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ln009

Stimulants help with depression?

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On 1/11/2020 at 3:42 PM, sming said:

Sure. It's both. Every day, precisely as my Adderall wears off, deep & powerful feelings of worthlessness and emptiness fill me - until my next dose. I also experience dysthymia, all-encompassing negative, distorted cognitions and beliefs, extreme anhedonia and "lack of energy" e.g. reaching for my glass of water feels like running a marathon.

When my meds are in transition for example, also add on top derealization, horrific feelings of terror, visions of terror, feelings of impending doom, visual darkness - the works.

From the little I know about you, you're somewhat on the same tracks (unfortunately) ?

PS - completely forgot to mention my TR pure OCD. The topic of my OCD is <drum roll>... the fear that I'll spontaneously kill myself if I allow myself to feel even slightly hurt or depressed. FFS.

Dear sming,

Sorry to jump in here...I noticed you mentioned the derealization, feelings of terror, impending doom, and visual symptoms. I have similar feelings of horror/terror, feeling like I can't accept my current reality or tolerate the way I'm feeling, impending doom, etc.  Do you happen to know what this set of symptoms is related to? It seems only a few of us experience this within depression. Do you think it's "just" depression, or is it depression plus something else? Could it be part of OCD? (I have that also.)

My pdocs look at me like I'm an alien when I try to describe these symptoms, and they've never been much help in explaining them.

Sorry again, and thanks!

 

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On 1/16/2020 at 1:08 PM, ln009 said:

Dear sming,

Sorry to jump in here...

no worries @ln009

Quote

I noticed you mentioned the derealization, feelings of terror, impending doom, and visual symptoms. I have similar feelings of horror/terror, feeling like I can't accept my current reality or tolerate the way I'm feeling, impending doom, etc. 

:( wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy

Quote

Do you happen to know what this set of symptoms is related to? It seems only a few of us experience this within depression. Do you think it's "just" depression, or is it depression plus something else? Could it be part of OCD? (I have that also.)

I sometimes think it's part of PTSD (I went through a period where I thought I was going to top myself). Sometimes I think it's just my biological makeup. To answer - I'm just not sure and I wish I knew.

Quote

My pdocs look at me like I'm an alien when I try to describe these symptoms, and they've never been much help in explaining them.

Sorry again, and thanks!

It's almost impossible to explain to people. I also get funny looks and misinterpretations e.g. I'm psychotic or BPD (which I'm definitely not). If you ever find out what it is or how to describe it, let me know!

Edited by sming

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On 1/17/2020 at 4:00 PM, sming said:

no worries @ln009

:( wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy

I sometimes think it's part of PTSD (I went through a period where I thought I was going to top myself). Sometimes I think it's just my biological makeup. To answer - I'm just not sure and I wish I knew.

It's almost impossible to explain to people. I also get funny looks and misinterpretations e.g. I'm psychotic or BPD (which I'm definitely not). If you ever find out what it is or how to describe it, let me know!

I noticed immediately the crossover of those same feelings with OCD, and then later the mention of ptsd. I definitely suffer mdd, possibly bpd, definitely OCD and ptsd. The closest I can explain it is a spectrum running from hate of self, to hate of self expectations, to hate of people, to hate of other's expectations, to nihilistic endpoint. I'd say it also runs a line of passivity to activity for me. Passive ideation (I just don't want to BE anymore), to reactive ideation (how is this my life? Is this all my life? How much longer can i let this be my life?), to active ideation (I have to put an end to this pain). So may be it's all just the cycle of being so depressed, and needing control, without understanding any of the in-between.

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Up to this point, I would say I was almost completely psychostimulant naïve, not even recreationally in college, or otherwise, and no non-pharceutical stimulant use either — no, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc. Closest to a stimulant I'd ever taken previously was modafinil (and it didn't do anything, even at 400mg), so I doubt that counts. 

Anyway, I had some hope for this medication, but was very overwhelmed overall. At doses up up 60mg BID, I felt like I had a bit more energy and maybe drank a little less coffee, but didn't notice anything else remarkable otherwise. I still take it now and then, usually 60mg, but only once a day. Still don't notice much of anything.  I'm almost a little bit curious to try a higher dose, 90mg or 120mg, just to see if I'd notice any difference and to finally put to bed, once and for all, the question of whether it just doesn't work or it's not at a high enough dose.

