Retakers with ADHD and Depression, need your input please

gladiator0flaw11
Posts: 109
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:22 pm

Retakers with ADHD and Depression, need your input please

Postby gladiator0flaw11 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:23 am

I'm re-taking the UBE in February and need to do significantly better. I am seeing a new doctor and prescribed different antidepressants such as Wellbutrin XL and Effexor XR which is much better than the old Lexapro I use to be on. However, I can't seem to figure out the best way to get in study mode for my bar exam. My old doctor gave me Adderall XR 30 mg with Adderall IR 30 mg tablets and was far off passing, the lower the dose the better I was doing. Right now I'm prescribed Dexedrine Spansules 15 mg which is similar to Vyvanse but better for me as it doesn't cause as much anxiety as Adderall has (IR crash was worse than the XR crash). I have not tried Focalin but heard good things. Right now I'm also prescribed Adderall XR 25 mg, but I get more focused with the tablets, maybe too focused. Am I better to have the entire duration for the day with the XR or get the Adderall IR tablets and study here and there dealing with crashes? Just trying to prepare the right way. Thanks for the input for those that dealt with this struggle.

LockBox
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:05 pm

Re: Retakers with ADHD and Depression, need your input please

Postby LockBox » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:43 pm

gladiator0flaw11 wrote:I'm re-taking the UBE in February and need to do significantly better. I am seeing a new doctor and prescribed different antidepressants such as Wellbutrin XL and Effexor XR which is much better than the old Lexapro I use to be on. However, I can't seem to figure out the best way to get in study mode for my bar exam. My old doctor gave me Adderall XR 30 mg with Adderall IR 30 mg tablets and was far off passing, the lower the dose the better I was doing. Right now I'm prescribed Dexedrine Spansules 15 mg which is similar to Vyvanse but better for me as it doesn't cause as much anxiety as Adderall has (IR crash was worse than the XR crash). I have not tried Focalin but heard good things. Right now I'm also prescribed Adderall XR 25 mg, but I get more focused with the tablets, maybe too focused. Am I better to have the entire duration for the day with the XR or get the Adderall IR tablets and study here and there dealing with crashes? Just trying to prepare the right way. Thanks for the input for those that dealt with this struggle.


I don't think anyone on these boards will suggest what you should/shouldn't take (perhaps anecdotal experience?) What I can tell you, as someone who doesn't generally have a problem with focus, is that studying for the bar can fatigue anyone. My study routine consisted of starting at least by 9:00 a.m. and I would religiously study for 50 minutes and force myself to take a 10 minute reddit/tls break. I think it's more valuable to study in discrete chunks and be focused, than to sit around for a few hours in and out of study mode. It's not easy to do, but it's important to build that stamina by working in small blocks of uninterrupted time. Good luck.

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yeslekkkk
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Re: Retakers with ADHD and Depression, need your input please

Postby yeslekkkk » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:54 am

LockBox wrote:
gladiator0flaw11 wrote:I'm re-taking the UBE in February and need to do significantly better. I am seeing a new doctor and prescribed different antidepressants such as Wellbutrin XL and Effexor XR which is much better than the old Lexapro I use to be on. However, I can't seem to figure out the best way to get in study mode for my bar exam. My old doctor gave me Adderall XR 30 mg with Adderall IR 30 mg tablets and was far off passing, the lower the dose the better I was doing. Right now I'm prescribed Dexedrine Spansules 15 mg which is similar to Vyvanse but better for me as it doesn't cause as much anxiety as Adderall has (IR crash was worse than the XR crash). I have not tried Focalin but heard good things. Right now I'm also prescribed Adderall XR 25 mg, but I get more focused with the tablets, maybe too focused. Am I better to have the entire duration for the day with the XR or get the Adderall IR tablets and study here and there dealing with crashes? Just trying to prepare the right way. Thanks for the input for those that dealt with this struggle.


I don't think anyone on these boards will suggest what you should/shouldn't take (perhaps anecdotal experience?) What I can tell you, as someone who doesn't generally have a problem with focus, is that studying for the bar can fatigue anyone. My study routine consisted of starting at least by 9:00 a.m. and I would religiously study for 50 minutes and force myself to take a 10 minute reddit/tls break. I think it's more valuable to study in discrete chunks and be focused, than to sit around for a few hours in and out of study mode. It's not easy to do, but it's important to build that stamina by working in small blocks of uninterrupted time. Good luck.


I can't comment on your Adderall doses. What I can hear is that you're having a hard time working, you don't think your meds are getting you there, and you're anxious about it. As someone who has struggled with and managed mental health problems, I think you need to ensure that your current lifestyle is maximizing your potential. I don't think doctors and those drugs specifically target focus for huge feats like the bar exam. As the above poster said, it is REALLY hard for even those with the best focus to read 200 MBE questions in row and answer them. It's ridiculous.

(1) Diet: I don't just mean like eat healthy, like whole grains, USDA blah blah blah. I mean a diet that will maximize your performance. First, I don't believe that is actually a good diet, and, second, it won't help you focus. What worked for me like magic is a paleo or paleo inspired diets, i.e., Robb Wolf or Diana Sanfillipo. Low carbs, no processed sugar, no grains, no gluten, etc. The idea is to increase nutrient intake and reduce blood sugar spikes. Stable blood sugar really helps with endurance. I started doing this before I even saw doctors about my own struggles. The difference was like night and day. When I stray from it, I literally fall apart. I get sick. I can't focus. I get upset. Anxiety, etc. If I had to choose between my medication and my diet, I would choose my diet.

(2) Keep a regular schedule: I mean eating, sleeping, physical exercise, etc.

(3) Have you considered a possible mood disorder instead of depression? Mood disorder can often hide themselves as depression (as depression is a part of them). Brain fog (and the inability to focus) is very common. It could also explain why anti-depressants might not be as effective. Generally, with mood disorders, you want to avoid anti-depressants.

(4) Don't just spend more hours studying. I would do a block of studying for like 3.5ish hours in the mornings and take like a four hour break and then start again. I studied fewer hours than some of my classmates, but I studied more efficiently. When I can't focus, I don't push it because I just know it won't help. Luckily, I learned during law school that sometimes less studying for me is a better thing than overdoing it or forcing myself to do a marathon.

(5) Are you seeing a therapist? That can help sometimes with underlying subconscious shit that's getting in a way.

I obviously don't know what you're doing, but I know that these outside things for me make a HUGE difference.

LizLemler
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Retakers with ADHD and Depression, need your input please

Postby LizLemler » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:09 pm

I can't comment on the meds but I have absolutely terrible focus even when I'm interested in something. The bar was the most boring thing on earth for me.

What worked was 1) diet (as mentioned by another commenter above), 2) fitness (not a ton, just enough cardio to get the brain activated), and 3) rewards. I am very rewards motivated. So if I did half an MBE set, I got to watch 15 minutes of TV. Yes, it looks like a huge amount of breaks. But if I didn't take a huge amount of breaks, I wouldn't have gotten any work done. You know how you study best, and if that's in huge chunks of time studying please ignore my method. But for me, my brain especially when bored exhausts ridiculously quickly and there's no point in fighting it. I reward myself when I do focus for a bit.




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