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JDawg
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28 Aug 2006, 8:25 pm

I'm self-diagnosed and 28 y/o and work in a well-paying professional job. Recently, I took phentermine for a few months (so I could lose some weight). I did lose weight but I found out that I was very task-oriented at work. I took the drug for a few months and then I quit (prescriptions only last so long). Even months after having taken the drug, I am back to having my old "momentum" issues.

First, is there a reason this drug would cause me to become a "workaholic" at something that is often times not very interesting?

Second, is there a "replacement drug" that might be safe to take long-term for "work" situations?

Third, is anyone taking anything that helps them perform more "NT" tasks?

One drawback: This drug made it impossible for me to obtain the "depth of thought" I was used to...so for the first two or three days I was freaked out by it. Consequently, I couldn't think "outside the box" and that is sometimes a benefit in my job (the ability to create and think differently often times makes me an asset to my employer). Also, the stimulation the drug provides can prove stressful when outside things become overstimulating.

Lastly: I have not desired an official diagnosis because I really don't care to get "labeled" with a disability (which I don't believe AS to be a disability...just a different mindset/viewpoint). I would, however, like to get something that would help me in an Aspie-hostile society.

Quick edit: I wanted to add that on this drug I became a social kingpin for three straight months. I even met my future wife who has accepted me for who I "really" am and has been truly a treasure to find.



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28 Aug 2006, 9:20 pm

The only "drugs" I've heard that truly help Aspies is nutritional supplements because its been found certain nutrients are missing or needed in larger quantities in the brains and gut of autistics. B12 is a biggie and has to be taken in form of hydroxycobalamine as the more readily available cyanocobalamine is toxic to us. L-Glutathione and detoxing heavy metals is also suggested for autistics.

I work full time and find no need for "drugs" in order to work other than a few nutritional supplements, plus meds that treat the Lyme disease I have and also thyroid replacement hormone. I was twice put on diff anti-depressants, not because I felt depressed, but instead was told it would alleviate PMS and another time told it would relieve the nerve pain from the Lyme. Neither drug did what I was told it would nor did it make me feel any "happier".

Not sure if this helps you, but is my experience.



octavian
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28 Aug 2006, 11:29 pm

over the course of 20 years (i'm 36 y.o.), i've been prescribed well over 30 different anti-depressants, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers, neuroleptics, etc. for complex partial seizure disorder, rapid cycling bipolar disorder, and asperger's. quite frankly, with the exception of depakote (sodium valproate; which was moderately 'helpful' for a few years, but then became troublesome), none of these were of much help to me. some would mildly alleviate certain symptoms, but i was especially susceptible to innumerable side effects and they did not abate with time. i also found that in many instances i could tolerate only a fraction of the dosage that would be prescribed an nt for the various maladies.
it's not that surprising that i reacted so adversely to so many psych meds - as autism is largely an issue of extreme hyper-sensitivity (or hypo-sensitivity in some instances); i can hardly stand to be outside when it is raining or moderately windy, i develop migraines (and have even had seizures) in response to certain fluorescent lighting situations, throught childhood and adolescence most foodstuffs were virtually indigestible (for nearly 20 years, i subsisted almost entirely on 'white foods' - i reacted viscerally to color and my stomach responded accordingly). what i've found most consistently effective and reliable has been fairly nominal dosages of drugs that act in a cns depressant manner: opiates, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, certain antihistamines, etc. opiates, in particular, have been most effective. obviously, addiction and escalating tolerance is the most pressing of potential disadvantages; but if one vigilantly moderates and limits one's use, such problems can be kept under control. my findings are hardly unique, i've known a few autistics who medicate in the same fashion and a number of notable autistics have also remarked upon their affinities for depressant meds.
there were periods in my life in which i could not leave my house for days and weeks on end for fear of reacting adversely to urban lights, sounds, scents, etc. and narcotics have enabled me to maintain jobs and other working relationships (i'm a performing musician, and often must travel, thereby disrupting my routines - which are everything to me) that otherwise would not have been feasible.



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29 Aug 2006, 12:03 am

A lot of weight-loss drugs contain stimulants. I myself find I work better when I have a moderate amount of caffeine in my system.

AS is often associated with ADHD-like symptoms, or even ADHD itself. Stimulants like Ritalin can help ADHD. I suspect myself of having mild non-hyperactive ADHD; I have problems with distractability that often lessen when I drink coffee, soda, or take caffeine pills.

It seems likely that, if the drug you took was a stimulant, you might have gotten the same effect that people with ADHD get from Ritalin.


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techstepgenr8tion
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29 Aug 2006, 12:15 am

You just have to learn how your chemistry works - that means trying supplements like B vitamins, Ginko Biloba, Vinpocetine, Huprazine A, Ginseng, maybe nootropics if you really wanna go there, and if none of that seems to do much of anything then you could always try ritalin or something of the like. I find that a healthy dose of caffein helps, energy drinks, stuff like that but it also seemed like a short period of being on Ritalin caught my brain chemistry up lots in terms of getting my energy levels back up.



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29 Aug 2006, 1:13 am

Amphetamine and amphetamine-like drugs like Ritalin, Concerta, Aderall, etc are known to have helped many AS. It's quite easy to get those drugs prescribed in the US and the UK, though in Sweden, for instance, due to our absurdly hard inforcement of drug laws, amphetamine is considered just a drug for abuse by the authorities and is extremely hard to get prescribed. The doctors need a certain license to prescribe it. It's also extremely hard to get for adults, thanks to the inforcement of drug laws. The authorities think that children are less likely to become addicted, because they can't get hold of illegal amphetamine, so they get it legally. When over 18, you're supposed to easier get hold of illegal amphetamine, so you won't get a legal prescription any more... :roll: Guess why I hate the Swedish authorities? I have never had the chance to test central stimulants myself, although I've had begged on my bare knees. :x

But since most people here are from anglosaxon countries, you could probably get amphetamine, Ritalin, etc prescribed. I recommend you to test it. Maybe your lives can get a hell of a lot better, though my own doesn't seem able to, thanks to the coward doctors that I have had.

