August 14, 2007

How To Take Ritalin Correctly

This is a post about Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, and others-- it is meant for those for whom it is written. You know who you are.

I've written three textbook chapters and a couple of articles on stimulants, and I may or may not have taken them at one time or another, so I'm an expert.

Because I work in a university hospital, and because I'm, well, different, I get approached by college or med students at least once a week for Ritalin or amphetamine prescriptions.  Every one claims to have "ADD." (NB: I don't give them out.)

They want the Ritalin to help them study.  I get it.  I'm not advocating it, but if you are going to use Ritalin you should probably do it intelligently, to maximize the gains.

First, a disclaimer:  you should only get Ritalin for indicated disorders by prescription from a physician.  Ok?  Because the doctor will rigorously apply artificial and unreliable diagnostic categories backed up by invalid and arbitrary screens and queries to make a diagnosis.  So after this completely subjective and near useless evaluation is completed, your doctor should be able to exercise prudent clinical judgment to decide if Ritalin could be of benefit.  In other words, he will ultimately decide based on little else but his own prejudices and/or consult the Magic 8 Ball.  That'll be $250, please.  Cash appreciated.

That said, the key to amphetamines and Ritalin is to stop thinking of them as stimulants, and to think of them as reinforcers.

Let's conceptualize how these drugs work.  Imagine getting a brain scan while you are performing a task.  The parts of your brain you are using for the task will light up, brighter than those you aren't using. 

Now you drink coffee (1).  The whole brain lights up brighter, proportionally.

Now you take amphetamines.  The parts of your brain that you are using light up brighter, but the parts you aren't using go darker.  Get it?  Caffeine is a global brain stimulant, while amphetamines focus your attention, reducing distraction.

This is entirely selective and controlled by you.  You have to decide what you want to focus your attention on.  If it's reading, the reading parts of your brain will be brighter.  But if you stop reading and decide to talk to your friend on the phone, you know, the hot one with the hotter roommate, then you'll be more focused on that (obviously).  Attention is always decreased when it is split among several tasks.  In other words, you can only concentrate on one thing at a time, even though it may feel like you are doing two things at once.

While amphetamines and Ritalin do stimulate you and keep you awake, using them to pull an all nighter completely subverts their awesome power.  If you want a stimulant, drink coffee or Red Bull.  Amphetamines should be saved for reinforcement.

You want to set up a study situation that as closely as possible resembles your testing context.  Do you take tests in the middle of the night?  Using multicolored highlighters?  With The Daily Show on in the background and eating Doritos?  Then you're a pig, and you deserve to fail.  You're dead to me.

You should study in the morning, at a desk, under the same "fed" conditions as on test day. (So you would have eaten before taking the test, not snacking at the test.)  Quiet room, no distractions.  Remember, attention is decreased with multiple stimuli in normal conditions, but on amphetamines, this will be be greatly magnified.  Studying while talking to your friend means your "talking to friend" parts of the brain are brighter while your ""studying" parts of the brain are darker.  Same thing with listening to music and studying.

Take the amphetamine (takes about 30 minutes to "kick in.")  Study, straight, with no distractions or interruptions, for about four hours.  Quit.  You're done.  Amphetamines give you about 4 hours tops of great concentration.  Go to lunch, the gym, watch a movie, etc. 

The power of amphetamines is this: you take them again, in the same dose, 30 minutes before your test. 

In a metaphoric sense, taking the amphetamines during the test, under the same circumstances as you had been previously studying, will "remind" the brain of that context. If you see a question that "resembles" something you studied, your mind will be primed to recall it better.

Remember I said you can only concentrate on one thing at a time, that attention decreases when it is split?  The trick here is to make everything about studying into one large "thing." 

Here's an example: if you listen to a symphony, you will hear music.  Musicians, however, hear both the music and every single instrument.  They can attend to each instrument individually and simultaneously hear how each instrument fits into the larger context.  A non-musician can't do that. If he's concentrating on the oboe, he doesn't "hear" the violas.

Studying has to become a large symphony, everything doing its part correctly, expectedly.   So on performance day (testing) you play the same symphony.  You're not trying to concentrate on each part, if you've practiced enough it should be second nature.  The amphetamine helps facilitate this.

Addicts can get physical feelings of withdrawal or "high" simply by being presented with the cues-- the environment-- of their drug use.  And they key into these cues much faster than non-drug related cues. That's what you're looking for here.  The amphetamine feeling "reminds" you of what you studied.

For example, what you don't want to do is NOT take amphetamines at testing if you had used them to study; or take them at testing if you didn't use them to study.  Or change the dosage, or change anything else you eat. (2)

Similarly, you should only be taking one pill a day.  Don't take amphetamines to study AND later to do other things (like go out at night.)  You are destroying the context specific reinforcement.  Additionally, tolerance to amphetamines happens pretty quickly-- if you take them every day, you're going to need higher doses as time goes on.  Ideally, you'd use them only for the last stretch of time before the test.  For example, maybe you'd take them only the last week or so before the test, when you are studying from back tests as opposed to a textbook.  (See the context?)  And you'd stop using them after the test, give yourself a break, etc.

As a public service announcement, don't worry too much about grades.  This is America, not Germany, where success is determined by the solidity of your goal and the amount you are willing to work.  I know you don't believe it now, but it's true.  Go have a drink.


and hey, what gives with the trilogy The Most Important Article on Psychiatry You Will Ever Read?  It's funny, dammit, so digg it! 


1. What is the best and healthiest coffee to drink?


2.  NB: diet and amphetamines are powerfully interactive.  Acidic foods/beverages will rapidly accelarate the clearance of amphetamines. In other words, dexedrine +  orange juice = a lot less dexedrine.  (BTW, does anyone have any idea how to make footnotes with Moveable Type?)




You nailed the process of d... (Below threshold)

August 14, 2007 5:09 PM | Posted by Cheryl Fuller, Ph.D.: | Reply

You nailed the process of diagnosing ADD. Be still my heart!

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You are a god amongst mere ... (Below threshold)

August 14, 2007 7:30 PM | Posted by Andrew Salem: | Reply

You are a god amongst mere mortals psychiatrists. This has quickly become one of my favorite blogs and I would like to thank you for your amazing talent, wit, and knowledge.

I'm sure you already know this but it is ridiculously easy to be diagnosed with ADD and be handed several months of Adderall after 5 minutes with a psychiatrist if you know what to you ever see a change in the field of psychiatry in regards to the casual attitude many of your colleagues take to handing out pills?

Alone's response: this isn't meant as a joke: not while it costs $250.

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On footnotes...are you aski... (Below threshold)

August 14, 2007 9:40 PM | Posted by Jon S.: | Reply

On footnotes...are you asking about making a link from the somewhere in the article to a particular footnote?

I don't know Moveable Type so I can't give any help there specifically, but I do know how to do it via html code. This Yahoo tutorial gives pretty good directions:

I hope this helps!

Alone's response: What the hell is html?

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What the hell is html?</... (Below threshold)

August 15, 2007 1:00 AM | Posted by robotslave: | Reply

What the hell is html?

You're much better off not knowing. Seriously. It takes a lot of time and frustrating experience to understand the tool and learn to use it safely, and going through all that would distract you from doing what you want to (and we want you to) do, which is blog about drugs. Er, psychiatry. Blog about psychiatry.

Incidentally, the ads under the first couple of articles, which I didn't notice until I turned Adblock Plus off, aren't labeled as ads, either, though the formatting makes their advert nature more obvious than those ones in the sidebar. The under-article-ads also get cut off by the CSS-based formatting, but a) I might as well be speaking in tongues at this point, and b) nobody cares if they can't read your dumb ads.

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Alone's response: What ... (Below threshold)

August 15, 2007 6:31 AM | Posted by Jon S.: | Reply

Alone's response: What the hell is html?

Er... html is the computer language web pages are made of.

Alone's response: computers? Is that on the internet?

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HTML could be another psych... (Below threshold)

August 15, 2007 12:39 PM | Posted by Stephany: | Reply

HTML could be another psych med, but apparently it's what your comment box says we can use "for style".
I think your blog should look the way it does, as a doc who appears to "get it" and appear human as in "sitting at the bar drunk". If I wanted to read intueri I'd go there.

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As a current medical studen... (Below threshold)

August 15, 2007 1:07 PM | Posted by Mike: | Reply

As a current medical student, now I know how other baseball players feel about Barry Bonds.

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But there are some people w... (Below threshold)

August 15, 2007 3:36 PM | Posted by Steve: | Reply

But there are some people who have legit ADHD, right? I mean, I'm a doctor and I know of a few in my own family! I agree that the diagnostic assessment for ADHD is ridiculous.

Alone's response: what's "legit?" As defined by "could benefit from ritalin" a lot of people have ADHD. As defined by the DSM, less people have it, but it carries no useful treatment implications (i.e. doesn't mean ADHD patients would respond better to ritalin than people who don't "have" ADHD. If you think of ritalin less as a treatment, and more as a performance enhancing drug, my meaning becomes clearer. Some people will get more out of it than others. But does that make it a treatment? Or: how is it different than steroids for baseball players?

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Last Psychiatrist refers to... (Below threshold)

August 16, 2007 8:28 AM | Posted by AK: | Reply

Last Psychiatrist refers to 'context dependent' learning.

Decades ago, when I was an undergraduate, the texts we were given referred to this same thing as 'state-dependent' learning.

So if anyone wants to search the med psych databases, search both 'context*dependent' and 'state*dependent'

Hmm. It almost seems to me that anyone who is well organized enough to follow LP's detailed and precise recommendations would, if that person did *NOT* have ADD, do pretty well without taking the Ritalin.

Question too is, if we have legions of people, with and without ADD, who are using Ritalin to function in school and at work, what will this do to their sense of personal agency/internal locus of control?

Its nice to get all A's and make Phi Beta Kappa, but what does it do to self concept, if deep down, you fear that you needed medication to do it?

Its one thing to have a very clear DX of ADD--I know people for whom the right drug was sanity saving. Ditto for something like diabetes or bipolar or schizophrenia--those require medical follow up.

But..I know a family where the parents are in conflict and covering it up, and dont know how to provide structure for the children. The younger boy has a prescription for an ADD drug.

Maybe he has ADD. But no one is addresssing family context. The household is so noisy and chaotic that even a non ADD kid would have difficulty learning to pay focused attention.

And the culture is getting more and more supportive of multi-tasking and split attention. This too may be causing more and more people to think they need medication who do not have the actual neurological configuaration for ADD.

Every time they invent a new gadget such as an IPOD or a Blackberry or a Bluetooth, that may generate more scrips for Big Pharma

Alone's response: my feeling is that ADD is an environmental phenomenon. The internet encourages it, actually refines it. So the ADD isn't the relevant issue in this post. I'm emphasizing how a ritalin acts as a reinforcer-- this would occur in pretty much anybody, at the right dose, ADD or not. The reinforcer itself isn't doing anything in itself-- the ritalin doesn't improve your memory-- but it does make the whole context that much more... interesting and reliveable. And yes-- state dependent.

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I've taken Dexedrine ever d... (Below threshold)

August 17, 2007 12:01 AM | Posted by VelvetElvis: | Reply

I've taken Dexedrine ever day for nearly ten years. During that time i've had to increase the dose due to tolerance maybe once. I've found that while the physical effects wane in time, at the correct dose the cognitive effects are there to stay.

Do keep in mind that severe ADD can be just as disabling as bipolar. It's not just that it's unsafe for me to operate a motor vehicle and I occasionally forget to wash the conditioner out of my hair before getting out of the shower. I impulsively do things that are dangerous and socially unacceptable. I really think it's more accurate to think of ADD as an executive functioning disorder than anything else. Impulse control is at the heart of it. Procrastinating, switching tasks, and getting stuck on a task once it's started are huge problems. I'll stay up all night working on something pointless just because I get sucked in and stuck on it. The attentional problems stem from the fact that I tend to impulsively think about all kinds of random crap when I'm trying to focus on just one thing.

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I don't want to sound maudl... (Below threshold)

August 18, 2007 4:24 PM | Posted by Douglas Cootey: | Reply

I don't want to sound maudlin and whine here, but usage of amphetamines gave me Chronic Motor Tic Disorder 15 years ago. Side-effects are no laughing matter. My experience is not typical, but then side-effects are a problem for a small percentage of the population - though I suspect Big Pharma downplays the numbers. At any rate, for myself and others
amphetamines are dangerous.

