Hi there 30yr male old from Australia

Hi everyone this is my first post, like the title says I’m a 30yr old Male who lives in Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory,

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was about 6 years old, I saw child development specialists and psychologists and the like, I was prescribed ritalin (unsure of dosage or type) while I was young, I struggled with violence and anger issues through primary school but received treatment for that until one day when I was 12 my mother decided that “this family has no mental issues now” she said straight to my face with her hands on my shoulders,

She took me off meds and stopped all my treatment with psychs and that and I struggled hard through highschool for the next 5 years after that relying heavily on self harm (cutting) to cope, it’s at this point I’d like to mention my mother was an abusive alcoholic and I felt like I had no escape,

In the years between then and now I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar type 1 And was put on antidepressants and mood stabilisers,

4 or so years passed without treatment it was hard to see someone in Perth, Western Australia (where I was living then) to get help so I just got my GP to fill scripts the same as the psych did and continued like that taking the same meds

In February me and my fiance moved to the other side of the country, Canberra, to live with her parents and try and get back on our feet, since I met my fiance I haven’t cut again and it’s been 5 years, we’ve worked through my anger issues seeing a psychologist together, I’ve started CBT for anxiety and I’ve seen an ADHD specialist at the hospital who has reconfirmed my diagnosis and prescribed me Ritalin 10mg once a day so far, but the specialist and the psychiatrist told me that my antidepressants and mood stabilisers were not supposed to be used long term they mess with my metabolism (I’ve gained 50kg since starting them) they mess with my thyroid (it was tested and seems to be okay) and it also can mess with my heart and I was told I would of developed a heart problem within the next 2 years, so they decided to take me off them and taper down to nothing

It’s been 3 or 4 weeks without meds for my bipolar and it’s been a real battle trying to keep all my emotions inside and ride the up and down waves plus starting the ritalin at the same time, the ritalin has a real positive effect on me, my memory and conversational skills have improved plus my ability to start and finish tasks I’d usually try and hide from, after taking it in the morning I just feel like I need to do something and be productive which is great because I’m getting so much done,

I’ve got a 2 and a half week wait to see my psychiatrist and specialist to discuss all my medication, so for now I’m just toughing it out with the support of my fiance and reading so many of the threads here for useful advice,

Sorry my intro was very long,

I’m very happy to be part of the tribe, the How to ADHD videos inspired me to get help and be re-diagnosed so I could “Adult” better and move on to better things,

Thanks everyone who took the time to read this :blue_heart:


Welcome to the tribe! I totally get what you are saying, as I had to get re-diagnosed as an adult so I could get some actual ADHD meds. They just put me on antidepressants when I was a kid. It is nice that there are newer meds out there. If you still have trouble with regulating your emotions, ask if there is another medication that is less harmful to your body that you can take. And if you end up with a really low low, call your doctor. Don’t wait for the appointment.

By the way, I’m in the USA. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the welcome,

I forgot to mention they trialed me on Lamotrigine for the Bipolar/Anxiety/Depression but there’s a chance of a fatal rash I was told if I get a rash go to the ER not sure if it was the cause or not but the day I upped my dose (as instructed) I developed a rash and the doctors at the hospital told me to stop taking it,

My Psychiatrist has another medication in mind but they wanted the old ones out of my system while introducing Ritalin and letting that settle before introducing something else new (sorry I’ve forgotten the name of it),

We’ve got an emergency mental health team at the Community Health Centre and they have a number I can call in a crisis of any sort, I’ve already called them once and they have a file for me and they are the team that referred me to my current psychiatrist and specialist at the same building, when the Emergency room doctors at the other hospital instructed me to abruptly stop taking Lamotrigine we let the mental health team know and they came back saying that if I had bad highs or lows I can use a low dose of my old mood stabiliser (Olanzapine) but not everyday like before,

So yeah TL:DR there’s already a new safer med waiting for the moods which will be discussed at my next appointment and I have a phone number and a team I can call in a crisis :grin:

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I read your reply with a smile on my face. I used to be the voice behind that crisis line number back when I was a stay at home mom. I gave referrals and listened and decided when to call the leader of the team. I’m glad you have that.

The other thing that we have in common: lamotrigine. It is so interesting how drugs can be used to treat so many different things. I have been taking it for seizures for the past 10 years. :slight_smile:

My psychiatrist mentioned that it’s typically used for seizures, I suppose it all depends on the doses and delivery methods, but I’m no pharmacist

First, hi, welcome, I just arrived, also from Aus, and also,…

OMG what the heck? Your post is freaking me out. You are being given some weird advice. Research Lamotrigine on-line for yourself. The rash comes with a sudden change in dosage for a small percentage of people, so that’s exactly why they should not tell you to stop taking it suddenly. :scream:

EDIT: oops I just re-read that and saw that the rash came after an increase. I Th ought they were saying get off it because it can cause a rash. Thanks brain.

