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Hey guys! (prerequisite hug!)

So I've been diagnosed three times with inattentive ADD (not the hyperactive kind) and my latest doc has put me on 10 mg Ritalin. He says my brain is super fast and I need a stimulant to slow it down..something doctors call "the paradoxical effect"

The reason my brain is so fast, I suspect, is because of the way my brain is structured, i.e like a typical INFP. At least, that's my theory. I constantly forget what I was supposed to get at the store because my head was preoccupied with building a grand, existential construct.

This begs the question: how much of it is truly ADD and how much of this is just my personality type? Is there truly anything to 'treat'? Will Ritalin take away from my deep, creative INFP nature and therefore, rob me of my individuality? This is a serious question. I value my individuality and I really don't want to be like everybody else. At the same time though, I want to be able to pay attention and remember what I was supposed to pick up at the store.

What do you guys think?
 

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Society and their damned "something's different! Medicate NOW!!!" mentality...

I will say that some people honestly do need to be put on medication because it is out of their control entirely, but for the most part I don't think it is as big a problem as the general populace believes. If you honestly try, can you focus on your own? That's the biggest question I would ask myself.
 

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Brain too fast? That is the most retarded (I don't usually use that word) thing I have heard of in my life. Bullshhiiiiiiiitttttttttt.

I do benefit a lot from medication (for the reasons @L_Lawliet stated), but when I see stuff like "brain too fast" (urgh, how do you make three everyday words so repulsive?), there is little wonder in my mind why the real deal is dismissed.
 

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I take methylphenidate too.

It doesn't rob me of my creativity, it just means I actually can get things done. It has its pros and cons.

Bit tired now. Will think of more for later.

Oh, and I tried very hard for over 20 years, and despite getting a degree in science I could barely organise my own relaxation time in the evenings. It is organisation and a sense of the future that my tablets provide me with.
 

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first couple descriptions i found sounded quite a bit like me, though i've enver bene diagnosed with anything like that, i was about to say no ones ever noticed anything but i rember being told my teacehrs always complained that i always seem to be daydreaming but when they asked me a question i usually got it right (i was daydreaming but if it was something i was interested in i'd often read well beyond where the class were at, i was also quick to grasp theory but useless with lists)

wher to draw the line between condition and personality is a though one though, a lot of people who are fine get diagnosed as something because enough boxes got ticked on a checklist (not paying attention?, well maybe it was just incredibly boring), on the other side people don't get help whne they actually need it.

does your doctor know about personality types?, if not maybe considering getting another opinion from a medical professional who does, if you really need medication then you shoudl take it, but personally i want to be really really sure it was needed before i took anything like that
 
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Hey guys! (prerequisite hug!)

So I've been diagnosed three times with inattentive ADD (not the hyperactive kind) and my latest doc has put me on 10 mg Ritalin. He says my brain is super fast and I need a stimulant to slow it down..something doctors call "the paradoxical effect"

The reason my brain is so fast, I suspect, is because of the way my brain is structured, i.e like a typical INFP. At least, that's my theory. I constantly forget what I was supposed to get at the store because my head was preoccupied with building a grand, existential construct.

This begs the question: how much of it is truly ADD and how much of this is just my personality type? Is there truly anything to 'treat'? Will Ritalin take away from my deep, creative INFP nature and therefore, rob me of my individuality? This is a serious question. I value my individuality and I really don't want to be like everybody else. At the same time though, I want to be able to pay attention and remember what I was supposed to pick up at the store.

What do you guys think?


Dear Zeitgeist,

I am in the same boat. I had the same question running through my mind. Although I have lived an INFP life, I didn't know about it formally until recently. The designation really helps me understand myself. I act out of core values. This is INFP. INFP strikes me as being ADD- the Dreamers, the Idealists. I can tell you that ADD is not just an extension of INFP. Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many people taking Ritalin. ADD is neurological. For example, once I was going to put a can in the cabinet. Instead, I opened the refrigerator door. My mind can be easily distracted. That is ADD. ADD can affect all personality types, all levels of intelligence and is suspected to be evenly distributed throughout humanity. In the last few years, people have been whispering loudly that ADD may always be co-morbid. Which means that you may have something else as well, such as Dyslexia, Autism, etc.

I would recommend that you gain an excellent understanding of INFP and ADD absolutely independent of one another. Take a hard scientific approach and understand them objectively. Then you can see how they merge in your life.

Regarding medication: When I was first diagnosed, I took Ritalin. But since I am not hyperactive, I take dexteroamphetamine now. It was a clear improvement for me. Ritalin slowed me down because it is meant to reduce the hyperactivity. Dextero... is much more suitable. It just reduces the distractibility. You may want to bring this up with your doctor. I am not a doctor.

