duffman

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  1. You know, I can't find it now, but I once made a post on here about all the potential health problems I thought I accrued throughout my years of abuse. Thinking about it now makes me cringe because of how outlandish my worries were. I remember I thought I had some combination of Cushing's syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal fatigue, a vast array of heart conditions.. just a bunch of stuff and all the product of years of Adderall abuse. And I've seen this before from other users on this forum too. We tend to become obsessive about every little health-related thing and begin searching for anecdotes on the internet to support our theory that our health is in peril. In reality, it was my anxiety on overdrive. I went to multiple doctors to discuss my worries and they all gave me the same wide-eyed expression and would promptly begin talking to me about my mental health, sometimes offering an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. What I'm getting at is you're not alone with this anxiety about your health after Adderall abuse. And no, I'm not saying you SHOULDN'T go to a physician, I'm not qualified to judge that over the internet. But if they run tests and you come back normal and they don't seem alarmed, then I would trust their judgment. Tell your physician everything. They've heard it all and would relieved that you're being forthright with them so they can help you.
  2. My Best Shot at an Honest Life

    First off, I would also like to compliment you on your ability to convey your thoughts and feelings through writing. Your writing style is very eloquent and powerfully captures the various moods and emotions you've been experiencing throughout this journey. Like many mini-memoirs (as Cheeri0 cleverly put it) on this site, I can profoundly relate to a lot of what you're saying. I read the entirety of your post last night (very late last night... with a couple of drinks in me) and missed where you might've stated this, but were you on Adderall when you wrote this? I ask because, through personal experience and speaking to others who are on Adderall, there tends to be certain shared characteristics with someone's.. let's call it delivery of information, when they're peaking on Adderall. This includes a certain extensiveness when conveying information and a stream of consciousness quality to their writing/speaking, which I picked up a lot on in your post. Let me ask, are you hesitating quitting Adderall because you're afraid you will lose your ability to think like you do when you're on it? If not, what's keeping you coming back to it? From what I remember reading last night, your post creates a perfect picture of a steady descent in your quality of life after you starting using (abusing) Adderall. You have a beautiful mind, I can tell with how you articulate yourself and the fact that you're a neuroscientist, but I'm still struggling to gauge why this is even a decision. Relative to your potential, you're in a low place right now, which sounds like an inherent bad thing but this is exactly the catalyst needed for change. There's no better time in your life to quit than now. I quit in the middle of physical therapy school because I just couldn't stand the person I became (socially withdrawn, uncaring, cold, callous, anxious and a whole bunch of other adjectives to describe someone who is just plain miserable and miserable to be around), and I have not one moments regret about my decision. What Greg said above is absolutely on the money. On Adderall, I was accomplishing a bunch of things.. in my own deluded reality. Objectively, my life was in free fall and was ready to lose everything (my relationship, my close friends.. even my future career as I started having panic attacks during social interactions). Do it. Quit now and post your progression on this site. We've been where you're at, trust me. It will be the single best decision you've ever made in your life.
  3. Where is everyone from?

    Dallas, TX. Interesting to see a few fellow Texans here. Houston is the one major city of Texas where I absolutely refuse to move, for the reasons Subtracterall listed above + overcrowded.
  4. This is a perfect example of taking ownership of your situation and proactively doing something about it. It's okay to logon to vent on these forums. I mean, I get it. But, after a while, you start to realize that these problems are yours. You're the one experiencing the pain. And you're the one who can do something about it. I'm very happy to hear you're finding some relief and gaining some control back in your life. It's empowering to find something that provides you some control over your problems. I, too, use exercise as a tool to manage and ultimately minimize my problems/suffering throughout this recovery process. I personally cannot imagine recovering from Adderall without exercising. But, to each their own. If exercise just really isn't their thing, then I hope they find something. Keep us updated on your progress!!
  5. MODAFINIL

