LostMyMind

wellbutrin Tried cutting the cord, doc prescribes wellbutrin/bupropion instead

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Hi there. 27F, been using adderall for 10 years (4 years abused, 6 years prescribed+abused)  and ready to reclaim my life back. 

Thanks to this forum, I finally had the courage to tell my doctor I want to quit. I asked if he had suggestions on tapering off, and his response: prescribe 150 mg of wellbutrin and another month's supply of adderall (two 20mg daily). 

I was really disappointed and told myself I wasn't going to pick up those scripts because I wanted to handle this the natural way but... my workload ramped up and I caved.

I've been researching wellbutrin to see if this would be an effective way to taper off adderall, but I'm terrified that i'd be starting a whole new vicious cycle. 

The seizure warnings are enough for me to stare at the unopened bottle with some willpower. I've caught myself drinking a ridiculous amount the past 4 years as a way to try and "level out" from the adderall highs and feel "normal", but the results just stack on a new addictive behavior. Apparently stopping drinking on wellbutrin can cause seizures too? 

I'm just really scared. I think I know the answer to this, but it's been tough to face the lack of support from my doctor. I want to be strong enough to cut the cord forreal, but don't know if I can trust myself to do this on my own. I just don't want to be talked back off the ledge. 

Thanks again for this solid support system. Rooting for all of us. 

 

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I relate. I couldn't cut the cord for so long. I finally got so burnt out, and I couldn't see any more benefits. The diminishing returns had all fried up. Every time my work ramped up, or I had a strong dose of stress related to some survival instinct, I abandoned my plan to quit adderall. I finally got to a place where I had to focus on recovery or die from health problems.( If you have the means and resources to go to rehab, I would recommend it. I wish I could have done that a long time ago) We all need the time and space to focus on recovery. It takes everything we have to get through the first year. 

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hi @LostMyMind

welcome to the forums - glad you finally decided to share your story and reclaim your life!

it seems to be a fairly common experience that doctors don't have a good understanding of stimulant cessation (which means they shouldn't be prescribing it to begin with, but that's a different issue altogether). as you've probably gathered from posts on this forum, tapering isn't often recommended, especially for those of us who have abused the medication. frankly it requires *more* discipline than just cold turkey, because you still have access to it!

regarding Wellbutrin, it can certainly help, though YMMV. i took it for a few years after quitting Adderall - it is an atypical antidepressant with stimulant properties, but i'd be hard pressed to say it felt like a stimulant, at least at the dosages i took (150mg or less a day). it is a very subtle effect, well tolerated medication, you don't feel like shit when you miss a dose, and coming off it cold turkey is safe and not uncomfortable. the concerns around seizure are fair but generally noted at doses > 300mg (which is the normal adult dosage). 

i think Wellbutrin is most effective in the first few months for dealing with the acute symptoms of withdrawal (extreme fatigue, lethargy, etc.). i don't think it helps too much with PAWS or long term recovery challenges - i probably stayed on it longer than i needed to.

good luck and keep us posted! (:

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@sleepystupid @speedracer + anyone else following this post: happy to update that I am 12 days sober!

I broke up with my psychiatrist today AKA canceled our appointment to avoid getting refills. I started the wellbutrin, but didn't feel much of a difference until the crying spells became so constant. I have a few left but feel like it's better to quit both meds cold turkey. 

Knowing I have a few wellbutrin left feels so much different than having a few adderall left. I tried weening off addy, but knowing I had ANY left was all it took to lose control. When i'd get upset about something, I grabbed the pill bottle. When I was too wired, I grabbed a wine bottle to try and level out. ALWAYS ended the night sobbing uncontrollably promising myself to never do this shit again. SMH. /endrant

I quit my toxic job and moved out of a dark living situation. I somehow managed to get a month break in between jobs, which honestly is the only way I could imagine doing this "cold turkey".  Taking these 30 days to rest and recover. My partner has been super supportive, ie: cooking meals, cleaning, letting me be a lazy blob on his couch free of judgement. He's the only one who knows I'm quitting my 10 year adderallic binge; but I've kept my self-medication a secret from everyone, really. 

I got a copy of "The Artist's Way" and a journal, which I struggle to keep up with, but both have been helpful. When I'm randomly pissed off or depressed, I try to write it out even if I don't want to. My biggest fear of quitting was affecting the people around me (knowing i'd get even more irritable than usual), so writing things down helped me vent "silently" I suppose.

