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Re: Can 60 Year Old Woman Start Adderall/other Stimul? Helen Ball

Posted by undopaminergic on December 21, 2019, at 9:00:10

In reply to Re: Can 60 Year Old Woman Start Adderall/other Stimul?, posted by Helen Ball on December 20, 2019, at 9:51:35

> Hi thanks for responding 'stimulant fiend'. Seeing as you are a fiend, would you mind telling me a little more about your journey and how stimulants have helped you?

I can't believe I've really written all this (what follows). But it *is* a long story.

Well, I started with caffeine, in college, to fight fatigue. I can't say it worked, and it was, unbeknownst to me, an attempt to self-medicate for ADD and a slowly onsetting depression. I suffered burnout (a type of depression in my view) at the end of 1999, apparently due to too much work and too little sleep. Some nights, when I finally was willing to *allow* myself to sleep, I suffered insomnia, and got little or no sleep at all. Of course, it had to come to a dead end unless I changed my life and habits, which I did not.

My burnout has transformed into other forms of depression. I had an episode where I struggled with feelings of worthlessness, and cried recurrently.

Then at some point I took reboxetine (Edronax) and I lost most of my feelings, as I became depersonalised/derealised. At the time, it was a relief to become emotionally imperturbable. Later, and to this day, I've come to miss my emotions and want them back.

I tried methylphenidate (Concerta in my case, otherwise known as Ritalin) some time after reboxetine, but at that period in life, it gave me little subjective benefit. I felt physically more endurant, and when it wore off, I slept easier. I quit it mostly due to the high price.

I went through a kind of transition phase, where I took phenylethylamine (PEA) for maybe a couple of years. The first few doses were amazing; they calmed my ADD-led mind, quenching the silent noise, the "buzz", in my mind, and I could concentrate! Then it lost the calming effect, and took on the opposite -- stimulating, speeding my mind and filling it with thoughts. I started binging on it and was staying up for days on end. In retrospect, I characterise this period as a complete waste of time, and worse than that, it got worse. PEA is still the most potent stimulant I've taken, and the most destructive.

At that point came the worst form of depression so far in my life, in that it is extremely chronic and treatment-resistant, not to say boring and tiresome. It was in no small part the PEA abuse that had left me in that state, essentially the same as the chronic withdrawal syndrome suffered by meth-abusers, and largely attributable to neurotoxicity. Its main feature is apathy, and anhedonia. I am still in this phase.

It was during this period that I started on Concerta again, and I described it in words like no day being a complete failure (as long as I took Concerta). That is how much more I needed it now than I did the first time -- a crystal clear worsening to say the least. If I wasn't taking the Concerta, I had trouble getting out of bed and staying out of it, and a lot of such time in bed was spent on suicidal thinking. Concerta was possibly literally a life-saver.

It's so long ago that I have trouble getting the sequence of events in order.

In the end of 2007 and start of 2008, I discovered that I was bipolar. I had thought I was unipolar until then, but the bipolarity had only been latent. I was off Concerta for a period, naturally feeling worse, but then I entered an intense (hypo)manic episode, and I was at my best since the start of my depression. It was fantastic and I even got my emotions back!

The mania petered out, and I went back on Concerta. At some time in this period, in 2008, I started buprenorphine, a mild opiate, and, still taking Concerta, I felt I was in the process of getting back on my feet and getting my life in order again.

Then they stopped prescribing me any and all helpful medications, and I went back into the apathy with suicidal ideation. My days were extremely short and I spent more than most of my time in bed.

I was able to get my hands on ephedrine, a mild stimulant (as far as mental rather than cardiovascular effects are concerned). It may have saved my life.

The ephedrine gave me the energy and clarity needed to eventually get my hands on desoxypipradrol (2-DPMP for diphenylmethylpiperidine), which is a stimulant about as potent as methylphenidate (Concerta), although much stronger in terms of milligrams. I needed 108 mg per dose of Concerta. With 2-DPMP I needed less than 5 mg, and it lasted much longer, about 20-24 hours.

Some time later, still taking 2-DPMP, someone broke into my computer, and this prompted me to start looking for computer viruses and trojans. I became more and more paranoid, and in this respect, the stimulants definitely weren't helping. I reached a point where I had racing throughts and insomnia. I realised that I was in a psychotic state. It was particularly obvious when I opened my computer monitor looking for hidden cameras! I quit the stimulant and gave the rest of my supply to my mother. The racing thoughts persisted and kept me awake. I experimented with taking antipsychotics. I tried some flupenthixol (Fluanxol) I had left after an antidepressant experiment. I went to a psychiatrist and got quetiapine (generic Seroquel). My use of these drugs was erratic, and in any case, I still could not sleep, and eventually I started hearing voices (auditory hallucinations), or rather horrible screams, which prompted me to go a hospital. This was in the end of 2009.

I've been in and out of hospitals recurrently since that point. It looks like it's easy go to back once you've been in for the first time!

