I came across this website this week and it has truly been life-changing. I have been so alone, watching something alter my mind and body and not being able to discuss my anxieties with anyone for fear of scaring them.
I started taking Adderall in August. I'd taken it and loved it (loved it) before then, but I only took it from time to time. I've had depression since I was eleven and was prescribed Adderall once before (not for depression, but I'd been prescribed anti-depressants also) when I was thirteen or fourteen, but I didn't trust pills and wouldn't take them. I've been going through hell with my depression for the past few years and it got to a point where I knew it was beyond my control. It took me a long time to decide I would try medication, just to get me off the ground and give me the motivation to help myself get better. About ten months ago, I met with a psychiatrist and after the first appointment, I was diagnosed with ADHD and handed a prescription for Adderall 20mg XR. I felt...a lot of things. I had gone in expecting an anti-depressant and came out with what felt like a key to heaven. I felt guilty and elated. I felt validated.
I had identified a goal: fix myself. And my Adderall-induced brain went to work. I became obsessed with consciousness and psychology. I was having constant epiphanies about life and the world and myself--and though my mind was in a limbo of euphoria and sadness, I really did discover so many things about myself and what I believe. My journey with Adderall was a spiritual one. I consumed podcasts and TedTalks like potato chips. My interest in the world was superfocused and I was picking it apart like a puzzle.
But while my internal world was populating, my external world was falling apart. I was in a relationship that was definitely emotionally abusive with a guy who is very critical and controlling, and my depression and the Adderall just kept me spinning around and around, looking for this "better self" that I was trying to achieve. I couldn't sleep and I didn't eat. I lost a ton of weight. My skin looked like shit. I had rings underneath my eyes that I couldn't hide with any amount of make up. Prior to Adderall, though I needed time alone to rejuvenate and recalibrate, I had always had lots of great friends and was social. I have alienated myself from most of my friends, offending them or acting crazy with my monstrous and wounded ego (and a boyfriend whom they all hated). Adderall exaggerated other addictions, which I think is inevitably good because it made me recognize them for what they were. I was using external substitutes as ways to control myself because I felt out of control from the inside.
I changed my prescription months ago to 10mg IR. I am still not myself. Not that I expected to be my full self. I don't remember what that feels like anymore.
I am so fucking scared of returning to where I was before I began medication. I am scared of being sedentary, and returning to hopelessness. Adderall gave me the drive and focus that I have always desired and hated myself for lacking. But now I am an empty shell, I don't trust myself to be myself, and I'm terrified of what I am doing to my mind and body. My heart is constantly racing. I often cannot take a full breath. My veins look fucking terrifying and I can feel that my teeth and gums are just a little bit...different. I can't communicate clearly, interrupting myself midsentence and speaking it parables. I can't converse without philosophizing. With a lowered dosage, my brain gets tired and I am often fighting with it for consciousness as it longs to drift off into a fantasy world of tangents. I don't know what of my mind is mine and what is a drug anymore. I want to regain myself, but I also don't want to lose myself. I am so afraid that I will no longer be intelligent without medication, that the static will creep back into my mind and all of my thoughts will be erased.
I am moving back home in a month. I wrote a letter to my mom, inspired by this website.
I just...learning is so important to me. I don't want to lose my ability to do so. I don't want to lose my luster for life. But I am exhausted and hurt and lost.