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Socially awkward

withdrawal side effects

14 posts in this topic

I’m just over 3 weeks clean now and generally feeling a lot better. Over the past couple of days I’ve started experiencing this weird side effect which I think could be related to my dexamphetamine (adderral) abuse. It’s hard to describe but I occasionally get these ‘brain zaps’ associated with vertigo and mild nausea. It seems to come and go but is happening more often in the evenings. I’m still taking a low dose of Ltyosine 500mg x1 but nothing else. Has anyone else experienced this? How long does this last? Thanks :) 

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I've read about those brain zaps on this forum before, but I think it was related to discontinuing an antidepressant drug like Wellbutrin.  I suggest you use the search feature in the upper right hand corner  - it looks like an empty bar with a magnifying glass.  Broaden your search for things like brain shock, brain zap, etc.

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I've experienced this symptom before - you can rest assured you're not the only one!  My feeling is almost like my brain is doing a mini "reboot". I am 3 months clean and don't get them nearly as frequently as I used to. 

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@quit-once I never noticed the search feature before. Thanks for pointing this out.

@Stirl87 Thanks for your feedback, this is reassuring to know. I haven’t had any of these brain zaps today (so far) and they seemed a lot less frequent yesterday so hopefully it’s a sign it may have resolved. It just seems weird I only started getting them around the 3 week mark and not at the start. To be honest though, I was that messed up in that first week I probably wouldn’t have noticed as I was dealing with far more horrific side effects then this. 

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@Socially awkwardIt was reassuring to see your post - I had been searching the internet to see if anyone else had this side effect and didn't find anything concrete.  This "brain zap" was one of the first side effects I experienced - it seemed to come about especially when I would focus on far away objects.  It has subsided; however, I feel like I'm still suffering from nausea/vertigo day-to-day.  Overall, I went through a couple phases so far - first 4 ish weeks were pretty horrible, next 4 weeks saw significant improvement, and then I started hitting a brick wall again recently - I believe this is the "PAWS" phase which seems to peak around 3-6 months from my research.  I keep telling myself that it's just my brain getting to know itself again and it's nothing to worry about :)

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@Stirl87I can’t really pinpoint what triggers these brain zaps other than to say they occur mainly in the evening. I am still experiencing them tonight and did so yesterday evening. They don’t seem to happen throughout the day anymore.

ive started feeling a bit bummed out the past couple of days also. I’m roughly day 26 now and I am experiencing anhedonia with activities that I once found enjoyable. Not sure if this could be PAWS or if it’s too early. I also had a dream that I returned to work and started taking my Dexamphetamines again and that my work colleagues had discovered I was a speed addict. I haven’t really been able to shake off the bad feeling since then. I hope it’s not a glimpse into my immediate future as I am absolutely terrified about returning to work without my pills.

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@Socially awkward Everything you described is exactly what I have been through.  I loved working out and essentially stopped during the first 30 days after quitting, however just after I found the drive to go back to the gym with renewed passion!  Also, another interesting side effect just after day 30 that is rarely discussed, my libido returned!  

From what I've read, what you're going through is perfectly normal and expected.  I can relate to your fear of returning to work without the extra "help" - taking the pills was the reason why I started in the first place.  My workplace is very stressful and there were a few days where I had to leave early and I actually had to take last week off due to what I assume was a "PAWS" attack. When my work day ends all I want to do is go to sleep and forget about the day.  I've resigned myself to the fact that my work will suffer for the next while as I adjust back to reality - but - I remain optimistic that while my focus and stamina may be lower than before, my interpersonal skills will improve.  I also expect that my day-to-day will improve over the next few months as my brain adjusts to the way it worked before my addiction started.  I've already noticed significant improvements in 3 months with both my relationships with my mom and GF, which really makes it all worth it.

Let me know how things progress on your end!

 

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@Stirl87 I’m glad to hear you managed to get back into the gym after the first month of quitting. I think I need to focus on doing the same once I fly home from my trip. I feel half the reason for my lack of energy is due to the fact I’m sitting around like a fat slug most of the time. I feel if I exercise it may give me some more energy. I’ve been doing a bit of yoga but don’t seem to enjoy it now that I’m off the Dex. Think it’s going to take my reward system a bit of time to adjust.

Did you manage to quit whilst you were working? I’ve had to have 6 weeks off to deal with this. Are you finding your interpersonal skills are also improving at work? I think my biggest worry is falling out with colleagues because of my hostility and mood swings. I am still very hot tempered but way less so than I was in the AWS phase. 

Im also noticing my comprehension skills have become extremely poor. I’m struggling to follow conversations at times and need to re-read things constantly. It was really obvious when I took a cooking class the other day and I couldn’t even follow the basic instructions. 

