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[QUOTE=KawaiiiGal]I was diagnosed with ADHD last fall and was started on 10mg of 6 hour dose Adderall. It seemed to work amazingly. My fidgeting decreased I Was able to hold a thought, focus, etc. Then I noticed the effects starting to not work as well. So then the doc increased my dose to 20mg of 6hr. Better...started to work again. Then my body got used to that so he thought it would be best to start me on 30 mg of adderall xr. WOW that was worked wonders. All up until about a month ago, where I felt like my body started having adverse reactions. I started to feel too speedy, and started having heart palpitations and anxiety attacks, and shortage of breath(having trouble being able to take one of those satisfying deep breaths) so the doc lowered my dosage back to 10 mg of be taken-in 2 incriments as needed. My heart palpitations have decreased and my breathing is better not 100% but better...buuuutttt I still seem to get anxiety. HAs anyone else experienced these side effects?? and are they a result of long time usage of a stimulant or because my dosage was initially too high and it built up?? I've asked my doc but he has been vague in his explainations. Also can someone tell me the difference between adderall, concerta, and ritalin?? And why my doc iniially went straight for the adderall rather than the other meds?? IS one better than the other, would I have a better effect from another med rather than adderall? THank you soooooo much for the help. Hope everyone has a wonderful a nd SAFE 4th of July.[/QUOTE]

Well, from what I've read, your reactions are not unusual. The brain has an inner defense to maintain it's homostatis, so it does eventually build up tolerance(opposition) to most any psychoactive drug that takes over or controls brain function. This could take a short time or a long time, it varies by drug, dosage and personal chemistry/tolerance.

Tolerance can also bring on tolerance withdrawals while still on meds which is usually mistaken for worsening original condition or new emerging condition but it's the brain experiencing withdrawals because the dosage no longer has an effect plus the brain has built up opposing receptors to the drugs.

I heard a doctor mention on T.V. that side effects can be culmative, or appear years after taking the same drug...of course, escalating dosages increase the chances of side effects.

Anxiety can be a side effect of stimulants. In fact, I read that dopamine( the neuro that stimulants effect) is pre-cursor to adrenaline....adrenaline is the main culprit in anxiety.
[QUOTE=StitchCarver]I would think that people who abuse drugs are self medicating and that the cause of chemical imbalances isn't the actual abuse. The abuse only perpetuates a problem that is already there. Just my opinion.[/QUOTE]

Yes, that's the theory of the medical community, like what came first, the chicken or the egg; really, we'll never know, but the medical community are bold enough to say they know it's absolutely the egg.....although they have no real proof of that.

You are entitled to your opinion. Here's isn't chemical imbalance that causes one to self-medicate. To me it seems most people with troubled lives. horrible lives, go looking for relief sometimes. Relief can come in a bottle, pill or needle. Sometimes it can happen just when someone is attempting to bond with others, to be part of something. Peer pressure, family pressure, life pressure....drugs just will take it all away.

Of course, then once a person is into it, the brain does crave it or needs it to feel normal or good since it starts to depend on the drug for that; at the same time, it tries to build tolerance by setting up opposing neurotransmitters... there's the real chemical imbalance.

Then there is the issue of "accidental addiction". Some pharmaceuticals can cause physical dependancy, tolerance and tolerance withdrawals. Those things can lead to higher need of the brain to have the drugs in order to function since the brain gets used to the chemical doing all the work so now it can't. Plus the brain still tries to build tolerance as self-defense, creating opposing neuros to combat the drug and maintain homostatis. But again, this is not normal and the balance of proper neuros is out of sorts as a result.

Anyway, "downregulation" of receptors is known to happen when the brain receptors are continually exposed to a drug. Downregulation is a desensitizing of receptors or a sort of dying off of them. This would seem to be a form of functional brain damage.

So drugs themselves, for whatever reason one is on them or starts them, can cause changes in the brain. Other psychoactive substances are also culprits such as alcohol and cigarettes.

Chicken or the egg? I don't claim to really, absolutely know but it does seem that most mentally ill people, I'm talking the truly ill ones...not ones with shyness or PMS....have a history of drugs/chemicals in one form or another so with that consistancy I would be highly suspect of the drugs since drugs do, in time, show considerable ability to damage normal brain functions.

I've read that, with drug-free time, the brain can recover from downregulation. But it could take months/years for complete recovery in some people and that's where sometimes people just cannot do it or are mistakenly told they'll never be able to do without some sort of drug so that fear keeps them on something.

But of course, I'm not saying every single case of mental illness is created ONLY by drugs or alcohol....that would be like saying there is only one cause of cancer.

But, drugs seem to be in the top catagory of suspects.
Wowee, folks,well, lets' just say that chemical imbalance is in fact a theory that is still unable to be proven in anyone's case(don't take my word, ask any professional if he can measure your brain chemicals) and nobody seemed to notice I did say that drugs were "suspect" in many cases, NOT the ONLY cause of mental disorders and that the definition of mental disorder these days include nailbiters, shy people and PMS so even the mental disorders are questionable.

Even ADD has been "cured" by outside methods that do not include medication. If ADD was truly a chemical imbalance, there would be no way anything would work but medication, true? My nephew doesn't have ADHD anymore and he isn't on medication.

I've even heard of bi-polars becoming better with alternate methods which do not include drugs.

If there was only one reason such as chemical imbalance then nothing at all would work except medications. If medications work so well like insulin to diabetics, then why do alot of patients end up getting worse down the line or have problems with the medications?

True, there are many bi-polars and schizophrenics that appear to be born with it but still it is unclear if life factors such as mothers' diet, medications, etc. effect developing brains or medications in childhood, malnutrition, etc. might effect brain development or if the conditions are actually spiritual, emotionally, and behavioral based instead of brain function.

I was mearly expressing my opinion, which I got mostly from other professionals I might add; I didn't just dream this stuff up.

Also, bi-polars, schizophrenics have some level of lack of reality, hal******ations, and abnormal thoughts. Most people on drugs from big pharma do not have these symptoms yet are put into the same catagories and stigmas.

Sorry if I offended anyone....I never meant to imply anyone was a junkie here, ok?? But, drugs will change brain functions, cause downregulation of receptors, cause dependancy, addictions, tolerance and withdrawals. This includes the NON-ABUSIVE, legal drug ingestion. This is already proven scientifically for quite awhile now.

I should know...I became an accidental "addict"(no compulsions or behaviors, just physical dependancy which was absolutely horrible) with benzodiazepines, went through a hell I can't describe despite the fact I was a tee-totler all my life. The reason I was prescribed benzos was because of the denial within the medical community that my symptoms were simply a reaction to codiene given to me for a cold and I didn't have a clue at the time so I believed them and took the benzos for my symptoms.

Never once took more than prescribed to me by my doctor!!! After almost going insane while still on them (no joke) got off them myself and went through protracted benzo withdrawal. After 5 years, sleep is still screwy but I am over the worst. However, before pharmaceuticals, I was just fine and those drugs have caused me so much grief I will not forget so easily.

I am still very angry at the hell I had to endure. I always followed doctors' orders and they screwed me up good. I just hate to think where I'd be now if I continued with their "theraputic" medications....I'm guessing the mental ward.

I do have my own experience, the experience of others and lots of medical professionals who have the same opinions (alot are based on real science I might add if anyone cares) on "chemical imbalances" that I expressed.

So I guess we are on two different sides of the fence.....agree to disagree I suppose is all I can say and with that I will leave you all to your own discussions on your side effects thread here..... since I am not having any side effects, I guess no need for me to continue the thread.

Good luck everyone.

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