What Ritalin did to me…

I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this or maybe I’m in the wrong forums/places.   In any case, I hear about college students and “normal” people taking this and getting through exams and life and bouncing off walls like it’s some kind of amazing high!!  But this is an ADHD medication…   It’s a stimulant but it doesn’t work that way on us…or at least, on me.   When I heard about it, I expected magic in a bottle!

Wallpaper-amazing

What do you mean I’m going to be able to focus and not have ten million things running around in my head at any given second?!  Are you kidding me?! That’s fantastic!!  And I don’t have to get up every ten minutes or change what I’m doing because fidget…?!  Really!?  Oh my god, give me a gallon’s worth!!

I should have known better… they do always say “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is…” and they, whoever they are, are right. It was way too good to be true.  My first day taking it, I was giddy with excitement…more than my usual bounce off the walls excitement… I was like wow, I’ll be able to get work done! Let’s down this sucker!

Almost instantly, I felt this…

Only… I wasn’t looking through the wave… I was IN it… tumbling around like some kind of Alice in Wonderland experience when she inhaled too much of whatever that caterpillar was smoking.   I was under water…in some kind of fog…I went to my chair and sat down…I was dizzy…I melted into the chair and sat staring at my computer.  After 30 mins I went to eat something…couldn’t tell you what that was…  I was walking through molasses.  It took a lot of effort to put things together.  I went back to my computer and sat, again…watched something…couldn’t tell you what that was either.

But I was still… I sat there for the next couple of hours…I opened up maybe 10 tabs in my browser as opposed to my usual 30-50 or whatever…  As time passed the fog got thicker and thicker…my hands were heavy…my body was heaving…as if I was in some kind of haze from staying up way too late and was incredibly groggy!  But I was sitting still…  I then got up to throw up…but I had no food in my stomach so I dry heaved…nasty bitterness… I ate something and it calmed down the heaves…  I learned that from pregnancy.  It must be a fluke… I went to bed…

I tried it again the next day…same thing but the fog was even thicker…and it wasn’t until today that I realised I was depressed…not like the mental illness exactly…but like being held down by something.  My usual Tiggerness had turned into Eeyore… or for those who are fans of MLP, I had gone from Pinkie Pie to a seriously depressed Pinkamena.  I see why they give this to kids…keeps them at their seat and they have to struggle just to SEE anything that it keeps them nice and quiet.

Oh yeah, I had that wonderful effect too…all my senses were dulled.  I saw something but it took a moment to process it…I touched something but it took a moment to figure out what it was… I can see why they say don’t drive while under this…I had to struggle just to SIT at my desk, it wasn’t fun.  I called the doctor and left a message.  Is this normal?!   After some time she called back and left me a message as I was passed out…my body’s defense mechanism is to fall asleep…and since I couldn’t really function anyway, I obliged.  The message said to cut down the dose…mind you, I was already on the lowest dose… 10 mg.  But I did as told and half-ed it.   Didn’t make a difference….

The same fog, heavier and heavier, the more I take… And mind you, I took a couple of days off just to wear off the bad effects… Especially the, if I don’t eat every couple of hours I dry heave. This is NOT fun.  I asked someone else taking a different med but has ADHD too what I’m supposed to feel and they told me that it does slow things down so you can focus.  They suggested I take less….hmmm… I don’t think that taking 2.5 mg is going to help…I’ll probably still get fogged…and I still have the side effects.

Another person who took this back in High School told me that they had the same thing happen to them but that their parental unit insisted they take the med to keep them quiet and compliant.  I don’t think that’s a good thing…  Anyway, they took the normal dose of 30 mg and they got the same thing as me…so it’s the med, not the person.   I looked online and couldn’t really find anyone talking about this.  Why?  Am I the one in a million?

Do people rather have the glorification of making themselves dulled and depressed?  Is that the preference?  I sure as heck don’t like it!  I don’t know why anyone would like this tumbled upside down, foggy, sleepy, and dull lifestyle.  Yes, my thoughts didn’t go at ten million miles an hour and yes they didn’t bounce off the walls but I felt like somebody else…and to me, that’s not worth it.  I wanted to have a a toned down version of myself, meaning, still me but maybe more focused…  Is there such a thing as a focused without all those other side effects?   Or is this what focus is…  Is this how others live their lives?
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A few thoughts here and there…life in the slow lane…  Are you able to sit still because you have nothing better to do?  Is THIS why people get bored?!   Maybe I should be glad to have ADHD.   Maybe my million miles an hour thoughts and bouncing off the walls is a GOOD thing…I’m creative and constantly thinking of the next new thing…yes I get “bored” easy with the same activity over and over again but that’s where the million thoughts come into play.  Who has time to get bored when within five seconds you’re on to 30 other scenarios?!  When you can feel like a child and be amused by EVERYthing?!
Why would we want to stop this?   Why did I believe I had to be “normal” to be OK?

