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Quitting Adderall FAQ

Table of Contents:

Should I quit Adderall?

Here is a little test for you. Answer these two questions:

  1. For all the things Adderall empowers you to do, what does it keep you from? What can you NOT do on Adderall?
  2. If you could have that back, if you could do that again, would it be worth giving up all the other things you CAN do on Adderall for?

If you answered “With all my heart, yes” to question #2, then you’re probably the type of person who will benefit greatly from quitting Adderall.

As an example, my answer to question #1 above would have been “I can’t write (too many tangents), I can’t exercise, and I can’t be myself around my girlfriend.”

For more more on whether you’re ready to quit, be sure to check out 5 Signs that You’re Ready to Quit Adderall

What are typical symptoms/side-effects of quitting Adderall?

  • Boredom
  • Mild-to-severe depression
  • Catastrophic loss of confidence
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Anxiety (about ever being able to function normally again)
  • Mental allergy to big and/or creatively-demanding tasks
  • Complete inability to concentrate
  • Lack of self-descipline
  • Near-narcoleptic desire to sleep all the time
  • Painful mourning/regret over the years you lost
  • Increased appetite
  • Increased desire to do physical activities
  • Increased interest in social activities
  • Sudden hatred of your day job
  • Time starts moving painfully slow during work hours
  • Hightened sense of humor
  • Increased sex drive
  • Genuineness, real and lasting growth, deeply true passion, and destiny

How long will it take until I’m back to normal?

Physiologically, it usually takes 2 weeks to a month for the brain to recover from a chemical dependancy (according to my well-respected psychology professor). But the mental battle can last much longer than that.

The longer you spent in “Adderall world”, the more twisted and dependent your reality became, and the more weight this statement has with you: “effort requires Adderall”. It’s all a matter of how long it takes to rid your mind of that concept…to be able to work without being self-conscious about the fact that you’re working without a pill in your system and that’s “unnatural”.

I took Adderall daily for 7 years. As of this writing it’s been a year since my last pill and I’m still working on breaking the “effort requires Adderall” absolute in my head…but I’ve made great progress.

Note also that you’re probably going to have to drastically redefine what “normal” is to you…that’s the scary (and eventually fun) part. If you try to define “normal” as “working at the same productivity level at the same job and same life I had on Adderall” then you’re going to fail. Because the answer there is “never”. You will hit that Adderall-like feeling of productivity and excitement and detail-orientation and confidence again, but only when you find something you truly love…and even then it’s going to take some time.

I tried to quit Adderall before, but I couldn’t do it…why not?

My guess: You were too ambitious. The number one reason most people fail in their first few attempts to quit is because they try to hold onto reins they grabbed on Adderall…They try to maintain their normal productivity level at work, doing the same kind of mentally-demanding work they usually do.

You keep thinking that quitting means tremendous effort, that it means weathering through day after day where every hour is filled with torturous mental discomfort until maybe one day your tolerance for mental pain will be so high that it won’t matter. You think it’s a matter of summoning herculean effort within yourself and maintaining it for an impossible length of time.

You try it that way (the hard way). You skip the pill and start working. You fight the urge to take a pill as hard as you can; noble, awesome person that you are, you keep working through the pain, through the overwhelming sense of futility and lethargy.

You stop every once in a while to open your pill bottle and stare down into it. That little voice whispers: “Why are you putting yourself through this? What’s wrong with working hard? Productivity is virtue. Nobody really cares that you take Adderall. It’s pharmacuetical! You need it! Your life just feels off track because you’re not done working a lot yet, because you’ve made bad decisions regardless of the Adderall. Plus, once you finish this project, then it will be easier to quit…you’ll have plenty of time to quit then…worry about quitting later. This is stupid. This is pointless. You’re making this Adderall thing a way bigger deal than it actually is. Just take the pill. Impress them all with how well you do this project.”

You close the pill bottle and put it away. You stare back at your work. You clinch and tell that little voice to shut up. You push ahead. It’s like holding your breath and trying to run long distance.

As great as you do at first, as noble as your intentions, as committed as you are at the beginning, you always buckle after a week or so. It just gets too heavy. A massive project comes through and all eyes are on you and you say “screw it” and reach for the pill. And then you feel like you just didn’t try hard enough…you just weren’t good enough. Oh well. Not meant to be this time I guess. And then another year goes by.

If that sounds familiar to you, then here’s the secret: you have to accept that you’re going to be worthless for a while and just go with it. And it’s never going to be a convenient time to do that, so might as well start now. You’ll thank yourself later.

The name of the game is “Get through the day without taking a pill”. Not “get through the day and do all your work”. Just “get through the day sitting at your desk”.

For the first few months all I did at work was come in as late as possible, watch South Park episodes online, go on lots of smoke breaks, and take as many phone-based work tasks (e.g., conference calls) as I could from my cellphone so I could walk around outside…and the day was still horribly long. But I got through them. And then they started to be bearable. And then I started to squeeze a little work in.

Won’t my life fall apart around me if I quit?

Your life falling apart is kind of the point. You are quitting adderall because you know there is something very wrong, very false, very off-course about your life…and about you. You are quitting because you mourn the person you might have been if you had spent all these years developing naturally instead of sidetracking yourself into Adderall world. You are quitting because you’re tired of wondering what that life might have looked like — what you might have looked like — and you’re tired of that nagging, convicting feeling that the other life…the one you missed out on…might have been much, much better.

Well, from the first day you get through without Adderall onward, that other person and that other life will come bursting through your current reality at the seams whether your reality likes it or not.

Have you ever watched a horror movie where somebody turns into a warewolf? At first he just knows that something is wrong; something doesn’t feel right. Then he starts itching, scratching his arm with a worried and bewildered look on his face. He starts grunting and convulsing. Then he’s screaming. His skin starts tearing apart…hairy muscles bursting through it. His hands swell and the flesh falls away to reveal gigantic, furry paws…talons grow through his fingertips as his fingernails pop off…he throws his head back and roars as his face contorts and stretches into that of a hideous monster and his teeth extend into demonic fangs, glistening in the moonlight. He is no longer the proper, controlled human man he was a couple of moments ago; he is a snarling beast, exploding with rage and power and animal desire.

Quitting Adderall is kind of like a slow version of that. Except the warewolf underneath is the person you were meant to be and the life you were meant to have…unchained…uncontrolled…unpredictable…wild…powerful.

How can I face losing the approval of everybody whose opinion means so much to me?

By being selfish and saying (to yourself) “I’m sorry, but I’ve just got to do this for me to survive” when it comes down to it…and hoping that one day they’ll understand. But do what you can to lesson your burden on other people. If a coworker needs your help with a task, do what you can to take care of it, even if it takes you 5 times as long and you do it 5 times more shitty and half-assed then you would ever consider doing it on Adderall, and do it with a smile. No reason you have to be a miserable ass while you’re quitting…you can still be helpful and polite to others.

And for the love of God (and for the sake of your relationship), if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, WARN THEM FIRST. Make sure they understand as fully as possible the burden you are about to put onto them.

Is quitting as painful and difficult as I expect?

Overall, quitting Adderall is not as emotionally painful or difficult as it is emotionally expensive. It’s kind of like stripping yourself naked and lighting everything you own on fire. It can be hard to watch some stuff burn. It can be even harder to discover that you can’t save it…or you try to but don’t save it in time…and then you feel so guilty about the loss.

On your good days you’ll see something that you always held as valuable set ablaze and you’ll be able to remember why you’re doing this…and something inside you will chant maniacally “Burn baby, burn!” knowing that eventually, in the place of this thing you thought was so important to you, will grow something completely new that will suit the new you — the real you — much better. But only a part of you will feel this. The rest of you will be crying in agony.

The average day of your life off-Adderall is like a funeral and a birthday all at the same time.

By far the most pain I’ve ever experienced from quitting adderall has occurred when I tried to hold onto something I should have just let burn…or better yet, poured fuel on. You know everything needs to go; needs to change. Your subconscious knows this. You can try to fight it but it’ll sabotage you every time. In time you will see that what you view as failures, as catastrophes, as tragic losses…were all just making the ground fertile for the beautiful forest that is to come.

You have to believe that. As guilty as you may feel. You know it wasn’t right. Not like it was. Probably not at all. And if it’s a relationship, all parties involved will eventually see that and be happier for it. If it was part of the life you created on Adderall, it was probably false in some way that will be immediately apparent when its new replacement arrives. Perhaps the hardest part is having faith in this sometimes.

Will I gain weight if I quit Adderall?

Usually, yes, you will gain a little weight when you quit Adderall. The good news is though that along with this increased appetite/normal desire to sleep that makes you gain the weight comes a substantially stronger natural urge towards physical activity and excercise.

You may gain a few pounds right after you quit, but soon you’ll be hitting the gym/running BECAUSE YOU WANT TO so it won’t belong before you’re looking better than ever. Adderall can shrink you down in weight to the point where you feel and look unhealthy…it’s a bad skinny. Quit Adderall and through your natural desire to get up and do something you’ll be good skinny.

Seriously, one day after you quit Adderall you’ll be sitting there and all of a sudden you’ll get this overwhelming urge to do something physical. Just follow that urge when it hits and you’ll be in great shape in no time.

When I quit Adderall a year ago I started to exercise immediatly so I never really noticed a weight gain. Nowadays I lift weights 4-5 times a week plus I swim and run…starting to really get the urge to do a sprint triathlon or something. I feel great. I love every minute of my exercise. I actually look forward to it.

242 Responses to “Quitting Adderall FAQ”

  1. robert says:

    I’m really scared about quitting. I’ve tried 3 times, got about 6 days, and went screaming to my psychiatrist to get more. I don’t know if I’ll be able to walk the dog, cook meals for myself, go to doctor’s appointments…those last times I just laid in bed in pain with my head spinning. I’ve been on stimulants of one kind or another for about 12 years, and they have ruined my life. Evil, poison, terrible shit. Try to start a forum so we can get support for each other when going through the hell that this promises to be. Thanks so much for being here. I have great hope that this time will be it. I told my doc to stop writing me prescriptions.

  2. Mike says:

    Hi Robert,

    Don’t be scared. Reserve yourself to the task you’re about to face — the unpleasantness as well as the ultimate benefits.

    Have you been taking the stimulants every day for 12 years, or do you take weekends off? It sounds based on your withdraw symptoms (pain, head spinning) that you’re used to having it in your system 24/7.

    That may make quitting a bit more difficult on you because you’re totally unfamliar with the feeling of being sober.

    In general, walking the dog, cooking meals, going to doctor’s appointments…that kind of stuff shouldn’t be terribly difficult to muster energy to do (well, maybe you get fast food for the first little bit). It’s the mentally-demanding tasks that tax you and make you want to reach for the pill.

    12 years is a pretty long time, but not too long. I took Adderall for 7 years. The long length of time you’ve spent on stimulents just means that you have less of a clue what’s underneath all that drug-induced thinking. Your real self is that much further back and it may take a bit longer for you to start to remember what kind of track your life was supposed to take.

    But that’s all the more reason for you to stick with it. I just want you to know that it may take you a while to start feeling like “yourself” again…but it will happen. Don’t get discouraged too quickly.

    6 or more days of lying in bed not being able to function may be a part of what you need to get through to quit. What happens after that? Eventually you will be done sleeping (at least for a few hours).

    Think of your amphetamine-riddled mind like a sponge soaked with poison. The first step is to stay off the drugs long enough for the sponge to dry out. The next step is to start re-wetting it with real, pure water.

    I’ve started that forum you mentioned. Check it out here…
    http://quittingadderall.com/forum

    If you have any questions or you feel like you can’t take the pressure, make a post on those forums and wait on the response before you go back to the pill.

  3. robert says:

    Hi Mike: I’ve been trying to taper…trying the easy way out, and it’s not working. I went from 120 mg. to nothing, lasted a couple of days, freaked out, and now I’m on 40 mg. But it’s over tomorrow. I’m quitting once and for all. I’m writing a letter to my psychiatrist to never write me a script again, and I’m flushing the drugs down the toilet. I CAN DO THIS!! I KNOW I CAN. I’m tired of being a victim to these pills. It is over. I’ll keep in touch. You are an inspiration.

  4. Mike says:

    Robert, the fact that you at least stepped down to 40mg (cutting your dosage to a third of what it was) is a success in itself. You went from 120mg which is IMHO serious abuse level to a more “healthy” 40mg (healthier than 120mg anyway).

    So that’s one success under your belt. You’ve stepped down that far at least.

    I don’t know whether you’ve already thrown all your pills away, but there’s no harm in trying a step-down method.

    Don’t worry about taking the “easy way” out. Because, easy or hard, it’s still a way out. And that’s the point.

    Of course, if you have already thrown your pills away then no turning back now!

    Going cold turkey is definitely uncomfortable (gross understatement), but if you can make it 30 days without any pills at all, then chances are you won’t turn back (or it’ll be extremely difficult for you to turn back because you’ll have so much success under your belt that you won’t want to throw away).

    Let yourself freak out if you have to. That’s normal. This is a long process from where you are back to “normal” (it’s been over a year for me and I’m still not there, but I’m getting closer every day). As you said, you CAN do this.

    I once read an article about an obese man who decided one day to monitor his food craving. He was sitting on the couch and started craving food. Instead of getting up to go get food, he forced himself to stay sitting on the couch. He sat there, and monitored the emotions he was going through. The urge to eat grow stronger and stronger, to the point where he almost couldn’t take it. But he kept sitting on that couch. He was craving food so bad that the anxiety gave him cold sweats. Still, he stayed seated. Then he became terribly afraid…terrified of the idea of not giving-in to the craving. This pain and anxiety and terror got worse and worse for 45 minutes. Until, gradually, the craving subsided.

    The obese man learned to anticipate this chain of emotions, so he could recognize it happening whenever he had a food craving. He could say to himself “ok, next is the anxiety, then the cold sweats, etc, and then it passes”.

    He used this knowledge to de-mystify the craving for food; made it logical rather than emotional. And he eventually overcame his cravings enough to conquer his obesity and chronic overeating altogether…to eventually become a healthy, balanced eater.

    Take that for what you will.

  5. Laura She says:

    Mike you are phenomenal writer! I’m very inspired. This morning I flushed my pills down the toilet. Stepping down is for people who never stepped up to feel better. People who are indifferent to or disgusted with taking drugs, I suppose they are able to step down. To me the whole idea is hilarious. Its as if my doctor is telling me, “hey! why not stockpile extra adderalls so you can have lots of extra ones when you are in a time of stress!!!”

    Brilliant! So next time I face a formidable challenge, say a test in Grad school, I can take my hard earned surplus and feel extremely productive as I sit at my desk for days at a time and get NOTHING done.

    I’ve been very desperate and obsessed with my adderall problem for a month. I can totally relate to Robert because I’ve been on it for 13 years and just a little over 5 days is the longest I’ve been able to do without it. I feel this “step down” line is ultra PC and am finally at the point where I’d sure like to tell EVERY doctor who says that,

    “You just don’t care if I take drugs for the rest of my life! More money for you huh??”

    yeah so I say to the toilet with the orange devil pills.

  6. Mike says:

    Hi Laura!

    Thanks for your comment. Congratulations on tossing the pills! Hope you’re hanging in there OK. The first few days/weeks are by far the roughest parts.

    Stepping down is for people who never stepped up to feel better.

    Seems I’m not the only writer in the house. Couldn’t have said that better myself. Although I’ve acquiesced to the notion of a step-down approach to quitting (since I get so many questions about it), I will always favor cold turkey for pretty much anything. For me, it’s the only way to go. With cold turkey, you start immediately on habitualizing the absence of the thing you want to remove from your life…using the power of habit as your salvation where once it was your undoing.

    Yeah, in my experience, you’ll never find understanding in the words of the doctor who gave you the pills in the first place. The best a doctor will do when you tell him you want to quit is look at you quizzically, then suggest an alternative drug.

    If you’ve been on it for 13 years and have never gone more than 5 days without it, I have one question for you: What pushes you back to the pill? What force or pressure or environmental factor wins dominance over your desire to stay off the pill?

    I think most people as far into Adderall as you are and as I was feel stuck. You can’t live with yourself on Adderall, and yet you’ve created a life that demands you keep taking it. You have to allow that life to die. When you put down the pills, and whatever that looming pressure is starts to build up, requiring your Adderall self, you have to let the pressuring thing consume you and wash over you. You cannot fight it without the pills so don’t fight. Move and redirect Aikido-style.

  7. Laura She says:

    Akido???
    No way. I’m BJJ all the way. Beautifuckingful writing again. What drives me back?? ok I’ll answer that when I’m not drunk.

  8. Mike says:

    Sorry; misspelled “Aikido”. Corrected now.

    From Wikipedia
    “Aikido is [a martial art] performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on.”

    What’s BJJ? Yes, do let me know when you sober up and figure out what drives you back to the pill. Just think back to the last time you gave up and took a pill after trying to quit. What were the circumstances? What pressure made you reach for the pill?

  9. Henry Benjamin says:

    Wow.

    This site is amazing. Mike, you’re an amazing writer, and the first time I read, “Your Challenge,” I thought I had wrote it. The language comes straight from the ADD brain: creative, insightful and experienced. I’m amazed that you sorted the rest of the site out coherently, as I have never been a details person.

    I’m in a bit of a trap, though. I’m lucky enough to have a very short history with Adderall, starting when I took a friend of mine’s 30mgXR. I was high as a kite and got everything done that needed done that week, in one day! I’m in college, next fall will be starting my senior year. After I tried that guy’s Adderall in sophomore year (2 years ago), I knew I had to get some more. I talked to a shrink who made me jump through a few extra hoops and do more testing to get the drug, since on my campus everybody seems to get a bad case of ADD/ADHD right around midterms and finals, and goes to the shrink. So I had to prove that I really had ADD and wasn’t just pill-begging.

    However, it turns out I did have ADD. I always thought of it as a procrastination problem, that it was a problem of willpower. I am also lucky that I didn’t take adderall every day, and become physically addicted (until now), but I did have the instinct to pop the pills when I had a hard test or task coming up.

    After having a very easy semester abroad studying in Copenhagen for my History major, I decided to enroll in one of the country’s best language schools. This school is extremely intense, I’m taking Mandarin Chinese for 9 weeks straight, and the language pledge means that I cannot speak a word of English unless there is an emergency. This school is the toxic environment you warned about.