I don't want to be like everyone else either. After all of these years, my individuality is not only intact, I have a far greater understanding of myself. (In fact, one of the greatest moments in my life was being formally diagnosed as being ADD.) I like the same type of music, I have the same interests and my personality has not turned into something else. I am more mature and I am at least four times more productive. I see no reason why it should be different with you or anyone else. The only real change in my life was getting a job after college. I went form entertaining exhilarating ideas on a daily basis to achieving goals. I think everyone who enters the workforce has to make the transition. It is nice to actually apply stuff that you learned at school in real life.
 

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I was 'diagnosed' with ADD as well. First they put me on 10MG Ritalin. I took it for three days, and in those three days I made a journal about the effects the drug had on me. I have experimented with hard drugs before and I can only say that the effect was similar if not stronger.
I then switched to Dexamphetamine, and that had more of the desired effect on me. Though I have to say, it basically still made me trip, and I ended up taking it every now and then when I felt like tripping, not to help me concentrate.

If you were to take this drug 3 / 4 times a day, for 5 days a week, I would be severely worried about the effects it would have in your later life. There have been many studies which show that amphetamine use leads to diseases such as Alzheimer, or at least to symptoms of such a disease. Ritalin and Dexamphetamine are classed as a hard drug, and you should treat them as such. This is heavy stuff.

As for your question about the effects on your INFP'ness: it did help me write / concentrate, you can shut out the world while on it. But it also made it impossible for me to laugh or show any other factial expression that numbness. I lost my charm. I also believe that ADD in the case of an INFP, is more characterized by their personality type than a neuroligical disorder. I am just very chaotic, and if you manage to live with that, there is no problem. Of course, you can take speed and it might work for you. Yes, I said speed, that is what Ritalin is.

Eventually I stopped taking the pills all together. I do have to say that it was getting high by the government.

Long answer that takes a lot of time for you to understand: read the book 'Quiet,' by Susan Cain. It describes the difference between introverted and extroverted people, and how we live in an extroverted society. With an extroverted society I also mean that introverted people are by nature, not suited to be in an office that is open. They need quiet and they need to be alone so they can concentrate best. This is a small example from the book but if you add up a lot of examples such as these, you understand that ADD can also be understood as an individual being forced against their nature. Why do you have trouble concentrating?
 

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If you were to take this drug 3 / 4 times a day, for 5 days a week, I would be severely worried about the effects it would have in your later life. There have been many studies which show that amphetamine use leads to diseases such as Alzheimer, or at least to symptoms of such a disease. Ritalin and Dexamphetamine are classed as a hard drug, and you should treat them as such. This is heavy stuff.
Actual ADD is caused by a chemical imbalance. Thus these drugs do not make you high with ADD, but put you back in chemical balance. Unfortunate that you had to have such a bad experience with them.
 

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Actual ADD is caused by a chemical imbalance. Thus these drugs do not make you high with ADD, but put you back in chemical balance. Unfortunate that you had to have such a bad experience with them.
I am sure it does. I am still skeptical. Especially now that I have had the opportunity to try the drugs for myself.
Do you by any chance have a link to any of those studies? I would be interested to read them for myself. I can only find information that states 'new studies have shown,' but nowhere is there a link to the study, which is what I am looking for.

Some doctors believe that attention deficit disorder is one of the early signs of chemical imbalance problem in the brain. ADHD is a medical condition which affects young children and adolescents. Such factors as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior have been attributed to chemical imbalance in the brain. Not everyone believes in this, but many psychiatric physicians believe that these factors are early signs of mental illness resulting from abnormal levels of brain chemicals. Individuals with ADHD are often challenged by simple, everyday tasks.
The Effects of Long-term Ritalin (Methylphenidate) Use
Krystle A. Cole
© 2007 NeuroSoup Trust. All Rights Reserved.
Abstract
Ritalin, or methylphenidate, is often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD). Some of the many long-term
effects of Ritalin use are reduced cerebral blood flow, increased energy consumption in
many areas of the brain, permanent loss of brain tissue, life-long increased sensitivity to
cocaine, and life-long increased rates of depression and anxiety.
Then lets put it another way. ADD / ADHD is very easily misdiagnosed. If you want to be sure, you have to let them scan your brain. The test you have to take, answering a couple of questions, it is just far too easy to diagnose someone. Especially since it is very clear which answers lead to which diagnosis.

Use caution with what you take. This is your mind we are talking about.
 

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I am INFP and ADD primarily inattentive(so NOT hyperactive), currently thinking about medication options. @Zeitgeist , or for any other inattentives on Ritalin, do you feel the Ritalin is actually effective for you?