Anyway-- I'm really grateful for this forum. Reading through this makes me feel less alone. As common as this addiction is, it's crazy how few people in my life understand what it's like to not be able to just take one or walk away from it's grip. I was really fucking scared to just stop cold turkey, but creating an environment that made this time a lil more bearable has helped immensely.

 

Hope this helps anyone else out there struggling. We're in this together! Good luck. 

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Yay!   Way to go! It sounds like you are prepared and know what your up against. Love it!  Journeling, walking, protein, crashing, bing TV, and prayer will get you through. When you get wacked by a wave of PAWS, know it will pass. One step at a time, one day at a time, and the next thing you know, you got 30 days. We are rooting for you!

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Lostmymind, I relate and am proud of you for the time u have! I have been on zoloft forever (anti-anxiety anti-depressant SSRI) and a couple of months ago I asked my doc for a script for Wellbutrin b/c I was going to quit adderall.  (I didn't tell him that second part.)  I think the wellbutrin helps me but I wouldn't really know b/c I would have to be honestly trying to do things differently with my adderall and I'm not.  Okay, let me re-frame that.  I have actually stopped snorting it and that is amazing and I need to give myself credit for that.  It's a big deal and I feel ashamed to talk about it.  So I'm not doing that anymore.  But I am still stuck in a cycle of grabbing a pill bottle every time I feel (which is all the fucking time) and I want to stop that!  And of course... in 6 hours I have to be in a family photo shoot with all of my kids dressed etc. etc.  I say that b/c I was just about to type the infamous words... starting tomorrow...  but there is never a good tomorrow.  Okay, I am committing.  I am going to make a new post about it so that I can come back to it and see if I am sticking to it. Part of the problem though is that I still haven't fully made up my mind that I want my life with NO MEDICATION.  So that ambivalence screws me over every time!  Before when I quit (I had 2 months last december) I had finally gotten done with the ambivalence and I didn't want it anymore.  But now I keep thinking like... well is it really that bad that I need to not be on meds EVER?  AND i am not going to think about that right now.  I can not know that answer (even though i do know the answer in my heart) and still take it one day at a time and taper.  (I know tapering is harder, but it worked for me once and it's all I'm willing to do right now b/c it's all i barely feel able to do right now and so I'm going with that b/c that is better than not doing anything.)

 

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ALWAYS ended the night sobbing uncontrollably promising myself to never do this shit again. SMH.

It's amazing what we let ourselves get away with and convince ourself is normal.  I used to be like this too, then next time I took adderall I'd look back and rationalize it as "i was just tired, silly me for being so dramatic", only to find myself in that sad place again within 48 hours.

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On 8/29/2020 at 3:00 AM, DelaneyJuliette said:

Lostmymind, I relate and am proud of you for the time u have! I have been on zoloft forever (anti-anxiety anti-depressant SSRI) and a couple of months ago I asked my doc for a script for Wellbutrin b/c I was going to quit adderall.  (I didn't tell him that second part.)  I think the wellbutrin helps me but I wouldn't really know b/c I would have to be honestly trying to do things differently with my adderall and I'm not.  Okay, let me re-frame that.  I have actually stopped snorting it and that is amazing and I need to give myself credit for that.  It's a big deal and I feel ashamed to talk about it.  So I'm not doing that anymore.  But I am still stuck in a cycle of grabbing a pill bottle every time I feel (which is all the fucking time) and I want to stop that!  And of course... in 6 hours I have to be in a family photo shoot with all of my kids dressed etc. etc.  I say that b/c I was just about to type the infamous words... starting tomorrow...  but there is never a good tomorrow.  Okay, I am committing.  I am going to make a new post about it so that I can come back to it and see if I am sticking to it. Part of the problem though is that I still haven't fully made up my mind that I want my life with NO MEDICATION.  So that ambivalence screws me over every time!  Before when I quit (I had 2 months last december) I had finally gotten done with the ambivalence and I didn't want it anymore.  But now I keep thinking like... well is it really that bad that I need to not be on meds EVER?  AND i am not going to think about that right now.  I can not know that answer (even though i do know the answer in my heart) and still take it one day at a time and taper.  (I know tapering is harder, but it worked for me once and it's all I'm willing to do right now b/c it's all i barely feel able to do right now and so I'm going with that b/c that is better than not doing anything.)

 

@DelaneyJuliette, It sounds like we were in similar places. I've felt so much shame around my addictions, that it felt absolutely crucial to keep it a secret. The first person I tried to confide in (IRL) was my sister— thinking she would help or be supportive—but she made me feel more ashamed. Opening up here feels like a safe space to communicate with people who actually understand (and cheer us on! and even hold us accountable). I started being kinder to myself when someone told me "Being aware of current habits that are hurting your life = progress" and it's true; we could be using and abusing to the extent we once were, with no intentions of slowing down. You have the desire to want to change, which is better than the place we started in.  

