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Your ADHD meds and You


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I'm just wonder how much any of these meds actually help. I'm dreading becoming completly disillusioned in mine, but it might be inevitable.

What were/are you taking?

How much in one dose?

How long have you been taking them?

What changes have you noticed over time in how the medication effects you?

What do you take them for? / When? (e.g. before exams, every day,etc)

Benefits?

Side effects?

How does it help you? (e.g. performance in school,etc)

How does it hinder you? (e.g. less creativity, focusing on wrong things, etc)

What happens when you take too much?

what happens when you take too little?

Comment on the different between medicated you and normal you.

Other variables at play? (e.g. depression, learning disabilities,etc)

How does it make you feel afterwards?

Have you ever experienced withdrawal symtoms from either consistence long term use or even after one dose has worn off? What were they?

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  • 4 weeks later...

What were/are you taking? Paxil 40mg, Dexedrine, 15mg then 10mg (25mg overall)

How long have you been taking them? Paxil for over 10 years (with intermittent breaks) and Dexedrine for just a month

What changes have you noticed over time in how the medication effects you? Dexedrine, so far, helps me to complete tasks. I think i have better impulse control. Instead of jumping around from task to task I am able to see things to the end. I don't find myself overly focused. On the contrary, I still feel muddled in general.

What do you take them for? / When? (e.g. before exams, every day,etc) daily.

Benefits? completing tasks, better genuine stress management

Side effects? can't fall asleep. Horrible teeth clenching. To be fair i've always struggled with this but on dex my usual tricks to stop myself from teeth clenching don't work. I find myself doing it frequently.

How does it hinder you? (e.g. less creativity, focusing on wrong things, etc) I am usually a very articulate person but on dex I find myself stammering.

What happens when you take too much? Jittery. I get the shakes like when I'm cold. Teeth chatter.

what happens when you take too little? So tired and slow. Exceptional brain fog.

Other variables at play? (e.g. depression, learning disabilities,etc) depression

Have you ever experienced withdrawal symtoms from either consistence long term use or even after one dose has worn off? What were they? only lethargy

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  • 2 weeks later...

What were/are you taking? Adderall 60 mg per day

How much in one dose? 30 mg twice a day

How long have you been taking them? three years

What changes have you noticed over time in how the medication affects you? none, although I purposely take lower doses on days that I don't really need the higher dosage to head off building up a tolerance.

What do you take them for? / When? (e.g. before exams, every day,etc) I take them every day. Now that I am not in grad school (taking a year off to stay home with my daughter) I only take one 15 mg dose per day in the morning which isn't really enough but I am trying to get by on a minimum dose.

Benefits? They make me feel motivated to do stuff. I can actually finish something without being distracted by something else. I don't empty one half of the dishwasher and not the other etc. I can write a paper more than the night before it is due. I can actually write stuff that is coherent and makes sense. I can pay attention in class or to a project I am working on or to someone who is talking to me.

Side effects? I don't really have any significant side effects once my body acclimates and definitely not at this 15 mg dose. When I start at a higher dose my mouth is dry and my heartbeat is rapid. It takes about a week or two to get better. At the full 60 mg my mouth is a bit dry and my heartbeat is higher than usual but not racing.

How does it help you? (e.g. performance in school,etc) I feel like it unlocked my potential in school. Before ADHD meds it took overwhelming effort to stay on top of what I was learning and keep focused. I felt like I was always failing myself.

How does it hinder you? (e.g. less creativity, focusing on wrong things, etc) Definitely less creativity. Also this is hard to explain but it's like my ADHD hyper-focus overlaps with the ability to sustain tasks and creates a super-focus where I will spend a couple hours philosophizing about something. When I look back later at what I've written it's absolutely amazing (if I do say so myself) but not what I was supposed to be working on at the time.

What happens when you take too much? Jittery, rapid heartbeat, dry mouth.

what happens when you take too little? I wander around the house aimlessly thinking that I should really get motivated to do XYZ but I just don't feel like it right now. Lots of procrastinating. Distracted by everything and anything. Constantly redirecting myself. I forget to go to appointments or really anything that's not a habit.

