EricP

Mental Clarity

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I seem to read mixed reviews here on their perception of mental clarity since quitting...

While I do absorb things and just “think a lot more about everything” since quitting at times I find some disturbing brain fog, zoning out and a little forgetfulness since quitting. 

In some ways I think I am over focused on some of it, other things I may have had during adderall however while moving 100x faster my mistakes didn’t bother me as much. 

Just wondering if most here feel a big imporovement in their mental clarity since quitting or more like there is a slight chemical imbalance without adderall that were still balancing to regain normal thought process?

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Definitely do not feel mental clarity.. my thought process is all over the place all the time unfortunately.. 

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43 minutes ago, EricP said:

In some ways I think I am over focused on some of it, other things I may have had during adderall however while moving 100x faster my mistakes didn’t bother me as much. 

it's hard to define "mental clarity", but this here is what i call "indecision anxiety". especially in the early days of recovery, this feeling would be paralyzing. i'd just (sluggishly) think about all the possibilities, and never be able to decide on something. it was way too much effort, and it would result in me just zoning out from mental fatigue. it even happened for stupid things like choosing what show to watch next. i'd just mull over all the different shows on my list and end up watching nothing lol.

as you mentioned, adderall not only has you moving so fast you don't care about mistakes, but also it makes you feel GREAT about every choice you make, no matter the right or wrong of it. this is a double edged sword- it can lead to bad decisions, but also sometimes good decisions that get executed faster. 

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Agreed. That's exactly what it is for me, the smallest decisions result in ridiculous amounts of options and just not sure/certain of any decision like on adderall despite like you said whether it was right or wrong it was made with absolute certainty lol 

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15 hours ago, EricP said:

Just wondering if most here feel a big imporovement in their mental clarity since quitting or more like there is a slight chemical imbalance without adderall that were still balancing to regain normal thought process?

MASSIVE increase in mental clarity, but it took time. I don't "get off" on my thoughts like I used to hopped up on speed, but I am FAR more effective than I ever was on Adderall.

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1 hour ago, hyper_critical said:

I don't "get off" on my thoughts like I used to hopped up on speed

lol, love this.

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Long time lurker first time Poster.  40 MG IR for about a decade.  Been off it for about 4 years. The Adderall Paradox for me is that it made me 10x more ADHD like while on it as compared to off of it.   Especially as it relates to losing things, scattered thought patterns, impulsiveness etc..... I am much more mentally clear off of it.  Albeit it took a year and a half of recovery to get there.   Drive/Motivation is the thing I miss most although in reality it made me really efficient at making bad decisions.  

 

 

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Great to hear from others on this!

@SeanW and @SleepyStupid I relate to the daily scattered thoughts and anxiety this causes. Mentally exhausted from overthinking is likely a real problem for me... I spent my first few months at many doctors trying to figure out what is wrong with me... I still get stuck overthinking that at times along with the hundreds of things I’d like to do that don’t get done... 

@hyper_critical and DopeyMean how long after quitting did you find your regained “clarity”? I believe you have both been off like 4+ years now? 

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Hi Eric, 

I guess the really bad/hard withdrawals ended in about a year and a half for me.  Things were not mentally clear at all during this time period because depression and anxiety ruled my days.  I had spent a decade as a human doing and when I said goodbye to the Addy it felt like someone stole my skeleton and I was forced to be a human being and couldn't even stand up in my new costume.  During that time for me, the future was just a place where you went to die.   However, that slowly got much better, it just took way too long.   When I think of my decision-making and thought  patterns while on Adderall, I don't think me or anyone else would use mental clarity to define the state I was in.   The best I can tell,  Adderall was very good at preventing me from knowing who I really was.   It stole from me my right to experience reality.  That is the ultimate definition of wasted time.  I think the mental clarity improves as I become more acquainted with myself.  After 10 years on Adderall we were complete strangers.  

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20 hours ago, EricP said:

@hyper_critical and DopeyMean how long after quitting did you find your regained “clarity”? I believe you have both been off like 4+ years now? 

Couldn't agree more with DopeyMean. 18 months is about when I'd say the heavy fog lifted, but this has been a process ever since of getting reacquainted with myself, struggling through feelings of fear and discomfort, and learning to play to my strengths and try to minimize my weaknesses, instead of berating myself for not being good enough. 

I think many of us have a realllly hard time acknowledging our own progress. It's taken other people pointing out to me how far I've come along the way for me to be able to step back and see it.

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On 2/20/2018 at 9:04 AM, hyper_critical said:

MASSIVE increase in mental clarity, but it took time. I don't "get off" on my thoughts like I used to hopped up on speed, but I am FAR more effective than I ever was on Adderall.

God that is a great way to put it!  I thought I loved to “think” on Adderall, although in hindsight that is basically all I did was “think” with little to no action later in my use....weird 

 

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I’m finally getting my mental power back after 21 months of recovery. I am naturally indecisive and Adderall let me make every decision with uber confidence even though some of those decisions were terrible for me. Looking back on recovery, I remember being very indecisive in the beginning because each decision was exhausting. The decisions I make now are actually thought out and take into account  the consequences of my choices. I actually weigh the pros and cons of everything before I go jumping into something. This makes me take a lot longer to decide on something but that’s a good thing for me. It’s how people with mental clarity make decisions in life. My impulsivity has gone down as well, it shows in my spending habits as well as all other aspects of my life. 

