Tried self medication, I know it is not a good idea. Need advice

Hi. I am 55 years old, and all my life I have had difficulty starting tasks, concentrating, setting goals and making decisions. I was one of the best students in school, college, university, I passed exams without much study and did my Master’s degree with a scholarship in Europe, in science, but couldn´t decide a PhD. I have had few achievements, but I think it was because I had enough intelligence and there were structured environments, attendance or pressure that pushed me to do things. I am now conscious that I have not managed to settle down, create a name and be financialy stable. When I look back, the insecurity, dispersion and difficulty in carrying out my duties are obvious, and probably would be not capable of performing them if there were not for my teams´ support. When everything depends on me, I don’t work at all well, I start procrastinating and loosing control. Finding a job is difficult for me, debts are increasing, and a few years ago I had a girlfriend that helped sink my bship. So, I realize there was something wrong with me. I managed to get out of the relationship, and started to look for help, but psychologists only repeated boring schemes, and the psychiatrist automaticly prescribed antidepressant (devenlafaxine, which made me sleepy), without much investigation. I stopped taking the pills a month after being prescribed, it helped me a little but I didn’t want to depend on it without knowing what else was there, what was wrong inside. I looked for information by my self, neurological, developmental and even evolutionary, trying to find answers. I understood that not everything depends on rational options but also subconscious programs, I learned to meditate and calmed down, but the goal and economic crisis does not improve, and self-pressure have increased, I feel lost, have no idea how to fix my life. I think there are physiological factors (dopamine ?). and suspect I have ADHD (attention deficit), after taken online tests. I have not have resources to pay for an evaluation, nor a legal prescription to test medicines (such as ritalin). So, I experimented with Modafinil, 100, 200, went up to 250mg, but it doesn’t do anything to me (I know it’s not officially approved for that disorder, but there are studies of its efficacy) Yes, I know I shouldn’t self-medicate. I can´t afford CBT or other therapy, but would like to learn how to self-authoring and what can I do to improve executive functions. Have any idea, other that write schedules (didn´t wor for me), to control time and define real goals? Any strategies to stop self-blaming and to finally find my right pathway? Do I keep trying nootropics? Thank you for your patience.

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Hi mavaz.

I’m not sure that this is something that anyone except a qualified professional could help you with. And many qualified professionals are not much use anyway.

I guess you already know that it can be risky to self medicate, and there may be contraindications with many things, or unanticipated trouble when dealing with any substance, legal or otherwise.

If that’s the path you need to follow, then at least do as much research as you can, and work gradually. Small steps.

Be patient, and observe.

Have somebody you know and trust keep an eye on you, and let you know of any personality changes, or problems. Then take their advice, if they tell you to stop.

Often, we may not even notice changes in ourselves which can be glaringly obvious to others.

I’d recommend at least having a quiet chat with a GP you trust about the pros and cons, and limiting possible damage, even if you can’t get to a psych.

There is a great deal of anecdotal, even published peer-reviewed evidence that nootropics can be beneficial.

But there are also many question marks as well. Many potential problems.

And everyone’s body has enough variation that what works for one, could send another to the looney ward to lick windows for the rest of their life.

Before I found out about ADHD a couple of years ago, I toyed with nootropics to alleviate some of the symptoms.

But I wasn’t in the game long enough, or consistently enough, to notice any benefits. More a failure of motivation and discipline than a failure of nootropics, probably.

It’s a shame when a person who needs help only ever hits obstacles, or ignorance in those who are supposedly qualified to help.

And guys like me, without any formal training, can often only be of limited help, or even offer dangerous and unsubstantiated advice.

Continue doing your own research (safely) if that is your choice, and remember it’s your own skin you are practicing with.


Thank you for your message and kind advice.I hope you are doing well. Yes, I don´t trust too much in psychologists and psychiatrists, since I had not too good experiences with them. I have no resources to keep searching until I find someone that can respond to my questions whith science and with logical reasons (my academic background can sometimes be a problem :frowning: ), not only by repeating statements learned at the university, or worst by reacting with simple deductions, and giving me medical prescritions without even asked a little bit more of what is happening to me. I am reading all the scientific information I can get, looking for experiences of other people, and experimenting with myself (those pills and adding some cafeine, from green tea or other plants like “guayusa”, as well Omega 3, Magnesium, Vitamin D…). It is not the best way, but I need to find something that help me to function enough well to find a job and to write the teories i have in my mind/ give something to the world. Any advice, that consider my financial limitations, is welcomed!