Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Adventures in SSRIs, Modafinil, Juvenon and beyond
Published on August 16, 2007 By Draginol In Health & Medicine

I have never smoked a cigarette. I never had any alochol until after I was 21. And I've never tried any illegal drugs.  But amazingly, as I get older, the number of pills that I seem to take grows.  When I was a teenager, I might take a vitamin.

But now that I'm 36, the list of things that I either do take or can take or should take is considerable. I can't even imagine what'll be like by the time I'm 60.

In the beginning, there was the Multi-vitamin. And it was good.

But then I hit 34 and for the first time, I didn't quite have the energy I remembered having. I wasn't sick. I simply didn't have the same...ummph as I had before.  I realized that, my God, I wasn't necessarily going to live forever. That all those old people talking about how they were tired or whatever might happen to me. 

So I started to research. And I discovered Juvenon.  Juvenon is the result of an experiment done in the lab some years ago that you may have heard about.  Giving a particular substance to lab animals they discovered that they could increase their lifespan substantially and greatly increase their "peek health" by a great amount as well.

The results of Juvenon have been quite positive. It takes awhile to get used to it. At first, I felt a lot of extra energy but after awhile I simply just felt a little bit better. It's akin to the feeling one gets if they're physically fit -- without having to do anything. (ideally excercise and Juvenon).

And so it was good.

Then I noticed in pictures that as I get older, my hairline is changing. Not balding or thinning just rising which is, sadly, typical.  I considered taking a pill for that. That would have been Propecia or something like it. But in the end, I just didn't care enough. I would probably care more if I were going bald (don't get me wrong, I'm vain, I just have a limit as to how much effort I'll do about it).

I'm also pretty obsessive compulsive. Mostly obessive.  I channeled this obsession into work which has been a very productive use of my obsessive nature.  Everything I've ever gotten interested in I ended up getting so into that it eventually became a for-profit thing.  That is, if you do something almost literaly 24-hours a day year after year, you'll probably be pretty darn good at it.  And my obsessions were on improving the experience of using computers and computer games.  I also got into blogging and for awhile, podcasting. 

From the outside, turning a weakness like obsessive behavior into making lots of money is probably a good thing.  But the dark side is that that's all you do. All day. Every day. 365 days per year.  I would focus purely on a handful of things. 

The number of "normal" things that adults of my age have done that I haven't would stagger people if I listed them all.  Let me give you an example -- I've never used a saw. I have only used a hammer a couple of times (and that was for hanging pictures).  Usually the things that I have not done in my adult life don't occur to me until I'm talking to normal people who casually bring it up (like watching a football game or going to a sporting event or drinking beer).  It's not that I never chose to do these things, it's that these things never occurred to me. I was simply too busy focusing on the very finite number of things I was interested in.

In other words, I either had obessions or I didn't do them at all. No in-between. 

When I decided to get into beekeeping this Spring on the suggestion that I "branch out" the obsessive nature quickly took over.  I quickly had 3 bee hives, a thousand dollars in equipment and plans to acquire another half dozen hives for next season, a honey extractor, custom labels, evaluation in distribution of honey and a dozen bee books that I've thoroughly read.  And I don't like honey.

That's when my wife decided she needed to intervene. With 3 children now, it would probably be good to expand my horizons. 

And that's when I learned about SSRIs. You need a prescription for this. It was a first for me to have a pill that I would have to take every day.  These are quite interesting because they affect your mood. And they really do affect moods. I'm definitely more upbeat and a lot less focused.  My obsessive behavior is curbed (though not eliminated). And my stress is way down. 

On the other hand, the affect of the SSRIs have made me interested in things I didn't used to be interested in.  For instance, 3 years ago, I begrudgingly bought an expensive car after the accountants suggested that a leased car would be a good write off "learn to like nice cars" they said.  My friend suggested a Jag and so I got one that day.  I didn't care about cars. They took me from point A to point B.

By contrast, 3 weeks after starting on an SSRI I ordered a Porsche 911 Turbo.  So there's definitely an effect there.  I'm also starting to get a lot more interested in vacations and even - gasp - making things that might involve a saw and a hammer.

Another thing that I've been learning about are things that reduce the need for sleep.  My favorite discovery has been Modafinil.  But it's designed for Narcalepsy and like the SSRIs, requires a prescription.

As I've researched these things, I've become increasingly annoyed that we need prescriptions for so many things.  Modafinil, for instance, is safer than Caffeine. It has no known serious side effects. It is not addictive. And yet I have to have a prescription. This is something I should be able to buy at the store (I can buy caffeine pills which are horrible for you but not Modafinil). 

And it was good until...

I got my blood results back from the blood test to get a prescription for SSRIs. My cholesterol is terrible. Like 1%tile terrible.  My HDL (good cholesterol) is 19.  My total cholesterol is 260.  Terrible. 

At the time, I was at my ideal weight (or close to it) - 5'11" and 172lbs.  That's a BMI of 24.  I eat reasonably healthy too.  I would have McDonalds about once a week though but that was just literally a burger and fries.  I do drink a lot of Coca Cola but that wouldn't affect that.

