Gigem2012

Having some minor setbacks mentally

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Hi,

I am now 11 months clean. I was a user for 2.5 years. Never OD'd or misused, just took 3-4x a week max. As you all know, at the time it was the greatest thing ever, however, I am having a hard time overcoming regret. I know this is normal for any aspect of life, but I can't stop thinking/worrying about the damage I did to my brain taking Adderall. Before I go any further, my life is in control. I just graduated with a business degree last December, have a good job, a fiancé, building a home, etc. The thing that really bothers me is I am constantly asking myself "is this normal?" regarding the way I feel. I have the thought that adderall permanently altered or damaged my brain. I could be blowing things way out of proportion, but not a day goes by that I don't think about possible damage adderall has done.

The feeling I experience is hard to describe, but to put it in a word I would say it is disorientation. I am hoping it is completely normal and I will get use to it. Other than a few minor things, I feel great. If anyone has this feeling or can relate to me in some manor, please share advice. This is something I have to work on myself but it helps to hear from people with familiar experience. Thanks!

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Howdy Gigem2012 - 

 

I'm assuming that you may have graduated from Texas A&M based on your user name. I'm sure we share similar stories. I took adderall to get through college and continued to take it for five more years after graduation - so about 10 years in total. Congrats on getting off of it, 11 months is an accomplishment. I took my last adderall on 12/6/12 and through this forum am 2 days shy of 11 months. 

 

I also have feelings of being disoriented, lethargic (at times), and kinda cloudy in the head. I also encountered spouts of mild depression. Based on what I've read through the forums it takes longer than a year to get back to normal. Do you feel better today than say 5 months in? I know I do.

 

Some things that have helped me were meeting with a therapist, having a journal of when I felt bad, etc. A prescription to Wellbutrin, an anti-d which increases dopamine, was also helpful. 

 

So in short, I think it's normal. Good for you for getting off so quick, holding down a job, getting married etc. Plus nothing made me more anxious then watching the Aggie football game vs Alabama last year on stimulants - haha. 

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Sirpumpkin,

Thanks for the response. I agree 100% on the A&M v Bama game. I am really hoping it takes longer than a year to restore confidence and start feeling closer to 100%. I do feel better than 5 months ago but I have had chronic tension the past 9 months. It's been an awful experience. I think some of my feelings may be due to the headaches. Had everything done, Brain MRI Spine MRI, acupuncture, physical therapy, rest, etc. and can't find relief. Thanks for the advice. Looking forward to hearing if anyone has had similar experiences since I am new to the board.

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Does anyone else feel much dumber post Adderall? I catch myself constantly feeling dumb, stumbling over words, becoming slow to respond, etc. If so, does the feeling last forever?

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Does anyone else feel much dumber post Adderall? I catch myself constantly feeling dumb, stumbling over words, becoming slow to respond, etc. If so, does the feeling last forever?

I have experienced these feelings, but I am only at 9 mos. so I would hope that your progress is beyond mine.

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Sounds like you are doing great.  I don't have as much time as you but I know how you feel.  I dont think if we've permanently damaged our mind grapes.  I just think we are recovering from an injury and it will take time to repair. It really sucks that there is very little science on recovering from this epidemic. 

 

I'm always up for a game of online chess if you want to do some rehabilitation. 

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I just think we are recovering from an injury and it will take time to repair. It really sucks that there is very little science on recovering from.

This is a great way to look at it. I totally feel like I'm recovering from an injury but I'm confident that I am healing a little with each passing day.

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So do you guys think that over time, our brain has the capability to overcome what damage was done to it? 

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yes. even stronger. 

 

So do you guys think that over time, our brain has the capability to overcome what damage was done to it? 

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So do you guys think that over time, our brain has the capability to overcome what damage was done to it? 

Yes, but it will take hard work.

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Hard work?

The brain is a muscle. Do mental push ups. Chess, read, learn new things. 

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Does anyone else feel much dumber post Adderall? I catch myself constantly feeling dumb, stumbling over words, becoming slow to respond, etc. If so, does the feeling last forever?