    According to the school’s handbook, it compacts about a year’s worth of learning into 9 weeks. Being in an immersion environment makes it much easier to learn the ridiculous amount of material we are assigned every day. However, I’ve begun to take adderall every day, and last Saturday I took none, and just lay in bed all day. It was then I realized what adderall could do to my body, and that I had to get off it.

    Your metaphor of the game Perfection was similar to me saying that putting me in this environment is like a round hole for a square peg. It doesn’t fit, but adderall makes me fit. Next week I have midterms, and tomorrow I have a test. I don’t know what to do, because I want to give up this drug, but I’m already behind in my studies due to spending the semester abroad in Denmark rather than China. Adderall helps keep me on track, and since I usually only take 20mgXR (once in a while an extra 5-10mg, sometimes just a 10mg if I have a half day), I feel that I might be able to slightly wean myself off of this ungodly thing.

    5 more weeks. I know that’s a pittance compared to 7, 9, even 12 years that I’ve read about in you experience and other comments. After that time I’ll have 3 weeks of break before my regular college starts up again.

    I really want to quit, but if I do I fear that I’ll do even worse than I am now. After I get out on August 14th, I’m going to go cold turkey, as well as every Saturday. But right now, I’m living in a toxic environment, and I cannot leave unless I jeopardize my future. I feel like I must fight toxicity with toxicity. You yourself advocate not doing anything while coming off the drug, the rest of the summer vacation may be a perfect time to do that.

    Depression is the deep seated belief that we are powerless to change our condition. I must weather this storm as best I can, and take with it the knowledge that I do not want this kind of work in the future, I do not want this robotic life. If I am a lion, then the current educational and societal system we live in is a zoo.

    I’m sorry to let you down, Mike, but I’m going to take another 5mg. There’s a test tomorrow and my grades are already not on par with what I’d like. From talking to people who have taken this course before, it will only get worse. I know on a conscious level that this will only reinforce the “effort = adderall” concept in my brain, but it can’t be too long before I extricate myself from this wasteland and purify myself.

    Right? Is the time now? Can I put my life on hold and wait?

    Just swallowed the little blue pill after staring at it in a moral roadblock for a good 5 minutes. A good 5 minutes that I could have spent working.

    Got to go now. Much to do.

    -Henry Benjamin

  10. Mike says:

    Hi Henry,

    Thanks for the post!

    ADD, as diagnosed, prevents people from being able to tolerate and enjoy normal jobs. As you said, you’re a lion, and the current educational/societal system is like a zoo. You’re ADD makes it difficult for you to thrive within that zoo. You keep feeling bogged down by the bars and cages.

    So you pop a pill, and suddenly you’re happy to thrive within the zoo. There are two ways to view this outcome:

    1. Problem solved. Now he can be a productive member of the zoo community.
    2. You were never meant to live in the zoo. You were meant to find a way out, where you can thrive and love and succeed exactly as you were built naturally. Hence the Perfection example, which you understood well.

    In this vein, I warn you against worrying that failing this program would jeopardize your future. It would jeopardize one future — a future you admitted to having misgivings about. Is it bad to jeopardize a future that you do not want? When you make a choice that goes against one future on the grounds that some part of you does not want it and feels there’s a better destiny out there for you, then you are by default making a choice in favor of a better future, even though it may not be defined/clear to you yet. Succeeding in this program could mean locking you in tighter to a future you weren’t meant for.

    Be aware of that.

    That said, I really don’t think there’s any shame in popping pills for five more weeks just so you can graduate this program. The only reason I make this concession is because there is a very fixed time limit.

    Do not take this as an endorsement of rationalize further use under the same pretext. With Adderall, it’s shockingly easy for “just until the end of this program” to become “just until the end of this semester” then “just until I graduate”, etc.

    Never forget that every time you choose the pill over your own natural willpower and ability to swim through your own problems creatively, you forever weaken those qualities within yourself.

    For as strong a person as you’re going to be when you finally quit, you could have been incrementally stronger for every one less pill you took. You will never get back what you lost for choosing weakness and conformity over strength and self-direction.

    Summer may be a good time for you to quit. But I have another warning for you in this regard: staying off Adderall while you’re on vacation doesn’t help or count towards quitting. Staying off Adderall while at work/school is what counts — that’s what forces you to rebuild your willpower and creative problem solving (ability to get things done SOMEHOW even when it’s unpleasant). It helps a little. But all bets are off once you get back in the environment that pushes you towards the pills. No amount of summer vacation without Adderall is going to make that first sober homework assignment any easier.

    I’m not saying that starting your quitting process during the summer is a bad idea; just know that the real challenge will come when school starts again.

    Thanks again for your post. Good luck. I think you’ll be alright. It sounds like you’ve got plenty of the right seeds already planted in your mind.

  11. KW says:

    Hi Mike, thanks for your encouraging words. I have been taking Adderall for five or so years now, with my highest dosage being 30mg (XR). When prescribed the drug my junior year of high school, it changed everything for me. I have had a severe anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember, and inconsistent with the usual complaint, Adderall helped… sort of. Adderall alleviated the stress I had in school because I was finally doing well in school. When I went away to college I continued to take Adderall and it helped me with the work. Anxiety would creep up here and there, I’d blame it on the Adderall and swear to work towards getting off the med. By the next day the anxiety would be gone and I’d take it again. For about a year now I’ve been concerned with the long term affects of Adderall and I’ve known that it is most necessary to get it out of my daily regimen. I also feel like I’ve been cheating myself. ADD/ADHD is a characteristic of our society. Everyone has some symptoms, but not everyone cops out by taking Adderall. I felt like I was a cheater; not letting myself deal with anxiety, lack of attention, and not challenging myself. About a month ago, after having terrible anxiety I began reducing my dosage (without a doctor’s consent) and now haven’t taken it in two days. My anxiety is through the roof, the smaller my dose got, the more panicky I became. Last night I woke up and had an extremely terrifying panic attack and had to take half a Xanax. I am hoping that the trauma is connected with withdrawal symptoms, not of something more severe. I’m seeing my doctor today in an effort to figure out what my next step is. I’d prefer taking a homeopathic course in treating my anxiety. I am grateful to report that I haven’t had any bouts of depression… I really feel like I can do this and I’ve set my goal at achieving a 4.0 this semester – my last semester of college – all without Adderall. I’ve been exercising to help my anxiety as well. I guess this long, rambling excerpt from me is to receive some encouragement from someone who seems so stable. Thanks for what you are doing here.

  12. Mike says:

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks for the comment! That feeling of cheating is extremely common. I had plenty of that. And I can tell you that as much as Adderall feels like cheating, quitting Adderall feels like finally going legit and learning how to play without cheating.

    Think about a person who cheats at online poker by installing a card-counting application. Online, where he can cheat, he’s a king. He wins so much that he begins to take credit for it and think that it is his mostly his own talent doing the winning (with just a little help from the card counting application). Then one day he gets invited to play at a real in-person poker tournament, and gets absolutely crushed because he tragically discovers that without his cheating tools his natural ability is sorely lacking. What’s worse, all his friends can beat him easily even though he’s accustomed to destroying them online, because they have spent the time he spent cheating developing their natural ability.

    Now, Adderall is a little different. It’s legal. It’s prescribed by a doctor. In the eyes of society and the law, it is not technically cheating; it’s just medicine. But people who take Adderall know better, as you’ve said. They know that it’s much worse and much more destructive than cheating at online poker: it’s cheating at life — it’s fake growth.

    The point is that some day you’re going to want to play for real; to grow for real.

    It sounds like you’re ready to do that.

    But in addition to the difficulty everybody else has with quitting Adderall, you have to face your anxiety too.

    You said that you wonder whether the trauma is related to withdrawal symptoms or whether it is something more severe. What could that more severe thing be? A natural chemical problem that is in escapable? Or some actual, real-life trauma? Or just some severe hang-ups that you need to find your way through?

    If you have a natural problem with Anxiety, quitting Adderall is going to be a special kind of hell for you. But not one that you cannot eventually weather through with patience, faith, and creative problem solving.

    As you said, ADD is a natural phenomenon that everybody has in some way but some people wrongly try to “overcome” with Adderall and end up causing themselves many more problems than the little bit of ADD caused in the first place. Anxiety is the same way.

    Anxiety has it’s natural place in life. When you have a bunch of crap weighing on your mind because a bunch of crazy stuff is going on in your life; most people get anxious. But it’s worse for some people. Way worse. You sound like you might fall into the “way worse” category. I think the amount of anxiety you experience depends on two things: 1. The external factors (the quantity and nature of the crap on your shoulders). 2. Insecurity (about your ability to handle said crap and make it through OK). Forget about #2. Worry about number 1. Learn to worry and move at the same time, and use that movement to to reduce — by whatever small measure — the amount of crap on your shoulders. Action breaks the cycle of worry.

    And never let yourself have anxiety in bed. Nothing seems possible from the position of lying down in bed; everything seems inescapable and horrible and unmanageable. That’s because you can’t escape or manage anything while lying down in bed. The second you start worrying in bed, stand up and move around. You’ll find your worry reduces significantly.

    As for your mission to quit Adderall, maybe cold turkey isn’t right for you. Maybe you want to step-down. Do it slowly and gradually. Cut 1/4 off the dose and hold that level for 30 days. Then take another 1/4 off. Don’t hesitate to reduce the step-down amount (i.e., 1/8 instead of 1/4) or wait a bit longer before taking the next step down. Do what you need to do to manage each little flare up of anxiety as you go down. You control the pace and slope. BUT NEVER STEP BACK UP. Be prepared for increased anxiety when you finally stop taking any at all, even after all that stepping down.

    You may need to switch to regular pills first so you can break them up (harder to do with Adderall XR). But if you don’t want to do that then you can always break the pill open and try to split up the beads inside the capsule just by eyeballing it. Then mix the beads in applesauce or something and take them that way.

    Good luck. You understand the philisophical reasons for quitting well. Find a way. I’m here if you need me.

  13. Michael says:

    Hello Mike,

    Thank you for offering such wonderful support. This is my 2nd day off Adderral, and I must say, my productivity has plummeted! I am in the midst of starting a business and I turned to Adderral in order to give me a boost. Now that I’m off, I don’t even know where to begin anymore. I am wreck. My dosage level would range from 80-100 mg/day. Not good, I know. My doctor says it need like a diabetic needs insulin. I find the analogy to be a bit extreme, but nevertheless, it helps me justify why I need the drug.

    My energy is gone. I am unable to stay up past 11 o’clock an jut want to sleep throughout the day. Are these normal side effects? Do you think my lack of motivation will change in the upcoming months?I used up my prescription in the fist 10 days. I have 20 days to go until my next refill. If I don’t go to get the refill, I won’t ne able to take the pill. But that as if…

  14. Mike says:

    Hi Micheal,

    The side-effects you’re describing are completely normal (unfortunately). Quitting Adderall is kind of like breaking your spine. For the first little while you’re just going to lie in that hospital bed, letting the wounds from the spinal surgery heal, and coming to terms with your condition. Then one day you’re going to start trying to do something to change it. But both phases are necessary. If you try to get up out of that hospital bed too soon (before you’ve healed and come to terms with your condition) you risk breaking something….like your resolve.

    As for the business you’re trying to start, quitting Adderall does not mean that you won’t be able to do it anymore. But it does mean that you’re going to have to lower your definition of progress for a while until you’ve learned to summon your natural passion, motivation, and will power to get a lot of work done without the pill.

    The urge to sleep all day goes away eventually. It helps to fill up your day with things you enjoy. That way you have something to get out of bed for. It’s a good thing if you can’t stay up much past 11pm. Most normal people go to bed around 11-12 at night. That’s stupidly early in Adderall world, but normal in off-Adderall world.

    If you used up your month’s prescription in 10 days, then you are going through a more intense withdrawal right now than you normally would because you went from binge to bust instead of normal dose to bust.

    In general, the time it takes you to recover from quitting Adderall is heavily dependent on how long you were taking it. If you only recently started taking it, then this might not be so bad for you (compared to others). You might just have to endure a couple of kind of crappy months and then you’ll be OK. But if you were on it for a year or more it’s going to take more than a couple of months to recover.

    There’s a old adage about dating that says it takes half the time you were with somebody to fully get over them after the breakup. That’s about the right equation for getting back to normal after quitting Adderall. I took Adderall for 7 years and after about a year and a half I’m almost back to “normal” levels of productivity at work (that’s big news considering that I do not have a natural passion for my current job).

    Good luck. Remember: Your new business will fair far better in the long run with a consistent, naturally-driven CEO than with a tweaked-out guy on the Adderall roller coaster.

  15. Michael says:

    Thanks for the advice, Mike. I woke up at 8 this morning and then fell back asleep until 1:30, not good! I then proceeded to the grocery store and ate 1 cookie and two large gelato helpings. Talk about binge eating.

    I know about this “unhealthy skinny” you refer to. I have definitely been there. In addition, my bones would crack in almost any position I wad in. My neck got the most amount of cracking.

    To answer the question if how long I’ve been on the pill, I started back in college senior year. It had now been 1.5 years since I have graduated. Based on this information I have a long road to recovery, don’t I?

    You mentioned to tell the people you are with about the circumstance. I live with my girlfriend, and I am afraid if she found out that I was addicted in the first place, she would break up with me regardless.

    I really do appreciate all your helpful insight. Today I was ready to call my doctor for the re-up, but I then read your response to my blog and it gave me strength not to. I will keep you updated. May G-d bless you.

  16. N says:

    Hi Mike.
    First I’d like to say thank you (times a thousand) for this website. I’m trying to quit Adderall after three years of (almost daily) usage, about 40-60 mg a day. I don’t think I would even feel like this is possible without your encouraging words. Everything I’ve read here completely resonates with me.

    I’ve got six days now and I feel good about that. I’ve even managed to keep my personal affairs in good order without any trouble (cleaning up around the house, running errands, making it to appointments, etc). My sense of well being has skyrocketed. However, work is a major, major issue. The “sudden allergy to anything creative” bit could just cost me my job as I’m a web and graphic designer. Absolutely everything I am required to do at work is creative, there is no way around it. Before I ever started taking Adderall I enjoyed art and design… now I want nothing to do with it and would rather do anything else. Getting through the day at work is like watching grass grow, especially towards the day’s end. I “go to the bathroom” constantly, whether I actually have to or not, just because I want an excuse to get up from my desk and walk around.

    I really cannot afford to lose this job right now. It is a fantastic opportunity at a fantastic company for someone that just graduated from college like me. I’ve actually been at this job for two years on a more informal basis, and after graduating this May they congratulated me by offered me a full time position complete with a great title and a much better salary that I had ever expected. I absolutely love everyone in management and I am currently responsible for some mission critical projects for the company. I do not want to let them down.

    At the same time, I feel that Adderall has been having such a dire impact on my health (mentally AND physically) that I cannot bear the idea of taking it again. At all. I literally felt like I was on the brink of true psychosis towards the end of this and that my health was failing (horrible cystic acne, no energy, hair falling out in massive sheds, general sense of always being kind of “sick”). It was like I was dying and if I didn’t have a family that loves me so much, I don’t think I would have even wanted to live anymore.

    I just wanted to say thank you for giving me hope, and if you have any advice for me, particularly on how to handle the creative challenges that I really cannot avoid, I’d appreciate it deeply.

  17. Mike says:

    Hi N (Lilah, is it? — based on your email address)

    Thanks for the comment. I can relate well to your situation. When I quit Adderall I was the lead developer (programming/graphic design/architecture/anything else that was needed) at a web software company. I didn’t just have some mission critical projects on my plate…I had nearly all of them.

    So I know well what you mean when you say that a sudden allergy to creative tasks is a huge problem because your job demands constant big-thinking and creativity.

    Here are some tips…
    1. The time slowdown effect gets better after a while. You learn to get through the day without staring at the clock and/or taking a million bathroom breaks.

    2. Read this: How to get work done without Adderall (at first)”. The key is finding lubrication. Hulu is my best friend at work. Where other people listen to music while they work (which also helps), I have a TV show going on one of my 3 screens. It seems counter-productive, but often I get more work done when I have a TV show going than when I don’t because the linear nature of the TV show in the background keeps me focused on one task at a time…since I can only hold my attention between the TV show and one other task. If I stop the show, then all of sudden 16 other things fill that attention void….emails, instant messages, interesting websites, some code that’s bothering me, todos on my desk. Then I turn the TV show back on and it’s just me and my main task list again. It helps.

    3. Lower your creative standards substantially. I don’t know about you, but I was a pretty big perfectionist on Adderall. I couldn’t just complete the task assigned to me…I had to do it in the hardest, most challenging, most epic way possible. Drop that chip on your shoulder and learn to fart out stuff onto the screen without getting your ego wrapped up in it. It’s maddening to have the desires of an Adderall-fueled perfectionist without the ability to execute them. You can’t maintain that attitude. Learn to bullshit again. You’ll be surprised at how perfectly-satisfied others will be with stuff the old you would never dare to put your name on (because you put so little into it).

    I remember the first essay I was assigned to write when I went back to school after quitting Adderall. I spent 8 hours on it. 4 hours just researching. I was so stressed. It was wracking my poor, Adderall-less brain. I was so worried about it being perfect.

    Flash forward to now….when I submit essays for school now I basically just start typing whatever comes to mind until I’m at the required length and then I stop and send it it. I was trying to write a revolutionary master’s thesis on every topic when all the teacher needed to see was that I understood the material.

    Once I realized this it took all the stress out of my homework assignments.

    So, in summary: give your current role a shot using the Break it up & Lubricate techniques. If you can’t hack you should seriously consider requesting a different role where your job isn’t as creatively demanding. Customer support and phone sales comes to mind. Or maybe account services or something.

    I am only now after nearly two years regaining the respect of my coworkers. I was pretty bad there for a while. My big mistake was trying to maintain my old responsibilities. Nowadays I’m basically just a customer support rep with the skills of a lead developer, and I’m totally fine with that: I wish I had demoted myself sooner. My friend and coworker stepped up to fill the vacuum I left when I quit Adderall and he handles most of the big stuff now.

    For me, customer service is less stressful than being lead (or even just “senior”) developer because it’s just limited, clearly-defined problem solving…I don’t have to actively create new complex/abstract systems that could go any of a thousand different directions…and there are plenty of easy questions every day to get warmed up on. Plus you’re dealing with people instead of code/whatever…dealing with people always seems easier without Adderall.

    Also note that I’m able to handle a lesser role at my day job because I no longer judge myself so much by my status at that job…I know it is not my future. I don’t know whether you have that luxury. Is graphic design still what you really want to do? Is it what you always wanted to do, even long before Adderall?

