Today I took my first Concerta XL tablet. I picked them up from the chemist at about 12.30 this afternoon, so I'm hoping that taking them later in the day won't impact on my sleep, but so far it's all good - I'm feeling quite focused and there seems to be a greater clarity of thinking. I'm not sure whether this is a coincidence, but I moved three large drop-bags of firewood through from the front of the house to the back in double quick time! I do the lifting and carrying, my other half stacks it in the wood-shed (he has back and hip problems). My energy levels seem very high but I don't feel jittery at all.
I've also noticed a distinct drop in appetite. That's helpful, as I am still trying to lose about half a stone of the weight I gained whilst taking the antidepressants I was on earlier this year.
I was quite anxious about starting on this medication, but judging by today it may prove to be quite helpful. I'm not sure what effect, if any it may have on the mood dysregulation - that remains to be seen - but it feels like a positive beginning.
Forgot to mention yesterday that I started on 18mg of Concerta - I think that's the usual starting dose. The consultant suggests that I move up to 36mg after 2 weeks.
Last night I had an alcoholic drink and noticed no side-effects; perhaps the medication levels had gone down quite a bit by that time. However, I didn't feel tired until quite a bit later than usual, which was great because recently I have been in the habit of occasionally nodding off whilst attempting to watch TV (makes me feel like I am on the slippery slope to decrepitude and also very irritating because it is impossible to follow a serial!). Quite a change - I had all the alertness and energy I used to have, well into the late evening.
Getting to sleep was a little difficult; I took some Valerian tincture, as it is mildly sedative and helps me drop off to sleep. I woke once and then woke around 7.30am - not too bad at all.
This morning I took the Concerta at about 8am. I felt alert within an hour or so and much more than I normally do at that time in the morning.
My appetite seems a little suppressed, but that's not such a bad thing. I'm definitely feeling more 'buoyant' than usual and I'm pleasantly surprised by that.
Nothing new to report today really - still feeling fairly focused. The meds don't seem to affect my quality of sleep too much. I often wake up during the night anyway and I haven't noticed that this has increased.
I'm sure that I still have the tendency to put my foot in my gob - yesterday I was talking to someone who knows a rather dislikeable boss I used to have. I volunteered an opinion that I probably should have kept to myself. As usual, it was out of my mouth as soon as it popped into my head..
Post by easilydistracted on Dec 4, 2016 15:16:29 GMT
We started on the same day, same dosage as well!
Other than the energy boost that comes from feeling generally positive about things, I was quite worried about the whole diagnosis process, I don't think I've really had much in that regard.
Appetite is so far ok, managed to eat a McDonalds breakfast an hour after taking my tablet today and that all went down quite happily and just had a banana now.
Those were also things that worried me, that I'd be A - bouncing all over the place, B - lose any appetite, so I'm very happy that neither of them have happened.
I think I've slept more in the last few days than I normally would in a week, that I was not expecting. I seem to be smoking less too, this I was expecting based on past experiences. In general I would say I just feel that little bit more... peaceful?
I'm quite sure that that will wear off a little as the tolerance builds up and I haven't had to tackle any task yet that requires focus, hey, it's the weekend! So there's a wait and see on that too. But at the moment, I am feeling very optimistic.
Fingers crossed for you
Edit... Still forgetting what I stood up for by the time I've stood up! No improvement there!
I took my 18mg Concerta as usual this morning but today I have noticed that I have been almost as distracted as ever. I'm not sure what the reason for that might be. Also, yesterday evening I forgot (again) that I had put some vegetables on to cook, got distracted and only remembered about them when I smelled burning...another blackened saucepan.
Today I went shopping and completely forgot to buy a car-parking ticket..which could have resulted in a hefty fine. I only realised what I had done when I returned to my car. Fortune was smiling on me though - no warden had been around to check. Phew! I don't think they'd have accepted ADHD as an excuse for not buying a ticket.
Apart from that, I'd say that I feel more optimistic and resilient than usual. I rang Jobcentre Plus to ask them what was happening regarding my ESA, as they have stopped it (I have had 365 days of contributions-based ESA and that is all you are entitled to apparently - yes, even if you have paid your NI contributions for years and years and years..). It's a complicated situation, which I won't elaborate on here, but basically I'm waiting to hear whether my benefit will be reinstated. Funny how they always manage to process any reductions to benefit super quickly, but if you have had your money stopped and are appealing, it takes weeks and weeks to hear from them. Christmas will be on a very threadbare shoestring this year.
