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About Marissa

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  1. That balance is definitely what's hardest about figuring any of this out. In college especially. It's a constant negotiation between work and socializing. I've found that when Adderall is thrown in there, the "balance" is nearly impossible.Taking it is committing to a day of isolation, work or no work. And, in my experience, whatever stability I got academically meant complete instability for my mental health, physical health, and relationships. I would choose my unfocused, non-medicated self over my medicated self hands down. But in an academic environment, I feel like I haven't been able to. I'm happy to be graduating and moving on so I don't have to make that decision any more. I'm glad to hear about your son doing well! He must feel great about it!
  2. I've been prescribed Adderall since 7th grade and have been taking it since (I'm a senior in college now). With the exception of last year I've always taken it as prescribed or at a lower dose than prescribed (around 40 mg). I haven't quit yet, but my first and second years of college were spent avoiding it at all costs, so I had a few weeks off of it here and there. Looking back there are a lot of things I wish I knew at the time. Mainly, I didn't make an effort to "quit" so I think it's really good that he wants to commit to that. I think framing his experiences as a part of the "quitting process" will be helpful. If he's extremely tired or hungry, or even depressed, he can know that it's one of the effects of quitting and that it wont be forever. He can also find ways to manage those feelings (I didn't try to because I didn't realize what was going on). I never find the "detox/withdrawl" to be all that bad, but other people seem to. It's intense exhaustion, hunger, and brain fog. I think the hardest part for me during the months that I didn't take it was the psychological dependency on Adderall. Before Adderall I didn't understand school at all. When I started taking it I finally knew what it meant to be a student and enjoy school. I made an early connection between my "smart" self and Adderall. When I went off of Adderall, I felt completely incapable, I felt like I was stupid without it. And those feelings really effected the effort I put into school and everything else. I pretty much abandoned my work because I thought "oh well I can't do it anyway", and when the time came to actually produce work I ended up taking Adderall again. When I quit (in a few days) I am planning on rebuilding my life, basically "starting over". This site has given me the encouragement that I can do it. I'm usually pretty weary of giving advice (especially since I don't know you or your son), but if I had someone in the supporting role that you're in I would want them to know a couple of things. The most important thing is to be encouraging and understanding. Little things, small tasks, without Adderall are huge. And the sense of accomplishment in completing them is immeasurable. For example, a few years ago, I edited/re-wrote a short paper for a class off of Adderall. I didn't expect it to be any good. But when I finished it, I ran all the way to my friends house feeling amazing and I wanted to tell everyone I saw. They didn't understand how big of a deal it was, and it would have been really nice to have had someone there validating how accomplished I felt. Also, before I quit I want to make a plan and ask my friend to help me stick to it. Basically having someone there to say "get up from your bed, you can do it, I believe in you, you need to do this and you'll be glad you did". I hope this helps a little bit! I think it's amazing that your son wants to quit. He has an opportunity to develop true interests, passions, dreams. I really wish I had come to that realization at an earlier age!
  3. When did you realize you needed to stop?

    I still need to work on a plan, I'm not sure how specific it's going to be or needs to be. But I'm going to look into articles on this site about nutrition because it's become very obvious to me that I have no idea what that is (9 years of adderall, I have no idea what "normal" people eat). I also want to start exercising and stop drinking so much. I remember when I was sober for 5 days in december, I had so much energy, and when I quit I want to harness that into something that's good for me. So far though, I decided to stop drinking until I finish my work because I want to start taking care of myself (as much as I can, on Adderall). It's been 12 days since my last drink, pretty sure its the longest time I've gone without alcohol in 2 or 3 years! Last week was real shitty but now I feel great. Only, I can't sleep because I'm still taking Adderall and I used to drink to fall asleep. By the way, does anyone have any suggestions for this? I'm quitting Adderall on May 2nd, but for now I could really use some sleep tips.
  4. When did you realize you needed to stop?