 

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On 5/13/2020 at 6:35 PM, psychwardjesus said:

Up to this point, I would say I was almost completely psychostimulant naïve, not even recreationally in college, or otherwise, and no non-pharceutical stimulant use either — no, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc. Closest to a stimulant I'd ever taken previously was modafinil (and it didn't do anything, even at 400mg), so I doubt that counts. 

Anyway, I had some hope for this medication, but was very overwhelmed overall. At doses up up 60mg BID, I felt like I had a bit more energy and maybe drank a little less coffee, but didn't notice anything else remarkable otherwise. I still take it now and then, usually 60mg, but only once a day. Still don't notice much of anything.  I'm almost a little bit curious to try a higher dose, 90mg or 120mg, just to see if I'd notice any difference and to finally put to bed, once and for all, the question of whether it just doesn't work or it's not at a high enough dose.

 

Wait, what? You have NEVER taken anything similar to Adderall before, and yet you are hardly feeling anything from up to 60mg?! Those meds have VERY potent effects on the dopamine system, and you felt almost nothing? Just drinking less coffee?

You should have had an immediate  response after a single dose or two. Having no response probably means your dopamine system is normal, so why take something to stimulate it (among many other things it stimulates) What are you even taking it for, ADHD or depression?
 

Going up on the dosage is a terrible idea from the info in your above post.

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On 9/30/2020 at 3:04 AM, JJ17 said:

Wait, what? You have NEVER taken anything similar to Adderall before, and yet you are hardly feeling anything from up to 60mg?! Those meds have VERY potent effects on the dopamine system, and you felt almost nothing? Just drinking less coffee?

You should have had an immediate  response after a single dose or two. Having no response probably means your dopamine system is normal, so why take something to stimulate it (among many other things it stimulates) What are you even taking it for, ADHD or depression?
 

Going up on the dosage is a terrible idea from the info in your above post.

Yup. I'm sure it sounds very strange to people on here who take it and have a measurable, beneficial effect, but that's exactly what happened. But taken in context with everything else in my mental health history, it's also not terribly surprising for me as I, historically, have never gotten a robust response from medications other people might describe as energizing or stimulating — whether SSRI's, SNRI's, modafinil/armodafinil, etc. 

Yes, I was taking it off-label to see if it would work any of my symptoms of major depression — more specifically anhedonia. I didn't have high expectations that it would work or (even if it did work) be sustainable and a practical way to manage major depression. 

I don't know if I'm misreading your words or what, but you come across as a touch antagonistic bordering on hostile. You may want to look back at what you wrote and reflect. I don't know what I did to deserve such a response. I thought I was just sharing my personal experience and not providing any sort of actionable advice. Nevermind the fact that no one in their right mind should listen to anyone on the internet and not take whatever they're saying with a rock of Gibraltar size grain of salt. 

And for the record: is there inherent risk in taking amphetamines, especially increasingly higher doses of amphetamines? Yes. Absolutely. I wouldn't encourage anyone else to do it without guidance from their doctor, if ever. But I had my doctor's blessing to play with the dosage and scheduling, have never shown signs of any underlining bipolar or primary psychotic disorder and never known anyone in my family to suffer from either one of those, and they were one-time trial doses, which were unlikely to set off anything, even transient drug-induced mania or psychosis.

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On 10/8/2020 at 12:01 PM, psychwardjesus said:

Yup. I'm sure it sounds very strange to people on here who take it and have a measurable, beneficial effect, but that's exactly what happened. But taken in context with everything else in my mental health history, it's also not terribly surprising for me as I, historically, have never gotten a robust response from medications other people might describe as energizing or stimulating — whether SSRI's, SNRI's, modafinil/armodafinil, etc. 

Yes, I was taking it off-label to see if it would work any of my symptoms of major depression — more specifically anhedonia. I didn't have high expectations that it would work or (even if it did work) be sustainable and a practical way to manage major depression. 

I don't know if I'm misreading your words or what, but you come across as a touch antagonistic bordering on hostile. You may want to look back at what you wrote and reflect. I don't know what I did to deserve such a response. I thought I was just sharing my personal experience and not providing any sort of actionable advice. Nevermind the fact that no one in their right mind should listen to anyone on the internet and not take whatever they're saying with a rock of Gibraltar size grain of salt. 