    Hmm.. worth a shot? It did not relieve any fatigue-related symptoms I was experiencing early on in my post-Adderall recovery. However, I've read from multiple sources that people's response to this drug varies greatly, meaning some people tend to have a very positive experience from Modafinil while others tend to experience nothing more than a headache. I certainly belong in the latter group, but who knows, you may respond well to it. I know the abuse potential with Modafinil is relatively low compared to Adderall. This must be in part due to the apparent lack of euphoric feelings from taking Modafinil. Hope you find some relief soon.
  6. MODAFINIL

    Yes, I have tried to use Modafinil in place of Adderall. It's important to know that Modafinil is a wakefulness promoting agent, not a stimulant. Here are my experiences: -It does not give any detectable sense of euphoria. -I didn't even notice it was doing anything at first. The only indication I got that it was working (or doing ANYTHING for that matter) was being unable to fall asleep at night. It pretty much removed the sensation of sleepiness. Hence it being correctly labeled as a 'wakefulness promoting agent'. -Close friends and family members noticed I was more "edgy" while on Modafinil. I experienced this as increased anxiety. -Gave me a HUGE headache at the end of the day. -Gave me significant jaw tightness. -Made my piss smell funky. -No real or perceived cognitive benefits (though people purport to experience cognitive enhancement in various online forums). -And perhaps most importantly did NOT diminish any effects of Adderall withdrawal.
  7. On Ughhh Days..

    So I was reflecting on a few posts I've made recently and realized I've sort of depicted myself as a semi-superhero with how well I'm doing with this whole recovery ordeal. This, however, is not the whole picture. It's not a lie, because I did feel great on those days when I choose to write these posts. But in interest of being fair and balanced, I'm choosing to write this post on a day where I'm not feeling so great, a day where I could aptly describe my mood in one word (or utterance): 'Ugh...'. I can tell it's going to be an 'Ughh Day' from the moment I wake up, because it feels like I didn't get any quality sleep. I know I slept. I wasn't just waiting in bed for 6-7 hours waiting for the alarm to go off, but I don't feel refreshed upon waking. On these days, it feels like my mental processing speed takes a hit. Writing this post is taking me at least 2x as long because organizing my thoughts into a clear, discernible message is more difficult. My sense of humor (which is a very valuable asset with all my social interactions) seems to be less 'on-point' and less creative in nature. There's this haziness quality to my thoughts. For the reasons listed above, my will to socialize is greatly diminished. Even my physical attributes seem to take a hit on these days. I tend to have lower energy and less motivation. I'm an avid weightlifter/stairmaster kinda guy, but on these days I go to the gym more out of habit rather than looking forward to improving my physique (which is why in previous posts I emphasize developing a habit of exercising as opposed to waiting till you 'feel' like exercising!). Now, I did NOT choose to write this message to scare any of you. There is a spectrum here between feeling 'Ugh' and feeling 'Great' and overall I'm trending in a positive direction ever since I quit taking Adderall, I cannot emphasize that point enough. However, some of the most helpful posts I've read on this forum have been an honest and candid discussion of how, on some days and times throughout your respective recovery, you're not going to feel great and that's OK! Perhaps this is the natural variation in energy/moods that most normal people experience. I mean, I think everyone (besides people with some sort of unipolar mania) have low energy and high energy days. With taking Adderall for the past 5 years, I'm used to the following formula: 1) Wake up feeling BLEHH, 2) Take Adderall, wait for it to kick-in, 3) Feel Adderall kick-in, move forward with my day, 4) Begin feeling Adderall wear-off, negative thoughts start consuming my mind, 5) Take another Adderall OR experience the throes of crashing if I didn't have another Adderall to take (including but not limited to: unbearable anxiety, pounding heart rate with concomitant 'whooshing' sound through my carotid arteries, depression, self-loathing, agitation, social isolation, etc.), 6) Take sleeping pill, go to bed, rinse-and-repeat. It is a lot more predictable.. or rather predictably awful more accurately. How often do these 'Ughhh Days' occur at my stage in recovery (~16 months-ish)? Not too often, though I haven't been able to detect a clear reason as to why they surface when they do occur. It seems to be negatively correlated with the amount of time I've been off Adderall (meaning the longer I've been off Adderall, the less frequently these 'Ughhh Days' occur). If you're new here and don't know my history, please don't take this as a reason to take Adderall again, I'm merely attempting to show how you're going to experience some bad days in your recovery, and that is normal!! Quitting Adderall is, again, the best single thing I've ever done for myself. I'm (despite the tone of this post) the happiest I've been in.. well.. years I suppose, it's been long enough that I cannot recall a time where I've been feeling this good.. this 'normal'. Thank you for reading. -Duffman
  8. Spiritual Awakening or Psychosis?