The fact you are noticing big changes around the 3 month mark gives me a lot of inspiration to stay clean. I hope things continue to get better for you. Keep us updated :) 

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@Socially awkward I would suggest keeping as active as possible.  After I stopped working out for the past two weeks (largely due to me moving from a condo, where the gym was in the building, to a house, where I basically had to buy all new furniture), I feel like my withdrawal symptoms have gotten worse.  Side note is that I'm currently looking to buy a home gym and cardio machine and am actually able to research these online without my brain freezing, progress!

I quit just before Christmas so had about two weeks off (my Mom and GF basically taking care of me) then right back into work. I lucked in a bit in that the first while at work was slow, so I wasn't really expected to be "on" fully, but recently things picked up and I have had some difficult times as I discussed.  Looking through my days and when I feel the worst is during stressful situations - I think essentially I have developed a hyper sensitivity to stress which really creates an unpleasant feeling.  I have found that my interpersonal skills have improved and its largely due to me now being able to follow people when they speak (like you, I also had trouble following conversations, which has improved).

The most welcome thing I noticed over the last few days is laughing - like really laughing uncontrollably, I haven't had that feeling in a while.  So good!

Stay strong, don't relapse, and you will continue to see your symptoms improve.  

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@Stirl87 that’s so great you are experiencing real emotions again as opposed to aderrall induced emotions. I can’t even remember the last time I laughed. Im Still an emotionless zombie and hoping this will improve soon. 

i miss being able to read books and follow conversations the most although I haven’t felt like being around people all that much this past month whilst I’m still in the early withdrawal phase. I’ve fried my brain pretty bad so it’s going to take me awhile to heal. Half the time I struggle to follow posts on this forum but it’s pretty much the only thing I’ve been able to invest any energy into right now.

im amazed that you got back to work within 2 weeks! I’m so anxious about returning to work, half of me wishes I was starting back tomorrow just to get it over with so I can stop dreading It. I’ll take your advice and start becoming active again. I’m going to take a morning yoga class tomorrow and will also put the hotel gym to good use. Thanks for all your support :) 

 

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@Socially awkward sounds like you're making the right choices at this interval in your recovery journey.  For what it's worth, I also found that telling friends, family, and my GP of my addiction really helped my nerves.  Again, being an over-thinker, I think in may respects my mind is my worst enemy.  I suggest that if you have similar resources, use them!

I read a study where meth addicts who exercise recovered ~20% faster than those who don't due to the therapeutic benefits exercise has on the brain and CNS.  I also downloaded some Trivia apps on my phone ("Trivia Crack" for instance, I laughed at the name given what I was going through!) which gave me some light mental exercise to take my mind off things.

Today is my first day "back at work" after last week's PAWS episode (I have yet to look through all my missed emails) - I plan on taking it slow and taking a break every half hour or so just to watch a short video or something else like that to de stress.  Hope that works!

Talk soon!

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@Stirl87 I did just have a chuckle about the irony of the name “trivia crack” so maybe I am on the road to recovery after all :)

i think some of my depression is also attributed to not exercising as opposed to solely being amphetamine withdrawal. I’m kinda looking forward to my trip ending soon so I can get back into the gym. I’m shocked with the amount of weight I’ve gained! I’m actually having to replace clothing that fit me comfortably only 3 weeks ago! It’s just out of control! 

I hope your first day back at work goes smoothly. Sometimes you just gotta put yourself first before work as health matters more. Sounds like you have a good plan in place to help you get through the day smoothly and hopefully not too many emails to deal with.

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@Socially awkward just checking in - how is your detox going?  I just finished my third week back at work and I must say I feel much, much better compared to end of March.  It's really remarkable how quickly symptoms come and go.  I still notice some anxiety / mental congestion when I'm in social settings, but they are not "guaranteed" now during every interaction and I can actually make people (and myself) laugh again!  I'm hoping that these symptoms get less and less every day.

 

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@Stirl87 I am so happy to hear that your 3rd week back at work is going well. Im also really glad to hear your social interactions are improving! You sound really optimistic in your recovery which is inspirational to hear as you are a little further along in your recovery than I am.

i just realised I’m at day 40 now! I’m back home from my overseas trip and due to start work next Monday. I can honestly say I haven’t even wanted to pop pills this past week. I can not believe the physical changes I am seeing. I no longer have dark shadows under my eyes and my skin has cleared. My hair has also improved as it was becoming coarse/wiry and had been falling out, now I appear to have normal hair again!! Not sure if it’s the tan, but I look like someone who is healthy as opposed to a person who is seriously ill! I no longer feel angry and little things don’t bother me anymore. I still lack the cognitive ability to read books or interpret/remember information however, I feel this is improving slowly. I am less awkward in social situations now and am starting to feel like I want to interact with people again.

quitting has been totally worth it! 

thanks for checking in on me :) 

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