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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2014, 12:44:57 AM »
Day 7
The last day of work before my 4 day weekend, I felt terrible... I am writing this now because I didn't get the chance to before, but I felt incredibly out of it most of the day. The morning, for what I can remember, what alright. But I started getting very, very anxious and feeling out of it, so I took my first Xanax (.25) in days. I don't know if it was a good or a bad idea, but it was always my key to temporary freedom before. It made me feel even more out of it and I felt incredibly dizzy. I try to keep my composure, but I feel slow and I feel like other people may be able to tell. I don't know. My feelings fluctuate so much. Sometimes I feel like I am getting better focus, other times I feel worse than before. It's still early on, but still... This has been a long journey altogether. I want to feel better.

At night my fiancee had some... fun time. Sexual side effects are still there. I feel like I can start off alright, but I cannot hold onto it for long and I went limp. I was able to recover a bit to finish, but it was not a great feeling. I feel like maybe the Maca Root is helping me at least get a bit of libido back because psychologically I am all there and am wanting to go, and physically I wasn't able to do nearly as much without the Maca Root.

Driving has been on and off. Sometimes I feel alright, but other times I feel like I am dizzy and on auto-pilot.

I don't remember much else from that day besides the dizziness and out of it feeling... Like I was drugged or something.

Day 8
Today, Friday, is the full completion of a WHOLE week. I feel that the Strattera has its ups and downs.

Last night I had very vivid, awesome dreams. The thing is, I don't remember them for long after waking up. But during them, they're not scary, just much more vivid and in-depth. I actually like it.

I wake up with energy to spare... But I putter out within a matter of a few hours. At 25, this shouldn't happen. I am eating enough. I spent most of the day with my daughter playing. Then I just hit a wall and laid down while she played around me. I couldn't sleep, though. I guess I always fear something will happen to her, although she doesn't go anywhere or anything. She'll usually just lay with me (She's 5).

Then I eventually took a longgggg nap. Like 2 hours long. With the rain hitting my sky light, it was very soothing. I woke up those two hours later feeling kind of dizzy and out of it, but with a bit more energy. When I say "out of it" it is hard to explain. I don't feel... connected to the world, and I don't feel like I am running on all cylinders.

Last weekend I went to a friends house (That "new" social setting" where there was a handful of people) and, for the most part, I felt OK. I got anxious towards the end, but I didn't feel dizzy or anything crazy. I did have two beers that night.

Tonight I was invited to a friends house. I was hesitant. I felt out of it, but I don't want to waste my life. Last year I had terrible anxiety around this time, to the point I stayed in my house and had stomach pains and was hospitalized. I'm going to be 26 and I cannot just take sitting there, so I always seem to battle against my anxiety. I eventually hopped in my car and went. On the ride there I felt the anxiety stirring in my depths of my mind. I pushed it away, but it was winning. I got to a 7-11 to pick up some beer to not go empty-handed, and while in there I felt the dizziness come on HARD. I grabbed a pack of Bud Light and stood in line for what felt like forever. I felt like I was just going to fall over. I've never felt as dizzy as I did this past week. I attribute it to anxiety. I paid and got in my car and felt it go away... slightly. I drove to the house and gave myself a small self-talk.

At the house I went in the backyard -- no one is there. Great. I went inside and everyone is stuffed into the dining room playing a game. This makes it worse for me because rather than everyone being spread out so I can say high, it's a higher concentration of people and focus on me initially. I feel like I am going to just break down. I haven't had this sensation in awhile. Since on the meds, I've felt relatively cold and emotionless. But at this time I just felt like I wanted to break down for some reason... But I kept my composure, said my greetings and sat down. After awhile we went outside where my anxiety still was like a whirlwind of anxiety. We played beer pong with water (This is important, so I drink less) and sipped a beer for like... 30 minutes. I babied it like a bottle. I could feel that physically I was off. Throwing the ball, my aim was way off... They were off direction, too shallow or way too deep. Then the anxiety snowballed as I'd butcher my shots. It went like that for awhile, as I played a few games. I didn't feel like talking to anyone or interacting very much at all.

