADD (I am shy about bringing it up and asking for addictive drugs), and, encouragingly, he wrote a prescription for Ritalin. Ritalin did not help much or at all, but I consider it a good sign. So, I have an appointment coming up on Tuesday. I've come across Adderall and Dexedrine in the past from kids selling their prescriptions, and they both significantly helped my attention, but Adderall had intolerable side effects (headache and a nasty crash). I am really hoping I can get this pdoc to let me try Dexedrine. If he gives me Adderall, I am 90% certain that I will not be able to tolerate it, and I will be stuck waiting another month while my unemployment is running out. If he gives me Vyvanse, I will only be able to afford to buy a few pills, because I have no insurance and I'm running out of money. So I feel like I have a lot riding on his prescribing Dexedrine at this next appointment.

I hope he is not one of those doctors who is unwilling to prescribe Dexedrine. I have thought a lot about how to approach it without seeming like a "drug seeker." I know that I have to mention having tried Adderall, because I already know I can't tolerate it, but I have to be careful not to seem like a drug abuser.

So, I'm not really looking for advice or anything. Just sharing my story. I will let you know after Tuesday what happens.

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Dexedrine absolutely should have less side effects, because the levoamphetamine is basically inactive and just causes side effects. Levomethamphetamine is so unlike the dextro form that it's an OTC drug.

I saw my pdoc today and got a Dexedrine script. The pharmacy is being a pain in the butt, though, because I filled a Ritalin script three weeks ago and they want to call the doctor. I'm waiting for the doctor to call them back.

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