Whittering

Long term side effects of Adderall

30 posts in this topic

Hi I'm brand new here and trying to quit a drug I don't think I was ever supposed to be on. I have a high stress job that I've had for 22 years. I've been on Well Butrin for ten years because of depression. I seemed fine until we moved in 2005. I was so stressed all the time and always tired and asked my doctor what could be wrong. He said I was probably so stressed out at work because I have adult-onset ADD. He explained that I was stressed because I was trying to do too much and didn't have enough time and it was causing me to worry and get agitated. I travel a lot and had a husband and two kids at that time ages 4 and 6. He prescribed Adderall and told me I would have more energy and be more motivated to get things done which would produce less stress. I liked the weight loss I got with Adderall and was able to excel at work. However my social life was not so good. I worked ALL the time either at work or at home and never took time to relax and enjoy anything. Friends were dropping away and I wasn't getting invited to things any more. Then about a year ago I noticed I was getting very irritated with my kids all the time over meaningless stuff and realized what a horrible demanding, no-fun mom I had become. I went off the Adderall and became so weak and depressed that I got back on. About a year later on September 1, 2011 I went cold turkey off Adderall and Well-butrin and knowing I'd have withdrawals took three weeks off and slept it all off. (I realize now looking back I should have gone off only one at a time, but I was sick of being medicated). Anyway, I had won prestigious awards at my company before I was put on Adderall (as well as after) and so I assumed that I would be ok not being on it. But I found I could not concentrate at all at work. I was so disorganized and for the first time ever was turning things in late. My reputation at work is so high that people have overlooked my discrepancies, but I totally don't care about anything any more. I'm not stressed about it. I just don't care. I gained 25 pounds of course, but have also been more social and have done more outings with friends and family. I didn't even realize this until my husband pointed it out to me. I had parties I was giving again at my house which I had ceased doing while on Adderall. However I was still tired all the time and sleeping alot. Anyway I was called in to do a big job that my company was counting on me to do just last month, and so on November 28th I started back on but it was the XR this time. I feel trapped like I can't work without it. I had always asked my doctor about long term side effects. It is an amphetamine, right? He said not to worry, no documented long term side effects. I've read some blogs now saying coming off it takes up to three years to get your brain back to normal? And that because I've taken it so long my brain chemistry has changed. Is that true? I don't want to be on this any more!! Someone please help me. I didn't have ADD as a kid. Is this adult onset ADD really a diagnosis? Has Adderall changed my brain? I was working fine without it for 15 years! Please respond if you know anything about returning to a normal life after adderall and if its even possible.

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Hi Whittering,

Welcome to the community! Adderall certainly changes your brain chemistry and it will take time to recover.

Here's how I understand it - Adderall causes your brain to retain more of the neurotransmitter dopamine between the synapses or nerve endings in your brain. This artificial surplus of dopamine is what causes you to feel more motivated and euphoric as well.

The reason why adderall can be so addictive is because when the brain starts getting flooded with an artificial surplus of dopamine consistently, it stops regulating dopamine on it's own properly. Your body begins to adapt to the repeated dosing of a central nervous system stimulant, causing dependence, until eventually life seems much worse without adderall.

From what I understand is that over time, as your natural dopamine reuptake process is consistently disrupted, the body produces less and less dopamine. If the adderall is then withdrawn, the body has neither its own dopamine nor an artificial surplus of dopamine between the the brain receptors - thus the horror of withdrawal.

By the way, when taking adderall, that disruption of the uptake process of dopamine also involves the disruption of another neurotransmitter called norepinepherine which like dopamine stimulates alertness and energy.

While of course everyone's body reacts differently, it seems that the majority of people here are experiencing or recovering from adderall dependence. I was addicted to the point where I was taking it mainly just to stave off withdrawal symptoms.

One of the reasons I think it's so abused is because there's a presumed element of safety that doesn't exist with other drugs out there except maybe anti-axiety meds.

Aside from the physical addiction, I believe there is a psychological component to the addiction, that makes adderall such a crutch in our lives. I personally needed to feel on adderall particularly during times I was tired from not having slept enough or if I had to concentrate for a long period of time or was facing some kind of pressure in my life. In my recovery, I've been working hard to overcome this deeply ingrained psychological dependency I have toward adderall, by challenging all my old assumptions about what the drug did for me, in addition to waiting out the side effects of withdrawal.

