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Sebastian05

Quitting. Am I Doomed? Please Chime In. Very scared right now.

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Hi everyone. I hope everybody is doing better than I'm doing at this very moment.

Right now I'm extremely petrified after all of the things I've been reading about all the detrimental effects Adderall has on the brain and I have no idea what to do. I hope I have not ruined my life. I'm bawling as I type this.

Here's my story....

(sorry if its long. I need you to understand where I'm coming from so you can hopefully help me. right now, i feel absolutely doomed and worthless)

I'm 32 years old and was diagnosed with ADHD about a little over 4 years ago when I was in law school. I failed a class and got a D in another and as a result I was thrown into a crazy depression. I've always been a type-A kinda guy. Always worried about something. Always trying to do my absolute very best, but I've also just been very on edge all the time and the anxiety used to just kill me so bad.

My doctor put me on Xanax (.25 mg) to try to alleviate my anxiety at that time so that I could better focus on my studies. The Xanax didn't help. We thought it would because of the fact that I've always suffered from high anxiety and always got the worst test anxiety ever. Its always been terrible. When the Xanax didn't work we tried 50mg of Effexor. I didn't really feel like the Effexor did anything for me either, but i stayed on it for a while just for the hope that it may do something.

After I weened off of Effexor, my psychologist and I talked for a while about everything and the history of my life. We discussed how much pressure I put on myself all the time. How I'm always so negative and expect the worst thing to happen. We discussed how I've always had such a hard time studying and performing on exams. At that point, we decided to give Adderall 10mg IR a go. It worked wonders for me.

It calmed me down and pumped me up at the same time. It gave me confidence. It helped me stay chilled out but also made me euphoric and able to study and process information. I turned the F and the D that I got in two classes in law school into a C+ and a B+. It was great. It was really helping me at work too. I finally felt like my problems were solved. We eventually upped my dose to 10mg IR in the morning and then 10mg IR after lunch. Even better! I never ever went over my dosages and never ran out early. I was diligent with sticking to my schedule.

I took days off here and there but I still took it on the weekends too because I felt like it just kept me focused and going with all the stuff that I always had to do. Also I'm convinced that if i didn't have the Adderall, I'd never have been able to pass the bar exam.

Fast forward 4+ years. For about a year now, I've dropped my dose to only 10mg a day in the morning. Here and there I'd take the double dose, but mostly it was just 10mg in the morning. I would still have the "Crash" feeling and whatever, but I didnt let it get to me. I never went over 20mg a day.

6 months ago I moved to a new State and started a new Job and I was just SO happy! Things were going so well that I decided to just stop taking the adderall all together and to just take my life over from here. I've been wanting to do it for a while so I decided to finally do it. I was running 6 miles a day and feeling pretty great but my job got really stressful and after a few weeks I started doing my 10mg a day in the morning.

Soon after I decided to buy a small townhouse and enjoy my life finally. Again, I decided to go off the adderall. Stopped taking it. Everything with work got crazy and the stress of buying a home really got to me. I developed severe anxiety and started getting really depressed. I bought my home, but wasn't even excited about it! :(

i was more overcome with anxiety and panic about everything.

i went to a psychiatrist and she put me back on the adderall and a low dose of xanax and also lexapro. I didn't fill the lexapro script because i was just too scared to have this massive cocktail of meds running through me. I take the Xanax as needed to calm me down, but it doesnt really do much.

I started my adderall again, and things leveled out a bit. The anxiety went away a bit, but the depression was still there.

For the past couple weeks I've been off of the adderall again and my anxiety has been through the roof. I have feelings of total worthlessness. I get really sad. I'm a grown and built man but I find myself crying all the time (even at work).

I have a really really hard time focusing at work on my tasks and being off the adderall + total lack of sleep is KILLING ME!!!!!

I just constantly want to be surrounded by my family and do the best I can to see them all the time. My behavior is starting to worry EVERYONE especially me.

I cant sleep at night AT ALL!!!!!!! i fall asleep for maybe 2-3 hours TOPS and then the rest of the night I'm just sitting in bed on the internet reading about how I've probably melted my brain with adderall. I'm beyond sad you cant imagine. I've worked so hard my whole life to try and be somebody and now i feel like ZERO.