I assume that whole beer got to me and eventually I got a bit better overall. But between then it was terrible. And this wasn't a new place to me, either. At one point my chest got so tight (This happens to me during anxiety attacks or when I have general anxiety). I honestly thought that I was having a heart attack (Logic, right?!). I knew I wasn't, but it felt like I was. Others with anxiety will know how I feel. Every anxiety attack feels like it is the real deal since your mind tells you it is... and making your mind think otherwise is very difficult as your chest tightens and you get a bit dizzy.

I ended up feeling better towards the end of the night, but I wasn't there long to begin with... So... it wasn't a great experience.

The drive home wasn't terrible. At first I felt uncoordinated and dizzy, but it got a bit better the further I drove. I was not, and am not, drunk. I had about 1.5 beers over the course of 3 hours. With water in between to boot. I just can't have driving being hit or miss like this.

Other
Does anyone else have any other insight about these side effects I've been having? The worst is the dizziness and the feeling out of it. The anxiety coming back like it was before is something I anticipated to happen with new medication anyway, but not on a level like this. Jesus. With the Prozac only I could go out at least, but now I feel loopy and drugged when I go out. I see the Psychiatrist on Monday, so I may ask him if I can maybe lower the Prozac or try something else. It's rough right now.

Otherwise, I've had no terrible urination issues. Maybe a bit of a weak stream, but no burning. Sexual side effects I said before... No nausea lately, at least.
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2014, 01:35:27 AM »
Does anyone else have any other insight about these side effects I've been having? The worst is the dizziness and the feeling out of it. The anxiety coming back like it was before is something I anticipated to happen with new medication anyway, but not on a level like this.

I suspect the symptoms have more to do with the anxiety, rather than the Strattera directly producing them, though it might be triggering at least some of the additional anxiety.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2014, 11:54:03 PM »
Does anyone else have any other insight about these side effects I've been having? The worst is the dizziness and the feeling out of it. The anxiety coming back like it was before is something I anticipated to happen with new medication anyway, but not on a level like this.

I suspect the symptoms have more to do with the anxiety, rather than the Strattera directly producing them, though it might be triggering at least some of the additional anxiety.

Ian

Anxiety is a killer (Not literally, but you get what I mean!) Thanks again for the reply and taking time out of your day/night to read what I have written.

Day 9
I forgot to mention, the other day when I felt really bad my muscle spasms were bad. Even blinking felt weird.

Anyway, Day 9, which was yesterday. I don't remember anything too out of the ordinary. I went in the gym and such and took the medicine as needed. Some sexual side effects keep coming and going (Erectile Dysfunction), as well as the retrograde ejaculation and out of sync orgasm. It doesn't hurt as much as it did in the beginning, and I can feel the actions (The actual semen coming out and the orgasm), so it's weird. I'm going to keep trying the Maca Root (~1g total per day in two separate doses). I'm still taking L-Arginine, and may look into other alternative herbs since I've tried Viagra and the side effects were terrible, especially the headache. I don't mind sharing such things since I know it's the medications, and I want others to be able to somewhat relate to my personal experiences if it happens to them.

What I do remember is the night. The night prior (Day 8) I had one of the most awful anxiety attacks that lasted hours. It was bad... I've never wanted to break down and cry so bad. I felt weak. I had a window of weakness. It got better throughout that night, at least. Anyway, for the night of Day 9 things went *MUCH* smoother. I decided to take my Fluoxetine at night *AFTER* the activities. I suspect that this had a lot to do with it, and I took a HALF of a .25 of Xanax. About 30 minutes later I was at the house with some minor anxiety, but I brushed it off rather quickly. My coordination was much better, which was seen through playing physical games (Kan Jam, Beer Pong, and so on). I know drinking isn't a rather great idea, but I like to enjoy myself, so I think I had... 3 beers over the span of like 3-4 hours? I think less than that, actually. We also had pizza and stuff. I felt fine on my way home (5-10 minute drive).