Comment on the different between medicated you and normal you. Unmedicated me: I am a 40 foot yacht in the ocean. I bob around and can pursue a general direction, but am quite vulnerable to currents, waves, and storms. Medicated me: I am not quite an ocean liner, maybe a large whaling ship? LOL I will never be my non-ADHD husband, who seems to get everything done impressively with time to spare, but at least I feel more able to go in the direction that I want to go. I can read two 40 page articles and actually remember enough of them to comment and compare them. Unmedicated I would just read the same page over and over because I would get distracted so many times while I was reading it that I wouldn't remember what the first part said by the time I got to the end.

Also, just a comment on your choice of words: I don't feel like unmedicated me is "normal" me--I actually feel like medicated me IS the real me. I have always known I can accomplish certain things but was always frustrated by why I wouldn't do them. Now I feel like I can be the person I have always known I was.

Other variables at play? (e.g. depression, learning disabilities,etc) depression

How does it make you feel afterwards? when I was on generics I had a really bad "crash" at the end of the day. It was always at about 7 p.m. and I would just not be able to function. Now that I'm on brand name Adderall there is no crash - it's great. I have to pay a $50 copay instead of like $6 but it's SO worth it.

Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms from either consistent long term use or even after one dose has worn off? What were they? I wouldn't call them withdrawal symptoms, but when I was tapering down from 60 mg to my current 15 mg I was extra tired. I didn't know if that was normal tiredness coming out that was masked by the higher dose (I sleep horribly) or if it was a withdrawal symptom - probably a mix of both.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Let me just answer a bulk of all your questions by saying they DO in fact work.

These are some powerful drugs that really twerk your brain in all sorts of ways. Not just some placebo effect into thinking I can concentrate more.

How does it hinder you? (e.g. less creativity, focusing on wrong things, etc) Definitely less creativity. Also this is hard to explain but it's like my ADHD hyper-focus overlaps with the ability to sustain tasks and creates a super-focus where I will spend a couple hours philosophizing about something. When I look back later at what I've written it's absolutely amazing (if I do say so myself) but not what I was supposed to be working on at the time.

Perfect way to describe that mindset!

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Guest Recluse

Instead of just listing this out, I'll try to include the information in the post. I don't want to bother formatting line after line of your questions vs. my text.

I take Vyvanse 50mg and Adderall 10mg, usually in that order, but if I am sleep deprived, I switch it for the more fast acting medication first. They are taken in single doses for the day, and I've been taking them for almost a year now.

The biggest change I've noticed is more productivity in the right directions. There haven't been many changes, however my body has become somewhat more resistant to amphetamines, so my dosage has slowly risen to the point it is now at. With the addition of other medications, it is becoming more resistant, and soon I'm going to request another increase in dosage.

These are medications I take every day, even on weekends, as I was advised that Vyvanse especially does not need a 'resting' period over the weekend. It helps me function better in daily situations, regardless of whether I'm writing (my profession), working on any of my hobbies, or just having a conversation. I'm far more functional and less distractable on all levels.

The only unpleasant side effect is that as the Vyvanse wears off, I tend to become slightly moody or withdrawn. It's just a function of the medication, and is easily remedied by the dose of Adderall I take afterward to carry me through the rest of the day. At first, the change in mood was bewildering, though. One minor complication/hinderance is that Vyvanse destroys my appetite, which has helped me lose weight, however the drop in blood sugar from forgetting to eat, something I already had trouble with, can cause unexpected bouts of crying or anger. I have to monitor my food intake very carefully.

The drugs help me in myriad ways. I can read for lengthy periods again, and write for several unbroken hours. As a writer by profession, the ability to focus on a single subject for any length of time is deeply fucking important, and this allows me to do that. I can learn and retain information far better than I could while unmedicated, and on top of that, the general upper effect helps me fight agoraphobia and misanthropy toward people. I'm far more willing to talk and be cheerful than I otherwise would be without it. As far as creativity, I am able to be far more creative without my mind rolling around from subject to subject, it keeps me centered, but it does take a bit of discipline on my own part as well.

I say discipline because sometimes, I'll become fixated on the wrong subjects and just roll, and roll, and roll with them. I have to look at what I'm doing periodically and really ask myself, 'am I on task?' Usually the answer is yes, but if not, I have to pull myself away from whatever I was hyperfocused on and get back to what I was supposed to be doing. Depending on my mood or state of mind at the time, this is sometimes difficult.

