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sourgrapes

Cognition

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Hello,

I am at the rock bottom of my addiction and desperate for advice. I'm a graduate student and have been abusing adderall for three years now. My dose for the past year and a half has been anywhere from 60-120 mg a day. I feel as if the drug has ironically caused me to develop severe ADHD. I'm failing my classes due to my inability to prioritize and manage my time. I can't focus or understand anything I read but when I increase my dose I hyperfocus and end up wasting time. I'm anxious and isolated and have completely lost my ability to socialize. I feel that adderall has permanently lowered my intelligence and I'm wondering if anyone has insight or personal experience with this.

I've tried to quit many times but the fatigue and stress from my coursework is overwhelming. My main goal now is to simply make it through the semester without dying or failing, and work on quitting when I don't have as much going on.  I can't tell if this is a realistic goal or not. My memory is shit, I can't make decisions to save my life, I'm always behind on things. I don't know what to do. 

Is it a lack of chemical or nutrient that is affecting my cognition and causing this? Is there anything I can do or any supplements you have tried that have restored your brain functioning? Am I doomed and should I drop out now? 

Thanks in advance.

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I don't want to be discouraging but I was in the same position except my senior year of undergrad chemE. I ended up failing out to save my brain/life. I was on the same dosage and for the same time but I also fried myself with a multitude of other drugs too. So you might be salvageable. But it does sound familiar with the whole inability to focus or do anything or remember. You never know what you can do until you try so I wouldn't count you out. Just do your best and do what you can. Everything will be okay. 

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4 hours ago, SeanW said:

I don't want to be discouraging but I was in the same position except my senior year of undergrad chemE. I ended up failing out to save my brain/life. I was on the same dosage and for the same time but I also fried myself with a multitude of other drugs too. So you might be salvageable. But it does sound familiar with the whole inability to focus or do anything or remember. You never know what you can do until you try so I wouldn't count you out. Just do your best and do what you can. Everything will be okay. 

Thank you so much. Did those effects ever go away for you? 

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I was taking about the same amount over a 4 year period. I used it as a work drug.  I felt energetic focused confident and a little bit inappropriately euphoric at times. I work as an RN and it made my shift go by fast. I used to think why couldn’t I have discovered this drug 10 years ago. I loved it.

 Just like everyone else you slowly increase the amount you take over time because your brain isn’t as responsive to the drug. The feel good effects also became shorter and shorter.

Your mind and body can compensate to a point but then you unravel. Adderall to me is speed similar to meth. It wears your body out in a similar way.

By my 3rd and 4th year my personality changed . I became quiet ,anxious and insecure. I tried to avoid people because it made me nervous to hold simple conversations. Socializing was awkward and people started avoiding me. I could not communicate because I had a word finding problems and it was hard to complete a sentence. By now I had physical issues too. Bizarre facial and tongue movements.  I looked tired and more aged.had bags under my eyes. More dental problems. Ringing in my ears.

I would desperately take 80 to 100 mg in a shot period of time just to get some performance but it was like kicking a dead mule.Nothing . Just more pronounced adverse symptoms. In fact I would get panic attacks and would have to leave the clinical floor. I don’t know why it took so long to realize I had to quit but it seems likely everyone waits too long including you.

 Unfortunately the first month was hell. Chronic anxiety. Panic attacks. Depression . Scrambled brain. Worried,paranoid that I had irreversible brain damage. I had to quit my job 

 The good news is after 5 months I feel better. No anxiety attacks My general anxiety waxes and wanes but is improving. So is the depression. My mind is clear and I communicate much better. I still tend to isolate myself because socializing makes me nervous but I’m sure this will reverse. Physically I feel better,I look healthier. No facial tics. Still have ringing in my ears. I feel like I can start work again soon.

 I’m sorry you have to go through this. It sounds like you need to quit soon. Eventually the decision is taken out of your hands because you physically and mentally collapse. There’s no running away from the cross. The good news is it’s reversable with time. Just read the columns there are many successful stories. When you quit your going to feel completely broken but soon thereafter you’ll start noticing little improvements then increasing momentum in feeling better. It won’t be easy but you can do it 

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11 hours ago, sourgrapes said:

Thank you so much. Did those effects ever go away for you? 

They've gotten 100% better. I'm not back to how I was before adderall and I might not ever be but I'm in wayyyy better place now than when I first quit. 

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11 hours ago, Mark S said:

I was taking about the same amount over a 4 year period. I used it as a work drug.  I felt energetic focused confident and a little bit inappropriately euphoric at times. I work as an RN and it made my shift go by fast. I used to think why couldn’t I have discovered this drug 10 years ago. I loved it.

 Just like everyone else you slowly increase the amount you take over time because your brain isn’t as responsive to the drug. The feel good effects also became shorter and shorter.

Your mind and body can compensate to a point but then you unravel. Adderall to me is speed similar to meth. It wears your body out in a similar way.

By my 3rd and 4th year my personality changed . I became quiet ,anxious and insecure. I tried to avoid people because it made me nervous to hold simple conversations. Socializing was awkward and people started avoiding me. I could not communicate because I had a word finding problems and it was hard to complete a sentence. By now I had physical issues too. Bizarre facial and tongue movements.  I looked tired and more aged.had bags under my eyes. More dental problems. Ringing in my ears.

