Fascinating information...thank you all for your perspectives!
I've heard of others (especially parents with ADHD children) doing a "weekends-off" approach like yours, thisguy86. Unfortunately, I'm on a very high dose of dextroamphetamine and the chasm between being on and being off is staggering. I actually did end up doing a 3-day-long drug holiday soon after my original post here...and I basically slept most of those 3 days. I'm guessing that the amount of energy I get from the dextroamphetamine is so much that going off for a few days is like an old car at a sudden stop: You suddenly take your foot off the pedal and the engine stalls!
Bob/addprogrammer, thanks for confirming some of Thunor's specific recommendations and for the entertaining reality check with regard to my psychiatrist! Alas, I would get the best psychiatrist money could buy if I weren't on a budget and my psychiatrist wasn't covered by my insurance. Unfortunately, I had two terrible experiences with other psychiatrists prior to my current one (who, by the way, is as far from "babe"-hood as possible...I only love her in the most respectable sense
) and after all the success I've had with her over several years (especially the past few with the dextroamphetamine), I'm extremely hesitant to change an otherwise satisfactory formula and risk another bad experience. But it's certainly an option, and one I may yet try.
Your apparent drug sensitization, marisuela, is intriguing and just more evidence of how seemingly unique everyone is with regard to tolerance. I *wish* I was able to quit cold turkey without any side effects! Alas, my entire life becomes a side effect when I go off the meds.
I feel obliged to self-disclose that I actually don't suffer from ADHD. (I didn't want to complicate my original post with tangential information that might lead off-topic.) Along with a maximum dose of the antidepressant bupropion, I'm taking just under the maximum dose of dextroamphetamine (half in the form of the extended-release pro-drug Vyvanse and the other half as plain dextroamphetamine/Dexedrine) for dysthymia (relatively mild but very chronic depression) as well as, to a lesser extent, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. My psychiatrist decided to try it out after trying numerous SSRIs all to the same effect: I was less emotionally depressed, but I was still physically depressed and lethargic—I slept a lot and would frequently stay in bed from lack of energy. Since going on the dextroamphetamine, my life has done a 180, and I'm now in the best physical and mental health of my life (though still far from what I'm working toward). Unfortunately I seem to have developed a tolerance to the dextroamphetamine and am starting to slip back into dysthymia. I'm at the maximum dose and my psychiatrist refuses to increase above the maximum (my insurance wouldn't cover a super-maximum dose either), which is probably the right call on her part given the experimental nature of using this drug for dysthymic disorder and its potential for problems at too high a dose. I'm looking for ways to reverse my tolerance and boost myself back up to 100% so I can continue to improve my physical health and life situation to a point of eventually being able to get off drugs altogether. (I may have
to be on drugs the rest of my life, but my goal is to get to a state where I can at least try reducing or eliminating them. I'm about 70% there.)
I posted to this board because my savior happens to be an ADHD drug, and nobody on the "depression" boards has much experience with what I'm taking or experiencing. I also have a niece who is
ADHD and taking Adderall, and your ADHD-specific suggestions about clean living and such are ones I can relay to her as well. Interestingly, some of them still hold true for dysthymia albeit for different reasons. For example, Bob mentions how structure helps coping with ADHD. Structure also helps tremendously with dysthymia though in a very different way!
Again, thank you for your extremely helpful input. I've already started employing some of it (like the L-Tyrosine and avoidance of acidic foods) and I have started to notice a bit of improvement though not yet back to the 100% I was at.