    I regret the timing of this decision for you…I know how bad it sucks to feel like you’re letting everybody down…and how people are going to wonder what the hell you’re doing…why you’re throwing away the great thing you had…going to wonder aloud what happened to you. That’s probably the harshest part of the transition.

    But I can tell you that there is an end to all that. There is recovery. There is the other side. And it’s awesome enough to make all that disapproval worth it.

  18. David says:

    I flushed my pills a few days ago. This from someone who could take 15 20 mg pills a day.

    I could gush on about numerous topics already addressed on this website. One thing that kept me on adderall was the social factor. I had developed speed friends like drinking buddies. They are going to be very disappointed.

    However my older and dearer friends will be relieved to see me healthier in the future. I was an elite level athlete, briefly a professional, and at this point I cannot train without a series of injuries because speed takes away my ability to recover. I could jump over cars, and now I dont even look fit.

    I quit the drug to be healthier and to stop scaring people with my over the top personality. I was losing friends, half crippled and looking like a drug addict.

    The last time I tried to quit I got fired from my job. But I wasnt successful on Adderall anyway. I dont care what happens in the future, because it cant be worse than my life is now.

  19. Mike says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, David. You’ll find that your speed friends will respect you for your decision in time, if they were true friends. And even if they are not, some part of them knows that you represent their future…because Adderall use is not sustainable and everybody who takes it knows it on some level.

    Congratulations on your decision to quit. You’ll be jumping over cars again soon enough. Well, maybe not soon enough. But before you know it. You’re on your way back to you now. Back to a good future.

  20. David says:

    You may or may not wish to publish this. Feel free to edit or reprint parts of it.

    I am on my fifth day of sobriety, and I am in pain. Or was, I should say, until I found another under my car seat. It feels fantastic. There is no way I would not take more if I had them. Which, I suppose, is sort of the point.

    In a couple days it wont hurt very much, but I dont know how long it will take until I stop feeling like I am asleep. Weeks, at least, I suppose

    You may want to include an even more in-depth explanation of what adderall does. Constriction of blood vessels, insulin reaction, the immunosupressive effect of adderall, increased load on kidneys etc, etc. I would do the research for you, but its your site.

    Through a decade, my dose crept up, until I was on a mega dose of adderall. At one time, I got the quacks I had for doctors to prescribe 40 mg four times a day. I probably took less than half of that on most days. Others I took as much or more.

    When you get older, adderall ceases to keep you thin. Among other reasons, this is because it increases the amount of blood sugar in your brain. Eventually, you get used to it, and try to recreate the adderall high all the time by eating a lot of sugar. As an athletic guy on adderall, I could see that staying on speed was going to make me less muscular but keep me very active. I compromised by eating a ton of food, especially protein, to stay strong. That worked until I was about 27. Then my body revolted.

    Because the raised blood sugar and activity causes an increase in cortisol and other related stress hormones, I started putting on fat in an odd way. I put it on only in my chest, chin and stomach. I just didnt look right. I could dunk a basketball, but I put on fat like an old man. I wasnt fat per se, but the fat I did have drooped.

    When I was younger, with the help of Adderall, I attempted to fashion myself as a sort of ridiculous superhero. Nobody partied harder (in the offseason), trained harder in sports, or had a more outrageous personality. Probably half of it was to appeal to the opposite sex. Which is absurd, because they dont like cavemen.

    I walked into football weightlifting sessions wearing pink tights. I ran from the cops and got away to avoid a speeding ticket. I whitewater kayaked in streams so swollen 150 foot trees floated downstream. I have performed more legendary and absurd deeds than I can remember by a considerable margin.

    What I didnt do was anything that required calm focus. I scraped by in school. I knew all the answers, but I was so argumentative and declined to learn how to do things their way that my A papers always got stamped with a spiteful C+.

    I always had good friends and they were the focus of my life. But as I got older, more pilled up, and less healthy I became a hollow and unpredictable person. It seemed like I was trying too hard at things I should have grown out of. My former audience started having careers and kids. I became anxious and depressed, and too ashamed not to be emotionally distant.

    I did not get hired for jobs I was clearly qualified for, probably because they thought I looked overly nervous or was just plain nuts. I was chronically underemployed. That brings us up to date.

    At age 29, I am starting from nothing. I was a gifted and promising student, and now I have failed utterly in my career. I must face the fact that I am now an odd and uncomfortable person. I must give up the delusion that I am some sort of athlete; I am too old for that and not in such great shape after all.

    If I am honest, I am likely to fail miserably at life by my former (unmet) standards without adderall. Part of the reason I took this adderall escapade so far is because I just cant succeed in a job. I cannot get organized. I get lost when I drive. I am astonishingly forgetful. It isnt a matter of coping strategies or discipline. When I wake up in the morning, It just does not occur to me to get up and go to work or whatever. I cannot keep a white collar job, and I dont have the energy to do very much in life. I cannot live up to the standards of my family, or the standards that the impressive energy and verbal skills of my personality would seem to dictate.

    I am going to take my (supposedly) genius IQ and go be a park ranger or something. Things may or may not improve from there, but it is better than what I was doing before

  21. Mike says:

    David,

    Don’t you dare be ashamed of being a park ranger. Go do that. I think intelligent people can often get the equation mixed up. You think “I’m smart, therefore I should do a smart job that allows me to contribute my smarts to the world”. This is not always the best path. Sometimes the best solution is to pick a day job that’s fun (though not intellectual), then let your smarts find their own outlet naturally. Instead of contributing and thinking all day and coming home to do something fun and relaxing, you do something fun, relaxing, and thought-provoking all day and come home to do some serious contributing…like an intellectual conclusion to the experiences and thoughts of the day. This way, you actually spend most of your time thinking freely so that when you do come home and put those thoughts into action you’ve had 8 hours (that day) to think on and develop them. In short: You always come home with a full tank.

    Here’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about: The person often billed as “the smartest man in the world” is Christopher Langan (IQ 195-210), who developed his Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (his “Theory of Everything”) while working as a weight-lifter and a bouncer. Now, with an IQ that makes normal geniuses look borderline-retarded, you’d expect him to be in a laboratory all day, testing his genius thoeries. But why? Why spend your whole genius-day couped up in a lab somewhere when you can be out having fun with people and still have plenty of spare processes going in your head to hash-out your world-changing theories?

    Plus, some world-changing theories are best developed out in the world, with people…not in a lab.

    Let me rephrase this for you…

    At age 29, I am starting from nothing. I was a gifted and promising student, and now I have failed utterly in my career.

    At the relatively-young age of 29, you have figured it out. You’ve figured out that you need to do something for a living that makes you deeply happy to wake up every day, and you’ve realized that whatever your answer to this need is…it is apparently not the same as most other people’s answer (i.e., a normal career in a normal business). You are gifted and promising, and that is why you failed miserably at doing something stupid like trying to achieve other people’s definition of success instead of using your smart brain to deny convention and invent your own. You have learned your lesson (the hard way) and will now apply your gifts only for yourself, in pursuit of your own happiness…WHEREVER YOU FIND IT. And when you find your stride, your gifts will glow hotter than ever and the world will know you as you were always meant to be…brilliant.

    Here’s a quote from the legendary Eddie Murphy…

    When you’re in your twenties, everybody’s afraid of thirty…ooo don’t say thirty! But my thirties were great! I spent my thirties fixing all the shit I broke in my twenties!

    All that said, I’m going to send you an email directly to discuss you doing some more research on the medical side-effects of Adderall use. I want to add more information about that to this site.

  22. Jenna says:

    I started taking adderall XR recreationally in the eighth grade and it was an instant love affair. From then on until the end of my sophomore year of high school I would take it maybe a couple times a month, in much larger doses than prescribed but it was all just an idiot teenager experimenting there were not any real side effects yet. Unfortunately the experimental stage ended and then began the real Adderall roller coaster ride.

    I was lazy, I wasn’t organized, I was depressed, and I couldn’t help but keep thinking about how productive I had been when I would take Adderall before school. So I pleaded with my family, telling them I needed medication, and eventually I was in a psychiatrist office. They tried putting me on concerta but it was adderall I wanted, so I told them that it had helped some family member and next thing I knew I had a prescription in my hand. The dose started small, 5mg, and it worked okay, but i kept bumping it up, and more and more I loved this new productive me. I was social, I had concentration, I was organized, and I was on honor roll for the first time in years.

    Well Junior year came and rolled along pretty smoothly, until about spring. I was on 30 mg by this point. I was lucky to sleep four hours a night, and I was barely eating. Almost over night I went from productive and relatively normal to completely psychotic. I was paranoid of everyone, I couldn’t socialize with people I wasn’t already really close with, and even with my close friends I started thinking delusional things. I was rail thin, pale, and dark circles had become a new fixture on my face. All I did was meander around in a zombie like daze, fatigued, and feeling as if I was on the verge of death. My world was crumbling. The very thing that had helped me get better grades was now making me to crazy to do anything but sit in a silent and constant panic. My grades dropped, I became more disorganized than ever, but I was obsessed with the drug.

    Summer came and I thought maybe I needed a new medication, something that would recreate the beginning days of adderall. I started on Vyvanse and it was similar, but my love was for adderall. I did quit cold turkey for about a month but then adderall showed up in the hands of an old friend with a prescription and I couldn’t say no. For the next couple weeks I begged for more of hers until at last I had my own prescription again. Now I’m in my senior year, I try and quit about every other week but there always come a monday morning where I say fuck it and boom, I’m right back on the same path.

    I desperately want to quit, and I know the dependence is psychological but I want it all the time. I can’t handle the world when I’m normal anymore. Adderall made school and life in general fun in the beginning. Now when I take it I just long to drift in that strange gray mist. I want to be smart, and strong, and successful on my own but every time I try to do it alone adderall is laughing around the corner just waiting until I can’t handle this world of ruin it has left me in so that I will take another. And there is no doubt that adderall has ruined me. I’m psychotic now. I have no stability anymore. The world without it is so unfamiliar and sends me into a panic. I start thinking about how alone, and weird I am, and everyone else has there hobbies and there good grades, and there healthy minds/bodies while I am sitting staring wide eyed at my desk looking like I’ve come from a graveyard. People don’t even come near me anymore, the lack of food and sleep has left me looking exactly as I feel… crazy.

    I can’t tell me doctor these things. She put me on this drug when I not only had a long list of family members with addictive personalities but she had been well aware of my previous experimentation with coke and speed, not to mention I had for a brief period of time struggled with an eating disorder. She put me on this medication when I had a great deal of factors the website and every pamphlet says in bold, (Do not give to these kind of people) She doesn’t care what she is doing and while that was great at first it’s terrible now, for all I know she will lock me up.

    So back to the point of this whole thing, I’m trying to quit I am, I know I can be a strong person, but it’s so hard when I’ve lost everything. Ironic that I turn to the thing that ruined me to escape from the ruin. I’m going to try tapering off, but something tells me this is just another excuse to not quit tomorrow. It’s a really inconvenient time to quit, its me senior year, I have so many credits to make up , and when I quit taking it all I want to do is sleep. Adderall is a terrible drug, if I ever get off this shit I want to devote time to making these side effects known to more than those who found out to late. pharmaceuticals are the number industry in this nation, even above oil! They like that some of us are addicted, in fact they love it because we will keep coming back for more. They are legal drug dealers, wicked people who make millions upon millions. And the worst part is the doctors neither listen nor care, with the exception of a few, so they just keep writing prescription after prescription with that smirk on their face like they know what will happen, and they just don’t give a damn. The fact they put kids on this stuff blows my mind, adults can’t handle this shit, I can’t even begin to imagine what it does to children, and the long term effects it will cause on their minds in the most important developmental stages of their life. I wish I had never started. And to anyone who is thinking about starting don’t. Adderall is a friend who at first showers you in gifts, and makes all your problems better then once your attached and can’t go without this friend it flips. now your hooked and it can do whatever the hell it wants to you. And I apologize for my writing normally I’m a lot better of a writer than this but I have barely slept these last couple days, it’s one in the morning and I have school tomorrow, and I just desperately needed to vent. It’s comforting to know that I am not the only one trapped in adderalls snares, I wish you all luck.

  23. Mike says:

    @ Jenna,

    Thanks for posting your story! If you try to quit Adderall while you’re still backlogged at school, you’re almost certainly going to fail. You need to allow yourself room to sleep and sleep and slowly recover. I strongly suggest taking a semester off and then easing back into it when you’re ready.

    The most comforting words I can offer you, from all that I’ve learned in 2 years off Adderall: Your mind heals, and so does your spirit. I takes a while, but it happens, ever so gradually. That psychosis and crazy behavioral cycle you’re stuck in…fist you break it by quitting Adderall (you’re too asleep to be crazy), then you start to mend it. And one day you find that you’re almost as happy and healthy and successful as those other people…sometimes moreso…and you’re still going.

    But you have to quit first. You have to go through that first hard phase. You have go through sleeping most of every day, you have to go through the depression. You are effectively experiencing the death and rebirth of your ego and reputation. The death part sucks.

    Nothing matters more than getting your head right. That is the core from which all else flows. Put that above everything else, including school. Better to pull out knowing that than to fail out trying to fight it.

  24. Bev says:

    First off, this site is nothing short of amazing….it’s EXACTLY what i’ve been searching for. My experience started about six years ago…first with Dexedrine. Originally, I had urged my son to get some for his ADHD, not knowing what kind of poison I was suggesting that he take. Curious, one day I thought I would try one to see what they were like. As soon as it “took effect” I instantly convinced myself that I must also have ADHD because of the wonderful focused feeling it gave me. I felt like “superwoman” and I thought I had found my miracle pill….I was ecstatic. The very next day I made an appointment with my doctor and I convinced her that because my son had ADHD, I must have it too..so she agreed to give me a prescription. Just like some of the other stories above, they worked for awhile…but it didn’t take long before they turned on me and made me feel like walking death. I knew I wanted to quit but I didn’t know how, since I had just opened a store and felt I had to keep up with everything. I would quit for a week here and there, but when things piled up and the going got tough.. I would always go back on them. Due to my wild mood swings and unpredictable behaviour, I don’t know how my husband didn’t leave me….but he did go to my doctor to let her know exactly what they were doing to me. He also told her that I was taking far more than what my prescription said to take. My doctor would give me a six month script at a time, so when I ran out I would just get more without having to wait. When I would run out of the six months worth of pills, I would simply go back to my doctor and get more. She didn’t even realize that I was going back every four months, instead of six….she would just instantly take out her prescription pad and start writing. I had unlimited access to this crap! Anyways, my husband “enlightened” her of the situation so she decided to abruptly cut me off. I was relieved (yet terrified) at the same time. After about a month without them, I started to feel sort of “normal” again…then one day I found a little orange pill in one of my purses and immediately took it to get a little boost. In that momentary lapse of judgement, the vicious cycle started again. I made an appointment with the doctor that very day and convinced her to put me on AdderallXR…and assured her that because they were long acting, I would just take one pill a day..and no more. That was about a year ago. Lets just say that very soon I became a depressed, anxious, unhappy, worthless, zombie-like, shell. This is my fifth attempt to quit (i’ve been off them for three days now) but this time i’m determined to do it. I’ve finally realized that no amount of depression or lack of motivation i’m experiencing now, compares to the emotionally vacant person I was when popping those awful things. I don’t know if anyone else had parents that measured their success as a person by their accomplishments..but I noticed an all too familiar “over-achiever” pattern in the above posts that I can relate to. I’m not saying we should shift the blame on anyone else for our addiction but I can’t help but wonder if this has anything to do with trying to measure up to other people’s expectations of who we should be. I’m realizing more and more that having peace of mind is worth far more than any kind of “accomplishment”….it’s not worth the price of our sanity.
    Anyways, I would like to thank you for this forum. Your wonderful words of encouragement, understanding, and wisdom, are such an inspiration.

  25. Mike says:

    Hi Bev,

    Thanks for the comment and for sharing your story. Glad you like the site! I think you’re dead-on about your “over-achiever” observation. And I think Adderall use has everything to do with trying to measure up with other people’s expectations. In fact, that’s pretty much the whole point of the drug: bottled conformity. What kind of people feel most attracted to bottled conformity?

    I’m realizing more and more that having peace of mind is worth far more than any kind of “accomplishment”….it’s not worth the price of our sanity.

    There’s a quote I read in the book Thriving Through Crisis, which almost single-handedly got me through my first 30-60 days without Adderall. It went something like this: “Instead of seeking the approval of others and making apologies to God, seek the approval of God and make apologies to others.”

    I always thought that this quote summed up perfectly the unhealthy need to meet expectations you’re talking about.

    Also, now that you mention it, the people who I’ve seen have the easiest time quitting Adderall are those that weren’t people-pleaser’s to begin with.

  26. Laura says:

    What drove me back to the pills is that I love how they make me feel, and I accepted them as part of me from the start. For me there is no disdain for chemicals, no idealism, no philosophical “I just want to be me” driving me to quit, never has been. I planned to take it for the rest of my life, pregnancy included. The baby would have to tough it out, I’d already decided. I loved taking them, still do. I guess that’s part of why I got to where I am in my addiction. If I’d not COMPLETELY lost control of my use I’d never have quit.

    For me quitting adderall is a medical necessity, I used to the point where I can’t control my use of it, at all. It started freshman year of college as just an extra at night to get that deadline in, Just one extra! I could stay up all night. Last spring, 9 years later, finishing my first year at grad school and working full time, I finally wore my adderall crutch down to a useless nub.

    I always pop the pills until my brain turns to mush. If I take less I obsess wildly. There’s a voice in my mind that yells “take more!! More! You need to concentrate..!” until finally, just so I can move on and think SOMETHING else, I give in. Pop till my brain feels fuzzy-mushy and I can only do simple mindless tasks, and can’t function at my job as an engineer/analyst at all. I’ll give details of that under “Why Adderall is Evil”

    Mike BJJ stands for Brazilian Jujitsu. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. ;)if not you should go out to watch UFC sometime! Good stuff.