Depending on how badly addicted you are to adderall, you're going to have to spend time allowing your brain recover. I hope that made sense!

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Thanks for the information! I think back now and wish I'd stayed off it. I just wonder how long it takes for your brain to start making it's own dopamine again. I'm thinking of trying to get off it again in January.

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From what I understand (and feel), there ARE long term changes to your brain chemistry, even after you quit, but nothing permanant. Eventually we will all recover from the impact of this addiction. Not that I want to demonize adderall's sinister sister methamphetamine, but I understand that meth addicts do not have it quite so good. Meth is has neurotoxic qualities to it, likely from the horrendous shit it is made from like battery acid and draino. Long term meth users might have fried a few brain cells.

Even if Adderall did create permanant changes to our brain chemistry, it is simply part of who we are from this point forward. Make the most of what you've got!

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Day 2 off the Adderall XR. Surprisingly I feel really good. Getting ready to go to my kids soccer game. Worked full day yesterday. Was really tired but did good and got everything done by the deadlines. Maybe coming off XR is not as bad? I don't know, just two days into it. Plus I've changed my eating habits completely since coming off it last time. Will check back in if really bad side effects hit....

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Day 8 off Adderall. I seem to be really tired but get going around 1:00 pm each day. Just bought L-tyrosine, but have been consistently taking Omega 3, vitamin D and other supplements. I do not seem to be depressed at all or sad but not really up for exercising or doing anything fun. We have two science projects due for school next week so I need to save my energy for helping the kids with those. Doctor prescribed Xanax and Zoloft yesterday when I told him I no longer wanted Adderall. Now I've done it though. If I have a relapse I've cut off my supplier. Big step. Hope I don't regret it later. To ensure he won't be prescribing me Adderall any more I went a step further and told him about my trip to the emergency room a year ago with chest pains, numb left arm, sweating profusely, and the abnormal EKG. I had never told him about it before because I thought he might take me off Adderall. Now that's all I want is to be free of this damn drug! What a liberating feeling it was to tell my doctor I thought Adderall was wrong and shouldn't be given to people who are already stressed out. He blamed it on the XR version but I told him that wasn't it. I should have never been put on it in my opinion.

Anyway thanks for listening. I am such an intensely private person and putting these thoughts down really seem to help. I'm just paranoid that people will find out I've been on Adderall. Only me, my husband, my pharmacist and my doctor knows.

If I relapse you will know, because I will probably quit posting. I've made such a statement now about hating the drug that a relapse will fill me with guilt and shame.

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Whittering, I am going to give you some feedback even if it sounds harsh.

You lead a stressful life and you worry too much. High stress job. Husband's high stress job. Husband addicted to adderall. Trying to be the best mom you can be and also a soccer mom. Kids with school issues. Drug-pushing doctors. Worry about people you know finding you on this web site. Physical, mental, and emotional withdrawls from your adderall addiction.

Wow. I think you need a vacation. That is a lot you have on your plate.

I am sure xanax would help with the anxiety, but it is horribly addictive as well. I heard a doctor on TV say he would rather take ten people off heroin than one person off xanax. Xanax is in the "pam" family of drugs with valium and ativan. The pams are hard to kick.

I suggest you see some kind of counselor who doesn't push the drugs and helps you work through these issues the old-fashioned way by talking it out. Also, any physical exercise you can make yourself do is good. Meditation works to releive the stressful moments. Also good nutrition, enough sleep, and the right supplements should aid your recovery. And some kind of a vacation, even a weekend away, would refresh you.

If you need an energy boost, try red bull and five hour energy. I also had some energy pills laced with caffeine and vitamins and who knows what else that I would take whenever I wanted to re-live the speed sessions and get a lot of stuff done. I still take them when I feel the need for speed. I think just about any non-drug over the counter stimulant like no-doze would do for make-believe adderall substitution. Sometimes I just like to take pills and as long as they are not harmful pills, what the hell?

Relapse is not an option. Keep that thought in your mind at all times.

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I appreciate your opinion Quit-once. I am a worrier and come from a long line of worriers. I'm currently on vacation for the next three weeks because i thought i would need it for withdawals. I haven't and don't intend to get the Xanax or Zoloft prescription filled. I haven't yet and after the last two days, I know I won't ever go back on Adderall. It's a done deal. I don't have time for a counselor. That's what you guys are for in my opinion.

