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AbsentMinded

“Safer than Aspirin”

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From NYT Article that cemented my decision:

The evening opened with the local Chadd coordinator thanking the drug company Shire — the manufacturer of several A.D.H.D. drugs, including Vyvanse and extended-release Adderall — for partly underwriting the event. An hourlong film directed and narrated by two men with A.D.H.D. closed by examining some “myths” about stimulant medications, with several doctors praising their efficacy and safety. One said they were “safer than aspirin,” while another added, “It’s O.K. — there’s nothing that’s going to happen.”

My Story:

Growing up I was that disorganized kid. My mom would send me to school with a folder to turn in to my teacher and it would somehow disappear by the time she collected them.  I did okay in elementary school where a common theme on back to school night was “daydreamer” “careless mistakes” I drove some teachers crazy not because I was loud or hyper, but they didn’t understand how I forgot my coat outside for the 10th time or why I would have to ask what we were doing because I wasnt paying attention. One year a teacher sent me to the reading specialist because they thought I was having reading comprehension issues. She sent me back with a note telling my teacher that I was above grade level and not to send me back. I can see why they were frustrated.

Fast forward to highschool and I wanted to go to a good college so I really worked on learning study habits, wrote every single thing down, etc and did well. My friends constantly joked about me losing things and having “ADD” but I don’t think anyone actually thought I had it. 

Fast forward again to adulthood where I really struggled. I always said I didn’t want a desk job, but that’s what I got. I would leave it every chance I got to get coffee, water, talk. I was so unorganized. I would read an email get distracted and then stress when I got a follow up email wanting an update on my progress (on the project from the first email that I never finished reading).  I think my managers let me get away with a lot because I was a team player and well liked and they knew I was trying.

Over the years I would come across those ADD “tests” and articles about over medicated kids and think “ADD doesn’t exist, I have all those issues and I don’t have it”  

At a yearly appointment (after I rescheduled twice due to forgetting the first two) my doctor brought up dopamine and my 3 venti Starbucks a day habit. This led me to look at those online tests again and make a psychologist appointment. He told me I had anxiety, but it seemed to all steam from ADD inattentive and if I got that treated then it should help anxiety as well. So went to psychiatrist for confirmation and suggestions. I was put on Adderall. Unlike most I never got that “I was blind but now I see!” Result. In fact I didn’t think it did anything, but at the follow up the doctor made me realize that even though I didn’t feel different I wasn’t late to work, didn’t lose anything that week, etc.

That was 10 years ago. From time to time I would think I want to get off just because I’m pretty health conscious and also anti-big pharma. I hated those follow up appointments and going to the pharmacy, ALOT. I would debate stopping every time I was running low. But, when I did stop and I was forced to sit at work it was torture. So, back to my supplier I went. Over the last three years the psychs in the practice I got to have been a revolving door and I can’t stand the latest one so I decided to find someone new. Except I procrastinate (even on Adderall) and ran out without finding anyone. So I went online trying to figure out what to do and was horrified at what I read on other forums. I love reddit, but the pro-Adderall mantra on some subs was concerning. People would go on saying “I feel like I’m having a heart attack I hate Adderall” and the responses would say “NO you need your medication everyday! Just a little side effect no big deal” Then the posts “I got to an Ivy League school and it’s hard so I tried to get Adderall and the doctor said I don’t have ADD” and the responses “find a new doctor! Keep looking till you get a proper diagnosis! I saw five before anyone correctly diagnosed me and now I take 120mg a day and it’s great” or the posts “i never knew I had add, but I took some Adderall and now I painted my whole house and got a promotion! Clearly I needed this medication and wish I had it sooner” 

Do I think Adderall can help people? Yes, it  literally helps everyone. I just don’t agree that someone who goes from C student to A just needed a little Adderall to be top student in their classes. I feel like so many people overcompensate with Adderall and get extreme results. Then those around them need Adderall to keep up. I never had  life changing results but it helped for sure. If I didn’t have to work I wouldn’t think twice about stopping for good and just being disorganized because that’s who I am. My dad is the same so I think there is a generic link to it, but is it really a disorder like schizophrenia or more of a collection of negative traits?

Back to the NYT article. If you haven’t read it I recommend it. While reading it I of course am thinking “well glad I’m not addicted like him” while also feeling anger at the doctors who should really be called drug dealers. I’d like to think that because I actually do check the boxes and am scatter brained that the doctors were correct in prescribing, but it seems like they prescribe to anyone and everyone, so what me so sure? The part that really got to me is the big “pro-Adderall” gala put on my shire to tell everyone how safe and wonderful these drugs are. 

I went from 90mg a day to 0 for the last three weeks. It’s not much, but I figure this is perfect time to slack off at work due to the holidays and upcoming vacation.

Sorry, Shire, I’m not falling for it anymore. It’s a weight loss drug, it’s addictive, and it’s not safer than aspirin.

 

Edit: sorry for all the typos. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/20/2018 at 3:17 AM, AbsentMinded said:

Do I think Adderall can help people? Yes, it  literally helps everyone. I just don’t agree that someone who goes from C student to A just needed a little Adderall to be top student in their classes. I feel like so many people overcompensate with Adderall and get extreme results. Then those around them need Adderall to keep up. I never had  life changing results but it helped for sure. If I didn’t have to work I wouldn’t think twice about stopping for good and just being disorganized because that’s who I am. My dad is the same so I think there is a generic link to it, but is it really a disorder like schizophrenia or more of a collection of negative traits?

yup, basically this.

Adderall helps everyone to a certain degree. it is quite simply speed. here's the thing though - the true effect of the medication is not supposed to be the euphoria.

the argument (if it can be believed) goes like this: people who are "truly" ADHD have a chemical imbalance in their brain that amphetamine normalizes. for these people, the rush and euphoria is not as prominent, therapeutic effects are fairly consistent and realized over time. for people who are misdiagnosed, the euphoria takes prominence and any gains in focus are simply a byproduct of the pleasureful feedback loop. for these people, loss of euphoria means loss of effectiveness which leads to the classic increase in dosage and "chasing a high".

i know those exact forums you speak of - full of pro-Adderall rhetoric. the problem is, you can't really tell how genuine the posts are. i certainly believe that Adderall helps truly needy folks, but i used to be one of those people on the pro-Adderall side, and i certainly don't need Adderall to function. i drank the kool-aid and convinced myself that i was properly diagnosed because the drug was working! (not really).

 

anyway.. congrats on 3 weeks. doesn't sound like you were heavily abusing the drug, but coming off this stuff is hard enough at regular dosage, so keep on keeping on (:

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