Aside from that, my unsolicited advice is still: know your drugs. Know them really well. Learn as much as you can.

Ultimately you have more at stake than any dr you see.

Ok, I’ll go now
Good luck!!!


Im sorry I did read your original post and I was waiting till a moment where I had some time to reply to it properly I hope my absence didn’t make you think you had to leave, My Fiancé and I have both had some family dramas lately and spare time has been limited,

I 100% Agree with you and I used to know my drugs it used to be something I found interesting and I would research everything, but life got busier and I got more desperate I suppose to fix my issues that I was just run down and overwhelmed so I just started doing what the doctors said instead of questioning everything, plus I don’t get to choose who they are and after long long waiting times, possible loss of income and the way I’ve been treated in the past I’ve become more afraid to mess with things,

But all that doesn’t mean your advice was bad and I’m going to try and be more mindful of how I’m being pushed around and try and take control if the situation doesn’t suit me and make sure I can back that up with knowledge,

Thank you for the advice it’s reminded me about something I had forgotten

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So I guess I should continue this story the best I can remember it has been some months since,

As far as I can remember I’ve had another appointment with the specialist, at least 1 haha,

The low dose of Olanzapine did not fix the emotional issues they got worse and worse to the point where I was having uncontrollable bouts of anger seemingly brought on by nothing or arbitrary things that would result in screaming and hurting myself and throwing things and even grabbing a sleeping bag and pillow and threatening to take my unregistered car to a park and sleep there to escape the imagined fight I was in, sigh it was rough, problems with my family, a call almost everyday with more trouble or drama between the people I love and almost losing my sister twice, the uncertainty of what would happen and how I could do nothing about it had me rapid cycling emotions, the strongest ones I have every felt as if no other emotion came before it and nothing would ever come after it changed my whole behaviour and thoughts and beliefs for the 5 to 10 minutes they’d last unless something set me off and it would be hours of it, I tried to escape them tried to stay calm stay positive but no 1 thing worked longer than the emotion lasted it was terribly hard to live I was asked questions like what do I want to do and I wouldn’t know how to answer knowing that if I was so sad I didn’t know how to breathe and wanted to do nothing that a few minutes later I’d change and maybe I would, this made me paranoid and afraid

I originally was taking the Olanzapine during this time after an outburst but with no way to tell when they are coming because my emotions were random we decided to start taking it regularly,

My memories of this time are jumbled but somewhere here I had my appointment with my specialist again, I don’t remember how long it had been since she said “I don’t think you have BiPolar and if you do the ritalin will make it worse so we will know for sure” but it felt like way way too long at this point, she’s quite rushed and dismissive, I knew she had planned to discharge me that day if everything was going well but I didn’t expect her not to listen when I said it wasn’t, she asked about the ritalin which before the world punched me in the face and I fell apart it was brilliant functionally I was everything I wanted to be except for the wild dominating emotions, she asked about the Melatonin which was also fine, she went on to say that she plans to withdraw her authorisation for my scripts as soon as they’re are finished and that my GP has to take over and so on meanwhile my fiancé and I are trying to get the point across about my situation and it’s being played down, I started to submit and my Fiancé seeing me downtrodden got angry and then I got angry cause I don’t care what you do to me but you don’t upset the ones I love, I was respectful nothing more than a little louder and firmer, she stopped tapping on her computer and talking over me and looked at me offended, she then asks what I want to do about it and says that she thinks an everyday anti depressant wouldn’t be beneficial especially for my health and my weight (I don’t remember if I said this earlier but when I met her and her colleagues they all said to me I’d have a heart condition in under 2 years because I was on the wrong medication and that’s why I packed on 50kgs in the last few years which sort of set the scene for dear controlling my decisions), in the end she suggests something that I could take during an emergency to reign in the emotions, it’s 0.5mg of Risperidone she hastily says something to the tune of no more than 2 a day no more than 3 times a week, mentions that it’s an antipsychotic and pushes us out the door, we fill the script as soon as we can afford it and being desperate to be back to normal and not a risk to myself or the people around me or the life I had built in the last year I take it twice on day one, it seems to last about half a day, day 2 still bad same thing, day 3 try to go without it knowing I’ve only got so many in a week I can have, lose my shit like never before