I'm the son of first generation immigrants who came to this country with 200 dollars in their pockets and they were able to build a wonderful life for me and my brother.

All i can think about now is that I'm a failure and a huge disgrace because I cant stop thinking that I have brain damage and that I'm going through some crazy withdrawal. So many people on this site have said the anxiety doesnt ever go away and the depression won't go away and that my brain won't ever make its own dopamine again.

I cant believe I've done this to myself. Honestly, I feel so terrible right now that if I didn't have such a loving family who cherished me (mom, dad and brother and aunts and uncles) I'd probably take a dive off of a bridge.

While i may have been type A and anxious all the time, I was always the class clown and always joked with people and always wanted to have a good time. I have plans to go out tonight and i just wanna sit at home and pray to God that I'm going to be okay.

Can someone please tell me what to do? Can someone help?

Was I abusing the adderall? Do I even have ADHD? IM GOING MAD!

Sorry for being so dramatic, but I had to get this out and be real and be raw about whats going on with me right now.

please help. please.

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Hey dude....you are not a failure...you have issues with a substance. You love your family and they love you,you are a man with a consciousness about where your life is at and that its painful...so you feel...that is not a failure my new friend. Not at all. Family is worried with good reason...I say that in reference to letting you know that nothing you're dealing with because of a chemical is ever. gonna be too long,too fucked up,too strange,to. shocking , too anything. You'll be meeting some madd cool people real soon who can take through the drill based on experience. and take comfort that you're not going to be alone or feel alone while getting through whatever decisions you make about your personal Wellness. So hang tight kid.....the Calvary is coming. Be well....heather.

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Don't worry, your brain is plastic and can always change and adapt. Nothing is permanent and in time your brain will regenerate and produce dopamine again. The sooner you stop the adderall the faster the process can begin. It sounds to me (from your writing) that you should seek counseling, not drugs, to overcome the self critical beliefs that seem to be at the root of your issues. You can recover and live adderall free. First step: stop searching the internet! Don't psych yourself out. My friend completely recovered from a hardcore meth addiction, so you can beat this much less harmful addiction! We have all been where you are and are here for support :)

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You haven't ruined yourself. You are extremely hard on yourself. I get that. We take being our own worst critics to a whole new level. I'm not downplaying your adderall issues, but you are dealing with minimum dosages here, and you didn't abuse it. You have that on your side. Some of us here were taking over 10 times the amount you were taking daily, me included, and we're getting through life again. I think maybe finding a medication that helps your anxiety like Lexapro or Wellbutrin could help WITH therapy, not just taking meds and sending you on your way. Like Cassie said, reading horror stories online isn't working in your favor. YOU WILL BE OKAY!

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Thanks for all the kind words guys. The anxiety gets better at night, but after i fall asleep I wake back up in a couple hours and the anxiety is back in full effect and i cant sleep at all. Its been debilitating. :( is it true that the anxiety and depression wont go away? Is it true that my brain wont be producing any more dopamine on its own? I know my dosage wasnt high (10-20mg a day) but it was pretty steady for about 4.5 years. So im very worried that my brain is permanently fried and that im only now realizing it since i recently decided to try and just live life without the stuff in my system. Thats when all this withdrawal came about. How can this be from such a low dose? All day ive had about 3 gallons of water and a tiny piece of chocolate. Looks like my appetite is dunzo as well :(

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Hey there brother my friends and members of this wonderful site all have it right on the head .Brother you where not abusing the shit don’t worry about any permanent damage to your brain . You where on a fairly low does of adderall it may be helping you. It sounds like your a responsible user jest remember something about adderall after a long time use you begin increasing your tolerance level from adderall you will need more and more of the shit to keep dopamine levels happy its not you its the natcher of the fucken drug .Brother I am convenience you are not being treated with the right medication it sounds like you have depression and you need to get the right medication to combat your low serotonin levels .There are so many good drugs out their for depression the only thing is sometimes it takes trial you need to hit on that right antidepressant drug that does the trick and alleviates your symptoms of depression and anxiety at the same time. I what to let you now something antidepressants do not work instantly it may take 2 to 4 weeks to kick in and do its job so when trying a new drug you most have patients that’s if you are not having any bad side effects. Brother I will tell you something all my quit adderall friends know this about me. I have no secrets with them we have become like a dysfunctional family and I love them all. What I need to say is I have Ben battling fucken depression all my adult life I have drug Resistance depression a drug will work on me for a short time then stop working and I would need to change my antidepressants medication this is my pattern. I suffer every day with depression with little relief. Do not get hooked on fucken xanax its a bitch of a drug to get clean from go back to your Doctor. I hope you are seeing a shrink doctor they are fucken pill pushers but they have a little more experience on your antidepressants medications have patient my brother you will hit the right medication for your condition and don’t be embarest about your condition you cant control it .If you think its the addeall fucken you up go get off the shit cold turky.

