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Here's the thing: I'm not actually physically tired (more mentally) I sleep a full 10 hours every night and during the day, I am so sick of life that I can barely get up. I've tried all my coping mechanisms: eat healthy, shower, have some coffee, go for run (I've actually gone running the last 5 days in a row!!). But I cannot outrun these feelings of misery.... My blood test (Thyroid etc) are all normal. Like I said, It is more mental apathy, complete anhedonia. No pleasure whatsoever.

One other thing to note: it is now much, much worse on the days I do not take my stimulant. I'm afraid that I am addicted now. I take 2-day holidays every 2 weeks, and when I do this, I cannot motivate, focus or get out of bed. I just lay there and stare at the wall. This symptom is worse than it was before I started taking the stimulant (3 months ago). I am going on island holiday tomorrow and I cannot even get myself to pack. I just want to die rather than continue to feel this way for life. WTF is wrong with me...I don't know what else i can possibly do anymore.

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4 hours ago, Blahblah said:

 One other thing to note: it is now much, much worse on the days I do not take my stimulant. I'm afraid that I am addicted now. I take 2-day holidays every 2 weeks, and when I do this, I cannot motivate, focus or get out of bed. I just lay there and stare at the wall. This symptom is worse than it was before I started taking the stimulant (3 months ago). I am going on island holiday tomorrow and I cannot even get myself to pack. I just want to die rather than continue to feel this way for life. WTF is wrong with me...I don't know what else i can possibly do anymore.

Why did you decide to start taking the drug holidays?.....Have you told your pdoc?

IMO, you're not "addicted" to the Ritalin, it just helps you function better, so when you don't take any at all, you feel worse.

Is your goal eventually to get off the med?......If so, tapering down slowly, with help of pdoc, might be a better idea than just going 2 days cold turkey without it, IMO.

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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It was my pdoc that suggested I do not take it everyday, because tolerance builds and therefore you gradually need more to get the same effect.

I am also afraid that the stimulant will completely rewire my brain so that I will not ever be able to function without it. It is very difficult where I live to get prescribed a stimulant and if I ever need to switch pdocs I may not be able to get it prescribed again (the majority of pdocs I've been to said they would not prescribe it because i take it as adjunct for depression, not official ADHD which apparently is somewhat controversial use).

Anyway, I will resume the Ritalin tomorrow, but it is frightening to me that my new "baseline" without the stimulant is much much lower/worse than before I had even started them.

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6 hours ago, Blahblah said:

It was my pdoc that suggested I do not take it everyday, because tolerance builds and therefore you gradually need more to get the same effect. 

Oh okay, I understand now........My pdoc  brought up Adderall as a possible adjunct treatment for my depression.

 I was afraid it would increase my anxiety level, so she agreed with me when I chose not to take a chance on that.

Edited by CrazyRedhead
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I was having these issues too.

Had to up my medications.

Interestingly a low dose of Ativan helped me to get up in the morning more so than anything.  I've also been increasing the Effexor.

I feel a little better.

Sounds like your issue right now might be medication related, so that's an easy fix for you and doctor at least...

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  • 2 weeks later...

@BrianOCD Well I am now back able to function and less tired when I take the stim, but still completely stuck in this pit of anhedonia.

The stimulant was initially more helpful in the first 2 months of taking it. It not only helped me focus, but gave me motivation, some interest, productivity which in turn brightened my mood. Now i am back to just forcing myself to do things and gaining no pleasure or joy in any of it. I have issues with repetitive negative thought loops. I have felt this way for the last 20 years (with short spurts here & there were I have felt better). Maybe I've just become used to the stimulant and it has become a new baseline. I can't do without it now. I think my brain wiring is permanently screwed.

There are no other meds I've tried (out of about 30 now, different combos) that have relieved this symptom of lack of pleasure/interest/motivation. Increasing SSRIs do not help (they have all proven to be useless unless I am in a major depressed/sobbing/sad mess situation). Lamictal actually flattens my mood at higher doses and makes me forgetful. So unfortunately, it is not an easy fix or simple med tweak!