  27. Steve says:

    I have struggled with obesity most of my life. I am 6’1, 265 lbs. I decided to try diet pills (i.e. phentermine) back in 97. Wow. Felt great. Lost 50 lbs. Started gaining it back (u know the story..) Started overdosing big time. Went to a shrink and explained my addiction. She prescribed Ritalin and Wellbutrin. Did fine for a few years, felt ‘normal’. Got angry with doctor when she was out of office unexpectedly and left me without a prescription. Switched docs. New shrink recommended Adderall. I started and am still taking (2) 20mg pills a day. Well, I am definitely addicted. I am craving another pill in the evening after work. I also noticed that I am no longer ‘over achieving’ and need the pills just to live a normal life. I obsess about the the next ‘high’. I use this pill for all the wrong reasons – pleasing others, over achieving and losing weight. I have occassional bouts of irritability and noticed that I abuse coffee and booze a lot more. I drink coffee all day and use an extra pill in the evening so I can stay up drinking wine with my wife. I am more paranoid. I obsess about what others have said at work and what their real agendas are, and their never positive, lol. Looking back, I’d say that yes, I accomplished more. I was never tired. I did ok in grad school. But I also noticed that productivity does not equal happiness. I can honestly say that I have sacrificed my true self somewhere in return for being productive. Looking forward to the next ‘high’ and getting grumpy coming down are miserable. I am doing a lot of soul searching and really asking myself if this is worth it. Monthly trips to wait in the doctor’s lobby so I could score my energy boosters. Interruptions in my schedule because of the doctor visits. Taking my pills in front of my wife. Even though I am taking a legal doses, I feel ashamed and embarrassed, especially when I see her living a seemingly ‘normal’ life without pills. I also agree with others on here that ‘weening’ off a drug is a joke. I too have considered keeping the pills ‘just in case’. Ha ha. That’s just not an option. It’s all or nothing. Suck it up and deal with it. I do have faith that I will get through this, sure. I really also believe that your true self, and more importantly, your true destiny in life, will never be realized as long as you use pills as your kickstand. Anyway, good luck to all I do enjoy reading the posts of others here.

  28. Lilah says:

    I last wrote here on August 10. Thank you for your reply Mike, everything you said felt really relevant. It is amazing to find a site written by someone who seems like they could be me, same problem with Adderall, same job position at the time they quit, everything!

    After some cutting back and a bit of on-again-off-again, I finally took it for the last time September 27. It has been a little over 2 months for me off Adderall. Luckily I quit right before a 2 week vacation from work that had been pre-planned, so I didn’t have to perform at work during the worst of the “crash landing”, although to be honest that part wasn’t bad for me. I’d been attempting to taper off for so long beforehand that I don’t think I really had much of a physical addiction at that point. In fact, I felt great off Adderall… I think it was the euphoria of being so proud of myself for finally quitting once and for all. By the way, finally quitting once and for all meant admitting to my significant other what was going on and disposing of all my pills down the toilet for him to see. I realized that without accountability and having NO stock of the pills on hand, I would just keep making excuses to take them. I think for someone who is seriously hooked like I was, sticking to a true taper schedule is too tough, you simply have to NOT have any on hand. However, before you quit once and for all, it helps to cut back your dosage as much as you can and try taking days off work here and there without them, so that you won’t crash so hard.

    Anyway, things didn’t get bad until I got back to work. The first two days at work were actually pretty easy. After that it got rough. Work was worse than watching grass grow. It was all I could do to sit at work for 8 hours a day, much less get anything done. But the good news is, when something really truly needed to get done, I managed to find the ability to get it done somehow. And slowly but surely, week by week, work is getting a little bit better.

    On another note, I decided to talk to my boss and ask him what he thought about my work performance just out of anxiety that he might not be satisfied with me (didn’t tell him about the Adderall, just told him I’d been having some personal issues or whatever). He said he’d noticed I had been having to “work harder to focus” but hadn’t noticed any change in the quality/timeliness of my work output. He said he had noticed a change in my personality, that I used to be “confident in to the point of almost cockiness, like I was always about to explode or something” and now I seemed more calm and reserved. But again, no concerns.

    And, I will also say, once I get on a roll, I do think the QUALITY of my work might be better than it ever was on Adderall. And I can get it done faster because I don’t obsess over details the way I used to… its just getting on that roll takes so much longer because it takes me so much longer to get on that roll and convince myself to “just do it” per se. And once I do get on a roll, time at work does fly by.

    There are still days when I crave the pill. Actually, that’s almost every day at some point. But its getting better and better, little by little. The upsides are outweighing the issues with my day job. Everybody who is close to me says I seem more stable. I don’t have panic attacks over stupid hypochondriac issues anymore. I’m pretty sure my hair is starting to grow back in fuller. My skin is the most beautiful and clear its ever been in my life. I fall asleep with the greatest of ease every night and feel refreshed in the morning. Best of all, I feel like I’m living honest, that I can be 100% proud of my work because I did it without my little cheating secret, I have absolutely nothing to hide or be ashamed of. In fact, I’m proud of myself for hanging in there and making this happen for myself. I know I’m about to start a new chapter in my life and I’m excited to see where it will take me.

    I know that post was probably all over the place, and I don’t really feel like going back and editing it into a perfectly crafted piece like I would on Adderall :) But the main point I wanted to get to is this: for those of you thinking about quitting, it is doable, and in about 2 month’s time, its still hard but I feel like I’m done with the worst of it. You just have to really want it, and in my case, not have any on hand and have some accountability with another person so that you HAVE to perform without it, do or die style. And its totally worth it! I credit this website largely… because its given me the support that I needed. Its great to know that you’re not alone. That’s pretty key. THANK YOU MIKE!

  29. Lilah says:

    Oh, and I also just noticed the P90X blog link in your blogroll. I just got P90X tapes loaned to me by a friend the other day, I’ve been thinking about trying it. Weird, its like another sign or something! :)

  30. Mike says:

    @Laura,

    With Adderall, the line between “correctly medicated” and “junkie” is extremely fragile, as it seems you discovered. Your story describes nearly exactly how I’ve seen Adderall use play-out with most everybody I’ve spoken too…at least to some degree. Some people just end up scaling-back though, but that’s not always easy (because you tend to obsess about taking more…as you noted).

    FWIW, I was the same way about accepting Adderall as a part of me for the first several years. It’s hard to not love a pill that makes you instantly more passionate about everything….a pill that makes every day adventurous, no matter how technically mundane…a pill that helps you do all of the things that the world approves of…a pill that changes you in ways that other people compliment.

    Plus, I’m totally the type of person to be hard-core about whatever I do. For example, most people who smoke cigarettes will say “yeah…I gotta quit” when confronted. Not me. I was all “Yep I smoke…and I love it.” I had no intentions of quitting. And that was cigarettes…which most of the world disproves of…So you can imagine how deeply rationalized I was about a pill that everybody praised me for and that brought me through such seemingly good accomplishments.

    With Adderall, it took me at least 4 years to start having soft, oh-so-subtle idealogical objections. As the years progressed, that little voice grew louder and louder.

    I kind of wonder whether not having idealogical objections will make this quitting experience harder on you…easier to stay the course when there’s a carrot and a stick. A bit more unpleasant when there’s just the stick. But hey, necessity is the mother of invention….maybe you’ll end up inventing the carrot.

    On Brazilian Jujitsu — Ah-ha! Thank you! Was totally still curious about wtf BJJ was. OK, I’ve met some really nice guys (and some total narcissistic psycho masochists) from the MMA world, and I’m a black belt in karate, but it’s hard for me not to see the UFC thing as kind of primitive/barbaric. Not that I have a problem with its existence…just not totally into watching it. Maybe I should give it another try. I realize there’s a “men must conquer and express dominance” aspect to it that should probably strike some cord in me…but…nothing…just mild indifference. Maybe I’m half girl. Or maybe I just never gave sports spectatorship enough of a chance. Anyhow, you recommending it will be enough to get me to give it at least 15 minutes of my life in the near future. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  31. Mike says:

    @Steve

    Thanks for sharing your story! It’s kind of strange to me (in a horrified way) that your first doctor put you on an antidepressant and an ADD medication for weight loss. This is one of those reasons why I’m probably going to have to go get a psychiatry degree if I want to get really serious about this site. Maybe she was thinking that if you were happier and more focused you wouldn’t struggle so much with anything…including the weight and diet pill addiction. It sounds like the second doctor didn’t hear a word of your story. He just heard “Ritalin” and went “Adderall is better!” without considering the somewhat faulty reasons you were on Ritalin in the first place.

    I wish you all the luck (and patience) in the world in quitting. You sound like you’ve definitely got your head in the game. Make sure to warn your wife what to expect first (I only repeat this to everyone because I made the mistake of not warning my girlfriend and I sorely regret it). Anyhow, happy to have you as a reader!

  32. Mike says:

    Hi Lilah!

    Great comment! Lots of useful, juicy insights. So you were in the web world too? Cool! Don’t meet many girls here, except the occasional designer.

    Totally agree that it helps to cut back as much as possible and taking some days completely off it before you quit for good. Kind of like dumping excess weight from the plane before you crash land. Good advice.

    That was really brave of you to talk to your boss like that. Congrats on passing inspection! That’s awesome. I doubt I could have done that 2 months into quitting.

    So happy to hear you’re doing well. Keep posting updates!

  33. Jessica says:

    Wow. Am I ever grateful that I haven’t given up looking for answers as I may have never stumbled across this website. I’m a 28 year old female who has recently quit Adderall XR 25mg after having relied upon it for 2 years. My reasons for quitting are similar to others accounts. I finally allowed myself to see the relationship between adderall and all the negative side effects I was experiencing. In hindsight, I’m amazed at how long it took for me to stop making justifications for its horrible effects. At the point of quitting, my adderall had little to no effect on me as I’d developed a tolerance to my dose. Even though my narcisist of a doctor continued to try to convince me to “up my dose” I realized I was about to enter into a cycle of addiction, or get the hell out. Luckily I got the hell out. It hasn’t been easy. I went an entire week before I had a bowel movement. It took so long I nearly made an appt with that quack to get more adderall so I could go to the bathroom. My digestive system has since improved, however, it still isn’t normal. I’ve been off of adderall for about 8 weeks and I still have painful cramps, gas, and digestive irregularity. I cannot seem to find an answer for this as I exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and eat foods high in fiber. Any suggestions?

  34. Mike says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Adderall is the single most rationalizeable drug on the planet. Taking only two years to see the wolf beneath grandma’s clothing is actually pretty damn quick (so give yourself some credit for that).

    I’m afraid I’m not much of a nutritionist though. Will see if I can get Lilah (who wrote this post on post-Adderall nutrition) to weigh in…

  35. Lilah says:

    Jessica,
    I had the same problem initially after quitting Adderall. In fact, the first time I quit, I ended up “slipping up” mostly because I really really needed to go. Adderall, like all stimulants, does act as something of a laxative. In fact, many laxatives have a stimulant component, and many people need their coffee in the morning not only to wake up, but to go #2. Most laxatives carry a risk of dependency, so I’m suspecting that your system has become dependent on the stimulant to “keep things moving”. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things (exercise, water, at least 25 grams of fiber a day), so all I can tell you is to keep doing these things and the problem should remedy itself in time as your body leaves amphetamine withdrawal mode. In the meantime you can try some coffee, that might help. Also try yogurt and papaya (the enzymes in papaya and the probiotics in yogurt both help with digestion). I’ve found brown rice helpful for constipation in the past as well. Good luck!

  36. Tyler Hill says:

    Hi, I am glad I found this site. I took 80-90 mgs of adderral every day for seven years. I was started on 60mg a day which I think is way too high. Eventually I became addicted and made the decision to quit. I quit in January 2009 and ever since then my life has been truly terrrible. I have experienced some very weird side effects that a whole series of doctors have been unable to explain. I have had every test known to man and have had 2 sleep studies. Since quitting adderral I feel like I never get refreshing sleep. For a YEAR AND A HALF I WAKE UP FEELING LIKE I HAVENT SLEPT. It is horrible. I am wondering if anyone has certain effects from getting off this medication. Since quitting I got back on adderal a couple of times to see if Id get my refreshing sleep back after taking the adderal. However when going back on adderal I no longer felt refreshed and alive like I once did. Thinking my problem might be sleep apnea I have had 2 sleep studies. Apnea was ruled out. Doctors think I’m depressed. People I have been on every antidepressant out there to no effect. Also whats strange is now strong coffee does nothing for me. It just makes me feel foggy headed. Same with alcohol. I no longer get a buzz. Another thing I will mention is that when starting adderral years ago I never had any trouble sleeping. When I got back on it a few months ago for a two week trial I had severe severe insomnia. Anyone who has a similar story please get in touch with me. I need help. Thanks. rthill1900@yahoo.com

  37. Mike says:

    Hi Tyler,

    I haven’t heard any reports of prolonged restless sleep after quitting. But I have heard that such things can be caused by severe depression.

    Normally, this is where I’d tell you to go ask your doctor about this, but since you seem to have already done that, I’ll give you my totally unqualified 2 cents…

    1. If you had to guess, what do you think is causing it? Does depression fit? Or does it feel like something else?

    2. Have you tried melatonin? That stuff knocks me out like I’ve been roofied.

    3. How old are you?

  38. Tyler says:

    Several doctors have considered depression. Although I have never felt real depressed. I have lost motivation for doing things I used to love doing on adderal such as reading and writing. However I tried nearly every antidepressant and none of them had any effect. Now I was on Lexapro and its weird because for the first two weeks all the symptoms completely disappeared but then everything came back and after a month I was switched to the next drug. As for melatonin, I have tried it. It does help me sleep but I usually never have any trouble sleeping. I sleep a good 7-8 hours on average every night. I wake up feeling like my brain never went to sleep. Thanks for the reply.

  39. ashley says:

    hey tyler–just wonderin if you dream alot at night..
    i can relate to the waking up not feeling refreshed..ive been off adderall for 3 1/2 months..i wake up after sleeping 9 hours, and i dont want to get out of bed..then when i do, i just dont have the drive to do anything..like my head is always sleepy..ive struggled with depression, though, in the past..when on adderall..but since being off, it seems like im just depressed about having no desire to do anythin ( not that i was really depressed about anything specific before)
    This whole thing just really SUX..i miss finding things to do..there was always stuff to do before..haha..maybe i finished it all already or something??i go to work..i come home, and i “relax”..life has become unbelievably boring..
    Now that ive got that out..i have found that relaxing can actually be peaceful sometimes..for example, yesterday, i went out with some of my family on my parents boat on the lake..its the first time i actually enjoyed it..the couple times i went while i was on adderall seemed so pointless, i just wanted to get back and do something productive..
    Just wish i could find a way to find enjoyment again..i used to love to do things by myself..it was like i was my own best friend..now i guess i think i suck..haha..how do i find stuff that interests me?? now that work no longer does?i used to love to read..now not so much..i try playing my guitar..its ok, for a little while..what the hell do people not on adderall do?? I miss how much i loved to do the things “normal” people have to force themselves to do..I feel like im not living anymore..just forcing myself to pass the time..should i feel like this after 3 months without adderall??

  40. ashley says:

    So last night i had a dream that i was on adderall..and im so glad because it actually helped me realize that i dont want to take it again, and im glad im off it..in the dream, it was late at night, and i kept eating little pieces off pills and i felt so messed up.The dream was so needed, because all ive been doing the last few days is obsessing over how much i miss it, and thats just been depressing..So time to move on..

  41. Mike says:

    @ashley

    Nice! What a timely dream. I had recurring dreams for almost a year after quitting that I accidentally took an Adderall and blew my whole quitting journey to hell…I would always feel so excruciatingly guilty in the dream, like I wanted to cry. Then I would wake up with renewed commitment. Thanks for posting yours. I feel slightly less weird now.

  42. ashley says:

    hey mike..i knnow its been a long time since this point, but if you can remember, can you tell me where were you at at the 3-4 month point post-adderall..such as, what were the best parts and worst parts..hopefully you understand what i mean.

  43. Mike says:

    @ashley

    Oh I remember the 3-4 month mark. It was awful. Probably one of the worse times for me.

    Picture your life as a big stone wheel. Your whole life until now you’ve been building momentum on that wheel. As you work and progress through life on a path, you keep slapping the wheel faster and faster. As momentum builds, friendships, reputations, expectations, and relationships spin up around it. Normally, when you need to change direction in life, you give the spinning wheel a little (or big) nudge in a different direction. It keeps spinning…maybe slows a little…and then you get it pointed in the new direction and start slapping it to add momentum again.

    When you quit Adderall, you grind this wheel to a halt, then muscle it into a new direction, and then you have to start it moving again from a dead stop.

    For the first period after quitting, the wheel is just slowing down…but it’s still moving, carried by the momentum you’ve built from your life up until now. At the 3-4 month mark, the wheel is nearing complete stop. That’s when shit gets ugly.

    At least in my experience. That’s when friends start noticing a difference. That’s when the relationship that I was in ended. That’s when work started to really change it’s perception of me (from hero to zero). The momentum of all the things I’d built up around me carried me for the first few months. When that stopped, it all came crashing down.

    I don’t know if that helps or if it’s too over-analogized. But most days it does feel like trying to build momentum on my big stone wheel again after bringing it to a full stop and turning it in a different direction.

  44. ashley says:

    mike..

    yeah that totally helps-more than i can say..perfect analogy. i was starting to think “ok, its been 3 and a half months, i should have more motivation by now”, but its actually just starting to make sense–you’re whole point, is that passion leads to motivation, not the other way around. its a hard concept to get used to again, after 7 years of swallowing motivation in pill form.

    so, if this point was the worst, it starts to get better from here then, right? i havent found anything im passionate about–besides having the baby, which i cant wait for..month and a half left!!

    i guess my question is, you gotta have a passion for something in order to start moving the wheel again?

    thanks mike..this site, and your wisdom makes everyday at least a little bit easier

  45. Mike says:

    Hi Ashley,

    you’re whole point, is that passion leads to motivation, not the other way around. its a hard concept to get used to again, after 7 years of swallowing motivation in pill form.

    Exactly. You’ve just summarized the whole challenge of quitting Adderall in two sentences.

    so, if this point was the worst, it starts to get better from here then, right?

    Heh. Sadly, no. It stays dead until you can get the wheel moving again. And even then, the wheel often gets caught on stuff as you’re getting it going. However, this may well be the worst in terms of new unpleasantness. Going forward it’s just the same old unpleasantness, with a sprinkling of new badd-ass things to make it increasingly bearable.

    i guess my question is, you gotta have a passion for something in order to start moving the wheel again?

    Yes. Passion and will.

