Stanford Law

Performing in Elite Academia Without Adderall? Confused about this site.

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Maybe he will see it. The post about making it through the MCAT gave me so much hope. I was awarded a very incredible scholarship to a totally rad school, Chapel Hill, and they were going to pay for everything. All I had to do was finish my associates, and only had a semester left. But I got sick from all of the chaos in my life and knew I had to move. I gave it up, pissed a lot of people off, but none more than myself. The people in my life were making success impossible, and adderall couldn't keep up with the insane demands I was making on my body and just stopped working. That's the thing for those on the academic route, if you keep burning the candle at both ends eventually it's going to disappear. I know I'm smart on my own and the drive will come back but it sucks. This was a second career decision for me after 10 in a completely different field. I'm 30. My worry is I'll be too old for med school by the time I get done. Adderall eventually makes you stupider fyi. It helped a lot for me in the beginning but toward the end nothing registered properly and I was having to spend far longer to get the material than before I'd ever taken it. I hope it gets better, cuz right now things seem so bad. I hope if any students read this though, stop taking adderall, if you have the slightest grasp on long term effects, quit, because it won't last and will destroy your endeavors in the end.

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Adderall eventually makes you stupider fyi. It helped a lot for me in the beginning but toward the end nothing registered properly and I was having to spend far longer to get the material than before I'd ever taken it.

I absolutely experienced this, especially because I was also taking xanax and ambien. I basically had no functional working memory. I couldn't focus, couldn't structure a sentence or finish a complex thought, couldn't type properly (because my hands were weak and shaking), couldn't listen without the noise of my head crowding over, and the next day it would be groundhog day all over again.

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I'm sorry you went through that but it's kind of a relief almost to know none of it was "just me". I'm not the Lone Ranger to go full retard while taking something that supposedly makes studying easier. Another issue, I've always been really good at language and word problems but have noticed Adderall has shot my critical thinking skills to shit, for real. I over analyze(shocking right?) and come up with answers that are way off target. Ummmm will that go away? Math is different cuz it's one of those it is what it is things. I hate to think I've permanently lost the ability to grasp nuance tho. Damn, I'm depressed.

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Calo,

This was my first post ever (under a different account name) on this site:

You're not alone! I too felt like everyone was talking about how adderall made you feel like a superstar. I know it made me dumber. I was too deeply addicted. You've done the right thing.

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I hope so.and DUDE! (I call everyone dude, nasty habit, I'll work on that later) your description of the diplomacy is EXACTLY what I had as well. That charisma thing. I could finagle pretty much any situation to go as I liked and everyone would be happy with it. I'm at the point still and I do realize I just started, but yeah, I'm pretty much useless and don't remember annnnnnything. Simple stuff, big stuff, doesn't matter, nothing is sticky enough to stay in my brain. The reports from others on how long it takes to get better are a bit of a bummer. I had a good day today though. Still overeating, working on the dietary changes. The one day at a time is solid advice, cuz looking further is confusing, lol.

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Haven't been on in a while. I quit Adderall for about 4-months cold....took a leave from school...will be back this Fall. I now ONLY use Adderall 3-4 days of the month and ONLY when necessary to assist with EXTREME work.

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Its hard to remember some days why I hate taking it so much. Today's been more of a downswing. I wouldn't pick on someone for having a hard time quitting tho. I'm lucky in that I can be lazy and recover. I couldn't imagine this with my normal school or work load. Never thought I'd be so grateful to have neither. Also 3-4 days a month still counts as using. Maybe try jumping back on the wagon?

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Hey man,

I'm a Senior in Aerospace Engineering and I've had to drop a couple classes this semester. I was averaging 0-4 hours of sleep for over 2 years and ended up working up a ridiculous tolerance-- inducing a vicious cycle. During peak dosing (my brain was getting blasted), I was struggling to just turn in homeworks and no longer was I acing my exams. Haven't quit 100% because I keep slipping every now and again but I'm determined.

Like Calo, I have also experienced a significant degeneration of my intellectual capabilities. I used to be praised for having a very good memory, but now it's pretty pathetic. I used to be able to deconstruct complex math/engineering problems with elegance but now I can barely identify connections. My writing/reading levels have dropped, and many times I have to read simple sentences over before it registers. I'm just not sharp and it really pains me because I have 5 classes left to graduate and I'm tanking my GPA or dropping classes.

Fortunately, my older brother who was also addicted for about 3 years, gives me hope. He's a true genius and has helped me cope through the times. He felt these symptoms of withdrawal for a long time but now he says he's regained his cognition and his mind is much sharper-- much healthier, and his intellect has excelled much further than it ever was on addy. The work-ethic comes, and you'll realize the quality of your study is much better. The material marinates much better, much more naturally, and you will perform better.