My pdoc does not want to keep upping my stimulant dose, which I can understand. I take the 20mg extended and I also have 10mg IR if I really need a boost in the afternoon with detailed/focused cognitive tasks. They are super conservative here on stims and won't RX adderall...anyhow, like Ritalin, Adderall probably just helps with focus anyway, and probably would just make me feel restless or irritable.

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On 8/21/2017 at 8:21 AM, Blahblah said:

@BrianOCD Well I am now back able to function and less tired when I take the stim, but still completely stuck in this pit of anhedonia.

The stimulant was initially more helpful in the first 2 months of taking it. It not only helped me focus, but gave me motivation, some interest, productivity which in turn brightened my mood. Now i am back to just forcing myself to do things and gaining no pleasure or joy in any of it. I have issues with repetitive negative thought loops. I have felt this way for the last 20 years (with short spurts here & there were I have felt better). Maybe I've just become used to the stimulant and it has become a new baseline. I can't do without it now. I think my brain wiring is permanently screwed.

There are no other meds I've tried (out of about 30 now, different combos) that have relieved this symptom of lack of pleasure/interest/motivation. Increasing SSRIs do not help (they have all proven to be useless unless I am in a major depressed/sobbing/sad mess situation). Lamictal actually flattens my mood at higher doses and makes me forgetful. So unfortunately, it is not an easy fix or simple med tweak!

My pdoc does not want to keep upping my stimulant dose, which I can understand. I take the 20mg extended and I also have 10mg IR if I really need a boost in the afternoon with detailed/focused cognitive tasks. They are super conservative here on stims and won't RX adderall...anyhow, like Ritalin, Adderall probably just helps with focus anyway, and probably would just make me feel restless or irritable.

I'm in a similar situation.

Effexor has a bit of a stimulant effect, that's helping me get out of bed now.  But I do feel quite weird on it.

Whenever I take it now, I get that weird tunnel vision you get when you first begin taking SSRIs, anyone understand this?

I got my fingers crossed.

If the stimulant is helping you out of bed, that's a positive sign though.  Maybe give it a week or two and you might be feeling interests again, that's what I'm hoping for myself.

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On 8/21/2017 at 9:21 AM, Blahblah said:

The stimulant was initially more helpful in the first 2 months of taking it. It not only helped me focus, but gave me motivation, some interest, productivity which in turn brightened my mood. Now i am back to just forcing myself to do things and gaining no pleasure or joy in any of it. I have issues with repetitive negative thought loops. I have felt this way for the last 20 years (with short spurts here & there were I have felt better). Maybe I've just become used to the stimulant and it has become a new baseline. I can't do without it now. I think my brain wiring is permanently screwed.

Man, this is exactly where I am. Concerta gave me energy, drive and purpose for once for a month or so but now I'm back to forcing myself through life.  "I'm not living; I'm just killing time" as the Radiohead song goes.  I've been going like this for 20 years also, with countless meds tried.  I switched to Vyvanse recently and got a good week out of it and now back to not wanting to do anything at any time pretty much.  I don't know what else to say.

FTR Vyvanse has, if anything, a calming effect on me so don't rule it out just because of it's reputation. I suspect your and my brains are not your average case.

Edited by sming
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@Iceberg i had a previous pdoc suggest ECT. i'm honestly frightened about it, i can't drop everything and do 2-3 weekly treatments for 9 months. This seems to be the typical therapeutic timeframe. I'm aware that it has helped some, but being that i'm stable at the moment, i worry it could make me worse - losing cognitive abilities, memory, feeling more flat/numb, etc. Current pdoc only suggests it if a patient cannot stabilize, has attempted suicide or is grossly disabled in the hospital.

@sming Good to know i'm not the only one stuck here! Are you on any other psych meds? My pdoc warned me that stimulants are only temporarily helpful with depression, they are proven more effective longterm for people with ADHD issues.