    But hey, that baby may prove to be your passion for a long while, and that’s a good thing. If another passion springs up in what little down time you will have…super! I think you got lucky in a lot of ways on this…loving that baby and having to take care of it will be like perfectly-timed auto-therapy for your passion and willpower. :-)

  46. Sandy says:

    Hi I came across this site while trying to find help for my son. He is 21 and has been taking/abusing adderall for about a year. He has his a point that medically has taken a tole. In the past three weeks he has gone through about 120 20mg instant release. He took 45 in 3 days then 35 in two. He ended up in the er with chest pains and paranoia. Long long story short he has been off of them for six days now. The rage he has is scary. He starts intensive outpatient therapy in a couple days. I am not sure he will make it. Right now he is pretty much under 24 hr watch. But the last two nights the rage is really bad. I am a single mom and he is much larger. I don’t want to call the police and make things worse. I just want to get through this first two weeks.
    Any suggestions?? He had to go cold turkey because no one will write a script for it.

    Thanks
    sandy

  47. Mike says:

    Hi Sandy,

    Couple suggestions. Note that I am not a professional, but since you asked…

    1. Get a male friend yours to come over and hang with you

    2. Occupy your son as if he were sick. By him a video game of his choice. Bring him whatever food/movies he wants. Make it enjoyable for him to sit at home and recover. Moms are singularly good at this.

    3. It takes 2-4 weeks for his brain chemistry to rebound from the drugs. Focus on getting past that point, time-wise.

    Talk to the professionals and see what they say.

    Good luck.

  48. Nick says:

    Mike I want to be the first to say you changed my life man thank you so very much for making this website, without your contribution I would still be in “HELL”. I was on Adderall for about 7-9 years 30 then 40 milligrams everyday for that time period. I have very bad ADHD, right now I’m 18 years old and I just quit adderall 3 weeks ago, and so far I’ve never been this happy. I have always had trouble socially and off the pill everything has changed. I quit adderall because of your website, and the fact that I was feeling very suicidal. Mike I can’t explain to you how much I can relate to your posts. As silly as it might sound but I never knew who I “really am”. I’ve been in zombie mode all these years I’ve never really experienced who I really was, I thought I was the pill if that makes any sense. I just want to say thank you so very much Mike I would still be locked up by that pill if it wasn’t for you. I will always be great ful man thank you so much.

  49. Mike says:

    @Nick

    Thanks so much for the kinds words. You’re very, very welcome. It makes totaly sense to me when you say “I thought I was the pill”. In many ways, you were the pill. But in many other ways your real self poked through, even through the Adderall haze.

    There will be qualities that you notice sticking around…qualities that persist in you even though you’re off Adderall now. Good qualities. And bad ones. Those were all you. Those are what you have now to champion and change (champion the good qualities, change the bad ones).

    You picked a great time to quit — early in your life. You are about to enter 4-5 years of high social activity and self-searching (the college years). Perfect for exploring your new lease on life. The good news for you is most people don’t figure out who they are until college anyway, so in terms of everybody else…you’re actually kind of on track.

    Good luck, Nick. There are a lot of good parts to enjoy. Come back and keep us posted!

  50. yvette says:

    my names Yvette & I’ve been abusing adderal from the middle of January Till today,I went f straight E’s to A’s. 135 pounds to 108 “/ I know I need to quit,I’m 16 & unlike others who choose to stay on this stuff.. I don’t. My acne has increased so much. I don’t have a prescription.. my friend has been giving me 30mg since January. idk what to do, I just know I wanna quit now while I have the drive. I’m just afraid of what’s going to happen :’(
    I use weed casually, not much of a drinker. I’m smoking a pack every two days, I don’t wanna do this to myself.
    in the begining it was auhmazing now I sit at home avoid my friends and do nothing.. literly.
    I’m afraid of my grades dropping again.
    please, I need advice.
    I’m unhealthy and it’s not looking to good at this point.

  51. Mike says:

    @Yvette

    Decide how much importance you place on health, friends, and sanity…relative to your grades.

    Figure that as you reduce your dose, you health and friends will go up, but your grades will go down.

    You don’t have to have A’s. B’s with your health and friends might be acceptable.

    Start by trying a lower dose. Go as low as you can and still maintain your new grade expectations.

    The lower you dose, the more you will preserve your interest in social activity…so that will come back naturally.

    Ultimately, if you can quit completely then awesome…better to do it now before you get too dependant.

    Otherwise, if you’re going to stay on it, go to a doc and get your own script. Bit know that once you get your own script you will most likely end up staying on it for years to come.

    If you’re going to quit, you can do it. But know that you will have to dedicate some serious effort to figuring out why you couldn’t pull the grades before Adderall and fixing it.

    Good luck. You’re young. You still have time to recover yourself before it’s too late.

    -Mike

  52. yvette says:

    thanks so much :)
    I really needed this. today was the first day I didn’t take it, I’m
    feeling really good. And I did my hw on my own! I do have a serious sinus infection but
    I’m sure that’s not from aderall withdrawls. one thing i did notice is that I finally ate some real food and I ate a bunchh but didn’t feel
    full. I’m going to be gaining wait arnt I ?
    which I’m
    glad but I don’t wanna keep feeling empty even after I’m done eatting.
    But yes, I really would like to stop cold turkey, I have the will power to
    do so, but do you think that’s a good idea?
    I know it’s just the first
    day but idk if it’s a smart thing to
    do..

  53. Mike says:

    @Yvette

    Remember this feeling. Remember this day. Remember the homework assignment you completed all on your own even through a sinus infection.

    Remember most of all what this means: it is within you to do these things on your own, without the pills.

    You may forget that sometimes in days to come.

    Also…

    You don’t have to gain weight if you start excercising!

    Cold turkey is definitley possible. I did it, and I’ve heard from several others who’ve done it. It works, if you can withstand the shock to your system…which you sound like you’re ready for.

    Good luck, and congrats on day 1!

  54. Brandi says:

    Hi! I’m 21 and I live in south Florida. I have been on adderall for 6 years, and after discovering this website, decided to get off. I was on XR 20mg. It made me sooo bitchy and antisocial. My life would have been so different had I not gotten on it in the first place. Its been 1 month now since I quit taking adderall. I decided to take the summer off from school to get off of it and recover…after my mother forced me off of it for a couple monthes at one point, I know how bad it can be, and figured I would need as much time as possible. Anyways, I love it that I laugh so much now – at things that, while on Adderall I would have just rolled my eyes at and looked the other way, I will now laugh hysterically like everyone else. Its nice. But…I cant get out of bed to save my life. I usually fall asleep around midnight, and sleep until 2pm the next day. Even then its hard to get out of bed. And when I do get up, I feel stupid/lethargic/retarded/mush-brained for like an hour or two. Im starting to think I just wana go back on the pills, but I know its not worth it. Please talk me through this! I LOVE this website and am SOOO glad it was created! Getting off Adderall is really hard, and its important that adderall quitters have a resource that can give them hope and remind them that its not just them feeling so badly. Thank you for creating this site!

  55. Mike says:

    Brandi,

    Don’t do it. Don’t go back. Think of your laugh. Think of how pure it feels. Laughing is the most human, most individualistic act you can engage in. Yur soul, your spirit — everything that makes you who you are — is revealed in your laugh. Those are the things you are supressing when you supress your laugh with adderall. Supress them at your own peril.

    The fatigue improves. I couldn’t comfortably get up before 2pm for like 6 months. Now my body wakes me up before my alarm without a fight.

    Stick it out. Stick it out and it will get better. Stick it out and your soul will start to repair. Stick it out and grow, step by excruciating step, into the person you were always meant to be.

  56. Katie says:

    Hi there,

    I have been taking adderall for the better part of 7 years. I am 24 years old. About two years ago I cut my dosage down to 10 mg/day and over the course of this past year I usually would go a day or two each week without taking it at all.

    I have decided to quit recently because I only took 3 pills on a 13 day vacation. I have been back for 4 days (no pills) and I flushed the rest of my bottle down the toilet. I want to be free of this drug.

    Fortunately, I haven’t experienced too many side effects. My energy is a bit low, but I am so much happier off the medication. I am also mentally overcompensating a bit I’m sure, but reminding myself that normal people get tired in the middle of the day and I can too and that simple shift in perspective seems to help.

    My biggest fear is weight gain. I ate quite a bit over my vacation (simply bc it was a vacation), but now I am back. I have been to the gym every day since I have been back and I have also been very mindful about what I am putting in my body. But, I have already noticed that my arms and legs look thicker. I’ve read posts about people gaining twenty or thirty pounds and honestly….. I’m terrified. I am an actor and it’s my job to look a certain way. I cannot afford to gain that much weight. 5 pounds I can handle. But 30 would drive me back to the drug.

    Please help! What can I do? Are there natural supplements to help with metabolism? Is there a way to prevent massive weight gain? I don’t want to be on this drug anymore, but again, I simply cannot afford to gain that sort of weight.

    Looking forward to your responses.

  57. Mike says:

    Hi Katie,

    Thanks for your comment. Congrats on tapering down to nothing!

    normal people get tired in the middle of the day and I can too and that simple shift in perspective seems to help.

    You may find yourself doing this a lot; thinking “this is what it’s like for normal people”. It’s good that you recognize it.

    As for the weight gain, I wouldn’t expect you to suddenly blimp-up, since you’ve been gradually tapering-down over such a long period. If you’ve minimized the hit to your energy, then you’ve probably minimized sudden weight gain too. You’re not quitting suddenly, so you’re not going to experience quitting symptoms suddenly (e.g., weight gain).

    That said, exercise should be one of your best friends in post-Adderall life. If your concerned about weight gain, I usually advise falling in love with running.

    Hopefully, Lilah will be writing an article pretty soon specifically covering Adderall and Weight Gain/Loss (since this question comes up a lot), so look out for it in the coming weeks!

  58. Oscar says:

    Hey guys I stopped taking adderall xr 20 mg per day this week because it mad me go crazy. Totally psychotic. Many years ago I went on the Internet and found out that college studies like to study and work when they take these pills. I took one of my little brothers pills (he has ADHD) and crushed it up and snorted it. It gave me such a powerful rush of euphoria and energy it was incredible and it made me like these pills alot. I used it every now and then by snorting it for the good euphoria and for doing great at school and homework. The problem was I was taking someone else’s meds. So I lied and faked my way into my own prescription. I snorted and swallowed pills and wrote incredible essays and became good at skateboarding because of the meds. I began smoking cogs more and more because of the speed. I graduated high school and stopped taking the meds for some months and smoked weed everyday and with my boss before and after work and it prevented any and all withdrawal symptoms 100 percent. Weed saved me from adderall xr and brought me back to reality and gave me back my friends. For some reason when I began college I stopped the weed and started snorting and swallowing adderall xr because I wanted that euphoria and the ability and drive to accomplish fifty things and do them very well. I started convincing myself I truly had ADHD and I needed these pills to function. Here is when things get crazy and psychotic. My brother and his friends were having boxing matches in our back yard. I heard people say things like ” you should invite your brother out here I wanna see him fight I bet he can’t even punch hard I bet his punches don’t even do anything.” I heard these things and opened the door and yelled at my brother that I was gonna f-ck him up and beat his ass in front of everyone for saying what I imagined and thought I heard. I continued to threaten him, he called the police, I went to jail again and got put on antipsychotics. I realized I suffered from delusions, hallucinations, and hear voices daily. Alot. After this happened I quit figs and started training everyday in muay Thai, boxing, jiu jitsu, wrestling, judo, and MMA for hours. It’s my favorite thing to do cuz I get out of the house, make friends, and kick everyone’s ass everyday. I’ve been taking make adderall before training everyday for a while now and I hear voices talking about me when I’m at the MMA gym and I get paranoid and it is absolute he’ll. It’s a nightmare when yu hear voices and you hear your friends say bad things about you when they really don’t. I have to constantly remind myself that the adderall is doing this to me. And I used to train so hard and for hours when on the pills. My kicks are so good and hard I knock almost anybody out with one kick to the head amd it’s because the adderall allowed for me to hyperfocus on proper punching and kicking technique and I would kick the he’ll out of the heavy bag at the gym for hours. Now that I quit I face a life os skating and MMA and college without the extreme focus and drive and energy I get from adderall. It’s worth it only because I will earn back my f–king sanity and the voices will be gone forever!! It’s all worth it. A word of advise. If adderall makes you psychotic and u hallucinate and are delusional and you hear voices, go cold turkey starting right this second and tough it out and suck it up and get used to being tired, lazy, and….. Normal. It’s really not that hard. At least for me it’s been extremely easy so far. I think quitting is all mental. We’re not naturally hyper and super focused. So why become that way by swallowing a pill that some people never ever take. Be normal and get your sanity back. Get your old good clean self back. It’s ok to be tired and unmotivated. Do what you love doing. Whatever it is. Do it alot. And don’t do what sucks. Find passion in something or anything really and just do what feels good without taking adderall. By doing this I have had such an easy easy easy time quitting adderall. Stop trying to do everything and pretending it is making you successful. Be happy and earn your life and your sanity back and that is all the success you will ever need in your life. Screw what other people say and think, stop abusing adderall and live your life the all natural way no matter how crappy you do in school or work. I rather get a D or C than lose my mind and sanity for perfect essays and straight essays. Oh and if you do not want to gain weight after quitting it is extremely easy just follow these tips and you will be sexy in no time. Lift weights! Boys and girls! Lift weights once a day. Girls you will not get muscular by weightlifting you will develop great lean tone sexy body trust me I’m part bodybuilder part MMA fighter I k ow a TON about exercise stuff I train everyday for hours with MMA world champions and they taught me everything they know. And do your running for one hour before breakfast. Do this and the fat will fall off of you faster than anything else I prise. Wake up, get dressed and run for one hour straight before breakfast. Exercise twice a day and even three times a day with four hours in between each session. Never exercise for more than 90 minutes at once because you will burn away your muscle tissue and our muscles is what we want the most they make us look sexy. And the most important thing for a good looking tummy or six pack or eight pack is drinking a ton of water and eating lots of protein throughout the day, eating loe carbs and very little fats. Abs are made in the kitchen!! Water, healthy diet, run in the morning and at night, do some boxing or kickboxing or martial arts for At least one hour everyday, and most importantly lift weights and eat protein or drink protein shake right After exercise. Get protein shakes I suggest BSN syntha- 6 it is the best tasting shake when you add milk to it. One shake is actually an entire meal high in protein. Protein shake is incredibly good and healthy for mind and body. Eat every 2 or 3 hours everyday and don’t eat too much at one time. When you lift weights increase the amount of weight you lift as time goes on and never do more than ten repititions per exercise movement. I cannot stress enough how much weightlifting, protein, and running can do to help someone who is quitting adderall. Remember exercise two or three times a day. It is not too much at all!! it’s really easy and you can do it. And ask the lord to put you on the path that will make you the most happy today and in the future and he will do so I promise you he listens always and he cannot ignore you it’s impossible for him. Talk to him like he’s in your head and talk to him like he is your dad he will listen and be there for you I know I ask him for his help and he always comes through. I ask him to put me on the path that will make me the most happy and today I am walking that path this second.

  59. Oscar says:

    Forgive me for my spelling mistakes I am typing on my iPod touch lol. When you read cogs and figs it was actually cigarettes. And perfect essays and straight essays was supposed to be perfect essays and straight A’s. My iPod messed everything up my bad. Oh well. Oh and mike you the man homie!

  60. Morgan says:

    Hi! I discovered this website last night and am so thankful for it already…even though I have not officially planned a date to stop. like you, i’m at the 7 year mark of this drug. currently i take between 50-70 mg/day and the weekends off. i graduated from college last year and should have stopped for good then. however, my job at the moment is very robotic. monday-friday i live in an excel grid & copy & paste for 9-11 hours per day. recently, i received hot water from HR about my over-time, all thanks to adderall!! my position is the very low at a great company, a great company that values your personal skills to excel short-cuts. i know that i have not moved up b/c i sound anxious and am anxious all of the time on adderall. i know that i want to stop taking it (i’m currently at the end of my supply) but i’m not sure if i should go cold turkey on monday or ween myself off this week. the good news is that the week after i’m going on vacation, so my body will have time to re-adjust sans pills & with plenty of colorado exercise! the bad news is that my roommate has an eating disorder so the whole pressure to be thin, is going to be tested in a whole new way.

    i would really appreciate any advice that you have about going cold turkey on monday or waiting for my vacation. i’m honestly a little unsure of opening my outlook inbox and having 100+ unread emails the day after my vacation without adderall…

  61. Mike says:

    Hi Morgan,

    The good news is that robotic, mindless tasks aren’t so bad without adderall; it’s the creative tasks that will drive you back to the pill.

    So you should be able to handle your excell spreadsheets just fine.

    As for the full email box when you come back from vacation: take it slow, one little batch at a time. People expect you to spend some time catching up. Don’t feel rushed.

    If you’ve been on it for 7 years you might want to consider just dropping your dose down to like 10mg a day until you get the balls to go 0mg.

    As for the pressure to be thin: why does having a roommate with an eatng disorder have to affect you at all? Just food availability?

    Really, the weight gain is the last thing to worry about…it’s the shortest-term aide effect, IMHO, and the easiest one to fix. Definitley read Lilah’s post: How to Beat Post-Adderall Weight Gain.

  62. jasmine says:

    HI
    I quit after taking 120-160 mg everyday for years. My mom told my doctor I was abusing the drug and I got cut off. It was HELL, but I got through it . Its been two months, the toughest thing was that I gained 35 pounds and I cant seem to lose not even one pound, I think my body changed so much. I still think about adderall all the time. Good luck all

  63. nick says:

    Mike i just want to say you have changed my life.. i was stuck on that devil pill for 11 years 40mg xr everyday. its a few weeks away from my freshman year of college and i am happier now more than ever. To anyone who is on adderal I highly highly recommend you either switch medications or quit in general.. If you read this and say I can’t or “I cant live without it” you’re wrong!! I was the worst out of everyone when it came to quitting.. To everyone who really knew me hell would freeze over before I stopped taking Adderal. I used to have the worst ADD ADHD you could imagine. At first it was hard to quit going through withdrawl and many other symptoms. Regardless of who you are and what you do you will gain a little bit of weight once you quit… The only promise I will give to you is quitting adderal will be one of the best decisions you ever make..Even though that voice in the back of your head might say screw and just go back on it.. FIGHT IT!!!. I’m telling you everyone the results of quitting is 1000x’s better.

