Tiredness and Adderall (Fighting Fatigue with Medication)
Tiredness and Stimulants
I’m pretty tired right now, as I didn’t get to sleep until after one and I woke up around six. One of the things about being tired all the time though, especially when it’s not just because of lack of sleep, is that you want to fight it. I drank an energy drink and had another energy supplement type thing this morning during an excursion to Walmart with my Grandmother, so I’m somewhat energetic and up but underlyingly somewhat exhausted. I’m not going to sleep right now though, I’ll end up wasting the energy drink and probably sleep too long and get drowsy (I get similarly drowsy from too much sleep as from too little) and I really don’t want to do either. I’m tired of sleeping too much, at least for today. I can go a couple of days sleeping twelve or more hours and not mind it, but eventually I get to the point where I have to do something to stay up and do things. Not even do a ton of productive things, just do something. That’s probably part of the reason I keep going back to stimulating drugs. I just get tired of this tired crap. And the productivity thing is of note, when I don’t do productive stuff most days because I’m asleep half the day, I don’t do much on the days I am up either because I’m used to doing nothing productive most of the time. I exaggerate when I say “nothing,” and I really just mean no chores, but still it sucks. It feels like nothing, sometimes, most times, and especially when I’m down. So, when I’m tired of being down and feeling like I’m getting nothing done I drink an energy drink or two and stay up. Sometimes I do it at night, which is somewhat counter-productive because I end up messing up my sleep schedule even more than it already is.
So, the several months prior to my recent manic episode, I didn’t really have the tiredness issue to any huge extent. I was taking Daytrana, a Ritalin-in-a-patch medicine which helped me to have energy and motivation and be up during the day. It was very nice, and I had a good two and a half or three months of increased activity and wake time. I don’t remember exactly what I did, or how much I did, or how much I slept or who I hung out with or when I went to bed, but I do remember the period as being motivated and active. Having to get off of that medicine for a month or more here was one of the worst parts of the recent episode. I didn’t really mind the week in the hospital or the delusions or mania, they were temporary and less scary than I’ve had in the past, but having to deal with another period of semi-lethargicness and sleepiness is a real bummer. Medication changes due to particular medicines not working out are a pain in the ass. That’s one of the issues with bi-polar and medication in general, the titrating off of one med and slowly getting on to another can take months and months. You don’t get fully on the medication scheme you should be on for three or four months sometimes, sometimes shorter but sometimes even longer. So it took me a month, month and a half to get on the most effective dose of Daytrana in the first place, and now I have to wait a month or so before even starting that process again, and it’s already been three weeks. And I’ll have to try a different one (Daytrana is now off the market and I probably would have switched anyways because of the episode) which might not be as effective, meaning I’d have to start over again. Shit sucks. Stimulants are better than antidepressants because you don’t have to worry about blood levels, but because of being so careful with the mania, I still have to ease onto them.
I am going to take a nap now. I’ll resume this shortly.
So I just took a nap, or, laid in bed for an hour or two. I’m not sure how much actual sleep I got, it was a good amount of tossing and turning, but I do feel more rested. That’s something that I don’t get out of all my naps, however. When I’m taking the second or third nap in a day, or in a row, I get very little out of it other than being in bed for an hour or more. So the urge to take that second or third nap that I know won’t do much is very frustrating. When the urge is on me intensely and I’m super drowsy, I usually don’t mind it, but as I said earlier every now and then I just get fed up with it. Being fed up with it and unable to resist it makes you even more fed up with it and the whole thing just sucks. Today wasn’t so bad because I already took my Grandmother out and so was somewhat productive, and because I got up at six so I had three plus hours of wake time before taking the first nap. On a bad day I’ll wake up several times during the night and in the morning around nine, be up for a half hour or so and go back to bed again until as late as one or two. At that point the day is pretty much shot, or at least that’s how I feel.
So back to the point I briefly mentioned about my continuing to go back to stimulating drugs over and over again and how it could be and probably is related to my tiredness and lack of energy. Since my second manic episode, which was in the second year at College, I haven’t been on any sort of significant stimulant whatsoever. I’ve also, in that period, had a terrible time going back again and again to stimulant-genre illegal drugs. It’s been extacy, coke, and crack, in the order, all stimulants. I smoked some weed during the extacy period and technically that’s a stimulant as well. This period of being off crack it’s been four and a half months, three in which I was on a stimulant, three in which I became completely free from cravings, free from even the smallest thoughts and memories about drugs. Now that I’ve been off of them for several weeks, the thoughts are starting to come back to a small degree. It’s very unnerving. I don’t think I’m in danger of relapsing, but the thing that sucks is until I do I never think I’m in danger of it. So, now that I’ve just thought this out while writing, I’m going to get back on a stimulant as soon as possible to try to kill this thought thing while it’s in it’s relative infancy. This writing might have just saved my life, I might have postponed long enough to end up relapsing had I not sat down for this hour or so and splurged like I did. SWEET! If there’s even the slightest chance that a med can help, it’s way fucking worth it. I can’t risk relapsing again, or won’t, rather. Not if I can avoid it in any way. It makes sense to me that a stimulant helps, after all, because of all the fatigue. Wanting to be stimulated when you’re fatigued is natural, and even if the drugs don’t do a super good job of it, the urge to do them is still well-explained by this issue. That’s one of the benefits of all this writing, I hadn’t really thought about that connection in depth, at least not this in depth, before writing this. If I can figure out more stuff about myself and come to a better understanding of why I do the things I do just by writing, whether I get a book out of it or not it’s going be an awesome experience.