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Posted by Teresa on July 22, 2000 at 12:12:33:

In Reply to: Off meds almost year-still not recovered;ruined me actually... posted by Rhonda on June 02, 2000 at 21:01:35:

: I searched this board to see if there were others like me. It brought back memories when I first started my meds and the 'aha' experience "so this is what i/ve been trying to figure out all my life". That was 4 yrs ago. Its all my fault tho. I sought out to see if I had ADD as I was beginning nurse anesthesia school, knowing I would be starting up old habits (cigarettes, OTC diet pills) to handle academia life again. Long story short, had a couple of people tell me yess, you have classical ADD (w/o hype). Ritalin did the same for me in the classroom as OTC(over-the-counter) diet pills did-helps me concentrate, but on the Ritalin, I was way worse in evening, sleepy, worse concentration ...when naturally would get a 'rebound energy' to study, but Ritalin knocked that out for me. Doc tried uping the dose, squeezing times closer...more zombified. Then hello Dextrostat! (Short acting Dexedrine) and just in time for final exams. This was like the beginning of the end for me, wished I had never gone down this road. It was wonderful for a while. Studied very well but over time I became VERY obsessive-compulsive and couldnt prioritize, felt 24 hrs in day just not enough. Paxil was supposed to help with that but I couldnt seem to remember to take it. Husb & I fighting horribly, not sure if my reaction was overreacting for me (rage) or if I wouldve been that way off meds-I felt as if he was getting in way of me trying my best in school.... After completing a year, dropped out. Hate quitting something Ive started...had just a year left...but felt I would eventually have nervous breakdown/become seriously ill if I didnt quit-but mostly because of our then 10yo daughter-the effects of all this on her-I was told that if things kept going as they were, by time she is 13yo, she will 'give up' or run away from home-my academic counselor told me this. Nothing deterred me from my goal but the thought of that. Not threat of divorce, not me becoming ill-nothing until I heard that. Went into marriage counseling, changed docs (as encouraged by m.counselor & husb)-thus came off meds & onto Wellbutrin(August). I got worse, meaning, I was terribly depressed couldnt do ANYTHING. (My husb packed us, including my clothes, for vacation-I did nothing but barely get in the car) My doc was of NO help "its just gonna take time for your brain to make its own dopamine again". This was November & felt that if I allowed myself to go deeper into that well, I may NEVER come up again! Went back to old doc & on old meds & got a job-back into ICU again. I had to do this to save myself! I had no other answers or the energy to seek/wait for them. So this was first time on job on meds. This was a way busier ICU than the one I worked in before. Could see my obsessive compulsiveness creeping in here, too & my self-esteem plumeted...I knew the meds werent going to be a 'cure-all' but its all I knew to do...I was told that I was a good nurse tho. Some said I paid "too much" attention to my pts...But this time back on meds, the depression lingered, but at least I could function. Had to go part-time b/c of husb/daughter arguing at home. We then were preparing to move out-of-state when I finally found a great doc who really understood ADD & neurochemistry. We weaned off Adderal(I had switched somewhere from Dextrostat to Adderral) and the Paxil I didnt take anyway. Started on Effexor. Moved to a more northern state (less sunlight-not good to ward off depression)as I tapered off last of stimulant & consistent with antideppressant. Its August again, coming off meds-not a good time really, season-wise. By November-seriously almost suicidal....crying all the time. Didnt have energy to find docs, weed out the idiots, dont really want to talk about 'stuff' anymore, just want to be over this and back to my self again. Just stopped the Effexor...wasnt helping, running out anyway, see what happens. Winter without working was bad for me, but wasnt ready. became recluse. As of May, Im working again-had to make myself-it was do or die. But Im being told Im 'too slow' & I feel highly insulted. I just think of how I 'used to be'. I find myself at a place I never ever thot I would. I cant see the 'up-side' like I always could before. Was I just really naive 4 yrs ago? Im hoping more time will help. Hope I see my old self again one of these days because I truly miss her! And there I was trying to fix something I thot was broke....and then made things way worse for far too long. 4 yrs just wasted. well, 3. I actually loved school! I seriously apologize for the length, but if you came this far, maybe I didnt bore you too bad.....Just want to see if anyone feels ruined from being on meds-my brain just isnt as quick anymore & is taking a looooong time to recover. I wonder if I ever will. I will never take stimulants again because all they did for me in the end was make me smoke a pack a day. I wasnt motivated to do much else...I think the stimulants depleted my serotonin...made me more prone to depression. Would really like to hear from others if had similar experiences.....

Rhonda I was fascinated by your message. My son who is now 13 years old was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7 years old and put on Ritalin. Every time I had a behavior concern for my son the doctor would increase the dosage of medication. In August of 1999 my son was switched to Adderall. He had major appetite suppresion on this medication. He seemed to be a zombie when he was on the medication. His anger was terrible when on the medication and I worried that he would hurt his sister. I have taken him off all medication since May. The first few weeks were terrible but he is getting better. He has went from 58Lbs. to 81Lbs. since he has been off the medication. We are going to try using some natural herbs and see what happens. I would encourage you to look into information on Omega3, Flaxseed Oil and see what you think. Best wishes.

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