Ian, if you see this, what's your advice on some light drinking and/or drinking in general? When I was drinking on the Prozac (And I took Propranolol as well) I felt alright to begin, got drunk relatively fast, and maintained that without a problem. The only issue I had was the next day I had hangovers from Hell. I don't even want to categorize them as "hangovers" because they felt like I was dying. One morning I had a huge anxiety attack and was so dizzy I felt like I couldn't walk straight... I laid in bed all next day waiting for the worst. I toned it down a bit and the next time I drank I drank a bunch of water before bed and took a Xanax when I woke up the next day, which helped stem off most of the incoming anxiety attack.

Day 10
Still trudging through. Sexual side effects are still there, and the dizziness comes and goes but wasn't bad, really. I still get muscle spasms, but it seems to only be when I am sitting around doing nothing or laying in bed. Like before I was laying in bed with my fiancee and my ankle and wrist shook a couple of times. No one else seemed to notice. Even right now, while typing that last sentence, my ankle just jumped slightly. But if I am playing, for example, Kan Jam (Throwing a frisbee) or I am in the gym, I don't seem to have the spasms, or I just don't notice them.

Today was rather slow. Just went in the gym, played some darts, played with my daughter, and went to see my fiancee. She isn't feeling well so we just laid around and another couple came over and we watched TV. Very slow, calm day.

On the way to her house I felt kind of out of it. It seems that I am "with it" for like 5 minutes into the drive and then I engage auto-pilot mode... still. I am hoping that the Strattera helps with this. My focus seems a bit better, but recalling information that I just learned is still a bit difficult. But recalling older information that I learned awhile ago seems slightly easier. I feel less "stupid" and a bit more like me at times, but other times I feel dizzy and anxious. One doctor I asked on Health Tap said that the drug truly starts working at 2-3 weeks, and I know Strattera isn't like Adderall and other stimulants and takes time to work its magic, so I am going to trudge through, still.

Last but not least, my birthday is coming up this Friday (7/11), so I am hoping that I can drink a bit then and relax. I'm going to have people over my house since I still haven't been to a bar in over a year... I don't feel socially ready yet. Being at a friend's house is one thing since I know almost everyone there most of the time, but bars around here, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, are incredibly crowded. The last time I went drinking last June (2013) I saw a horrendous fight that me and two friends ended up helping break up, but it was brutal. Some guy was getting kicked in the head while someone else held him down, fists flying, blah blah blah. Main Street here has become filled with bars. It's a big drinking town now. And such an atmosphere isn't good for me, knowing that there may be a fight. Heck, they even found someone dead right in a parking lot off Main Street (Not *TOO* far away from where the bars are located - less than a quarter of a mile) a week or so ago. So, yeah... In time, I guess. Times are scary, and I don't trust many people out there.
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2014, 02:11:15 AM »
Anxiety is a killer (Not literally, but you get what I mean!)

No, it literally is a killer. It might not say so on the death certificate, but it often is the real cause of early deaths, not the heart attack, stroke or cancer listed. Which is a great pity because if premature death was correctly attributed to anxiety/depression/stress then maybe people would these more seriously. On a more positive note, those of us with an anxiety disorder often live long lives because the disorders have us (especially the guys) seeing doctors more than usual which means potential problems are often picked up much earlier than is often the case.

Quote
Ian, if you see this, what's your advice on some light drinking and/or drinking in general? When I was drinking on the Prozac (And I took Propranolol as well) I felt alright to begin, got drunk relatively fast, and maintained that without a problem. The only issue I had was the next day I had hangovers from Hell.

I've found that the biggest issue with alcohol and antidepressants is that the combination can be unpredictable. Some days a small drink can turn legs to rubber, on others it would be possible to drink a herd of alcoholic elephants under the table without being greatly affected. On the wider issue of alcohol and anxiety see: The alcohol/anxiety tag team. Basically, occasional moderate drinking and the occasional blow out probably does no harm and may have some benefits, but it can soon become problematic if it goes beyond that.