Among "natural" drugs gingko biloba is one of the few that I've tested, that has improved my condition a little bit. As for vitamins and minerals, I don't know. I've been taking them since long before my diagnosis. It probably won't harm. I have taken selenium for many years, which is supposed to detox the body from heavy metals. It can be worth trying for you too.



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29 Aug 2006, 2:26 am

Octavian - don't feel bad about the fluorescent light thing. It is extremely common in even non-autistics to have those lights trigger migraines and/or seizures. Sunlight at certain angles or any flickering of light can also cause it. Just an FYI migraines are thought to be a form of seizure and very related to having a stroke. Its not just an autistic problem, though many autistics do have seizures. In fact the particular lighting common in the Super Target stores is notorious for causing seizures so beware of that place!

Just an FYI on the supplement Huprazine since a number of Aspies tend to have seizures. Huprazine is contraindicated in anyone who has or has ever had seizures and also contraindicated in those who have asthma or heart rhythm abnormalities as it can be lethal. Since it is fairly common for autistics to have the above problems thought it was good to mention.



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29 Aug 2006, 3:00 am

At work I functioned better with caffine, either coffee or dark chocolate or both :)

Sometimes I took echinacea tea (for immune system) and st johns wort (to make me feel better / anti depressant), and if I got a cold I'd take panadol cold and flu - which is hard to get now because it has pseudo ephidrine in it.

Sometimes we had alcohol - but I never found that to be helpful. Often work done while drunk had to be thrown away and re done from scratch when sober. Same for work done after 2am.

I never let the medicos use me for a biochemistry lab though they'd offer now and again. If they offered me sleeping pills or anti depressants - I'd ask them for another way.

octavian
When a fluro starts to flicker on me - or anyone else where I work, I go round to that light, and twist the globe in it's socket until it goes out. I'd rather be in the dark than under a strobe.



TheMachine1
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29 Aug 2006, 3:19 am

That "thinking out side the box" is theta brainwaves. Daydreaming is theta waves
its where most the creativity in the world comes from. People with ADHD brain's are
in a theta state often(yeah you have ADHD!). But the downside is ADHD kills work
drive. You can come up with 100 good ideas but you find it hard to finish any of
them. Now CNS stimulants enter the picture they put your brain in a beta waves
state (hyper focus) on getting a job done. But sadily as you saw that theta wave
creative flame goes dim(while on the meds).

Myself I never used stimulants but your story has me feeling good about trying!



JDawg
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29 Aug 2006, 9:09 am

TheMachine1 wrote:
That "thinking out side the box" is theta brainwaves. Daydreaming is theta waves
its where most the creativity in the world comes from. People with ADHD brain's are
in a theta state often(yeah you have ADHD!). But the downside is ADHD kills work
drive. You can come up with 100 good ideas but you find it hard to finish any of
them. Now CNS stimulants enter the picture they put your brain in a beta waves
state (hyper focus) on getting a job done. But sadily as you saw that theta wave
creative flame goes dim(while on the meds).

Myself I never used stimulants but your story has me feeling good about trying!


One time in college, I sat down with a doctor to talk about ADHD because my parents suspected it. After talking to the doctor (no formal assesment), he said that I probably had it or a related disorder. I stated that I did not want to lose my depth of thought at the time and, therefore, I didn't think the drug was for me. I have reconsidered now, however because none of my creative genius is going to make a hill of beans without the ability to focus and follow the job through. I hope that you reconsider and I'm now considering getting a formal diagnosis so that I can continue to get some type of prescription that puts me "in the zone." I know that Aspies have great ideas and can be of great benefit to the entire world. Let's all figure out how to get around our condition and make it an asset. Then, we can be world beaters...but that's going to require some help.

I'm glad that you appreciate my story. It wasn't easy for me as a child, though (AS wasn't even a condition for most of my childhood). I'll tell you my whole story soon in another post.



neongrl
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29 Aug 2006, 9:14 am

Another vote for stimulants here - they help me with distractability and short-term memory problems, they make me more talkative and sociable, and they even seem to help prevent overload.

Another thing that I find helps me a lot - St. John's Wort. It's main use is anti-depressant and I don't need that, but when I read more about it I found it can be helpful for obsessive/overfocused thinking - OCD and Overfocused ADHD (and aspie hyperfocus). I've been amazed at how well it works to get my mind off certain things so I can focus my attention and thoughts where *I* want them. It did kinda sedate me at first but that got better after about 4-6 weeks.

You'd think that stimulants and St John's Wort would kinda cancel each other out since one is supposed to increase focus and the other decreases hyperfocus... For me it works though - my chemistry allows them to both do their job without impeding each other. (I don't think the stimulants are actually increasing my ability to focus, they're working on other adhd issues.)



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29 Aug 2006, 10:56 am

Seems like these guys have you covered. I don't know what your symptoms are but the meds I don't know what to say. My experience is only with ADHD meds and anti depressants.


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superfantastic
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29 Aug 2006, 2:49 pm

A lot of you have said that certain meds helped you with your AS symptoms. What do you mean exactly?



JDawg
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29 Aug 2006, 5:02 pm

superfantastic wrote:
A lot of you have said that certain meds helped you with your AS symptoms. What do you mean exactly?


Look at themachine1's reply. I think he gives a very concise explanation of "why" they work. These are drugs that bring you out of "deep thought" brain waves by speeding you up. These drugs put you very much in the "here and now."