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@Savannah Can I ask you how many treatments you had and for how long? Before ECT, what sort of state were you in (i.e. suicidal, extreme up & down mood swings, manic, psychotic)? It just seems extreme for someone like me, that mainly struggles with low mood, apathy, anhedonia-type depression.

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Blahblah, I feel we have some similar issues. Years ago, I was on adderall and, for a while, it made me feel damn near invincible. But over time, my tolerance went up and it didn't work so well anymore. It got to the point where I was taking it just to feel normal (although it did still work somewhat). It was hard to adjust to coming off of adderall, but my brain eventually got back to normal. I wouldn't worry about long term effects. I was on it for about 3 years, so it was probably harder for me to stop than it will be for you - assuming, of course, that you don't take it for 3 years. 

If I were you, I would maybe stick with it as long as it's helping. I guess it's just a personal decision.

EDIT: I also have terrible anhedonia and adderall gave me the ability to experience pleasure/ reward. I could get interested in things. Now, I can barely make this post.

Edited by DopamineSick
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I'm currently doing ECT.  It usually takes 6-20 treatments (avg. 3 per week) for desired effect.  In all honesty, I would not have considered ECT if I hadn't felt strongly that my life was on the line.  It is pulling me out of a mood state that my providers described as "pure hell," but the temporary memory/attention impairment is quite the ego blow.  I feel downright moronic these days!  lol

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12 hours ago, DopamineSick said:

Years ago, I was on adderall and, for a while, it made me feel damn near invincible. But over time, my tolerance went up and it didn't work so well anymore. It got to the point where I was taking it just to feel normal (although it did still work somewhat). It was hard to adjust to coming off of adderall, but my brain eventually got back to normal. I wouldn't worry about long term effects. I was on it for about 3 years, so it was probably harder for me to stop than it will be for you - assuming, of course, that you don't take it for 3 years. 

If I were you, I would maybe stick with it as long as it's helping. I guess it's just a personal decision.

EDIT: I also have terrible anhedonia and adderall gave me the ability to experience pleasure/ reward. I could get interested in things. Now, I can barely make this post.

Hi @DopamineSick that's awful. This is exactly what I'm worried about. The noticeable, beneficial effect of Ritalin is starting to fade and it's to the point that I cannot function without it. Other folks here say that "taking breaks" (starting & stopping) will even further diminish the benefits, so that it won't work. So would you start taking Adderall again at this point, or not? It seems you are experiencing complete anhedonia again...and have not fully recovered. Are you taking any meds currently that are helpful?

@lifequake Keep us posted on how it works for you. I am still not convinced it will help me. I've heard from many people that it can help initially, but it doesn't last and they still have to be on a bunch of meds anyway. and keep going in for maintenance...some people talk of longterm side effects, which doesn't sound promising. 

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4 hours ago, Blahblah said:

Hi @DopamineSick that's awful. This is exactly what I'm worried about. The noticeable, beneficial effect of Ritalin is starting to fade and it's to the point that I cannot function without it. Other folks here say that "taking breaks" (starting & stopping) will even further diminish the benefits, so that it won't work. So would you start taking Adderall again at this point, or not? It seems you are experiencing complete anhedonia again...and have not fully recovered. Are you taking any meds currently that are helpful?

@lifequake Keep us posted on how it works for you. I am still not convinced it will help me. I've heard from many people that it can help initially, but it doesn't last and they still have to be on a bunch of meds anyway. and keep going in for maintenance...some people talk of longterm side effects, which doesn't sound promising. 

That's a tough question/ decision. I'm functioning at such a low level right now that I would consider taking adderall again, even though I know what would probably happen with tolerance. My meds really aren't helping much right now. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/30/2017 at 0:01 PM, Blahblah said:

 

@sming Good to know i'm not the only one stuck here! Are you on any other psych meds? My pdoc warned me that stimulants are only temporarily helpful with depression, they are proven more effective longterm for people with ADHD issues.

sorry, just saw this. Yes I'm on a whole bunch and have been forever. Currently I'm on Wellbutrin, Effexor, Vyvanse and Abilify.

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