Your new friend FALCON

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Here are my thoughts, in no particular order:

1) You are depressed. All the symptoms are there - crying, sleep problems, lack of taking pleasure in normal activities, etc. Depression is a curable, treatable illness for 90% of the population. And there is nothing to say you can't get over your depression, if you seek therapy and with the right medication. Of course I personally don't think Adderall is at all the right medication, but maybe a good antidepressant might be (btw I don't know much about Lexapro but I do know it has awful side effects like impact on libido and weight gain, so maybe that's not helping). Do you have a good therapist? (not just the person who writes your prescription, but a really GOOD talk therapist who will challenge you and help you learn more about yourself)? I honestly believe that with 6 months of good therapy and the right meds you will feel like yourself again in a bit.

2) You are scared... but let's face facts: you are a JD. NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU. I understand the pressures of law school and the Bar -- I used to work with a lot of lawyers and bankers and my own husband is a lawyer, so I know how trying that period of life can be. My husband still has bar exam dreams, and he's been practicing for 8 years. But that period of your life is over, you were successful, and there is no evidence to suggest that you haven't continued to be successful since then. Be careful not to think in disastrous, fatalistic ways or you will become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

3) If you are indeed telling the truth about your adderall use (ie how much you were taking), the chances of you doing permanent damage to your brain are precisely ZERO. You are a smart person, so think logically and do some reading about it. Read the books on the reading list in this site, and the concepts about PAWS and withdrawal and neuropasticity - they will give you a lot of hope; not only because they are fact-based but because you'll feel better having done the research yourself.

4) you sound like you are placing A LOT of undue pressure on yourself. Without sounding trite, you should forget your family's background, others' expectations of you, and focus just on what you want and can be. Swim in your own lane. This may be a season of slowing down a little, settling in, enjoying life and embracing your newfound security. Life doesn't have to be about driving driving driving every second. Even superman becomes Clark Kent for a bit. Batman goes to his cave. You get the point.

5) Use this forum, to rant, express fear, question, challenge, all of the above.

6) Take a vacation. might sound like a joke but actually those who have effective work/life balance demonstrate better work performance than those who don't.

We're here... stay with us... you're going to be just fine.

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Sorry one more thought. Can you find out if depression runs in your family? It may help knowing you're not the only one. When I quit adderall and told all my family members, all kinds of secrets came out... I knew my dad was (is) an alcoholic, but I also found out that both my maternal grandfather was depressed and i had an uncle on my father's side that I never knew even existed because he committed suicide. Depression is genetic. As is having an addictive personality, to a certain extent (although honestly it doesn't sound like that's a problem for you).

Hang in there.

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Motivation Follows Action, thanks for ur kind words. Much appreciated. I was totally honest about my usage and how i never exceeded my prescribed dose of 10-20mg a day. Im just worried that maybe i was misdiagnosed? Maybe i never had ADHD? Maybe as a result ive messed up my brain and caused irreversible damage? I know it helps me so much at work because my job is super high stress and requires great attention to detail. But im trying to live my life without it. I hope I will be okay. I tend to be a massive worry wort which makes my life worse all the time. I question all my decisions and overthink everything all the time. :( i wish i could just calm the hell down and just appreciate my life instead of constantly worrying. For example. Im a single 32 yr old dude. I decided for a change in my life and moved from NJ to the burbs of Philly where i bought a small townhouse and took a new job out here. Now all i do is miss NJ and worry that ive ruined my life by making these decisions that seemed like a fantastic idea, but now seem catastrophic :( ughhhh

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Sebastian,

Get a grip and calm the fuck down, by trying this little breathing exercise: Breath in deeply while thinking or saying "breath in peace" when you (fully) exhale, say or think "breath out release" At least three times. It does wonders to calm you down.

