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Unread 10-26-2008, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default Ritalin for depression?

I suffer from treatment resistant depression. I currently take 20 mg. of Prozac on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (none on weekends), Zyprexa, 5 mg. and Xanax, 1 mg., for severe morning anxiety and 1 mg. at bedtime. Recently my doctor determined that I also have ADD. He prescribed Ritalin for the ADD and says that it is also helpful for depression. I take 10 mg. in the morning and 10 mg. at noon. Has anyone been prescribed Ritalin for depression and if so, has it helped?
He also said that next time I have an appointment he wants to add a small dose (200 mg) of Lithium. I wasn't clear on what this would do. Any ideas?
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Unread 10-26-2008, 05:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ritalin for depression?

I take Dexedrine for my depression. It is similar to ritalin. It really helps with my depression.
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Unread 10-26-2008, 07:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ritalin for depression?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valiente View Post
I suffer from treatment resistant depression. I currently take 20 mg. of Prozac on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (none on weekends), Zyprexa, 5 mg. and Xanax, 1 mg., for severe morning anxiety and 1 mg. at bedtime. Recently my doctor determined that I also have ADD. He prescribed Ritalin for the ADD and says that it is also helpful for depression. I take 10 mg. in the morning and 10 mg. at noon. Has anyone been prescribed Ritalin for depression and if so, has it helped?
He also said that next time I have an appointment he wants to add a small dose (200 mg) of Lithium. I wasn't clear on what this would do. Any ideas?
Lithium is primarily for Bipolar Disorders, and only rarely prescribed for Major Depressive Disorder alone. I wonder why he prescribed that? I would never take anything that I didn't know what it was indicated for or how it was expected to affect me. I find it odd that you only take the Prozac certain days of the week. I take a Ritalin type drug (Ritalin is from the stimulant class) for ADHD. Stimulants are also used in treatment-resistant depressive disorders, and I hear they can be effective when used in moderation. The dose you were prescribed is a low dose but will probably be helpful. If not, it is usually safe to incrementally increase the stimulant without side effects. However, if you have Bipolar Disorder, stimulants can really exacerbate the illness, so if a Bipolar patient is given stimulants they are usually closely monitored.

Are you seeing a psychiatrist for these medications? Your Pdoc/doc keeps adding more and more drugs to the regimen, because obviously the drugs are not working to eliminate the anxiety or depression. I do believe drugs can be helpful, but not in the long-term without therapy, anxiety in particular.

Have you considered seeing a psychologist for weekly therapy to deal with your anxiety and depression? You would be more likely to have a better outcome that if you used medication alone, and you might even be able to eventually reduce or eliminate one or more drugs that you have to deal with.
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Unread 10-26-2008, 08:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ritalin for depression?

I'm not taking the low dose lithium yet as I want to clarify what it is for which is why I posed this question in the forum and will not take it until I understand it. I plan on asking him what it is for at our next appointment but was wondering if anyone knew anything about it.

And yes, he is a psychiatrist. And yes, I see a therapist twice a week. I have treatment resistant depression. I have tried almost every combination of drugs it seems, none seeming to be effective, as well as ECT which worked but only when I was receiving the treatment, not lasting when I stopped. I'm considering VNS (vagus nerve stimulation) as a last resort if the present drug combinations are not effective.
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Unread 10-26-2008, 09:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ritalin for depression?

Ritalin seems (to me) like a good choice for depression + ADD...stimulants can help a lot with both conditions.

Like Simcha, I'm surprised at the inclusion of lithium. That's a very good mood stabilizer for us folks with bipolar, but it's not so common to hear it as a treatment for depression. I don't want to second-guess your doc, however, so definitely ask him what to expect from it.
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Unread 10-27-2008, 07:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ritalin for depression?

I was on Wellbutrin for ADHD, and found it helped me be less depressed (it is an anti-depressant that helps also with ADHD). Then my PNP prescribed stimulants also for the ADHD (not Ritalin, but Vyvanse). She cut down the Wellbutrin when she did that and said I may be able to completely stop the Wellbutrin because she said stimulants are very effective against depression. I do find they help me be "up." If they are helping you, then stick with them. I think often stimulants are not prescribed as a firstline treatment for depression because they are on a more restrictive prescribing schedule (for drugs of abuse/addiction) than ADs. You can't get automatic refills on your prescription, can't have your scrip phoned in to the pharmacy, must see your provider in person for a refill, etc.
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