Ringing them is never pleasant,but today I was unlucky enough to speak to a person who was particularly unpleasant. He had a VERY aggressive manner and continually talked over me in a condescending way - I told him that I was trying to explain my situation and he said "You don't NEED to tell me - I am telling YOU!" I ended up yelling at him that I had ADHD, to which he replied "I have a son with ADHD" (as if to say "So what??"... I'd have thought that it might have made him more understanding.... I feel sorry for the kid). I hope that if his son's condition continues into adulthood and he needs benefits that he ends up speaking to someone just as much of a Considerate, Understanding, Non-judgemental and Thoughtful person as his father. What goes around...
Normally, a horrible conversation like that would have triggered weeping and a spiralling vortex of anxiety and negative thinking. However, I found that after the initial shock, I was able to shrug and continue with my day. Wow! That's a revelation.
The meds definitely don't seem to help with the motor-mouthing or blurting inappropriate stuff (or shouting at DWP phone-nazis). They do seem to help with the very rapid and distracting thinking. I'd say that it doesn't take away the creativity, but it does seem to help you to put thoughts into some order - rather than just being bombarded with random distracting thoughts all the time. It's definitely easier to get more done/completed.
I still seem to be fairly hyperkinetic (but weirdly, I seem to be more aware of it than usual!). I became aware that I am incapable of standing still whilst queueing in a shop or the Post Office. I have to shift from foot to foot or find myself swaying slightly to some tune in my head; weird. The foot-tapping and fidgeting continues unabated too.
Yesterday was a testing day for me - I had three rather unpleasant shocks. I had been hoping that the Concerta might help me cope with things like this without the usual descent into an emotional vortex. No such luck.
As I reported previously, there seems to be a slight, general mood boost with the Concerta and it helps a bit with concentration (although I have burned the dinner and forgotten to pay for a parking ticket whilst taking these tablets, but maybe I need to up the dose to get better results). However, it doesn't seem to have much effect at all on the emotional dysregulation that is the biggest problem for me. I experienced the same sequence as usual - nasty shock, followed by emotional overwhelm, catastrophising and obsessive thinking (which woke me up during the night). The tearfulness is still as bad as ever too.
It probably doesn't help that I have been having problems with the DWP again and my benefits have been stopped due to their stupid sytem that dictates you have a limit of 365 days on contributions-based ESA and then you have to apply all over again (just in time for Christmas - thanks a lot, benefit-nazis). Everything seems rather raw and any other shocks on top of that feel more intense than usual.
I suppose I am just about managing to cope with it all - which may be a slight improvement on how it would be without the meds. I haven't tipped over the edge into clinical depression yet - so that's a plus.
I'm not sure whether I've already begun to build tolerance to the Concerta (18mg) but I notice that over the last couple of days my concentration seems to be slipping - especially in the later afternoon and onwards. Also, the slight feeling of buoyancy and wellbeing seems to have worn off.
Admittedly, I have hit a few emotional 'bumps' over the last few days and the ongoing situation with the DWP certainly doesn't help. However, I'm not feeling the slightest bit resilient in the face of stress. The over-thinking is back with a vengeance and the emotional lability is as bad as ever.
I've been watching closely to see whether there is any hair-shedding going on and I do think that perhaps there is a little more hair coming out than usual when I shampoo it. It's barely noticeable, but probably worth keeping an eye on. Luckily I have lots of hair, but I want to hang on to as much of it as possible!
For the last two days I have noticed that my scalp has begun to itch. Yesterday I didn't pay too much attention to it, but it's definitely there again today. I haven't changed my shampoo or done anything else that might cause this to happen, so I'm wondering if it might be the Concerta. Checking the list of side-effects (online) I see that itching (particularly of the scalp) is listed as one of the side-effects.
After what seemed like a positive beginning, I am sure that my moods are actually MORE up and down than they were before I started this. There is a definite increase in irritablility and also more tearfulness. I had to make a phone call this morning and ended up getting annoyed with one call operator and then bursting into tears whilst speaking to the second one. Bloody hell....can't go on like this. When I began taking the Concerta I didn't feel particularly agitated, but I now feel MUCH more restless than usual and today I have accomplished a big fat ZERO. I have just realised that I have been tapping my foot like crazy whilst I have been typing this.