    Interesting insights and yes I can say I've had a similar experience through my Adderall years that still impacts my thinking to this day. I can't say I've ever been a very religious person at any point in my life, but taking Adderall really opened my mind to philosophy surrounding morality and scientific understanding. I remember listening to the book "A Short History of Nearly Everything" and it absolutely blew my mind. It really served to open to floodgates to my desire to understand the universe, our planet, people and societies, science, and moral values. I listened to the book again off my meds and still found it profoundly entertaining to listen to. In fact, I feel I truly understand things more accurately off Adderall, as I realized about 10 minutes into the book that I didn't absorb very much on my first go-round under the influence. There's a term popularized by (or perhaps created by) Richard Dawkins called "Consciousness Raising", which implies a process by which people are exposed to information or ways of thinking that expand their own thinking, very often permanently. I believe this term Consciousness Raising is what you and I went through when we took Adderall.
  9. I am afraid.

    Oh yeah - you are DEFINITELY ready to quit Adderall. This self-loathing thing you're doing is actually progress, though I'm sorry you're going through it. And no, you do not deserve to be alone, though I understand where you're coming from, I felt the same way towards the end of my stimulant addiction. What you're going through now is a process of self-realization. You're realizing how you've affected the people around you with your Adderall usage and beginning to take ownership of the situation. This does not mean you're a monster or a psychopath. If you were a natural "monster" or psychopath, you would've been this way prior to Adderall, which is sounds like you weren't. Your brain is going through a tumultuous journey of fluctuating levels of neurotransmitters. Your brain cannot strike a balance, so it sends you into various states ranging from panic, to depression, to disassociation, and to apathy. Just remind yourself - THIS IS PART OF THE PROCESS. This isn't some grand realization that you're a terrible person no matter how much your brain is trying to convince you otherwise. You're going to be tested throughout this process, but whatever happens, you will handle it. I probably had to tell myself that upwards to a million times throughout my recovery.. 'Whatever happens, I will handle it'. Please reach out to me or anyone else on this board if you need help, and keep posting!!
  10. I am afraid.