At this point I asked to be taken to hospital, the mental health hospital doesn’t have an ER so it would be a regular hospital, I did not think I was safe to be around in the state that I was and I took my last dose so I could get ready and a while later I was so happy and calm (too much so) and my Fiancé knowing that the hospital want to do as little as they can and would not of taken me seriously in that state, she said due to my need to please everyone and not make a fuss I would present all calm and collected and we’d waste hours in the ER for nothing,

So the compromise was to call the mental health team and say the specialists approach was not working,

I get told I’m supposed to take the Risperidone twice a day regularly every day and can have it up to 6 times a day if I need 4 more beyond the regular 2 and no wonder I’m not improving, plus my ritalin is wrong it should not be 10mg short release twice a day and that the specialist in my discharge summary had recommended 20mg slow release in the morning and 10mg short release for the afternoon if problems arise and that my GP could facilitate this change, the phone lady goes on to say that my outbursts seem to be happening when I’m supposed to be taking my next ritalin dose and that I need to be regimental with my doses, my last advice was 1 when I wake up and another no later than 2pm, she also says the GP can increase my Risperidone dose from 0.5mg to 2mg as my notes say 0.5 was just an introductory dose,

I was told to try these changes and then see my GP if I needed the doses adjusted,

Later that night I have the worst blow up ever, violence, crying even thoughts of ODing

I do both changes and the GP (who is wonderful and supportive and very upset at the mess they’ve put me in) says she can’t change my ritalin or Risperidone dose she can only re authorise something that was previously authorised by a psychiatrist and because she has no correspondence from the mental health hospital that she can’t go off my word that the phone lady told me I could have slow release and short release in tandem and so on, I’m also running out of Risperidone at this point which she is finding it hard to figure out how the psychiatrist got a script for me when I didn’t have any of the prerequisite diagnosis, it’s my Lifeline at this point, the GP apologises and asks if we can afford a private psych which we can’t we were both out of work at the time and it was just beyond us but we figured we would borrow or something, she re refers me back to the mental health hospital and recommends some private psychs and we go home and start researching where to go,

Things seem to improve if I take my ritalin 10mg short release twice a day at the same times each day with half an hour leeway, same with the Risperidone once mid morning and once with my afternoon ritalin, no dosage changes as the GP couldn’t do this,

It all seems good until we’re out and I’ve left my pills at home originally going to be home before my next dose but wandering or traffic or something gets me home 30, 15 even 10 minutes late and between the car and the door I’ve blown up in a fit of anger and have walked down the street yelling or crying, this doesn’t seem right, as soon as the Risperidone wears off I’m a mess again it feels like it’s just hiding the problem not fixing it,

My GP has me back again she didn’t want to leave me long she was worried and she asks how it’s going and I say better but far from perfect, she asks if I have found a private psych and so far due to the limited amount in my area and the Christmas breaks they’re either on holiday or full up, I ask about the referral she says she was contacted by the hospital and that the dr I was seeing is their only doctor and she said if we wanted something other than what she wrote in her discharge notes we needed to go elsewhere, upset by this my GP has had it with the public system and even called around for me and found a few more private psychiatrists for me to try, running out of Risperidone she gets another script for me by ticking a box in the computer that lets me get away with it by just having “emotional regulation issues” or something, not being able to prescribe anything to replace it at this point herself,

And this is where I’m at now, it’s been about a month since I started improving,

I make sure I take my pills everywhere I’ve bought another pill organiser for my bag for the middle of the day on-top of the one by the bed for morning and night, I have the boxes with the rest for backup and I never leave my bag at home no matter how short the trip I’m completely off alcohol (which I never really liked and only would have 1 drink with my Fiancés family with whom we are living with to be nice) if I have a couple of sips I’m pretty much out, I’ve tried to cut my family’s drama out and let the problems they create for each other be their own,

I’m focusing on my Fiancé and our relationship, I’ve done some damage in my state in the last month’s and while it felt like I was just along for the ride I take responsibility for my actions it was terrible for her too, her parents actually had a talk to us saying we had to get help otherwise we’d destroy each other and asked us if we really wanted to keep going on together and as much as I was trying my best anyway hearing that someone thought we were bad enough to maybe consider walking away made me think hell no something has to be done, because I’m not leaving her for anything and I of course can only stay if it’s healthy for us both and her family, her brother even asked her parents to talk about our arguing saying it was making his PTSD worse and that just really made me feel like a piece of shit, we booked the next available appointment for a couples psychologist that week it’s this Thursday, my Fiancé now having gone through alot herself (Ankylosing Spondylitis diagnosis, some falls and hospital visits new medications, PCOS and a new 13mm dermoid cyst on her ovary, starting a new job and having borderline personality disorder herself) Being worn out asked if we still really wanted to go, I’ve made so much improvement and I pulled my socks up to support her through all her issues lately but seeing the progress we had made in the year and a half since we decided to move get out of debt and try and make a life for ourselves and a future go to shit in a matter of weeks and be back at each other’s throats as soon as life got hard and support for our mental illnesses got screwy, I said that just because it’s good doesn’t mean it can’t go back to bad again like a month ago, she readily agreed and we are going, I also said it can’t hurt to learn ways to cope even if we know them already a few dollars versus our relationship doesn’t compare,

