My experiment with Ritalin

As I have mentioned, I have always had difficulty staying on task, following instructions or conversations, and reading to learn something. When I was a kid few doctors or educators had heard of Attention Deficit Disorder–I’m not sure it had been named in 1968, when I entered high school. A few years earlier they had discovered Hyperactivity, but since I wasn’t disruptive in class or bouncing off any walls, I couldn’t have that, could I? :rolleyes:

I have heard the “You just aren’t applying yourself,” and “You test so high/are so smart; why don’t you do better in school/work/life?” crap for 55 years and I’ve wanted to scream, “I don’t know!” Then a few years ago PBS was broadcasting a show with Bill and Harold from The Red Green Show. This needed a look, cuz I love that show. Turns out it had a serious intent and was called ADD & Loving It?! Not as funny as I had hoped; in fact it had me in tears as I thought about the wasted decades. So I wasted some more time because I had neither insurance nor a psychiatrist.

Then, after nearly drinking myself to death, the county gave me a shrink. He gave me a one-week sample of Strattera, which I didn’t bother taking because he said it cost about $1000/month. He seemed unclear on the concept of being a worker in public health. I hauled it out a couple months ago, not expecting much because my experience with head meds is that it takes at least a week for blood levels to rise to where it starts working. In fact, I had forgotten about it entirely when, 3.5 hours later, a switch in my head was pushed and all of the extra thought processes stopped–I’ve counted as many as nine running at once, including at least one song.

This little bit of Heaven lasted a few days past the last of the pills. As you might’ve guessed, I didn’t run to my doctor to get more. However, I wrote a reminder and brought it up at my next appointment, last Thursday. We discussed the options, especially taking into account my unstable job and upcoming change of insurance, and went with generic Ritalin. I ran right out, after a few days of my normal dawdling, and got it filled this afternoon, Monday.

On the one hand, my experience with modern psych medicine tells me that it usually takes a while before it kicks in. OTOH, my experience with speed tells me it starts working 20-25 minutes after taking. Before I left the store I took one and sat around for twenty minutes.

Initial results showed that I drove better on my way home, keeping my mind mostly on driving and tracking traffic around me. I’m normally a lousy driver and this was positive. Second, I wrote this entire thread in one sitting. No visiting other threads. No checking out YouTube beyond seeing if the documentary were available. There’s a preview, but you have to go elsewhere, like your library, or gasp buy it to see it. It’s informative, but repetitive and way too self-congratulatory about the “advantages” of being an adult who is ADD.

This is an experiment, and I’ll update this thread if I see changes, positive or negative. I’d post it in my blog, but even I don’t read that crap. Anyway, it’s in my real name and my wife doesn’t like how open I am about my mental problems.

Well, congrats on discovering the wonders of speed. It’s definitely an interesting drug.

Never heard of Ritalin, so I Wikid it.

Seems relatively safe, when used as directed.

I hope it works for you. As you waited a long time for it.

Keep us deformed on how you are doing.

Good luck, dropzone. As a parent of an ADHD kid, I know this shit is real. And Ritalin is a lifesaver. Hope it makes a difference for you.

Well, THAT happened forty-some years ago. I liked it better than caffeine because it stopped working after a limited and well-defined period of time, so I could sleep. Its illegality kept me from continuing to use it after the paper was written or the exam taken.

Mentioned to the pharm tech that buying it from her was more complex than calling Louie and paying cash. I didn’t mention that Louie introduced me to my wife because I was sniffing too close to his girlfriend.

I’m feeling smarter, more capable, already. The proof will be at work tomorrow.

Worked with a fellow whose kid was diagnosed. “I’ll be damned if I give my son anything I haven’t tried first,” he said. A few days later he called his doctor to get his own prescription. For some people it seems like a wonder drug. For me, well, if nothing else, at ten bucks a month it’s cheaper than coffee. :wink:

FTR, I have never been tempted to take my daughter’s epilepsy drugs or my wife’s insulin. I’ll take their word that they work.

It’s really a marvel why anyone would ever question the legitimacy of physicians prescribing stimulants for attention problems, especially when you hear success stories like this one. I mean, what are the odds that this guy would get desirable effects from taking a psychoactive drug given to treat his son’s disorder?

I had a similar experience once, but unfortunately my wife’s dentist was reluctant to write me prescription for Demerol, even when I explained how effective it was at making me feel better. Something about how I hadn’t had any teeth pulled, so I wasn’t in pain, and Federal law yadda yadda yadda. I think I nodded off at that point.

Likewise, and likewise. Let’s put it this way: when my son started taking Ritalin, at the beginning of 3rd Grade, he had never succeeded in reading a non-graphic novel from beginning to end. He finished the Harry Potter series five months later.