Quote
My focus seems a bit better, but recalling information that I just learned is still a bit difficult.

This might be the beta blocker. They can inhibit the conversion of short term to long-term memory, which may sometimes be a good thing, but not most of the time. You need to discuss this with your doctor. Switching to one of the water soluble beta-blockers may resolve this while still blocking the adrenaline mediated anxiety effects.

Ian

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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 10:12:03 PM »
I am bad at quoting, so I'll just respond to your answers in a numerical fashion.

1.) Well, that's a downer. I figured that the physical manifestations of anxiety would take some sort of toll, but I hope that it isn't that the case for me. I am trying to minimize my stress as much as possible, I am taking my medication, exercising, and so on, Ian!

2.) I can see what you mean. There was times when I had a beer and I could feel it, and other nights I could drink a bit more before I felt it. Now I am on the Strattera, though. I had a few beers the other night and felt fine, even with a half of a .25 of Xanax I took a bit before. But with my birthday coming up, I want to celebrate a bit... more. Not get obliterated, but get a nice buzz. I talked to my Psychiatrist today (I had an appointment) and he said that drinking on the medicine is "OK". He said having a few beers is OK. What he said to be cautious about is taking Xanax and drinking. I don't plan on doing that... I've done it before and it made me very sick (Although the night itself was a blast!) I am hoping to play some drinking games (One of which is a chugging game), and other slow-paced games. I may take that half of a .25mg like a couple of hours before my party and eat something.

3.) Ugh... I forgot to bring this up! I only take it twice now. I think taking it three times a day made me too tired at times. I told him that I take it in the morning and before I go to bed, and he seemed fine with it. He seems most concerned with gauging my Prozac and Strattera. He also gave me a script for some more Xanax (My "just in case" pill). He said I should stay where I am (18mg Strattera / 45mg of Prozac) and see where I stand in a month when I go back. I do feel a bit better, but it is hit or miss.

Day 11
Still feel out of it at times. Dizzy at times, but not as severe as before. I woke up with a lot of energy and it tapered off throughout the day, but I didn't take a nap, which is an improvement from two weeks ago when I'd nap 2-3 times per day. Do I want? Yeah, but I am not passing out on my couch when I get home. So, that's improvement.

Watched my daughter, played for hours, made some phone calls. I had a vacation day planned today. I go back tomorrow.(BLAH!) But I took off Thursday and Friday, so I just have a two day work week.

One thing that I noticed today is that when reading my daughter some books from the library that I'd be reading fine, then all of a sudden I'd get this weird sensation like I couldn't talk or pronounce a word for a few seconds. Like... paralyzing brain farts. Like my eyes were scanning too fast for my brain and it momentarily stalled. Sometimes it was scary. I am always fearful of getting seizures. I don't know why... I've never had one, but these sensations and muscle spasms are what I figure is the sensations that start such seizures. But insights said that this isn't true, so... I am hoping he's right!

But otherwise today was OK. Driving I was not AS out of it. I still felt some anxiety when I got into the doctor's office. Like I have these tics that I have to do otherwise I'll get very anxious. Like if the Psychiatrist is talking to me for awhile and we're maintaining eye contact, I'll have to scratch or touch my face or fold one of my legs over the other. It's a step in the right direction, though. I feel a bit better. Not 100%, but definitely moving in the right direction. He said he may move me up to 25mg of Strattera, depending on how my body takes to it. He also said that the side effects generally tend to take 2-3 weeks to go away and that most people don't have heavy issues because he starts at lower dosages of all medicines and titrates up slowly. He said this is to minimize side effects, and also because if people start too high on a medication and the side effects are unbearable, they'll give up and not want to try and work with it or ever move up in dosage if it is needed.