  64. Mike says:

    Hey Nick. Thanks for the great comment. Your story should seriously motivate some people. It certainly gave me a recharge. :-)

    Good luck in college! It’s way easier than they make it out to be in High School, IMHO. The only hard part is showing up to class when you have the option not to. ;-)

  65. Morgan says:

    hey again,
    just wanted to follow up since my last post. today was my first day back to work, no adderall, and i feel great! i decided to go cold turkey and the intermediate vacation was a lifesaver. during the past week, i’ve had time to re-evaluate how to live a healthy lifestyle without being hidden behind an adderall-induced cyber coma…something i would have learned years ago without adderall. if anyone is considering going cold turkey and you take upwards of 30 mg.., i urge you to take a few days off just so the withdrawls are bearable. get outside and run around!
    i also want to comment on the insightful comments that many of you have contributed. as i’m sure they do for you, reading them puts things in perspective. when i told my family about this site and my decision to stop taking adderall, there were a few memorable posts came to mind. sorry for the lack of quotes & credit, but whomever said coming off was like a funeral & birthday party at the same time was spot on. also, the personality traits of adderall-users was so true. keep it up, mike & everyone else!

    thanks for all you do.

  66. josh says:

    i am really worried about quiiting the adderall because i am in a band and wenever i take adderall it seems that it helps me focus. any other people here that are musicians and addicted to or have quit adderall plz tell me your story.

  67. Mike says:

    @Josh

    I’m not a muscian, but for what it’s worth I can say as an amateur writer, I can’t write for shit on Adderall. I need decisiveness and abstract perspective to write intelligibly. When I’m on Adderall I’m so zoomed-in that I go on too many tangents and ruin whatever I’m writing by blurring its structure with irrelevant crap.

    For music, I would think your issue would be freedom of thought and direction. Adderall focuses you, but it also limits you…it makes you slightly OCD, and it’s often harder to break the mold with that kind of mentality.

    On Adderall, you may drill down into a musicial progression until it’s orderly and perfect. Without Adderall you may let a random riff just fly out of you just for the hell of it and because you felt compelled to: “What if I did this?! Hey, that sounded almost good!”

    Art involves shit-tons of focus. But it also requires impulsive, feeling-based gestures. It’s as much felt as it is thought. Quitting Adderall may help you feel more.

    Again, this is just my 2 cents that I figured I’d offer since no other musicians have chimed in yet. Let us know how it goes! :-p

  68. Poptart says:

    How do I quit being a single parent of 3 small children with no support from others.. I really don’t want to put my children through the withdrawels that I know I will face?

  69. James says:

    Hey Mike,

    I just wanted to say thank you.

    I’m 19 years old, and I had been taking 30 mg XR’s for about 5 years, but had been doubling up my dosages for a while. During the last few months before quitting, I was taking anywhere from 3 to 5 pills a day. It got to the point where I went through my last 3-month prescription in a matter of weeks.

    I had become so ridiculously dependent on the medicine without even realizing it.

    Like Josh, I’m also a musician, and my music was one of the main things that had kept me taking the pills.
    I was a pretty good singer/songwriter to begin with, but adderall made me feel like I was truly a prodigy. I was never short of ideas, or inspiration, and I always had the desire to learn something new. I learned to mix and record my own music, and became a thousand times better at playing keyboard, singing, playing guitar, and writing music in general.
    I started working on my own solo project, and began been working on my first EP.
    I had a small tour through western-america lined up for the upcoming summer.
    Everything seemed like it was finally coming together.

    But the problem was I couldn’t focus on my music without taking my pills.
    the only way that I was able to get anything done was by staying up all night working on my music.
    I knew that I had to quit eventually, but when I would try to stop, I would feel like I was under so much pressure to come up with new material, that all of the sudden, taking just one pill to finish a song that I was working on started to sound ridiculously reasonable.
    But for me, one pill would lead to another, etc.

    I thought that I was probably addicted, but I had never talked to anybody about it. I think that I somehow I must have blamed myself for being so dependent on adderall, and I was ashamed of it.

    Finally one night I opened up to my girlfriend about it, and it was then that I truly realized how addicted I was.
    She helped to convince me to stop taking the medicine, and I decided to try to ween myself off of the pills.
    So I decided to gradually decrease my dosage by roughly one fourth of a pill every couple of days to a week, but that didn’t last very long. In less than a month I was back up to the same dosage that I had been taking, maybe even a little bit more here and there.

    I felt like I was trapped.

    And then my prescription ran out.
    I became severely depressed, and angry all of the time.
    I slept for days straight, just so that I wouldn’t have to deal with how horrible everything was.
    I got nothing done.
    The withdrawals were miserable, worse than I could have ever imagined; easily the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to deal with.
    and I wasn’t sure if it was going to get better.

    Up until that point I had never searched for anything online about quitting, or dealing with these withdrawals. I’m not really sure why. I had thought about it, but I must have just figured that there wouldn’t be much useful information online, or that there weren’t many other people that were dealing with the exact same thing that I was.
    But out of curiosity I decided to go to Google and type “quitting adderall” into the search bar, just to see what would come up, and I clicked the first link I saw.
    Then I found your articles, and they were moving to say the least. I read what you had said about sharing the site with people who were close to you, and I showed my girlfriend.

    I couldn’t believe how much of a blessing you and your articles had been to me, and I think that if I hadn’t found out about your website, I would have refilled my prescription, and I would be in the exact same place that I was in when I was an “Adderallic” ;)

    You’ve not only helped me overcome the drugs and withdrawals, but you’ve helped my girlfriend to understand everything that the pills does to you, and helped to reassure both of us that things really will get better.
    We’ve made it through the worst of the phases.
    (She now has a strong hatred towards the adderall, and would kill me if I ever started taking it again)

    Your website is what I turn to whenever I feel tempted to take one of the nasty little pills.
    when a friend asks me if I want to buy any adderalls,
    or when I find half a pill under my car seat.
    You inspire me, and help me to find the strength to flush that shit.

    So thank you :)

    Going on two months now, adderall-free.
    I still haven’t been as productive with my music as I would like to be, and have put on a few pounds, but I know that things are slowly getting better.

  70. Michelle says:

    Hey,

    I am 18 and have been diagnosed with ADHD for as long as I can remember, I would say; 4th grade? I have been taking concerta till the middle of my senior year of high school and decided to switch to adderall because the conerta made me feel so pissed off all the time. I have had a boyfriend since 7th grade- first boyfriend and only boyfriend. We have been going strong for 6 years, so i decided I was sick of always being pissed off and mad at life, that i needed a change. The adderall made a significant difference for a couple months, then i went back to the way i was on my concerta. I get mad at the smallest things and drag shit out. I am never happy, I rather be quiet and by myself! I want to quit, but I am VERY scared to quit because I know without it, I may possibly not do well in school(as im struggling in my first year of college as it is. I have also tryed to stop before, and gone no more than 4 days and then went back to my crazy self and had a big dependency on it.. I am scared my family, boyfriend, and everyone else will not understand 100% and I also am scared that by doing this, it wont benefit me..

    what should i do!

  71. Mike says:

    Hi Michelle,

    First of all: do not quit until you have some idea of how you think it will benefit you. Quitting can be a miserable process, and you will get through it unless you find the positive aspect of quitting that makes it worth it.

    Once you have established your reason for quitting, communicate it to your boyfriend (and your family too if you’re comfortable with that) and let them know what to expect as far as negative side effects. Explaining after the fact isn’t as effective as accurately warning ahead of time.

  72. Emerson Zimmer says:

    QUIT ADDERALL.

    FUCK smoking cigarettes.. I don’t even smoke them! Now I’m addicted! 5 months studying for the LSAT, good plan right, WRONG. Bad score. ANXIETY high when I couldn’t get it, YOU GO BACKWARDS when you crash. All that “confidence” you get, you pay back the debt for it later! As my mom told me, “what goes up must come down!”

    Adderall is a perfect example of a bad drug. I can’t lie, in some ways, it allowed me to accurately assess my life and recalculate maturity and growing up. I’m 21. A senior in college going to law school. I almost folded under pressure, had an appointment for a script, but the little man saved me. FUCK you. Best of luck to you all, use that bright will you have deep inside you and realize. Much love. Good luck.

  73. i quit.. its been 5 months.. ive been sick almoust every day ever sence ive quiet and all of a sudden i need glasses, i am failing school.. this article is right but idk sometimes…sometimes i wish i could find the the burning rubish what really mattered to me. its gotten to the point to my girl friend has taken the medacation from me so i dont get the hurge for them. i am 16 and been takeing adral 60 mg for 8 years.

  74. Chris says:

    Hi ya there.

    Well, somehow I’ve managed to read a lot of these postings – has to probably do with my 6 cups of coffee or so earlier this morning. But here’s my history, see if you can relate. (scroll down to the bottom if you want to see my question)

    BTW I haven’t taken adderall since my last day of college which was nearly 4 months ago.

    I work for a video production company that basically only knows me for who I am when I was on adderall, when I first started liking video production I wasn’t on any prescriptions – it was my passion and still is, but I started taking adderall about a year after I got into this field, which is now my career. Now I feel that my passion is tarnished because I only know what it is like to produce good work while on adderall.

    I went on and off between high school and college and towards the end of college I really started to get into a habit of taking 7.5-15mg a day. I graduated college and excelled on my thesis film, but now I have personally cut myself off from the drug and have gained a lot of frustration from doing so.

    I have been off the drug for 4 months and find my self having a headache anytime I go to do something creative because I feel that adderall was the key to my success. I hate the fact that I relied on something, but loved the fact it was a simple as taking a pill to produce good work.

    What to do? Talk to doctors? get them to prescribe me medication so I can go on with my daily routines and be successful? or do I go about my life with out the drug and struggle to maintain the life style I want so badly?

    Obviously I can stop smoking pot, and believe me that is a huge thing I am considering, especially with the financial impact. That might clear my brain up a little more.

    Having read up on this stuff for quite a while, I can tell you that this is the first time I have ever felt like writing anything and asking for help. This site was great to find and it probably couldn’t have come at a better time.

    thanks, look forward to opening up lines of communication with you.

  75. Bill says:

    I want to quit, badly, until I take the time to view things in retrospect.

    I’m a sophomore in college now, so my recollection of high school is very clear to me. My first two years, I remember staring into nothing, with absolute indifference towards what was happening around me. Failing course after course, disappointing my family, etc… after school, I was so worn out, that I would walk home and sleep for hours. My social life suffered because I simply had no interest in having one. Junior year, I was brought to the family doctor and he prescribed adderall. It was a miracle (prior to knowing the devastating effects). I was vibrant, social, and I even remember being so interested in what I was learning in school. And better yet, I had such sharp focus.

    The biggest problem is that my doctor was ready to dish out whatever MG increases I requested. He doesn’t care about the actual well-being of his patients, so long as he does his job and gets his paycheck.

    I began on 10 MGs a day, and I am up to 60, two years later… but I still need more, and I often run out before I’m eligible for a refill.

    With increasing tuition costs, I’ve already signed my name over to $50,ooo worth of debt with the loan company, and I’m only a sophomore. If I quit adderall now, I’m afraid my collegiate career will come to a quick and untimely end, with not even a bachelors degree nor a successful career to show for it – only years of treading water and barely paying off my debts.

    Opinions are VERY welcome.

  76. Mike says:

    @Chris,

    Why quit? What can you do without Adderall that you can’t do with it? If there’s nothing that fills the answer to that question, then quitting might not be worth it for you.

    If you’re just quitting because you feel like the pill is doing the work…that might not be a good enough reason. It’s still you doing the work. It’s still talent within you that the pill brings out. And if you feel like you’re making the right decisions while on the pill, then don’t be too quick to damn it. Don’t quit just for some semi-formed desire not to be dependent on a pill that’s doing you no harm.

    Set your reasons for quitting clearly, make sure they are worth it, and then decide. That’s my advice.

    Also: Having an allergic reaction to any task that involves creativity is a very normal side effect of quitting, even after 4 months. But you can get over it eventually. Just takes time.

    And yeah, quitting or cutting way down on pot should help clear your head quite a bit. That’s definitely worth doing if you’re going to stay off Adderall and make a go of it. You want to give your mind every chance to be working at it’s optimal sober state, since you’re your not popping pills to compensate for other influences. :-)

  77. Mike says:

    @Bill

    It is possible to lower your tolerance. It sounds like Adderall worked for you, and then you took it a little too far. So ease your dose back down and keep it there. Take as many days off-meds or low-meds as you can every week. The first step is to not take it when you don’t need it (like weekends) and take as little as possible on select other days (like if you have only one class on Fridays, take none or way less)…that way when you take your full dose you’ll feel the impact more (because of the contrast).

    Just don’t go up in dose. Cap yourself at 60, and try to go down. Talk to your doctor about lowering your tolerance. This is a question a doctor should be able to answer: “Hey, it’s working for me but my tolerance keeps going up. What can I do to get it back down?” Go see a different doctor if yours doesn’t have anything constructive to say.

  78. chris says:

    ok, just to let ya know – I’ve been checking this site and haven’t seen too much activity lately, but i’ve got to find an answer to whether or not I need this sh*t. I do good work when I’m medicated, I don’t do barely any work when I’m not. Is that a sign? or am i just lazy?

  79. Mike says:

    Hi Chris,

    If you’re happy with Adderall, then there’s no reason to question it. Don’t cause yourself undue stress. If it works for you and it makes you happy and it’s getting you to your goals in life…then keep taking it!

    Believe me, you’ll know if the type of person who wants to quit. People who need to quit are those who feel like they will be happier without it. If you don’t feel that way, then don’t quit or worry about quitting.

    Also: Go join the forums. That’s where most of the activity is right now! :-)

  80. David says:

    It’s really inspiring to find such a good support forum. I’ve been addicted to adhd stimulants (vyvanse is my usual DOC) for a couple of years. It has practically ruined my life. I used to have a nice, comfortable social life which has been severely disrupted by the erratic behavior my use of speed causes. It has also strained my immediate family, who were having difficult problems before all this crap, which I am ashamed and furious with myself for. Additionally it’s killed my interest in college (I’m a senior scheduled to graduate in a little over a month) and my future. I was a pretty good student, top 10% of my class or something like that before, and I was always motivated and happy about my future after school. Everything’s plain and uninteresting now, and my grades have suffered severely. I drive people away with my sullen and pessimistic behavior whom I would like to interact with, and I have no significant drive to accomplish anything anymore. This makes me more miserable and just feeds the vicious cycle.

    At the same time, the drug has become less and less pleasurable and useful for me, and caused increasingly adverse mental and physical side effects. I can’t go a day now without seriously thinking about suicide, and I have minor but disconcerting sensory input-hearing constant sounds like phones ringing when clearly there are none. The phantom sensations have remained minor enough to tolerate but they get worse when I’m not sleeping well and stressed out. I’ve come to the verge of insanity a couple of times from taking adhd drugs, one of the absolute most painful experiences of my life, and overall I feel much older than I did before.

    I’m about to run out of meds tomorrow, so I’m trying to make the most out of my current binge by writing this rambling, semi-incoherent post. I was wondering if anyone had any good supplements to take or strategies to ease the pain of withdrawal they know to be beneficial? I was thinking of sleeping the majority of the coming weekend with the aid of some OTC hypnotics and then using St. John’s Wort and probably a couple of other supplements (probably gingko biloba) to tolerate the first miserable days. Any feedback would be very much appreciated. I’m not sure how I’ll make it 9 months without any amps the way I feel now but after reading some of these success stories I feel more confident and committed. Speed has wreaked havoc on my life in every area and I can’t deal with it anymore. If I don’t stop, I know that I’ll be dead in short order.

    Wish me luck, and my full sympathy for anyone who reads this over-wrought post who’s going through the same thing. There really should be more support groups for adderall-type addiction The drug is a household name in the US and prescribed so freely but there seems to be so little rehab service that addresses it, which is dangerous in my opinion. Adderall is soooo horribly addictive for people predisposed to it and the withdrawal is far worse in my experience than common rec drugs such as alcohol or weed (I’ve gone through some of both) and in a totally different league compared to quitting smoking. I’d give anything right now to get over my addiction and go back to who I was and feel like a normal person, not hurting all the time like my life’s over and nothing’s left to live for.

  81. Mike says:

    Hey David!

    If you’ve gotten pessimestic and miserable while you’re on speed, then you may want prepare for a pretty harsh comedown when you quit. Although on the other hand you’re depressed all of the time anyway…so maybe it won’t be that different of a feeling when you quit. :-)

    Just the same, you sound like you’re pretty ripe to quit. There’s a thousand old sayings about how “if you want your life to change, you have to do something different”. Well, quitting Vyvanse will be a huge change. And I think that’s where the good eventually comes from. You will have to re-approach practically everything, like a patient recovering from brain damage (that sounds harsh, but the good news is you will eventually heal yourself).

    The upside to re-approaching everything is that you eventually figure out better ways to do everything….ways that are more you. That old self that you want to get back: I promise you that if you do this and keep working at it, you will be that other person that you used to be again…and more. It’s kind of a gravity thing. When you remove all of the chemical anchors holding that other person down…he floats back to the surface. This can lead to all kinds of happiness and self-confidence.

    But there’s a price you have to pay to buy back that old you: You have to go through quitting. And quitting is absolutely miserable. Especially the first few months. I would definitely plan on a lot of sleeping for at least the first month or so as your chemical balance restores, so reduce your responsibilities if you can.

    I also highly recommend reading Lilah’s article on post-Adderall nutrition.

    For my money, the only the supplement I’ve tried that seems to make a difference is a high dose of Omega 3 and DHA. After about a month and a half of taking it my moods seemed to level out pleasantly (I didn’t get depressed as much). But maybe it just timed out with some positive improvements in my life that happened around the same time. Either way, I plan to keep taking it.

    And definitely start exercising as soon as you can! That will help, and it’ll give you a nice distraction.

    Very much good luck. Keep posting and let future readers know how it’s going for you!

  82. Brit says:

    My husband and I were both taking Adderall for over a year. He was diagnosed with ADD, and I, well I just did it for fun. At first things were great, we got a lot of things accomplished, he pulled straight A’s in school. Im a nurse and was incredibly focused and felt like a “super nurse” at work. Ive always been thin, 5’11 and hung out around 148-152 lbs. I played college volleyball and weighed closer to 157 lbs then. But on adderall I dropped down to 140-142 lbs…loved it! I was like victoria secret model thin (speaking of I watched the runway show this year and there is no possible way those girls are that thin without taking some kind of amphetamine!)

