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tyrhannahsaurus

Good/Bad/Ugly

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I started taking Adderall "recreationally" during college (it's true, that's how it usually starts) and I was thrilled with the initial results. I have a somewhat unique story because I was homeschooled until high school, and once I was faced with the challenge of social life and classroom settings, my grades plummeted. This was a new problem for me- I had no idea how to start homework or get through a scheduled day. I had ben learning horrible habits for years and couldn’t break them. Because I was homeschooled, everyday I had a certain number of assignments or goals and I started all of them at the same time and worked at my own pace without explanation or prioritizing. It worked because I spent everyday by myself, mostly self-taught.

I barely made it through high school but college was a total nightmare. My parents didn’t know what to do, my IQ and grades had always been beyond my age group. I skipped two grades and had been pulled out of public school because my teachers warned my parents that I was too smart to excel otherwise. This is why I want people to know my story- I don’t know if I was born with ADHD (nobody does, when it comes down to it I guess) or if I developed it because of my learning habits but either way, it was the worst decision my parents ever could have made. I no longer resent them for it because I know they were trying to do what was best for me, but the failure I experienced ruined so much of my life because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. The biggest problem was figuring out where to start, anything- homework, laundry, cleaning, conversations, everything was haphazard and I didn't know that wasn't okay until I was thrust into the real world.

I dropped out of school my senior year of college because I felt like I was having a mental breakdown. The only reason I finished my 35 page thesis was because I stayed up for almost a week straight popping Adderall and forcing myself to focus. Adderall was my best friend in college, everybody says it's the college student's best friend but for me I couldn't finish ANYTHING without it and once I discovered that, I didn't bother trying to.

I hit a brick wall that year when I decided that if the only way I could get a degree was through drug abuse, I didn't want one. My parents were furious with me but I was too depressed to care. My whole life had been preparation for college, which was supposed to be preparation for life. I didn't know why or how I had gotten so far without actually wanting any of it. I realized I had been forcing myself to survive for my parent's approval. I started working full time at Starbucks, to the horror of my parents. When I contracted Mono that fall, I was in bed for nearly two months. I had so much time to think that when I recovered, I felt the most suicidal I had ever felt. In the past if I had ever thought about suicide, part of me knew I was too afraid to really go through with it and that it just felt comforting theoretically. At this point I started planning times and places and writing letters to my loved ones. I stopped talking to all of my friends and responding to my parents' phone calls. I felt so directionless that life actually felt like it was suffocating me, a gigantic hand squeezing my throat and mocking my insecurities and failures.

I can easily say that Adderall saved my life, which is why I am now at a point where I no longer want to be dependent on it. We've developed a toxic relationship that I no longer need. Instead of committing suicide, I reached a "fuck everything" part of my brain that I had never used before. I stopped caring what people thought about me, what my parents thought about me. I kept thinking to myself, "fuck it, who cares." I started taking Adderall all day instead of just for school like I had before. I lost a lot of weight, cut my hair really short and picked up as many hours at work as I could. I didn't have to deal with my depression because instead of feeling like a loser and not getting out of bed all day, I popped a pill and occupied myself with as much as possible. I bought it for a while from someone who sold their prescription but I eventually realized I probably could just get my own rather than go through all the trouble of buying it illegally.

I’m not sure if getting my own prescription was easy because we are such an over medicated society where doctors write scripts for anyone who asks, or if it’s because I do have ADHD. In the process of getting my own prescription I also talked to my dad (my mother refused to talk to me for that year because she doesn’t believe in medication and hated me for dropping out of college) and he told me I had been diagnosed with ADHD at a young age, but they hadn’t told me because they didn’t want to put me on a drug, and my mother doesn’t believe in being medicated at all. They believed that children who were being treated for ADHD were just being suppressed and ruining their intelligence. I'm not sure I agree with that, but I guess there are probably complaints for either direction.