Yep, that's it for now. I think I'll keep this log up for... Eh, a month total? That seems fair.
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2014, 12:23:28 AM »
He said having a few beers is OK. What he said to be cautious about is taking Xanax and drinking. I don't plan on doing that... I've done it before and it made me very sick

The danger is that both suppress activity in the brainstem which, among other things, triggers the breathing reflex. When alcohol and benzodiazepines are combined there is the potential for that suppression to block the reflex altogether resulting in death by asphyxiation, usually during sleep. So extreme caution is needed. Those that have taken both should be kept awake and closely monitored by someone not affected by drink.

Quote
He said I should stay where I am (18mg Strattera / 45mg of Prozac) and see where I stand in a month when I go back.

I do not see the point in taking an antidepressant at what is a sub therapeutic dose for most and then adding more and more meds because it isn't working well enough. It's madness, IMHO.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2014, 10:26:17 PM »
Ugh... I had a whole, long post typed up, but my internet dropped and it got deleted.

Yeah, I remember you telling me about Xanax and alcohol. Maybe I'll have a beer before they come over to take the edge off. Not even a small amount (Half of a .25) isn't OK a couple of hours prior?

I take the Strattera because I told my Psychiatrist that I was having trouble concentrating... It was bad. It still isn't perfect, but I feel a SLIGHT improvement. The Prozac he said I could go to 60mg, but when I got to 50mg I started feeling jittery and that's when I started getting the muscle spasms. So I called the nurse practitioner and she said to go down to 45mg or 40mg... So I went down to 45mg and stayed there. The Psychiatrist said to stay here.

Is there anything else I should be doing? I still don't feel completely well. I feel much better than this time last year, when I had to take two weeks off from work because I was in the hospital because my stomach hurt so bad. I couldn't walk 20 feet without feeling like I was going to vomit. They ran all of the tests that they could and never came up with anything other than a small hiatal hernia, which they said is very, very common. I had a Cardiologist check my heart, and they said I have a minor mitral valve prolapse -- once again, very common.

I'll make my log very brief since I lost it before... and I am lazy.

Day 12
Woke up with energy. Fell asleep OK and stayed asleep and woke up once, I think, to go to the bathroom.

On the way to work, started feeling out of it... as usual. Motion sickness or something? Is this possible?

Got to work, made my breakfast -- toast with almond butter. Felt very sick after. I am starting to think that maybe it's the bread? This past weekend (4 days) I don't remember ever feeling that bad, and I didn't have bread in the morning. I may alter my diet to fruit, nuts and yogurt in the morning. Maybe even a smoother with protein powder and stuff.

Tried to take a nap on break. Was too hot, kept A/C running. Couldn't fall asleep... Just laid there with eyes closed. Had to drive somewhere for work after, felt out of it when driving... again.

Came home. Eventually went home to get a haircut. Took a half of a .25 of Xanax. In the barber's chair I started to have an anxiety attack. My head got heavy and I got weird tingling in my forehead and eyes (The best way I can describe it is like "snow" on a TV screen). Felt dizzy, like I was going to pass out... But I never do, so I trudged through it. After, went to the tattoo shop next door to see a friend and plan my first tattoo. He said it'll take about 4 hours. I may take a Xanax first if I don't feel well. I hope that's OK. It's not like a blood thinner or anything.

Felt kind of out of it on the way home. Got home, was very tired and laid down for like 45 minutes and napped. This seems to happen if I take a Xanax during the day... I need to nap.

Side effects are still there to a degree. Sexually it's harder to get it up still, but once it's up it is up for a bit. When using a condom it'll soften after some time I guess due to lack of feeling. The retrograde ejaculation is still there a bit, but I feel like my orgasm is syncing up a bit better. Urination burned slightly today once -- that's it. Been drinking a lot of water. Slight cotton mouth at times. Dizziness at times. Out of it at times - especially when driving. I've been sweating more it seems... even when using Certain Dri. My work uniform is thick jeans (Keeps the heat in) and a THIN, light blue shirt, so the sweat bleeds through easily for people to see. So I sit with a fan on me most of the day or the A/C cranked in a car.