When I take too much, I become sleepy and dull-eyed, but my heart will be racing. It's hard to pay attention when that happens, though it's only been by accident. When I take too little, the effect is basically nonexistent, if there are any benefits, it would only be a general uplift in mood or greater willingness to speak to strangers.

The unmedicated me is a cheerless ice-bitch who is perpetually angry because she can't focus for long enough to do the things she loves. She has neither the time nor desire to speak to people whom she doesn't know, and if you met her on the street, you would probably remember her on virtue of exactly how unpleasant she was to deal with. Snide, cutting, angry, sarcastic, vindictive, and genuinely not interested in your welfare on any level. The unmedicated me is not what I consider the 'normal' me...because that sort of behavior isn't normal. (It should be noted that I also take antidepressants and antipsychotics on top of stimulants.)

The medicated me, on the other hand, is pleasant, even a little talkative, smiles easily, finds it easy to let things go, and even if she becomes angry, it's only a minor, forgettable blip in her day. She talks to strangers, her head is up, and her eyes are bright and friendly, and in general, she's in a pretty damned fine mood. She can read, write, and focus, even in environments where she'd otherwise be overstimulated, and it's easy to transition between small interruptions and staying on task. I've become so accustomed to being this person, and recognizing that the 'other' me is not normal that this is my normal state with a few minor exceptions.

There are significant other variables at play, however the ADHD really exacerbates the rest. I was depressed, angry, mean-spirited, and in general just a horrible bitch of a person, and the real, deep reason for it was that I was angry that I couldn't focus. I couldn't write consistently, and writing is my real calling. I couldn't read for more than a few paragraphs without skipping around, I couldn't sustain any sort of work, and it depressed me, it angered me, it triggered mood swings, and when I did have periods of hyperfocus, I became desperate to keep them going.

The moment I sought treatment for ADHD, everything else improved overnight. Literally.

It was very profound for me.

As for withdrawals, they are non-existent. I don't experience them, and at the small dosage of amphetamine, I'd be surprised if many people did feel any sort of 'true' withdrawal. I definitely notice when I've forgotten to take the stimulants, only by virtue of being unable to function or increasing frustration, but there are no longstanding effects that I've ever experienced.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm just wonder how much any of these meds actually help. I'm dreading becoming completly disillusioned in mine, but it might be inevitable.

What were/are you taking?

see fine print below

How long have you been taking them?

5 or 6 years

What changes have you noticed over time in how the medication effects you?

Side effects much less after a few weeks. Possibly a bit less powerful, but that may be because I switched from Aderall to Dexedrine.

What do you take them for? / When? (e.g. before exams, every day,etc)

daily

Benefits?

stay awake in meetings after lunch

ignore the TV when I'm at the pizza joint

not sure I'm getting this one any more, but ability to recall specific examples when making an argument

don't have to take a shower immediately after getting a haircut

better sleep if I take a little bit before bed

Side effects?

Hard to say now because it seems normal, but perhaps increased libido, might sweat a bit more. Somewhat less hunger.

at first:

muscle tension. Slightly overdoing things like putting a glass down, i.e. with slightly more force than I meant. More sweat than now. Some noises sound like music when they aren't music. Once in a while get the urge to move, which comes out as one big twitch. Anxiety with Adderall. Really fast pulse with Ritaliin (gave it up).

etc.

How does it help you? (e.g. performance in school,etc)

see benefits above

How does it hinder you? (e.g. less creativity, focusing on wrong things, etc)

Don't really notice, except maybe the increased libido was a problem, especially at first.

What happens when you take too much?

I don't really do that. Maybe a bit hyper.

what happens when you take too little?

A little sleepy.

Comment on the different between medicated you and normal you.

see benefits

Other variables at play? (e.g. depression, learning disabilities,etc)

depression, successfully treated

How does it make you feel afterwards?

afterwards? Never 100 percent off it, see "too little" above.

Have you ever experienced withdrawal symtoms from either consistence long term use or even after one dose has worn off? What were they?

a little sleepy for a day or so

Doesn't fix everything, but helps a fair amount.

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