I understand your academic interest in helping people use amphetamines with efficacy, but don't you think you should have taken some space to warn people of the hazardous and potential side-effects? Just because your summary of the assessment process was spot on (Darkly humorous, but spot on) doesn't mean that academic amphetamine usage is therefore hazard-free. My life is irrecoverably impacted by vocal, facial, and various physical tics. I'd hate to see others suffer the same.

I expect a cheeky response from you because that's the nature of this blog, and I won't be offended. I'd rather take my chances and voice my concern than be silent and safe from reprisal.

Douglas Cootey

The Splintered Mind

Alone's response:No, you are right about the toxic effects of amphetamines, and perhaps I should have emphasized them. The perspective of this post was that since people are going to take them anyway-- I doubt anyone is seriously considering amphetamines based on the ravings of a rum soaked pirate-- that they should take them to maximize the reward/risk ratio. Additionally, you will notice the potentially sneaky way I influenced the use of the meds, by suggesting that you only take one pill (and not TID dosing), etc. But you're right, I should have done more warning. I'll just add here that this blog isn't HIPAA compliant, either.

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" based on the ravings o... (Below threshold)

August 20, 2007 9:01 PM | Posted by Stephany: | Reply

" based on the ravings of a rum soaked pirate", God don't tell me you wear eyeliner and talk science.

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What if you want to be perp... (Below threshold)

August 21, 2007 4:53 PM | Posted by John Bunyon: | Reply

What if you want to be perpetually in the zone? Will Wellbutrin do the trick? I can get that from my GP for a $10 copay.

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If LP is a guy (LP definite... (Below threshold)

August 23, 2007 9:55 AM | Posted by AK: | Reply

If LP is a guy (LP definitely writes like a guy), its pretty unlikely he wears eyeliner, unless he's a pirate who operates from the Johnny Depp archetype.

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Or is in a band, or just pl... (Below threshold)

August 23, 2007 7:32 PM | Posted by Stephany: | Reply

Or is in a band, or just plain hot.

Alone's response: hey, I resemble that remark!

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No, Welbutrin won't help yo... (Below threshold)

August 26, 2007 3:20 PM | Posted by Vicki: | Reply

No, Welbutrin won't help you stay "in the zone." It's good for reducing depression, and it's good for libido (that's not something your doctor is likely to tell you), which in turn is probably also reducing depression, but better sex probably won't help you focus on schoolwork or anything else unrelated to sex or your partner(s).

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Just wanted to say:1... (Below threshold)

September 24, 2007 9:01 PM | Posted by Andrew: | Reply

Just wanted to say:
1)This site is wonderful, and
2)How would this relate to the military use of amphetamines? I've read a personal account of special forces in Laos using them just before conducting an elaborate nighttime raid on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The author said it was to keep the team alert during the overnight, but it seems they could have improved their performance if they had used amphetamines during their practice runs for the raid. Should I alert the Green Berets?

Alone's response: depends on what the point of the amphetamines was. If you were looking simlpy to stay awake, you wouldn't want too much prior exposure (because of tolerance.) If the goal was better performance in a task, then yes, you'd want to practice on the Ritalin. As an aside, amphetamines are still used but Provigil is getting much more play-- and Provigil would not have this task-specific enhancing effect. It only keeps you awake.

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Hmmm, does this mean I shou... (Below threshold)

September 25, 2007 6:57 PM | Posted by allsnotwell: | Reply

Hmmm, does this mean I should be doing more than watching The Price Is Right after my morning dose of dexedrine? On the bright side I now know a crappy cereal dispenser is $40...
If amphetamines, essentially, amplify the areas of the brain that are focusing in on one specific task while quieting down everything else, would it vary in effectiveness if you were already pretty alert as opposed to being zombie-like?
Also, my doc gives me the dexedrine to work in conjunction with zoloft. I never quite grasped why. He told me, but it didn't register. Any idea?

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Hi, I have a question. I ha... (Below threshold)

October 13, 2007 1:50 AM | Posted by Melissa: | Reply

Hi, I have a question. I have ADHD, or as they would call it out of the types, the "Ring of Fire". And I was wondering, I wanted to ask for Adderall, because honestly, this is affecting my life in more ways than one. And I wanted to know what procedure you had to go through to be prescribed Adderall? Like can I just ask for it and they do a lil test and that's it? I doubt it's that simple but oh do I hope lol. Or do they go through a more complex procedure? And also, does free Medical insurance cover Adderall expenses? If not how much would it normally cost? Please I need answers people! lol

Thank you so much :)

Alone's response: getting a script for Adderall is, unfortunately or fortunately, a relatively trivial exercise: you go to a doctor, you cite some ADHD symptoms, mention you've failed other meds but did well on Adderall and have no hx/fam hx of drug abuse, and boom. There's no test. Insurance covers it, mostly, though you can take dexedrine (d-amphetamine) which is essentially half of the ingredients in Adderall (IMO, the relevant one) and is generic.

But Amen's "ring of fire" subtype includes, essentially, a hostility component. Angry/aggressive/impatient/insensitive etc. Without debating whether these formally belong in ADHD, BAD, or anything else, you should try to understand _why_ you have this hostility. In other words, don't simply attribute it to an organic cause, or link it to ADHD-- find out why you are angry, _exactly._ It might not even be a psychodynamic reason, it could be as "simple" as too much coffee.

Here's my point, and its the same as the argument against SSRIs. Even if the med helps, unless there is learning going on as well, then you set yourself up for disaster, because you have not learned to cope with the emotions.

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Here's my Ritalin question:... (Below threshold)

October 26, 2007 11:01 AM | Posted by NG: | Reply

Here's my Ritalin question:

I am on prozac & buspar for depression & anxiety and my doc prescribed Ritalin for lack of libido, to be taken daily. But I keep hearing all these awful things about Ritalin. Will I become a horrible junkie? What can I expect when I start taking it? Will I crash in between doses? Also, how easy is it to take for a few months and then ween myself off of (with doctor's help?) Thanks.


Alone's reponse: I can't answer any of these questions, not least because there are lawyers afoot :-) But I can say that, in general, the effects of Ritalin get weaker over time, but at least not stronger over time (vs. say, Prozac over the first two months.) Addiction is fairly uncommon, as defined as a desire to do more and more with less and less efficacy. And, most people I recommend it to (i.e. people I actually think will benefit) I recommend as prn. But the internet is full of information...

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Hello,I've been se... (Below threshold)

January 17, 2008 10:48 AM | Posted by Patrick : | Reply


I've been seeing a Psychiatrist for depression over the last 4 months or so and she has recently diagnosed me as having ADD. I'd been using Vicodin at night (partly pain management .... partly not) and told her that it tended to "perk me up" a little and clear my head, which she thought was counter to what most people might experience. Also when I drink any more then a small cup of coffee I get sleepy. This also runs counter to the "norm" (I guess). So based an a few more questions, a couple of questionairs, and notes from previous meetings, I am now taking Amphetamine Salts twice a day. I admit that it does appear to quiet the stampede and allow me to focus more efficiently on a single thing, but if it does that for everybody, how do I know that I've really got this thing? If I read some of the symptoms of Adult ADD I think - oh yeah, that's me alright. But couldn't almost everybody say that when looking at lists like this ......

inability to prioritize
Zoning out

I mean, don't we all experience this at various times? The answer would be yes of course, but it all depends on excessive tendencies. So my question would be - if you're experiencing (and analyzing) your own symptoms through the lens of your own perspective, how do you know if it's out of whack - what yardstick do you use? It's tricky.


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How to take caffeine proper... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2008 7:00 AM | Posted by Coffee?: | Reply

How to take caffeine properly:

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Interesting article! I foun... (Below threshold)

April 11, 2008 11:08 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Interesting article! I found it while googling "how to take Ritalin". My psychiatrist recently prescribed the long acting formula. I guess everyone experiences different effects from it. I endured strange headaches and the feeling of hot spears being punched through my orbitals.

GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY! After enduring all that for a good 5 or 6 hours, I can't imagine why anyone would willingly take the stuff if they didn't have a debilitating condition. I was just wondering what kind of effect it had on those individuals that take it recreationally.

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Interesting article! I foun... (Below threshold)

April 11, 2008 11:09 PM | Posted by Chronic Underachiever: | Reply

Interesting article! I found it while googling "how to take Ritalin". My psychiatrist recently prescribed the long acting formula. I guess everyone experiences different effects from it. I endured strange headaches and the feeling of hot spears being punched through my orbitals.

GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY! After enduring all that for a good 5 or 6 hours, I can't imagine why anyone would willingly take the stuff if they didn't have a debilitating condition. I was just wondering what kind of effect it had on those individuals that take it recreationally.

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Hi Sir!!!A Wonderful... (Below threshold)

April 23, 2008 1:53 AM | Posted by Tony: | Reply

Hi Sir!!!
A Wonderful Blog you have rite here!!!Its contented and compiled nice with a great deal of knowledge while congradulating on your successful work...i would like to ask you on the dosage of Ritalin per day if you are planing to study for a quite a long period when the exams are around 3 weeks ahead!!should i take 10mg per day? or could you please tell me a correct dosage to study more effectivly and for longer hours...Thanks Alot
Really learnt a great deal from your Blog!!!

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Never used to but last year... (Below threshold)

May 29, 2008 3:29 PM | Posted by did not expect hard to not abuse: | Reply

Never used to but last year or 2, I get very erotic, insatiable desires on ritalin and sometime "enjoy myself" for up to 10 hours. my ex- liked it, but I am wasting time and it sees to be chemical - not some deep horribble thing - justenjoyable - but to time consuming and hard to find a partner of similialat tensions for 2-3 days a month (it mellows then) not totally bad, but hard to control. I would think 10 hours of play would be fun, and normal (none med sex) tends to be 5 min and not nearlt enjoyable, and almost a nuisance - I don't feel bad, other than the time and I amsingle (ok too) is it dopamine or serotoning, habit how do i restrain myself? is it impulse control? is it unusual? what combo of chemicals could cause it? A perverted partner is probably my best bet, (no dogs, children or pain and a few other things. I am not the only one, and mostly it is males, tho 1/2 are females. anybody else have this? did you change meds? is there a way to get the benefits without the nastiness? I am totally earnest feel free to e-mail - I am mostly a jam band musician and work on web servers. Am I too bored? upset? what am I missing, as I am pretty sure nobody else goes on 10 hr fantasys, that are enjoyable, but causing other things to not get done. better than tv, acceptable witha mate, but jeez, i did not expect this, at the same time it is probably healty.
no jive - probably won't matter, but there is to much massage oil on my bed and I am obsessed- only with ritalin, dextro keeps me alert and I breathe harder, but thoughts don't turn intowarped/kinky fantasy. is this like meth and ice(coke or meth smoked, not sure) I won't die and worst case scenerio is.... any info is appreciated, but I am interested in if it is just me, or if this happens to others. I have not done anything I regret- all in the mind - but I am curious whatI am lacking that is oversupplied for 2 days. I am devolving otherwise and am thinking all life is chemical, 13 yr old are always horny - it's the nature of the programming, or interest the primate has that is to survive.
Any info, or insite is welcome, I am not a crackpoy, really - I have tried dex and rit, I like the rit better, but afraid, in the long run, I will be in porn (if I ain't to old) not kidding, hope this 20 min at least gives you all a laugh - I know it has to do with balane in all sytsems, and will and other things that seem to make sense. No jesus or guilt or any jive please. I just want to know [email protected]

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I am with VelvetElvis every... (Below threshold)

July 5, 2008 7:10 AM | Posted by Zerbinetta: | Reply

I am with VelvetElvis every step of the way. Over the years, impulsivity has nearly got me killed on multiple occasions. I once walked onto a motorway on-ramp to get to what appeared to be a wounded cormorant. It didn't occur to me that perhaps this wasn't such a good idea until the bird had flown away and I was stuck on the soft shoulder. And before you ask, I was in my mid-twenties by then, diagnosed with everything from possible cyclothymia to bullying-induced PTSD, none of which accounted for what I'd been like pretty much from birth.

The recreational or casual use of methylphenidate trivialises something that many people refuse to see as a disorder anyway. This saddens and angers me. I have always been a straight-A student, but the sheer effort and levels of stress that come with every test or deadline interfere with my health, both mentally and physically.