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I'm also at 21 months and my mental clarity has improved greatly in the past couple months.  I don't know what exactly I owe it to because I've been doing several new positive habits or it could just be the time healing.  I think I owe a ton of the credit to meditation, nutrition, and exercise.  I've meditated daily for at least 10mins for 162 consecutive days and its been life changing.  My thoughts are no longer racing, I feel more calculated even in stressful situations.  I'm almost never reactive, even if my wife is getting upset with me over something I'm able to stay calm, think and respond.  I also think the grueling weight training and cardio have improved my cognition and clarity.  Lastly, I've made a radical change to my diet since January 1st I've been doing the Keto diet (high fats, moderate protein, basically no carbs).  I've had no sugar that didn't come from fruit and I've had no carbs that haven't been from vegies and no processed foods.  I've also noticed that my mental acuity is always sharper if I'm at least a little hungry.  

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1 hour ago, Tom23Jones said:

I've meditated daily for at least 10mins for 162 consecutive days and its been life changing. 

Awesome to read Tom, you are doing some great things!

I have read a lot about how Keto really helps mental clarity. As for your meditation do you use any specific methods, pod casts etc or are you just going for pure silence? I have tried a few times however haven’t found what works for me yet...

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50 minutes ago, EricP said:

As for your meditation do you use any specific methods, pod casts etc or are you just going for pure silence? I have tried a few times however haven’t found what works for me yet...

I bit the bullet and paid for the Headspace app for a year.  They are guided meditations but the more you advance the less guidance there is and more silence. In the beginning I struggled to focus on my breath and sit still but if you keep doing it every single day you start noticing the positive effects of being more mindful. Throughout the day we don't realize how often were just on auto pilot with negative thought loops in our head but that slowly starts to go away and your able to be more present.  

I also like the fact that Headspace has different packs you can do, for instance I've done 30 days of meditation geared towards depression, I've done the anxiety pack, stress, etc.  All the packs and singles are free once you pay for the app.  There are singles for sleep, motivation, a big conversation etc.

Pretty much every meditation you can choose to do 3mins to 20mins depending on how much time you have on any given day.  It keeps track of your consecutive days and total hours meditated which I've read that in itself can help with dopamine levels.... something about starting a positive streak

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1 hour ago, Tom23Jones said:

I bit the bullet and paid for the Headspace app for a year.  They are guided meditations but the more you advance the less guidance there is and more silence. In the beginning I struggled to focus on my breath and sit still but if you keep doing it every single day you start noticing the positive effects of being more mindful. Throughout the day we don't realize how often were just on auto pilot with negative thought loops in our head but that slowly starts to go away and your able to be more present.  

I also like the fact that Headspace has different packs you can do, for instance I've done 30 days of meditation geared towards depression, I've done the anxiety pack, stress, etc.  All the packs and singles are free once you pay for the app.  There are singles for sleep, motivation, a big conversation etc.

Pretty much every meditation you can choose to do 3mins to 20mins depending on how much time you have on any given day.  It keeps track of your consecutive days and total hours meditated which I've read that in itself can help with dopamine levels.... something about starting a positive streak

Cool! I was just using Headspace the other day however just the free ones. They were helpful even though very short. I will have to consider subscribing. 

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I have tried the following supplements for mental clarity, all with some degree of success: vitamin D, fish oils, L-Tyrosine, Lions Mane Mushroom, and, most recently, Prevagen.

Low carb diets seem to help.  Regular exercise and yoga are also good.  Alcohol, in excess or even heavy moderation, is bad.  Depression is also bad for clarity.

Not sure how much my age affects mental clarity, but in my mid-fifties, post Adderall, my mind just isn't sharp as it once was.  

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HEADSPACE is awesome...not too overwhelming for someone not used to meditation and for me, I need the reminders and push and have really struggled with in the past, now using Headspace, I’m able to “stomach” it!  And I totally concur on the eating and drinking...makes a huge difference and I believe a lot of depression, anxiety, ADHD stuff would be non existent if we all knew how much being in the right head space, and eating right really, really, really affect everything that we are medicating for.... if that makes sense...

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UPDATE... Well it’s been a little over two weeks since this post. Since then I have committed to make it to the gym every day, haven’t skipped a single day! Even if I was exhausted I at least went to get 20min of cardio and some light weights. On my better days I did at least a full hour.  I have need trying to get a range of 20-40 minutes of cardio at my targeted heart rate each day then working my way up slowly with weights. 

Anyway just by adding this simple routine into my schedule I must say I feel a good 60-70% improvement in overall energy and mental clarity. I still have some small lows and room for improvement however some of the simplest things I realize I am remembering that I would have spaced last month have really surprised myself. I have found many more moments where I was like “wow I feel normal”

I also downloaded the headspace app however I have not found a good routine in my day with it yet I can say the few days I used it I felt my anxiety nonexistent and thought process much more clear as well.

I know we read it, preach it, want to do it however committing to exercise really does help!

I would not advise it too early in recovery however as I think most would crash and end up in some bad lows however once somewhat functing give it a try!

 

 
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