PillsJuly 22, 2006
As a counselor/therapist, I am constantly aware that I cannot in any way compromise the relationship I have with my clients. Therefore, the items I post here are either extensions of what goes on in a “typical” counseling session, or they are my observations on the kind of human nature that I see regularly. If I keep doing that, it feels safer for me. That way, I don’t slip up and “out” some of my favorite people in this world.
The other side is what some of you have recently commented on privately: That I don’t share enough juicy stuff, not enough raw emotion, not enough personal experience. I know. That picks my butt as well.
After years of having to edit absolutely everything I say before it goes on public display, I have become accustomed to that editor being there. But that editor has a little help. Pills.
My closest friends know this, but for those who don’t, I am a regular medication user. I have Attention Deficit Disorder at a heightened degree. I cannot function well without the pills. But the pills have not treated me that well.
First there were several amphetamines, all clones of Ritalin. One didn’t do anything. Another caused my liver enzymes to shoot up. A third gave me headaches. I ended my relationship with all of them, concluding that I could use life-management skills to cope.
I had my stint with herbal remedies (Gingko, Vitamin B Complex and St. John’s Wort). They all helped a little, but not enough to recommend them. The Gingko in particular caused some severe side effects, most notably a tendency to bruise. Gingko helps the body produce more blood vessels, but it is believed that it creates weak blood vessels. St. John’s Wort only caused me to feel gorked half the time. I have stayed with the Vitamin B Complex for other reasons, but it hasn’t helped my inattentiveness.
My family can tell you that when I am inattentive, I get angry. When I get angry, it has one of three looks: 1) Sarcasm and Criticism; 2) Short, angry answers; 3) Moody alienation from others. Why do I get so angry? Because when I forget things, I cannot stand the feeling I am losing control of my mind. I get angry at myself, but it doesn’t feel right: I know it isn’t my fault, so I tend to blame others. I know that isn’t right, so I feel screwed.
So after breaks, I try other medications. I tried Adderall…it worked phenomenally. Except that it raised my blood pressure so high I had to take blood pressure medication. Out with the Adderall. Then I tried Wellbutrin (the candy of antidepressants) a recommended treatment for some differentials of ADHD. But it caused me to have minor manic episodes, so the toilet for them.
Finally, I tried Strattera which though it hasn’t worked as effectively as Adderall, is working. This week, I ran out of pills and Kaiser has not filled it post-haste; so I have had two days of non-Strattera experience. And I am angry. First of all, I am exhausted, which is what happens when you go off pills that raise your adrenaline and seratonin levels. Second, I am forgetting things (see above). Third, it has been as hot as Brownsville these days and I don’t handle the heat well.
Please get me those pills. I am not addicted, but I am definitely dependent. And I don’t apologize in the least.