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Trying Ritalin For Brain Fog


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I've just started Ritalin hoping it will help with my brain fog, and maybe get me back to work. This is my third day. I'm not sure what to do...

I am finding that within 45 minutes of taking it, my thoughts are racing. It certainly is not brain fog, but it's not helping my concentration so far. I feel overly energetic - like I want to do everything at once. I start one thing, and see something else to do and start doing it. It's like my brain is going to fast. It's not a bad feeling... actually, when it's happening, it feels great. I have never experienced mania, but I'm guessing this is what it feels like. I really don't want to get to like it too much... I am afraid of being addicted.

When it wears off, and I'm my old foggy self again, I'm aware that this is not what is supposed to happen. I've started with a 10 mg dose, twice a day. I was told that this is a very small dose.

I'm not sure whether I should stop it completely, since this is obviously an adverse effect, or whether I should just cut my dose in half, since maybe I'm just getting too much of a good thing... or maybe this is to be expected when starting Ritalin, and I should continue at this dose until my body gets used to it.

Has anyone else had this kind of reaction to a stimulant? I really didn't want to get high, just to think better.

help!!

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I would definately try it at 5mg. When I trialed Ritalin I started at 2.5mg. Unfortunatley it gave me angina and bad muscle cramping in my back so I didn't continue. Going to try some Adderal and see if it effects me any differently. I didn't have the racing thoughts but I did notice I would speak faster even at that low of a dose.

You may want to try adding Midodrine to your routine if you haven't already. I think there was a memeber that would take a stimulant like Ritalin to start the day and when that wore off would switch to the Midodrine. Maybe talk to your doctor and see if this would be a possibilty.

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i'm with wareagle, i'd try half the dose. i think it shouldn't overstimulate.

when i started on ritalin the first time it gave me severe headaches and i had to stop after two weeks of trying. two years later i tried again and didn't have the headaches but really felt as if it opened the curtains, SO much brighter. i'm on 10mg twice a day and wouldn't want to do without it!

take care,

corina :)

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My son tried several different stimulants including Ritalin, Adderall, and Dextroamphetamine but all of them made him feel worse. He had even less energy than when he doesn't take them or he is so jittery and his heart would race. I hope you find something to help your brain fog.

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I had the same reaction newbie, very jittery with a racing heart.....but felt more washed out than normal. Very strange feeling, I had it woth both Ritalin and Adderall. I've had the same reaction to most POTS drugs either a stimulant like these or a bata blocker, everything seems to worsen my exhaustion. Wonder if this is a mito reaction?.......oh well as always, more questions than answers. Good luck with the lower dose I hope it helps you.

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Thanks, Everyone for your replies and suggestions. I guess I'll try 5 mg and see if that suits me better. Could this kind of reaction have anything to do with hyperadrenergic POTS? I had a similar reaction when I tried Effexor, except that I had major anxiety with it.... no anxiety with the Ritalin, but with both, I felt like I was in "over-drive". Could it have anything to do with hyper-sensitivity to catecholimines?

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My experience with adderall. Same as you. Energy, speedy brain, going from one thing to another. No less brain fog, :( but felt better in general. Doc put me on 10mg. extended relief twice a day.

Good points, got me out of bed. Had more energy although was too scatter brained to really get things done.

The bad stuff, muscle tightness eventually leading to big shoulder knots. I believe all stimulants are dehydrating. I couldn't drink enough to counteract the diuretic effect.

Also, for me, I was instantly "addicted" to the dopamine high. When it finally wore off at the end of the night, I would have a bad comedown. Felt depressed, hollow, and wanted more! Needless to say,after many different tries, messing with the dose etc. I quit. And it wasn't fun coming off of it either. Took about a week to feel better, normal POTsy.

So, just be careful, it works for lots of people just fine, I'm just telling you my experience.

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My experience with adderall. Same as you. Energy, speedy brain, going from one thing to another. No less brain fog, :( but felt better in general. Doc put me on 10mg. extended relief twice a day.

Good points, got me out of bed. Had more energy although was too scatter brained to really get things done.

The bad stuff, muscle tightness eventually leading to big shoulder knots. I believe all stimulants are dehydrating. I couldn't drink enough to counteract the diuretic effect.

Also, for me, I was instantly "addicted" to the dopamine high. When it finally wore off at the end of the night, I would have a bad comedown. Felt depressed, hollow, and wanted more! Needless to say,after many different tries, messing with the dose etc. I quit. And it wasn't fun coming off of it either. Took about a week to feel better, normal POTsy.

So, just be careful, it works for lots of people just fine, I'm just telling you my experience.

Thanks so much for your post. Yes, this sounds just like what I have been experiencing, including the muscle tightness and shoulder knots at the end of the day. I was also really thirsty and very dry mouth.

The idea of becoming addicted really scares me, because there are some serious addiction issues in my family. How long did you take it before you tried to stop? Did you have to wean off it slowly? Now that you have been off it, do you ever crave it? Thanks again for your post. It's really making me wonder if it's worth trying to continue it.... especially since it didn't really clear my thinking, it just put my brain fog in over-drive. I'm not sure what to do.