I appreciated your entries on caffeine. I have pretty much been running on coffee from the age of three, though of course I had no idea I was self-medicating. The above entry was a huge disappointment, to say the least. I suppose one could argue that since I am obviously not among "those for whom it was written," I should simply ignore it, but the fact that there is a group of people to whom it would apply is enough of an issue for me as it is.

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I'm preparing for my SATs, ... (Below threshold)

September 19, 2008 9:17 AM | Posted by Morgan: | Reply

I'm preparing for my SATs, SAT IIs and the AP exams to be taken in April 2009. I realize that it is way too early to be taking ritalin to enhance my results.... but I was wondering if you could tell me the best way to create "test-like" conditions. Should I only take ritalin when doing the practice exam? or should I take it when simply studying/ reading the material? Also, I am currently enrolled in an SAT prep course which includes discussions on strategy and such... should I take a dose before my prep class or would that weaken the effects?

Alone's response: my opinion (not advice) is that "test conditions" means everything should be as close to the same as possible. In other words, if you do take Ritalin on test day, say, 45 minutes before the exam, then you would want to practice the test the same way. Disclaimer: I am not your doctor, you shouldn't take Ritalin without a license, substantial penalty for early withdrawal, hablamos espanol, if it ain't broke don't break it.

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Honestly, that was simply g... (Below threshold)

October 25, 2008 4:49 PM | Posted by Thiago: | Reply

Honestly, that was simply great and clever. You motivated me to motivate you, keep doing what you do because your good, very good trust me!

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wow this shits got u my fre... (Below threshold)

October 26, 2008 3:15 AM | Posted, in reply to did not expect hard to not abuse's comment, by c.c: | Reply

wow this shits got u my freind. only someone on this shit can write up a long ass comment like that one that has no structured sentence or emaning, i mean your sentences are a couple words long btut hey still dont end and you jump from one thing to another and then back. ur fucked

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I'm not really thrilled wit... (Below threshold)

October 26, 2008 2:32 PM | Posted by marcia: | Reply

I'm not really thrilled with the idea of people taking Ritalin to enhance their test results but, if you're going to do that, you might want to test drive it beforehand. The one time I took Adderall (also a stimulant) I became sleepy and depressed for hours. No way would that have improved my test scores or concentration.

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My name is Nathan Finch and... (Below threshold)

December 6, 2008 5:39 PM | Posted by Ritalin Prescription Information: | Reply

My name is Nathan Finch and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ritalin.

I am 32 years old. Have been on Ritalin for 2 years now. This drug has saved my life. I have seen drastic differences between times in my life when I was taking it and when I was not. I failed out of one school and graduated top of my class in the next. Floated from job to job and then became very successful. I don't like the way I feel when I am taking it (I'm boring -- no personality) so, I time my doses to help me in the office or when I have to focus on mundane task's at home like paying bills, taxes etc. and then go without it when I'm recreating.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Initially some apatite suppression, insomnia and slight gitters. This was corrected by reducing my afternoon dose.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Nathan Finch

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Don't have time to write a ... (Below threshold)

January 14, 2009 8:47 AM | Posted by goodboy: | Reply

Don't have time to write a good and comprehensive comment...!!!
I have one of the worst type of the ADHD and i am extremely Hyperactive ( hyper kinetic to be more polite ehem!! ehem!! )! and the first thing everybody notice about me is that I am abnormal hyperactive person!!!
I havd also a severe case of ACADEMIC PROCRASTINATION BEHAVIOR ! [search about procrastination in wikipedia if you have adhd ... it can help you to become familiar and became aware of your problems]
doctor gave me the prescription for ritalin 10 years ago when i was 15... i didn't take it religously...i just take it for exams...!!!
until i was 20 and i had a very very bad condition in university as an engineering student...!!! all of my grades were around 10~12 from 20!!!
then i remembered about ritalin....and in the next two years all of my grades became 16~18 and occasionally 19.5 20!
but i took it only near the midterm exams & final exams for studying with better performance.!
and after i finished the bachelor of was the time that i should prepare myself for Master enterence exam!
you can read here about it how much difficult is to be accepted in universities in Iran...

the funny thing is that i just took 4 x 2.5 mg of ritalin a day every 3 hours! and with a very good incentive i studied for 5 months!!! i cut the pills in to quarter!!and start taking them at 11 am...and i studied without ritalin from 8am till 11am...

and to everybody's surprise my rank was 7th in the country!!!
every year there are around 1.2 million to 1.8 million students taking the exam for BS
and 0.6~0.8 million students taking exam for MS!
and i was the 7th!!!and i was accepted in the best uni in Iran !
it helped me alot...!!! i should say Ritalin became 7th!!!
my next goal is acing GRE test...;)

but please remember....that you should sit down in a quiet place ...start studying...15 minutes after studying and after you became familiar and relax with the place you are studying take the pill...and continue...don't go out...don't call anybody!!!!!because it will cause a catastrophe to happened to me alot...4 hours chattering with friends with 1 pill!!!

and also it is funny that i took the pill 1.5 hour ago and i wanted to check my email...and now i am here typing for you...

also remember there are lots of side effects with ritalin...
take it only if you have is my suggestion...long term isn't a good idea...
and remember it isn't a good idea too take it after 6 pm...! because maybe you can not sleep very good...!!!
my record for being awake was around 50 hours...with ritalin taken like 2.5 mg multiple doses and then 5mg and then 10
do not exceed 50 mg a day!!! please ....because i did and it was wrong!!!!
it also give me a very bad dry mouth!! and also lots of sweating under arm!

also i am in a Spiritual way that deals a lot with Dreams and i should write my dreams and also interpret them with regards my older dreams...
when i take it my dreaming process speeds up...from average of 3dreams/day to 10dreams or more/day
but after exams time that i don't take it my dreams are gone for 2 weeks....!!!!!
i believe it can affect the poor astral body very badly!!!
good luck!!
listen to your doctor! dont abuse!! it worked for me...but maybe don't work for you!

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I'd also like to see:... (Below threshold)

April 15, 2009 7:14 PM | Posted by James: | Reply

I'd also like to see:

How to Take Speed Correctly
How to Take Bennies Correctly
How to Take Cocaine Correctly

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Great post, very interestin... (Below threshold)

April 24, 2009 7:07 AM | Posted by Marcus Garvey: | Reply

Great post, very interesting.
I hate drugs and have no respect for junkies,
but if there is a medication that I will not
bash on if used illegally, is adderall and ritalin,
if used by people like college students and people
who actually want to do work. I still think drug abuse
is wrong, and I think it was extremely thoughtful of you
to create this blog entry, even though I might be a little
bit late with my response lol

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Loved the post, got me thin... (Below threshold)

April 24, 2009 8:42 PM | Posted by Martin: | Reply

Loved the post, got me thinking :)

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I am a 33 year old that was... (Below threshold)

April 29, 2009 4:24 PM | Posted by Tony: | Reply

I am a 33 year old that was diagnosed with ADD quite a few years ago, and my doc put me on everything else but stimulants...which are supposed to be the best remedy for ADD. He tried me on antidepressents, anti-psychotics, and valium. These medications did help with some of my other problems like depression and anxiety, but my ADD still went strong. I could not focus at all and it affected my personal life as well as my life at work. I lost quite a few jobs from not paying attention and not finishing tasks and starting too many things at once. A year or two after my late diagnosis the ADD seemed to be settling down and I didn't notice the symptoms as much. I figured that as I got older, I was growing out of it, like many people do. Life went well for about ten years...until it started back up again. It hit me one day ten times worse than when I was originally diagnosed. I chalked it up to a bad, restless day, but then each day after was the same. I finally went to my doc, which was a different doctor than the one that originally diagnosed me. He was much more understanding of the effects of ADD. It was the same office as my previous doc, so they had all the records of when I was diagnosed and the meds I was on. He called my old doc about twenty things that I can't begin to write, even as bad as my mouth is. He thought the meds I was on was absolutely friggin ridiculous. He took me off the anti-depressent and anti-psychotic, but left me on the valium for my anxiety and I was finally prescribed a stimulant. Yeay!!!!! I have tried Adderall recreationally a few years ago and it seemed to do wonders, I was focused, my concentration was awesome, and I was completely mellowed out...while everybody around me was clenching their jaws and racing around like crazy. I didn't really get as speedy as everybody else and I told my doctor this...while reassuring him that I absolutely had no drug problems whatsoever. No addictive personality. Anyway, at 32, six months ago, he prescribed me Methylin (ritalin) and it worked well for a few weeks but started to wear off too early in the day. So, the next visit he tried me on Concerta (extended release Ritalin), and that worked alright for a while, but then it too had started wearing off too early in the day also. We were searching for the best time-release medication that would work well throughout the day, as my job requires a lot of concentration and paperwork. Finally, at 33, a few months ago, he put me on Focalin XR 20mg (dexmethylphenidate). It is basically the same active ingredient as Ritalin (methylphenidate), but a stronger form. He said the medication seems to work more on adult ADD than child ADHD and he was right. It is the best medication that we have tried so far. I really wanted to be put on an amphetamine like Adderall because of what it did when I tried it recreationally, but he wanted to use amphetamines as a last resort...the Focalin being the second to last resort. But, the Focalin is working great, and you almost can't tell the difference between Focalin XR and Adderall XR. It works well throughout the day, even when I take it as early as five or six in the morning. I do get insomnia, loss of appetite, the palms of my hands sweat, my senses seem heightened, my pupils widened, clenched jaws, blurred vision...things like that, but I am very mellow when on it and I can concentrate extremely well. I was just amazed at how well it works and how long it works. It's a great drug. I let a friend that doesn't have ADD try it (just to see what would was his idea) and he described the feeling like being on ecstasy. He felt euphoric, speedy but relaxed, zoned, in a great mood, and he was wide awake. He loved it. I know there is nothing on focalin on this blog so I figured I would add one. Focalin is a fairly new ritalin-stimulant that is stronger than regular Ritalin, but I can say that it does work wonders. On top of focus and concentration, it does have other enjoyable effects like euphoria and positive sexual side-effects(easily aroused and better performance)...but I think that is the same as with any stimulant medication. For anyone that has failed on regular ritalin, I highly recommend that you talk to your doctor about Focalin. If anyone has anything to say about Focalin, I would love to hear it as there is not a whole lot of info on the internet about it yet. I would love to hear your experience with it. This is the last step before Adderall. I can say that as long as it works this well, I will stick with it. If it stops working as well for me, then on to the Adderall. We'll see what happens. But so far so good. I would love any input. Thanks.

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hi...i know its bad,... (Below threshold)

May 5, 2009 9:25 AM | Posted by Waqas Farooq: | Reply

i know its bad, but i really need understand how to take ritalin………… only worry is i might take the wrong dose...
pls pls my exams start in one months time.

tel me how to take the medicine. i have already got 50 tablets of 10mg ritalin (methylphenidate hydrochloride)
(i live in pakistan, and they cost me 9 US $ here for the 50 tablets)

pls pls pls. am really desperate. have to increase my grades...

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Can you believe I actually ... (Below threshold)

May 6, 2009 6:21 PM | Posted by Anthony: | Reply

Can you believe I actually made it through medical school with ADHD? But, boy, did I suffer. For cardiology exams, I would try to read half of Braunwald's. At dissection, I got lost in a very thorough facial dissection, etc, etc. A myriad examples of lost focus and being all over the place.

After graduating, I got involved with Math. It was then that the ADHD really showed up. I needed twice the focus, long hours digesting tough theorems, a gigantic volume of homework. I couldn't handle and kept failing. Throughout college, teachers kept saying I was smart but that I needed "focus." I needed a diagnosis, that's what!

I've started Ritalin, we'll see how it goes...You blog seems excelent, I've enjoyed your explanations.

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Ritalin is known to increas... (Below threshold)

May 16, 2009 8:29 AM | Posted by Deep Chaudhuri: | Reply

Ritalin is known to increase IQ and concentration and hence the perfect medicine for brainy works (like software algorithms or mathematics). But, any individual should exercise restraint in taking methylphenidate when using it for brain doping. Dont have it regularly. DO NOT SNORT IT EVER!. Give breaks of at least a 2 months between usage. The more you use it everyday, the higher will be the dose required as time goes on, eventually turning you into a dependent. Those who take dex-methylphenidate, remember, 10 mg of dextro methylphenidate is equivalent to 20 mg of racemic methylphenidate, ie, 10mg Focalin is the same as 20mg of Ritalin. And please, dont use it for recreation.

