Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Amphetamines/Ritalin/Depression Mr.Scott

Posted by tresni on May 24, 2001, at 13:04:43

In reply to Amphetamines/Ritalin/Depression , posted by Mr.Scott on May 22, 2001, at 12:28:58

Mr. Scott,
I can relate to what you're going through. I have lived with a nagging depression since I was a kid. I, too, had abused cocaine in the 1980s & then methamphetamine in the 1990s (up until about 7 months ago, in fact.) At that time I finally sought medical attention and was put on Concerta & Ritalin. They help with ADD and depression. At first I wrestled with the guilt, fear & other unsure feelings about taking stimulant meds in my situation. It was scary. Especially the short acting Ritalin because I had to take it every few hours and that reminded me of my old patterns of drug use. I can tell you now though, I have no doubt that this medication is helping me. It's a shame I didn't get help sooner. I finally feel like my brain is working correctly which enables me to make changes to make my life better. For me, some key differences I noticed between doing cocaine & meth versus taking stimulant medications were:
1. When I used cocaine/meth, I was not only addicted to the drug, but the ritual involved.
2. When I used cocaine/meth, I was snorting or smoking it, so it all reaches your brain at once, therefore causing you to experience "the high"
I read something in a book called "Addiction or Self Medication? The Truth" by Manijeh Nikakhtar and Louis F. Markert that was very enlightening. It said,
"Medications make abnormal brain function normal. Drugs make normal function abnormal."
This really shed some light on my internal debate. In fact, I'll quote the whole paragraph since it helped me put the whole thing in perspective so much.

"We need to raise our awareness of how drugs affect us biologically. What, for instance, is the difference between medication (psychotropic medications) and drugs (psychoactive substances)? If we are experiencing abnormal feelings, we are undergoing abnormal brain biochemical functioning. Either some neuronal chemistry is less than normal or some is over-produced. Medication, when used under a physician's recommendation, can normalize such chemical imbalances and stabilize mood. On the other hand, when people are under the influence of drugs or psychoactive substances, their normal brain functioning becomes altered to an abnormal state. When there is a pre-existing chemical imbalance causing emotional disturbances, drugs further exacerbate this abnormality over a period of time and psychiatric symtoms worsen."

I hope this sheds some light for you too. I am just so thankful that there is a legal, safer way to get the help I needed. I now see the difference, personally, between self-medicating with drugs & getting professional help. I suppose both ways were trying to correct a common problem, but one caused more harm in the long run and one is actually helping.
Hang in there, it's worth it!

> There are many threads on this in various forms, but I want to know specifically if any of you can weigh in on experiences you may have had or are currently having regarding the usage of Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, and other stimulants alone or in combination with other meds for the treatment of resistant depression. Sorry for the long sentence..
> I am currently trying stims in combination with Prozac for a treatment resistant depression that has been with me since I can remember. I feel a little improved on a tiny dose of Adderall with the Prozac.
> Problem is.. I used to abuse a lot of Cocaine about 5 years ago, and I am scared something bad will happen. I will not abuse the meds in any way, but I just remember the pain my cocaine problem caused up and down and up and down. My doc seems to think I was actually on to something by going after the cocaine. He thinks a trial of longer acting stims is warranted..
> I am trusting him, but hope to get some feedback from the people who are actually in the trenches day in and day out and don't just theorize about, but actually experience the problem of mental illness.
> All comments and opinions welcome.
> mr.scott




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