Day 10 off Adderall. Feeling exceptionally great. Almost to the point that I'm wondering if someone is slipping me Adderall. Worked all Friday night with mental clarity like I was on Adderall and cleaned out a closet today, another side effect of Adderall. I' got up early today and have been in the best mood ever. Helped both kids with science fair boards and have had the best time with them and my husband over the last two days. I feel like the old me, pre-Adderall and pre-kids, work, stress, everything. Im not so focused on me, me, me and am enjoying things around me. The only thing different that i can possibly attribute to this turnaround is the L-tyrosine. My diet has been the "eat to live" diet for about four weeks now. I've been exercising by doing Wii 'just dance' with the kids 'just twice' (haha). Not much but a start. Scratching my head a little bit on this. Hope it's not just a two day fluke or something. Can l-tyrosine be harmful? I looked it up and didn't really find anything. I know someone here said it made them euphoric. I take 1000 mg in the morning once a day. Anyway, I feel great! Non-medicated great!

Thanks for letting me post. I feel wonderful and would have never heard about l-tyrosine had I not been on this website. : :D :

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Day 14 off Adderall. Still feeling like my old self and pretty good. Haven't started gaining the weight back yet. Started L-tyrosine and only took two, because I wasn't sleeping and feeling heart palpitations. Hadn't taken one in about three days and was still feeling ok. But I took some today, probably less than 200 mg to see if it would help me wake up for a long drive down to see my mom. It did. Had a great day. Wow.

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I quit cold turkey exactly two weeks ago. I was on 80 mg a day. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Honestly, It has felt like hell but as soon as I quit, I started taking l tyrosine(by NOW Thyroid Energy) and SAMe. I have noticed a huge difference! Source naturals has a great SAMEe supplement that you should try! I am currently taking 400 mg twice daily along with a multivitamin(optiwomen) and omega fish oil by nordic naturals. I think I slept for five days straight. OHHHH, and can I mention the nightmares and night sweats!? I had nightmares up until 2 days ago.. and I hope they are gone for good. My body felt weak, sick, and I pretty much thought I was dying... Im feeling like my old self again though! Laughing, being social, basically everything that adderall stole from me. I quit because I felt like a robot, that is, until it was wearing off at night. Back in October, my doctor made me switch to the XR because of the adderall shortage. Like, he wasn't even prescribing the regular to any of his patients anymore. I felt like a crazy person on the xr. I was planning on switching to vyvanse, but I found this sight!!!!! It has saved my life :) Even if I feel like there is not a hint of dopamine in my body, I am happy because that little pill no longer rules my life. I use to hate my days off of work because I would also not take my pills to let me body rest... I woke up two weeks ago and wanted nothing more than to wake up and not depend on a pill to get me going!!!!!!!!!! Yes, the withdrawal feels like death. Im still having withdrawals, but the joy of having my life back has kept me going! Note, I am not currently working, so I am being easy on my body. If I feel dead tired, because it does hit you at different points during the day, Ill have a nap. But I also started exercising and that has helped a ton:) You just have to dig for inspiration wherever you can find it! I found it on here and watching inspiring people on youtube and such... A lot of people have won there own battle and struggles in life. Whether it be obesity, homelessness, alcoholism.. so I just draw from that and think, "If they can do it, I sure as hell can do it!!!"

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Wow Elizabeth, how inspiring!

Day 51 off Adderall. I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to not be a slave to that stupid little pill! I'm doing great at work and at home. Things are just as fast paced as they were when I was on Adderall, only I'm not fast paced and don't feel the pressure to be. If things aren't perfect, then that's ok. Don't get me wrong, there have been major stressors at work and home, but I was able to work through them without being medicated. I'm able to concentrate just fine now but don't have the urge to work, work, work all the time. In fact, I think I've had more passion for some of my ideas and recommendations at work because I've lost the robot mentality that Adderall gave me.

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Whittering,

I am responding to your latest post here instead of there because I want to share your own wisdom with yourself and I can access those quotes better here.

12/25/11 "I was working fine without it for 15 years"

12/27/11 "I think back now and wish I'd stayed off it"

1/5/12 "now that's all I want is to be free of this damn drug" After describing your heart attack symptoms that sent you to the emergency room.

1/5/12 "I've made such a statement now about hating the drug that a relapse will fill me with guilt and shame".