 

What's up Gigem,

I am 11 and a half months sober and I totally felt dumb after quitting and have felt progressively "smarter" or more "on point" each and every month since quitting. I was super "on point" before ever taking adderall and after taking adderall for about 2.5 years, and quitting for 11 months, I still feel less on point than I did before ever taking adderall. I really think it takes longer than a year as I have had more focus and "smart thoughts" during month 11 than month 10. If you're really trying to improve your brain, doing things that work your brain such as reading intellectual things helps a lot. Also, exercising and eating healthy really helps to clear up your head and help you think better. At 11 months, it's about rebuilding your brain naturally. Nothing you do will make increase the sharpness of your brain as instantaneously as adderall did, however, doing little things to help your brain day in and day out will improve it's efficiency over time. Also keep in mind, recovery is not a linear process and of course you will have days where it might "seem" like you're not making progress when in actuality it's just part of recovery. I hope this helps.

 

Dillon

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What's up Gigem,

I am 11 and a half months sober and I totally felt dumb after quitting and have felt progressively "smarter" or more "on point" each and every month since quitting. I was super "on point" before ever taking adderall and after taking adderall for about 2.5 years, and quitting for 11 months, I still feel less on point than I did before ever taking adderall. I really think it takes longer than a year as I have had more focus and "smart thoughts" during month 11 than month 10. If you're really trying to improve your brain, doing things that work your brain such as reading intellectual things helps a lot. Also, exercising and eating healthy really helps to clear up your head and help you think better. At 11 months, it's about rebuilding your brain naturally. Nothing you do will make increase the sharpness of your brain as instantaneously as adderall did, however, doing little things to help your brain day in and day out will improve it's efficiency over time. Also keep in mind, recovery is not a linear process and of course you will have days where it might "seem" like you're not making progress when in actuality it's just part of recovery. I hope this helps.

 

Dillon

Blesbro,

 

This is very helpful. It is nice to hear someone is in a situation very similar to myself. I have slowly been getting better but as you mention, there are days when I don't feel all there. If you don't mind me asking, how many mg were you prescribed daily? Also, how many days a week were you taking?

 

I have been trying to read more, play Lumosity games and exercise. I believe the natural way is the best way to recover. Surely over the course of the next 6-12 months, we should notice some gains back to our old cognitive situation.

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Blesbro,

 

This is very helpful. It is nice to hear someone is in a situation very similar to myself. I have slowly been getting better but as you mention, there are days when I don't feel all there. If you don't mind me asking, how many mg were you prescribed daily? Also, how many days a week were you taking?

 

I have been trying to read more, play Lumosity games and exercise. I believe the natural way is the best way to recover. Surely over the course of the next 6-12 months, we should notice some gains back to our old cognitive situation.

 

I wasn't prescribed adderall, I bought it from different people who had prescriptions. For the year of usage I took it as much as I could but not daily. After the first year, I began taking probably 30mg daily which eventually got to upwards of 150mgs. My last 12 months I was taking 60-70mg daily and that was "just to feel normal". I too have been playing lumosity games and believe that the natural way is best. I have been also been lifting weights 5-7 times per week since I quit. I also run on occasion and have noticed that I am significantly more clear-headed after a good run. I think cardiovascular exercise is probably the most important type of physical exercise to increase cognitive performance and there are actually studies that back this up. Other than that, I take a super multi-vitamin, melotonin to help get in to a deep sleep quickly, and fish oil which is supposed to really help out the brain among other things.

 

I definitely don't feel "dumb" like i did between months 1-9, however, I certainly have some more mental improvements to make. Let's do this together! A part of me misses the super-focused absolutely "on point" feeling that adderall gave me in the beginning, however, I know I'll get a much more natural version of that feeling eventually; in fact, it's already starting to surface.

 

Dillon

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For me, I feel like when I quit adderall it was like starting a new life. I was so used to being sped up on addy that I completely forgot what normal human life was like. I have had to rebuild almost every part about myself since I quit, because I relied on addy for too much and when I took the addy away, it was like nothing was left but my genetics. Now that's a stretch but the point is I declined in so many areas of my life during my usage and after quitting that I have had to slowly rebuild myself since. For me, I feel as though I will be fully recovered from adderall when I am as mentally on point as I was before adderall. It's just grinding it out from here.