I should mention that I gave my boyfriend my pill bottle when quitting "cold turkey" so that I could relinquish control. He said he hid them, didn't flush them, so I spent one night searching everywhere while he was asleep (and even had dreams about finding them again). I cried when he woke up and said no matter how badly I beg for one, please do not let me cave. There's too much shame around going to him with my tail between my legs asking for "one more just this once", so I'd rather be angry and craving silently. It was tough at first, but truly easier with each passing day. 

There's never going to be a good time to quit. But i'll ask you the question that was asked of me, "Do you really want to quit?". Because once you do, I believe you can make it happen—With love and patience with yourself. Keep reaching out for support, because we can't do it alone. I'm rooting for you and know you've got this. One day at a time! 

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On 9/5/2020 at 9:44 AM, Doge said:

It's amazing what we let ourselves get away with and convince ourself is normal.  I used to be like this too, then next time I took adderall I'd look back and rationalize it as "i was just tired, silly me for being so dramatic", only to find myself in that sad place again within 48 hours.

I couldn't relate more.  Stupid built in forgetter and rationalizer and justification-creator.

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On 9/7/2020 at 11:51 AM, LostMyMind said:

@DelaneyJuliette, It sounds like we were in similar places. I've felt so much shame around my addictions, that it felt absolutely crucial to keep it a secret. The first person I tried to confide in (IRL) was my sister— thinking she would help or be supportive—but she made me feel more ashamed. Opening up here feels like a safe space to communicate with people who actually understand (and cheer us on! and even hold us accountable). I started being kinder to myself when someone told me "Being aware of current habits that are hurting your life = progress" and it's true; we could be using and abusing to the extent we once were, with no intentions of slowing down. You have the desire to want to change, which is better than the place we started in.  

I should mention that I gave my boyfriend my pill bottle when quitting "cold turkey" so that I could relinquish control. He said he hid them, didn't flush them, so I spent one night searching everywhere while he was asleep (and even had dreams about finding them again). I cried when he woke up and said no matter how badly I beg for one, please do not let me cave. There's too much shame around going to him with my tail between my legs asking for "one more just this once", so I'd rather be angry and craving silently. It was tough at first, but truly easier with each passing day. 

There's never going to be a good time to quit. But i'll ask you the question that was asked of me, "Do you really want to quit?". Because once you do, I believe you can make it happen—With love and patience with yourself. Keep reaching out for support, because we can't do it alone. I'm rooting for you and know you've got this. One day at a time! 

How long do you have now?  I absolutely hate that I can't directly answer the question, "Do you really want to quit?"  I want to really want to quit.  But what I really want is to use the medication how it was intended for me to use and get that benefit.  What is it going to take for me to recognize that isn't possible.  Is it possible?  AAHHH!!!  I could answer the question absolutely YES last year and I did quit, but since starting again there are so many benefits and I don't know how to make my life be sustainable without it.  Or maybe I'm not willing to make my life be sustainable without it?  Ugh.  But thank you, I was feeling shame coming back to read these comments and you really made me feel better with the quote, "being aware of current habits that are hurting your life = progress."  It IS true that i have made a whole lot of progress.  And it is ALSO true that i am not yet where i want to be.  I wish there was a program I could latch onto like AA.  Sigh.  I don't know, that worked before for me for alcohol.  I know there is no magic bullet.

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13 hours ago, DelaneyJuliette said:

How long do you have now?  I absolutely hate that I can't directly answer the question, "Do you really want to quit?"  I want to really want to quit.  But what I really want is to use the medication how it was intended for me to use and get that benefit.  What is it going to take for me to recognize that isn't possible.  Is it possible?  AAHHH!!!  I could answer the question absolutely YES last year and I did quit, but since starting again there are so many benefits and I don't know how to make my life be sustainable without it.  Or maybe I'm not willing to make my life be sustainable without it?  Ugh.  But thank you, I was feeling shame coming back to read these comments and you really made me feel better with the quote, "being aware of current habits that are hurting your life = progress."  It IS true that i have made a whole lot of progress.  And it is ALSO true that i am not yet where i want to be.  I wish there was a program I could latch onto like AA.  Sigh.  I don't know, that worked before for me for alcohol.  I know there is no magic bullet.