1/8/12 "I know I won't ever go back on adderall. It's a done deal"

2/18/12 "I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels not to be a slave to that stupid little pill"

I can't make this stuff up - it's your own words and you will be saying all of these things all over again if you don't stay strong and give in to your addiction's inner voice. InRecovery's wisdom says this is your disease talking to you. Cassie's wisdom tells you that an amphetamine addiction is unsustainable. We are here for you and we would all feel really bad if you did indeed relapse.

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Thanks Quit-once, Inrecovery,and Cassie.

I feel totally ashamed! What happened to me? I was doing great the first 50 days and now I'm not? Isn't that backwards? I don't know where to go from here. I need energy. My focus at work is fine. My energy level is zero and I've put on 15 pounds. Food tastes so good now.

Thanks for being there and making me read my own posts. I just had rationalized in my head it was a total overreaction and I could get back on it. I will take one day at a time and seek out other sources of energy to help me deal with my life after work.

But the laundry really is getting bad....

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Well, I was working on my resume' and had drank three cups of coffee and still no motivation. I decided one Adderall would do it and so after being off it for 151 days(4 1/2 months) I ransacked my house and found my hidden stash. I was standing over my bed with the bottle in one hand and one pill in the other. I went to put it in my mouth and all of a sudden my oldest daughter burst through my bedroom door and screams at me that my younger daughter just got hurt outside and is bleeding! I drop everything of course and rush outside. She was swimming and had fallen and ripped a whole toenail off her foot. Here I sit three hours later after all the drama has subsided wondering ......what if?

Thanks, God for the much needed intervention, but what if tomorrow I don't have the motivation to do my resume? (( please don't hurt anybody else!!!!)))

And now I'm having other issues.... I'm a mess. What to do? Quit once, are you out there?

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Whittering, you are only One Pill away from resuming your addiction. As recovering addicts, that is something we all have to accept. One Pill begins a cascade of events, thoughts, needs, and emotions that WILL ultimately result in a full blown relapse. There is no such thing as a minor relapse. It changes the way you think about things so internal justification for taking more pills is a lot easier to allow. Swallowing One Pill is your point of no return.

So what could you gain by taking a pill? What you could lose is the sober mindset needed to keep you from going back for more addies and resuming your addiction for another 2,3, or five years (or longer). The pill, just one, will create a tollerance-rebuilding process in every cell of your body and simply make you want to take more adderall - it is an insatiable need of your body and your mind and you could just decide the addiction is OK for several more years, especially since your husband likes his adderall too. But at some point in your life you will need to QUIT AGAIN because a long-term adderall addiction is simply unsustainable throughout most people's lifetime. Also, your kids deserve better than to have both of their parents strung out on adderall while they are growing up.

Regarding your stash, I say that it needs to be dealt with since you have now fucked with it and removed some pills with the intent to take them. You could always get a pill from your husband, right? But you have proven yourself an unreliable steward of your pill stash so they have to go, ASAP.

By fate and good fortune, you were granted an intervention today. In my opinion you were holding a loaded handgun to your head with your finger on the trigger, then somebody intervened. Don't waste that opportunity.

ps Don't worry about the fact that you are a bitch. That's who you are. And since you have not had any adderall since the first of the year it is somewhat justified. You can work on being a nice person next year and that will be a lot easier if you remain adderall-free.

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Hi Whittering,

I wanted to respond because we are only 8 days apart in our clean time and we took Adderall the same number of years, so I know what you're going through. I am so lazy and unmotivated at my job, it's crazy that I haven't gotten fired. I think about Adderall daily and am constantly bored. But I trust that it's going to get easier to do boring things because my brain is now getting proper practice at it. If you're like me you have good days and bad days. That's good. If your brain wasn't healing you would only have bad days. I'm expecting it to take a year until I'm back to the person I was before Adderall, and I think you should grant yourself the same patience.

A couple things that have helped me:

1) Regular yoga practice. I'm not one of those people who loves doing yoga, but the postive effects on my energy and focus are undeniable, so I force myself to do it at least every other day.

2) Reading about post acute withdrawal syndrome, sometimes called prolonged withdrawal effect. These are psychological symptoms that last for months or years after quitting drugs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-acute-withdrawal_syndrome

The other day I printed out a great article about relapse prevention. It talks in detail about "a number of conditioned psychological responses that persist long after abstinence." One of these is the following:

Magical Thinking: The belief that chemical use is the cure for a problem or will compensate for some personal weakness or lack of skill.

