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1460021 tn?1445739558

ADHD (on dex) +Epilim? + Increased aggression

So....I'm 25...got diagnosed with adhd...been on dexamphetamine 50mg since march 25th was going well....after speaking to my doctor he thought i might benifit from going on epilim to stabilize my moods as well...

So i have been on epilim 500mg in the morning and then 500mg at night...I don't know if its causing my aggression to get worse (the dexies helped heaps with that)....i am getting rather big outbursts of anger and punching walls again....i don't know if epilim takes a while to "settle into" or if it's just not right for me.

It's also making me drowsy...finding it really hard to wake up in the morning....focus on my studies and assignments has gone down hill big time.

and to top it off my doctor is away until July....i'm at my wit's end.....i kind of feel like i might have been better off just on the dexies? i dont know....i know no one on here can give medical advice per se but i just want to know if anyone can give me any insight to anything??? I have browsed the internet for hours trying to find answers but haven't found anything of use....
27 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
   Being drowsy is definitely a side effect of epilim.  But as for the rest?  From your earlier posts, you have been on epilim since about April 20.  That's close to a month.  You would think it would have stabilized by now - but, I really don't know.
   Makes me wonder if there is anything else going on in your life recently that is ticking you off.  If so, you may need to find a new way to deal with it.  Long walks are certainly better for you and the walls, than hitting them :)  Have your studies gotten more frustrating?  Are some form of testing in your classes coming up?  Is the material just getting harder?   Frustration will eat away at you and cause some of these feelings.
    By the way, being drowsy can also be due to sleep at night.  Are you staying up late or waking up a lot.  You should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep.  If not, you will be sleepy in the morning.
    I suppose that you could be getting used to the Dexi's.  Just really hard to tell.  
    Can't believe your Doc is going to be gone that long.  Does he hate your winters?   He must have left some kind of emergency contact.  I am sure he has other patients that are having questions.  Call his office and see.  He may also have another doctor who is covering for him while he is gone.  While the new doc would not be the same, I am sure that he knows more then me.  Hope this helps a bit?  Best wishes!!
1460021 tn?1445739558
hmmm....well I'm frustrated with my tafe studies, partly because the assignments aren't set out very clearly. I do clarify with the teachers...and think everything is alright then i get doing another assignment and forget or ??? i don't know ....i seem to wayyy over think assignments....i stay up late obsessing about having to get them in on time, which I've already gotten extensions for the first 3 and one i've handed in....one is due tomorrow....which i don't think i will be able to complete (by tomorrow). It's also a focus thing...i don't think the epilim is doing what it's supposed to (for me anyways)...I guess i'll see how the rest of this week goes.

I will be able to see a couple of the doctors that work at the same clinic as my doctor...I feel that i want to go off the epilim....and raise my dex dose (only by10mg) but i don't think even the "dosing doctors" there can do that...i believe that only one doctor is "allowed" or given a "grant" to prescribe dexamphetamine or change the dosage....but atleast they might be able to tell me a bit more about whats going on with the Epilim.

The issue really needs to be addressed because i really can't keep acting this way. We went on a field trip for tafe yesterday/today and today i nearly totally lost it....i was on the verge of going NUTS at a couple of classmates and teachers and had to take a xanax because i got that feeling i get when i'm about to loose it.

A couple of classmates are telling me that i complain too much...and i need to chill. These people have no idea what adhd does to you. And the fact that i know they're talking about me just triggers memories from highschool and it all comes flooding back......they just make me feel like i am nothing. and i feel stupid (again...with the whole not doing well at school and adhd)....

I don't know this is probably not making any sense .... It's been a long day....
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
      Ya, pretty classic.  Makes a lot of sense.  If you have the time check out two sites aimed at the adult ADD sufferer -  totallyadd.com and http://jeffsaddmind.com/for-first-time-visitors. You will see a lot of people having the same issues.
               Both sites are done by people with ADD.  totallyadd was actually a PBS special and consequently is a series of short videos.  Quite entertaining and useful.   Jeffs add mind really reflects him.  Has much more adult interaction.  Both are worth checking out.    
        I think the Dex is wearing off at night, hence the focus problems.   Don't know how you take your doses, but maybe something to still help for awhile after dinner.  When you doc gets back, they have some longer acting ones that should help.  Definitely talk with your doctors about the epilim and maybe an extended Dex dose.
      By, the way, as I stated earlier, the lack of sleep at night will really make you more on edge.  Of course, its the worry and studying thats doing that. Really, really try and get more sleep at night it will help.  If there is any way, you can start work on some of the studies earlier in the day - at least for awhile- that also will help.  Also do try and get out and take even a short 30 min. walk, I think it will help.
     Keep in mind that understanding what the AD/HD is doing to you will help with coping or dealing with it's symptoms.  Its real easy to get frustrated if you don't know why you are feeling the way you do.
     Hope this helps!
1460021 tn?1445739558
Well my doctor has dosed me as follows:

15mg when waking
15mg around noon/lunch
10mg around afternoon
10mg before bed

But he did say i could mix it up a bit and find out what works for me so I've been doing 15mg,15mg,15mg,5mg so i can have that extra bit of time at night to study....There is only the short acting version of dexies here in Australia, I know Ritalin is available in the slow release but it's found to be not as effective. I don't mind having to take the dexies 4 times a day, i have my pill case that has "morn, noon, eve, night" on it so i never have to question if i have taken my dose or not! lol I'm forgetful...

My sleeping patterns have been so messed up for quite some time now. I know i need to get into a routine of getting up and going to bed at certain times but i find it so hard seeing as i have so much work to do and find that once i get stuck into an assignment before i know it 8 hours have passed :S however in saying that...since taking epilim i just haven't been able to hold enough focus to actually GET the assignments done...(not to mention loosing my balance! but thank god i haven't lost my hair!!!)

I have spoken to most of my teachers about finding out i have ADHD and medications etc and I'm very lucky to have such understanding teachers...and they've told me that they notice that i DO participate in class and bring up interesting discussions/points that even make them stop and think! :) i KNOW i have it in me to do it all, it's just getting it all out on paper and in order. I have my moments of extreeeeeme "I can do this easy!!" then sometimes it can just take one little thing and i'll be telling myself " I just can't do this..." then stress out because i just can not deal with failure and i keep saying to everyone that dropping out or postponing the course is just not an option for me.....i put one whole year of my life on hold last year to recover from the painkiller dependence.

It's really hard to explain to people (especially fellow classmates) how ADHD effects me personally and to study (both combined)...they don't understand and just say i complain alot (when i'm actually trying to clarify assignments or tasks set). Oh well *shrugs* there's really not alot i can do about that....I had a look at jeffs add mind, and it's a great site :) if only all my classmates would read that!
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
   The advantage of the short acting dex is that it can be tailored to your needs.  I have seen posts by adult users that have gotten it down to usage only when they really feel it was needed.  So feel free to play around with the timing.  You might need a bit more later in the day to help you study.  If you don't have classes in the morning, you may not need it.  
  But, I still think sleep deprivation could be a problem for you. Don't know what your morning schedule is.  Maybe you could do more studying in the morning instead of at night?  I have also seen adult posters who actually sleep better with Dex in there system.  Mind boggling to me, but makes sense.  Maybe, you should kick up the dose at night and see what happens.  
   I guess the point being that you gotta not be afraid to experiment a bit.  The cool thing is that the results are pretty instantaneous, and you can try it out on the weekends  so it doesn't screw up the weekday classes.
   Wonder if your painkiller dependence had anything to do with the frustrations caused by ADHD - those meds an be wonderfully mind numbing.
   By the way, if you are thinking of going off the epilim, ask your doctor - some of that stuff can not be quit cold, but has to be tapered off.   I do think (or maybe hope?) that if you get an understanding about why you are feeling the way you are and start learning about how to compensate or work with ADHD some of the anger/frustration outburts will cease.   I should also add that Jeffs add mind is kind of addictive, don't start reading it when you have homework due.
   Hope this helps!
1460021 tn?1445739558
Well i only have class 3 days a week. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-4pm... and it is classed as full time probably because we have to do so much outside of class study and the course is pretty full on. Even when I've had a day of tafe i STILL can't sleep at night...on my days off i sleep in a little and do homework...i know i need to take a break and do things other than school related things but right now i have so many assignments backed up and they keep on coming...

My doctor did say having the dex later at night might help me sleep because it slows the mind down...helps with the racing thoughts etc.

I feel that i need to get off the Epilim, and bump up the dexie dose....even if it's just by 10mg...I'm fairly sure my doctor would do that because as he said to me higher doses of dexies are more effective. I don't feel that i'm trying to "chase a high" or anything, I just think the dosage should be bumped up so i can at least see if that is what needs to be done.