I have been on Adderall XR 30 mg for almost 3 years now. For so long I believed that this pill was a miracle, mostly because I used it as a crutch for myself when I didn't have anything else. Now I am so tired of taking it everyday, tired of the initial kick in the morning and the 4:00 headaches, tired of depending on a pill everyday of my life. I no longer feel the high that I used to and my appetite is 100% normal, which is fine and I’m not interested in increasing my dosage so that I can have those qualities back again. I haven't gone back to school yet, but I know that I'm going to and that when I do, I don't want to be on or using Adderall. However, every time I try to just stop taking it I struggle to get out of bed or to do anything all day and it scares me. It scares me because it reminds me of that time 3 years ago and I’m terrified of going back to the person I was then. I’m not sure if it’s a mental handicap that associates the drug to that time and consequently gives me the belief that I’m going to fail or if its actually happening- that’s the horrible part about Adderall, or any drug I suppose.

I hope my story is something that somebody can relate to, I haven't ever posted in any forum but I have read them for years now. I never wanted to share or talk to anybody about any of this because I don't know anyone who takes medication (or if they do, is open to talking about it). My boyfriend is wonderful, but he doesn't take anything and I know he wishes I didn't take Adderall solely because he knows how much I hate it and the side effects it has given me. I think I am an advocate for both the good and bad sides of the drug but also that there is a similar case for all medications. They can be necessary for as long as we need them, but the part when we want to stop is so difficult that we need all the support we can get. If anybody has any comments, advice or insight please message or comment. Like I said I'm looking for a support group for the first time and I'm welcome to any feedback.

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First of all welcome to the forums! I can relate to most of what you've said especially this part.

I dropped out of school my senior year of college because I felt like I was having a mental breakdown. The only reason I finished my 35 page thesis was because I stayed up for almost a week straight popping Adderall and forcing myself to focus. Adderall was my best friend in college, everybody says it's the college student's best friend but for me I couldn't finish ANYTHING without it and once I discovered that, I didn't bother trying to.

I hit a brick wall that year when I decided that if the only way I could get a degree was through drug abuse,

This is pretty much where I am now. I'm 50 days clean and just started my senior year of college, and I'm constantly battling the idea that the only way to finish this year is using adderall. I used to dwell on them and try to hatch plans, but now when they pop up I take a break or try to focus on something else. If I start thinking about it while trying to do some homework I've found that texting someone from the same class and asking about a question from the assignment or asking how they're doing on it can snap me out of it.

And as far as this part goes

However, every time I try to just stop taking it I struggle to get out of bed or to do anything all day and it scares me. It scares me because it reminds me of that time 3 years ago and I’m terrified of going back to the person I was then. I’m not sure if it’s a mental handicap that associates the drug to that time and consequently gives me the belief that I’m going to fail or if its actually happening- that’s the horrible part about Adderall, or any drug I suppose.

that's pretty normal when first quitting. The initial days are the hardest, but it gets better. During my first week I just sat around and ate a lot and anytime I thought about life without adderall I would break down and have a good cry.

I noticed you haven't been logged on in awhile, but hope you are doing better.

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Your story is very similar to my sister's, almost exact. She too was home-schooled (extremely smart girl don't think she skipped grades but very smart) She was diagnosed with Mono as well. Lost mom at a very young age but mom believed in natural healing and not in prescription medications. She was prescribed before college (age 15), she excels greatly at school, always top of her class, but she suffers in all other areas of her life right now. I hope one day she will show interest to a support group, you guys are very similar and it might be helpful to know someone with a similar story such as yourself. She also loveeees dinosaurs and I can't help but notice your name "tyrhannahsaurus", makes me smile.

It's such a big step to take action and notice how it is effecting you. I wish I could talk to my sister about it, but I have no idea where she is with this and only assume she doesn't realize how it's destroying her health. I had a small experience with adderall in college but don't feel I can fully relate to others about the topic because addiction and struggle happened all in a few months. I don't know what it feels like to have been on it for years and I am not a doctor so I can't really say what might help. The only thing I can offer is encouragement.

It's a long road to wean yourself off, imagine how amazing you'll feel once your free from it. Through all of the stories I've read on this site people do struggle to get through the withdrawal but they find it rewarding once their empathy returns and they are able to love, and feel again. There are some great tips on this site to help with withdrawal, also some supplements that might help take away some pain while your body is adjusting.

I really feel for you, I hope you know you are strong enough to overcome this, it's amazing what someone can accomplish once they put their mind to it. Again, I wish you could talk to my sister, you guys would get along so well and I feel she would respond to someone who is also going through this, I really wish you the best. Thank you very much for sharing your story.

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