For myself I still lose it if I miss a dose but it’s easier to hold it in and keep it from going to far now it isn’t happening every 10-20 minutes, I’m not completely happy with the current system I have I still feel like it’s hiding the problem and not fixing it, for other reasons my GP thinks I should be tested for ASD so we’ve switched gears and are now looking for a neuropsychiatrist to do an assessment and get re-diagnosed whatever the diagnosis may be so we can move forward from there, I’m also looking for a clinical psychologist for myself to help better cope when the medication fails and also to help with my eating which is problematic lets put it that way,

My GP is happy to keep prescribing the Risperidone for now because it’s all we have to fight the issue until I can be seen by someone and for now it’s results are manageable,

Deep breath

That was a whole lot of mess to let out but it’s the first time the whole story has been put in one place, lots of people for various reasons only know some bits and I’ve had to keep some parts to myself for fear of judgement or whatever,

If anybody has read the whole thing I thank for so much and if you didn’t don’t worry it’s ridiculously long


Don’t worry about it being too long - I’m an essayist by inclination myself!

For all that you’ve been through, it does sound like things are finally improving. I like the sound of your GP. She sounds like she’s got her head screwed on properly and that she’s committed to helping you sort things out. Definitely a keeper, and if it sounds like she’s going to retire or move state or whatever, make sure you get a recommendation from her about a good successor.

It’s funny, though. I remember seeing some TV show where a guy tried to commit suicide and ended up being sent to an institution - not a “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” straight-jackets-and-padded-cells type institution, but more like a recovery and rehab centre with case managers, dedicated staff, and no hospital feel. It might have helped that it was a British show and that the place was some converted stately home with extensive gardens, too.

Anyway, I’ve thought a few times that cases such as yours, where there’s a bunch of things going on and a whole lot of medications in the mix, could use something along those lines - not an institution per se, but some kind of dedicated program that can monitor how you are going and what effect the medications might be having. So far, though, it seems the only people who get that treatment are wealthy celebrities hooked on designer drugs, but we might get there some day!

Sorry - way my ADHD manifests is that I simply can’t hear about a problem of any sort without going into full-scale problem-solving mode. I may or may not have gotten in trouble for spontaneously psychoanalysing people in the past…

Meanwhile, welcome to the tribe, fellow Australian! Good to see that you’re finally getting the type of support you’ve been looking for all along!

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Yes my GP is awesome she does have her head screwed on and I’ll definitely make sure she gives me a recommendation for a successor if she has to go anywhere,

Yes a mental health rehab would be nice, there’s times I’ve flat out refused new medication when I was younger because my home environment wasn’t safe to get all emotional or uncontrollable in, if I had somewhere to go to figure it out and professionals there to actually see it go wrong for themselves to make well informed decisions about it all would be great yeah,

You are welcome to spontaneously psychoanalyse me I don’t mind and you’re more than welcome to full scale problem solve my issues for me haha so don’t worry,

Thanks for the welcome I am happy I’m getting the support I’ve needed all along

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So the couple’s counseling went okay but the drive home didn’t, my fiancé is grieving and she didn’t want to do the counseling but I was pushing for it because I thought it was important for the relationship, so she didn’t tell me she wasn’t happy with it till moments before we went, if I had of known I would haven’t of pushed her into it, I told her in future I need clear instructions to understand a situation so I can make better decisions for us, but I understand she’s not well with the situation right now so it’s not her fault, she booked another appointment with the counselor before we left in two weeks, when I asked why if she said she hopes she’s better by then,

The hunt for a neuropsychiatrist has an email, it says the one I contacted doesn’t do ASD assessments and she gave me a number of someone else to call yesterday, which I forgot about until it was after business hours and now it’s Saturday lol go my absent brain haha, I’m tossing up leaving a voicemail but I’m also afraid they’ll answer (I don’t like phone calls I can’t read the other person and don’t know how to react it makes me very anxious), my Fiancé and I agreed it’s fine to wait till Monday but I feel I should be more proactive, so I might try and call today if I don’t forget again…

…which probably will happen :upside_down_face:

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