hannah95

New here (my story) Venting and welcoming honest advice!

11 posts in this topic

Hi, everyone. I’m 23 years-old, and for the last two years, I’ve been prescribed Adderall for both ADD and severe fatigue. 

 

Just a heads-up before you read on, this might turn into a short novel!

 

  I always swore that addiction would never be a problem for me, thinking that I‘m too strong-willed and resilient. I have experimented with other drugs, but never felt an urge to seek out anything; but then came Adderall. Five minutes after my first dose, the optimism, clarity, energy, and distraction from reality that followed seemed to override all of my character flaws and vulnerabilities - the affects of past abuses were dulled. I liked it so much, and the guilt of that - the guilt of feeling more happy under the influence of Adderall than I ever was naturally, along with the other side effects of irritability, cheek/tongue-biting, lack of laughter, etc. worried me. When I voiced those concerns to my psychiatrist (Dr.T), he decided that I would need to take my full dose (I had only been taking around 1/4), three times per day. To him, the problem was not a matter of my increasing dependence (soon to be addiction); I just didn’t have a large or consistent enough stream. He reassured me that taking medication for ADD is safe and completely warranted; and that is one justification that I still have trouble letting go of. I know that I have ADD. I know that the mental fog and the fatigue I deal with (and Adderall helps with) are debilitating - just like Adderall - so where do I draw the line? 

 

That conversation with Dr. T made me feel like I was being handed the reigns in my own treatment. He gave me so much discretion and a three-month-supply of scripts - each worth 90 20mg tablets. I still didn’t want to be dependent on Adderall, so I tried to counter the unwanted effects (the worst one being the famous “Adderall comedown”) by splitting each tablet into tiny orange crumbs; I would take them randomly in an attempt to keep keep anxiety/depression at bay. School got rough. I had to work overnight shifts, and I was in the medical field, so I couldn’t afford to walk around in a daze; I wanted to be as “on it” as possible. So I started taking Adderall without even thinking about it. My body was so overrun that I was convinced I had cancer. I couldn’t get the mail or walk the dogs without running so out of breath that my vision would go black. My lymph nodes were swollen 3x their normal size. My heart rate was usually in the 120’s (some doctors couldn’t figure out why, and some blamed the Adderall, which I refused to believe was the cause of my troubles.) My blood tests showed malnutrition (even though I was eating) and high counts of white blood cells, because the Adderall was burning holes through my stomach. I developed gum disease. I lost 20 pounds -was down to 100 pounds. I barely got out of bed because my heart couldn’t take it. I was deeply depressed because no one could tell me why it appeared that I was dying. My classmates tried their best to keep me going. They worried about me like family would. I dropped out of the rigorous program that I was in at school, because I physically couldn’t go on; I left any preserver dignity behind with all of my friends. Life went on.

 

In the past few months, I’ve “come to life” a bit more, but I still abuse Adderall - just not to the same extent. When I take it every day, I forget to shower and do dishes; go to sleep at a normal time and wake up at 1-3 pm. I look at myself in the mirror, and I want to scream “be better!” There are no words for the hatred I feel towards myself. My psychiatrist (finally) cut me off because I was honest with him, but I still have some remaining in “storage”, and I’m sure that I could get another prescription if I really wanted to. The problem is that I don’t 100% believe that life is better without Adderall. I know (deep down) that I’m a better person without it, but I feel as if it’s too late to stop. I honestly think that I’ve acquired brain-damage over the past couple of years, and I’m not sure that I’ll ever be “myself” again. In addition, every time I have tried to quit (at least 15 times), I just end up substituting with more alcohol or more benzodiazepines. I cannot stand the depression, irritability, or endless boredom that I feel without Adderall. My boyfriend (who I live with) has tried to help me quit, but I always break down and beg to have it back so that I can feel “still” again. I am a person who needs to be productive - who yearns to learn. But I only feel able with Adderall...

 

My boyfriend and I are moving soon, to a new city, with new jobs and new people. I know that I need to end this cycle, but I can’t talk to anyone. My boyfriend knows that it’s hard for me, but he doesn’t understand why - why I can’t just “stop”. 

 

If anyone can offer “words of wisdom”, please do so. And thank you so much for taking the time to read my story.

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If you continue to use things will get worse. You think you feel bad now just give it a few more years. Eventually you'll be near death unable to do anything even with adderall and you'll be faced with the choice to quite or die. And quitting then is going to be a hell of a lot worse than quitting now so you can take my advice or leave it. Just remember this if you continue down the adderall road you'll look back and wish you would have quit. Me and many others have been in your exact position. I continued to use till I almost died and wish someone would of told me what I'm telling you. Please take on the challenge of quitting. You can do it. Your soul and spirit are strong enough. 

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1 hour ago, hannah95 said:

The problem is that I don’t 100% believe that life is better without Adderall. I know (deep down) that I’m a better person without it, but I feel as if it’s too late to stop.