And for the record: is there inherent risk in taking amphetamines, especially increasingly higher doses of amphetamines? Yes. Absolutely. I wouldn't encourage anyone else to do it without guidance from their doctor, if ever. But I had my doctor's blessing to play with the dosage and scheduling, have never shown signs of any underlining bipolar or primary psychotic disorder and never known anyone in my family to suffer from either one of those, and they were one-time trial doses, which were unlikely to set off anything, even transient drug-induced mania or psychosis.

I wasn’t trying to sound hostile, my bad,  I was just very surprised. Once you mentioned trying 90mg to 120mg (that’s way above the max daily dosage) I figured I had to ask. 

I actually have taken these meds for 11 years now - Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, basically all the ADHD meds. Enough to basically DESTROY my entire dopamine system. 
Now I have a “milder” form of Anhedonia since I have stopped taking these meds, after 10 years or so. Zero motivation, hardly able to feel pleasure or happy, almost complete apathy. 
I did stop taking them cold turkey for 10+ months now and am STILL feeling worse. I might have to go back to taking them just to have motivation to do well......anything 


Also you don’t have to take my word for it but Dopamine has a strong connection to Anhedonia. That’s why I’m surprised you have little to no response from large doses. Unless dopamine reuptake inhibitors simply do not work for you. Or it’s probably something more complex, but still likely dopamine regulation is a key factor. Have you tried other meds that work on dopamine? Unfortunately taking anything long term carries it risks, even L DOPA supplement (direct precursor to dopamine mainly used for people with PD, a dopamine related disease) can have long term effects. It sucks 

Quote: “Anhedonia has been linked to dysfunctions in the reward system, and in particular the dopamine (DA) system” -Oxford university 

 

 

   

 

 

Edited by JJ17

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6 hours ago, JJ17 said:

 

I actually have taken these meds for 11 years now - Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, basically all the ADHD meds. Enough to basically DESTROY my entire dopamine system. 
Now I have a “milder” form of Anhedonia since I have stopped taking these meds, after 10 years or so. Zero motivation, hardly able to feel pleasure or happy, almost complete apathy. 


I did stop taking them cold turkey for 10+ months now and am STILL feeling worse. I might have to go back to taking them just to have motivation to do well......anything

Quote: “Anhedonia has been linked to dysfunctions in the reward system, and in particular the dopamine (DA) system” -Oxford university 

 

 

@JJ17 This is what scares me....Do you ever wish you had never started stimulants?

I've been taking ritalin for the last 3 years or so, in the beginning, it was a godsend. The only thing that put a dent in my depression & motivation, and with no side effects. I had tried all the SSRIs, SNRIs, A/Ps, etc with no benefit.

Then my tolerance went up, I tried taking long breaks & then re-starting. Now, effects are really inconsistent. Often it's like I've taken nothing. My apathy has grown MUCH worse.  I have unbearable fatigue despite sleeping 12 hours per day.

Sure, I can increase my dose, or start popping them every 3 hours, but what's the point, because it's diminishing returns!   I worry I'm "destroying" my dopamine system as well. Or it's already destroyed.  

I used to be able to feel pleasure from some things, now it's impossible..... It's Hell.

 

 

 

Edited by Blahblah

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18 hours ago, Blahblah said:

 

@JJ17 This is what scares me....Do you ever wish you had never started stimulants?

I've been taking ritalin for the last 3 years or so, in the beginning, it was a godsend. The only thing that put a dent in my depression & motivation, and with no side effects. I had tried all the SSRIs, SNRIs, A/Ps, etc with no benefit.

Then my tolerance went up, I tried taking long breaks & then re-starting. Now, effects are really inconsistent. Often it's like I've taken nothing. My apathy has grown MUCH worse.  I have unbearable fatigue despite sleeping 12 hours per day.

Sure, I can increase my dose, or start popping them every 3 hours, but what's the point, because it's diminishing returns!   I worry I'm "destroying" my dopamine system as well. Or it's already destroyed.  

I used to be able to feel pleasure from some things, now it's impossible..... It's Hell.

