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Been suffering from short term memory loss after over using Ritalin

Hello dear community,

Long story short:

A) I had strong memory before i ever took Ritalin just sometimes de-motivated because subjects were boring, B) I took diagnosis and they didn't see that i've had any attention disorder around during 2002.

1) I Don't have any attention disorder but i occasionally took Ritalin from a friend that has one, it helped me tremendously in exams when i used it at a moderate and reasonable level.

2) I used it at a moderate level in the past during 2011 and 2012 but began abusing it during 2013.

3) Eventually at fall of 2013 i spent 3 days without sleep and took 3 or so ritalin pills on my first day then 7 or so on my 2nd day and over 10 on my 3rd day due to headaches, i didn't get red eyes and no one noticed i didn't sleep (photographed myself), i did not expect any long term effects.  

4) Afterwards I began losing my strong short memory and would constantly forget things and lost focus on important issues in my life, not long after i started having occasional blackouts where i would lose my track of time and would have time-lapse in my life where i would completely forget seconds, minutes, hours and days.

5) Noticed i had a problem but didn't tell anyone because i am afraid and have been doing lots of fitness/exercising and do 'brain training' and spreading as many notes and writing down everything i can.

6) Currently i can barely remember anything vividly from 2013 but i can remember most of 2012 and prior and bits after July/August 2014.

My question: Am i convincing myself this is the cause of Ritalin or could it be something else, what should i do and who should i seek just to make sure everything is okay?.

Please help.


I am a person that wasn't diagnosed with any attention disruption disorder and never had prescription for Ritalin, i obtained the drug through a friend to help me improve my grades in college - i didn't have an issue with it in 2010, 2011 or 2012 because i never abused it - i listened to him and followed the guidelines never took more than two Ritalin and mostly i never had to take more than 1 Ritalin pill a day while studying or before an exam.

Somehow during 2013 i stumbled across a horrible course i could not for whatever reason enjoy and ended up having to write a research paper about a subject i couldn't careless about, i procrastinated for months without using Ritalin and then finally caved in and took it from my friend for 2 days i took a small amount and finished my paper, i did not sleep that day and kept taking it - this turned into a Habbit anytime i wanted to write a paper/exam and was de-motivated i'd just keep taking Ritalin without sleeping and studying all night..

I noticed my short term memory was getting effected so i did some 'self brainwashing' training to improve it and once Ritalin got out of my system i didn't have too many problems, fast forward to winter i had to write another paper i didn't care about - this time it was hard, i spent not two days but 3 entire days (74 hours) without sleep, on the first day i took 3 pills, on the second around 6 or 7, on the 3rd i just went crazy because i was getting headaches every few short hours and only Ritalin would make them go away - i ate/showered/changed clothes every day and would have to constantly use the bathroom and then have to take another ritalin pill because i'd feel like i lost my concentration after i would defecate.... The 3rd i must of taken at least 10 pills.

I didn't make much of it because i thought it will just run out of my system but since then my cognitive skills have greatly deminished, i have major issues with my short term memory and at this current date (jan 22, 2015) i can't for the love of god draw any coherent memories from the year 2013, i can remember 2011 and 2012 but my memories aren't as clear as they were before i over used Ritalin.. I used to have a memory thats able to remember catalog numbers, article pages, remember text i summarized from memory - now i cant.. I have difficulty remembering things i do daily

and finally i started having black outs where i would have a time duration just completely lost and being unable to recall it - seconds, minutes, hours, days and sometimes weeks... Its horrifying i would think i am going to do something then i'd start walking/doing it but then just my memory turns off and then i snap back and i am unable to remember what i am doing, how i got there, why when and how long i been doing my activity i cant recall the activity at all (at one point i was walking towards the university then i just find myself at the other side of the city with no clue why i went there and how i went there and how long it took - again since then  i use notes to remind myself of basically everything and i record with my phone audio and play it back to remind myself.. ..  

I did lots of 'brain training' and i have plastered my apartment with notes reminding myself of my daily tasks and the important issues i keep just forgetting the short term things....

What should i do? is this real? OR am i just making myself believe is this real? Can taking way too much ritalin without sleep for 3 days seriously cause such effects and if so are they permanent and what should i do? which medical personal should i seek?  

Please help me!
2 Responses
6726276 tn?1421126668
I'd seek a Psychiatrist as they are also Mds.
I take Vyvance. It helps me. Maxy
7721494 tn?1431627964
Ritalin (methylphenidate) is a medication of the amphetamine class -- similar to methamphetamine.

Ritalin is known to cause memory loss, in high doses. Taken long term, it will cause long-term memory loss. It can cause brain damage. It increases your risk of stroke and heart disease.

You have a serious substance abuse problem. Seek help.
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