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Hm. This is very informatio... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2009 3:40 PM | Posted by Mohammad Zaman: | Reply

Hm. This is very informational and yet has a sense of humor in it. I've taken Ritalin a couple of times but I feel more calm then i feel more focused...which is weird because Ritalin is a stimulant. Well, for now i'm going to study the old fashioned way, but perhaps before i start reading my bio text book i will use 5 mg of ritalin. What do people say is a good dosage to stay awake and focused for about 5 hours?

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Hey Email me and i w... (Below threshold)

May 24, 2009 11:35 AM | Posted, in reply to Waqas Farooq's comment, by Bruce: | Reply

Email me and i will tell you about ritalin... [email protected]

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What future ramifications (... (Below threshold)

May 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Posted by Consequences: | Reply

What future ramifications (if any) will there be with having taken this drug on your record? What exactly does it mean to have this on your record? Will The consequences be the same if you only have one refill?
Thanks & great blog

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I take ritalin to get high.... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2009 11:30 PM | Posted by damo: | Reply

I take ritalin to get high. some friends and i smoke it and snort it. soooooooo good

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you suggest that taking rit... (Below threshold)

June 12, 2009 8:09 AM | Posted by Hamid: | Reply

you suggest that taking ritalin in the right way to maximise its benefits and that makes total sense. But, isnt there one inherent problem with taking ritalin to learn things since we cannot take the drug continuously on a daily basis. Therefore, wont some of the things you learn on ritalin be inaccessible?

hope you understand my point.

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Hi.I have an Actua... (Below threshold)

June 19, 2009 2:38 PM | Posted by Ariel: | Reply


I have an Actuarial exam in about two and a half weeks.

Would you recommend using it now for my final studying and going over past papers. Or just the week before when I go through past papers having already done a few?

I've taken this once to study a couple of days ago to see how it works and did about 3-4 hours non-stop. Have not tried it since.

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I have been prescribed Stra... (Below threshold)

July 6, 2009 10:43 AM | Posted by Mrs.Squire: | Reply

I have been prescribed Strattera for ADD. Ive noticed that it does help my symptoms , but it makes me angry. I lash out, and I am unbelievably annoyed easily. Is there a reason for this ?

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I am 29 Years old and have ... (Below threshold)

July 29, 2009 3:13 AM | Posted by Robert: | Reply

I am 29 Years old and have had ADHD since age 5. Almost 1 yr ago I was envolved with a clinical trial at USC for a study on "ADHD" but was rejected b/c of my Gastric Bypass Surgury...

After my dismissal I got to keep the Psychological eval and diagnosis letter of ADHD which was awesome! Then I took that letter to a Psychiatrist and then I started medication, "ADDERALL XR20MG 1 per day." after one month of use I was amazed at the difference of concentration I was able to have in all aspects of my life!!!

The ADDERALL was only effective for about 3-4 sometimes 5 hours b/c of my gastric bypass surgury. So we went to 20MG two times daily. Then that allowed me to focus ALL DAY which enabled me to complete eveything, everytime!!!

6 mnths after being on it, I noticed I was not able to concentrate enough while studying for school, which was wierd b/c it's derived from 7 types of amphetameins... Then we switched to RITALIN 35mg 3times daily and since then, I read about 2-3 new books(300-500) pages a week... So RITALIN for me, gave me MY LIFE BACK!!! And BTW, GENERIC is not even close to the same as BRAND NAME people, do some CHEMISTRY research, not BLOGS... ::))))

Any feedback to my above written would be appreciated...
[email protected]

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Hi...I am writing ... (Below threshold)

August 3, 2009 7:58 AM | Posted by asss: | Reply


I am writing 11 exams over a period of a month, wanna try take some ritalin to help...should i take everyday during the whole period or should i take breaks on days that i dont have exams?

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I respectfully disagree wit... (Below threshold)

August 7, 2009 9:16 PM | Posted, in reply to NG's comment, by Ryan: | Reply

I respectfully disagree with two of the things you said: (1) That Ritalin is less effective with time, unlike Prozac which takes weeks to show it's effect, and (2) that Ritalin is best given prn.

In my own personal experience, I think Ritalin worked better after I had been on it for a couple of months. After only a few weeks I stopped "feeling it" - i.e., I wasn't getting high off of it anymore. Unfortunately. :(

However, by helping to control my impulsiveness and allowing me to make better decisions about my life (i.e., improving executive function), I progressively stopped smoking weed, got on a regular sleep schedule, and made better friends who have direction in their life. I don't think ADHD is just a learning disorder but a lifestyle disorder.

Which brings me to my second point of disagreement - administering it prn (I had to look that one up: Pro re nata, Latin meaning "for the thing born," commonly used in medicine to mean "as needed"). Perhaps for some people ADHD is just a learning disorder, and they only need Ritalin to help them study. For others, our ADHD symptoms affect our interpersonal relationships, jobs, sleep cycle, eating habits, risk taking, etc.

Judging from my family history, if I weren't on Ritalin ALL DAY I would probably be self-medicating my symptoms right now with the help of tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, benedryl, weed, junkfood, or - worst of all - Dr. Phil's words of wisdom. It's all too horrifying to think about...

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"success is determined by t... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2009 12:36 PM | Posted by some nigga: | Reply

"success is determined by the solidity of your goal and the amount you're willing to work"

Can anyone comment on if this is still true? Was he being sarcastic? I am a sophomore in college trying to decide what to study and this is of great concern to me.

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Of course not! Nothing you ... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2009 12:47 PM | Posted, in reply to Hamid's comment, by lexington steele: | Reply

Of course not! Nothing you learn on ritalin would be inaccessible. The point of studying and taking the drug under the testing conditions is only for the couple of weeks prior, so that you will be primed to recall the information quickly under pressure. It's just a studying tip, on top of information on how/when to dose. ritalin isn't like alcohol where you forget everything that happened. You'll still remember as much as or more than you would have otherwise, say a few weeks after you finish studying. My 6 year old niece even understood that. She is probably a lot smarter than you, which is saying a lot because as I write this she is trying a jelly bean up her nose. you should probably just forget about the ritalin and get a job at a gas station or something, idk.

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you smoke ritalin? that wou... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2009 1:15 PM | Posted, in reply to damo's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

you smoke ritalin? that would be the most retarded thing I've ever heard, if this was the first time I heard it. A bunch of my sister's freshman friends do it too I guess, and believe me, those kids are unbelievably stupid. I've got an idea, if you're dumb enough to smoke it, why don't you try sticking it up your ass? hell people shoot meth up their assholes, and ritalin is basically just a weak serving of the same stuff. while you're at it, why don't you smoke a bowl of acid and shrooms, mainline a bottle of cough syrup and bump a few lines of pixie dust? Bet it'll get you totaaally fadeedddd broooo.

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I started taking ritalin tw... (Below threshold)

October 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I started taking ritalin two semesters ago. Started taking it a lot (especially during tests/finals) last semester. I swear it changed my brain chemistry. I am a much better student now (though I don't take it).

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How does modafinil compare ... (Below threshold)

November 9, 2009 9:37 AM | Posted by Like: | Reply

How does modafinil compare to the aforementioned drugs in terms of a brain stimulant?
Is its affect localised or 'global' ?

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What dosage did and did not... (Below threshold)

December 1, 2009 11:09 PM | Posted, in reply to Ritalin Prescription Information's comment, by Procrastinator: | Reply

What dosage did and did not work.

To the author of the blog. Does body weight play into the dosage requirements?

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Earn Online Degree... (Below threshold)

March 26, 2010 3:42 AM | Posted by Robert: | Reply

Earn Online Degree

One of the many great things about earning online degrees is that you can do the work from the comfort of your own home. This means that you don’t have to be in class at a certain time, disrupting your home or work schedule. Instead, you can do homework or take tests whenever you have the time during the day. That could be early in the morning, late at night or somewhere in between-whatever is optimal for you and your lifestyle………….

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Wow. Awesome, thanks a lot!... (Below threshold)

April 15, 2010 7:18 PM | Posted by Bob: | Reply

Wow. Awesome, thanks a lot!
I do have a question though, I'm 15 and I just moved to Turkey, where the school system is pretty damn tough and I was wondering if you thought that taking ritalin at this age is unhealthy.. Thank you!

Best regards,

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Awsome, awsome article! I d... (Below threshold)

April 18, 2010 1:12 PM | Posted by Amelia: | Reply

Awsome, awsome article! I decided to try Ritalin for the last week of studying before my exams and this helped a I know that I should take Ritalin when writing my tests to maximize the effect. Thanks!

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If I could, I would take Ri... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2010 4:17 PM | Posted by Lewy: | Reply

If I could, I would take Ritalin... only problem is it is near impossible for me to get hold of it since it is illegal in UK without prescription. That coupled with the fact that I know of no one who is prescribed it means that I am left with no real options... :-(

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There's always weed. Excep... (Below threshold)

May 18, 2010 4:58 PM | Posted, in reply to Lewy's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

There's always weed. Except that it's just as illegal in your country as it is here. Procede with caution, however, and above all know your own proper medical dose. There's really, really no need to excede it.

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Excellent post.You... (Below threshold)

June 11, 2010 9:28 AM | Posted, in reply to Tony's comment, by Angel: | Reply

Excellent post.

You suggest taking one dose in the morning 30 min before starting to study to get 4 hours of concentration, but what’s the correct dose? 20 mg? 10 mg?

What if I want to study 4 hours in the morning, and then again 4 hours in the afternoon/night? Do I take one full dose 30 minutes before each study section? Or do I take half the dose each time in order to amount to the full dose for the day.

I have 20 mg pills. Do I take 10 mg in the morning and 10 mg in the afternoon? Or 5 mg each like the recommended dose for children with ADHD according to the instructions?

If you would be so kind to help me I would be forever grateful.

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If one studies for a test o... (Below threshold)

July 14, 2010 7:56 PM | Posted by stoodent: | Reply

If one studies for a test on caffeine, should they drink coffee before the test too then?

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I am 57 years old, all my l... (Below threshold)

September 17, 2010 5:35 PM | Posted by mike: | Reply

I am 57 years old, all my life I had the all the signs of ADD, ADHD not until I recalled when I was younger my friend gave me a yellow pill that was hard could not be broken smashed. I was tired and had to work to finish an important project that had to be done. I was stressed could not focus I felt just burned out. I was not into taking anything, while they smoled pot I didn't not even drink
beer. I asked him what would it do to me he said pick me up a little give me that extra push I told him ok he left but I did not take it, I tried to cut it but no good.
I saw him the next day and asked me how was it I said ok he left me 3 more I put it away with the other one he gave me. When I saw him that night we hung out together wit some other friends the were taking them and saying how good they were. Well the friend who gave it to me was taking them to loose weight he was heavy and I noticed he lost some weight. The other guys had a summer job loading trailer trucks on the night shift non stop 39 yerar ago making $ 18.00 dollars an hour that was good money now and at that time.
It gave you energy didn't dope you up he swore to me it is not addicting.

Well a couple of days later I tried to break them in half, they were hard I was tired could not focus. So the next day after breakfast I went to work I was working alone no helper carpentry work the owner told me if I did not finish on time I would loose some money 20 windows replaced, 2 bathrooms gut rehab. I took it I was scared what did I do I said to myself. In 1 hour there was a difference I was able to focus and work non stop 12 hours I was amazed.

I talked to my friend that night, I told him what happened to me and the way I was able to think and concentrate as never before. The pill was called Desoxyn, After I used what was given to me around 5 pills it I never used it again.

I was always with the classic symtoms of ADD, ADHD they would call it hyper activity. Only after the medical community researched this fully it was a condition. As a young adult I just could not figure what was wrong with me, something I enjoyed doing I excelled at it untiring. Anything that did not interest me but had to be done I struggled to complete it. no focus, no interest I felt something was wrong.
I had to go to a doctor I told him that I had no interest in anythingf I was getting in trouble no real direction I told him about the pill I took thirty some years before, I described it to him and my friend told me it was for kids who had trouble in school and anywhere have problem's behaving. My doctor told me that is out lawed in the U.S.A.. He said did not need that. After a few more years of this horrible way of life I went to a shrink, I had to answer about 50 multiple choice questions. Well when done he told me ADD, ADHD everything in my life that happedened there was an answer. Ritalin helped, then when concerta came out it was even better. The past 2 months I had no medication my doctor who I know for 30 plus years had a triple by-pass he left some other doctor to fill in for him, he would not fill the precriptiond for me, 2 months of hell. I had to go to see another doctorf who knows me many years for something else, he relized I was not the same, so I told him what happed He gave me what I needed. It is like a stigma attached to giving medication that improves a persons everyday life. I was a Bad set back for me.
I will never forget abput the medicine that was called Desoxyn, this worked but it might still be outlawed, that worked but many abused it.