Wish I had never taken them. The tolerance is basically permanent along with your dopamine receptors getting desensitized more and more. So far I have tried taking L Dopa (sometimes) and recently started “wild green oat extract” which is an MAO B inhibitor (which involves breakdown of dopamine) but only felt results for a couple of days, then they went away. I will continue to try the “natural” MAO B inhibitor I am taking the min dose. I felt it super strong the first day but it faded. I also don’t like the idea of taking anything long term that involves the dopamine system. 


Tried Wellbutrin (after taking a tolerance break from Ritalin/adderall for many months) but the motivation/desire to do things only returned for a few days when on Wellbutrin, then it went back to feeling worse again. I continued to take the Wellbutrin but I continued to feel worse and worse and gave up after a month or two. Probably because my brain is desensitized and drained from the constant dopamine/NE reuptake. 

My tolerance is very low right now, so even a 5mg tablet would have a major effects on me. Previously I was on 20mg tablets, 3X daily but went off cold turkey for 8+ months. Not sure on exact date, but for basically all of 2020 that I have taken a full tolerance break.

I took Concerta 18mg (equal to 5mg Ritalin 3X daily) after taking this long T-break and it lasted for 5 hours or so before I felt it starting to wear off. I felt focused, motivated, and happy again. Well that is for about 5-8 hours or so. It definitely wasn’t 12 hours as my tolerance is still always there. Plus the crash and feeling worse after, just not worth it. If I go back to taking it I will simply rebuild my tolerance back eventually, and end up needing it more and more often. Not worth it. 

I just really don’t want to take these damn pills anymore and I have gone virtually all of 2020 without them.

^I also had one point where Adderall was starting to cause “reverse effects” after taking them for 2-3 years daily. This was when I was new to taking them and felt the burn-out around the same time you did/are. So instead of feeling focused, energized, motivated, happy, etc from the medication I would feel the opposite. I would feel drained and sick after taking them. My guess is my brain was completely desensitized to the meds, and for all I know it also messed up my adrenal glands and other related organs. Will eventually get them tested..... once I have enough motivation. I stopped taking them cold turkey for a long time (1-2 years?) and I haven’t had that problem since. Although simply taking a 1-2 years break isn’t possible when it helps depression. Yet you cannot take them daily either, so yeah...
If they could find a way to make these medication(s) work without causing a tolerance, then it would be a miracle. 

Edited by JJ17
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5 hours ago, JJ17 said:

I just really don’t want to take these damn pills anymore and I have gone virtually all of 2020 without them.

^I also had one point where Adderall was starting to cause “reverse effects” after taking them for 2-3 years daily. This was when I was new to taking them and felt the burn-out around the same time you did/are. So instead of feeling focused, energized, motivated, happy, etc from the medication I would feel the opposite. I would feel drained and sick after taking them. 

My guess is my brain was completely desensitized to the meds, and for all I know it also messed up my adrenal glands and other related organs. Will eventually get them tested..... once I have enough motivation. I stopped taking them cold turkey for a long time (1-2 years?) and I haven’t had that problem since.

Although simply taking a 1-2 years break isn’t possible when it helps depression. Yet you cannot take them daily either, so yeah...
If they could find a way to make these medication(s) work without causing a tolerance, then it would be a miracle. 

 

Yes, I took a long break, but then when i re-instated, the effect is nothing like the first year I took them. Feels like a reverse effect! I have chronic fatigue now, and taking these damn meds just makes it worse. If I take instant release I crash harder, but if I take extended, it only lasts like 2 hours (versus 5) and then my energy crashes.

I'm in the same boat, it's the only med I initially felt REALLY helped my mood, motivation and cognition. Serotonin-based meds all give me brain fog and extreme apathy (to the point I'm numb, i stop caring about anything) Now I probably have adrenal fatigue, I take supplements/vitamins and I don't notice much benefit.

I often wonder if there is a way to "reset" your brain, like with ECT or something? Sounds extreme, but I'm sooooo sick of this med go round....They seem like temporary band-aids and then you get dependent on them, must keep increasing dose (despite the fact they are not even working properly). Then often, they poop-out and then you're back in the hospital, full on breakdown, back to square one and worse off than ever.

For me, i think meds are better episodically for 3-6 months,  but it's not a life long solution....

 

Edited by Blahblah

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I take 90 mg/day and find a few days off them restores their potency. I have been taking amphetamine for over a decade and took ritalin as a child. 

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