    Chris, I hope you're hanging in there, we're both so close to being done! I don't know about you but I daydream about being done with school and finally quitting every day before I take Adderall... it's the only thing getting me through this final stretch
  5. In need of support

    I'm still on Adderall right now so I can empathize with the way you feel. I have no idea what my "true" interests are, what path I want to pursue, or what I'm capable of. On Adderall I built up everything around me. I built and built, senselessly, without questioning why or what for, until I suddenly realized I was enclosed, trapped in an empty space that I truly do not fit within. Without Adderall I can't keep "building" on what I already have, but I think that's for a valuable reason- it's not me. I know I have to start over, without Adderall, and it's kind of scary but also really exciting. You're in a place where you don't know what you want, but you do know what you don't want, and that's your life on Adderall. If you cut the Adderall out of your life now, you're already one step closer to figuring out what you want. You stuck through school, you made it through, despite how difficult it probably was. You finished what you started, and you're totally capable of that. Why not take a chance now, stick it out through the detox, start building anew while you have these few months?
  6. The "first pill" and "abuse"

    I have so many thoughts about that post weighting4better! I've been wondering the same thing for so long. Mainly though, I don't think there is such thing as "safe-guarding public health", I think this label is what allows such dangerous drugs to circulate in the first place. Doctors aren't bad people, but I think they are misinformed because knowledge about medications is produced by the drug companies and reiterated as scientific facts. The harm that we've experienced from Adderall, in the scheme of it all, is an "adverse effect" to them. I read somewhere that one of the studies on rats and psychostimulants showed harmful results, and the drug companies "explanation" for it was that the study was flawed: the rats being tested were not ADHD rats, they were normal rats. ADHD rats, they argued, wouldn't have been harmed by medication. It's all interpretation, masked by the authority of scientific truth. I know this sounds conspiracy-ish but there are no definitive "biological markers" for any psychiatric illness even though it's repeatedly suggested. That's not to say that these illnesses or problems aren't real and that they don't effect people, to me that means that these problems are not products of our neurological wiring they are products of our environment and culture. About 65% of the task force for the DSM V is directly connected to the pharmaceutical industry. The psychiatric field and the pharmaceutical industry are co-dependent, they support one another and need each other. So these drugs that are coming out are not in the interest of public health they are in the interest of the industries/fields that introduce them to the public. Sorry for the long post. I feel weird making sweeping statements like this. Maybe Adderall does work for people, maybe it's not harmful to them and never will be, I'm not sure about anything really. But I think the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry, policy-makers, and psychiatrists is incredibly dangerous.
  7. When did you realize you needed to stop?

    I was reading one of the articles on this site earlier today, the one that's a letter to friends asking for help. I thought the writer put it perfectly when he said "This drug is evil in so many ways. Above all though, when you really realize it, it feels like being used". I think I spent most of my time on adderall not realizing what the drug truly was, and thinking I was at fault for feeling so bad all the time. That awful moment of realization though, paired with the feeling of not being able to stop, it's definitely like being used or cheated. This site is probably the only place that I've seen the "adderall trap" or "adderall hell" articulated and truly understood. It's so hard to explain to people that sort of thing, very few people can understand how complicated it gets, let alone how taxing it can be. I feel like many of the people around me (especially since I'm in college) are thinking "you have adderall, just get your shit done, it should be easy" when in my head it's screaming the exact opposite.
  8. Thinking about the "turning point" in Adderall use. For me I think it was when I realized just how much it effected my social interactions. I stopped taking it to have more fun, started to take it for school (when I "had to"), noticed how horrible I felt and how miserable it was and then ultimately how much I depended on it. It spiraled last year but I felt like I was enduring it, bitterly accepting a dependency that fed into every aspect of my life. When did it turn for you all?
  9. The "first pill" and "abuse"