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Wait... so he's encouraging... (Below threshold)

December 2, 2010 4:02 AM | Posted by unknown: | Reply

Wait... so he's encouraging us to take Ritalin to study? Okay, will do, he is a doctor after all.

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amazing review...who is thi... (Below threshold)

December 5, 2010 12:39 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

amazing review...who is this author?

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VERY helpful.just wh... (Below threshold)

February 27, 2011 7:01 AM | Posted by EC: | Reply

VERY helpful.
just what i was looking for.

i wanna use ritalin, not abuse it :)

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enjoyed the article, this i... (Below threshold)

March 25, 2011 7:02 AM | Posted by will: | Reply

enjoyed the article, this is the type of information i have been looking for, (by that i mean i found it easy to understand).

so i have adhd, had it my whole life but gotten by un-medicated, now that i am studying at uni, i am trying dexamphetamine 5mg IR tablets.

i would love to see a similar article regarding using taking stimulants for clinical use. i have been having a very hard time figuring out how to take them properly, regardless of how much i talk with my doctor.

i am not really sure if the effects i have are the intended ones or if i am abusing it. i have searched all types of forums but there doesn't seem to be anywhere people discuss this (i know i must be wrong but... yeah)


sometimes they make me more focused. sometimes less. sometimes out of it. sometimes i feel great. have tried 5mg a few times a day to 10mg 3 or 4 times. to even more but yeah nothing i have been happy with.

agh. advice?
nice article, again, btw. (please excuse my rant)

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Great article though it lea... (Below threshold)

April 6, 2011 4:31 AM | Posted by Stephanie: | Reply

Great article though it leaves me a bit confused. I'm on methylphenidate for 10 days now, three doses a day.

Do I understand it corretly:
Caffeine should be taken first, then MPH? How much caffeine? 100 mgs? 200 mgs? How often? With each MPH dose??

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Hi everyone. I just took a... (Below threshold)

May 17, 2011 1:17 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hi everyone. I just took a diagnostic test called Quotient ADHA System. I get the results back. I went off my Ritalin for a month to take the test and get a baseline. I get the back on Concerta test next. Interesting stuff. Thanks everyone for the info and commentary. Jack

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Hey so the article is clear... (Below threshold)

June 8, 2011 1:57 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Hey so the article is clearly called how to make ritalin....i see no information here on how to make

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Thank you so much you clear... (Below threshold)

July 15, 2011 8:12 PM | Posted by Tomas: | Reply

Thank you so much you cleared up my questions!

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I was recently diagnosed wi... (Below threshold)

August 26, 2011 7:17 AM | Posted by josiah s.: | Reply

I was recently diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 29, it was and continues to be a revelation of seemingly infinite importance. Before I was rx'd Ritalin and dx'd with ADD I could only concentrate on what I was interested in. I don't think this is entirely bad but it really messed up my life by the time I got diagnosed. It's main advantage for me was that it allowed me to pursue my passion with complete dedication and succeed to the point of making a living at what I love to do.

However, the downside was the toll the unbalanced way of living took on my life, I've never been able to focus on things that don't interest me and this has caused me many setbacks in my personal and professional life. I'm now in therapy and taking Ritalin as rx'd by my psychiatrist and feel as though I'm moving forward in a balanced way for the first time in my life.

Looking back I notice that the times I succeeded the most pre diagnosis were times when I was self medicating with everything from drugs to exercise. I occasionally got into "grooves" that allowed me to move forward but not without a cost and never for a moment was I "balanced"... I was all the way in to something or all the way out, I knew no inbetween.

I tried Adderall at the recommendation of a friend and knew immediately that I had slipped through the cracks since I had never felt that balanced or focused before in my life. Still it took years and some trouble with the law for me to get a formal diagnosis and really get on track in all areas of my life.

I believe this blog is spot on in regards to how to study with ADD meds, it reminds me of a college professor I once had in music school, he was once talking about playing drunk. Someone said they couldn't play drunk, he simply stated that if you wanted to play music well while drunk (or at least buzzed), then you'd need to practice drunk! This was no secret to me at the time since I used to use weed to help me practice and perform music. However it's pretty funny looking back on it, since none of us were strangers to alcohol and we all played clubs nightly. It was just funny to hear the teacher say it so simply.

But it's true, when using these meds to study, follow the instructions in this blog for optimal results.

P.S. Never take these meds without consulting your doctor, and if you find that they balance you out and you suspect you may have ADHD please go and get yourself tested! It's a real condition with real consequences, however it can be a gift if treated correctly. I'm very impulsive and always procrastinate and tend to start more projects than I could ever finish... the impulsive part of this disorder nearly killed me... sooo... be careful! ADD and it's meds are not things to be taken lightly. However an ADDer is just the kind of person to jump into a dangerous activity without thinking about the consequences.

Great Blog!

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"Actual Neurological Config... (Below threshold)

September 10, 2011 7:47 PM | Posted, in reply to AK's comment, by Eileen: | Reply

"Actual Neurological Configuration for ADD"? I thought there was no way to scientifically test for the specific condition of ADD. Am I misinformed?

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I have only been prescribed... (Below threshold)

September 18, 2011 3:44 PM | Posted by confuseduser: | Reply

I have only been prescribed ritalin and adderal recently and I have to say, I am very frustrated with them, but primarily ritalin. I of coarse easily got this prescribed with no exams. I don't know why they don't do more confirmative exams because what if you are just pretending to get it to use it recreationally. YOu can't tell by looking at someone that they have it or even speaking with them. I am not even sure if this is a real disorder. But I will say one thing, I have very severe problems that I have had since I was a kid with focusing(so I tune out when studying and also in class more often then not and I do not do it purposely, I just can't focus that long).

I fully understand that you can not give medical advice but can you refer us somewhere for the questions we have? Seriously, the psychiatrists are useless. They experiement with me and don’t seem to know their stuff at all and I’ve been to a lot and they are all the same. I do better if I self treat and just get the prescriptions from them of what I want at this point. I feel most do not know their stuff at all regarding the medications they prescribe that are serious because they affect ones brain chemistry and so it’s really important to know more about each medication and ask the patient a large list of questions to understand them better to try to get a good fit because just treating everyone the same and experimenting wastes so much time and can even be harmful. So do I have ADD or is this a real condition, I don’t know but here are my symptoms and please keep in mind that I am treated for serious anxiety already and that alone if you take benzodiazepines especially could benefit from a stimulant I think to counteract that side effect of the benzodiazepine which causes tiredness, lack of focus and motivation and can actually cause you to do worse in school overall and maybe to the point of failing a course so it’s a very serious matter.

My symptoms which I’ve had for a good amount of time in my life and I get made fun of all the time by family and classmates is(keep in mind this started even before being treated for anxiety and caused very poor performance in my academics in elementary school): distracted by anything when trying to study in my room like animals, noise or anything else or even being hungry or the phone ringing so I might study for 10 minutes and something happens and suddenly before I know it, I just wasted an hour. And it happens throughout the entire period whether its 2 hours or 10 hours spent in my room trying to study. It happens depending on what is in the room or outside to distract over 10 times in a short or long period so in a 10 hour period, I could only get 30 minutes of actual studying. It’s pathetic and I can’t control it no matter what I do. I really try hard to focus and ignore everything around me and I just don’t know why I can’t control it. For going to class, I have a tendency to skip a good amount of lectures because I’m tired even if I went to bed 10 hours before waking up and can’t motivate myself to wake up. It just keeps getting harder and harder and I am at wits end with this. I miss so much. And if I get to class, I tune out most of the time and sometimes if someone asks me what the subject was for the lecture, I am unable to even come up with that. I try very hard to focus and listen but anything will make me tune out, many times getting hungry suddenly even if I just had lunch 30 minutes ago. It’s really weird. I have also been highly disorganized since I was a small child. The teachers used to tell my parents that all the time. It’s extremely difficult to stay organized and my thoughts are always so scattered in so many different directions that I can’t do a thing. Let’s say I have 5 tasks to do for today, because of my lack of organization and maybe motivation sometimes, I almost always skip my duties for that day. The more one gives me, the less likely I’ll do anything. I do have many other symptoms I’m sure but I can’t think of it at the moment.

I wasn’t treated until recently as it was affecting my performance in professional school so since I was going back to school and it’s intense 9-5 days, I thought I should consider seeing if something helps me. Keep in mind that I have severe anxiety, a genetic disorder. And yes, Ritalin or adderal causes me anxiety and I’ve never given either drug the chance to see if the anxiety would subside after 2 weeks. I like adderal better but it’s so expensive and the Ritalin is nearly identical. I do have side affects with both but worse with Ritalin. However, I do think they will go away with either drug if I give it a chance. Bad headaches are always the first side affect. I also take effexor for anxiety and klonopin daily(at night). I have gotten so many prescriptions of this. Sometimes I think it’s a miracle drug and will help in my education 100%. Other times when I get a new prescription so keep in mind each time I start fresh in because I hadn’t had it for a week or longer and so the next prescription does nothing. I barely feel it even there. And the worst part is that puzzles me the most because it should work is the prescribed dose doesn’t do anything. I get it prescribed lets say 3 times a day, so I’ve tried taking the entire dose in the morning and that usually or sometimes will help me focus, at the same short half life of coarse. When divided in three at 10 mg each time every 4 hours, it does nothing. My biggest question is, how can the doctor(psychiatrist know how to prescribe the correct dose)? And also, with generics of different kinds or even brand name, why are they so different like different drugs? One does nothing and the other is too strong but it’s the same drug just different generic, nothing else? And lastly, why when I take it, I get cravings to take more? Is this just a temporary side effect to work through or am I addicted and should not take it? It could help me so much, but to do that, it has to be done correctly by a professional who knows exactly what they are doing or else it is a waste. I am or I don’t think I am, a drug addict but I can take more very easily and not think twice about it. But on the other hand, I don’t drink or do anything else. I’m very clean. I have had too many issues with Ritalin but never made it to the 2nd week to see if it wore down. I feel I have a very high tolerance to it and I am thinking maybe it’s the other 2 medications I take. I want to make this work. I have to make this work. The 4 year med program is so intense and of coarse I could take nothing but in previous experiences in the same program, I did very poorly. My education and being able to get my degree depends on some other help because I also have a disability that affects me with my eyes so dealing with both of these things is too much for me to handle these days. I have been trying to experiment with caffeine every morning hoping that it will make it easier to wake up in the morning but honestly caffeine just doesn’t do the trick for me. It does nothing or it can even make my head foggy and sick. Not a coffee drinker but I alternate with Red Bull or Mountain Dew every morning and vitamins and such. The side affects of Ritalin and adderal are similar to caffeine actually. By the way, I noticed that Ritalin and adderal work the best the first day and after that it fades and starts to not do much at all but the first day and the first dose, if you take the full days dose at once since dividing it, 10 mg just doesn’t do it for me at all. It’s great, and then the cravings start and once that happens, it’s hard to stop. And it’s hard to admit this part but I can’t control it at all and I have never abused drugs. I am an active advocate against drugs, alcohol and even cigarettes and will be vocal about it. I hate to see people abuse anything. I really need help with this. Is there something wrong with me and can you refer me to other places to get correct advice to help with this? I’m desperate. By the way, the cravings don’t have much to do with euphoric feeling, it is just out of the blue, even if it has already made me start to feel awful because this stuff does make you feel awful at a point. Really awful and still crave it. I will even take the klonopin to help me feel better after I make myself feel horrible. I have only done the more than prescribed thing and cravings around less than 5 times but that’s too much as it is. And because I feel I can't control the cravings, what I have done so far everytime is just flush it because I don't want to risk death or some type of serious illness with it. Please help!!!!!

