pkr

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About pkr

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  1. Thoughts on taking Xanax?

    The last thing anyone wants here is a to go through benzo withdrawal. Adderall discontiunation is a walk in the park compared to Xanax, which has the added bonus of things like questioning your sanity and seizures. It will literally bring you to your knees. And the problem is, you will eventually have to go through withdrawal because of dose tolerance. You can read more about it here: http://www.benzo.org.uk/ I was never told you had to taper, so when I stopped quickly, I had no idea what was happening. Once I figured it out, I was able to go back on it and taper properly. But, I was milliseconds away from a psych ward before I did. I never really liked Xanax that much, because it mostly made me tired. So, despite my previous physical addiction, I'm able to keep it with me strictly as a crutch. My feelings now are: If you're going to take benzos, really try to avoid taking them every day. But, if you must, it's very important to use a longer acting one. Xanax is the worst offender as far as serious withdrawal problems--valium is much safer. I've since swapped Xanax for beta blockers (Atenolol), though. They ameliorate all of the physical sensations of anxiety, and for me that prevents the mindf*ck cascade that happens once those sensations arise. If you haven't looked into beta blockers, they're a really good option for anxiety. Good luck! PKR
  2. Hello all, It's been a long time since I've posted, and I've been doing pretty well. After 3-4 years of solid use, I'm about a year free of this, thank goodness. A lot of what I'd lost has come back, relationships, bonding, patience, all senses heightened in a good way. Mentally, I'm still sluggish, and my memory still suffers for sure, but I do see signs of that improving. What eludes me still, and shows virtually no signs of reappearing is a general sense of peace and warmth--that's the best way I can describe it. What I'm referring to is the awww feeling I used to get when the kids would jump in our bed on the weekends. Or the coziness of a quaint town or restaurant, or baby animals, or touching stories. After all of the progress, I STILL don't see that coming back. The weird thing, is that I don't feel a great sense of fear either. It's like both ends of my emotional spectrum have been lobbed off. And I'm nervous, because there was a specific incident that caused these feelings to go away and never come back. I'd been spectacularly worried about one of my kids who'd had a sudden, drastic behavior/energy change after having a bad flu. It took me two years of maniacal, adderall induced searching to figure out he'd developed food intolerances, and thankfully he is fine now. Long story longer, one night I was so frantically, hyperventilating(ly worried and frustrated that I thought I might die if I felt like that for another moment. And then something happened, where suddenly I felt nothing--emotionally numb--and it's stayed for 3+ years (1 year of that clean)! Some emotional components are coming back, but the general sense of safety/comfort and joy seems to be gone forever, as does a general sense of fear. I think I did some permanent damage, maybe in a PTSD way, because it's like my mind and body made a decision to only allow me to feel so much. Some of it is emotional, but it's also physical! For example, when I go on roller coasters, I'm not even scared. I don't get the stomach dropping feeling. Things that used to worry me, don't at all anymore. I can cognitively understand that I should be feeling differently, but it's like a wall went up between my heart and my mind, and they just don't work together anymore. Does this make any sense? Has anyone gone through this? Wishing you all a safe and productive journey! PKR
  3. Empathy

    Very interesting! It's probably some sort of survival mechanism. Emotions have got to be just a distraction to the fight or flight, response.
  4. The Adderall is a lie.

    Let me clarify. Every day it does NOT get better. It's haphazard. Don't get discouraged by the bad days, because this recovery is not linear. Just remind yourself that even when you have bad days, you are still making progress and the good days will return. pkr
  5. The Adderall is a lie.

