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Author Topic: My Strattera Journey (Log)  (Read 283 times)

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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.

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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.

Offline poppadr3w

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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.

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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.

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2014, 10:49:33 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.

How can this be remedied, then? That would account for why my eyes are fine, but my brain feels, well... slow. I feel sick when driving -- that's when I am most out of it -- and sometimes when playing video games (I guess my brain processes it as me moving still, but through a character. A lot of eye movement). Today is Day 13 and I feel today was one of the worst days yet.

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

There is, help others when they need it.

Ian

Hopefully I did the quote thing right... I'm trying! I do try to help people when I can. Unfortunately, I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but due to this illness I had to resign from volunteering as a firefighter and ambulance driver. I had a year of medical leave and, well, I just don't want to jeopardize the safety of anyone by not being ready. I miss it very much... It was very fulfilling. But I try to help others where I can. If I made a lot more money, I'd donate it, but I am a middle class man stacking pennies. But whenever I order something or go to a cash register and there is an option to donate, I'll usually throw in a few bucks. It's not much, but it accumulates.

Anyway... the log.

Day 13
Today was probably one of the worst days I've had in awhile, side effect-wise.

The day started out OK. I woke up relatively refreshed and headed to work. As usual I felt out of it during the ride on the way to work. When at work I felt a bit better, burning through paperwork due to me taking off the next two days for my birthday (4 day weekend!). As I trudged through paperwork I felt myself getting tired as the hours went on. I didn't eat the usual toast this morning with almond butter; Rather, I had almonds, strawberries, raisins and a banana. I didn't get tired as fast, which was good. But when I started to crash, I really wanted to nap. So I did my usual thing and went to my car and laid there for an hour. I actually napped, although I don't remember any dreams. It was like I closed my eyes and time had just sailed on by.

After my nap things took a turn for the worst. I had transport a vehicle somewhere that wasn't too far- like 10 minutes. The ride wasn't twists and turns or anything, but it was a drive nonetheless. I felt myself starting to feel dizzy and out of it. When I got to the shop I felt... out of it. I felt my social anxiety perking up a bit as I talked to the woman behind the desk and as she shuffled around for paperwork for me to sign. By this time I was already sweating... It is humid and hot here (It was a bit better today, but not by much). This, in turn, made me more anxious throughout the day. On my drive back I felt out of it again. But it wasn't all that bad... yet.

I got back, but then I had to go to a dealership. I decided to eat a cheese stick and some almonds and take a capsule of Maca Root. I have been taking Maca Root for a week now without much issue, but today something occurred. I finished up some more paperwork before heading out (About a half an hour). Then I had someone drive me to the dealership (Picking a vehicle up). On the way there I just felt out of it. I felt sweat on my back and I felt like I was stoned. I had energy, but I felt like I was drunk... Like I didn't care about what I said (Kind of like I had no filter, or a minimal one). I didn't curse or anything, but I felt loopy. I got to the car at the dealership and went in, got the car, and drove back to my job and felt terribly out of it. I was getting so dizzy. I mean, I always make it to my destination, but just feeling this way is terrible.

I ended up eating my lunch when I got back, which seemed to help a little. Maybe I was loopy due to low energy due to a lack of calories? I didn't feel hungry... But I also heard that the Strattera can work as an appetite suppressant to a degree.

Drive home -- same thing. Out of it. Make it home. I am out of it still as I walk in the door -- no one is home. I am tired. Fatigued. I just want to pass out. I end up taking an hour or so nap. I've felt like garbage most of the day and I can feel my work suffering from it a bit. I have so much to do -- especially when I am taking even just a couple of days off and need to get things in line to ensure there isn't complete chaos.

The Xanax doesn't feel like a fail safe anymore. The past two times I've taken it while on the Strattera I've felt loopy and completely out of my head. Like I am drunk, and I feel that people can tell to a degree.

Side effect-wise... Sexual side effects still seem to be there. Minimal urinary issues today (Burning or anything) -- just a delay initially of the stream. Obviously dizzy, fatigue, out of it. Focus is somewhat better, but not nearly where I was hoping it'd be. More sweating. I feel kind of emotionless. Like... I honestly would love to cry. It doesn't sound manly at all, but I haven't cried in a long time, even though there were things that SHOULD make me sad. Like when my grandmother passed away. I mean, I was sad... But it gave me more anxiety than anything. I feel like there is sadness built up in me sometimes. Same thing with being happy -- It's hard for me to feel happy. I mean, I laugh at times and smile, especially when my daughter does something cute, but I don't feel that long lasting sensation of being a happy personal overall.

I go back to the Psychiatrist in a month, so I'll see what he says then. Maybe I'll do weekly updates eventually to not flood this board. I hope this is helping someone else other than me as well.
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Re: My Strattera Journey (Log)
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2014, 12:27:29 AM »
How can this be remedied, then? That would account for why my eyes are fine, but my brain feels, well... slow.

The affects of the meds should diminish as the body adjusts. The impact of anxiety should also diminish as it is bought under control by the antidepressant. In addition to promoting the growth of new brain cells antidepressants also strengthen the connections between brain regions, especially the anxiety producing areas, i.e. the Limbic system and the frontal lobes. This should help the frontal lobes bring the limbic components to heel. Basically, with anxiety (and depression) the non conscious emotional Limbic system bombards the conscious frontal lobes with a lot of spurious information which need to be dealt with and this affects how well other things are handled.

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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