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About Lizzy

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    I found that the video posted is misleading for people who are not familiar with biochemistry and neuroscience. First and foremost, "dependency" and "addiction" are two totally separate conditions. An organ transplant patient is "dependent" on his medication, as is a person on blood-thinners, and many other drugs. "Addiction" is as was defined on the video, which translates into someone who craves the drug for reasons other than intended and usually not as prescribed. Adderall and Meth, while they differ in one chemical group, that is a HUGE difference in the body. The chemical make up of the compounds are very specific with what they bind and thus the biochemical changes induced in the brain/body. There are tons of fatal disorders where a person lacks the ability to synthesize a needed molecule- or part of that molecule- and they die. It just goes to show how important and specific the molecules must be for the body to utilize them in the intended way. If the molecule isn't in the EXACT conformation, it will not bind to its target. The molecular models that are presented is not 3D format. The chemicals drastically change the conformation of the molecule. If you were to draw a stick figure of an elephant and of a pony, you could see that they only differ in one appendage- the elephant has a trunk. But in 3d, it is very apparent that they are two different creatures. Hopefully this helps in explaining how easy it is to be mislead by molecular models. With neurotransmitters, folks with ADHD have been shown to show deficits in brain functioning (via fMRI) and neurotransmitters. The medication helps the affected brain compensate for the deficit. People who do not believe that this is a real disorder, therefore, must not believe in any other psychiatric condition. In the past, people with bipolar disorder, depression, and other disorders were told by the ignorant folks that these disorders were "shams" and that they just needed to correct their behaviors and the underlying neurochemical deficits would magically fix itself. With the advancement of pharmaceuticas and neuroscience/fMRI studies, we now know (and have know for quite some time) that these affected people really cannot help the way their brains are. Bona fide disorders DO exist, and ADHD is one of them. The actual disorder has serious implications: "According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 18 percent of adolescent males began abusing drugs and alcohol in the previous 4 years. The rate for unmedicated ADHD boys was 75 percent.. The rate drops to 25 percent in medicated ADHD boys. 80 percent of school dropouts are reported to have ADHD. Young untreated ADHD drivers have an increased risk of 300 percent of being involved in automobile accidents. They also have triple the risk for sexually transmitted diseases as their non-ADHD peers. It is reported that almost 10% of people with ADHD have attempted suicide within the past 3 years. About 5% die from either suicide or accidental injury. The rate of suicide in the general population of the US is .01%. Read more at ... ck=kcplink" ( ... p?t=155805) Granted, adderall abuse/addiction is absolutely a serious problem in the US. However, it is a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water to say that the disorder doesn't even exist. SOME folks with bona fide ADHD disorder do go on to abuse the drug. The others, like myself, have no desire whatsoever to take more than prescribed, ever. To an addict, I can totally understand how my statement can be doubted. My father, an alcoholic, doesn't understand how in the world I could care less for a drink. The answer is that I am not an addict. Plain and simple.
  2. Delimma: to quit or not?

    Hi folks, this is Lizzy, and I posted the story above. I just wanted to post an update on recent events regarding the suggestions posted in reply to my post. It sounds silly, but I did not even think of doing a compromise with my medication. So I took the advice and reduced my dose by half. I now take 10mg in the mornings and that is the only time I take the medication. As far as withdrawals go, I used my history to guide me. I found that in the past, stopping cold turkey is a bit of a rough way to go. Instead I follow this program: I wanted to cut back from 10mg AM/ 10mg PM (20mg total) to just taking 10mg/AM total. Day one: cut back to the dose you wish to be on. (This could be none at all. For me, I wished to cut back to half my dose, to 10mg). Day two: Take half of the original dose around the time you would normally take another dose. (I took my 10mg/AM, then 5mg/PM) Day three: cut back to the dose you wish to be on (Again, I took only 10mg) Alternate this schedule for a week. During week two, I alternated between my goal dose (10mg) and 1/4 my original dose. Week three, take only your goal dose. I would like to note that I most definitely have ADHD, so these symptoms are very serious for me and those around me. Aside from being a little tired in the afternoons, with this schedule I had no major withdrawal symptoms. I told my friends/family that I would be reducing my dose and that I would need their patience and understanding while I tried to adjust to not depending on my med to keep my life in order. I went back to keeping my calendars and lists religiously. I use my smartphone to send myself emails and texts for reminders. I keep notepads everywhere so I can quickly jot down things I need to remember. When I need to get something done, I turn off distractions so that eventually I get tired of staring at the wall and get up to do it. I "reward" myself for completing a task. For example, if I need to clean out a closet, I tell myself I can watch a show or browse the internet when I am done. When I have conversations with someone, they know that they only have minutes of my attention before I can no longer focus and it is ok. They know not to take it personally. ON the bright side, I feel so much happier on my reduced dose. I find myself animated and laughing in the evenings with my family and not zombified. I am back to being sociable and fun to be around. My hope is that someone reading this may find something that helps them in their own lives. I hope that you have the courage to follow what you know in your heart is right for you. If you have a feeling that taking the medication is affecting your life (or the life of those around you) in a negative way, that you will be strong and find the strength to follow your conviction. Best always, Lizzy
  3. Dear Addy,

