I am just curious to hear what kind of experiences you have had with stimulant medications.
I see a sleep doctor who has successfully prescribed me with various wakefulness aids. My favorite is one called Nuvigil, which is a pill you take that gives you mental energy. Adderall is also good. I have tried Ritalin with less positive effects.
I also partake heavily of caffeine. I'm not a coffee drinker but I drink diet sodas and take caffeine pills. (These are a good buy. You can find them at CVS)
I have relied heavily on medications during important occasions over the past year. When I was at school they were vital for giving me the energy both to concentrate on my work and to socialize with friends without being limp and joyless. In fact, while on a nuvigil or adderall I'm often so productive in a few hours that I can let myself be sleepy the rest of the day - i.e. they make me a bit hypomanic.
The downside of these medications is that they aren't really healthy: clearly, the fatigue of CFS isn't so simple it can be dismissed by taking a pill. I don't feel "good" while taking them, not the way I used to feel before CFS, even if mentally I am as capable as I was then. They eliminate my appetite, which can have consequences. Usually the high I get with the meds is accompanied by a low or crash for a few hours after the effects wear off (like right as I'm typing this) where I feel rotten but can't sleep. Also I have developed some tolerances, especially to the nuvigil, which I took almost every day at school.
Plus there's the issue that these medicines are very expensive if not covered by your insurance. It was a struggle for me to get them covered, what with times being tight for insurance companies and me not having a "real" diagnosis. (My sleep doctor calls what I have "Idiopathic Hypersomnia").
It has been a tricky issue for me. My parents say, if the medicine makes me more awake then why don't I take it every day? It's difficult to explain that I feel like I'm selling my soul to the devil to get a bit of energy. But sometimes it’s worth it, even if just to remember what it feels like not to be a limp rag all the time – to be witty, to be creative, to have fun.
Once more, I’m merely interested in hearing what the diverse voices of this forum have to say on the matter.
Thanks for your input! Also, questions are welcome.