Ritalin my enemy

Posted: August 18, 2011 in depression
Tags: , ,

My heart is pounding against my chest, I feel the tremendous force of its impact against me and it’s uncomfortable. My mouth is dry and tacky reminding me of when I fast from liquids. My eyes are darting around and it’s hard to focus on anything for too long.

My mind follows this pattern, skipping thoughts and subjects at a rapid pace. I barely can keep with the speed of my thoughts, I wonder If this is what mania or ADHD feels like? It’s hard for me to talk to people as my mind wants to go faster and faster.

I have a deep pit in the bottom of my stomach. My body and mind are telling me I did something really horrible, like run someone over, and I’ll be caught. I try to review my life, and I can’t find a real event that causes this.

This is why I have a love/hate relationship with Ritalin. Whereas it helps reduce my suicidal thoughts and helps give me emotional stability it comes at a cost.

I also hate how it works. I hate how I can be planning my “end”, take the medication, and an hour later I am hopping all over the place. But of course it works, it’s based on amphetamine. Wouldn’t even a normal happy person feel better with such a stimulant? SSRIs, like prozac, take 4-6 weeks to take effect, so isn’t it wrong to have my mood elevated in 30 minutes?

It feels dirty, like an illegal high. Like I am doing something wrong that I shouldn’t be doing.

Can’t I get thru this by my intelligence alone? I have gotten in and completed an ivy league education and medical school with moderate effort, so can’t I overcome this problem with my mind alone? If I am so smart why can’t I apply it to this situation and overcome it?

“Compare it to a diabetic who needs insulin, are they weak for needing medicine?” is what I’d tell a patient who thinks antidepressants are for the weak. But this is different. Ritalin is an instant up with a noticeable downslope. It comes out of the system in hours. It’s abused so that people will feel better. No one takes Prozac without prescription for fun!

  1. Paper Tiger says:

    I don’t understand. I thought this medication was prescribed primarily only for ADD, ADHD…but, in this instance it is being taken specifically for depression?

    • It’s called off label usage. This is very common in medicine, less so in depression. Good example is using amitriptyline for migraines, although it is not FDA approved for such.

      In my case, treatment resistant depression, I had tried all the common drugs without success. Because of that my Drs at the time were trying less common drugs which have been studied but not approved for this.

  2. Kamil says:

    I was first diagnosed with adhd, then 4 years later with autism. If you look at the symptom list it’s difficult not to see the similarity in underlying mechanisms.
    I had to stop ritalin after 1 year because of the too high side-effects versus benefits ratio. I am now 5 years stable with dextroamphetamine (in US it’s called Dexedrine), which work so well that I actually also use it as a sleeping aid when needed (much safer than hypnotic meds btw).
    I also tried Strattera and Wellbutrin, which are very good adjunctions and even possible replacements to stimulat medication.
    N.B. : my Blood Pressure and my Heart Rate are perfect and actually 10 points lower than before or off adhd meds.

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