    While pregnant and off of adderall, I found a certain spice can help lift the fog and aids in concentration. It is not prescription strength, but it DOES work. It is an indian spice called, Cardamom. You can add some to anything you add cinnimon to and it is even good in meats and pasta dishes. It is also good for inflammation. However, if cannot tolerate asprin medicine for the blood-thinning aspect, then don't ingest cardamom. I used the powder form of it in tea. I made regular english black tea and added about 1/4 teaspoon to it. It is also found in Chai Teas and you can add more to give it more punch. You can use it the same way you do coffee to help lift the fog. Mike...I have a suggestion for you already wonderful site: perhaps you can do a "natural alternatives" page to list things like cardamom spice. :-)
  4. Delimma: to quit or not?

    Thanks for the insights...I will have to think more about what you said...
  5. Hi All, I have been on adderall for about 11 years now. I have never taken more than the prescribed dose, usually around 20mg a day (10mg AM/PM). Before adderall, I was the ADHD poster-child. I was sociable and happy for the most part. However, I was a disorganized mess and always so frustrated with myself for not being able to get things done and think like "normal" people. Everyone I knew loved my humor and friendly smile but openly called me, "ADD girl" and "Ditzy" and "Blonde." I was not dependable and terribly irresponsible. I was very smart but looked like a complete idiot most of the time. In college, I tried my first dose and it was truly a miracle for me. Instantly I felt "normal" and you know the drill. Flash forward to 10 years later. I am now a mom and a wife. My husband married the "adderall" me and was in for quite a shock when I came off of the med for the duration of my pregnancy. All of a sudden I was a the ditzy airhead again and he was not pleased. Other people also seemed to down on me critically or like I was an imbecile. Everything is, "out of sight, out of mind" and I had plenty of burnt meals and overflowed baths to prove it. I found myself in tears when at the end of the day it seemed like I had spent the whole day running around to clean and nothing seemed to be done. I couldn't make myself sit there and fold clothes without being overcome with a overwhelming urge to quit. I couldn't hold a serious conversation because I couldn't think beyond my emotions enough to communicate- logically- what I needed to say. I oftentimes left important items (phone, purse) in stores. I was so scared that I would honestly forget something and my infant son would accidently get hurt. My to-do lists were always miles long and impossible for me and it did not get better even after almost a year off the meds. So then I got back on them. I whipped my household back into shape and I am back to being the adderall me. However, my old feelings of looking into the mirror and seeing my "dead eyes" haunt me wondering what I have missed out on. I can't decide if I am better off the meds but feeling frustrated constantly and my relationships suffering too. Esp now that I am a mom and I have responsibilities for a little human being and can't let him suffer from my ADHD-tendencies. I am scared of being so irresponsible and unintentionally hurting those I love most by my old ADHD-induced nemesis to think with my emotions and not my mind. I look at the chaotic lives of my (untreated) ADHD family members and it reinforces that I should stay on the med less I end up as chaotic as they are. As an adult, life just isn't kind to folks with adhd. On the other hand, I hate looking into the mirror and seeing those "dead eyes" without my spark in them. I hate the feeling that I am missing out on so much LIVING while I am trying to deal with LIFE and this damned adhd that plagues me. Everything I have read on the blog "QUitting Adderall" rings true for me. So I cannot decide which is truly the lesser of the two evils. I am not an "addict" in that I never have an urge to take more than my prescribed dose of 10-20mg day, so I guess taking the meds isn't in itself "bad." On the meds, my life is calm and predictable and I'm ok with it and my responsibilities are largely being met. But I just can't help but to wonder, "what if...?"