    Steve, I'm in the same place as you with the anxiety and depression. And yes, once you quit, you'll be right back there. Please go out and get some Sam-E (start with 200mg a day, build up until you get some relief and then step it down til you feel like you need it again--it builds up and too much can make you very anxious. Ultimately you'll find your proper maintenance dose), fish oils, magnesium -there's a good one called "Calm" by Natural Vitality, a good quality multivitamin with the RDA of B vitamins, and some vitamin D. This will help tremendously with the depression and anxiety. Sam-E is an absolute miracle supplement, and I'm amazed it doesn't get the recognition it deserves. It also combats a lot of the fatigue. I also find it helpful to take a lot of supplements to satisfy my pill popping cravings. And do cardio like crazy! I swear, I've been sweating out four years worth of toxins, and my body feels infinitely better. I'm not totally out of the woods. I've made great progress since March, although I continue to cheat with 2.5 mg when I'm out in socially demanding situations, which I'm working on. But it is out of my everyday life. It feels so much better to actually feel life, to feel joy, to feel moved by something, to laugh, etc. I still feel like I don't have my full laugh back, and that drives me crazy. I also have periods of time where my head feels completely empty. After being a hardcore thinker my entire life, that is really disturbing to me. And I still feel disconnected from who I am, like I have to get to know myself again. My natural personality is still not ready to come out for some reason. But, every day it gets a little better, and every day I'm more grateful. And I swear I can feel the neural connections repairing. Good luck, and treat that depression! You'll be fine. pkr
  6. Hello everyone, I'd recently discovered, thanks to Cassie, that during recovery our brains have sort of synchronization issues, and it is important to understand that this is just part of the healing process. She emphasized the importance of keeping yourself 'entertained' while nature does its job. (Thank you again for that!) I'd been surviving with exercise, Sam-E, B vitamins, fish oils, magnesium, vitamin D, and occasionally N-acetyl Cysteine, but I was very discouraged that the recovery seemed to be so haphazard. Cassie's posts kept me optimistic, thank goodness. Recently, I added brain training exercises from Lumosity, and I have to tell you it has made a tremendous difference in a very short period of time. I've been fearful that I'd permanently damaged my memory, and when I started the training a week ago, I scored in the bottom 9th percentile for memory, attention and flexibilty. I've trained for about an hour a day every day, and I'm now in the 75th percentile. Obviously, as you learn the games you get better at them. However, it's tremendously comforting to see not only your own progress, but where you stand compared to others your age. I couldn't be too damaged if I'm scoring better than 74% of my peers a week into it. And my problem solving ability scored in the 95th percentile from the start--interestingly enough, I'd never been fearful I'd lost that. The game reflected exactly how I felt about my own functioning. Anyway, aside from the reassurance, I have to say that I'm 100% feeling the improvement it's making in my daily functioning. I'm definitely feeling sharper and more flexible in my thought processes, and the tendency I had to mentally wander off has diminished dramatically. Neuroplasticity is the answer here. We have to demand more from our brain and have the confidence that it will rise to the occasion. I hope everyone is having more good days than bad days, and they have a free three day trial if anyone wants to check it out. PKR
  7. How does recovery happen?

    Cassie! I owe you a huge thank you. I've had three good days in a row, and the difference has been your post. Every time I feel out of sorts, I've reminded myself that I'm not damaged, I'm just out of sync right now, and I just have to trust the process while nature heals. I can't even tell you what a difference your words have made, not only in how I'm feeling now, but my hopefulness in the future. My next hurdle will be when I have to work go back to the night shift at the end of the month. Wish me luck! I'm so thankful for all of you, and I hope you're doing well!
  8. How does recovery happen?

    You are absolutely right. Incidentally, I did the same thing ten years ago quitting (chain) smoking, and to this day I smoke one or two a month and always have nicorette on hand 'just in case'. Just in case what?! WTF is that? I am long past any sort of chemical nicotine addiction. And with xanax! Just a crumb, every now and then. I'm talking a nibble of a .5 mg, despite the fact that I have about 100 of them. Omg...epiphany. I'm using it all as a crutch, probably because I'm scared. Of what?! With the adderall, I went from totally fine socially, to a complete crazed maniac, and now I'm not sure what I'm left with, so that makes a little sense. But the rest of these little crutches? Why? Probably time to bite the bullet and find out. Looks like I have some work to do. Thanks guys!
  9. How does recovery happen?

    With regard to the 2.5mg cheats, I've been justifying it as a sort of a bifurcated weaning process. I.e. I can handle being adderall free for the day to day grind, work, kids, etc. But with regard to the social situations, I feel like I should have been weaning. And going from 30mg a day everyday, to 2.5mg every few weeks, in most respects feels like a victory. But of course, I would love for it to simply not exist in my life. I wonder what is a more efficient recovery method--to wean or not to wean. Fortunately, adderall scares the hell out of me right now, so at this point I'm not worried about stepping back up. I'm not so naive as to believe I'm not vulnerable to changing my mind some day, but I'm way too pissed off about missing these precious years with my kids to even consider it right now. So quit once, you think the tiny doses for certain situations aren't a good idea to function as a weaning process while I get myself together in other areas?
  10. How does recovery happen?