So I’m writing this to tell other people that hey, you’re not alone.  If you decide that you rather have ADHD than the dull existence some pill gives you, it’s OK.  I’m right here next to you and we can have our own little crazy boat.  Let’s embrace that kind of crazy!  At least we’ll never be bored and to me, that’s worth everything!  Yes, even the annoyance of having others tell you that you’re a spaz constantly.  You know what?  I think they’re jealous.  We’re the awesome creative ones.  We come up with stuff they haven’t even thought of…and yeah OK, we might need a little help reigning in everything once in a while but that’s not a bad trade off.  We get them out of the box and they keep us in for a bit.  Sounds like a win win to me!

Until next time, thanks for reading!  If you are so inclined to donate to my getting a laptop, here’s my kofi link: http://ko-fi.com/A1055U8 Thank you! 😀

 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Vs. Depression. They really aren’t that different from each other!

I was talking to a friend about NPD and I said it was a choice, whether conscious or unconscious, it’s still a choice like depression.  But who would choose to be depressed or to be NPD?  Well… if the world is your oyster and you can get whatever you want… wouldn’t you be tempted too?  I’ll illustrate similarities in a minute.  The NPD info comes from Wikipedia which isn’t always the best source but it helps.  The Depression part comes from observation and studies in psychology because doctors kept trying to say I was depressed and wanted to keep drugging me.   I said I was tired, not depressed, so I studied the thing.   And you know what?  I was depressed.  But I didn’t take any drugs.  I instead, made a different choice.  And yes, life is harder when you’re “not depressed” but I think it’s better this way.  At least I’m no longer taking advantage of people.  Btw, I’m still tired but that happens when you stay up too late and work…

NPD is a personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and to others in the process.

Depression:  The world is about YOU and what is wrong with YOU and how the rest of the world seems to be against YOU.  That person is unable to see that their selfishness affects others.  “I don’t feel like it, so I’m not going to” is a common theme among the depressed.   Relationships and bonds are destroyed because that person “doesn’t feel like it” and thus entitled to everything else.  People should cater to THEM.

Depression doesn’t LOOK like people worry about power, prestige, vanity, or personal adequacy but they do.  Why else would they worry about what they “do not have” if it didn’t bother them?

Back to NPD: Some people diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder are characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance. They have a sense of entitlement and demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behavior. They have a strong need for admiration, but lack feelings of empathy.

Ask a depressed person if they care about others or others’ feelings.  They don’t.  They only care that they’re the ones depressed and that others should help THEM.  Like I said, they feel entitled to being the victim and to be helped.  Perhaps it’s not an obvious grandiosity as in NPD but if the world is all about them, well, they must feel like gods then?   The thing is, the depressed person isn’t as obvious as the NPD.  They have a strong need for admiration too, why else would they be constantly saying woe is me, please help me, I need attention/love/etc. etc.

I am depressed virtually means “don’t ask anything of me.  I won’t give anything back. Just cater to me.”  Basically it’s a carte blanche to do NOTHING.  Ever.  As long as they’re “depressed.”

NPD:     Expects to be recognized as superior and special, without superior accomplishments, expects constant attention, admiration and positive reinforcement from others, envies others and believes others envy him/her, is preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies of great success, enormous attractiveness, power, intelligence, lacks the ability to empathize with the feelings or desires of others, is arrogant in attitudes and behavior, has expectations of special treatment that are unrealistic

Did I not just pretty much say this is typical of the depressed mind?  With the exception of envy.  I don’t think an depressed person thinks others are envious of them.  However, if people saw just how much the depressed person got catered to objectively, they probably would be envious.  The depressed person thinks “Once I get out of depression I’m going to be awesome!”  But of course, they sabotage themselves so this never happens and therefore always stay “depressed.”  They think the world should just open up their arms because they’re depressed.  Much like the last line in the NPD paragraph.

Are depressed people arrogant?  Sure they are.  Because if you don’t cater to them you’re an evil person.  After all, how can you look at this pathetic person and turn your back on them?  How can you be so cruel?

