Citation: dustybin. "Concentration Depression Awake: An Experience with Modafinil & SSRIs (exp103513)". Erowid.org. Oct 13, 2018. erowid.org/exp/103513
Throughout my life I have had problems concentrating. I work online with a great variety of tasks and a huge amount of distraction. Getting stuff finished is very hard. For some reason it seems that many of my peers are in the same boat as me.
In addition I was suffering with an excess of drowsiness, often needing a nap in the mid afternoon. (I may be getting old but this is atypical for me.)
One of my peers told me that he and his partner were using a drug from India that turned them into work monsters. He told me the name (Modafinil) but would not send me samples.
I did research and came to the conclusion that this was worth a try. I am cautious about drugs that affect one's head, my living and life is based upon a keen intellect and good analytical skills, I'd love to try Ecstasy but won't risk it! For that reason I decided to talk with my doctor about the drug before taking action.
As luck would have it, a friend of mine, a pharmacist told me that he had tried it, warned me that it was powerful juju and that he did not like it when he tried it 'but here's a few for you to try out mate!'
At the time I was visiting with my parents (I live in a different country most of the time). I did not tell them what I was doing.
I took the first tablet, 200mg, in the morning when I got up. I did not notice a difference in myself. I settled down to work. Several hours later I stepped back from my PC and noticed I had gotten through a lot of tasks. Later in the day I realised I was singing to myself. Not something I had been doing for a long time. I did not need a nap, but I slept normally at night.
Basically, I had for the first time in a long time normal days in normal mood getting normal work done.
After a couple of days I asked my parents if they noticed any change in my behaviour over the previous few days.
When I saw the doctor he was aware of Modafinil. He asked me a load of questions and suggested that I may well be suffering the tail end of a depressive episode that may have been going on for some time. He told me that in his opinion I should be on an SSRI for about 12 months to get my serotonin levels back to normal and that if I took SSRI medication that my issues with sleep would go away and that my concentration might improve as well.
He told me that there was nothing wrong with using Modafinil, it'd not hurt me and that although he could not prescribe it for me (he explained why). He prescribed Prozac and told me that he was sure that if I wanted to get Modafinil that I knew exactly where to go to find it.
I got on fine with Prozac apart from the normal low sex drive issue, but I took this as a short term thing and could manage to keep my end up so life was normal enough. I also bought some Modafinil as Modalert and I took 100 or 200mg on days when I knew I had a lot of work to polish off. When using I always try to take the drug first thing in the morning.
I also use Modafinil when partying. I noticed that it accentuated the effects of alcohol and gave a slight mood lift in socially stressful situations. I like hosting parties and then we go clubbing. Modafinil gave me a little 'shine' that I felt and that others noticed.
I came off the Prozac after 12 months - I found I was becoming emotionally distant, a good thing when I started because my depression issues were a result of too much involvement in a bad situation, but for life - not good.
Since then I have been using Modafinil on an 'as needed' basis but difficulty of supply led to restraint in its use.
One thing I noted - I never take Modafinil more than 5 days in a row. I give myself weekends off! I don't know if I need to, but I feel comfortable knowing that I am not building up a sleep debt and my body gets a rest.
I have experimented with sub-lingual dosing.
I have experimented with sub-lingual dosing.
I found that a quarter tab 50mg under the tongue gave a very fast reaction and a noticeably large effect but was fairly short lived. Great if I was a little tired but not the way to use it first thing in the morning. Sub-lingually I take as needed, rather than in the morning.
A few months ago I went into a depression. I was prescribed an SSRI, Escitalopram. This helped but again problems with the libido issues and anorgasmia. I have been able to secure a decent supply of Modalert 200mg. I stopped taking the Escitalopram because of the sexual effects and started taking 200mg per day of Modafinil. The Modafinil had the effect of seeming to replace the SSRI - my mood lifted, was able to function better, anxiety attacks went away.
BUT, the last few weeks as I have been working on the launch of a very significant new service within my business I have been troubled with anxiety attacks and excessive drowsiness that not even Modafinil at 200mg has been dealing with in full. I do not want to go onto SSRIs again so am working with a psychologist to deal with the underlying issues.
Sorry for the long report.
To end here's a couple of observations.
1) Modafinil REALLY helps my concentration but only when I am largely OK within myself. If in a depressive episode it seems to only get me back to a baseline of normalcy so concentration remains poor. However, current issues aside, Modafinil seems to be effective in dealing with the major symptoms of depression, instantly - no two week wait for any benefit and without the nasty emotional and sexual side effects - This is a compromise with which I can live.
2) Be very careful when using Modafinil to keep awake. It is hugely effective in this role. There's a big BUT! When the effects wear off one can fall asleep while sitting down or doing anything. A few months ago on the back of a long drive where I had used Modafinil and not slept for over 24 hours I fell asleep and came off the road. Fortunately apart from shock and some bent steering components everything was OK. My mistake was not having taken another tablet at the end of the previous cycle. The drug wore off and I went out like a light.
I have had no negative effects with the drug, no nasty interactions, no addiction. Absent supply issues, I will continue to use the drug indefinitely.
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