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I was just thinking about i... (Below threshold)

September 18, 2011 5:39 PM | Posted by confuseduser: | Reply

I was just thinking about it and I can see that people would probably thing that if I continue, I will just become a Ritalin junkie. I need to clarify this. I'm in veterinary school for the 2nd time because I failed the first time and I do feel my symptoms(ADD) or whatever they are(by the way I didn't take any klonopin the first time in vet school) did play somewhat of a role in this. I was so close but if I had gone to at least the majority of the lectures, borderline, I don't think that would have even come close. And for those who don't know much regarding veterinary school, it's the most intense professional program of them all, the hardest and most competitive to get in, even much harder then medical school because they only have 28 schools in the US and many times more then that of medical schools and other professional schools. It's brutal, it's intense and I could probably do it without help with my symptoms, but I could become borderline again. Hopefully not, but what my symptoms do to me is my frustration on this ends up causing me to stress out most of the time because I just can't focus like most of the others. School has always been far more difficult for me than 98% of my peers. It was all blamed on my eye disability condition all the way to high school so the teachers just never thought there was anything else. I had 3 surgeries though and after that, I turned the corner and obviously I excelled suddenly through high school and undergrad and was a top student. Before, I was pathetically at the bottom of my class. My symptoms of possible ADD have just really gotten unbearable after undergrad as I had gap years and hadn't done the full day 5 days a week in over 6 years when I went back. Not kidding, I missed 90% of my lectures. I know most will argue that this isn't a psychological issue, it's just laziness, but keep in mind that as difficult as it is to get into vet school and I started my experience in 8th grade, why would I just decide to become a lazy ass and skip everything like someone who doesn't care when I am taking out over 70K in loans per year?

I am not ready to give up the Ritalin because believe it or not, I took a summer class this summer and it worked so well. It's just not consistent with me and I know there are ways to help this. As for the cravings like a junkie, I am not sure why I did not hold self control. I was just experimenting for a few months before the real deal as I only started class last week so I felt it didn’t really matter. But I will be honest, I felt between 40 to 60 produced 0 side effects and worked great at that time, especially through my 4 hour drivers education class a couple months ago. I was on fire, was on focus central there and enjoyed it. After this amount, that’s when it starts to make you feel crappy. I have felt anything from abdominal pain, odd blisters, fevers, foggy head, migraines, and dizziness, unable to interact at all with anyone or go anywhere, felt drugged up and afraid to drive and get pulled over but yet, still craved it. I do not understand this effect because I’m 29 and I’ve never experienced it before. So I’ve worked very hard to get where I am so would not just suddenly start doing this everyday knowing how bad I will feel plus it keeps you awake all night and no sleep aid seems to help. I got it last Friday and didn’t sleep at all since Friday night and its Sunday night. I think my problem is I don’t know enough about this drug or adderal(which by the way is much better for me and only reason for not getting it is the cost). Directions like take 10 mgs 3 times a day doesn’t work for me at all and it doesn’t feel right. From the earlier posts, I agree that everyday is not the way to go plus it is better maybe to take during the studying and the exams. To me, this is proper direction(I need to try it though, everyone is different). If I know I have the correct dose which I feel is between 30 to 60 at once which I know is high) and clear direction I’m a pretty smart person and I an 98% sure I could control it. And if I can’t, I would just have to not take it anymore, right? One more thing, one of the biggest problems that started me in the path of skipping lectures was I find it sometimes impossible to get up early to go to a boring class, as most of our lectures are. To add to it, the weather is cold, rainy and no sunshine and I come from the warm sunshine no rain state. I heard another medication mentioned that was like 1/3 adderal or something that was less on focusing on something but more on just being a broad overall like the way you described caffeine. Remember, I don’t really get much of anything from caffeine. I’m the abnormal from everyone else. I stand out and I’m very different. I think maybe the klonopin might be negatively affecting the Ritalin or adderal and I can probably cut that down to almost nothing. My maximum tolerance that is affective dose all at once without any problems is 60 but I know it wouldn’t be good to take that much if possible. That is the lien from effectiveness that I call a miracle in disguise to feeling horrible. And as I said, with a 30 mg a day one month supply and before it was a 20mg a day one month supply, due to the cravings, after crossing the line and having to take things for my stomach and headaches, in order to not become ill, it flushed everything because even though my doctor said absolutely nothing about the side effects, dangers and everything else, you can feel it when you cross the line and the cravings still continue and you feel like your dying and flushing is the best choice here. I know so many experience the same stuff I do. And self control is very difficult and my excuse is I was not in school in didn’t need it yet. Again, I am so sorry as I can see I keep repeating the same thing again and again but I wouldn’t not exceed or abuse the stuff I don’t think if I knew what I was doing with the very excellent schedule and guidance and recommendations totally different from the psychiatrists who haven’t a clue how to tell you the proper doses to take and when. If you will ultimately go into over 400K debt, suddenly it is easy to exercise self control. And I am positive I will be able to do it. So here I go again, you can’t tell me how to take it or anything else but you can refer me to websites and other stuff but most importantly, after that, any advice what to tell your psychiatrist so you don’t offend them because I have offended them in the past?

My dad is an MD and always tells me not to self diagnose regarding the anxiety drugs I’ve been taking for 15 years, because he’s an MD. My response all the time is that I have been taking the stuff for over a decade, different doses, different medicines, I know what works, I know what dose works and all of that at this point better than anyone just from experience. By the way, the 60mg one time dose of Ritalin does not cause any anxiety, it actually calms me down. And the klonopin that I feel can negatively impact the Ritalin I can wean off of because it’s bad for school. I spent a decade without any of that stuff, just the effexor and I was fine. The klonopin was prescribed by a new psychiatrist who said to take it everyday and that is hard to get off of. Everyone, do not trust your doctor; you need to do tons of research too. This is not medicating and self diagnosing yourself, I feel it’s just helping better help your doctor to understand you and hopefully prescribe the right stuff not allowing room for too much error but you can always be completely wrong, but it’s just a guide, nothing more. I am sorry, I didn’t mean to tell you my whole life story in like a book, but I don’t feel unique and I think many reading these blogs might see their selves in my shoes in some of my experiences because it’s not uncommon. I’m addicted to the chocolate spread nutella and the cravings are the same, I take one bite, another and I can’t stop and suddenly eat an entire jar. It’s human nature. I did this every day for months. It’s not the type of drugs you are thinking about. However, it is a true addiction and I did it for months and it would become my only source of food every single day for a few months and these causes pre-diabetes, not nutrition and it also caused 30 pounds of weight gain. I cut it cold turkey and never touched that chocolate again. It is a lot of will power and it’s very hard, but it only takes a couple of days and I never thought about it again. I feel bad for writing to extremely long blogs but I did it because I am in desperate need of help and advice and whatever you can give me and I hope this helps many others people like me. Thank you and again, if you can help and respond as soon as possible, I will be very grateful. Thank you!

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I am a 28-year-old woman wi... (Below threshold)

September 20, 2011 12:41 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

I am a 28-year-old woman with ADD, the inattentive type. I have always known I had it since who knows how long. I've been dealing with it since grade school and my first medication was Ritalin twice daily. Then, I tried Adderall IR twice daily wanting to try something new. Well, after taking that one for about a year, in 9th grade and seemingly it having not made much of a difference, I switched to Concerta. It was relatively new and I thought, "Wow, a medication that last all day?" I thought that was great since I wouldn't have to go to the nurses office every lunch hour to take my pill again. At that time, I never had to think about it again after the first dose:) Well, then Straterra came out and I thought a non-stimulant sounded like a good idea. Or, let's say my mother thought it sounded good. I had bad results with it though. It made me to drowsy and my stomach was rotten. I felt dizzy as well. So, I scratched that one off the list and went back to Concerta. Recently, I tried Vyvanse, the same, pretty much, as Adderall XL. That one didn't agree with me at all. I turned into this crazy woman that I was not. It was almost like I was severely ADHD with the additional Bipolar attached to it (this occured one afternoon, but it was gradual from just stubborn/hyperfocused ADD to this crazy ADHD). Now, I am currently on Concerta again, since it seems to have worked the best, along with another dose, if needed, of the generic brand of Ritalin (methylphenidate IR) which seems to work the best. The Ritalin seems to help as the Concerta starts to be less effective in the afternoon which helps a great deal in the medical assistant program class I am currently taking. Having a unmotivated, foggy mind is just not an option for me at this moment. Right now, I am about to take my first dose since I have an evening class tonight. I am actually trying a new method here to see if this works. I have read that it does, for some, and does not for others. But, I am about to pop both a ritalin and a concerta at the same time so that the Ritalin works immediately while the Concerta is gradually working into my system. Supposedly, a cousin of mine who is a pharmacist said that Concerta releases both immediately and gradually, the immediate being first. But, then as I read online, people have said that personally it does not release for a good hour. And, I have to agree with them. I feel that it slowly releases and not right away. I have always noticed that. I also notice that if I am not taking a ritalin IR in class (afternoon), then it seems to be less effective for sure. I am still able to stay focused and on task, but it just seems as though I am less clear and a little more foggy again. But, with the Ritalin running in the system in the mid-afternoon, it keeps it going consistently. I have had people say that Ritalin peaks and I know it does do that according to what you read about it. But, for me, I don't notice. I don't notice a thing except for more clarity, focus, and being more on task with things that need to get done. Nothing more, nothing less. And, from whwat I've read, for someone with ADD/ADHD, that is what is supposed to happen with these pills in general. You are not supposed to notice anything else, in which I was noticing a high peak feeling 20 minutes upon taking Vyvanse. People who truely do not have the disorder or are taking the wrong medication for their body will get bad effects or simply nothing will happen at all. Interesting how that works. But, I know my mother tried my brother on it, giving him a week of my Ritalin (she's a nurse and my father a doctor) when he was in highschool, but it had no effect on him at all. Or at least, he couldn't tell them nor the teachers either. He lacked motivation, but it was for a personality problem that I will not share on here. He is actually taking Wellbutrin XL which seems to be working well for him. He's 30 years old and going back to school. THis time he seems to be more interested in school which is great. He should be. he just got out of the Navy and it is time to make something out of himself so he can get a good paying job that will help him be able to buy the fancy/expensive things he enjoys buying in life. Right now, buying what he enjoys is not a good idea, but he does He is impulsive for sure.

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Sorry that it got sent twic... (Below threshold)

September 20, 2011 12:43 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Sorry that it got sent twice. For some reason it said there was an error and I tried to correct that not knowing it actually went through. All that reads the post can ignore one and just read the

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Here we go...about to take ... (Below threshold)

September 20, 2011 12:53 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Here we go...about to take the pills now. I am kind of hemhalling around and worried about what the effects could be upon doing so. I have taken it in the afternoon, but the Concerta had been running in the system a long time by this point. So, we will see. I'll have to come back when I have more time and make one more note on what happened with this new trial. I know I should talk to my doctor about this, but I don't see him until the 30th of September. I can't wait that long. I was thinking it would be good for the morning, upon waking up so I have better motivation. It would almost be like drinking coffee for me which I still do, just a low (very low) dose of Coffee Mocha. Anything too strong gets to me when mixed with the stimulants, but that's to be expected...

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oh my god, it is if you are... (Below threshold)

November 16, 2011 12:53 AM | Posted, in reply to VelvetElvis's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

oh my god, it is if you are reading my mind. I am 20 years old and have been having the same problem ever since I was a child. only, now that i am taking my first organic chemistry class it has gotten worse and worse. its very frustrating and i cant seem to be able to control it. i talked to my psychology professor and she recommended I go see a psychologist and a psychiatrist. I am so glad I am finally going to face my problem.

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lol... (Below threshold)

November 27, 2011 6:22 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply


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Not many people can so ably... (Below threshold)

January 22, 2012 4:31 PM | Posted, in reply to VelvetElvis's comment, by Jess: | Reply

Not many people can so ably describe ADD as you have. It has ruined my life. I never found a doc who truly "got it" and have not been able to find anyone who can help find the right prescription meds to help me function as a regular person. (I believe drugs are absolutely necessary for some of us to function). I have given up because I am tired of dealing with ignorance and tired of being discounted. But it is a small comfort to find someone out there who knows how incapacitating ADD is.

