A Dopamine Kick (Another ADHD Podcast)

48. Starting on ADHD Medication (Elvanse/Vyvanse). A Personal Review (1/2)

October 30, 2022 Sparky and Shell
A Dopamine Kick (Another ADHD Podcast)
48. Starting on ADHD Medication (Elvanse/Vyvanse). A Personal Review (1/2)
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Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we discuss starting on ADHD medication and what it feels like. It’s Shell’s first week so we explore how she’s been feeling, all positives, the negatives and what the overall experience has been like so far

We’ll update you in further episodes as time goes on . Thanks for listening

Episode resources

This website has loads of information on what to take to your GP should you be in the process of needing to see someone about ADHD

List of symptoms, diagnostic criteria for ADHD and further information:

If you identify with 5 symptoms on each list often, it may be something you want to speak to your doctor about.

See you next week for another episode of shenanigans! 

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Sparky and Shell 0:

09 Welcome to dopamine kick, your weekly dose of positivity. We're your host, Sparky and shell. Join us each week as we have change your habits, tackle fears and change your mindset. Let's get to it.

Unknown Speaker 0:

23 Hello everyone and welcome to episode 48 of a dopamine kick. Today we are going to be talking about starting ADHD

Sparky 0:

31 medication. So as you know you listen to last week's episode or maybe it was the episode before she was talking about her journey with ADHD and that she's going to be starting on medication. While that time is here. Charles has taken her medication for a week I believe, actually. Yes, it's a week today and somebody who myself anyway who's not diagnosed with ADHD, but going through the process and the journey. These are the questions that you're looking at following medication or do you feel like so I think this episode will be a great episode to actually address that talk about some of the experiences that she has been going through already and what it feels like to be on ADHD medication. Now the medication that she's taking is called elements. So it is a stimulant, and I think it'd be great to get into asking you some questions about how it's been on your first week. So in summary, maybe just tell us how you figure out how to work where you're at

Unknown Speaker 1:

20 the moment so yeah, like you said, I'm on advanced is a UK brand name. It's called Vyvanse in America and these decks on betanin is the generic name. I've been started on 30 milligrammes, so 31 I've got it wrong again. 35 I'm not listening in UK. I started last Saturday on grammes my journey. Interesting, I suppose. So first of all, I should start off by saying we're not producing tick tock or people like taking the medication and I'm like two hours later and and I burst into tears like the world is so quiet Is this what everybody feels like? Accompanied by miss out on this. So I have high hopes for medication and sadly, I was not one of those people. So, yeah, that was a disappointment, but I knew that was a possibility. So in terms of overall having a quiet mind, less noisy brain, all that sort of stuff, haven't really had any, any impact on that. See this ad, but I have had some positive effects. So that's meaningful people. So I most of the positive effects that I have on the first day, so the first day was sort of good and bad, had the most positives but also have a lot of negatives as well. And since then, both positives and negatives sort of dramatically turned off. But yeah, the positives that I had were I do feel anxious at all. So that was really good. I take an anti anxiety medication before it's actually nothing. But literally within 14 to taking the first albums on anxiety went and I thought that that might have been because I've been so worried about the tablets. But actually later on that evenings at nine o'clock ish when the topic wears off, it will come back. So I think it was genuinely the tablet. I felt calmer. So normally I feel like some edge or something. I forgotten some things that jumped out at me. And I didn't really feel like that at all. I just said I'll just jump in.

Sparky 3:

10 Yeah, sorry to put you up there. For me, and I'll just say one thing that I've noticed already is You seem really, really cold today. Did you mean that you're going to a wedding. And we said that we were going to be you know you had from half an hour to half tend to record this episode this morning. It's now 1036 And they're just like, Yeah, it's

Unknown Speaker 3:

29 fine. Oh, I 30 haven't washed my hair. 31 I'm gonna do something like calm sense, but it's it's hard to explain. It's like an eerie calm because it's disconnected from what's going on around me. So it definitely feels like a drug induced car. Did

Sparky 3:

41 you feel like this on the first day because just for context, to the people that are listening, or social on our first day where she was taking a vacation. Again, we were at a friend's wedding, and you seemed really calm there as well. And obviously I left and you said that after I've left you got home and you had a few more side effects from medication which you will explain because I'm cutting you off. But you seem really calm and you seem really calm now. So yeah, my perception. Obviously I know what's been going on but your demeanour definitely seems like karma. But like you said, that's due to the disconnect, isn't it? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 4:

10 I mean, it sounds quite nice after being so worked up and so like stressed for so long. It does feel nice to be calm. Probably the only sort of effect that I still have now but we got everything else is gone. So also on the first day, I felt really emotionally stable. So normally my emotions can change really quickly, even like quite extreme emotions. In a short space of time. So if I'm asked that how I feel about something, I'm just taking an average but I felt like less irritated a bit more patient. Like I didn't feel happier wasn't like as I thought because obviously I know that like speak meet euphoric and happy. I cannot say that I felt any happier. Just the swings in my emotions were so much less that I felt better overall, because I wasn't crashing from high to low. But if I'd taken an average over the day before I took them the average would have been I think about the same. Yeah, that was quite nice. I didn't dissociate all day. In fact, that didn't come back. So I started taking the tablets on Saturday and the first time I dissociated was Tuesday evening. That took a while to come back. So for anyone that doesn't do this, as you know what it is, it's where the best I can describe it as I sitting in almost like wake up like come to, and I don't have any memory of what I was doing. Indeed before that. It happens like multiple times an hour sometimes but always at multiple times a day. Usually I'll just be staring standing staring at whatever is in front of me and just not moving. But it can happen when I'm moving as well. So like driving is the worst example. Have to listen to podcasts in the car. Because otherwise I know it's so bad. I hate it.

Sparky 5:

39 I'm so sorry. I'm just I'm just laughing in the background. I'm so sorry. I knew they're talking about your experience, but I'm just like, I'm laughing at the fact that you would just sit there staring at a wall and I could just picture you doing it.

Unknown Speaker 5:

49 I do it all the time. I do it all the time. And like Daniel like come into the bedroom, and other said like I'm going upstairs to get dressed and he'll find me just like water door open just staring into the wardrobe. And I've got no idea like how long I've been there no concept of time. Or sometimes I'll be sitting on the bed like deemed scrolling on my phone. But I don't remember seeing all the bedroom and picking up my phone. And I couldn't tell you the things that I looked at. Very, very weird. And what happens when I'm driving I can't remember any of the journey. Like even if I've gone through like quite big junctions. I don't remember like did I stop was the record in front of me. Like, did I swear that dangerously? Does anybody beat

Sparky 6:

24 the horn? Uh, yeah, that is that's dissociation isn't it? And people get confused because we all have dissociation every single day. There's a lot of people that say oh, yeah, you know, I was gonna I was gonna do that and I forgot right? You know, there's a lot of people that say I've been driving and I forgot my abilities normal for people to say that I

Unknown Speaker 6:

38 think everybody everybody will do it when I bring the board on a low level. But yeah, for me, it can be can be quite bad.

Sparky 6:

45 But for some people with ADHD for example, and also mental health problems, it can be a regular occurrence to the point where it actually affects your daily life and routine.

Unknown Speaker 6:

54 Like if I don't have a deadline, like I'm in the habit of in the mornings on the weekend, like trying to book something to do or have plans to do in the morning. Because if I don't have that impending deadline to keep the focus, you can comfortably take me an hour just to get dressed because I'm just constantly dissociating because it's like a boring mundane task. No

Unknown Speaker 7:

08 dopamine there. No dopamine 11 so yeah, I didn't think about that at all until the Tuesday. I had a couple of episodes where my eyes went unfocused and I was staring. Very occasionally, sometimes I know I'm gonna dissociate because that happens, but I can't. I can't like pull it back when it does. But those times I was able to like pull it back, snap myself out of it. So that was quite good. The other thing sorry I'm just reading on this terrace and this enormous next to the messaging like saying let me know how it goes and the day that I took them and sent him like a two page essay back but he's not required to 45 make the mistake of giving you his number yet because that would be a genuine mistake. 49 No, I don't think you do that. 51 I don't know what caused that for you. 58 So the next thing is a swing event. So you do studies yourself. So the next thing is marked reduction in fidgeting and compulsive behaviours. So this is things like I'm always messing with things. Because I might want to total the time when I'm in the bottom of my shoes and it was like a depression because I like circle my toe. Or like I play with things in somebody's mouth and my tongue. twist my hair was really Naughty. Naughty hair because it twist it I can't wear it up Don't worry about very often because being headaches and obsessively like checking my phone like constantly refreshing the page and like waiting people to message me and that sort of stuff. I didn't really have any urge to do that at all. And again, that didn't come back to the night like I barely look to my phone at all. She's really, really unusual format. So yeah, that one was was not something I was particularly like about changing, but it's quite a nice, like objective. Yeah, it's harder to like, assess how you feel on a day to day basis. It's really clear to say yes, I fidgeted. No, I didn't like it. That one. That one's gotten less sensitive to sound and touch is the last one last ones. So normally, I'm really sound touch sensitive. So like a big busy environment such as my daughter. She's really busy. I just can't cope. I just get really overwhelmed, irritable, angry, we just have to leave. And I took my daughter to us. I felt so calm, but she didn't really try it. Because it was okay in the morning for the wedding just from the tablets. It was totally fine. I was really busy and I didn't care. We had a great time. I was really patient with her. I was like letting her do stuff rather than like trying to rush her through and help her too much. So that went really well. And then you'll quit touch instead as well. I don't really like people to touch me. So if it's friends and family I like kinds of friends and family but people that don't know well. It just makes me feel like my skin's calling when I get touched. I didn't really have that. I had a lot of hugs and stuff at the wedding and that felt totally fine. So that was that was nice. Yeah, that's a good one and at home as well. So, Jamie and I used to be quite like huggy. And since my daughter came along, I find that I find it really difficult to hug him and likes it. Before I can stop myself, although so bad, like it must upset him so much. Can't be very nice and the wife like flinching. I can't help it. It just happens without me. Like it's a reflex. And I just kind of assume this because my daughter is like all over me like hanging off. What's been picked up once we arrived on time. I just thought well, I obviously have a daily tolerance and yet she's getting all of it. That's why there's not enough left. But actually I quite enjoyed like being packed and stuff. So that was that's a good sign. Yeah. Do

Sparky 10:

31 you still feel that? Just moving? Moving on to the next question? Do you still feel like I know you said in in Nice job descriptions of different symptoms and things that you've had? Do you still feel that you're getting a benefit from it or do you feel that there is a benefit that's going to come from taking the medication, but where are you at with your feelings and thoughts? No. Okay, medication.

Unknown Speaker 10:

47 So currently, I, I probably should go back to probably should explain a little bit more about the side effects because it makes sense otherwise. So we've always positive I had some really nasty side effects as well like daylong headaches because we're not talking about the negatives. No, no, we're

Unknown Speaker 11:

00 just I'm so sorry. I honestly don't 05 think I've spoken to you about it so much during the week like this is all brand new information for you. So it must be quite dull. Tell me

Sparky 11:

12 what I was doing. I'll tell you what I was doing. I was looking at an AD AD ADHD mean, I was trying to it doesn't matter. I'll explain it another time. But yeah, I was just I got distracted a little bit there. I wasn't listening but I just got a little bit distracted. So anyway, let's talk about some of the negative symptoms that you had from taking medication.

Unknown Speaker 11:

29 Yeah, so I had I had a lot. I had virtually all of the like common ones, like Dr. Out stomachache, headache. It's the best day but the headaches were bad but they were terrible. And I thought because I knew that headaches are quite common and I do suffer from migraines and headaches especially more commonly if you're a migraine sufferer. So I was expecting the headaches and I know that they often don't last very long so I just kind of prepared to grit my teeth through those not sleeping has been hard to deal with because that would make my migraines worse. So then it became quite difficult to tell when my headaches escalated like the second day of taking it I had an almost day long migraine and I was really like sensitive really noise sensitive to the point where by about four or five o'clock I was just in my bedroom cottage drawn in the darkened silence and I just stayed like that all the rest of the day. So yeah, it's hard to know whether that's directly the tablets or not sleeping. Then I started to get some racing heart pounding heart broken, didn't want as well. increase heart rate or blood pressure was fine. But I started to get really like zombie like I'm about to take the meds at 630 for about nine or nine onwards till about one o'clock. I just started to feel like I was just not really not really bad. Like I really tried to talk to a work colleague and I couldn't get the words out because like I couldn't. I knew I wanted to say in my head but I couldn't physically my mouth say it. And just feeling really like confused and not being able to do like normal tasks because I couldn't think of the next step was horrible. So email by psychiatrist and he hasn't replied. So we might have about changing my review because I replied to so I decided to take matters into my own hands. Like what I call a copy like this like continued work early coming home just sitting in a dark room all night I was weapons that I was going to be making mistakes at work and you know, obviously there's a high potential impact of that if I make a mistake, you know, with someone that could have a serious negative repercussions so I didn't want that. Like personally as well. Looking after my daughter I didn't feel safe to drive and I was into like somebody mode. And then when I came out of it, I'd be really tired of just a headache and irritable so I started having a dose to just taking 50 milligrammes or holding an actual and that worked really well in curing. Sort of, I still can feel that I still feel like a little bit, but it's not it's like manageable I can I can still go back again it's not obvious to people around me but it hasn't that I'm getting virtually no positive effects Fitbit calm but that's all of the other positives have gone. So today I've tried something a little bit different because the mental health for about nine and a half nine I'm struggling to keep my eyes open seems to help with insomnia to lower the dose. So what I've done today is I took half a dose at 630 and the other half at night. And what I was sort of hoping is that I would be like the heart on me for a bit longer but I wouldn't go into full. It seems to be working because it's about the time that it should be at its worst and I'm managing to speak to you. But suddenly I thought well, maybe some of the positives would come back if I was taking the appropriate amount, but they haven't been a bit calmer that I'm fidgeting the whole time. I'm doing this vintage thing all morning. I still am a little bit like not myself like a little bit of it before we started before we started recording this I was in the shower and I put conditioner on my head a little bit dry and like sort of get knocked out and then what I should have done is rinse that out Shampoo to get the grease out and then put another little conditioner on again. And I realised as we started talking on the phone because the hair started to dry out that she never did that. So I'm gonna have to get back in the shower before this wedding and shampoo and shampoo my hair because I've forgotten to shampoo my hair. And I do I am forgetful with ADHD. I do do silly things. But I don't think I can't remember incidents where I've ever gone had a shower with the purpose of washing my hair and coming up with not appropriately washed hair. So it's still definitely having negative effects. So I don't know, I suppose probably I should be more negative but I'm just so hopeful because that first day I did notice a lot of positives that I think this dose or this medication is not right for me. So I don't know what was going to be suggested at my review whether I have to come off the medication completely and start a different one, or whether it's a case of increasing the dose because I have I have seen an account of someone else on Tik Tok, who also said they felt like a zombie at 30 milligrammes and when they were up to 50 that zombie mode went away. So, yeah, so I didn't know at this stage. What the next step is me, but I can manage on the 15th so until I hear back from a psychiatrist, I'm gonna just stay, I think on the 15th because at least then my body's getting used to it. But I'm not getting her into SIMEX.

Sparky 16:

05 Yeah. Well, it's, it's funny, really, because when you think about medication, you think the higher the dose, it does more and more and more, but actually, there are so many people that have different effects than when you take them out high dose. I know I've experienced that before. We started with like a really low dose USP. It's really I mean, I'm no scientist. I don't know how medication works. But in general, you just have to trust what the psychiatrist is saying really have that review with him is how that goes and go from there. But it sounds like on the dose that you're on, you're really struggling. And maybe the lower dose isn't doing as much as you expected it to do so maybe. I mean, I don't know how this would work but the dose of you who are on medication change, but will keep up to date with you anyway on the on the podcast with the medication review because patient some content, not for everybody. In this episode, don't do this. Don't try that. These these are always going to be our own experiences and you have to try what's best for you. But obviously just knowing this may help somebody I think from my point of view anyway, it doesn't matter whether someone has a bad experience or a bad experience you just want to know about it. You know it's just interesting to know people going through the same

Unknown Speaker 17:

14 thing as I did initially when I started to have this on the main thing I did have like Oh God What about if I just don't have ADHD and that's why I'm having these weird symptoms whereas in the house like it was quiet and so for me when I found other people that had this side effects that was really comforting to know that actually it wasn't just me. I think I was always comforting. Is there anything that's going wrong? If you know that actually you're not alone that that's just always makes it a little bit easier? Yeah. And everybody was talked

Sparky 17:

40 about, you know, share your stories, you're not allowed to talk about mental health. And these podcasts is focused on mental health from the beginning and dopamine and how you can improve your life. So if you feel that medication is something that you need. A lot of people with ADHD do need medication. There are some people that don't, I'm assuming there's different severities of how it affects your life. How you've been born, whether you've had therapy before, whether you've had medications before, and those of you listening know that this is a recent thing for us something we struggled with for a long time and it's been put down to other things and you know, we've had histories in the past where we've gone to get help and and we didn't really know what's going on with us and they all came in it's like bright, shiny light at one point when we're not drawn to each other. Like you said that those therapists were both ADHD and you will listen to that episode. You can go back and listen to the episode which is we've got ADHD because then you'll be able to hear how we found out about having got ADHD and all that jazz, but this is relatively new for us. So you know I mean, it's like a firsthand experience. It's like documenting it. I think it's quite it's quite nice to listen to from the side because I definitely like listening to other people's journeys and stories and what they're going through what their, what their psychology is saying and what medication they're on. I think it's interesting if anyone out

Unknown Speaker 18:

49 there is considering taking advantage of this about it notes about the side effects. I would just say go for it because, you know, I have not had a particularly pleasant first week on events, but I am still taking it and I don't regret starting I don't regret starting this journey at all. Because I have had some positives even though they weren't the ones that I was expecting when I was I wanted and I'm still committed to trying to find a medication that works with me. So yeah, I would just say you know, as long as you're safe to take care and you know it's been prescribed by a doctor. I think you're not going to know until you try it individual variation is so different. You know, some people absolutely love it right from the first dose to the one on a high dose and a low dose doesn't seem to make any difference. How like, big you are like, you know, there's adults that are on like a tiny amount and kids that are on a much higher dose and vice versa. It seems to be really, really individual. And there's some people that hate our bands that go really well with Concerta and then the other way around. So unfortunately, it's very much trial and error. You just won't know until you try it.

Sparky 19:

48 And if you don't try it and you say you want to take medication because you are really struggling and you don't try Are you gonna be thinking about in the back your mind is Oh, what if I tried to, you know, was a feeling better and I think that's where that's where we got to what happens if we try this medication and actually, wow, you know, we can do this and we can make decisions and you can be on time and we can not struggle as much as we're struggling. But the one thing that I would say is I'd have zero impact on my time. Well no considering these 1111 Which is probably why I still need to rapidly sort of but just before I go, I do want to say one thing, do not look at any of the medication side effects too much to the point where if you like me anyway, you're a bit of a contract. Do it to yourself because every application

Unknown Speaker 20:

29 it's good to have an overview, isn't it? But yeah, like we both have done that about medications. Haven't we just like spiralled into obsessively reading and rereading and and finding like a rare rare side effect possible and convinced it's gonna happen to us is not healthy. It's not good. You'll be up

Sparky 20:

43 at 3am and it's just not a good it's not a good way to cope. So like Charles said, it's good to have an overview. But don't go down the rabbit hole too much don't go researching all these really, really really rare things or things that people say along the line as well. So just take that stuff with a pinch of salt and see what you like where that is necessary for you. If you feel like you're really struggling, have a have a look at the side effects and the overview of the side effects but don't take it on board too much because you'll just spiral into a panic and it's not good for anyone.

Unknown Speaker 21:

08 And if you haven't already, please hit the subscribe or follow button so you'll be updated with all of our content. We are going to be sharing stuff every week about our journey and what's happening with that and into the tips and tricks that you pick up on the way and I think that's all we've got time for today. Yeah, it's

Sparky 21:

25 definitely all we've got time for this week because you need to get to a wedding. So we'll see you next time for another episode. All right, that's everything this week, guys. If you want to carry on with the conversation, join us over on our social media platforms or on all the major channels and our handle is

Unknown Speaker 21:

38 I don't think we'd also be separate. Podcast ready listening because it helps us grow our audience and help more people. Okay, we'll see you in the next one.

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