NPD: Other symptoms in addition to the ones defined by DSM-IV-TR include: Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends, has trouble keeping healthy relationships with others, easily hurt or rejected, appears unemotional, and exaggerating special achievements and talents, setting unrealistic goals for himself/herself.  NPD is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, and an over-inflated sense of self-importance that is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.  

Which as I illustrated, is the same with depression.  NPD however, probably doesn’t cry in public and probably doesn’t sit at home alone thinking what else can I do?  Then again, maybe they do…  but I think NPD’s tend to be more “outwardly.”  Kind of like the extroverts of the DSM book.  

NPD: Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others, when in reality they have a fragile self-esteem, cannot handle criticism, and often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth. Comments and criticisms about others are vicious from sufferers of NPD, in an attempt to boost their own poor self-esteem.

Depression: if you critisise them, they will buckle and cry.  How can you be so cruel?  So you have to be on pins and needles so you don’t “hurt” them more.  What this means is, you can’t ever say anything to them.  You can’t even opinionate because they see that as an attack.  Their battle words is how can you hurt me so badly when I’m already depressed?  You want to make me suicidal?  So they don’t use belittling to “disarm” their opponent.  They use guilt.

NPD: Instead of behaving in a way that shows how they are feeling in the moment, they behave in the way that they feel they are expected to behave or what gives them the most attention.

The depressed person does whatever they need to do to get the most attention and take advantage of everything given and always wants to take and get more.  They are never satisfied.   However, compared to NPD, depression is more vocal about how shitty people feel about themselves.  NPD’s won’t ever say omg I suck monkey balls and that’s why I need to deflect your words so you won’t see it.  Depression says I suck monkey balls so badly I think I ate maggots from last week’s kill!  You have no idea how horrible that is!!  It’s never mole hills, only mountains.

The interesting thing is for depression there are a million drugs, for NPD?  Not so much.  Why?  A chemical reaction/disorder, what have you?  Sure, sometimes chemicals get out of whack and it may cause for some mood swings and what have you… but if the doctors and pharmaceutical companies can make a million dollars off drugs as “placebos” wouldn’t you jump on that wagon too?  And what if it was like the mechanics at a bad auto shop?  They break something else so you need more “maintenance” or another “part” for your “broken” car?   Think about it.   Depression never comes with just ONE pill.  Often it starts out that way and then another and another and another…  it’s like everything else.  You take one pill, makes you better, next thing you know you’re taking 20…  The solution isn’t to take more pills.  The solution is to look around and within you to find out WHAT the heck is going on with you!

Now I’m sure I’ll get flack for this.  People will say how mean or cruel I am for saying that depression is a choice.  I can assure you that if NPD’s and Depressed people took a damn good LOOK at themselves, from the inside out, the depression and NPD would be gone.  The thing is, instrospection is HARD…it’s messy… it’s UGLY as hell… it’s the worst thing in the world, I think.   But once you do it, you can learn SO MUCH about yourself and the things you can achieve and my god, the things you’ve overcome!!  You will look at yourself as some kind of hero for yourself.  The real question however, isn’t can you do it?  The real question is “Can I give it up?”

Depression, and I presume NPD, is like a drug addiction.   When people cater to you, when you get people to do your bidding, when they never ask anything of you in return… well… can you really give that up and actually start doing work for yourself?  If you have person slaves…  why would you “return to sender” on them?   It’s very lucrative… it’s enticing… it’s magnificent… wrong… but damn awesome!   I STILL have my moments of wow… I used to get so much more…all I had to do was cry or bitch… now I have to do everything on my own… this sucks!  The world no longer sees me with the “you’re broken” eyes and I sometimes miss the depression.  I miss the attention and the lack of work.  I mean seriously, who likes working?  OK, maybe I’m still depressed…. or maybe now I’m insane… but would I give up all this work and go back to depressed?  I don’t think so…  you know why?  Because now I know better.

I am not completely fixed… I have other issues to work on… depression still comes and says “hi” once in a while but I say hello, I wallow, and then send it away again.  Depression, much like I hear drugs and alcohol and other bad habits, never helped me get better.  It let me stay in one place and also made things worse.  So no, I’m not going back to that.

And maybe someone out there needs my help.  Maybe someone out there needs me to show them how to “get out” of depression.  And many will balk and call me insensitive.  That’s OK. I’m honest and I’m blunt.  I also have thick skin.  I can take the comments.  At least depression left me with that gift and I’m OK with that.  Thick skin is better than thin skin when it comes to comments.