My husband has been on Ritalin for 4 years (psychiatrist prescribed, adult ADD). The difference it has made for him is enormous. As you mentioned Dropzone, it just helps him concentrate, and not have multiple thoughts running around in his head all at the same time. Good luck, hope it is as successful for you as it has been for my husband.

I like that typo.

dropzone, do you get hyperfocus? It’s when all those threads of thought spontaneously coalesce into a single one (or two, if we count earworms as one).

Hah! My not-particularly-secret reason why I hate comic books is because I can’t follow them. I need pictures OR words, not a mix, and even then following a storyline is tough.

Oh hell yeah! Back when I was a CAD Guy I would get totally lost in what I was doing, my mouse flying, and the only reason I would notice that the building had collapsed was if my computer crashed. I have been medicated for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and chronic depression for nigh on twenty years, and I’ve long suspected they were all related.

Funny thing: Before I sought treatment for the depression I saw a different TV program about Prozac and somebody said that one of the things it did for them was to buy them an extra ten seconds before exploding. I needed those ten seconds to collect my thoughts before reacting, if nothing else. I do miss my hallucinations and 3-D vision, though.

I do, too. It made me laugh.

Count me as another ADDer - non hyperactive variant - who sings the praises of methylphenidate. Gives me a little euphoria too, which scared me at first; but I’ve stopped taking it a few times, with no cravings or markers of psychological addiction.

It’s not enough - I still need (and don’t get enough) coaching and therapy, to deal with my impulse control and distractability - but it was, and is, a life saver.

I started Vyvanse about a year or so ago. My child was diagnosed and in the process of his evaluations and results, I thought “Wow- this stuff is familiar.”

I saw a psychologist for the eval and a psych for the meds. I did not ask what I was diagnosed with, but ADD of some type is obviously one, and I know hypomania is another. I think there may have been one or two more…

Life is much, much better now and a year later, the biggest thing I have noticed is that I no longer counting things. It has just slowly faded away over the last year. Counting can be fun and interesting and I have learned a lot of things via counting, but it can also be annoying and bothersome. While I have learned a lot from counting things, it sometime it took a precedence that it did not deserve.

It seems the counting and also some OCD things have faded significantly over the last year. I’ve talked already about the counting and I actually like the OCD (Or as my other kid says “You have CDO. That’s OCD on alphabetical order!”). It makes me get stuff done on time. I tole one kid that I felt I should be able to walk arounD the house with my eyes close and find everything I need. That kid said “That is an unreasonable request.” (I have great kids!).

I’ve always been somewhat aware of the OCD and have joked all my life that “I use my power for good!” I don’t obsess over certain things that preoccupied my thoughts anymore (a piece of music, a thought, a plan) unless I ‘want’ to. In the past, some of these things were not feeling very voluntary; like I had a (or no) choice. I feel I can now choose to involve myself in any activity or not. That is new- having a choice.

The only comments I have received over the last year (mostly at work) is that I am a lot less ‘chatty.’ I have found an “off” button that I was unaware of before. I’m sure some folks are relived at this!

Oddly, my medicated child is more sociable and talkative on his med (which is different from mine).

dropzone, I can’t say I have any anecdotes or anything - all I wanted to say is that you know how I feel about you - and I’m just SO HAPPY that you’ve found something that’s helping you! I’ve always wanted good things for you - oh quit yer blushing. You know it, I know it, quit trying to deny it! :smiley:

If I could give you a huge hug, I truly would! :slight_smile:

Thanks - reading this really made me happy today! And I needed it!

Since Strattera seemed to work really well for you, I wanted to share that the manufacturer offers a savings program. First month free, next 11 months set at $25 cost to you. I haven’t used this specific program, but I have used similar programs for my son, who also takes ADHD medication. I thought you might want to check it out.

Strattera Savings Program

Yet another drug whose price has gone through the roof. 5 years ago, it was about $100 a month, which was bad enough.


One thing that Strattera didn’t do for me was remove my appetite. Not a problem with King Speed! The past couple days breakfast was coffee, I started to get hungry for lunch at eleven, at noon I started the thirty minute process of relishing every nibble of a sandwich (that comes from Prozac, which makes anything taste deliciously intense), and a light and slow dinner at six. Tonight supper was two Oreos, which I shared with the dogs. It may not last (Tenuate’s effects lasted three months), and I know I need to follow a better diet (my MD wants me to go to a geriatrician, as if I don’t know perfectly well how to diet but usually don’t want to), but I’ll take advantage of this side effect as long as it lasts.

I still drum my fingertips. Probably more. Great grandpa drove Grandma nutty with it, but he was just ADHD while I’m that plus speedy! Okay, just a little speedy, but I’m enjoying that, too.

Yesterday I took a diuretic instead of a Ritalin by mistake. My coworkers had fun with it, asking “Where are you going,” every time I headed for the washroom. A mistake I shan’t make again.