    I read somewhere that taking Adderall for long periods of time makes people more sensitive to stimulants in some ways. I definitely notice this with coffee, coffee effects my sleep and my heart rate more than it should, even when I don't take Adderall. Maybe taking Adderall for those three weeks was a similar thing for you because of your previous meth use? I might be talking nonsense, just thinking out loud. The memory thing really scares me. I wonder how much damage I've done to my brain and what I can get back.
  10. The "first pill" and "abuse"

    I was just thinking tonight about taking adderall "as prescribed" in relation to all the disclaimers on this site. There are definitely people out there who take it as prescribed and never think twice because they don't have to, because they are told they need it and because it helps, because it is their "medication". That's how it used to be for me but it all changed and I can never go back to that mode of thinking. I wonder if it ever really stays that way for some people? Or if the change is inevitable? I just can't imagine taking Adderall (speed) all the time and that being a lifelong, sustainable habit.
  11. 3 Years of Adderall. Ready to Quit.

    Chris I really liked reading your story. I feel like I can relate too in so many ways, you articulated a lot of what I've been feeling as well. I have the same plan as you, final months of the last college semester, quitting as soon as I hand in the last piece of work. I think you can do it, I think you'll be happy you did. Everyday Adderall seems more and more like a pointless drug, and the stories that people share on this site only confirm that feeling.
  12. My best friend, Addy.

    just yesterday I was thinking about how numbing adderall can be. there's a vague sense of sadness, like you and brandy just said, but it's never truly felt. I'm really happy and excited for you. You can feel again!
  13. The "first pill" and "abuse"

    It's definitely infuriating, the whole thing. I'm no expert by any means so it's hard to say what the medical community knows or doesn't know, but from experience alone it certainly seems that there is a lack of information. I've spent countless nights, my heart pounding, my mind racing with paranoid thoughts, wondering "when is my heart going to give out?" "is this killing me and I don't know it?" "Can I ever get my brain back?", searching the internet for answers. I never found answers, never found any sort of information that was helpful, except for this site (that's how I found this site!). I spent all year feeling like a victim. Hating, regretting, wishing. I just reread one of my papers from two semesters ago about adderall and it was overwhelming angry, in a weird academic way. After being on this site and reflecting on my use I'm still angry, but more at peace. I think I'm starting to accept where I'm at, realize that I played a complacent role in all of it, and feel content that I know better now (or know a great deal more than I did). I've realized I can't change what is happening in society, but I can try, and until then I can change it for myself. I've always thought that pain is meaningful and this experience only furthers that notion to me. There's a lot that I would never know (in every sense) had I never taken Adderall.
  14. ADHD drugs linked to obesity

    This is really interesting. I'm pretty surprised/fascinated by the recent media coverage about adhd meds. The nytimes has been running a lot of articles lately that criticize pharmaceutical companies and doctors and such. Seems like there is a growing fixation stimulants as a "problem", but in a way that is questioning the bigger picture in a sense, not just the usual "college kids and abuse" stuff. In related news, I saw a few articles that say the company that makes Adderall and Vyvanse is trying to get vyvanse approved for treatment of binge eating disorder.
  15. The "first pill" and "abuse"

    Jon I think you have an interesting point. I agree, I don't think the medical community understands the gravity of prescribing addictive medication for long term use. I feel like there's a difference in the way the medical community sees speed and the way its actually incorporated into our understanding of it. If it's not working, up the dose, just like anything else. The only problem is adderall and other stimulants aren't like anything else, theyre kind of like a band-aid almost, they don't really "fix" the underlying cause. I can't wrap my head around why that doesn't seem to be more of an issue in the prescribing process. I never really thought about all drugs being legal at some point, cassie. I definitely want to read that book! from what I've read about speed so far is that it came to popularity in the 90's at the perfect moment- when public education was shifting in unprecedented ways and drug advertising restrictions became more lenient. I think there's been debate over which actually came first, adhd or ritalin. Did you know the company that produces vyvanse is trying to get it approved as a treatment for binge eating disorder? I got really sad when I heard about it. I think that relates to what you were saying about cultural demands and drug marketing.