July 12, 2018 at 10:19 pm #88257
I was diagnosed with ADHD about 10 weeks ago and was prescribed 10 mg ritalin twice a day, at first I found the affects of the medication great i was finding my work easier i was more focused and engaged and being my best self and of course had the euphoria. However about 2 weeks ago the euphoria began to fade and one day it was like i had a glimpse of it for half an hour and then it disappeared and hasn’t come back. From the reading i’ve done online the fading of the euphoria is quite common and isn’t the ritalin no longer working. However since the disappearance of the euphoria I have experienced really bad headaches and have found that I must consume at least 750 ml of water per hour in order to keep these headaches at bay. I have further noticed that i’m not as productive as i used to be and when reading i have relapsed back to my old ways of reading without absorbing what i’ve just read having to re-read over and over to understand what’s going on?
Not sure what these symptoms mean but i’m wondering should i be looking to change medication, increase dose or am are these new affects just due to the initial euphoria dissapearing?
July 13, 2018 at 9:17 am #88272
For any given stimulant, there are two distinct effects: the euphoria which is strongest in the first hour after the effects kick in, and then the wakefulness, focus, and concentration feeling that will last a few hours to many hours depending on the dosage and delivery method (i.e., extended release vs. instant release).
The euphoria is not what helps, but can feel like it since having such feelings is so rare for ADHDers. This is why these medications have an abuse potential. It’s easy to start chasing the euphoric feeling rather than accepting the focused feeling that it leads into. And since tolerance to the euphoria feeling happens pretty quickly, many fall into the trap of taking more and more to try to get it back, thus running out of their supply long before the next script can be written.
Some doctors will tell you that if you feel euphoria at all in the beginning, that your dose was too high. However, I think everyone feels it in the beginning no matter the dose. What is true though, is that it should go away fairly quickly.
In the beginning, I almost fell into the trap. I thought of the euphoria as being the therapeutic effect. And kept complaining about my dose not being high enough.
I found, once I accepted the follow up focus is the more therapeutic effect, that the euphoric feeling still comes once in a while when it’s a genuine reaction to something in real life (as opposed to just the drug causing it). Which is to say, the medication makes it easier to respond appropriately to life’s real pleasures with a euphoric feeling.
July 13, 2018 at 12:55 pm #88285
The following articles offer some insights that will help you determine where to go from here:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
July 16, 2018 at 10:39 am #88310
In response to the headache issues, the only time in my life that I was on Ritalin was in elementary school. The medication made me so sick with massive headaches that I was in the nurse’s office begging to go home every day. I have been off medication for the last 20+ years since and managing my special brain via behavior only.
Definitely discuss the headaches with your doctor. The fact that you’ve found water helps might be enough of a strategy to manage them if you find the Ritalin helpful, but a good doctor should be able to discuss that with you to make sure it isn’t something more serious and help you tweak treatment as needed.
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