OK, now that you are a little more rational consider this: There is not a goddamn thing you can do to change the past. Nothing. What IF you never did have ADHD but you took the poison anyway? Can't change that. What if adderall really did scramble your brain? Would you just keep using it anyway knowing that? (Nope - you have already quit so check that off the list) What if it really does not "help you so much at work", but that it was actually the addiction lying to you? And finally, "It's always sunny in philladelphia" so make the most of it there and give it at least a year before you decide to bag it and go back to Jersey. I wonder if you would benefit from seeing a couinselor to get your anxiety under control?

By the way, adderall scrambles everybody's brain and that is why it takes about a year or so of recovery time to get us all back to "normal" whatever the fuck that is.

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that's some tough love there brother Sebastian. that's like that scene on Airplane where they're all shaking her... too obscure a reference? but seriously bro, that's what's coming across, that you need to get a handle on it and change the way you think... we're all in the same boat on here, we only have our own personal experience and what we've heard and read but def not all the answers folks are asking for... folks may want to know what to expect as their recovery unfolds, but no one on here has the magic answers to all questions about when and what and how etc... we're all here to get and give support... so as far as you my man, ease up a little, do some things to change the way you think and process things. counseling might help, definitely books, positive literature, feedback from strangers who are honest and unbiased like quit-once, that's all good shit... and take it easy there, give yourself some time to come down and heal... your worry does more damage than the addy did, not to give you more to worry about or anything, but stress, manage that stress....

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Read this:

"Anxiety is the most common of psychological complaints, not only the clinical condition that applies to the most people (nearly three of every ten Americans), but, it's often said, a universal and insoluble feature of modern life. Everyone has it; everyone must deal with it. While the corollary to this is that everyone's anxiety is different, shot through with idiosyncratic concerns and confusions, the experience is unified by its painfully hermetic character. Anxiety compels a person to think, but it is the type of thinking that gives thinking a bad name: solipsistic, self- eviscerating, unremitting, vicious. My walks to therapy, for example, were spent outlining with great logical precision the manner in which my state of mind would lead me to complete existential ruin. A typical line of thought went something like this: I am anxious. The anxiety makes it impossible to concentrate. Because it is impossible to concentrate, I will make an unforgivable mistake at work. Because I will make an unforgivable mistake at work, I will be fired. Because I will be fired, I will not be able to pay my rent. Because I will not be able to pay my rent, I will be forced to have sex for money in an alley behind Fenway Park. Because I will be forced to have sex for money in an alley behind Fenway Park, I will contract HIV. Because I will contract HIV, I will develop full-blown AIDS. Because I will develop full-blown AIDS, I will die disgraced and alone."

Sound familiar? You are really under the grip of really bad anxiety, you poor thing. It's paralyzing.

Read this, and please please please get a therapist?

http://www.npr.org/books/titles/155355908/monkey-mind-a-memoir-of-anxiety?tab=excerpt#excerpt

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Hay brother calm the fuck down do some deep breathing and look at it this way your class is half full not have empty you are so scared of not being successful with out your adderall . Your working your self up in to having anxiety. As I commented on my last post I believe you have depression associated with anxiety disorder. I’m not a fucken shrink butt I’m talking to you from my experience with the same disorder. It took me a long time to except my condition you will need to come to terms with yours do not think less of your self you are a smart man you jest need to get the right antidepressants and therapy from the right Dr. The sooner you come to terms with your condition the faster you will feel normal. Make an appointment with a good shrink and get your problem under control so you can move on with your life. And never question your dissensions in or out of the courtroom . You most likely calculated everything before you made them decisions to move and buy a home that’s the American dream. You are smart and you have a lot of cumin sense I know you do its not easy to become a lawyer you got my respect brother Your class is half full go for it and get that class filled up to the top.Your friend. Fucked up FALCON

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I think depression like what you're describing is a pretty common effect of the crash. It can be absolutely brutal. In many of my own crashes, I have found myself in a similarly depressed state. Crying uncontrollably, unable to get out of bed, believing I'm fundamentally a failure at life and work, etc. I mean I'm not your doctor but I know that adderall temporarily depletes your dopamine and other brain chemicals, so it makes sense that you're feeling this way. Your brain will recover, you will be fine. I mean talk to your doctor but I think it just takes awhile. L-Tyrosine has worked WONDERS for me with this crash, by the way. And 5-htp. And xanax, food, sleep, friends, laughing, doing things that you love. You're gonna be okay!