    Thank you, Cassie! That is very encouraging. "Synchronization" hit the nail on the head. I feel completely out of sync, with myself and the world. It's probably some sort of dopamine regulation issue as we heal. When I'm crazy busy, I'm desperate to have some couch time. When I do have some time to chill, all I do is feel guilty about the things I should be doing. When I'm alone, I feel like I should be social, and when there's any social event at all outside of my comfort zone, I just want to be home. Restless all the time!! I love the Voltaire quote (I would have thought Hippocrates!). I guess I just have to make peace with this process and have faith it will sync up at some point. And in the meantime...hmmm...work out, read good books, wine with close friends, and good quality family time. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Your insight is incredibly helpful.
  11. After 5 years of consistent use, I started the weaning process in March, and I've been almost completely off adderall since June. I feel good having quit, and I've had some pretty good days where I am so thankful for simple pleasures like smells and tastes and occasionally life in general, but they never last. When I envisioned recovery, I think I envisioned more of a one step forward two steps back scenario. I guess what I didn't expect is that I'm finding that I have many different kinds of days. Days where I can't feel a thing, completely numb to the world. Days I'm depressed, days I'm anxiety ridden, days in mourning for how I've represented myself to my neighbors or for how I'd treated my kids. Days where I see a glimpse of my former self, days where I don't know who the hell I have ever been. This supposed recovery is really very haphazard, and it's making it hard to feel like it's moving in any one positive direction. Is this typical? I'm having a lot of social anxiety, because I feel like I'm not getting proper feedback from the world around me--like I'm still faking my responses to it, because my natural instincts aren't kicking in. Does that make sense? I used to be quick witted and funny, but now my natural laugh still escapes me, and any funny response I might have is either too slow, or if it does come, I'm finding myself weighing whether I should say it or not. That was NEVER me. Social anxiety was never a problem, and I'm not sure if forced interactions will be helpful or if I should keep to myself for a while. We have a party in two weeks to meet the parents of the my daughter's classmates, and I have a real dilemma. It's a first impression situation of a very social school that she'll presumably attend for the next 8 years. Right now, I feel like if someone just met me, I'd come off as weird. Distracted, not engaged, slow, faking a laugh, just generally awkward. I have a very hard time following a conversation, and catch myself furrowing my brow and squinting in an attempt to sort of hold onto the words. It's ridiculous! And these are the handful of times that I've given in and had just 2.5 mg to help me out a bit. I've been taking Sam-e, which is very helpful, and I'm working out like crazy. I so want my old self back. Does it ever really come? I'm so thankful for everyone on this board1
  12. Empathy

    You are welcome! I hope you don't have any guilt about that time. It sounds like your mom was incredibly lucky to have you.
  13. Empathy

    Empathy is certainly a tricky thing. I think my lack of empathy with adderall stood out, in particular, because it was so counter to who I was before that. But certainly, my empathy has caused me plenty of trouble in my life. It's not necessarily a bad thing not to have it. In fact, I'm not sure a lot of doctors have much. My dad is a doctor, and he has none whatsoever. He cares, but he's not taking on anyone else's pain. And that's probably necessary to some extent. Just like everything else, there's a full spectrum of empathy, and you probably don't want to be too far to one extreme or the other. Adderall completely ameliorates it for me.
  14. Empathy

    I've been taking it on and off for years. It does amazing things for depression and doesn't get nearly the attention I think it deserves. Far better than any SSRI or St. John's Wort. I would like to have stopped taking adderall long ago and only taken Sam-E, but I haven't been able to get myself there (until now, hopefully). One possible negative that for me is a problem is that if I take it with adderall, it can put me in a (relative) rage, so I have to be very careful with the dose. I'm always playing with the dose, because it builds up in your system, and you can get to a point where you find yourself super angry with little provocation. I want to say that it has that potential without the adderall, but that the adderall lowers that threshold? But it's been four years on adderall, so I can't remember for sure. Anyway, I'm playing with the dose again, being completely off adderall. Typically I take 400mg for about three days, til I feel a little edgy. Then I stop completely for a few days and let it work it's way through. Those are the best days, and I probably go a week or so before I take a maintenance dose of 200mg maybe once or twice a week. It would be nice if it came in a smaller dose, because I tend to forget about it until my husband notices and asks me if I've been taking it. Then I start all over. I'm always surprised that more people haven't tried it. I wonder if they just don't know about it, or if they just feel more comfortable with a prescription antidepressant. It's great that it's working for you! And you just started? Would you mind keeping me posted regarding any 'build-up' scenario? I'm curious if everyone experiences edginess with higher doses. Have a good one! P
  15. Long term side effects of Adderall

    Whittering, I suspect that part of the problem is that you're so far away from the Adderall hell that you've forgotten why you quit. I'm happy to be reading your post, because it serves as a warning down the road. I'm in quitting euphoria right now, having had my first truly good day of feeling crumbs of normalcy, and I can't wait to see if I feel even better I tomorrow. After reading about your situation, it appears that quitting is its own drug right now, and if pills aren't thrown out at this stage, then I'll be where you are in four months or so. I'm guessing that if the laundry had been piling up and my daughter had ripped her toe nail off and I had been taking adderall, that my first reaction would have been a mental fury over one more frigging thing to deal with-and I wouldn't have had the patience and compassion that my daughter deserved. I would have manufactured it at some point, but it wouldn't have been immediate or natural, and she would have sensed my frustration long before she felt compassion. That's because I'm new to quitting and remember clear as day how I've been reacting to these situations, and the thought makes me shudder! I imagine as time goes by, as our memory protects us from the bad, that I'll forget how emotionally 'not there' for my kids I've been. That thought makes me shudder too. Good luck, and please keep going--for your kids, for you and, well, I'm just going to ask you to for me too. I'm just barely peeking my head out on the other side of this, and here's your chance to be inspirational! P