I was on Strattera for ADHD

Reading time ~4 minutes

I am reading about the mechanism of action for various ADHD drugs. The more adventurous part of me wants to try drugs still, to see what boosts peak mental performance with less come-down then caffeine. Not something I’d use for multiple days or weeks on end.

Neutropics and me.

I was reading that Strattera is “a Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor”. That Norepinephrine is a limited resource in the brain. That pseudoephedrine actually causes your brain to go and yell , BWEEEEP BWEEEEP DUMP ALL THE NOREPINEPHRINE GO GO GO GO

Strattera prevents the breakdown/absorption of norepinephrine. I feel like Strattera more just mellowed me out more than anything. This makes me wonder if norepinephrine was and is not my main generator of “ADHD” tendencies. I feel like ADHD is more of a two or three dimensional spectrum. Where with the right combination of mental components, manifests itself as a catch-all diagnosis. I do have quite a few symptoms of ADHD. The classification for it though, is so broad, that I wonder why a catch-all cure like Adderall even caught on. It would appear, that a stimulant makes the symptoms appear to go away in most people.

When I was taking Strattera, my main goal was to reduce the amount of hyper focus, and instead have general focus more often. What really occurred, is the mellowing out I mentioned. Where all of my bursts of normal energy kind of just ended up spread out through the entire day. I did technically have more general focus, but it wasn’t useful to me. I noticed more things, thought about the outliers of my attention more often, but it didn’t assist me as Nathaniel. It didn’t let me be ME better. It just changed an attribute of my personality and abilities for what I consider, a negative.

Goals for braindrugs

What I am learning, is that Caffeine stops the breakdown of cAMP, prolonging its effects in the body. One of which, is to actually produce more norepinephrine. But also, it produces epinephrine. I haven’t read enough to get insight in to what chemical process actually produces in me the specific behavior I want.

I think in terms of mental stimulant, I have two very distinct and separate goals. I realized, that there is virtually no situation in which both of these will be required simultaneously.

  1. To increase the quality and diversity of my thoughts.
    • This could be thought of as “speed of thought.”
    • Allow my mind to more quickly access information
    • Do not greatly inhibit the creative thinking process.
    • Basically, not straight amphetamine. I don’t want bleep-boop mathmatical computation ability. I want to be me, but more of me.
  2. Reduce mental calculatory input delay.
    • Basically, react to stimulation faster.
    • Aka: play videogames better.
    • Cannot hinder physical ability too greatly.
    • Cannot create a mental cloudiness such as sleep deprivation.
    • Cannot greatly impair decision making process.

I am not seriously considering taking any new drugs at this time. Except perhaps Modafinil. But that’s more curiosity than it is “seeking the super-Nathaniel.” I also want to understand much more of the chemical process behind why caffeine gives me specifically such a big and different boost compared to most people.

Nathaniel and Caffeine:

  • Mental clarity
  • Wakefulness
  • Motivation - channel able in to activity or simply avoiding sleep.
  • Increased hyper-focus control and direction.
  • Generally, I can only maintain hyper-focus(flow) for about 30 minutes. On caffeine, this can extend to 2-3 hours. And, with adequate breaks and hydration, 4-5 hours.
  • Reduced stress.
  • Increased Creativity and spontaneous thinking.
  • Note: this may be subjective and is simply a result of self-apparent increased mental speed.
  • No tremors or jitters.
  • Generally mild headaches when coming off it. !no migraines.

My current use.

Currently, when I need a big boost I take 200-250 mg of caffeine. This is only done when I am in good-health, with otherwise a good baseline. I don’t “boost” when I am feeling sick or due to lack of sleep. That’s like trying to fix a broken air conditioner by turning the temperature down even further. If I need to “return-to baseline” typically I’d just drink/take ~100mg caffeine, then every 1-2 hours take another 30 for up to 250 max for the day. This is just enough to directly combat sleepiness but is not sustainable.

Having been without any caffeine the last week, it has caused me to really think about why I take it; what I want to get out of it. Mostly, it reveals to me that I generally shouldn’t take caffeine at work because the effects are basically wasted. There’s so much I can do, so much I can be, and revving my engines when I can do nothing but spin my wheels is just a recipe for disaster.

I have actually been complaining about work quite a lot less this past week. I feel that, without my mind running at 180%, the lack of workload is quite a bit more tolerable. I am able to pad my day with less meaningful tasks because they take slightly longer to do, and able to not go on imagining every possible other thing I could currently be doing.

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