I've also been on and off stimulants, and in and out of mania. The manic episodes always (except the first time, which I mentioned above) ended in the hospital. The problem with mania is the impulsiveness, always sooner or later doing something stupid and ending up in the hospital. Also, thinking itself is impulsive, leading to delusions.

In December 2013, I tried ethylphenidate for the first time. This is a stimulant almost identical to methylphenidate (Concerta). It just has an ethyl-group in place of methylphenidate's methyl-group. It is also formed naturally when combining methylphenidate with alcohol.

Ethylphenidate is probably the stimulant I've enjoyed most. I don't know why, but it's like it's more "fun" than desoxypipradrol (2-DPMP). By the time I started it, I had become immune to paranoia and hallucinations. I had also learned how to stay up however long I wanted to. Often this meant at least a few days at a time.

Sometimes, I got OCD-like symptoms from binging on the ethylphenidate or 2-DPMP. If I was typing, at times I would keep typing, typing, rambling, rambling for page after page. After some time, at least several minutes, perhaps half an hour or more, I would break out of this state, and go for a walk and a smoke (cigarillos). This would always clear my mind.

At one time, I was out of ethylphenidate, and, being rather desperately apathetic, I made the mistake of taking a sizeable dose of methoxetamine (not a stimulant!). After a walk, failing to open the door to my apartment due to stupidity from the drug, I kind of "gave up" right there and right then, and passed out. I think some alter personality (maybe a baby) took over and crawled on my porch, because I later noticed scratches on my wrists. Anyway, I woke up and noticed I was in the ambulance, and I was taken to a (non-mental) hospital. They had found me hypothermic and unconscious on my porch. At the hospital, I made the mistake of telling the doctor about my suspected alter personalities, so I was transferred to the psych hospital again. I should have said something like "I don't know, maybe my blood pressure dropped".

After that, I've had more periods on and off stimulants, but no manias for some time now.

> What are you currently taking?

I'm in hospital, so I can't use stimulants, except for nicotine (I take a mouth-spray currently; I quit smoking) and caffeine (from tea).

I'm on lamotrigine (anti-convulsant; mood stabiliser), trimipramine (tricyclic antidepressant), clozapine, cariprazine (both antipsychotics), and bisoprolol (a beta-blocker).

> Has it helped with depression, social anxiety?

Yes. The suicidal ideation and apathy go away within maybe a quarter of an hour of taking a dose of a cocaine-like stimulant. Well... that *used* to be the case, but now it seems I need both a cocaine-like stimulant *and* about 1000 mg of caffeine -- then the apathy is relieved totally, at the expense of notable tremor. The coke-like stims on their own do little for me nowadays, so the caffeine is essential.

> Are you concerned about potential addiction/dependence?

No. I am kind of dependent, in the way a diabetic may be dependent on insulin.

I don't like the fact that I *have* to take stimulants to feel acceptably good. I am trying to pursue psychological treatments, because they are the only methods that last beyond a dose.

> Another question (if you don't mind). Why do you sign yourself undopamergenic?

It's just the nickname I'm known by on this forum.

I chose it because I thought most, if not all, my symptoms were due to low dopamine, meaning I was "undopaminergic".

That was before I became spiritual and psychodynamically oriented. I still think dopamine is at the centre of my disorder as far as neurology is concerned. I just now think there is a spiritual/psychological dimension, and this is my main focus at this point. I'm still experimenting with drugs in parallel. Currently the trimipramine (Surmontil) is the most exciting thing.

> I am interested in the connection of dopamine in my 'issues'. I have a son with schizophrenia (doing well) which they theorize (I believe) is caused by too much dopamine??

That is a very simplistic idea. As I see it, in schizophrenia there is too much and too little dopamine, but in different parts of the brain.

The negative symptoms (of schizophrenia) include anhedonia and apathy, which is exactly the same as the main mental symptoms of Parkinson's disease, pointing to a dopamine deficit.

Dopamine antagonists, called neuroleptics or antipsychotics, work well for positive symptoms (especially the hallucinations). This is the main reason why the dopamine-hypothesis of schizophrenia was intuitive. It has since been superseded by the glutamate-hypothesis.

> I'm wondering if perhaps there is a genetic/biological issue with dopamine (too much/too little (more probable) which is the main culprit causing my depression, social anxiety and OCD.

Yes, I think the genes at least play a passive "permissive" role that "allows" the disorder to set in, for environmental reasons (eg. psychological factors, stress, sleep deprivation, substance abuse).

From what you wrote about your depression setting in after menopause, there would seem to be a hormonal component to it. Have you tried hormone replacement therapy?

> I have always taken SSRI's which do not seem to working any longer.

Well that's better than for me -- they never seemed to work all!

> Have tried SNRI's with a little better effect but not much. Anyway, sorry I'm rambling. I'll give you the chance to answer my numerous questions. Thanks again.

Yeah, well, I enjoyed it. And I didn't really have anything much better to do.

> P.S. Tried Wellbutrin which TOTALLY wired me. Will never try again. Only class of AD's not tried is MAOI's.

No effect for me. At all. Even tried "megadoses".





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