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Jacob

16 Months Update - Feeling better

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I haven't been on the forum for a while, particularly because I have been feeling so well that I don't think about my symptoms that often, if I even experience them. I joined this forum four months into PAWS off a normal dose of daily adderall. I would've lost my mind without you guys (Kept googling my symptoms and convinced myself I had schizophrenia, bipolar, whatever else webMD said I had, was very frightening to hear before I knew withdrawal could last a while) so I wanted to come back here to thank you, and provide newcomers with hope as another success story. It's really hard to go through this alone, in addition there aren't any resources online that appear comforting when you're still feeling awful after not having taken anything for a while. 

Things that helped the most:

1) Quitting Adderall Forum and Reddit's /Stopspeeding forum (It's hard to find people who relate in your own life, people here and on reddit share a lot in common with you)

2) Exercise, Sunlight, Water

3) Being kinder to myself during this time, being with friends/positive people

4) Long-term investments in myself. When you quit adderall you are doing more than being free from a drug, you are embracing the greatest self-improvement journey. Setting goals, and dealing with the most important stressors was very important. Focusing on my career, saving money instead of living to impress/please others, improving my skill set. Do something you are personally proud of. You need to build a new you, a better you. So that you can look back in one year, and say damn I am doing much better, write down anything you've accomplished, and anything bad about this time so that you never forget why you are on this path. If you are at one year and not satisfied keep at it, it'll feel better to say I am doing much better than I was two years ago, three years ago. 

Withdrawal Timeline:

1-5 Months: Worsening everyday. Every month was better than the previous, but life was still unbearable for me, I relied on adderall a lot and having to now deal with everything I had been burying all at once gave me extreme anxiety (I had a huge mess to clean up academically and financially). Dissociation/Derealization are a freeze response from the brain that tries to protect you, it's an extreme fear response and gets better with time as you deal with the root issues, so as I worked towards dealing with my stressors and improving my health it went away. Part of the stress during this time was my lack of patience, I was on this stuff for years and wanting to feel better the next day, I missed the self I was on adderall, and when you still feel like shit at month four, you begin to get a little hopeless. Resources like the forum got me through this, nothing is more comforting than knowing someone else had to do it too, and made it out for the better. During this time I cannot drink/smoke/use nicotine, anything affecting dopamine gives me extreme anxiety and paranoia. 

6-9 Months: More serious improvements, I could finally sleep alone without waking up terrified at night, energy levels are great, anhedonia mostly gone, and I've made good progress towards working through my issues in life. On adderall I felt like I was making progress, but the keyword there is felt. Sometimes you are not meant to feel good, that's how you gauge a healthy response, you cannot always be happy, accepting this will help you a lot in the long-term. I still feel dissociated a lot (Extreme anxiety response), I tried drinking/smoking and it wasn't fun, I feel like my body is twenty years old than it actually is.

12-16 Months: I am drinking/smoking when I have time to have fun and it actually feels good I am feeling healthy enough to endure some good times. I am being responsible with my work, proud of my decisions, derealization is mostly gone. I have way more good days than bad ones and I can control my thoughts more when the negative ones come around. I have worked so hard and completely removed my biggest stressors that plagued me for years. I feel almost brand new. Keep your head up, I am not done healing and being where I want to be, but if you told me I would be here on this day last year I would've saved myself a lot of tears and stress. When you commit to quitting this drug, you are allowing the universe to lead you towards better things. Have faith something better is coming when you stay on this journey, hard work will put you where good luck can find you!

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I thought I was the only one dealing with dissociation/derealisation and feeling like I am schizophrenic!! The brain truly needs time to get back to normal..the least we can do is give ourself some grace to allow that to happen.

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Thanks for sharing Jacob! I really appreciate hearing about your timeline!  How long did you take adderall and what was your dosage? Can you share that?

 

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On 7/3/2020 at 2:32 PM, speedracer said:

Thanks for sharing Jacob! I really appreciate hearing about your timeline!  How long did you take adderall and what was your dosage? Can you share that?

 

Yeah man, before I was prescribed I did anywhere from 5mg to 60mg adderall, and then any dose of vyvanse available a few times a week. I never had an issues with inconsistent usage because my brain had breaks in between whenever I ran out, hell actually began when I was prescribed 20mg XR a day, I thought the issue was from the extended release so I switched to instant release, side effects kept increasing with consistent usage even at a responsible dose. It's a great anxiety mask, but it's not worth what it can take from you.

 

 

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thank you for posting!!! I am at 8 months and just started to come out of the depersonalization. I thought i was the only one!

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