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How long before it stops sucking? I am already getting tubbier by the day. I'm still in effing pajamas, its 3:30 in the afternoon. I can't imagine trying to draw, paint or study. Eff exercising. I've got art projects all over the place in varying stages of incompletion from the quitting process. I'm now stupid and fat and really really bitter. Mood swings, gotta love it.

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How long have you been off of it? I wish I could say it happens quickly, but it's recovery so there's no timeline and everyone is different. In my case, it sucked for a pretty long time, but it's worth not selling my soul to that evil drug.

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March 27th I think? Completely. It took me a few weeks of dropping the dose to get the balls to quit. I haaaaaaaaaate being fat. Bald sucks too though so eh, guess I'm up a certain creek, minus a paddle.

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Just a sidetrack,. What is with ALL these great people who pass through this site and then go back on adderall?? It really shows how much power this drug can have a hold on us..,its sad. Our turnover rate! I guess this is addiction loud and clear. I guess you just have to warn and let them relapse and let them learn the hard way.

I was one of those people who came to this site and then went MIA for about 8 months. Came back on and had a couple of relapses still. I have been COMPLETELY clean for about one month. I am on Wellbutrin XL 300mg and Lexapro 20mg. I am what would be a "true text book ADHD personality". The weird thing is, the Wellbutrin has had a more positive effect managing my ADHD than the Adderall did. I have created a Facebook page for ADHD people. I do NOT mention medication at all. I created it for people with ADHD to embrace the gifts that ADHD people have and realize that they are not broken. I hope to prevent even one person from getting sucked into the Adderall hell that I have been in for 2 years. My point is, Adderall isn't even good for people with ADHD. It's just the "orange devil"

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March 27th I think? Completely. It took me a few weeks of dropping the dose to get the balls to quit. I haaaaaaaaaate being fat. Bald sucks too though so eh, guess I'm up a certain creek, minus a paddle.

Who cares if you're 'fat' for a little while. At least you're feeding yourself. At least you're not poisoning your body with amphetamines anymore.

Just keep riding that creek, it will take you places & you'll find your paddle! :)

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Its easier said than done. And I care. I care a lot. A lot more than I should considering how messed up everything else is. But all the same I do. I guess I was hoping I'd quit, be sleepy for a couple days and tada, normal!!! Hair would magically grow back the foot of matted mess I had to cut and stop looking all patchy,I'd get a insta-tan and a 6 pack and be better than ever. I realize its not possible but daaaaaaaaaamn... I look horrid, bloated, I'm exhausted, getting fatter every flipping day and I'm moody as all get out. Going from angry to bawling to I don't even know. I've taken to eating my feelings. I don't want to run, its this bizarre childish behavior where I'm like HA! Yeah everyone says just eat salad and go run and everything will perk up! I'll show them! Its never going to get better so I'm going to sit in my chair and cry into this vat of ice cream while I watch TED and Dr. Who 'til my brain atrophies into pudding!! ( which merely serves to remind me we do not haaaaave any pudding and I'd like some) FML.

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Its easier said than done. And I care. I care a lot. A lot more than I should considering how messed up everything else is. But all the same I do. I guess I was hoping I'd quit, be sleepy for a couple days and tada, normal!!! Hair would magically grow back the foot of matted mess I had to cut and stop looking all patchy,I'd get a insta-tan and a 6 pack and be better than ever. I realize its not possible but daaaaaaaaaamn... I look horrid, bloated, I'm exhausted, getting fatter every flipping day and I'm moody as all get out. Going from angry to bawling to I don't even know. I've taken to eating my feelings. I don't want to run, its this bizarre childish behavior where I'm like HA! Yeah everyone says just eat salad and go run and everything will perk up! I'll show them! Its never going to get better so I'm going to sit in my chair and cry into this vat of ice cream while I watch TED and Dr. Who 'til my brain atrophies into pudding!! ( which merely serves to remind me we do not haaaaave any pudding and I'd like some) FML.

Aww. I understand Calo, and I wasn't trying to be insensitive to what you're going through. Rereading it I totally miscommunicated, sorry! I know it's super hard. I guess I was just trying to put things into perspective and help you remember that it's for a better purpose, because quitting adderall is most important. I know it's not as easy as just eat salads etc blah blah blah. If that were the case I would weigh a lot less than I do! LOL! For me, part of quitting had to involve stopping caring if I gained weight (and for me it still does need to involve that.) It's so easy to get caught up in the weight gain and be really hard on yourself for that, and then lose sight of what's most important. For me, telling myself "who cares" helped me accept that a little weight gain is gonna happen, (and also, even harder for me, that I might mess up at work and stuff.) But bigger picture it doesn't really matter nearly as much as quitting does, so might as well find a way to laugh about it and accept it. For me, "who cares" is one of the things I tell myself because it helps me care less about things that matter less. If you have another coping mechanism I would love to hear it! (The weight is coming off finally BTW, and yours will too once your metabolism balances out!) Easier said than done, all of it, but it IS doable, I have to believe it.