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I think depression like what you're describing is a pretty common effect of the crash. It can be absolutely brutal. In many of my own crashes, I have found myself in a similarly depressed state. Crying uncontrollably, unable to get out of bed, believing I'm fundamentally a failure at life and work, etc. I mean I'm not your doctor but I know that adderall temporarily depletes your dopamine and other brain chemicals, so it makes sense that you're feeling this way. Your brain will recover, you will be fine. I mean talk to your doctor but I think it just takes awhile. L-Tyrosine has worked WONDERS for me with this crash, by the way. And 5-htp. And xanax, food, sleep, friends, laughing, doing things that you love. You're gonna be okay!

Spot on, neighbor! Great advice with one exception: XANAX + WITHDRAWAL = BAD NEWS. Think about it. Xanax is a cns depressant. You're already suffering a significant lack of feel good chemicals. Xanax or benzos or ativan or, in my case, Ambien, just prolonged the recovery and exacerbated the depression.

But... Sebastian, HOW ARE YOU? Thanks for digging up this thread again, Occasional1

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Occasional. I sure hope you are right and that I will balance out and be able to be happy again. MOTIVATION F.A. , thanks so much for remembering me and caring to ask how i am. Ive been on the forum everyday just reading everyone's posts, but i dont have much to contribute since this is all new to me. My insomnia is starting to go away and im sleeping better every night. I havent had a xanax in a while becausr i think my anxiety is getting better. I just hope im not perpetually depressed now. I stay as motivated as i can. Go to work. Go to the gym after. Come home, eat dinner. But im just so BLAH. I miss feeling happy and excited and motivated and focused. Will those things come back? Im just so scared that this damn drug that was prescribed to me has permanently messed up my brain. I never took more than 20mg a day as perscribed. My job is so hard and so stressful and i deal with so many jerks it makes it rough for a hypersensitive guy like me to get by. But im trying. Does L-tyrosine and 5HTP really help? I couldnt find them at the supermarket. For those of you who have been off of adderall for a while, is there hope? Will my happiness come back? Will my energy and drive and motivation return? Im very scared still but doing the best i can to get by. Ive been spending a lot of time with friends and family trying to boost my mood. Im just not where i used to be. I was always the silly energetic goofball who made everyone laugh. Now i just feel like mush and im either sad or just blasé. Years ago i was in a long term relationship. My gf and i lived together. I would wake up every morning and make us our breakfast and pack her lunch for her. We would both go to work and go to the gym together after and spend the evenings together eating dinner and vegging out and being in love and happy. Things just didnt work out in the end. It happens i guess. Now i feel like a lone grumpy old man and im only 32. Its breaking my own heart so bad and pulling me to shreds thread by thread. I hope my brain is ok and that im going to one day go back to being happy person. Right now i dont want to be in a relationship because i feel like im not the real me. I feel like a shell. When will things get better? :(

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I am a huge fan of L-Tyrosine and B vitamins. They really really do help. I buy them online but any health food store has them too. L-Tyrosine is a chemical precursor to dopamine, so it helps your brain/body produce more of what you've depleted with the adderall. It also helps with overall well-being and mood. 5htp is the precursor to seratonin so that might help too, but I'm especially into the Tyrosine. P.s. You are not a grumpy old man unless you want to be one, and it's clear to me that you don't! You seem to know who you are, who you want to be, just be patient with yourself :) If anything, I think adderall ages people (I'm 30, but it made me feel SO much older--and grumpier--and I've seen this happen to others too), so if anything you are on a path towards youthful rejuvenation! :)

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Occasional, how long have you been on adderall and at what dosage? i saw your post that you quit yesterday? Congrats! Have u quit before? I would be inclined to think you have based on your input about 5htp and l-tyrosine. I pray to God im going to be ok. I just wish i knew when things will start to turn around

