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submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by [email protected] to c/adhd

I've long had problems with random, unfounded bouts of anxiety. I've been taking Strattera and it has partially helped with this: when it works (which is 80% of the time), I can feel it keeping me in a mellow headspace at moments when I would have previously had racing thoughts and mental tunnel vision. Specifically, the source of the anxiety is still there, because I can feel it spark into action and put adrenaline into my blood, but the Strattera seems to be blocking it from affecting my mind in any way. While this is a significant improvement, it's still not perfect because the adrenaline in my blood still tires my body out quite quickly.

Recently I went a whole day on 2 hours of sleep, and I realized the sleep deprivation stopped my anxiety more optimally than the Strattera. My brain was too sleep deprived for the unfounded anxiety/fight or flight to even be initiated, which meant there was no adrenaline to block from affecting my mind in the first place. What's more, my mind was just generally more chilled out and slowed down (no hyperactivity or hyperfocus or anything), kinda a bit like if I was stoned, and I felt far less inhibition to spontaneously blurt out thoughts that appeared in my head without thinking about them, which I actually quite enjoyed because it meant I was being my peak authentic self.

Whilst the Strattera helped stop the immediate effects of my anxiety, the sleep deprivation got me into the actual overall target state that I want to be in. Now I obviously can't go about being sleep deprived every day from now on. Does somebody understand the chemistry of what Strattera does vs. what the sleep deprivation does? Is there any medication that could create the same desirable effects as the sleep deprivation?

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[-] [email protected] 19 points 2 months ago

Do not fuck around with sleep deprivation. I developed severe insomnia to the point where at my worst I was averaging about 90 minutes of light sleep per day. After a few weeks of this I basically lost my mind. I could not function, I became paranoid, suicidal, violent, and a whole long list of scary bullshit. Worst of all, it all seemed perfectly normal to me. I was convinced I was in the right even though, in hindsight, I was batshit crazy.

Sleep.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 months ago

That sounds horrible. I won't.

[-] xkforce 5 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

Sleep deprivation prevents the body from being able to effectively repair itself. Thats why if you stay up long enough, you die. Sleep deprivation can exasperate ADHD symptoms. So even if you think it helps your anxiety, I would strongly advise you not to intentionally deprive yourself of sleep.

Strattera is a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It reduces the rate at which norepinephrine is reabsorbed so more of it stays in the synaptic cleft (gap) between neurons. ADHD is thought to involve deficiencies in dopamine, norepinephrine and potentially seratonin in the brain.

Drugs like strattera result in more norepinephrine which is involved in fight or flight, alertness, concentration and focus.

Adderal and other stimulants increase dopamine which is involved in motivation and reward

Drugs like buspirone (partial seratonin agonist) act on seratonin which is also involved in motivation and is better known for its role in depression. While buspirone (buspar) is normally used to treat anxiety, it is sometimes used to treat ADHD off label.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

Honestly, the effects you are noticing. (Minus the sleep deprivation) are pretty much how I also felt taking Strattera. Honestly, it might be more the meds rather than the lack of sleep, making you feel that way. If you just started taking it, it has so weird little side effects that seem to go away after a week or two.

For me, not being on the medication made me not able to sleep, and being on it made it easier than ever to just fall asleep when I wanted. Which was something that I was never really able to do before.

But it affects everyone differently, so keep your doctor informed if the sleep issues don't go away as that is not healthy!

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

Ah interesting. I've been on Strattera for a good while now but I noticed this effect of sleep deprivation even before I got medicated.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 months ago

Not entirely related to your question but I had no dreams while I was taking straterra. None. It was very odd.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

That's me all the time, I find it equally as odd when I do have a dream.

[-] xkforce 2 points 2 months ago

I had the opposite reaction to it. I dont usually remember that many of mine but after starting it I remember 2 to 3 times as many of them. Could partially be because my sleep has been interrupted more while on it but even when I do manage to sleep all the way through the night I remember more of them.

this post was submitted on 28 Mar 2024
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