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medications for improving cognition


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my verbal memory is poor, my overall memory is poor, my ability to pay attention, process information quickly, think abstractly, write quickly, organize my thoughts, all that stuff has significantly decreased because.. i don't know why. maybe it has to do with my condition. what are some possibilities for improving cognition? all aspects you can think of executive function, all that. this has been going on for too long and i've made several medication changes in the past few months, with virtually no change even remotely. it would help to be fully functioning for school and all that. so far i've come up with intuniv, and provigil. i can't take actual stimulants like ritalin and adderall because too high of a dose caused psychosis once and i'm also worried about issues of dependency. i.e. taking something that seems to help even though it's not really needed. anyway, just asking in case there are other possibilities that i'm unaware of.

some background: ok so its more than 'a few ' months, had flip out, went on invega, i went from invega 6 mg, to 9 to 12 back to 9 eventually 6 then eventually discontinued, all this went on for about 4 months maybe more, went to abilify 5 mg then 10 mg then 7.5 mg, then back to 5 mg, eventually the abilify was discontinued, at this point 2-3 months passed. went on fanapt, as i was titrating to target dose had a weird interaction with coffee, i.e. pseudo psychosis' as il call it.. was sent to the ER due to rapid heart rate and other sx before i even got to the target dose. discontinued that, now am on saphris 5 mg for about two days...

and of course in between all these changes in antipsychotics i was taking strattera (up to 60 mg), propranolol up to 80 mg, and tried to come off of klonopin but that led to a really bad reaction, psychosis, moods all over the place, intrusive thoughts, morbid thoughts. etc etc. etc.. alot of this stuff was occuring when i had a psychiatrist who could care less about my treatment so i tried to treat myself essentially cause i didn't have a doctor who i could work with or trusted. oddly he enough he allowed me to do a lot of things, try strattera when as it turns out it wasn't needed, fiddle with the abilify, fiddle with the klonopin, eventually i found a different pdoc who i could trust, he took me off propranolol, strattera, decreased the effexor when it was at 375 mg (forgot bout that..) and took me off abilify..

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Have you had folic acid and B12 tested? Deficiencies can affect memory.

If you are still depressed, that can hugely affect memory and cognition.

Since you have tentative dxs of bipolar and sza, why doesn't your doc trial you on Lithium or Depakote to supplement your AD? This goes to depression being the primary cause of your cognitive troubles.

Last, is it possible that your cognitive problems are more of a perception problem? That is, is it possible that your cognition is fine and you just perceive it to be problematic? Not saying this is the case. Just asking the question.

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- no i have not, i may look into that.

- the doc has suggested use of lithium but because of my doubt about his diagnosis he decided to hold off on it. he didn't want to go with a treatment that i was unsure of.

- i think its parttially a problem of perception but also a legitimate concern. my father has remarked how slow i am to articulate my thoughts (largely because of the somewhat complex nature of my thinking) and iv noticed how i have difficulty thinking abstractly, planning ahead, thinking ahead, remembering things...just generally losing the ability to appreciate complexity. thus it would eventually be difficult for me to move further in my education, and eventualy work, without those abilities. in my recent trip to the ER due to Fanapt, one person remarked "has learning disabilties".... i don't think thats necessarily true.... on the other hand i have personal goals that i would like to accomplish, and it would be dificult in my case to do that without optimal or near optimal cognition. so while my cognition is "fine" in the sense that i can kinda sorta function, its also somewhat difficult to live my life without being able to think like i used to. its not that i want to impress, its more of a personal thing. my head is admittedly a refuge.

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If you're short of folic acid, there's a med called Deplin that will raise your level.. if you don't need it, it won't do anything & your pdoc may have or can get samples of it. B12 is a good supplement to take anyway.

I don't know what your doubt of diagnosis is, but Lithium works well in general. I'm MDD and it helped me, and it's excellent for BP. I think if your pdoc wants you to take it, you should consider it.

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just one note: often times people here have mentioned that depression is my main issue. but i never really feel depressed. at least not recently i havent felt that way. i mean, i KNOW what depression feels like, i think there's difference between mere sadness (which is sometimes comforting in a sense) and depression (which i would describe as an absence of feeling, sense of despair, "low mood" is too vague).now if im wrong, feel free to correct me.

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