So then I discovered fish pills and flaxseed oil pills and Niacin which can help with cholesterol. And I started excercising a lot (I'm now 162 -- BMI of about 22).  I've greatly reduced eggs, red meat, and cheese from my diet.

But the morning now consists of the multi-vitamin, the SSRI, 2 Juvenon, 1 fish oil pill (I take the flaxseed at night and holding off on Niacin until Winter excercise because of the "flush" feeling).  That's a lot of pills -- 5 pills now in the morning. And if I had my way, I'd take a Monafil on Monday mornings to boost my start of the week energy.

And I also read that it's not a bad idea to take some Asprin before bed but I'm not sure I want to do that. 

Some people refer to their bodies as temples. My body seems more like a beaker these days!

on Aug 16, 2007

Some people refer to their bodies as temples. My body seems more like a beaker these days! "

 You're taking care of your body,  at an early age.  Perhaps had I done as you are,  I wouldn't be taking 18 pills a day,  18 different kinds.  My body is a medicine cabinet!

Keep it up,  you're doing great

on Aug 16, 2007
I'd talk to your dr. about aspirin. It has other medical benefits other than being an anti-coagulant. I should probably take it too cause I'm so damned fat.

Oh...I'm 27 and I take between 3 and 7 pills depending on the day. Go me. lol.

I think it's cool that you're spending more time trying new things and taking time to take care of YOU. I think that lots of people get lost in the land of work so much that everything else fades into the fuzzies.

Good for you, B.
on Aug 16, 2007
Its good to take common sense precautions/preventative action such as Brad described - of course - absolutely no question, else you do store up trouble for later life. It can get out of hand though.....

I saw a different take on it on another blog where the blogger declared "...... I'll die happy at 70, why spend your last ten years of life having the diper changed in the rest home just because your brain turned to scrambled eggs". Kind of extreme to say the least, and I doubt it was meant literally, but I see where he was going with it.

Sometimes I get the feeling we will all pop our clogs from acute Stress worrying about the latest health warning (usually surrounded by a word from their sponsors of course ...)
on Aug 16, 2007
Given that my favourite combination of double cheeseburger, medium fries and a sundae from McDonalds is over 100% RDA saturated fat, it's probably a good thing I recently got myself (and Kris) onto fish oil and the one-a-day multivitamin. I don't like spending money on unnecessary recurring costs, but I can handle $0.12/day for a little piece of mind.

Maybe I should consider getting the parfait instead of the sundae, too . . .
on Aug 16, 2007
Hmm. Double-post - the server didn't seem to like the first one!
on Aug 18, 2007
Oh I know how that is, I have to take 10-15 pills a day and I'm only 21 due to crohn's. I used to not take anything, even pain killers, but now I have more drugs in my medicine cabinet than most 80 year olds... haha, I can't imagine how many I will have when I'm that age!

I couldn't stand those fish pills, they made me burp all the time, smelled like fish!
on Aug 18, 2007
I hope you get a handle on the cholesterol thing before it gets a handle on you.

I understand about the obsession thing as I am somewhat the same way although perhaps not to your extreme. I've always been one who wants to experience and do a great many things, and have done so all of my life, but I do tend to throw myself into a new thing 100%. Seems it's worked out pretty well for you.

If you grow tired of the Jag just send it my way.

I tend to go the opposite direction as yourself when it comes to taking drugs of any kind. I don't like them and don't take them unless it becomes an absolute necessity.

But to each his own. Just watch out for that cholesterol, it'll kill ya.
on Aug 19, 2007
Interesting read. I'm at 180 now, w/BMI of 22.9 (down from 31.2). HDL of 43, LDL of 133. I take fish oil, 2x multivitamin, and calcium daily, and work out a lot. I've been thinking about doing something for my focus (which is either laser-like or nil, and tends to not last very long). Last time I quit caffeine I got great results with that, so I'm going to try avoiding it as much as I can again and see how well that works.
on Aug 20, 2007
I tried to get my doctor to prescribe Modafil but he refused since I don't have nacalepsy. Instead he tried to tell me that my difficulty focusing, staying awake and concentrating would get better when "my husband came home" and he gave me more sleeping pills. sigh.
on Aug 20, 2007
I understand about the obsession thing as I am somewhat the same way although perhaps not to your extreme. I've always been one who wants to experience and do a great many things, and have done so all of my life, but I do tend to throw myself into a new thing 100%.

on Aug 21, 2007
My recommendation? Stop drinking coke. You'll feel better, eat less, AND less thirsty. In fact, you stop being thirsty faster too. Your body don't really treat coke or any soda as water. I used to drink 8 cans of diet coke a day during summer, and went to restroom only once or twice. Now? I drink less with water and go to restroom in least twice as often. Humans are supposed to go to restroom more often than 1 or 2 times a day.

Also, coke comes from factory.. A chemical factory that can damage region. Check this out.

Soda now tastes like bitter poison and I am well-known for ability to eat or drink any food or drink.
on Aug 24, 2007
I ain't giving up my Coca Cola. It makes life worth living!