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boobs... (Below threshold)

April 5, 2012 1:40 PM | Posted, in reply to Eileen's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply


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I want to know now what exp... (Below threshold)

April 18, 2012 8:58 AM | Posted by shira: | Reply

I want to know now what experience you might have with phosphatidyl serine and phosphotidylic acid?
I really enjoyed reading your work about stimulants

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Thank you so much for this ... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2012 7:47 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Thank you so much for this BLOG. I am a student who has dealt with depression, anxiety, and possibly ADHD (though I'm not sure I believe it's a legitimate 'condition') my whole academic life. I'm very anti-medication except when it comes to meds I have control over when it comes to dose. I've taken Xanax VERY conservatively before (it took me 3yrs to get through 1 bottle of 100) for my anxiety, but I never liked how it made me sleepy and feel drunk. I finally decided to try Ritalin, and I've got to say I'm very happy I did. I've been able to focus so much more easily now-- I can read without fidgeting and having every little noise bother me. I can finally enjoy learning whereas before I had all of these anxieties and fears about studying. I've been using your method for testing on paper writing, and I am keeping up in school and holding a lot more content for when it comes to writing the paper. I don't have to re-read my texts a million times in order to recall certain key passages. I began taking more than one a day because I had to catch up, but now that I am caught up I am taking one every morning to study before classes, and none on the weekends (unless I'm writing a paper). This medication has helped me relieve so much anxiety in my life and I for one was glad to read a BLOG that was honest about how to use it for studying only. I don't want to be drugged every moment of the day, after all. I don't even need my xanax anymore because I'm not having panic attacks over school deadlines all the time. This has changed my life, and I am not even close to abusing it.

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Brilliant, reading this, ma... (Below threshold)

May 20, 2012 6:39 AM | Posted by Slim: | Reply

Brilliant, reading this, made me suddenly realize how much time I spend browsing the net after popping methylphenidates INSTEAD of doing my work. I am now closing my laptop lid! Great little article.

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It's called "How to TAKE Ri... (Below threshold)

May 31, 2012 10:50 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

It's called "How to TAKE Ritalin"....druggy.

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Buy Ritalin and xanax at af... (Below threshold)

July 14, 2012 4:16 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Buy Ritalin and xanax at affordable prices. we accept paypal and western union for more detail Please Visit

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take 1tablet 2hr before sta... (Below threshold)

July 20, 2012 4:08 PM | Posted, in reply to Waqas Farooq's comment, by indian: | Reply

take 1tablet 2hr before starting's effects lasts 2-4hours.if it cause nausea add domperidone tablet.don't take more than 60mg/ it's side effects and learn how to manage them.therapy should be may feel cravings for it once you stop it after use,so u need some self control too.never take more than 1 month continuously.

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Ritalin=concerta. Adderall... (Below threshold)

July 20, 2012 10:38 PM | Posted by jack28: | Reply

Ritalin=concerta. Adderall=vyvance. It's all amphetamine. It's addicting (remember dopamine?) The posts here read like speed screeds.

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WOW Special Offer Buy 2 Ge... (Below threshold)

August 5, 2012 2:51 PM | Posted by Ayan Ahmad: | Reply

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Well swim just tried it rec... (Below threshold)

August 13, 2012 5:55 AM | Posted, in reply to Anonymous's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Well swim just tried it recreationally today... swim can compare it to a mild coke high, although more of a heart high that a fill body high

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sad that i didnt come acros... (Below threshold)

September 4, 2012 2:04 AM | Posted by zonkedout: | Reply

sad that i didnt come across this post sometime back. i am adult of 27 yesrs age. my doubt is what is the dose i shud try before my exam. i bought 10mg tab... should i try 20mg or just 10mg .?? bit confused..plz do advise

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sad that i didnt come acros... (Below threshold)

September 4, 2012 2:20 AM | Posted by zonkedout: | Reply

sad that i didnt come across this post sometime back. i am adult of 27 yesrs age. my doubt is what is the dose i shud try before my exam. i bought 10mg tab... should i try 20mg or just 10mg .?? bit confused..plz do advise

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This information is life ch... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2012 12:13 AM | Posted by Nicole: | Reply

This information is life changing. This one post has given me more insight than years of meds, therapy and self help books combined. You really know what you are talking about. Pure genius.

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IU have taken Tenuate dospa... (Below threshold)

December 6, 2012 6:41 PM | Posted by charles farley: | Reply

IU have taken Tenuate dospan adderal you name it the last five years Methel phhenadrate.From 1 Pill daily to 1 3 times a day to last month 4 4x aday but I was realy doing 6 4 times a day.
I woke up in fear one morning and thought I am 57 years old.What if a health issue causes me to be hospitalized what aBOUT WITHDRAWAL What will happen how do you tell a doctor what you have been doing.I got up and flushed 1360 down the toilet and thought I will do this on my own because no body in my family knows.
I never had one minute of anything except waiting dfor somethoing to happen A month later I still have no with drawal type problems but my life is going down the tube again.all the distrust worry hate rage rummaging forgeting screaming into my pillow by the hour.What would you do?
PS I do not drink smoke or do any other drugs never have.And tghese were all perscribed by my family doctors and i have gone to the smE ONE FOR 37 YEARS AND THE SAME PHARMACYR TWELVE

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spiritual world drug nation... (Below threshold)

December 20, 2012 11:19 AM | Posted by inc b: | Reply

spiritual world drug nation fair world corruption wasup people

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as a friend and roommate of... (Below threshold)

February 21, 2013 3:05 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

as a friend and roommate of someone who takes these pills for their mild ADD, i find this article quite interesting. we both study, me w/out and the roommate on the pill...i could argue that my attention span has been greatly reduced proportionate to my internet browsing behavior...the speed with which we have come to expect that things should happen, the amount of distraction available to us a click away has greatly reduced my own and im sure a lot of peoples' attention span..going by the current spectrum of ADD, im sure i could be diagnosed with it and put on the pill..not taking ritalin is therefore a choice for me...i sincerely think that its time to update ADD diagnosis and prescribing behavior accordingly..pills should only be reserved for the select few who'd be truly dysfunctional in the society (unable to work for e.g.) friend im sure could do without the pill for for me to get back to studying.

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BANANA... (Below threshold)

March 6, 2013 11:51 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply


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wow. good article. great pu... (Below threshold)

March 12, 2013 10:13 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

wow. good article. great public announcement too :p I'm actually doing an LO task on just that (the thing about grades). anyway, thanks

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I wasn't sure if your blogs... (Below threshold)

April 13, 2013 7:17 AM | Posted, in reply to confuseduser's comment, by James: | Reply

I wasn't sure if your blogs were sarcastic or a cry for help after reading them, but I guessing they are real with the assumption of "why waste that amount of time" in doing so! Don't take this the wrong way but after taking at least an hour reading this entire web page, I #1. Was absolutely intrigued with the education I just got & #2. Realize that you should listen to what I have to say if you are still trying to seek help. Remember, I'm not criticizing you just giving my "opinion" take it or leave it...your choice. If your 29 or 30 years old then I have a decade more of experience and life frustration on what this blog has turned out to be which is many people asking for help, seeking for answers that psychiatrists don't actually understand cuz they never lived it, only have they read, studied, wrote their dissertations but have also dedicated their lives to helping all of us. I must as I have a tremendous amount of respect for their work. I'm a WWII buff, read so many books about battle and what it would like to be in battle, and experience combat but I'll never actually know or would know unless I did...get my drift!!

I understand how hard it is to get into Vet school as you mentioned you are / were? I'm a Colorado Stat University grad and I know it's one of the top Vet schools is the country. You need to attend class, every lecture and put in an additional 15 hours a day of work if you plan on coming close to graduating!! With that said I highly doubt you can still be attending class at even a community college. Your just to sick & mentally unstable. The evidence is in your writing and how u r all over the place with your story. My 6 yr old daughter is more coherent than that and that's why no one initially responded or took what you had to say seriously.

No I'm not a doctor this is just my attempt to answer your question on what to do for help & r u abusing your ADD and other meds? I'll say this with my experience, if you ever have to ask yourself that question then the answer is usually yes. You need to be 100% honest with yourself and stop Blaming your doctors, family, grade school peers and anyone else you want to blame for your problems. You need to be 100% accountable for YOU!!

I have suffered from ADHD my entire life, had every symptom such as in anxiety, lack of focus, no interest In doing anything productive even though I new I had dreams & goals I procrastinated uncontrollably, started hundreds of unfinished projects, unorganized & the list goes on. This all lead to feelings of self pity, uselessness & depression so I dealt with it by self medication with lots & lots of booze until my life was in the toilet and I wished or didn't even care if I died. Some nights before I passed out I prayed to god to take me in my sleep so I wouldn't have to undergo the horror of withdraw the next day! All of this was due to the FACT that was due to my chemical brain disorder ADHD. The first thing I had to was sober up and clear my head then go see a psychiatrist about my mental state. I went through a few weeks, 2 to 3 times per week of psychotherapy when I was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety & depression. He dx'd me with Xanax, Prozac, & Ritalin . The only med I actually took was the Xanax which didn't take long for me to abuse to where I would black out on and loose what seemed like days at a time so I stopped and moved on to Prozac & with having ADHD I figured that knowing it takes 6 weeks to begin working and you can't get high from it than why bother taking it ? There is a high percentage of us with add/ADHD that suffer from addiction mainly because drugs & alcohol give us a false hope feeling better about how we are lost and hopeless in our struggle to succeed ( my opinion).

To end this story I spoke to my dr. Again & he informed me that with time for many people while taking Ritalin the anxiety & depression will go away and that the benefits of staying focused will be rewarding and change my life! He was right and I'll tell you for me, I can't say this for everyone,but my life is becoming the life I always new It should be. It's not a smart pill but was it does is keep you focused on what your doing. Now I'm only speaking about myself but I complete everything I star, when I study I can't believe what I retain & for the first time in my life a challenge myself my professors (just finished my third semester of pre med...with a 3.8 gpa f-ing amazing) I was a d,c student with no direction 20 years when I received my BA.

I don't abuse Ritalin because for me I don't know if I can stay so focused without it. By no means is it a wonder drug i was an underachiever that wanted desperately to be successful & have direction & drive & by staying focused I am finally able to use my god given abilities.

Sorry so long but trying to be of service to a confusedabuser. Hope this helped & if you ever want to reach out and e-mail or talk it would be more than my privlage !!

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I've to say that you simply... (Below threshold)

April 19, 2013 3:00 PM | Posted by Yun: | Reply

I've to say that you simply wrote an excellent post. I'm a big fan of electronic cigarettes along with the many varieties of e-liquid available on the market place. Hold up the wonderful perform and I'll make sure to help keep checking for new posts :)

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Thanks, brilliant article!<... (Below threshold)

May 10, 2013 2:41 AM | Posted by Luke: | Reply

Thanks, brilliant article!

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Wonderful article!!! I am t... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2013 1:13 PM | Posted by Chey: | Reply

Wonderful article!!! I am thinking about consulting with my family doctor about taking either ritalin or adderall. I am 28 year old med student currently in 3year and am preparing for my usmle step 1. I'm having great difficulty staying focused. I want to commit to a 10hr studying schedule but barely hit 4hours or even less in total per day. I'm taking the exam in august and have 2 months left to prep so am panicking. What do you suggest? If I do get a prescription when should I take it and also scared about the side effects too.

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Thank you for your comment.... (Below threshold)

May 13, 2013 2:22 PM | Posted, in reply to James's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Thank you for your comment.

If I could choose between going forward by myself and with your support, I'd want the latter. Of course, if the problem is abuse and dependency, it has to be tackled by the individual in question.

Your observations and thoughts is helpful. I believe that merely interacting with you can be a support, depending on the context.

You would be correct in stating that if I was motivated enough, it shouldn't matter what you did or didn't. That if your support (or anyones) was thought of as something similar to a necessity, than the plan would be doomed to failure.

What you could do, is to make it easier. To change a habit involve getting new ones, voids has to be filled. It would be a great thing if we could fill some of it together.

It's not given that you can be supportive. Some people tear each other down while others do not. As a starting point, you could tell me your thoughts on a couple of issues.

Actually, it would be helpful even if you merely told me that you wouldn't share your thoughts.

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first timer on this stuff. ... (Below threshold)

May 22, 2013 8:15 AM | Posted by bonjovi: | Reply

first timer on this stuff. bad to take few days in a row?

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What a great read and keep ... (Below threshold)

May 30, 2013 9:27 AM | Posted by Hellfire676: | Reply

What a great read and keep up the great work.