    I'm able to identify with a lot of the stuff you mentioned, so I'll give my perspective (currently 16ish months clean from a 5+ year addiction to vyvanse/adderall/zenzedi). I also was on a mad pursuit to "fix myself" when I first hopped on stimulant medications. I felt like Adderall was the key that unlocked my brain and I became voracious for information in the name of self-improvement. There was something ironic about this endeavor, I was gulping down Adderall after Adderall to be able to do all this self-improvement stuff to be able to be a better, smarter, and happier person in society.. only to lose all my friends and close relationships in the process. What the hell is the point of learning all this shit if you're just sitting on it while cooped up in the house being all anti-social? Now, I was able to completely empathize with your hesitation to quit when you brought up the possibility of 'no longer being intelligent'. That thought alone kept me on the medication for the last 2-3 years. Sure my body was deteriorating on Adderall, I understood that, but I didn't want to lose my active intelligence that Adderall seemed to unlock. And I bold-faced the word seemed for a reason, because I strongly believe, in the vast majority of users and in the vast number of circumstances, Adderall provides the FEELING of increased intelligence, but doesn't actually raise your IQ to any significant effect. This is especially true in the long-run when the years of poor sleep and poor lifestyle eventually takes its inevitable toll. I quit Adderall in the middle of one of the most difficult and more relevant semesters in graduate school. I couldn't stand the person I became on Adderall when it came to interacting with other people. I became socially avoidant and just plain fuckin' awkward around everyone. I went from talking someone's ear off when the medication was peaking to wanting to be by myself in the corner when it wore off. Interestingly enough, my test grades were not significantly different. In fact, my test grades actually increased by 3-5 points! I know that may not constitute as "significant", but I found it interesting. After being off Adderall this long, I can tell you that it didn't make me smarter.. it just made me feel smarter. Right now, I'm a LOT more connected with what I know and what I don't know and need to research versus being absolutely confident on anything and everything on Adderall (wrongly so in many cases). I still love to learn new shit, though I may not be as obsessive with doing so as I was when I was on Adderall. You will still want to keep learning about new cool, exciting things once you quit Adderall, trust me. It may be difficult early on in the recovery, but you'll get there. You can't go on like this. Quit now, you haven't been taking it that long. You will bounce back quicker if you quit now vs waiting for 4 additional years like I did. And yes, I mean quit taking it altogether. Tapering is fine if you wish to do it that way, but as I've said in my previous post, if you're taking Adderall for a specific purpose in mind (in this case, you definitely are), then you will not be able to sustain taking a fixed dose over a long period of time, because the effects will wear off through tolerance and you will need to keep increasing your dosage till it's out of control.. Best of luck, reach out to me if you need anything.
  11. So it has been a while since I've last posted here and feel like I should provide an update before I venture into my post. Firstly and most significantly, I've graduated physical therapy school and passed my state board exam - I'm officially a doctor of physical therapy! Studying for the state board exam was an arduous endeavor, especially having to shore up my natural motivation to get myself to study for 5+ hours a day. This was a pivotal moment for me. I believe we all have this "thing" in the depths of our minds we believe could shatter our convictions and have us making that familiar phone call to schedule an appointment with our psychiatrist to load-up on more Adderall. Well, this was my "thing". I didn't think I had it in me to take on this 5.5 hour, 250 question examination that would ultimately determine my occupational fate. However, this was not an unfamiliar feeling throughout my recovery.. this feeling of inadequacy, this feeling of wanting/needing "more". "More".. the one word that still looms over my head even so far into recovery (which is 16 months at this point of time.. I think?). "More".. the one word that constantly and consistently attempts to thwart my efforts of living a life stimulant-free. "More".. the one word that I fear the most. And it couldn't have such a profound effect on my psyche without it's equally insidious and nefarious cousin "not enough" tunneling through my mind at every perceived impasse in my life. I thought earning my doctorate degree would finally prove to myself that I am adequate and can handle anything and everything life throws in my path - and it has to a large degree, don't get me wrong, but there's surprisingly still feelings of needing more to be able to accomplish what I want to do with my life, and this scares me, mostly because there's nothing for me to hide behind now - It's just me. The stimulant fueled masquerade is over, I stand alone, naked and vulnerable. With Adderall, I felt like if I needed to "take it to the next level", I could always pop my pill for that maniacal suit of armor to take on the challenge. It was my silver bullet.. my trump card. So.. why haven't I gone back to Adderall? You might be wondering now. Well, let me put it succinctly and directly, it's all bullshit, that's why. Adderall never took me to "the next level", it only provided the feeling of mental fortitude, but inevitably and invariably led to disastrous outcomes in the long run. Besides, whoever said vulnerability was a bad thing? Being vulnerable, that is, digging deep down and allowing the real "me" to be exposed to the world has only led to favorable outcomes. My relationships are stronger than ever, I'm able to connect with people in ways I've never thought possible, and my cynical sense of humor is coming back, something I've missed very much about myself. Also, paradoxically, the word "more" is also a reason why I haven't.. no.. will never go back to Adderall. For me (and very very likely everyone on this discussion board), a "controlled dose" AKA taking Adderall as prescribed by your physician is not an option. Why? Because if you're taking it for some purpose in mind (being more social, feeling smarter, getting more done etc.), then a fixed dose will not deliver what you desire for any extended amount of time. You will always need MORE. Anyway, I hope this post made sense. Yes, I have further to go in my recovery, but I've made some incredible strides and do not regret quitting in the slightest sense. I mean, this was, hands down, the best decision I've made in my life. If I were to label the first year with one word, I would call it the "recovery" phase. If I were to do the same with second year of recovery (thus far), I would label it the "adaptation" phase, because what i'm doing now is learning to adapt to life as "me" again. And though not everyday is great, at least I know life isn't passing me by as I dig myself deeper into the throes of addiction. Thank you for reading. -Dr. Duffman :-p
  12. Day 65 Severe Depression Kicks In