I would desperately take 80 to 100 mg in a shot period of time just to get some performance but it was like kicking a dead mule.Nothing . Just more pronounced adverse symptoms. In fact I would get panic attacks and would have to leave the clinical floor. I don’t know why it took so long to realize I had to quit but it seems likely everyone waits too long including you.

 Unfortunately the first month was hell. Chronic anxiety. Panic attacks. Depression . Scrambled brain. Worried,paranoid that I had irreversible brain damage. I had to quit my job 

 The good news is after 5 months I feel better. No anxiety attacks My general anxiety waxes and wanes but is improving. So is the depression. My mind is clear and I communicate much better. I still tend to isolate myself because socializing makes me nervous but I’m sure this will reverse. Physically I feel better,I look healthier. No facial tics. Still have ringing in my ears. I feel like I can start work again soon.

 I’m sorry you have to go through this. It sounds like you need to quit soon. Eventually the decision is taken out of your hands because you physically and mentally collapse. There’s no running away from the cross. The good news is it’s reversable with time. Just read the columns there are many successful stories. When you quit your going to feel completely broken but soon thereafter you’ll start noticing little improvements then increasing momentum in feeling better. It won’t be easy but you can do it 

Very well said. I was the same way: avoidant, anti social, anxiety, severe social anxiety and so on. You will break down eventually if you don't stop. You have a limited amount of energy and your body needs to recooperate and heal. I'm 18 months clean and I still have social anxiety and avoid people but compared to how I was when I first quit I literally locked myself in my apartment for 6 months unable to communicate or socialize. Now I'm out and about every day and I'm ABLE to actually communicate even though it's still uncomfortable. Where as I was literally unable the first 6 months. 

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On 11/7/2018 at 2:22 PM, sourgrapes said:

 Is it a lack of chemical or nutrient that is affecting my cognition and causing this? Is there anything I can do or any supplements you have tried that have restored your brain functioning? 

Just the opposite - you are suffering from too much of a chemical called adderall.  The only thing that will make you feel better is to kick the habit.   After you quit, there are lots of supplements and good nutrition that will help you recover. 

You have done a great job of describing how adderall treats us in the later stages of its addiction - especially when it quits working and starts working against us.  I took about the same dosage as you, although I used it for about 9 years altogether.  Cognition and executive function really diminished in my later years of usage, and the physical symptoms of the side effects became highly concerning.  I realized that an adderall addiction was unsustainable, and I was unwilling to take it to my grave.  I realized that my memory was shot, and that I was barely able to function, mentally.  I was getting old before my time.  My future was uncertain.  So I quit, seven and a half years ago.     And you can quit, too.  In fact, it is something you really need to do in order to move on with your life.  Even if it means taking time away from grad school for a semester or two.  Do whatever you need to do to get through this semester, make a plan and just fucking cease using stimulants by the end of the year.  If you can't do it on your own, then get some help or go to rehab.

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Welcome sourgrapes the rode to recovery will be probably the most challenging thing you’ll ever do in life but with the help of this site you can do it and your not alone.  

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1 hour ago, quit-once said:

Just the opposite - you are suffering from too much of a chemical called adderall.  The only thing that will make you feel better is to kick the habit.   After you quit, there are lots of supplements and good nutrition that will help you recover. 

You have done a great job of describing how adderall treats us in the later stages of its addiction - especially when it quits working and starts working against us.  I took about the same dosage as you, although I used it for about 9 years altogether.  Cognition and executive function really diminished in my later years of usage, and the physical symptoms of the side effects became highly concerning.  I realized that an adderall addiction was unsustainable, and I was unwilling to take it to my grave.  I realized that my memory was shot, and that I was barely able to function, mentally.  I was getting old before my time.  My future was uncertain.  So I quit, seven and a half years ago.     And you can quit, too.  In fact, it is something you really need to do in order to move on with your life.  Even if it means taking time away from grad school for a semester or two.  Do whatever you need to do to get through this semester, make a plan and just fucking cease using stimulants by the end of the year.  If you can't do it on your own, then get some help or go to rehab.

Has your memory improved since quitting? If so, how long until you noticed improvements? Thanks for your help.

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11 hours ago, sourgrapes said:

Has your memory improved since quitting? If so, how long until you noticed improvements? Thanks for your help.

Yea, my memory started improving almost immediately after ceasing the adderall.  That first year of recovery was pretty painful, with a lack of general motivation and frequent depression.  It took about three years to feel mostly recovered.  

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You are experiencing exactly what Adderall puts you through. It’s not nutrition or anything else, it’s the Adderall. You are no longer in the honeymoon phase and it will get worse if you don’t stop. It will make you hyper focus on dumb shit and make you think you’re doing great. It will make you waste a lot of time chasing rabbits, losing friends, pissing of coworkers, and handing in lots of incoherent babble at school. It is not natural. 

Adderall fucks with the brain in so many ways. All your synapses firing all over the place while dopamine floods your receptors. It had me talking to aliens, building free energy machines, and losing my mind. It landed me in a mental hospital twice. I was a meth head that thought I was special. I was so lost in that shit. When I hit rock bottom the second time I had psychosis, I had my spiritual awakening and at the same time I realized that Adderall was ruining my life so I had to quit. It was survival at first, just getting through one day at a time. It was brutal and I’m still here to help warn others after almost 3 years clean. Your cognition does return and so does everything else, it just takes time, a whole lot of precious time.

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