When I was first diagnosed three months ago with PTSD and ADD, I was put on Straterra to see if that would help for my ADD. It is a non-stimulant kind of med and since I am bipolar, my psychiatrist wanted to make sure I would not turn manic with it before he tried a stimulant kind. His way of building me up to the stimulant kind. One month on Straterra and it did nothing for me. All it did was rob me of natural sleep which I had before that med. In order to sleep, I had to use Trazadone for that. Very mad that it was in my system building up for a month to see if it worked, it did nothing.
My doctor then switched me to Adderall because Stratera didn’t do it for me. Adderall was the best med I have ever taken for anything psychiatric related in 26 years time. Having gone undiagnosed all my life and not treated has wrecked havoc in every aspect of my life; at one point or another. I spent one month on that which comes in four hour doses so I had to take two a day. The problem with that is after the first dose wears off, you withdraw from it and become tired and cranky. Then you take the next dose to bring you back up to speed and needless to say , you lose time in trying to be productive.
Now that I am on Vyvanse which works 13 hours, I don’t have to carry my med around or battle the withdrawal effect. Better yet, now that the Straterra has left my body, I have my natural sleep back as of two days ago. VERY IMPORTANT. I really do not want to have to rely on something to help me sleep every night for who knows how long. Just knowing I can sleep on my own is very important. I really like that feeling of falling asleep and relaxed. My therapist compared my Trazadone to taking Benadryl, also stating it is non-addictive. Well that is find and dandy but it is still important to me and I don’t think she gets it. No matter, I finally got it back and I am very happy with that. Many people take for granted being able to sleep naturally, and until you lost it, you do not know what that is like.
The Vyvanse works even better than the Adderall , it is stronger and has a longer shelf life for the day. Finally, something that will stick and no more med changes. That in itself is more freedom. This past fall was the first time in ten years that I have had a serious setback in my mental illness tirade where I had to stop life and check out of work and anything else except my husband. Like I said before, mental illness will chew you up and spit you out. Sometimes you don’t even get spit out, you get swallowed. Some people do not even come back from being swallowed. They are digested, never to see the light of day again. Those who have lost their battle to mental illness forever, I always feel like maybe there was a missing piece of support medically that they were not privy to. The system failed them, or their family or friends failed them. That too often happens. People don’t understand and therefore don’t care ; and are scared. Scared of the unknown. Therefore , mental illness sufferers are discarded by those who supposedly once loved them. Aside from medical care, the friends and family play a HUGE part in recovery.
My plea to anyone reading this is to educate yourself , especially if your diagnosed with something. If you have someone close to you that is battling, just be their friend. You cannot fix it but you can support, that action is worth more than gold. Step outside that box in your mind, and remind yourself that what you don’t understand or know does not mean fear or anger. It means you grow as a person as you learn and grow as a person when showing compassion to a person hurting. Please, take that first step.