Remember this when you think you can't write your resume without Adderall.

The article: Relapse prevention before relapse: An intensified approach. Kelley, John M. Behavioral Health Management, May/Jun94, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p59, 2p.

Cassie

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Whittering, Don't throw away 4 1/2 months of clean time under your belt.

C'mon, It took you a lot of hardwork to earn that clean time!!

Be strong!!! 4 1/2 months is a really good chunk of time you got there.

(Cassie, that article on PAWS is really a fantastic resource.

I've read through it a couple times now. Thanks so much for posting it.... Whittering you should check that out...)

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Whittering, I suspect that part of the problem is that you're so far away from the Adderall hell that you've forgotten why you quit. I'm happy to be reading your post, because it serves as a warning down the road. I'm in quitting euphoria right now, having had my first truly good day of feeling crumbs of normalcy, and I can't wait to see if I feel even better I tomorrow. After reading about your situation, it appears that quitting is its own drug right now, and if pills aren't thrown out at this stage, then I'll be where you are in four months or so.

I'm guessing that if the laundry had been piling up and my daughter had ripped her toe nail off and I had been taking adderall, that my first reaction would have been a mental fury over one more frigging thing to deal with-and I wouldn't have had the patience and compassion that my daughter deserved. I would have manufactured it at some point, but it wouldn't have been immediate or natural, and she would have sensed my frustration long before she felt compassion. That's because I'm new to quitting and remember clear as day how I've been reacting to these situations, and the thought makes me shudder! I imagine as time goes by, as our memory protects us from the bad, that I'll forget how emotionally 'not there' for my kids I've been. That thought makes me shudder too.

Good luck, and please keep going--for your kids, for you and, well, I'm just going to ask you to for me too. I'm just barely peeking my head out on the other side of this, and here's your chance to be inspirational! :)

P

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It's so great to come back here and read all your posts. Thanks guys for being here. I seem to be having a once a month relapse close call. 163 days today Addy free. Here I am again considering taking it. Forgetting all the bad stuff until I come back here and read it all again. Then I read the newer members' posts and think of what they are going through. I find myself weighing what was bad before with what is bad now. I'm not as responsible now. I liked being seen as a responsible person. I'm scared of losing respectability because of my "don't care" attitude I now have. Is that who I really am?

So what made sense finally today was something Cassie or Elizabeth or Ashley said somewhere about it not being linear. You don't gradually get better and better. YOu have ups and downs, good days and bad days. That's me. I've been in the bed for the last two weeks, going what the hell??? I think my problem is that I was on an anti-depressant for 15 years and went off both Adderall and Well-Butrin at the same time. I've been considering over the last two weeks getting on the anti-depressant again, but I want to stay off it more than the Adderall. I think the anti-depressant changed my personality too. I'm not depressed, I just don't have any energy at all. I take a shower and I'm so exhausted I go lay back in the bed. My boss left town for two weeks and left me in charge. So I worked from home and got out of bed every day at 3:00. I've just now for the last two days started getting up and getting around.

So Cassie, what the hell? I read somewhere that you have more energy and focus than when you were on Adderall? Plus you lost all your post-Addy weight? You sound like you are doing great. We quit at around the same time so I'm jealous. I was doing so well for so long and now I've gone downhill so fast. What am I doing differently from you? I'm taking SAMe, L-Tyrosine (500mg), Omega 3 fish oil, Vitamin D, and a multi-vitamin. I started meditating two days ago, (Cause I don't know how to do Yoga). I just do not have the energy to exercise. The only thing different is I got away from the Eat to Live diet I was on. I think that's the key to my loss of energy. I don't know. I keep going back and forth on should I get back on the medication or not. And if so, which one? Anti-depressant or Adderall. After reading all day all the posts on here, I think I will again say no to the adderall. I personally don't want to get on the anti-depressants because I'm not depressed. I'm very happy, I'm just very happy to sleep all day long in my bed for weeks on end. My kids are out of school going what's wrong? I'm wondering what's worse, a mom who is in bed all day or a mom who works all the time? What a horrible mother I've turned out to be. But when I have good days, my girls think I am the best mom ever. I'm funny, fun, and excellent when I have a good day, but haven't had many of those lately and just looking for answers. Those little moments of sunshine are what I live for. I want those good days so bad that I want to take Addy to get them, but then I know it will be short-lived and the Addy cycle will start again. I'm rambling but I needed to get it all out there. Thanks for letting me post.