I guess that's it. I just want to feel better. I feel like I am on the right track at times, but other times I feel like I am stuck in limbo. I feel like there is something that the doctors have missed and are still missing... Like they'll never figure it out completely and I'll never feel what I believe to be "normal". It has been over a year now and it wasn't until this year that my anxiety got so bad that I couldn't go out or even have people over my house. Now I can have people over and go out a bit, but I think the Strattera is increasing my anxiety a bit (I read online that this happens to some people). Hopefully it dissipates.
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2014, 12:23:19 AM »
Not even a small amount (Half of a .25) isn't OK a couple of hours prior?

It will probably be okay, but I can't guarantee that it will be. With all the alcohol you plan on drinking will you need the Xanax?

Quote
So I called the nurse practitioner and she said to go down to 45mg or 40mg... So I went down to 45mg and stayed there. The Psychiatrist said to stay here.

If a med isn't working at the maximum dose you can tolerate, and it doesn't seem to be, then maybe you need to switch to something which might.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2014, 08:08:16 AM »
I don't know how much alcohol I will consume. I don't plan on it being such a vast amount like I used to be able to drink, but maybe like... 5-6 beers throughout the course of the night? I'll be home, so there's no driving involved.

And the Prozac seemed to be working a bit. There definitely were signs of improvement. For example, a few of months ago (When I JUST started taking it) I went into a sandwich shop to grab dinner. When I went in the symptoms of anxiety struck hard -- the tight chest, hard to breathe, dizzy, that fight-or-flight feeling. I wanted to just grab my sandwich and kick open the doors and run out of there. I feel like sometimes, but not all of the times, I looked visibly uncomfortable. I went in after taking the Fluoxetine weeks and I was much more composed. I didn't feel like I was dying. I felt uncomfortable... But the comparison wasn't even there. It seems to fluctuate now... But ever since the Strattera was introduced I feel like the anxiety stirs up when in public. I guess it's primarily social anxiety then, since I get it in "social" settings and such? At home I feel dizzy and stuff at times, but nothing compared to when I go out to even the supermarket. And I know I have no REASON to feel anxious or anything, but my body just takes my mind on a ride -- a ride in which I am not a fan, Ian. I figured that my body is just getting adjusted to the Strattera. It hasn't even been two weeks yet, and a doctor I asked on Health Tap said that it takes 2-3 weeks to get the full effect(s) of a dose and for side effects to start to dissipate.

I am also testing out the bread thing this morning. Maybe what I was having was too heavy. So this morning I ate fruit (Banana, Strawberries) and Almonds. I'll have some raisins in a bit and maybe a cheese stick. I'm trying everything here! I am sure the stress at work doesn't help, either. But I do have my 4 day weekend coming up...

Ian, what do you think about the whole driving thing? That's when I feel very out of it. Like I am on auto-pilot. Could it be too much visual stimuli or something? I get the same feeling, at times, when playing video games. If in a game the character is moving too fast, like in a vehicle, I sometimes get that sensation in my eyes/head where I need to look away. I wasn't always like this... I used to be able to play for hours upon hours without any problems. Now if I hop on to a game I feel that sensation and it's bothersome. My eyes are fine, according to the Opthamologist (I hope I spelled that correctly...) that I went to last year.

I forget that you're across the world from me, so when I wake up and see your reply I'm surprised lol. Thanks again, Ian. I wish there was something I could do to repay you. Is there a charity that you fancy?
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2014, 06:05:11 PM »
Ian, what do you think about the whole driving thing? That's when I feel very out of it. Like I am on auto-pilot. Could it be too much visual stimuli or something?

Yes. Anxiety may affect how quickly information is delivered to and processed by the frontal lobes of the brain where consciousness is 'created.' Meds may also affect it, especially initially. Processing what we see takes up an enormous amount of the brain's resources as much of what you 'see' is actually created by the brain, not data from the eyes. They have relatively low resolution so the brain has to fill in the gaps.

Quote
I wish there was something I could do to repay you.

There is, help others when they need it.

Ian



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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

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