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Re: Glad To Find This Group -- Starting Straterra

Posted by froggyanna on May 22, 2003, at 16:11:19

In reply to Re: Glad To Find This Group -- Starting Straterra froggyanna, posted by bookgurl99 on May 22, 2003, at 8:08:30

Hi Books!

> Otherwise, how would I, a health-conscious
> 27-year-old, be having the same symptoms as
> a 51-year-old?

Well, y'know, the thing is: looking back on my life, I was developing these problems even back then, if not already experiencing them. I snored heavily as a teenager. I was ALWAYS tired. I certainly experienced many symptoms (I know now) of ADD. I had my first baby at 27. Before that, I underwent several years of diet and other therapies for hypoglycemia. I lost severe amounts of weight on a low-carb diet. It was actually almost a NO-carb diet! When I became pregnant, I gradually started re-introducing potatoes and breads to my diet, without a problem. Over the years, because of several life changes (including divorce), I gradually lost my "will" to follow a strict diet and became a junk-food couch potato. Then I "discovered" my depression, or at least I discovered treatment for it. Then I became caught up in the fight to earn a decent living as a single mother. With everything going on to deal with, nutrition took a back seat in my priorities. Through many other changes, I eventually went through menopause, and then I lost my last job, and that's when the symptoms of ADD seemed to become the most prominent problem, and that's where I am now.

> Your symptoms blow me away, as I'm only 27
> and am also hypothyroid. My psychiatrist wants
> me to be tested for sleep apnea. (I snore a
> lot.) I've just gotten off Zoloft after a year
> (BTW, the zoloft made it _much_ harder to
> concentrate.) And -- since becoming
> hypothyroid -- I'm developing symptoms of ADD.

Good for your doctor for recognizing the possibility of sleep apnea. I would be very interested to hear how that goes for you if you decide to do it. Also, I would ask him or her about the use of Buspar (I take buspirone, the generic, actually) in reducing and/or eliminating the apnea. My particular doc has done a LOT of clinical work with it, and I would be glad to give you his name. The jury is still out as to whether it is really useful for me or not. I have my sleep study Monday night. They will "measure" me for half the night, and if I need the CPAP treatment they will titrate the correct air pressure the rest of the night. I'll let you know how that goes.

As for the zoloft.... my problems with depression were quite severe throughout my life. I am now able to tell exactly when my brain is going there, and it goes there if I'm not on medication for a few days. Because of that, I'm not as aware of any direct effect it might have on my ability to concentrate. I'm just so grateful that I don't "go there" anymore!

> To be honest, from my perspective, these
> symptoms almost all boil down to the thyroid,
> as thyroid can exacerbate weight gain (hence
> sleep apnea) and memory problems.

You may very possibly be right. A good friend of mine recently told me about the importance of T3, and my internist told me that T3 tends to be the "kicker" for people to boost them over to really optimal functioning. I'll see him again in a couple of weeks and we'll discuss the results of my blood tests then.

What I know about myself and the possibility that it's the unbalanced thyroid that is causing the ADD is this: I know now that I had ADD as a kid. I was VERY bright in school, so as a sweet little girl, of course, I was overlooked. That sweet little girl became a sullen, lonely, pathologically shy teenager as a result of my parents' divorce, deaths in the family, etc. I had one shoplifting experience as a 19-year-old, and I could never figure out why I did it. I know now that it was sheer impulse with no reason. It was the ADD. I came "this close" to being arrested, but was not. This was after dropping out of high school because I just couldn't deal with it. I could not figure out why it was so difficult for me to just get by. All I knew was that I couldn't function in the social situations, I couldn't concentrate on the school work, and my mother and the counselors at school were absolutely useless to me. I slipped through the cracks. I was very angry. My mother used to use psychiatric treatment as a threat instead of as a loving solution to my problems. I remember her saying to me, "If you don't shape up, I'm going to take you to a psychiatrist!" I have no way of knowing at this point whether my thyroid was unbalanced at that time.

Through sheer grace, and being an optimist at the very core of my personality, and despite my anger, I managed to grow a very interesting, loving, fulfilling life through the maturation process. Lots of ups and downs but overall pretty good. I forgave my parents. I raised two great daughters and they have moved successfully through the college experience. One graduated with honors from the University of Southern California and the other will be spending her junior year in Japan as a student at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. I just always had this underlying sense of never being able to achieve anything great FOR MYSELF. Too many ideas and no results. Too many struggles with job performance.

> When I tried Straterra recently, it made me
> very sleepy the first 2 days and very talkative
> the last day. I didn't like the feeling of
> being out of balance, and stopped.

From the messages I've read on here, it appears that it's a good idea to give the drug a couple of weeks to see if it has a positive impact on the ADD or if the side effects settle down. But I definitely know how you feel in not wanting to wait it out. At this point, I don't know how it'll turn out for me. As I write this, it has been approximately 2 hours since my very first dose of 40mg, along with my other meds, on an empty stomach. I've been sitting for most of the time. I am experiencing a very slight sense of queasiness, not too drastic. I am also experiencing a slight sense of dizzyness, but again, it's only subtle. These are feelings that I sometimes have *without* medication!

It remains to be seen if I stick with the Straterra, if I stick with the Buspar, if I add T3 to the mix, or if I don't need to sleep with a CPAP machine any more. To be perfectly honest, THAT is one of my fervent hopes in this! My apnea is severe enough that that might not be possible, but I sure would love not to have to do that.

One last thought: thanks for the good wishes. Being unemployed, health insurance is a real problem for me. I have it, but it's meager. I will have to make a decision between health care and food at some point. My husband's employment does not provide me with insurance and we are in the process of selling our house to move to something less expensive, due to my inability to look for and find work. I told him that since I discovered that I have ADD, I am going to have to deal with it and get treatment for it before I throw myself into the ring again for the last few years of my working life. I really am hoping that this is a new beginning for me!!





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