I'm sick of mood stabilizers this is the second one i have tried and doesn't seem to work. When i first started the dexies i was great...aggression just vanished and i was happy...then i got sick and coincidentally saw my doctor at the same time (a previous arranged appointment to check my progress before he went away) and he thought i had a stomach infection...gave me antibiotics...and as I've said previously he thought epilim would be good to balance out my moods...which now i'm thinking the moods might have just been because i was getting sick??

from about 2007-2009(about October?) i was taking codeine based painkillers...then started Suboxone for the painkiller addiction/dependence,....finished that 17th december 2010...(so....156 days ago) in 2009/2010 i have been on prozac for depression, xanax for anxiety...and got switched from prozac to aurorix to try and stabilize my aggression but i thought it made it worse (which in hind sight i'm not sure about). So before going on dexies i should of had all of those out of my system (and my doctor agreed).  I haven't had a painkiller for about a year and a half...though having taken them for so long and such a high dose perhaps it has caused damage to my brain function...i know that might sound really out there but through some of the stuff i was learning about in class the other day i wouldn't be surprised.

I'm sitting here...it's 2.30am...i have homework scattered all over the couch and floor, feeling like crap because i haven't gotten the 1000 word essay done that i wanted to get done today. Tomorrow (well today) i have to film a 10 minute role play...just a conversation with someone on a topic....and then need to write a 500 word critical analysis of the ways i did or did not  communicate with them effectively. Both of these are due monday. If i goto bed and don't fall to sleep then i'm laying there wasting time that i could be doing work....then again if i don't goto bed i wont wake up early enough etc

I really just don't know what to do? It's all so stressful and i'm starting to think i have taken on too much too soon....but i can't quit...i CANT. I can't handle the sense of failure again....
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
     Dang, and here I am helping you stay awake at night by posting when you are still up.
Frankly, I would modify your dose so its higher at night.  I have seen posts where that has worked to help people sleep.  And do talk to your doc about getting off the Epilim.  Don't try it by yourself.  There could be taper down things that must be done.
     And ya, you are taking a full load of classes, thats stressfull for anybody.  How far are you into your semester?
    By the way, nobody who has kicked a painkiller addiction/dependence should ever feel like a failure.  What you have done is already amazing!!!
    What you do need to do is to start listing your priorities in studying.  Plan it out on a chart and then check off each one as you go through it.  Don't just do this in your mind.  You need to put it on paper and then use that as your guide.  
    Its great you have such understanding teachers.  But just in case they are always not so understanding, make sure when you have the time to check with your college's counselors about getting something like our 504 or IEP designation (I would assume you have that in Australia) in special ed.  And make sure you keep your teachers in the loop.  Many times (as you have found out) they will extend deadlines that will help you catch up.
   If things get really tough, its ok to drop one class.  All the great military commanders had to beat a strategic retreat so they could live to fight again.  
   Lastly, I know I keep repeating this.  You do need to take even short breaks.  Don't know what the weather is like down there now, but try and get out and move.
   Opps, just saw your comments on antibiotics.  Last time I was on one I got a good case of thrush.  Think it was the acid reducers that I also was on which helped promote the thrush.  Anyway, if thats a problem start taking some probiotics.  It will help.  Plus, they won't do you any harm.
  Hang in there!
1460021 tn?1445739558
lol its all good i was awake anyway...i was doing really well and was on track last night with my essay, then my cousin dropped in and i never really see him and i know he has anxiety issues so i gathered he wanted to talk about something so i missed out on a good few hours of solid on track essay writing!

With my course i can't actually drop a subject...if i did that, i wouldn't actually get the Certificate and wouldn't have the minimum qualifications for any drug and alcohol related jobs :\ and i really don't want to finish off the course next year...We're into about the 3rd week of the first semester (so term 2 of 4...i don't know if you guys do that over there?). I do list my study priorities in my diary and even wrote up on a piece of cardboard what assignment is due and when...but because we're starting so many new units of the course, the assignments keep on rolling in and are due around about the same time which makes it hard. I don't want to access the disability type service to help me with my assignments because i heard that they note it in my file and it would make it harder for me to get into University or do further studies....plus i have all the know how to do it in my head pretty much...but its just hard to get it out.