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Congrats on 163 days free and clear from the shackles of adderall!! As of now you are something like a hero in my eyes, I cant wait to post up numbers like those!-45 days clean here. You may not know my story but, in brief, I've taken adderall for 5 1/2years abused for 2.5 of those years, the latter part. Just recently I was prescribed Welbutrin, been taking it for a few months now. I don't personally notice anything with the drug!? It's either that, or I'm so acclimated to the "waiting for the buzz" to kick in effect that my tolerance is to high to notice such menial neuro-shifts. Either way, I don't plan to stay on the Welbutrin lifelong, just until I feel a little more stable from within. My two cent's would be If you have managed to kick them both then, let bygones be and weather the storm- I hear there is sunshine at the end of that tunnel funnel. For me you are that proof even at 163 days to my 45, if only because we are no longer shackled to the reigns of adderall. If you must take something then I would recommend the Welbutrin, because at least for me it does not have the "high' or the high/low effect of adderall, and appears much easier to drop at one's own discretion. Hang in there! Despite all appearances, all things are in divine order and you are beating this thing! You will conquer, I have faith and you have come this far, and as any adderallic knows even 30mins without adderall can feel like 30 days as slow as time and your body moves in accordance with that time. So in actuality you are further along in personal progress than what the calender reads and so much closer the the true you, than you even were 30 mins ago! I can totally relate to the feeling like a awful parent thing due to this drug! But, please remember especially if you are anything like the perfectionist mindset as I am, we are not perfect, we are human and subject to err, hurt, have down days, and yes perhaps even months. Our kids deserve our best, not perfection...and life happens which is just as an important lesson as any to teach! All of your actions my not make sense now, from the outside looking in, or even from inside looking out-sometimes, but you are moving through, and the "process stages" of many things are always the most heavily scrutinized. Of greater importance is what you make of and what becomes of the process,because that's what they will remember. So stick it through, and instead of thinking of what your not providing, try and focus on what you are-lessons such as perseverance and strength- even during your weakest moments and especially during your weakest moments. I have no doubt that once you and I fully overcome this battle we will be stronger for it and serve as even better role models toward helping our children to overcome and persevere! -These traits I am much assured will get them just as far as any pat on the back or a warm embrace. So here's to you! cheers to you! Be encouraged!

No go Hug your children, tell them you love them..and know that you are doing your best.

Freedom's Wings

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Hi Whittering,

Hang in there. You said you took Wellbutrin for 15 years too, so your brain may have been as dependent on that as is was on the Adderall. Maybe not as extreme, but dependent nonetheless. When you start screwing with your neurotransmitters your brain adapts and doesn't regulate them the same as it would naturally. None of these drugs have been studied long term either. Antidepressant (and amphetamine) trials last two months. Scientists aren't even sure how antidepressants work, let alone the long term effects.

So, maybe your brain is experiencing more changes than mine. Also, when I say I have more energy now, I don't mean that I'm bouncing off the walls like when I was high on Adderall. It's a more consistent, calmer energy throughout the day versus the ups and downs and nervous energy of Adderall. It feels more...human. And I still have good days and bad days where I feel depressed and lethargic, but they are becoming less and less. I think part of the reason is that I'm very militant about my diet and exercise. I don't eat fast food, I juice almost every day, etc. And I'm consistent with exercising every day, even if that just means walking around the block a couple times. It sounds like you're experiencing the exercise Catch-22: you're too tired to exercise but if you exercise you'd feel less tired. It's one of those things you just have to force yourself to start doing, then it becomes easier. Exercise and yoga have been key for me. Part of the reason I'm so militant with my habits is because I'm serious about never going back to Adderall. I relapsed before and I am determined not to again.

Maybe you can try a support group in your area. I recently went to a meeting of SMART Recovery - it's a secular recovery group. I really liked it. There were a lot of cool people and it wasn't focused on talking about drug use or God like the AA/NA crowd. It's a cognitive behavioral therapy model that aims to help you change your attitudes and thinking patterns so you can move on from your addictions and hangups. I was really impressed. You can check out their website to find a meeting near you. Anyway, just something else you might try. There are so many ways to alleviate depression without pills, so keep trying!

