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JumboJim

When did you know you'd made the right decision?

8 posts in this topic

I've been off Adderall for about a year and a half now and I'm awfully close to getting back on it.

A lot of things have improved for sure, mainly I feel more stable and more like 'myself', compared to the constant up and downs from Adderall. My fatigue has also lifted a great deal. But I'm also failing academically. I feel so understimulated, unexcited and my attention span is impaired for even low-effort things like videogames or Netflix. In the last year and a half I've watched maybe two shows. Even just writing this post requires quite some effort. It feels like since I quit my life has been on pause. 

I do all the basic stuff: daily exercise, eat healthy and sleep well. No drugs (no alcohol), max 1 cup of coffee (if even that) per day.

I got off Adderall because of tolerance, after years of use it just didn't seem to do much for me anymore. I didn't want to raise my daily dosage above 30mg so I decided to take a tolerance break. It wasn't until this tolerance break that I realized how dependent I'd become, so I decided to take a year off and see how I'd feel. 

After one year off I was undecided, so I went a little longer, and here we are. Still don't know what to do. I just feel kinda fucked regardless of what I do, because I have severe ADHD at baseline.

My question here is mainly aimed at the long-timers. What kind of improvements - if any - did you experience after being off for a year and a half? Should I stick this out for longer? Will I feel less fatigued, less bored with time?

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I'm not too much ahead of you, I just hit 2 years 3 months. I felt improvement in months 21-24. After reading up on PAWS, it sort of seemed like most sources cited 2 years as the magic number where long-term withdrawal symptoms alleviated. The biggest change I noticed in that timeframe was gaining the ability to feel truly "present." My mind was finally always in the same place my feet were. I struggled with depersonalization and general inattentiveness... I finally felt like I had a solid grasp on reality around the two-year mark. I also severely abused adderall, though (100s of mgs a day), so our situations are a little different. 

When I used adderall for academic purposes, it was tough after quitting to trick my brain into switching to "work mode" without that feeling of "coming up" to which I'd become accustomed. It took a lot of tears/discipline to get over that, and tbh I'm not 100 percent there yet. But if that's one of the reasons you're failing academically, there are non-adderall solutions to that problem. Best of luck, friend.

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12 hours ago, JumboJim said:

I've been off Adderall for about a year and a half now and I'm awfully close to getting back on it.

I got off Adderall because of tolerance, after years of use it just didn't seem to do much for me anymore. I didn't want to raise my daily dosage above 30mg so I decided to take a tolerance break. It wasn't until this tolerance break that I realized how dependent I'd become, so I decided to take a year off and see how I'd feel. 


After one year off I was undecided, so I went a little longer, and here we are. Still don't know what to do. I just feel kinda fucked regardless of what I do, because I have severe ADHD at baseline.

My question here is mainly aimed at the long-timers. What kind of improvements - if any - did you experience after being off for a year and a half? Should I stick this out for longer? Will I feel less fatigued, less bored with time?

Welcome to the forum.  I'm not sure I can answer your topic question, but I would like to respond to the rest of your post.

So, the main reason you quit Adderall over a year ago was because of tolerance.  I can assure you that you will be right back here at this decision place in the future because of this issue if you start taking it again.  Maybe not for the first few days or weeks, but eventually you will need to consider upping the dose because it quit working for you again.  Adderall works for everybody when they first start taking it, then it quits working for you, and finally it starts working against you as you increase the dosages.  Then you have to quit.  An  adderall addiction is simply unsustainable.  You can't take this drug for the rest of your life. 

Since you haven't abused the drug, you haven't experienced the side effects, both mental and physical, that come with the higher dosages.  However, you did experience the withdrawals from the physical and mental dependencies of even a reasonably low daily dose of Adderall.   Withdrawal severity and general recovery becomes increasingly challenging the longer you have used / abused Adderall.

I suggest taking a fish oil supplement to see if it helps with your failing academics, or maybe find another less academic pursuit.   Going back on speed just for better academic performance isn't worth it.   In fact, going back on adderall for any reason just doesn't make any sense to me.  You really don't need this drug in your life, and quitting and recovery just becomes more and more challenging each time you attempt it.  

I used, then abused this drug for a total of nine years and haven't ever considered going back on it since quitting about seven years ago.  I noticed most of my improvement during the first year of recovery, but felt noteworthy gains in my well-being up to year three.    

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I’ve been off Adderall for almost three years and it was a very gradual and nonlinear progression in years 1-2 but at two years I finally realized how good I felt in terms of just being normal. I’m fatter and I’m lazier but I’m healthier mentally and that is most important to me because I can exercise to feel better. There is nothing you can do when your brain isn’t right. I know I will never feel as “good” as I did on Adderall but that was unnatural. I touched the sky so now I have to get used to walking in the ground again. This will take a long time because you have to actually forget what it was like to be in Adderall. 

Unfortunately, intelligent people remember things for a long time. I advise you not to get back on Adderall, it’s just not worth it and it will eventually turn on you. You are feeling better at a year and a half off of the stuff, it’s just you’re comparing yourself to when you were on Adderall which is no comparison. You have to compare how you feel to before you ever took Adderall, your baseline is what you want, not Adderall high.

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Thanks for the input all, much appreciated.

I'm not sure what to do, but yeah, I also doubt it would work long-term. 

My brain just isn't made for the modern world. So if anyone know a nice jungle with a group of apes I could join let me know.

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On 12/2/2018 at 11:19 AM, JumboJim said:

After one year off I was undecided, so I went a little longer, and here we are. Still don't know what to do. I just feel kinda fucked regardless of what I do, because I have severe ADHD at baseline.

would you mind clarifying this: you had severe ADHD before you started taking Adderall? or is the baseline you're referring to post-Adderall?

this is a pretty important distinction, because if you have had severe ADHD your entire life and you need medication to function, there may be some other options you can discuss with your doctor. there are varying opinions on this board regarding the "true" nature of ADHD, but i'm of the opinion that there does exist a population of people that can barely tie their shoelaces together without the aid of medication. i don't want to make an assumption about your condition and life, which is why i was asking.

that being said, if you were functional enough before Adderall to graduate high-school, get into college, live a fairly normal life.. that is a state that you can absolutely return to with enough time. 

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3 hours ago, JumboJim said:

My brain just isn't made for the modern world. So if anyone know a nice jungle with a group of apes I could join let me know.

Lol I feel the same way

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On 12/4/2018 at 7:36 PM, sleepystupid said:

would you mind clarifying this: you had severe ADHD before you started taking Adderall? or is the baseline you're referring to post-Adderall?

[...]

Yeah, I've always struggled. A lot of issues in school. Never did a page of homework until getting medicated. But that was in my mid teens and it's been over 10 years, so I'm not entirely sure what my baseline is supposed to be. I have more responsibilities these days which I didn't have as a kid so it's hard to say.

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