I was diagnosed with ADHD ~5 years ago. Since that time, I've been on a steady dose of Adderall XR (25-30 mg per day). I've always been decent at small talk and could keep up a stream of lively banter and my fair share of comebacks. But, about a last year, I have noticed concerning changes in many aspects of my speech...
As mentioned, I was diagnosed with ADHD ~5 years ago and have been on a steady dose of Adderall XR (25-30 mg per day). Two years ago, I was prescribed a benzo after a panic attack; however, the side effects were too damning for me to accept. In addition, I've been taking 5-10 mg of zolpidiem, 5 times per week over the last 6 months. As of April, I've been taking zolpidiem less frequently (no more than 2 times per week). All meds are generic.
Throughout the course of the last year, I've noticed distinct patterns in my speech and thoughts. The result: I don't ask questions; or, I ask too many questions. This feeling of clumsiness should have subsided, but seems to be getting worse.
While I've never been entirely comfortable talking about myself to others (which includes family, close friends...anyone, really), I've somehow managed to take this to a whole new (awkward) level. It is not unusual for me to engage in the following:
Inquiring Mind: "Hey, how's work going?/Any exciting developments?"
Me: "Good!/So busy!/Crazy busy!/Great!/How about you?/Oh?/Wow!/How are you feeling about it?/What does that entail?/Are you excited?/Great weather, huh?"
I'm hovering somewhere in between Buddy the Elf and the Spanish Inquisition. I deflect questions like crazy. The questions just start spewing out. Total diarrhea of the mouth. There is little to no narrative on my end. When I run out of questions, overwhelming feelings of anxiety, tension, and all-around discomfort start washing over. Usually, and thankfully, the other party will break the silence.
There is something that feels terribly off about this. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this new-speech me sounds/feels so vacuous. Almost as if I can no longer be clever or at the very least, quick.
When I call my parents, I experience what feels like a "mental block" and am seemingly unable to push the conversation past asking what they ate for dinner and what TV shows they were watching. I will now let long pauses go on, until I kick my brain into responding or asking a question or my parents end the call. Similar conversations ensue when I'm with friends. I don't feel like I'm contributing to the discussion at hand, nor do I feel like contributing to any
discussion. There are times where I dread the grocery store, for fear that I'll have to engage in conversation with the cashier. I've had phone calls or meetings at work to similar effect.
How to get to "Just right"?
Because my conversations: (1) lack the old familiar ~*sPaRkLe*~, (2) are punctuated by way too many pauses, filler words, I now feel especially stifling and awkward.
I'm a healthy female in her mid-twenties. The last year has been fairly stressful (law school graduation, bar exam (that I've had to retake), responsibilities at my current firm) and kind of heavy with general apprehension of the Unknown. My mood has been a mix of decently chipper days followed by some particular darker days of pensive overthinking about my career and future. I feel substantively lacking at times. Anhedonia
is an accurate way of describing it.
That said, my psychiatrist is aware that I am 100% opposed to taking any more benzos for my anxiety. I won't be able to meet with my psychiatrist until the end of the month, but am VERY curious to see if other MiFites have had similar experiences. So...I ask of you all:
What is going on? Is this a byproduct of the meds? Age? Too many gummi bears? And in your experience, did it get better?