I wanted to say person that had open heart surgery twice with the first at the age of 2 in the 1980s that also was diagnoses with ADHD as a child in the 90s. As A teen I took 90mg of Ritalin LA all at once per day and now at the age of 27 out of college looking to get a job, I only take 20mg of generic Ritalin LA a day and maybe 20mg of short action to round of the day as I am a big dude with being 250lb and 6.6ft tall.

Really I feel that even as a 90s kid I was one of the very few that really had the ADHD disorder. My dad had ADHD and bipolar runs in the family and one of my sisters in mentally retarded. I have tried other ADHD drugs, but Ritalin really works for me very well. The only way I can put it into words when my ADHD triggers without being on Ritalin is like having a concussion in my frontal lobe.

Just to let you know that I my heart doctors have said my BP is so well while on Ritalin I do not need to take a daily BP med. I have also gone off 300mg a day of fluvoxamine which is the max dosage and haloperidol with being with no ill effects or results, as I grew out of a few other disorders I had as a child/teen.

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Hi ive been diagnosed with ... (Below threshold)

June 3, 2013 3:35 AM | Posted by sam: | Reply

Hi ive been diagnosed with add and treated with almost every anti depressant. ive taken ritalin adderal ex i even got as high as 90 mgs daily and i felt fine but the stigma behind it made me stop it and my life litterly fell apart. i went from being a functional adult to a sad scared little girl raped on the side of the road by someone she considerd a friend. the thing that kept occuring anyway. i got back on the adderall after being turned away by many drs who w out even looking at me said i dont beinieve in add or i dont perscrib medications. i finally found a dr willing to listen he diagnosed me w fibromialgia and pmdd on top of that ald perscribed adderal and ritalin for the pain, and it actually not only cut the amount of paiinpills i was taking i never felt so necalm and normal on their o wn they have side effects but togeher somehow they work. the anxiety and fears were replaced by me actually listening to mylogic and going for it. i was better then ever. i was actually happy and optimistic. every day even if things were bad i knew tom would come and i was off antidepressants. unfortionatly my dr is to expensive and i went directly to mental health to continue treatment but not only did they not want to continue my treatment cuz of the stimulants they gave me a nfor an antidepressant i cainteven afford and they know m there cuz i have no means. rightno w m lucky m off the sts but lately my moods r so bad and im so depressed dont eat or shower. my parents gave me till friday ito fix my life or im gone. tom i have and appt w the lady who just hands of ablifsy samples to every patiannt. how can i convince her to at least perscribe ritalin? she has my files she kows i was taking them. what can i do im in a despret situation. if anything pray for a miracle cuz caint ikeep doing this
im18 yrs old n nothing to show for it no drug abuse just devoted my life to my family and helping them out n now that i need them they dont feel its fair to get stuck w my problems

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Hi,I have an exam on... (Below threshold)

June 4, 2013 12:11 PM | Posted by Ehsan: | Reply

I have an exam on the day after tomorrow and i want to take this pill now.
really thank you of your explanations. wish me luck.

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I am a bit confused. Are yo... (Below threshold)

July 2, 2013 6:55 AM | Posted by Chris : | Reply

I am a bit confused. Are you saying that ADHD is a nonexistent condition and that Ritilan is simply a performance enhancing drug? And that the majority of the people here agree with that? I have to say that in my experience ADHD is extremely real and that Ritilan has the exact opposite effect on those who suffer from ADHD as it does on those who do not. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could clarify the issue at hand. Thanks. C

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The dude did not even ment... (Below threshold)

July 2, 2013 10:15 AM | Posted, in reply to Chris 's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The dude did not even mention ADHA. The off-label use of “reinforcers” [sic] to increase exam performance, the do’s and don’ts and common mistakes. It’s in the title “How To Take Ritalin Correctly”

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The dude did not even menti... (Below threshold)

July 2, 2013 10:19 AM | Posted, in reply to Chris 's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

The dude did not even mention ADHD. The off-label use of “reinforcers” [sic] to increase exam performance, the do’s and don’ts and common mistakes. It’s in the title “How To Take Ritalin Correctly”

*dam typo

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World's first genetically m... (Below threshold) Is it seriously that easy t... (Below threshold)

July 28, 2013 11:05 AM | Posted by Aussie : | Reply

Is it seriously that easy to get Ritalin, Aderral, in the US? You have to jump through hoops here in Australia to get it.

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Why the hate on germany? yo... (Below threshold)

September 26, 2013 11:24 AM | Posted by Anon: | Reply

Why the hate on germany? you don't know how it is there..

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Replying to this old commen... (Below threshold)

October 7, 2013 9:41 AM | Posted, in reply to Mohammad Zaman's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

Replying to this old comment to help future readers.

From what I've read, Ritalin makes those truly having ADHD feel calm instead of stimulated. Instead of causing increased focus, it calms your mind so you're actually able to focus rather than being constantly distracted.

Additionally, instead of giving genuine ADHDer's an advantage over 'normal' people, it just levels the playing field.

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Awesome I love this... (Below threshold)

October 18, 2013 6:38 AM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Awesome I love this

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You should try 1g Glutamine... (Below threshold)

November 21, 2013 10:35 AM | Posted by Alecco: | Reply

You should try 1g Glutamine on an empty stomach with an optional tiny amount of caffeine (e.g. tea). It does wonders and is much healthier than amphetamines. No prescription.

Of course, don't overdo it. Too much Glutamine can become toxic.

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That's because you have Uni... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2013 6:18 PM | Posted, in reply to Aussie 's comment, by seymourblogger: | Reply

That's because you have Universal Health care. The $ is the bottom line here.

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i have been trying to study... (Below threshold)

April 22, 2014 4:19 PM | Posted by khan: | Reply

i have been trying to study for a month now but when ever i sit to study i panic and usually end up studing nothing and get easily distracted can any one tell me how much of it i should use the article says one tablet a day . does that mean 10 mg a day ? and should a increse my dosage gradually ? i'm planning to use it for 25 day please reply fast

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<a href="http://www.hospita... (Below threshold)

June 2, 2014 4:55 AM | Posted by hospitalkhoj: | Reply

Top Orthopedic Hospitals in India for medical amenities like orthopedic surgical care, rehabilitation and physical remedy, sports performance training, and nutrition counseling. Whether you need medical or surgical intervention, are trying to reach your most select athletic performance level.

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Hi! I would like to talk to... (Below threshold)

June 27, 2014 9:14 PM | Posted, in reply to goodboy's comment, by Sheila: | Reply

Hi! I would like to talk to you about your post on Ritalin. if you can provide your email please.

Thank you!

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Ohhhhhh dear, I see potenti... (Below threshold)

August 13, 2014 11:01 PM | Posted, in reply to Andrew's comment, by Taz: | Reply

Ohhhhhh dear, I see potential for heightening the risk of PTSD afterwards with amphetamines on board during combat missions.....not good, abort abort!!!

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I now got a presription for... (Below threshold)

August 15, 2014 10:44 AM | Posted by karin: | Reply

I now got a presription for medikinet retard (it's pretty similar to ritalin, but the 'retard' means it works slower - over the day. I only take 10mg so it's practically useless over the day. Can I just open the pill and take it straight like that for an instant effect?

Ps. thanks for the last part with germany. I live there and our grade system (escpecially when studying law) is horrible.

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HTML really isn't as danger... (Below threshold)

November 10, 2014 3:56 PM | Posted, in reply to robotslave's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply

HTML really isn't as dangerous as you make it sound.

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A very interesting talk on ... (Below threshold)

December 10, 2014 8:09 AM | Posted by Alecco: | Reply

A very interesting talk on the subject of focus and "the zone".

"The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance"

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Best article EVER!... (Below threshold)

January 11, 2015 1:07 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

Best article EVER!

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I'm already using ritalin &... (Below threshold)

January 24, 2015 2:46 PM | Posted by sdb: | Reply

I'm already using ritalin & sadly I'm addicted:-( 5 pills a day that's becuz
I have entrance and I should get rid of these drugs after 2 week
But I'm really worried & I don know there any special way? Or I should just stop using it from the day after my entrance

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So when i was little i waz ... (Below threshold)

February 12, 2015 4:59 PM | Posted by Anonymous: | Reply

So when i was little i waz diagnosed with add but i never took meds until i was 12 when i was overlysensitive or something dont really remember but then we moved And my parents said new place new school new chance so i stipped the meds until 11th grade where i stopped being able to finish test even with the extra time i got. I asked my parents and we made an appointment with a psyciatridt or something and i tg her about my over hyperness and the fact that i talk wag too fast from normal people to understand and hkw i could concentrate so well in school any more or on tests. She diagnosed me siyh adhd and i have been taking 36 mh concerta since then abiut a year more or less i think i went back because while the lill was greag during the day by the time i sat down to study for tests i couldnt concentrate and found that i would space out or just walk arkund the house or get more food she gave me 10 mg of ritalin as a booster and it was great. I never had side effects that i can remember.. I was never depresssd and never lost my appetite (im just as big as a stress eater as. Ive always been) . Concerta really helped me. I stopped fighting as much with my siblings and i was able to focus my energy on studying. I was able to finish my tests. I take the concerta everyday and the ritalin when i need to study or sit thriugh a lecture. After bejbg on in for a little more than 3 years i find that when i forget to take it i am either really hyper or really spacey and easily distarcted. Also i fiund now tgat when i dont tane it and i have to sit my legs cramp a lot and my legs and bottom "fall asleep" (pins and needles or whatever you call it.
after i turned 18 she aaid she couldnt see me anymore about a little more than a year i went to a neurologist to see about upping the booster cause im studying for a huge stare exam thar will determine if i get into college basically and im not focased enough or fir ling enough she decided to up the concerta instead to54mg now i work some mornings so on those days i study i. The evening / night and the 54 does g lastong enoch either so she saud i can continue with the ritalin booster sbd she said to come back after a month or the new dosage so far i havent felt a difference really i think on the 54 or maybe a little but what im wondering is if because i take it everyday could it be my body/brain doesnt reaft like it used to? Cause in general its great and keeps me calmer but not zombie like just a normal energetic and helps me focuse my attention and energy to do stuff but unfortunately i dont think it is helping me stay focas dduring studying or practice test and im worried about test day cause as it is the test js meant in part to test speed ans with now extra time i dont finish as many questions as i would like..? also does 10mg kr ritalin actually do something? Thanks in advance

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Hello,could you pl... (Below threshold)

February 14, 2015 1:06 PM | Posted by Nikola: | Reply


could you please advise me why Concerta could make me sleepy? I believe to be a real hypoactive ADD case and was prescribed 18mg to start with - which did nothing, so upped my dose to 36mg and then 54mg on he 4th day (which is today).. My attention is somehow better on a task I choose as you described.. but overall I feel so zombie-like and after 4 hours or so start getting tired and could nap anytime.. Is my dose too low/high? Shall I wait for my body to adjust? Do you think Ritalin is a better form of medication? Thank you.

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Inspiring story...I'm study... (Below threshold)

March 3, 2015 2:48 AM | Posted, in reply to goodboy's comment, by Omar: | Reply

Inspiring story...I'm studying for medical school final year exam in 6 weeks...I'm planning to do the same protocol like you did. wish I get the same results like you. Thanks for sharing.

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This was perfect, I mean ex... (Below threshold)

May 17, 2015 3:33 AM | Posted by I love this: | Reply

This was perfect, I mean exactly what I've been going trough. Thanks, this post will definitely boost my study efforts. Because hear this out, I would use a lot of coffee before and everything was perfect, I was excited and all but never able to have the work until deadline. But now, with dopaminergic love, I am not that excited and this was bugging me. I was thinking something was lacking. But nothing is lacking, it is me, instead of using this frontal tools I've been looking for excitement. Thank you.

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Please stop referring to a ... (Below threshold)

July 15, 2015 8:08 AM | Posted by noa: | Reply

Please stop referring to a doctor as 'he'. It's disturbing. I as well as my mother am a doctor. Female doctor. It exists. Get used to it.

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The blog author's portrayal... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2015 1:53 AM | Posted, in reply to noa's comment, by johnnycoconut: | Reply

The blog author's portrayal of the doctor wasn't exactly flattering. Would you want the doctor to be a she?

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idiot... (Below threshold)

July 17, 2015 5:24 AM | Posted, in reply to noa's comment, by Anonymous: | Reply


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