To be completely transparent, I found 1 vyvanse hidden in all my junk when I was moving ~3 weeks ago. I hesitated, but popped it in my mouth before I could come to my senses. That night and the next day I felt miserable, crying and more irritable than ever. I felt so ashamed and dissapointed in myself, but my partner reminded me that it's okay to be human and slip up, and not let it take me off course. Without that one flub, today would be day 46 sober.  I haven't kept track of days in the same way as before, trying to focus on one day at a time and make this more of a lifestyle change than anything, but everybody is different. 

If anything, this slip-up taught me a huge lesson: the willingness to bounce back and keep going means this is all part of the process. Healing is not linear; it is bumpy, messy, and unpredictable. But taking those bumps as learning experiences helps us to be kinder to ourselves as we grow. *cringe* I sound so corny lol— but I hope this helps. 

Also, I can relate to the program struggle. I tried AA, NA, codependency groups... nothing has been quite as helpful as this forum. I hope that enough people talking about this specific addiction will eventually bring that support group to life. I mean hey, what's stopping us from creating our own Adderall Addicts Anonymous (AAA)? 

 

 

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On 9/15/2020 at 11:00 PM, DelaneyJuliette said:

"Do you really want to quit?"  I want to really want to quit.  But what I really want is to use the medication how it was intended for me to use and get that benefit. What is it going to take for me to recognize that isn't possible.  Is it possible?

it's really unfortunate but for some people it takes bottoming-out to realize this - that's what it took for me, but it doesn't need to be that way. one of the great things about this forum is that you can relate to and learn from others on the same path. if you can't trust yourself, trust in the collective experience of the members here! we're all at different points in our journey, but the take home message is this: you can be better than you ever were on Adderall. that's something you need to really believe to have any sort of success in recovery.

your definition of "better" is also important. Adderall makes you feel like everything you do is THE BEST, no matter how ridiculous, unproductive or unnecessary it is. it prevents you from thinking clearly about what you actually want out of life. "Do you really want to quit?" is a question that cannot truly be answered by an Adderalled brain. you need to put some distance from it to really answer that question.

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On 5/20/2020 at 1:27 PM, SleepyStupid said:

hi @LostMyMind

welcome to the forums - glad you finally decided to share your story and reclaim your life!

it seems to be a fairly common experience that doctors don't have a good understanding of stimulant cessation (which means they shouldn't be prescribing it to begin with, but that's a different issue altogether). as you've probably gathered from posts on this forum, tapering isn't often recommended, especially for those of us who have abused the medication. frankly it requires *more* discipline than just cold turkey, because you still have access to it!

regarding Wellbutrin, it can certainly help, though YMMV. i took it for a few years after quitting Adderall - it is an atypical antidepressant with stimulant properties, but i'd be hard pressed to say it felt like a stimulant, at least at the dosages i took (150mg or less a day). it is a very subtle effect, well tolerated medication, you don't feel like shit when you miss a dose, and coming off it cold turkey is safe and not uncomfortable. the concerns around seizure are fair but generally noted at doses > 300mg (which is the normal adult dosage). 

i think Wellbutrin is most effective in the first few months for dealing with the acute symptoms of withdrawal (extreme fatigue, lethargy, etc.). i don't think it helps too much with PAWS or long term recovery challenges - i probably stayed on it longer than i needed to.

good luck and keep us posted! (:

Hi @SleepyStupid

Could you share some details about how you felt when you quit Wellbutrin? I’m about 15 months off of Adderall but struggling with motivation, drive and intense anhedonia. 

I’m really considering giving Wellbutrin a try but I’m terrified that I’ll have to go through another 2+ years of recovery once I decide to quit. 
 

Can you share how long were you on it for? 
 

Thanks! 

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5 hours ago, JennyF said:

Could you share some details about how you felt when you quit Wellbutrin? I’m about 15 months off of Adderall but struggling with motivation, drive and intense anhedonia. 

I’m really considering giving Wellbutrin a try but I’m terrified that I’ll have to go through another 2+ years of recovery once I decide to quit. 
Can you share how long were you on it for? 
Thanks! 

honestly, i didn't feel much of anything when i came off Wellbutrin. maybe tired for a couple of days, but no withdrawal so to speak. i was taking ~150mg a day, which is a bit lower than the normal adult dosage usually. i think finding the right dosage is key with Wellbutrin, because too much and it can make you feel anxious and jittery.

i was on Wellbutrin on and off for about 4 years i believe. being on it is nothing like Adderall - it doesn't "kick in" like a rush of energy. similarly, there was no "come down" or crash to it (in my experience). it's more of a subtle lift that takes a week or two to build up, after that its more of a silent helper.

hope this helps! (:

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