In light of my psychiatrist choosing to not help me with what I most need help with right now (post forthcoming about this at some point, I’m sure), I’ve taken it upon myself to find help some other way.
Though I suspect it’s not THAT hard to find Adderall or Ritalin through less-than-proper channels, I’m not trying to get stimulants specifically. The Strattera worked a treat for a while, and if there was another non-stimulant medication available I’d be just as happy to try that, even if means swapping back and forth between the two non-stimulants whenever they start losing their efficacy. But there isn’t another non-stimulant option – that I’m aware of.
So, my psychiatrist has left me with a medication that helps in some respects but not where it matters the most for me right now – focus! I’m kinda mad at him, to be honest. It feels wrong that he’d tell me he’s concerned past trauma makes me ineligible for stimulant medication but then offers no advice as to what I should do about said trauma.
As an aside, I’m also mad at the whole team for their handling of my assessment. But that’s now what this is about. I’ll rant about THAT in another post.
What’s traumatising me right now is how I can’t work as effectively as I could before, when the Strattera worked. I’m not nearly as productive and consequently making next to no money compared with ‘the Strattera years’. My trauma is a life-long anxiety about security. You’d think that a shrink would be concerned about helping manage my security by, I dunno, helping me maintain focus at work by changing my medication. Past trauma isn’t going anywhere. Future trauma from not being able to pay bills?
I’m just baffled and disappointed by the whole thing, especially given I literally spent half of what savings I had for a test THEY fucked up.
Anyway, I’m not hunting for stimulants on the streets. Like I said, it was never about that. (I constantly feel like I have to defend myself, as though wanting access to Adderall or Ritalin to manage my ADHD is some sort of offense or someone is looking for a chance to accuse me of ‘just wanting drugs’. It’s unnecessarily exhausting!) Instead, I went on a little Google adventure to see if there was anything else out there that might help with focus.
The usual suspects turned up, of course. The family of B vitamins in particular. But I came across True Focus by NOW Foods on iHerb (note: I’m not affiliated with either). It’s just a supplement, and apparently supports neurotransmitters for improved focus, etc.
The ingredients list:
|Vitamin C (from Potassium Ascorbate)||36 mg||40%|
|Vitamin B-6 (from Pyridoxine HCl)||12 mg||706%|
|Potassium (from Potassium Ascorbate)||10 mg||<1%|
|L-Tyrosine (Free-Form)||800 mg||†|
|L-Phenylalanine (Free-Form)||300 mg||†|
|Taurine (Free-Form)||100 mg||†|
|Grape Seed Extract (Vitis vinifera) (Standardized for Polyphenols)||80 mg||†|
|DMAE (from Dimethylaminoethanol Bitartrate)||60 mg||†|
|Ginkgo Extract (Ginkgo biloba) (Leaf)
(50:1 Standardized Extract, min. 24% Ginkgoflavonglycosides and 6% Terpene Lactones)
|CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) (as Ubiquinone)||10 mg||†|
I’ve taken it two days in a row so far (now almost two weeks) and I must say, I DO feel an improvement. It may be entirely coincidental, but my energy has been great, the old executive function seems to be doing it’s job for a change, and I’m getting things done. I actually feel much like I did when I first started atomoxetine! Hopefully it doesn’t wear off.
So, for the near future I’m going to take these, along with vitamins (which I frequently forget to take) and try whatever tricks I can to increase and maintain my focus, at work and with my writing.
National guidelines for ADHD diagnosis and treatment were only recently released, and I have no idea how long it will take, or even IF those guidelines will be adopted in this state. I haven’t lost all hope for managing my ADHD with the help of medication, but until the bureaucratic bullshit changes, I’m just going to have to keep trying to help myself.