Cassie

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Hi Whittering,

Hang in there. You said you took Wellbutrin for 15 years too, so your brain may have been as dependent on that as is was on the Adderall. Maybe not as extreme, but dependent nonetheless. When you start screwing with your neurotransmitters your brain adapts and doesn't regulate them the same as it would naturally. None of these drugs have been studied long term either. Antidepressant (and amphetamine) trials last two months. Scientists aren't even sure how antidepressants work, let alone the long term effects.

So, maybe your brain is experiencing more changes than mine. Also, when I say I have more energy now, I don't mean that I'm bouncing off the walls like when I was high on Adderall. It's a more consistent, calmer energy throughout the day versus the ups and downs and nervous energy of Adderall. It feels more...human. And I still have good days and bad days where I feel depressed and lethargic, but they are becoming less and less. I think part of the reason is that I'm very militant about my diet and exercise. I don't eat fast food, I juice almost every day, etc. And I'm consistent with exercising every day, even if that just means walking around the block a couple times. It sounds like you're experiencing the exercise Catch-22: you're too tired to exercise but if you exercise you'd feel less tired. It's one of those things you just have to force yourself to start doing, then it becomes easier. Exercise and yoga have been key for me. Part of the reason I'm so militant with my habits is because I'm serious about never going back to Adderall. I relapsed before and I am determined not to again.

Maybe you can try a support group in your area. I recently went to a meeting of SMART Recovery - it's a secular recovery group. I really liked it. There were a lot of cool people and it wasn't focused on talking about drug use or God like the AA/NA crowd. It's a cognitive behavioral therapy model that aims to help you change your attitudes and thinking patterns so you can move on from your addictions and hangups. I was really impressed. You can check out their website to find a meeting near you. Anyway, just something else you might try. There are so many ways to alleviate depression without pills, so keep trying!

Cassie

Hey there Cassie,

That group you mentioned sounds kind of awesome; I like the concept. Do you happen to have the web address? I'd like to see if there is one in my area.

-Freedom's Wings

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The website is http://smartrecovery.org/. You can find local meetings there. I've never been to AA/NA before, but my friend who went with me to the SMART Recovery meeting has been to AA/NA a bunch of times (court appointed)and he said that this was so much better than AA/NA.

Just to give you an example of one of the conversations in the meeting, there was a guy there who was concerned about having to go to a work event where there would be alcohol. He was worried that his co-workers would try to pressure him into drinking. The meeting moderator told him to go to the event, head straight to the bar, and order a Coke or Sprite in a small glass with a slice of lemon (so it would look like an alcoholic drink), and have a full drink like that in his hand the entire time. This way if anyone asked to buy him a drink or whatnot, he could hold up his drink and say that he's already got one. No pressure. Now, my friend said that if this was AA they would tell him to avoid going to bars or drinking events, but here the guy got some practical advice on how to navigate the situation rather than avoid it. That's what I thought was cool about this group, the pragmatism. Anyway, check it out if you'd like!

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Hi everyone. I am new to the site and it has became a source of motivation for me. I am 31, a wife and mother of 2 energetic kids, a full time healthcare worker and lots more in between. I am on day 6 with no adderall. And yes,it was a very scary decision but my decision was fueled by a reason to be healthy, a reason to LIVE. One year of feeling dependent on the stimulation of the drug, the energy and weightloss made everything seem so easy. I never felt behind on projects...always on top of it, then the symptoms came. After a small drug holiday, gaining fifteen pounds, I was ready for my "easy button" again. When I began Adderall the second time it only took a year and then the dizziness, joint pain, fatigue,the fog, irritability and then the diagnosis.....Lupus. The doctor cannot and will not say that Adderall caused my Lupus but she did admit that stimulant medications can trigger auto-immune diseases. We are hoping that this is medicine induced Lupus and after qutting adderall, smoking ( which is impossible on Adderall) and beginning a new healthy lifestyle that my symptoms will virtually disappear...for good. So begins my journey.

So....day 6 without my "easy button" and I feel amazing. Fatigue is here but less than before. I want a cigarette and little blue pill every morning but have traded for hot tea and sugar free gum. I can see without fog, colors are vibrant and I want to smile about the small stuff. I feel much more motivated. At the end of the day, did Adderall work for me? The first few months I felt indestructible and it felt so easy, but now being a young mother all I want to be is HEALTHY! The consequences that I have gained are way more overwheming (negatively) than what the drug helped me become. The things that I want accomplish like watching my kids grow up and growing old with my husband don't involve the life sucking drug called....Adderall.

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