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I wasn't prescribed adderall, I bought it from different people who had prescriptions. For the year of usage I took it as much as I could but not daily. After the first year, I began taking probably 30mg daily which eventually got to upwards of 150mgs. My last 12 months I was taking 60-70mg daily and that was "just to feel normal". I too have been playing lumosity games and believe that the natural way is best. I have been also been lifting weights 5-7 times per week since I quit. I also run on occasion and have noticed that I am significantly more clear-headed after a good run. I think cardiovascular exercise is probably the most important type of physical exercise to increase cognitive performance and there are actually studies that back this up. Other than that, I take a super multi-vitamin, melotonin to help get in to a deep sleep quickly, and fish oil which is supposed to really help out the brain among other things.

 

I definitely don't feel "dumb" like i did between months 1-9, however, I certainly have some more mental improvements to make. Let's do this together! A part of me misses the super-focused absolutely "on point" feeling that adderall gave me in the beginning, however, I know I'll get a much more natural version of that feeling eventually; in fact, it's already starting to surface.

 

Dillon

 

Ditto to everything you just mentioned. However, I was prescribed Adderall and took it 2-3x per week. I never took more than 45mg a day, but at the time, that felt like A LOT. My work performance is pretty good. I too notice that I am not on the "high" or up to speed that we were on while taking Adderall. I believe more than anything that it is an adjustment period to get use to normal speeds. All of the neuros I have asked tell me that I shouldn't have caused irreversible damage to my brain. It is just scary because no one really knows. All I can do is pray and continue to grind it out and get better each day!

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Wow, I am surprised that you are still adjusting while only taking it 2-3x per week. Personally, I don't think amphetamines should be prescribed period for that very reason. We still have some recovery veterans in here like quit-once that have been clean for 2+ years. I know quit-once said he noticed significant improvements even in his second year of recovery.

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So do you feel smarter now after 11 months of no adderall than you did on the days that you didn't take addy during the weeks?

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No, I didn't notice or get the feeling I have until after Adderall. It's hard to put into words. As I mentioned earlier, the best word to describe it is disorientation. I also feel as if I have some visual problems. I went to the eye doctor and they didn't find anything so it may be mental?

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The toughest thing I am dealing with is constantly wondering "if this is normal". I am always in a thinking state trying to remember if I have felt like this before adderall or if I felt like this 2 years ago. It may be normal but sure doesn't feel like it.

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It sounds like you are overthinking things and then obsessing about them, relax and get comfortable with who you are today.

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Gigem, we have a lot in common. And I'm only 4 months clean. If you consider me clean since I relapsed this past weekend and went on an all night binge after buying from someone :(. I actually took the pills b/c of what you're describing. I also feel like something is wrong with my brain. 

 

I would binge sooooo hard on Adderall before that I literally was at the peak of pure euphoria. Several max strength pills at a time, understanding chemistry, and blasting techno music as loudly as possible with my leg going like a jackhammer. No drug experience has matched it and I have done a lot of drugs.

 

I still don't have a sense of who I am--I question if the qualities I had on Adderall were real. I am not talking to people as much, I can't think of witty things to say. I feel like I'm actually retarded and I don't like that word. When I hang around with good friends, I used to overflow with conversation and now I can't think of what to say. I obsess over these things almost every second of the day, wondering if I will ever feel connected to reality. I feel like I'm not really there. It's so depressing.

 

By the way......  I have the same eye problem. It's a little blurry, but hard to explain. It feels like I'm not exactly present in the moment with the things I am seeing. I, too, was thinking about scheduling an appointment with an eye doctor but I guess I won't now. Good luck to us...

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Clean time starts with the moment after you took your last pill.  I am sorry for your recent relapse. 

I will be the first to acknowledge that the highs I experienced on adderall were euphoric and highly pleasurable.  But the harm the addiction was causing to my life was simply not worth the high.  Once I accepted that I could no longer experience the high without the addiction, I filed those euphoric moments into pleasurable past memories and moved on with my Quit.      

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