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Sebastian, It took me about three months to lift the mental fog and depression, and about nine months to regain my motivation and energy, and about a year after I quit I felt mostly normal. I took the shit for about nine years @ about 125 mg per day (at the time I finally quit), so "normal" is a subjective term because I am nine or ten years older than I was when I began using, and life kept going on during that time as well. I was feeling like an old man when I quit too and thanks to yoga, losing a few pounds and eating well I don't feel old anymore. Don't dwell on the relationship thing right now because you are in early adderall addiction recovery - and that is tough on jobs and relationships. Do try the supplements we recommend around here, and for me, fish oil, a multivitamin, and tyrosine @1500mg per day really helped smooth out the rough spots of recovery. Also, redbull, coffee and 5 hourenergy for energy and motivation as needed. Don't drink too much (if any) alcohol or take drugs that cause drowsiness or depression. Have patience, maintain hope and banish the negative thoughts before they take hold.

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QuitOnce. Thanks for the reply, man. Im hoping the fact that i was RX'd the stuff for 4 years or so coupled with the fact that i was on a relatively low dose will help make the recover time faster. Did your happiness come back ? Had u ever fallen into depression after going off? Did u taper or cold turkey?

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You can hope for a faster recovery time, but I advise you to expect it to take around a year, That way if you do recover quicker than most of us, you will be pleasantly surprised rather than disapointed. If you really think about it, one year of paying your dues to recovery for four years of usage isn't a bad return on your investment of quitting. Some people who used regularly for only six months will face a year of recovery. I quit cold turkey, the depression was awful for the first month or two and the only thing that helped it was tyrosine and exercise, but I was not motivated to do exercise. My happiness came back completely after a year of recovery.

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I was on a low-ish dose too (20-30mgs/day), for 5 years, and it took me a year to feel normal again. I had close to the same timetable as quit-once. Three months till I had physical energy, 10 months till I had any motivation and interest in things, feel mostly normal now at 13 months, with a few bad days here and there. You can't force the time it takes for your brain to readjust, so try and relax about it.

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Just for reference. I was around 250 mgs plus a day, abusing for 12 years. And also i was snorting it a lot of the time. I'm going to say it took two years to get a lot better and it wasnt until Maybe 8 or 9 months before I first began to feel Like dopamine was coming back. And I absolutely still get PAWS which comes in waves. But the PAWS isn't as bad as before and So I know later it won't be as bad as now. So that has been my timetable. PAWS usually comes in conditions where I normally depended on adderall like under stressful situations or getting or needing to be awake on less sleep or its completely random.

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I am weary of how school and preparing for exams is going to affect my PAWS but...i guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Edit - dealing with PAWs for me has been like a perpetual mosquito buzzing in your ear. Like in the beginning its super aggravating, bothersome and annoying and really attuned to it. But then as time passes, the buzzing may continue to be as intense but just start to ignore it more, and it becomes less bothersome, and its less noticeable even if its still there and just as intense as before. That's how I describe my PAWS.

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Cassie & InRecovery:

Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate it. I feel like its very difficult to focus now and very difficult to get things done. I'm hoping that this will all change slowly but surely. I'm so disappointed about this crossroads that i've come to and I'm scared to death that I won't be able to function or be as smart without the adderall. I hope this is just my mind playing tricks on me. My reason for quitting is because I don't want to have to lean on any sort of medication to get me through life and my intense responsibilities. Also, i have a very strong inclination to believe that there's NO WAY this stuff can be good for you in the long term and there's NO WAY i'd want to be on this for the rest of my life. I've worked so hard my whole life to get to where I am today. Granted, I'm still not where I wanna be, but I've made lots of positive progress for a 32 year old. I've conquored obesity. It was so so hard. I've conquored always struggling through school and I did it all on my own. But High School, College, and Law School were all really really hard for me. And its when I was in law school that I was really struggling with academics and was diagnosed with ADHD. Maybe I would never have made it through if it weren't for the stupid drug. But all i know now is that i need to make it through the rest of my life without it. Right now, where I want to be is HAPPY. I just want to be able to be happy on a day to day basis and not feel like im a huge failure. Has anyone out there been able to regain their drive and focus and continue to live a successful and happy life? From what i've been reading it looks like its possible. I just would really like to hear more stories of successful and happy life after quitting adderall. Thanks again guys. I'm doing the best i can to get by and i'm doing the best i can to not hate myself.

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