4 Months Off Stimulant Medications

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Hey everyone, 

Just wanted to post about my experiences with this stuff. I’ve been on some form of stimulant (Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse) for several years. I started law school recently and all of the negative side effects from these medications came to a peak a few months into my first year. Here are some of the side effects I had put up with over the years: 

  • extreme difficulty getting to sleep and diminished sleep quality, which in turns impairs focus, memory, willpower, nutritional decision making
  • worsened social anxiety
  • inconsistent focus - I would get a few hours of euphoric focus in the mornings, but could hardly focus at all in the evenings
  • ED and reduced sex drive - I’m healthy and in my mid-20s, so this should not be happening 
  • feelings of dullness and emotional unavailability
  • more easily frustrated and overwhelmed 

Over time I had come to believe that my ability to perform and keep up all my responsibilities was dependent on my taking these medications. I had excelled as an undergraduate student, both academically and as a varsity athlete, and felt that I could not have done so without stimulants. This is because every time I tried to stop, I’d never make it last the few weeks of lethargy.

I quit 4 months ago and I’m thrilled to say that everything seems to have turned around. It was very challenging, and I feel like I had to re-learn how to study, but it was so worth it. I’m not longer able to sit and read robotically for hours without breaks, but now I am actually digesting the material, drawing connections and understanding it on a deeper level. My memory is better. I’m no longer simply regurgitating information on tests. I’m way less stressed out about my future, now that I know my skills weren’t dependent on medication. I’m far less anxious socially and I’m better able to connect with people. It takes a bit more effort to focus, but with practice it has become far more consistent and sustained. I feel more emotionally available and the sexual issues have gone away completely. 

Needless to say, I definitely recommend quitting if your situation sounds similar to mine. I’m happy to answer any questions about my experience. Hope you’re all staying healthy.

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Welcome to the Forum!  You have a lot of positive things going on for only being four months stimulant free.  There are lots of ups and downs in early recovery, and it sounds like you are riding it out very well.  Congratulations for quitting and I wish you continued success with your Quit.

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