I don't feel like a failure because of the painkiller addiction...that's what got me onto this path of wanting to help others so i don't regret it....it's more the sense of another academic failure because i didn't do well at school (know i know why!) this is why I'm being really hard on myself. I just want to do this course and do it well (not that we get graded...we either pass or fail). Lastnight i took 1 extra dexie to keep my focused (and sleep) and i seemed to get off to sleep easily...though i did take 1.5mg of xanax too, which is probably bad (poly drug use....) but if i hadn't of taken it i would have been too anxious to sleep or relax (don't stress...it's prescribed to me...but my next script is probably going to be my last one).

I know i haven't been eating enough either...i'm not doing it on purpose...i either just dont get hungry (because of the dexies), forget to eat or just don't know what i feel like eating. But the good thing since i started the dexies is my sugar addiction is gone! :D and within 40days of being on the dexies i lost 10kg's....since starting the epilim i have only lost about one more kilo though :( and i do need to loose weight because i am not at a healthy weight. As for the Epilim I'm going to get an appointment with my local doctor (the clinic where my normal doctor works is 2 hours away and now charge $60!) and see what they can do....but i have a feeling they won't take me off epilim...

Hurry up 1st of July! I want my doctor back!
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
      Ummmm, you might want to check out with a school counselor what you heard out about the disability type service being a handicap for you. Over here its almost the opposite.  If anything, it makes it easier to get into colleges.
      Sounds like that extra dexie a night may have been helpful, worth trying again.  I hear you about all the assignments rolling in at the same time.  Teachers are all on a schedule and usually its the same schedule for testing etc. so they all tend to want something at the same time.   You might try getting an erasable white board and dry markers.  You can put things up and easily erase them when they are over, etc.  
      There are a lot of really good study tips at these two sites, I think that you might find it worth your time to check them out.  
      http://add.about.com/u/ua/adhdinadults/ADHD-College-Study-Tips.htm
      http://add.about.com/od/schoolissues/a/Exam-Study-Tips.htm
  By the way, do take the time to check out the totallyadd.com site.  I think you will enjoy the videos.  
        Best wishes.
1460021 tn?1445739558
Yeah I'm not totally sure with the whole assistance with the "disability" in regards to the assessments. But i have been told a bad story by one students doing the Diploma at the moment but last year when she was doing the cert 4 like me she had troubles doing some assignments and was told that it would be documented that she needed assistance with completing her assignments....and she's still going on with that issue this year.
Thankfully we don't have exams...just assessments/assignments throughout the year and are also judged on how we do when we have our placement at the end of the year

lol i do already have a whiteboard stuck up on my wall in my room...and got it for the purpose of writing up school related things like assignments etc...however at the moment it is blank :s lol

I had the extra dexie last night...yet i was still awake past 4am and had to get up at 8am (currently in class and on my laptop...naughty!) my focus is shocking today....lack of sleep. It didn't help that my mother was snoring like chewbacca on speed lastnight lol....i was throwing any object i could find at the wall between my room and hers....but no avail....grrrr.

ahhh better pay attention in class....
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
    go down to your local sporting goods store and buy the ear plugs they use at the shooting range.  Very comfortable, will cut outside noises way down.   Its all about dealing with the distractions.
   Question, ya gotta ask yourself though is was it all your moms fault.  I do think the sleep thing is something worth concentrating on.  Believe I have said that from the start.  All kinds of studies have shown what sleep deprivation does.  Do you nap at all, that can help.
1460021 tn?1445739558
Well i forced mother to clean her sleep apnea machine so now she doesn't snore.. I still can't manage to even GET to bed before 1 or 2am..

I went to my local doctor yesterday, and as i thought....he said that i would have to go back to the clinic where my treating doctor works. This is where it gets complicated...IF i needed the dexie dose changed i'm pretty sure i would have to see a doctor that prescibed anything that needs a permit (e.g xanax, methadone, suboxone etc)...and there are only 3 doctors there that also do that. One of which is away for the same amount of time my doctor is...one works little hours and late....and the other one had no appointments. And i'm pretty sure i'll have to miss another day of tafe because they all only work on my tafe days.

Frustrated...at times i'm ok...but at other times i feel great despair (been depressed before) and question my choice about study. Last night my mother and i had a big fight about my medication...and i FELT the most intense anger....i felt like smashing everything in sight. Epilim has got to be what's doing this to me....and i'm sure i don't have bipolar because i don't get "highs" and didn't get diagnosed with it.

I see and think about people who are FAR worse off than me and think i have NO right to complain.
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