    On phone at work, but wanted to express to you real quick that what you're experiencing isn't some grand realization that you're worthless or the world would be a better place if you didn't exist. Rather, it's your brain's chemistry attempting to correct itself. At this stage in recovery, you're guaranteed to experience wild fluctuations in mood. Whatever you're experiencing, it will soon pass. Trust me. I was there many months ago.
  13. Hello, I'm Mr. 75%

    Pleased to meet you! Although, I guess it would be more accurate to say 'Pleased to be reacquainted with you!'...... Don't remember me huh? I'm you! Or at least 3/4's you. You, the ever present self. The only YOU there has ever been and ever will be. I'm must confess, I'm mildly offended I didn't receive a warmer welcoming. I just passed Mr. 60% walking in. I've never had the opportunity of meet Mr. 60% personally, I mean, only one of us can be YOU at a time. But word has it, he's a bore! Stumbling over his words when conversing with others, frequently losing this train of thought mid-sentence, inability to focus on anything longer than the maximum allotted characters in a twitter message.. a truly uninspired being! I see some familiar faces on this forum. There's Mrs. 25%.. Mrs. 50%... Oh Look! There's Mr. 10%, y'ouch! That was a rough one for you, remember that? All Mr. 10% wanted to do was lie on the couch, having one existential crisis after the other. You see? Relatively speaking, I'm a blessing! ..Oh I know *rolls eyes*.. EVERYONE wants to see Mr./Mrs. 100% walk through that door. Everyone on this forum keeps talking about how wonderful Mr./Mrs. 100% is and how much they miss them and how desperately they want Mr./Mrs. 100% back into their life.. Was it really that great though? I mean, wasn't it Mr. 100% that suggested to you to take that pill that allowed those psychos Mr. 150% and even Mr. 200% in? Yeah, those maniacal basket cases can handle.. or at least are convinced they can handle.. just about anything, but what happens when you run a system at 2x the output over an extended period of time? The system eventually falters, and those two disappear for good. Then Mr. 10% takes ahold of you, and to the couch you go! Anyway, I'm not here to place blame on you.. or.. or anyone else for that matter. The important thing is we meet again! I mean, we had some good times in the past. Remember 8 years ago when you were sick but decided to go into work anyway? I handled it just fine! Hell, I can even masquerade as Mr. 100% from afar. It'll take an in-depth conversation, public speaking or.. uhh.. or a big big test in order to even notice I'm not Mr. 100%!...... ....You don't seem satisfied... well, no matter, because I'm all you got right now! How long am I staying? Well that all depends on one person, you. Will you keep going? Or are you going to give in to the impulse of taking that pill again to entice Mr. 200% back into your life? Word on the street has it that Mr. 200% is gone. Sure he's accessible to other people who haven't taken the pill yet, but he's nothing more than a memory to you and all the others here that have been duped into thinking that taking that pill and letting that psycho in was a good idea in the first place. Yeah... Mr. 100% is still around. He's even beginning to contemplate wanting back in. Even though I seem to get no respect around here, I'm a good guy and I will hang around till Mr. 100% decides to come back in. Besides, even when Mr. 100% comes back in, we still get to hang out when you get poor sleep or have fallen ill. Until then, it's just you and me, pal! Anyway, just hit my 1 year mark! As you can tell from above, I'm about 75% where I want to be.
  14. The +2 Year Mark =,