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My experience with adderall. Same as you. Energy, speedy brain, going from one thing to another. No less brain fog, :( but felt better in general. Doc put me on 10mg. extended relief twice a day.

Good points, got me out of bed. Had more energy although was too scatter brained to really get things done.

The bad stuff, muscle tightness eventually leading to big shoulder knots. I believe all stimulants are dehydrating. I couldn't drink enough to counteract the diuretic effect.

Also, for me, I was instantly "addicted" to the dopamine high. When it finally wore off at the end of the night, I would have a bad comedown. Felt depressed, hollow, and wanted more! Needless to say,after many different tries, messing with the dose etc. I quit. And it wasn't fun coming off of it either. Took about a week to feel better, normal POTsy.

So, just be careful, it works for lots of people just fine, I'm just telling you my experience.

Thanks so much for your post. Yes, this sounds just like what I have been experiencing, including the muscle tightness and shoulder knots at the end of the day. I was also really thirsty and very dry mouth.

The idea of becoming addicted really scares me, because there are some serious addiction issues in my family. How long did you take it before you tried to stop? Did you have to wean off it slowly? Now that you have been off it, do you ever crave it? Thanks again for your post. It's really making me wonder if it's worth trying to continue it.... especially since it didn't really clear my thinking, it just put my brain fog in over-drive. I'm not sure what to do.

Hi, I can't remember exactly how long, I think I was on and off of it for about 5 months. (My memory is still really bad). As far as craving it now, no I don't. I do think I weaned off a little bit, then just quit, and dealt with the withdrawals. Took about a week to feel back to normal. The main reason I don't crave it is because I remember very well the terrible empty depressed feelings after it wore off, that was the worst for me. Again everyone is different. If you can find the right dose, probably half of what you were prescribed, and don't feel the need to keep increasing, then maybe it will help you. However hearing what you are saying, it doesn't sound like the pro's outweigh the cons. Another thing, you'll need to drink even more then ever and probably add some magnesium. Stimulants deplete mag. faster.

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If you split a pill just be sure whatever variation of the drug you have is "splittable". Often the extended-release are NOT, so be sure what you have and ask doc/pharmacist. Otherwise, need to change prescription to a different dose or a splittable form.

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Hi, I can't remember exactly how long, I think I was on and off of it for about 5 months. (My memory is still really bad). As far as craving it now, no I don't. I do think I weaned off a little bit, then just quit, and dealt with the withdrawals. Took about a week to feel back to normal. The main reason I don't crave it is because I remember very well the terrible empty depressed feelings after it wore off, that was the worst for me. Again everyone is different. If you can find the right dose, probably half of what you were prescribed, and don't feel the need to keep increasing, then maybe it will help you. However hearing what you are saying, it doesn't sound like the pro's outweigh the cons. Another thing, you'll need to drink even more then ever and probably add some magnesium. Stimulants deplete mag. faster.

Thanks for telling me about your experience. It's given me some things to think about, for sure. I think maybe I will decrease the dose, and try for one more week. If I do not feel like It's improving my cognition by then, I guess I'll quit. I hope that's giving it enough of a chance.

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If you split a pill just be sure whatever variation of the drug you have is "splittable". Often the extended-release are NOT, so be sure what you have and ask doc/pharmacist. Otherwise, need to change prescription to a different dose or a splittable form.

Thanks, Erik. They are just the short acting 10mg tablets, so no problem to split them.

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I think this is everyones first reaction to a stimulant. its litterally speeding up your system and causing the same reaction in your mind. after a while and with practice, you can slow everything down and cut out ALL of the racing thoughts. Just try and move not slow, but not fast, just try and move firmly, and almost WITH ENERGY and POWER if that makes sense. Try sitting up straight and putting all the weight on your core. Once you are able to slow things down while on a stimulant, things start to click alot easier. I know for me its a hard enough task to sit up straight while im typing but the stimulants help me do the normal stuff, such as sitting up straight lol. I wouldnt decrease because I truly think this is everyones initial reaction to a stimulant medicine no matter what the dose, unless its so small it doesnt even take effect.

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I think this is everyones first reaction to a stimulant. its litterally speeding up your system and causing the same reaction in your mind. after a while and with practice, you can slow everything down and cut out ALL of the racing thoughts. Just try and move not slow, but not fast, just try and move firmly, and almost WITH ENERGY and POWER if that makes sense. Try sitting up straight and putting all the weight on your core. Once you are able to slow things down while on a stimulant, things start to click alot easier. I know for me its a hard enough task to sit up straight while im typing but the stimulants help me do the normal stuff, such as sitting up straight lol. I wouldnt decrease because I truly think this is everyones initial reaction to a stimulant medicine no matter what the dose, unless its so small it doesnt even take effect.

Thanks for this advice. It actually does make sense to me that maybe it would take a little practice to be able to harness the energy, and use it in a more focused and directed way. I am going to continue for a while and try to do this in a conscious way. I have actually felt in the last couple of days that "high" feeling is disappearing (thank goodness). I still feel like my thinking is preety quick, and a bit scattered, but less so. We'll see what happens. I do want to give it a fair try because I am desperate for something to lift the fog so I can function semi-normally again - or at least get back to work part-time. Again, thank you for your reply, I think it's good advice.

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