    Anyway I could eat horribly when I did eat, drank venti gianormous frappucinos from starbucks daily, barely worked out and stayed super thin constantly. The reason Im sharing all this is because over time with my husband and I taking this it started to literally destroy our marriage. We’ve been married for 8.5 years, have always been best friends, we were married through college, both college athletes, shared the same friends. Well this little sweet pill I began dry swallowing every morning (sometimes before I even got out of bed) started to destroy us…..and the worst part was that we didnt even realize it! First off I couldnt even start my day without taking it to get me going! Over time we grew more and more inpatient with one another, we became short, over focused on our own tasks and wants. We began to completely behave as if we didnt need one another. The problem arose in the team work it takes to raise a child. Our daughter is now 17 months, but man we have fought tooth and nail over all the little things. (never in front of her) But when you have a small child and you both work you have to coordinate all the small things and when you both are on adderall, it becomes very difficult if not impossible to do without being at one another’s throats. Phone calls turned from “hey babe we should go out for dinner tonight when you get home”…to “hey dude when the hell are you gonna be home so I can go to the gym”…and “where the hell are you, you said you’d be home 2 hours ago”. Seriously I cannot even begin to express the damage this was to us. My husband even moved out and rented his own apartment. I can’t even touch on the serious shit that went on between the 2 of us, we were headed to some serious divorce.

    In my own mind I would over obsess about small tasks like laundry, when I was home alone at night with just my kid I had feelings of fear, like someone was stalking me. I lost the ability to just sit and hang out, enjoy a movie, shoot the shit. I became so over focused on anything and everything. My husband was taking a ton of adderall and he was like 100 times worse then me, he became totally intolerable for me to even be around. He turned into the most selfish person ever. He was so unpleasant and going a billion miles an hour at all times. I lost the peace that gives you that sweet moment to moment feeling that life is fun and enjoyable, that lets you soak in precious moments and people that are dear to you. Im not super religious, but I honestly feel this drug prevents the spirit of God from being able to dwell within you, to bring you those feelings of peace and joy.

    My husband was the one that figured out what was happening and actually stopped them and then cut me off, I was not happy to say the least, I was angry! He left town for a weekend with my daughter to Grandma’s and I literally laid around for an entire day, I was miserable. The biggest thing was I forgot how to be “me”, and it scared the shit out of me. I forgot how to feel normal, how to experience and process normal thinking. I like to think Im a pretty “normal” person, Im not much of a basket case, I don’t suffer from anxiety or depression and I think that all helped me to get over it as quickly as I did, that and a couple packs of cigarettes :)

    A couple days passed and my family came home and I can’t tell you the difference in the 2 of us. I almost started crying when we had our first exchanges. It was “us”, after all this time of wondering what the hell was going on, here we were, the 2 people that fell in love, that have always been best friends. Over the last week we have enjoyed one another, all the mundane things like sittin watching tv, we enjoy the hell out of our daughter, we are so patient with one another and its not even forced, its just happening. the last few nights we sit around and talk and talk about how happy we feel, about what the hell we were thinking, about how normal we feel and what we have been missing out on. I forgot life was supposed to be filled with warmth and happiness. This drug was destroying us and we didnt even know it. I feel tremendous amounts of peace, I feel like myself, and I have been putting my life back together, getting on the track I veered from, and it feels amazing. I hit my knees every night and thank God, with overwhelming emotion. The spirit of God simply cannot dwell in an adderall filled mind. I call it the spirit of God, but it can be called anything, the thing that brings you feelings of peace. I would not take any amount of money to go back on that drug, not in a bazillion years. I just feel so happy I finally figured it out. Its a sneaky little sweet bastard, so if you feel like your relationship is going down the shitster and you really cant figure it out….try stopping the popping and the reason will flood into your mind. It truly is amazing!

    I do understand there are many benefits from this drug, that it affects everyone differently. I dont knock or judge anyone that take its…to each his own. Im just sharing this in case there’s another person out there who’s wondering “what the hell is happening”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  83. Bev says:

    I just happened to stumble upon my old 2009 post while looking through some old files..and I can’t believe it’s been that long since I stopped using adderall! I weakened a few more times after I wrote that post but quit for good right after Christmas ’09…and have never looked back. Before I found this site, many other’s tried to help me stop taking adderall but no amount of begging, pleading, or what they thought was solid advice, made a bit of difference. However, on that November evening in 2009, some divine intervention must have guided me to this site because it’s the only thing that helped me break my addiction for good. I can’t thank you enough Mike. Your words of wisdom and encouragement are such a gift..and I truly appreciate everyone sharing their heartfelt experiences, as well. There was a time when I didn’t think I could survive without adderall…but now I don’t know how I survived taking so many of them for such a long time. I always thought I was so much more interesting and smarter while on adderall but I was told afterwards that the opposite was true. Thinking about it, acting like a hyper little speed demon who had an answer for everything MUST have driven everyone crazy. Anyways, i’m glad to have my personality back…life is so much better now. Trust me…it is possible to stop this drug, lead a very fulfilling life, and be much healthier and happier.

  84. Bev says:

    Brit, your story brought tears to my eyes…and I completely relate to everything you said. I remember clearly just how sneaky those little blue pills are and how they literally rob you of true happiness and feelings of peace. I also believe they prevent the spirit of God from dwelling within us….I couldn’t agree more. They made me feel like I needed only them…nothing else. The ability to “feel” anything joyful or what used to be important to me was gone…like it didn’t matter anymore. Like you, the first thing I did each morning was roll over and take my adderall…it was the first thing I thought of as soon as I woke up. When I first started taking them, I was seduced by the weight loss and the bursts of euphoric energy but before I knew it, the euphoria was replaced with feelings of depression, sadness, loneliness, and emptiness….and I got so skinny that people were genuinely scared for my wellbeing. I felt like a shell of my former self. Finding this site and reading other’s experiences really helped me to finally understand that I was not alone in what this drug was doing to me. After reading some of the posts and the great, non-judgemental advice, something clicked in my brain and I stopped taking adderall soon afterwards. It was by far the best decision I ever made. Anyways, thank-you for sharing your story…and may you continue to have peace and happiness for many more years to come…

  85. Mike says:

    Hey Bev!

    Thanks so much for your comment. I’m really happy you’re doing so well!

  86. nick says:

    Hi Mike it’s me again, I first posted a little over a year ago. I just wanted to touch bases with you again and let you know how I’ve been doing. First off I just wanted to share with you how bothered I’ve been lately to how popular Adderal is on college campuses, and it kills me to see how bad people are abusing it. It’s incredibly surprising to see people take advantage of such a powerful drug, just to be able to stay up and party all night, or give them enough drive to study. I wish more people would understand the seriousness about taking Adderal especially if you don’t need it. But anyways I’m about to complete my first year of college, everything is going well, but I ended up going back on the Adderal three weeks into college. I realized I wasn’t able to take on college without ADHD medication, and Adderal was what always worked best for me(except for all the bad side effects). I still want to thank you very much for the website, you changed my life more than words could ever describe. I realized that I don’t need to rely on Adderal anymore for everyday life, and I found out who I really am off it. I still hate taking the medicine more than anything, but I went from taking it everyday my whole life, and freaking out when I don’t take it, to only taking it three- four times a week, with a much smaller dosage. I’m about to embark on my second summer without the medication, and I’m very excited. It’s incredible too see how different I am on, and off the medication, the way I think and act, and socialize with other people is completely innerchangable. I always thought I was so depressed and unhappy because I was born that way, but once I went off the medication for a while it made me realize it was Adderal putting those nasty thoughts in my head. Now understanding the negative effects of the Adderal, and how to control them has made me grow so much in who I am as a person. To anyone having doubts about quiting Adderal please trust me I’ve been there plenty of times, and just do it, I promise you it will change your life completely for the better. Mike you’re a very inspirational and incredible person, who touched not only the life of myself, but many others as well, and I just wanted to let you know how greatful I am for the creation of this website.

    Take care Mike, I hope everything’s well,
    Nick

  87. Anonymous says:

    Mike can you please help me, I can’t seem to find the specific answer anywhere!

    I just recently started taking adderall and during sex I will lose my erection/not get one in the first place. Will this stop if I am not on adderall the day im going to have sex? Or is this a recurring side effect even when youre not taking the medicine? Please help me!

  88. anon says:

    i hate the withdrawls. i feel fat lazy and poessessed b/c my body randomly wants to move but my brain wont work

  89. Mike says:

    @anon – When your body randomly wants to move, let it. Go out for walk (or run). The sooner you get back in touch with the joy of physical activity, the better off you’ll be and the more bearable your withdrawals will be! :-)

  90. Mike says:

    @Anonymous – Actually, that’s a new one on me. I’ve never heard of erectile dysfunction as being a symptom of Adderall use. In fact, I usually hear the opposite. If you’re going to test the “not take it before having sex” theory, make sure you cut yourself off as early as possible. Like, if you’re going to have sex Friday night, take your last does thursday afternoon if you can. Speed tends to get out of your system within 36 hours I think (don’t quote me on that…I just remember “it goes out much faster than pot”), so the closer you can get to that figure the better your chances of possibly fixing that ED…if Adderall truly is the cause.

    I HAVE heard about from lots of people with circulation problems related to Adderall, so I don’t know if that might be related to your experience. Like maybe it’s a bloodflow issue. You really may want to ask your doctor about this one. And when you do, come back here and tell us what he said!

  91. Mike says:

    @Nick – That’s a great update! Amazing the difference a year can make, huh? I’m so glad the site helped. You sound like you’ve found a great balance. It’s funny, what you said about Adderall use being so horribly popular and casual on college campuses….I totally had the same feeling one day last week while I was studying for finals. I was in line waiting to get a coffee at my university library, when I overheard the girl behind me relating to her friends a train a thought I remember all too well: “OK I took an Adderall to study last night and I’m still kind of going, so I’m not sure whether this coffee will be a good idea, or whether I should go ahead and take another one…”

    I wondered to myself whether in a couple of years that same girl might end up on this site, posting about her struggle to quit.

    Anyhow, thanks so much for posting your update and for the kind words. And congratulations. :-)

  92. Emily says:

    I must say that the two most pleasant, inspirational and unexpected side effects I’ve experienced in quitting are a return of my sense of humor and being genuine! These two things have actually helped me more in my day to day life than the adderall did… this whole quitting thing is still one of the hardest things I have ever done though. Can’t wait till I get some more time to tell everyone on this site my full story and journey. This site is great!

  93. karen says:

    Whats amazing to me is the fact the stories have the same ending. Were talkin 60 year old grandmas and 15 year old teens now all of a sudden have the same personality due to this drug. This is the only drug ive seen do that. Shows just the scary amount of countrol this drug has on you. Basically i started taking adderall 4 years ago because I liked the euphoria. Im not adhd i took this drug to get high. Got a RX and built tolerance and slowly had a growing problem with ciggerettes too. Up to 60mg,s and switched to dexedrine. Well pretty much its a more evil and stronger version of addy. The downward trend in my life sped up a lot when switching. When i detox to allow my tolerance to drop i feel a thick cloudy feeling in my head and eat about 7,000 calories and chug several rounds of nyquil so my body would stop moving and i could go to bed. Its depressing. And by the way my sex drive is actually very high on dexedrine or adderall and drops to zero when im in withdrawl. I regret starting a whole lot. I realize i can,t do nothin bout it and just accepted the fact this drug will come with me to the grave. No, im not suicidal I just lost my soul to this drug already so i might as well not fight the all powerful dexedrine for my soul back because im no match for it. I can,t stress enough to anyone out there though to stay the hell away from amphetamines. Whether its adderall,dexedrine,vyvanse,desoxyn or street meth its all the same thing and thats speed. If you want your life to be staring at the walls chain smoking and thinking about sex all day long then go ahead and do speed. If you want a good spouse , a good group of friends,good health,good self-esteem,happyness then dont even try it once. I shoulda thought of this before I signed away my soul. God bless those who quit this stuff. Your very strong people and you gotta consider yourself lucky.

  94. Cindy says:

    My first adderall came from a friend at a party that acted shocked I’d never tried it.

    I’ve never been into prescription drugs and I’m 28.

    I have a difficult time focusing on one task and in social settings I find myself paying attention to my thoughts while people are speaking to me. I’ve always been very driven and have never had any problem “doing work” without adderall.

    Adderall allowed me to be immersed in a single conversation with the most uninteresting person on the planet and gave me endless energy whereas before I would pass out during movies etc.

    I can’t remember exactly how long I’ve been on it, but it’s been about 2 years now although I haven’t taken it consistently. Sometimes I take it, sometimes I don’t and when I do I NEVER take my full dosage because half makes me grind my teeth sometimes. I’m supposed to take 60mg per day. I take 20-40 per day and not normally daily. If my job wasn’t so demanding and I was still in school I may not have any desire to take it, but my day is so boring and I am not passionate about my current job therefore this is a great way to see results for me at work where I deal with massive amounts of people in person and over the phone as an adviser.

    Lately I’ve noticed becoming very dizzy and lightheaded like I’ve never felt before. I’ve also gotten numb limbs. Reading these posts help me realize that although I’ve been accomplishing a lot and being very successful in my career, I do feel like I am living my life on auto-pilot. I rarely enjoy small things anymore because I am hyper FOCUSED all the time.

    The biggest reason I’ve decided to step down starting tomorrow is that I quit smoking cigarettes and whenever I take adderall it makes me want to smoke. At $7-$8 a pack I can’t keep buying packs and flushing them daily. Not to mention how disgusting it is and harmful to my health. When I don’t take my pills I don’t care for the cigarette, but when I take the pills I always want to smoke when I get a break at work because it gives me “something to do” since I guess I forgot how to just “be”.

    Thanks for all your posts and for whoever reads this…this site has really made an impact on me so keep it going.

    :]

  95. Mike says:

    @Karen – Thanks for sharing your story! It’s funny what you said about all the stories having the same ending and the same personality — I agree, but I think it’s only 25% the drug’s fault. For the most part I think that all of us had very similar personalities to begin with, and that’s what led us all to the same vice. If you ever get the chance to meet another dissatisfied Adderall user in person, do it. You’ll be amazed at how fast you make friends.

    It’s important for you to understand that you didn’t lose your soul to the drugs — you just covered it up. When you quit, your soul comes back, suddenly uncovered. You will feel your soul coming back as you quit. It’s very tangible, and very encouraging.

    Also: You don’t have to battle the dexidrine, you just have to give in to your soul. Practically, it’s a battle against your obligations in life (all of which demand your drugs to deal with). To win, you have to indulge the part of yourself that doesn’t care about your obligations. That’s where you start.

    At the rate you’re going, you’re going to have to do it eventually. Whether now or several years from now, you’re going to have to go through it. Better to do it when your younger rather than older, because when you do quit you’re going to have to spend a year or two picking up the pieces.

    Anyhow, hang in there, and come back and post updates!

  96. Mike says:

    @Cindy – Thanks for your comment! The dizzyness can be caused by not eating/drinking enough, so make sure you’re getting plenty of fuel (even though the Adderall makes you feel like you don’t need to eat as much). I had the numb limb thing too. It mostly went away when I quit, but comes back sometimes during the winter. It’s scary. Exercise seemed to help in my case.

    Good luck quitting Adderall and cigarettes. I did the same thing, FWIW. I quit Adderall first, and then cigarettes, but within few weeks of eachother. At first, still being able to smoke gave me a crutch to fall back on while I was dealing with the first few weeks off Adderall (smoke breaks gave me an excuse to not have to be sitting at my desk typing code for 10 minutes every couple of hours). Then after the worst of the Adderall withdrawals were over I quit the cigarettes too. Initially, I felt like quitting smoking was harder. But the worst pressure of quitting smoking was gone within a month or so and then I was fine. By contrast, it’s taken me years to feel semi-normal after quitting Adderall. But it was a more gradual pain that quitting smoking.

    Anyhow, best of luck….come back and post updates!

  97. gary says:

    Im now 31 years old. I have been addicted to Adderall since age 14. First it was dexedrine then switched to adderall once it become popular. Both drugs are designed to destroy your life. Dexedrines a little better at it then adderall due to its lack of unpleasant PNS stimulation. Anyways I started at 20mgs of dexedrine(about 30-35 mgs of adderall) and at first my world just began again. Lost 30 pounds got my first girlfriend made the deans list and lived the dream life. About three months in I noticed unpleasant side effects as well as tolerance. As the years go on i noticed a slow steady downfall. I went from 20mgs to 40mgs to 60mgs and by the end of high school i was up to 80mgs of dexedrine or about 120mgs of adderall. I was 6 foot and barely a hundred and fourty pounds. I had no friends and did nothing but chain smoke and scratch at my skin and drink red bulls all day. I thought it was rock bottom so i decided to give it a try at quitting. I slept and ate for about 3 weeks and was depressed for six months after i stopped. I got fired from my job b/c the withdrawls made me lazy. So i got a new job that christmas 1998 and I almost lost it too. I was still having withdrawl symptoms a year after stopping. So a guy at work brought me a new drug called adderall. I had no idea b4 it kicked in it would be the same as my nightmare 1 year earlier. Once again Life was great for the first time since my freshman yr of highschool. Sadly within two months 30mgs turned to 50 and by the end of 1999 i was doing 90mgs everyday. Now today In 2011 I take 180mgs everyday to just do the bare minnimum. I got no life no friends no job and no career and find myself picking imaginary bugs from my face and i smoke 2 packs of cigs a day and drink a eight pack of energy drinks a day. Im 6 foot and 135 pounds and rarely sleep. I feel like someones watching me constantly and feel like i could have a stroke at any moment. I never told any doctor about this. I get it from an illegal pharmacy. Dont end up like me. Stay away from it

  98. johnny5 says:

    My girlfriend is about to attempt quitting, thanks (partially) to this site. I’m going to do my best to cheer her on, and show my support. She is special to me and this sounds like a serious test of strength for both of us to conquer together. Definitely for the better I feel. She has tried to quit a couple times already and feels extremely tired like you mentioned. We both participate in regular exercise together and try to eat healthy foods. Do you think there is a good chance she will become addicted to something else, caused by the feeling of a void which needs to be filled from lack of Adderall? Thanks,
    Johnny5

  99. Mike says:

    @Johnny5 – Good of you to help her through this. About her potentially getting addicted to other things: yes, but it doesn’t have to be an unhealthy addiction. At the core of an Adderall user is an obsessive, self-destructive desire to be better at any cost. When they can’t have this improvement, there’s a risk of them turning to escape instead, but less of a risk than with say a normal drug user who doesn’t care about being better and only wants to escape.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that if your girlfriend finds something else that gives her that sense of self-improvement, and can be done without limit, it’s possible she could channel her addictiveness in that direction…like exercise, for example. But it could be other things too. If you’re very active together, that will help immensely. Exercise is one of the best ways to escape while you’re recovering, and if you keep her on that habit and keep it fun, it will be very good for both of you.