    Hey Frank! I really appreciate you writing this because I too think there tends to be an excessive amount of "It will get better" and "stay positive!"s going around on many posts. This in itself isn't really a bad thing however it tends to make people who need to let their frustrations out and to expose their pain and suffering have a more difficult time having a voice in the conversation. No one wants to seem like a downer in all this, but in reality we all feel like you do in this post at times. We all want each other to succeed in this shit-venture, and to do that, we need space to voice both the positives AND negatives of our experience. I know I'm guilty of this at times. I log on with the intent of expressing my frustrations in order to deliver a message of 'Yeah, you're not alone in your suffering', only to see a lot of positivity and I don't want to be the cause of bringing people down when they're already going through so much shit. So again Frank, thank you. You and I are in a unique position (or at least I think we are), because we quit multiple medications at once. I quit antidepressants, benzodiazepines, amphetamines (Adderall), and phenibut all within the past 2 years. I have no doubt Adderall has been a major contributor (likely the biggest contributor), however I can't say how much the other medications are contributing in all this. For example, I still can't sleep and it's driving me insane. I've tried EVERYTHING and nothing works. I still feel like I could pass out mid morning -> late afternoon, yet am annoyingly awake at 11PM. Last night, I took a small dose of leftover benzo in order to fall asleep. I relapsed on benzos, and I can't say I regret it because I felt pretty good today. I'm pretty sure I can control this because I originally needed the benzo to help ease my Adderall crash, so I'm hoping I don't become dependent on this shit. There's a phenomenon called "PAWS", standing for Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. This phenomenon very possibly true for Adderall, but is most definitely and verifiably true with opioids (pain meds). Keep in mind you might be experiencing PAWS from your pain medication use. The shitty thing about PAWS is it can last several years (~2 years, but I've read stories where it has lasted for 5!). I'm not sure if that's an encouraging thing to hear, but it may provide insight as to why you're feeling the way you are feeling.
  15. The +2 Year Mark =,

    So this is where I believe referring to traumatic brain injury timelines is apropos, because I strongly believe we gave ourselves chemical brain injuries as opposed to, say, traumatic brain injuries (e.g. bumping your head) or ischemic brain injuries (stroke) by taking massive doses of Adderall. Now, healing times are very relevant to the conversation because healing from brain trauma is something that happens over the course of many months (usually a few years!), so being back to baseline would be incorrect in this instance. However, even if my hypothesis is wrong and our brains have absolutely no trauma, neuroplastic changes in the brain most definitely occurred while we were taking Adderall, and that takes a long time to correct; certainly longer than a month. When you take in a substance that influences neurotransmitters over the course of an extended period of an time, your brain adapts to this influx and begins to halt natural production of the said neurotransmitter, in this case, dopamine. In addition, our brain is constantly rewiring itself based on what we do to it or how we use it. Your brain's wiring was most definitely altered by using Adderall, no question. So your brain rewired itself to adapt to taking massive doses of Adderall, then you cease taking Adderall. The 'readapting phase', we'll call it, of your brain rewiring itself to accommodate a life without ingesting Adderall takes time, and there is no definitive timeline for this unfortunately. In all actuality, it never ends, your brain constantly changes itself based on your life experiences. You hinted towards this by saying 'They become more active and productive few months later because they were forced to function without adderall. Those tasks eventually become a habit. This is a result of training the brain, not really relief from withdrawal symptom' but then came to the almost assuredly incorrect conclusion that your brain is back to baseline because you're a month free. Adderall's half-life is ~11 hours, so it exited your system within the first day of quitting, but the changes it made over the course of you and I taking it remain. What I'm getting at is you shouldn't have this fixed view of "Well, I guess I'm healed as much as I'm gonna be, so that's that", because 1 month off is nothing. Your brain still has a long way to go to return to its baseline. And no, I'm not romanticizing your baseline as something that it's not, I even wrote a post about that topic (below). Keep going and don't give in. From what it sounds like, your addiction is beckoning to you to go back on Adderall. It will try convince you you're nothing without it, it will try convince you you're as good as you're gonna get, it will try to convince you you'll return to superhuman levels of cognition and energy if you just take it again.. all of which, is bullshit.