As I admitted before, there is quite a lot of stressful stuff going on, but I have had similar stress pretty much constantly throughout the last year - so I don't think the increased mood lability is purely related to the stress.
I have also been posting on here far too much, which I feel sure is down to the increased agitation. I suppose that means I need to go back to the GP and ask what to do now.....
Today was also my least useful day so far, by this afternoon no focus at all at work and I don't think I managed a continuous 5 minutes at my desk.
Not helped at all by transitioning off caffeine this week, I think I am now worse than I was before.
No I think about it, I am
And a week to go before moving up to 36mg...
Bad timing as it is, the last week of 36mg straddles the Christmas holidays meaning if I don't know what happens regarding the next appointment. I think I'll be braving the phone to speak to them early next week
Sorry to hear of all your emotional turmoil. I've not had that so am possibly taking a more optimistic view that it's as a tolerance builds up so the benefits wear off.
As such I'm impatient to move up but accept that the body possibly needs time to adjust as well. Yes, I know that kind of makes no sense at all - that I want my body to adjust to it but not my head - but that's what I'm hoping will happen.
On that front I've also been extra careful of my diet and made a point of going to bed at a more sensible time than I used to - slept 6.5h last night which is good for me.
I am really terrified of going onto a stronger dose, as the positive effects I have experienced only relate to concentration and that is the least of my ADHD problems. The worst problem by far is the emotional dysregulation and the mood swings I am experiencing on this are extreme. I'm also very irritable and I don't want to subject my husband to that. It's just not fair to him and it feels like every little thing is super-annoying on Concerta. Being ultra-irritable and possessed of a super-speedy gob is a recipe for social disaster (as if I wasn't bad enough before taking the drugs).
The downside of these really outweighs any positive effects for me. I told the consultant that the emotional lability was the main problem. I suppose they have to try the established pathway of treatment before considering anything else. After having this happen with the Concerta - on such a low dose - I am considering just trying to get by without any medication and altering my life so that the problems are minimised.
My diet is good - I've cut out sugar, refined foods, processed foods and most carbs. I eat loads of fruit and vegetables. My vice is coffee.
I've let the exercise slip a bit recently, so I need to start doing that regularly again. I'm also going to look at perhaps adding vitamin B supplements to my diet (or foods rich in vitamin B).
It's impossible to avoid stress when you're unemployed (or unemployable) because of the punitive benefits system. That does make my symptoms worse.
I'm going to discuss it with my GP and see what he says.
I can't help thinking that if I had my ESA reinstated and I was granted the PIP it would help ease some of the stress and I might be able to then think more clearly regarding a way forward for the future in terms of becoming more financially self-reliant and finding a way to live/work that plays to my strengths and minimises the problems. At the moment my brain is in constant overwhelm regarding pending financial disaster and currently we have enough for just one more month's bills and then we will have to resort to borrowing if the benefit is still suspended.
I've been off the Concerta for a week now, but I STILL have the horrible itchy, crawling sensation on my scalp. It began very soon after I started taking these tablets and I hoped that it would go quickly after I stopped, but it's still there. It feels very similar to how it used to feel when one of my kids brought home nits from school and I didn't realise until they had passed them to me (no, I definitely don't have nits - I've checked almost obsessively since the itching began). I hope it goes away soon.
I have noticed a little more hair-shedding on each occasion when I wash my hair. I'm hoping that will stop when the itching goes.
The annoying itchy scalp seems to be easing off a little. Thank goodness. It's annoying enough being prone to fidgeting and unconscious foot-tapping without adding the overwhelming urge to scratch my head into the mix!
Post by easilydistracted on Dec 19, 2016 19:23:28 GMT
Sorry to hear that it's not working for you gc7, but glad also the side effects are easing off.
My side effects were much more mild, loss of appetitie, a bit of tinnitus and a worsening of my focus towards the end of 18mg.
To the extent that had that been the end result I would have come off it too. It has markedly improved since stepping up to 36. It is still early days though, but I am optimistic that it's going in the right direction.
It also seems that while it does seem to make me more prone to tinnitus it's my personal stereo that's kicking it off so I've had to make some changes there, lower volumes and much less treble amd that has helped a lot.
No, I would rather walk naked in the street that go without my tunes! It's more than just music it's an anchor and a happy* distraction.