The experiences I have gathered from a forum on ADD which I help mod seem to indicate that not for every inattentive, Ritalin is the med of choice.
Some inattentives appear to report report better results from meds that also do double duty as DNRIs like Wellbutrin or with dex.

Oh, and a few additions to reflect my feeling on some of what I have seen in this thread.

1. AD(H)D is as real as it gets. It destroys education paths, careers, relationships and families. It can, sometimes irreparably, shatter peoples lives.
It can and often does also bring with it a host of comorbidities as well like depression, anxieties, OCD etc.
I also want to stress that for a diagnosis with AD(H)D impairment is a primary criterium. You do not(or should not) get a diagnosis if you are not impaired.

2. It does not go away. AD(H)D stays for a lifetime. It is not limited to children and its not limited to boys and most of all, at least half of the sufferers have the non hyperactive variant.

3. As far as is known the medication in and of itself has no addictive qualities.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am INFP and ADD primarily inattentive(so NOT hyperactive), currently thinking about medication options. @Zeitgeist , or for any other inattentives on Ritalin, do you feel the Ritalin is actually effective for you?
I found that Ritalin slowed me down at first and then increased the speed and efficiency which I did things. It also gave me a small "high" which greatly lifted my mood. I would not recommend it simply because it is like legal speed and is a highly addictive substance. I prefer to not get hooked on pills so I promptly quit taking them. My focus improved greatly simply by changing my life so that the things I needed to focus on were easier for me to focus on. For example, I was working as a Grant writer for businesses and I switched to Psychology and Counseling work, which brought my focus into hyper-drive and forced me out of myself so that I had to focus on the kids I'm working with.

The solution is life, not pills. That's just me though. Get a baseline of where you are at without medication and compare that to how you do on medication. I would also recommend finding out what's making you lose focus (are you bored, unhappy, unchallenged, fighting against your own values?) and try to fix that.
 
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I found that Ritalin slowed me down at first and then increased the speed and efficiency which I did things. It also gave me a small "high" which greatly lifted my mood. I would not recommend it simply because it is like legal speed and is a highly addictive substance. I prefer to not get hooked on pills so I promptly quit taking them. My focus improved greatly simply by changing my life so that the things I needed to focus on were easier for me to focus on. For example, I was working as a Grant writer for businesses and I switched to Psychology and Counseling work, which brought my focus into hyper-drive and forced me out of myself so that I had to focus on the kids I'm working with.

The solution is life, not pills. That's just me though. Get a baseline of where you are at without medication and compare that to how you do on medication. I would also recommend finding out what's making you lose focus (are you bored, unhappy, unchallenged, fighting against your own values?) and try to fix that.
Your experience is not common. Ritalin is a stimulant but it does not cause a euphoria like cocaine. (Not only have I never used hard drugs, I have never seen them.) I have never had a high with Ritalin nor dexteroamphetamine. I am not addicted to my medication. Ritalin is one of the most studied medicines ever. I have never come across any reference to addictions.

After reading your comments, you may have been misdiagnosed. This happens. Sadly, far too many people with ADD are never formally diagnosed. This problem far exceeds those that are misdiagnosed.

ADD is all too real to me. All the variables in my life have changed. ADD and taxes are the only constants.
 

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I think @JATO is correct. Ritalin as such should not be exhibiting addictive properties. It is definitely not the same as legal speed.

As for misdiagnosis, that is sadly quite common. There are at least 50 different physical and neurological conditions that can mimic some or all of the ADD symptoms. This is the reason diagnosis should only be done by a qualified psychologist.

I know there are some people who have actually pulled of ADD 'life' without medication but those are quite few and far between. For the vast majority of correctly dx ed ADDers, medication is almost a life essential.
 

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The experiences I have gathered from a forum on ADD which I help mod seem to indicate that not for every inattentive, Ritalin is the med of choice.
Yeah, my sister, who tried Ritalin for a bit, found that it made her a zombie. My family takes Concerta, which has been very effective. I'm still me, just pissing myself off less with my failure to concentrate on the right things.
 

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I have done a lot of research there are no "brain scans" that can diagnose ADD or ADHD. Sorry :( The best thing to do is meet with a therapist. The question is are you happy with your life or are there things in that you want to change...better focusing better task management or time management. Ritalin can help you focus on daily things...like driving better and paying attention better. As far as creativity goes I don't think that will effect it. I haven't noticed that at all.
 

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I have done a lot of research there are no "brain scans" that can diagnose ADD or ADHD. Sorry :( The best thing to do is meet with a therapist. The question is are you happy with your life or are there things in that you want to change...better focusing better task management or time management. Ritalin can help you focus on daily things...like driving better and paying attention better. As far as creativity goes I don't think that will effect it. I haven't noticed that at all.
 
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