Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Adderall Redux

It turns out that pounding in my chest was anxiety after all. I began taking Adderall again last Friday, and I'm up to 10mg a day with no side effects. Wow, what a difference it makes! I'm amazed at my increased energy and ability to stay focused. I have actually worked pretty much non-stop the last two days while at work. I can't remember the last time I have felt this good about my work.

What will life be like with treated ADHD? Will I finally earn a degree? Will I be happy? Not having a degree has made me feel horrible about myself for years. I went to a high school for academically gifted teens, but I was a solid C student. I had classes in which I excelled, and typical of ADHD those were in subjects I found fascinating. I then went on to a state college with open admission and was given an academic suspension twice. I didn't go back after the second failure. I skipped my one, and so far only, high school reunion last year out of embarrassment. My former classmates are professors, writers, CEOs, successful artists, doctors, and state senators. I'm an underpaid administrative assistant. It sucks because I would have liked to have seen them all. I can only hope that this medication and therapy will help me realize my potential, and that I'll be happy to attend the next reunion.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


I was beginning to think that this thing going on with me was heart palpitations instead of anxiety. The Adderall should have been out of my system in three days. So I saw a doctor and had an EKG done. Everything was normal. So what the fuck is going on with me? The doctor suggested that I had become hyper-aware of my heartbeat. I don't think that's it, though. And this doesn't feel like anxiety in the normal way my body manifests anxiety. I usually have a heartburn-ish feeling in the center of my chest when I'm stressed. For a long time I actually popped antacids all night at work wondering why they weren't making a difference. I had never experienced panic attacks, so I didn't know what they would feel like. What I'm feeling now is the sensation that my aorta is pounding. My resting heart rate is only 84 BPM and my blood pressure was fine. Is my body exhibiting anxiety in a different way now? I hate all this ambiguity. And now I'm thinking that if it wasn't palpitations that I was experiencing, and if it is anxiety it couldn't be the Adderall, as it's out of my body, then maybe I should try the Adderall again. I'll talk with my psychiatrist about it next week. Next week feels like ages from now.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Setbacks Suck

My ADHD treatment isn't working. This adrenaline-induced pounding in my chest is awful. I tried Ritalin for two weeks, but the adrenaline thing led my doctor to prescribe Adderall. The Adderall has been even worse. The first day I took it I was fine. My concentration levels were up and I was feeling great about it. The second day, however, was terrible. It felt like the artery in my neck was having spasms. I guess my blood pressure was really high. So no more Adderall for me. It's my understanding that a 5mg dose of Adderall should only hang around my system for six hours, but here I am 2 days after my last dose and I'm still having this adrenaline anxiety thing. Of course, my doctor's office is closed until Monday. My pharmacist was great and looked up some info for me and thinks that I'm highly sensitive to this class of drugs, and suggested that I not take anymore. I haven't felt much like doing research to see what other treatment options are available. I guess I'll leave that to my doctor.

In the meantime I'm wondering how long this is going to last. It feels horrible.

I'm so disappointed that I'm having this side effect. With the Ritalin I noticed an increase in energy, but that was it. With the Adderall I had a noticeable increase in my ability to focus and concentrate. It felt wonderful to come to work and actually be able to get a lot done. I was looking forward to finally being able to get my home office organized. I'm trying not to lose hope. I can tell this weekend is going to feel like an eternity.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blogging About This Stuff Is Hard

Aargh...........this blogging depression thing has turned out to be harder than I thought. I'm too fucking depressed most of the time to do any writing. Could we call that a Catch 22?

At any rate, the depression is still here, of course. My doc has upped my dosage of Zoloft to 150mg. It gave me a bunch of energy for three or four days, then I went back to my normal depressive state. At this week's session she posited that I may have Attention Deficit Disorder, and prescribed Ritalin. Wow. I have wondered off and on over the years if I might have ADD. I was kind of shocked that she prescribed Ritalin right away without having me answer a litany of questions. I guess I thought that there would be a huge questionnaire like when I first sought out cognitive therapy. But I agreed to take the medication. I think I would agree to take any medication to lift this fog. I berate myself all the time for not doing well in honors high school, and flunking out of college despite being smart. I judge myself super harshly for spending whole days at work without actually working because the work doesn't hold my interest. How could I not be depressed? So if I have been living with ADD all this time it would explain a lot, and treating it may just hold the key to finally getting my life together. Hope. I'm glad to see it again. It's been a while.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Depression Blogging

I think so many of us lesbians are out here struggling through depression without really talking about it. I don't know about you, but I don't feel comfortable talking to my friends about how miserable I feel all the time. Who wants to bring their friends down like that? And how much can our partners/girlfriends take before it starts dragging them down as well? How many relationships have perished at the hands of depression? I know mine is in serious trouble, and I sometimes feel I am at a loss as to how to stop our downward spiral.

I guess this silence around depression isn't unique to lesbians, but I think we have fewer resources at our disposal. We're often times estranged from our families, or if not estranged then distanced to some degree by homophobia. We're constantly berated as degenerates in the public sphere by a homophobic mainstream that would rather we didn't exist. In general lesbians are poorer than their heterosexual and gay male counterparts. Right now I'm only seeing a psychiatrist for meds, but not a psychologist for the cognitive therapy that would complement the medication. I can't afford the copays for both on top of my other medical expenses (I have a couple of chronic medical conditions other than depression). I know I'm not alone if the articles I read in feminist publications are any indication.

I'm not sure if this blogging thing will help me or anyone else, but it's worth a try.


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