I have spent a few days reading through various posts and can't tell you how good it feels to know I'm not alone in what I have been going through over the past two decades of taking stimulants.
I feel blessed to have found this forum.
To understand my relationship with stimulants required me to go back in time to my early twenties (I'm now 41), to my first full time job after completing my undergraduate degree. I had made my way out to Los Angeles after being hired into the Agent Training Program at the William Morris Agency and was now working my way up the showbusiness ladder, paying my dues as they say. My office hours started very early and went quite late and once home I would stay up several more hours trying to chip away at a mountain of scripts given to me that I was required to read and review for the following morning.
I was never a great student in school and the American way of teaching and testing was not a great fit for my non traditional style of learning. The result of all that struggle was a solid amount of work-performance anxiety that showed up as I began my career in the entertainment business -- in my head I was always one inch away from being fired. That anxiety lead to psychotherapy with a psychologist who then recommended me to a psychiatrist who after hearing about my insane workload recommended I be put on an antidepressant and stimulant and thus my entrance into the hamster-wheel of medication had begun.
Over the next eighteen years or so, while taking antidepressants and stimulants I excelled and was able to advance my career and achieve many of the goals I set out for myself. All that being said, like many of you, it has come at the cost of my mental and physical health. As I sit here typing my story I figure I have about 45-min to 60-min left on my Adderall XR before I begin to crash out, left with only feelings of extreme exhaustion, mental fog, agitation, depression and anxiety. My productivity, mood, energy, and motivation now revolve around my stimulant doses -- they are running the show.
Needless to say this is not how I wish to continue living my life. I have been able to reduce my total daily dosage from 60mg Adderall XR twice daily to 30mg XR twice daily and will try cold turkeying the rest starting tomorrow. I have met with Naturopath specializing in addiction therapy who made some good supplement recommendations that will hopefully ease some of the withdrawal discomfort (attached) and plan to give myself the entire month off from any work responsibilities to begin my healing process.
Thank you all for sharing your stories and being part of this special community of support! I know I will be leaning on you in the coming days and weeks.