You're right, and that is a big problem.  Until you 100% believe that your life will be better without adderall, it will be impossible to quit.  

Too late to stop?  Do you plan on taking it to your grave?  

You're doing some good soul searching now....I hope you can find the strength to beat this addiction.   It's killing you (in your own words).  It sounds like you really need to quit, and that quitting is not just something you should do, but something you have to do in order to move on with your life.  

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@SeanW and @quit-once thank you both  so much for telling it like it is. It almost doesn’t seem real outside of me, and being in it alone has made it harder to come to terms with. I’m glad to have found this community. I really do appreciate the feedback.

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As long as you are alive it’s never too late to stop. Many of us have waited until the brink of death to begin our recoveries, but that doesn’t have to be you. You do have a choice, regardless of what the drug is telling you. 

 

I encourage you to go through and read old posts of some of the more senior members on this site. Whenever I’m feeling tempted it helps me immensely to read about others who have recovered from where I am. 

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Sounds like some major side effects and your heart definitely at risk. Sad your “doctor” heard you concerns and gave you a higher dosage. Feel honestly these jerks should be legally liable for creating speed junkies. We all took this to be our best but in the end does the opposite. The good thing is your very new to this only two years so likely your recovery period should  take less time but does not mean at all it will be easy. So you know it’s literally killing you it’s obviously not the answer to your problems hope you choose to stop sooner va later. Just look at it a small phase of your life that’s in the past don’t beat yourself up too bad. Yes life goes on without it will folding socks, cleaning house or reading a instruction manual give you euphoria after you stop? No it won’t but it’s fake your never able to enjoy real things in life that should bring you happiness when doing busy work gives you a rush. 

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Welcome!! The health concerns you mentioned when you were at the height of your usage sound very troubling. I had similar issues which all resolved themselves when I quit (except for some lingering gum issues). If high quantities of the drug were doing that to your body, do you really think it wise to just take smaller quantities after seeing the effects? I agree with what others have said, this will continue to be a problem for you if you can't "just stop" like your boyfriend suggests. Life is better without adderall. That's my personal experience. I'm more aware of who I am, what I want, and what my body needs. This move could be the perfect time to try make the switch, please keep us updated. You're in the right place!!

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hi hannah,

welcome to the forums! first of all - IT'S NEVER TOO LATE!  amphetamine addiction is something that is very recoverable and unlike opioids and benzos, it does not have a particularly life endangering or physically harmful withdrawal period. most people can safely stop it cold turkey, which is something many of us here would recommend. furthermore, (but not to diminish your struggle) you have only been on Adderall for two years. i know it may feel much longer, but this is a short enough time frame that you can still remember back to a "normal" state. you had a life before Adderall. it may not have been perfect, but whose life is? 

 

On 11/16/2018 at 7:43 PM, hannah95 said:

Five minutes after my first dose, the optimism, clarity, energy, and distraction from reality that followed seemed to override all of my character flaws and vulnerabilities

everyone has flaws and vulnerabilities, but the key word here is "override". putting aside all the terrifying side-effects you related, you just described taking a substance that "overrides" your entire personality! you need to stop thinking of Adderall as a medication. it is a hardcore drug that is annihilating your body and mind. fuck Dr. T and anyone who tells you otherwise.

 

On 11/16/2018 at 7:43 PM, hannah95 said:

I am a person who needs to be productive - who yearns to learn. But I only feel able with Adderall...

this statement is a bit contradictory. to be honest, the "need to be productive" and "yearning to learn" sounds like the Adderall talking. i'm not saying that you're a person that doesn't enjoy learning, but if it were really true then you would have been doing it your whole life and know that you're able to do it without Adderall. you said that you were in a rigorous medical program - that kind of work ethic doesn't happen overnight! you're absolutely capable of being productive without Adderall, you just need to remind yourself of that  (:

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It truly means a lot to me that you guys as a community are both so understanding and direct. You have all been through the same thing, many of you having overcome much greater obstacles, and knowing that is more helpful to me than expected. I’ve taken increasingly less over the past few days, and was just now trying to talk myself out of taking any today when I saw that even more people replied to my post.  I’m going to try once again to get off of this stuff, and I’ll post updates.

Question: I was prescribed Modafinil for my fatigue/attention issues because it’s supposedly a lot friendlier of a drug than Adderall. Do any of you have experience with Modafinil? Do you think it’s just as bad as taking Adderall every day? I haven’t noticed it having ANY effect, and I’m questioning if it’s even worth it to try. 

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After you’ve been on adderall the modafinal will hardly have any affect. It’s a pretty strong drug but compared to adderall it’s not nearly as strong. Just do your best to be healthy sleep, eat and cut out the amphetamines.

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My doctor gave me a couple Modafinil tablets to try as well. I took the first one this morning. I just have dry mouth and feel like someone taped my eyelids wide open. No significant mood or concentration altering effects. 

 

From the research I’ve done Modafinil seems to have have a wide variety of effects on people and isn’t very well understood. Not sure I’ll be taking it again.

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