30 Bananas a Day!

With the final exam of 'Molecules in Medicine' behind me, I decided to take a break (I'm calling it a break, but it might just be for good) from my ADD meds (amphetamines). The first day, Saturday, I could barely get out of bed, I was so exhausted. Sunday was pretty bad too, but much to my surprise, I felt a lot better yesterday and today is a off to a good start as well. I'm still low on energy and motivation/enthusiasm in general. My concentration is shot, too. Still, I managed to get some studying done for one of the my new courses yesterday. There is lots for me to catch up on since the course started two weeks ago when I was still buried in exam revision. I hope I can manage while off the meds. As for the future, I'll have the chance to discuss that when I have an appointment with my psychiatrist on Thursday. Unfortunately, she does not approve of my fruit-munching lifestyle, but I'm not going to let that stop me!

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Comment by Chris P. on October 19, 2011 at 1:44am

Hey Sheepmobile, oh good! I'm glad you've approached it wisely. Yeah it really is surprising how "concerned" people get when you tell them you are eating fruit and veggies. No one was ever concerned when I was 80lbs overweight, suffering from high blood pressure, gout, no energy, racing heartbeat, etc. But when they were like "Wow! what did you do?" and I told them, the concern started. Ironic :)

 

Well that is super news that you got over it so quickly! Yeah I suspect that being on this diet, getting good sleep, and being better hydrated allow our bodies to do all sorts of stuff more efficiently.

Comment by Sheepmobile on October 18, 2011 at 11:11pm

Thanks for your advice, Chris!

It was actually my psychiatrist who raised the issue of diet a while back and I simply told her the truth about how I eat.  I was stunned by how vehemently she disapproved of the whole idea. Since then, I have tried to avoid the subject with her, seeing as we seem to exist in completely different worlds where nutrition is concerned.

 

I wouldn't quit any of my other meds, but since I had gone off stimulants cold-turkey in the past, I already had an idea of what I was getting into. I was only surprised how quickly the fatigue lessened this time 'round. Perhaps healthy living has something to do with that ;-)

 

Comment by Chris P. on October 18, 2011 at 10:30pm

I don't think it's your Psychiatrist's business to dissaprove of your eating unless she thinks you are starving yourself or something. But I think a lot of dissaproval to diet is not from the diet itself, but rather from how we frame it when communicating with others.

 

It's exciting to discover the power of eating a good diet! It is so much more powerful than we are ever led to believe in current society, so when we first learn about it, there's a zeal that can be off putting to others. So we get a "cult response" from them.

 

I would suggest you not talk too much about your diet, it wont make her agree to help you wean off meds. I think it will only be counter-productive for you. You might mention to her that you just felt like you needed to see where your baseline was off of the meds. You could share how you felt terrible at first and then better over the ensuing days. You could ask if perhaps you were becoming dependent on the stimulants. You could ask if there were other ways to address your ADD without stimulants. Also, you could ask if prolonged stimulant use could lead to any health problems long term, whether any blood or other tests would help to objectively gauge that.

 

She may ask you why, don't go into it, just say you were wondering, since you felt so drained when you stopped taking the stimulants. Just do not try to evangelize her to raw vegan or go on and on about it. I have a good friend who is a doctor, who saw how going raw vegan was such a benefit to me and when I talked about it, he was "very concerned" and he wasn't even treating me. I would suggest framing any questions of medication or diet more as you want to take an proactive role in managing your health.

 

If you don't try to convince her, she will have no ground to try to stop you. But if you insist on saying "I'm going to do this whether you like it or not" to a mental health professional, you will send up all sorts of red flags for her and I suspect it wont do you or her any good. So while I applaud your determination (it's great!) I just don't want to see you give yourself a harder time.

 

Also, be realistic, you have to be able to function. If you feel like you are going off the "deep end" and just unable to function without meds, don't detox at a time when it will mess you up and definitely don't go it alone. I bet there are a lot of people on here with some insight into that very issue and you could also do a consult with someone who has helped others come off various medications. Sometimes "cold turkey" can be a real problem depending on what you are taking, even dangerous depending on your condition, health, environmental considerations, etc.

 

Anyway, great job! It sounds like you are really determined to become the healthiest you that you can be, that is a great goal! :)

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