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Ok. So I dissapeared for a bit. Not cuz of a relapse or anything dire, just been trying to ignore the whole situation and hoping it goes away. Oh and no offense taken, i was actually just being funny, like melodramatic about the whole sitch. odd part is i barely remember typing that. Talking about it made it worse for a little bit, but I'm at a point now where I need support again. Its not just that post i spaced. I space out constantly!! I started a new job, more fulfilling but way more strenuous. I forget important conversations and paperwork and so on. And I am exhausted every single day. Almost to the point of tears. My days off are spent regrouping but not doing anything. Is this still supposed to be like this or should I be worried?

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This may sound trite, but if you are asking the question, you know the answer. When you were healthy, in your "right mind", did you feel this crippling exhaustion and nihilism every day?

There's your answer. And year I'm biased.

She is a cruel mistress. She makes you think you need more of her and yet she delivers less and demands more. Heartless, yep that's adderall. I missed using my limbic system. We will see...

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I know this post is mostly old but thought I might chime in. I have worked as a solicitor and lecturer for a couple of years and have just finished my Masters in Law at a top uni. I was absolutely terrified that I wouldn't be able to perform at the necessary level anymore without the drug. But as I learned the hard way, an Adderall ADDICTION will NOT make you perform better at the highest levels. It will not. I nearly failed this year - I've never even come close to that before. I was moving too quickly, skimming over important complexities, failing to engage patiently and sensibly with the real issues and was exhausted/anxious/stressed out of my brain.

 

The fear that you can't do it on your own is horrible and gut wrenching. I've only been off the medication for two weeks, but already I am slowly realising that the analytical skills I value and need were not because of the drug -- the drug just intensifies and extends. So, sure, I won't be able to analyse the law for 15 hours straight anymore - but who wants to do that? I would rather take my time, consider the issues properly and get it right.

 

The drugs made me better at law firm 'manual labour' - I could work faster and longer. But they didn't make me better at analysis, which is necessary at the upper levels of academia. I felt more intelligent, of course, I thought I was a super genius. But I wasn't. In all honesty, I was better before. I really and truly believe that now. It was harder - but I did it better.

 

Stanford Law (if you do come back), I think you said that you felt different to others on here because you've never experienced academia without Adderall? Well, the good news is that Adderall can't make you smart. That's just you. It can drive and motivate you, but we can learn these habits. It's not always easy, especially if you do have ADHD, but I really believe that alternative techniques and fostering good habits can be immensely helpful. You are much more capable than you think you are.

 

The question raised in this forum is critical for me, because I want to continue a career in academia - and I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to do that on my own. But I have much more faith now. It's not going to happen straight away - but I really believe that slowly I will rehabilitate. I might not go at a million miles a minute anymore, but I think overall my performance will improve.

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Calo - I hope some of that might be helpful for you? I know it's so damn hard. I'm going through all the dreariness now too. I feel fat and tired and can't remember anything. I feel useless to everyone.

 

But I've realised that I have to decide my own standards for what a good performance is or what amounts to an achievement. Right now, if I get out of bed, go for a little walk or swim, chat to people, try to eat enough healthy food (in addition to all the rubbish that is now so irresistible!), that's a good day. I used to do so much all the time - my old self wants to berate me for being unfit and slothful, for not thinking properly, for forgetting things, getting lost or 'spacing out' like you say - my old self wants to label these things as 'failings'. I am not good enough; I'm not doing what other people appear to be doing; I'm not doing as well as I 'should' in life. But it's upto me to reset the bar. I'm coming off a drug - right now, staying off, resting and taking it slowly are achievements. Not hating myself - that is an achievement. Taking a deep breath and remembering that just because i'm spaced out now, that doesn't mean I'm a bad person or a failure. Life is so long, there is time for us to heal and to try again. Go easy on yourself. There is nothing wrong and you are doing a good job. I think it's about patience - we'll get there.

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The drugs made me better at law firm 'manual labour' - I could work faster and longer. But they didn't make me better at analysis, which is necessary at the upper levels of academia. I felt more intelligent, of course, I thought I was a super genius. But I wasn't. In all honesty, I was better before. I really and truly believe that now. It was harder - but I did it better.

 

 

The question raised in this forum is critical for me, because I want to continue a career in academia - and I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to do that on my own. But I have much more faith now. It's not going to happen straight away - but I really believe that slowly I will rehabilitate. I might not go at a million miles a minute anymore, but I think overall my performance will improve.

Good for you for realizing these things so early on in your recovery. The only way to move forward with your school, your career, your health and your life is to leave adderall behind you. In time, your adderall years will just be another chapter in your life, and hopefully you learned a life lesson about addiction along the way.

Adderall starts out as a bionic limb, then it becomes a crutch and it ends up as a disability. At least it is a recoverable disability.

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Thanks Quit-once, very wise words. I think this is exactly right. Remembering that it will just be a chapter in our lives is critical - at the moment it feels all consuming. Keeping perspective is the key.

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