  100. Sam says:

    After researching and learning about the process of quitting Adderall, I need some experienced wisdom from anyone who can help. My wife, who has been taking Adderall for about 4 years now, has quit Adderall cold-turkey. She was concerned about the loss of herself in the Adderall world and just wants to be “normal”.

    Over the last 4 years, she has been taking Adderall in the morning and Colonapen in the evenings to help calm her down. Over the last year she noticed that she was anxious and increased her benzodiazepines dose as needed for family functions or large group settings. She is naturally a private and introverted person. Over the last month she has grown increasingly distraught, anxious, even fearful of driving and sitting at a red light. I have been talking with her on the phone as she drives to work to keep her mind off traffic. Her anxiety is at a peak and she had a breakdown today, basically begging and praying to be back to normal. I don’t understand her feelings, would like to help her, and I’m curious about how long we can anticipate this chemical wicking of the medication. Her best friend is getting married over the weekend and she is almost in a state of panic to be around all the people. I have suggested that she go back on a smaller dose to come down slower, but she’s already a month in… I don’t think that would be beneficial for her, if it may only be mentally taxing for another week or so? She has good days and bad days, but the anxiety she is experiencing has eliminated the opportunity for us to enjoy anything. She does like to workout, but I’m not sure if it’s because that’s all she has known on Adderall and she feels like she needs to maintain that level of intensity. I certainly don’t mind working out with her, but at what point should I use a firm hand to help her deal with this and face the issues? Should I let her have a panic attack in the car to show her that everything will be fine? Has anyone experienced debilitating anxiety while coming off? She can’t do any research online because reading other conflicting opinions stresses her out to the point that she begins to doubt her decision to leave the Adderall behind. Please, any help or guidance would be appreciated!

  101. Mike says:

    Hey Sam,

    Many people collapse into deeper introversion when they first quit Adderall (well, those that have the tendency anyway), which carries it’s own social discomforts with it. If she’s anxiety prone anyway, then I could see how this deeper introversion could amplify her natural preference against social outings to a degree that borders on (or crosses very well into) full-blown anxiety attacks.

    I don’t actually hear from many people who have social-related anxiety after quitting, but I hear from a metric shit-ton of people who have anxiety attacks about work after they first quit Adderall. And when it comes to those attacks, there are two ways (in my experience to handle them)…

    1. The lazy, comfortable way: Figure out how to comfortably accomplish the task in an incremental way that you are OK with (e.g., working during commercial breaks of a TV show until the project is done, etc). Applied to a social setting for your case, this could be the “step by step until we’re through this” approach. Most likely, the wedding will be fine and fun. She’s just going to be a nervous wreck getting there (and maybe afterwards). So following this approach, you would ease/softly carry her through each step, taking special care to focus on that specific step. Don’t let her brain jump ahead to all the other things in the future: who’s going to be there, what she’s going to say when Susie tries to talk her ear off, etc. Keep her on the present step: like driving to the cleaners and picking up the dress.

    2. The strong words/man up way. This is that firm hand you mentioned. Let’s take it back to work anxiety (because I have more experience with that)…if a respected boss says to an newly-sober Adderall user “God damnit, quit dragging ass on this and just get it done!” one of these reactions will occur: The Adderallic will go back on her pills, give up the job, or just man up and power through until the work is done. More often than not, #3 happens. There’s something about a firm, inescapable command that can focus even somebody as scattered as the newly-sober Adderallic. It’s unpleasant, but almost calming. Try it if #1 doesn’t work.

    For either #1 or #2, take her side on her desire to quit Adderall (which it sounds like you’ve already done). Tell her that the good news is that increased anxiety overall is one of the symptoms of quitting. But the bad news is that it will stick around until she conquers it herself. Quitting Adderall is about growth. You lose yourself on Adderall, and when you quit you don’t only get the good parts of your true self back; you get the bad parts as well. The biggest challenge of quitting is fighting and slaying your in-born hangups when they reappear. For her, going to this wedding is her first battle against the hangups of her natural self. Tell her to use her vision of the woman she wants to be as her sword. Tell her to use you as her shield. If you’re into metaphors lol.

    Also, do whatever you can to validate her right now. Find things to like about her new self, as young and roughly-formed as it is right now. Remind her that she joked around today like she never did on Adderall. Or that she mentioned painting like 8 times this week and you’ve never heard her talk about it so much except to say “I used to paint”. Or hell, tell her that you like the sex/frequency of sex better. If any of those things are true, they are positive affects that can appear very soon after quitting, and the more the quitter can recognize them when they surface, the more empowered they will feel.

    If none of those positive symptoms ever appear (from her own view as well as yours), then she may want to reconsider the idea of quitting. But in my experience, those who quit because they want to “get themselves back” often succeed in doing exactly that, so if that’s her motivation I recommend sticking it out for a bit longer, working on this hangups that arise, and seeing how far she can take her new self. Fortunately she has a huge ally in this (you).

    Also try to boost her confidence each step of the way. When she gets the dress, tell her the dress looks pretty. When she gets the hair done, compliment it enthusiastically. If you really want to go the extra mile, get her some new earrings (or just get her old ones polished if you have time). Anything you can do to make her feel more socially confident.

    I don’t know if that helps. I wish I had more experience with social anxiety specifically/anxiety attacks specifically. Also, to answer your first question about how long it takes for her to chemically balance out: Typically 4-6 weeks for the chemical dependency to break. Beyond that it’s rebuilding your habits, discipline, and psychological structure from scratch. It’s a horrible, nasty battle. But as I often say: Nothing I have ever done has been more worth it. And she is massively lucky that she has you there to help her through it.

  102. Geeta says:

    What a great site! I wish I had seen this earlier but glad it is out there helping people. I started using adderall recreationally when I was about 21–more like a supplement to my partying and staying up drinking. Then I went back to school and got a prescription to help me study. As I began to take it I felt better and better like superwoman…I took about 40 mg a day but it quickly jumped to 80 or 100 (sometimes more). When I lost weight I realized I could get back into dancing (I was a professional ballet dancer) and started training with a professional modern dance company. The next year they accepted me into the company and I thought “thank goodness for adderall—making my dreams come true!” after a couple years my body started giving up on me. I got sick all the time, did not have my superwoman strength anymore, isolated myself and played on my computer while chain-smoking ….and I kept it a big secret. I think my close friends knew something was off but it wasn’t until I broke down bc I had been up all night that they knew I had a problem. Still, I convinced everyone I was now taking my recommended dosage (which was still high-40 mg) when really I just kept using. It didn’t stop until I got pregnant and knew I had too. I really think being pregnant saved my life. I remember several times feeling like I was going to have a heart attack while dancing hours on end high on adderall. Now I feel like myself again. I am lucky I got pregnant bc it made me quit but also allowed me to sleep a lot in the beginning (cause hey I am pregnant). I gained a ton of weight, being pregnant and coming off adderall but never felt better. My soul is back in my body. I know I will never touch it again bc I can’t risk my baby having a soul less mother who can’t emotionally connect with her child . Thanks mike for the site… Best one I have read and amazing to impact all of these lives in a positive way.

  103. Emily says:

    Hi…I’m nervous. I don’t really have a “problem” as of yet…I would classify it more as worries. I was prescribed 30mg a day mostly for depression. After three months, my doctor upped it to 40. It’s been about 7 months now and I can’t seem to start my day without it. I feel that my personality has also become extremely bland. Nothing bothers me, nothing is as funny as it used to be, nothing surprises me. Every time I go to my doctor, he focuses solely on the weight I’ve lost (I was a bit overweight when I started) and I am praised and written another prescription. I’m suspicious of why I’m on this specific drug (my doctor thinks I’m obese. I’m a 5’5 150 pound female) was going to stop out of spite, but I just can’t seem to wake up in the mornings without it. I’m confused and I need help.

  104. Mike says:

    Hi Emily! Thanks for your comment. Are you seeing a general physician or a psychiatrist? It’s odd to me that he’s prioritizing your weight loss over your mental progress. I would start by getting a second opinion. I don’t like the way this guy sounds. Doctors are just people. And some people are shitty and biased, credentialed or no. But there are some wonderful ones out there as well. When in doubt, find a female psychiatrist. They tend to have a higher likelihood of being awesome, in my experience (not to discredit my own gender).

    You may also want to scale back your dose a little (to get some of your personality back). You doctor is just making an educated guess about the dosage you need. And if he’s only talking to you about the weight, then he’s making a very bad guess. I think most doctors would agree that you want to be on the lowest dose possible that is still effective, and ultimately since we’re talking about mental healthy…you are probably the best judge of its effectiveness.

    And FWIW, I don’t think 5’5″/150 is obese at all. And I also think there are way healthier ways to lose weight that your doctor should be recommending instead of just pumping you full of speed.

    Good luck getting squared away!

  105. Ashley says:

    The weight gain is the ONE thing that keeps me going back to Adderall even though I don’t get the pronounced high from it anymore like I used to. For seven years I’ve abused Adderall…hard. Like, as in 120mg per day hard. A few months ago, I’ve switched from IR to XR and can get through the day on 20-30mg. However for about 2 months this spring I went without any adderall. But I gained weight. Not good since I’m already overweight.

    When I started taking adderall back in college I was already a healthy weight, but I dropped about 20lbs and my weight hovered around 140-145lbs. I was a size 6 and I had the perfect figure even though I didn’t work out. I just barely ate. About two years ago, I noticed that I began to slowly gain weight despite still being on adderall. It would give me this weird lightheaded feeling when I took it and the only way to stave that feeling off was to eat something. The appetite suppressant aspect to adderall became less and less potent but I always ate less on adderall than off it. Fast forward to today where I am 206lbs – last summer at this time I was 165lbs. Its weird…even though I suspect adderall might have turned on me and actually caused my weight gain I still take it because when I go off it my appetite is through the roof.

    I don’t like being on adderall – it makes me cranky, extremely introverted, sweaty and makes me feel lightheaded. When I go off it I deal with the side effects okay – I take a few supplements (i.e. b-12, omega3s) to support my health. But the insane hunger is so scary. I hate being the weight I am now and would love to get back down to 160 or 170. But I’m afraid adderall has messed up my metabolism so much that I just need to get used to being fat now. A punishment, I guess you could say, for years of abusing my health by being on adderall. :(

  106. Mike says:

    Hi Ashley!

    If you’re able to deal with the other side effects of being off Adderall, you’re in a much better position than most. Don’t let the weight gain fear stand in your way. That’s no reason to keep popping speed. For you, quitting Adderall will be a different kind of challenge. You just have to figure out how to keep the weight off and stave off the overeating. Just get out there and run. I’ve watched people melt all kinds of weight off just by getting into an exercise habit. I’ve done it myself. It really is as easy as making yourself break a sweat once a day.

    Adderall for weight loss is not really sustainable, as you’ve already discovered. You grow tolerant, so you take more to keep your appetite down and you wreck your brain and personality in the process. Is that really a good trade when there are so many other options for losing weight?

    You do NOT need to get used to being fat! Don’t think like that, and don’t convince yourself that you “deserve” fat as a punishment. That martyr complex will keep you stuck in horrible, life-destroying ways. You have ability and the right to look like you want and be the weight that you want. I’ve seen so many people do it, and your case isn’t even severe (30-40lbs is very, very doable).

    Imagine if you figure it out…you can have the great figure AND the great personality. It could be as easy as going outside and taking a lap every other night.

  107. Jessy says:

    Mike, do you have a girlfriend? Because you are freaking hot. I don’t even know what you look like, but a guy as smart and compassionate as you is HOT!

  108. Mike says:

    LOL. Thanks, Jessy. You just made my day. Nope, no girlfriend. How YOU doin?

  109. Stephanie says:

    Hello. I’m a mother to a wonderful son who happens to be ADHD. he has been on adderall for four years. He was so behind academically until he started his pills. It took me TWO years to admit my sons disability and I was taken kicking and screaming fighting every step of the way NOT to put my son on drugs. Our home life was a wreck due to his not listening, ticks, noises, attitude, EVERYTHING. however his core being is the sweetest most amazing soul you’d ever encounter. As a vegan family, doing things the natural way comes first, so agreeing to giving my child drugs was a two year battle for myself. He attends a private Montessori so he has had the privilege to be loved along side his learning as apposed to a public schools hard knock life. Casting my son out is NOT happening on my watch, I don’t care how hyper and annoying he can be at times. I understand the he is hurting in his own skin, so we need to be sensitive to his needs.

    Anyway, long story short, I’m writing you for your thoughts. I believe EVERYTHING to have a lesson within it, or an opportunity waiting. The other day (four days ago), while breastfeeding my third born son in the back room, my second son decided to snoop through our pantry. That is where we keep the pills so I can remember every morning to give one to my first born. So my six year old, bless his heart, dumped a $200 bottle of freshly refilled adderall down the toilet and then came to me crying KNOWING he made a big mistake.

    My doctor re-wrote us a prescription. I took it to get it filled. When I went to pick it up this morning, they hesitantly told me that my insurance won’t cover it until the 25th (today is the 11th) and said I could pay in cash. IN CASH?! I certainly don’t have the cash! Soooo, here we go, we must try to survive until the 25th. Him, his brothers, dad, and me. We must survive his extreme ADHD. already I’m losing my mind. But him, his mind is racing! I feel so bad for him.

    He’s complaining about his back hurting and everything he has worked so hard at in the last four years is gone, out the window. We are back to square one. That fucking pill was just a god damn bandaid to a much bigger issue that we could have spent the last four years learning to deal with versas masking. I must mention though that academically he was skyrocketing like we never thought we’d ever see! Thanks to his huge support group! His teacher even gave him a balancing ball to sit on instead of a chair to help absorb his energy.

    So, my question, beings I believe everything happens for a reason, and I decided to do a search on the side effects of stopping adderall cold turkey thus I came across your lovely sight, I am worried. My job as a mother is to help my kids through life, keep them safe and show them the way through example. I’m seeing these stories where people don’t feel ‘whole’ or like they are ‘masking the real them’. Should I just say Eff you to adderall and begin the trials and errors of his true him? After all, wouldn’t it be more safe for him to try his ‘real self’ out here at home where he is loved and he is safe? I’m homeschooling him next year, so it’s not like a teacher or ill mannered classmates will make him feel left out and inferior.

    Your advice and thoughts are so welcomed :) oh, I should mention he is ten. A gorgeous, deep, mindful, intriguing ten year old!

    Thank you, Stephanie!

  110. Stephanie says:

    I apologize for the misspellings and such. I wrote all this from my iphone while wrangling my two sons and breastfeeding my third. Ahhh, motherhood.

  111. Mike says:

    Hi Stephanie!

    I’m only an experienced layman, but your son sounds like he’s in the group that can truly benefit from Adderall. I generally get two types of people on this site: those that say Adderall ruined their life, and those that say it saved their life.

    Your son sounds like latter.

    But that doesn’t mean getting off Adderall isn’t worth considering. It just means that if you decide to keep him ON Adderall, you’re probably in the group where that’s reasonable.

    As for getting him off: I’m assuming that you tried other methods of tailoring/channeling his ADD before Adderall. Did any of them work?

    Adderall is only a lifelong treatment, not a cure. If you take him off, you’re going to have to find some other way to help him. And that may involve more work and creative effort than you, him, and your doctor may be able to put in. And like you said, you’re starting from scratch minus 4 years in many ways.

    And that’s even if it’s possible for him to be happier without the drugs. Since he’s going to be off for the next 15 days anyway, watch him. Watch and see if there’s anything he gravitates towards for entertainment. If you have to, expose him to a few different activities….especially physical ones, and see if any of them take.

    Tell me: was there anything he excelled at before the Adderall? Or maybe too young to tell? Also: what does he want to do when you ask him? Does he like his pills and his new life?

    Good luck figuring this out! Not an easy call.

  112. zak says:

    Wowthank you so much for sharing your story and for starting this forum. God bless you all

  113. zak says:

    My name is zak by the way

  114. Amanda says:

    I have enjoyed reading all of the stories posted above and I wish I would have found this website sooner! I am in the middle of trying to quit Adderall and get my life back together. I have been on Adderall for the past seven years. I haven’t ‘abused’ it but I have been taking 40 mg consistently everyday. I tried to quit a couple of months ago cold turkey. I cried for an entire day. At work, I was a total mess and was extremely frustrated which led to even more tears. Before finding this website, I felt like I was the only one struggling with this. I found it strange how emotional I felt. I knew I would be frustrated and tired, but the emotions were all over the place. I ended up going back to the doctor later that week. For the past two months I have cut my dosage in half to 20 mg. My next step will be 10 mg. My biggest fear is my job and the weight gain. I have managed to quit smoking 10 months ago. Between quitting smoking and lowering my Adderall dosage, I feel like my appetite is out of control. Sometimes I feel like I can never get full. I try to be careful of what I am eating and I often do intensive workouts through out the week but I can not seem to manage my weight. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! My other fear is my job (I am an accountant) and school (I am started graduate school next month). I’ve never learned how to deal with my ADHD without medication. I am excited and very afraid of taking the next steps. I don’t won’t to fail at this. I am eager to find myself again.

  115. Mike says:

    Hi Amanda!

    Thanks for your comment. If you’ve already stepped down to 10mg a day from 40mg, you’re in extremely good shape. If you’ve learned how to survive at work and school off just 10mg, then it will not be nearly has hard to figure out how to survive without any mg.

    Still though, there are big psychological challenges when you cease the dose completely. Even at 1mg, you still feel like you have some in your system. At 0mg, you are very conscious that you are operating without Adderall. Although you are more capable than you think you are, your fear will cut you short. So be ready for that.

    On the weight gain: What kind of intensive workouts do you do? Some stuff feels intensive but doesn’t burn as much fat as other activities. The king of all weight loss activities is running.

    As for food here are a few things to try:
    1. Eat a huge breakfast (compared to your normal breakfast), a medium lunch, and a small dinner. When you eat a big breakfast you won’t be as hungry by lunch time, but you’ll eat anyway because it’s social convention, and then by the time you get home you will be slightly overfed (especially if you had afternoon snacks handy) and won’t need a big dinner. Personally, I just eat a bowl of cereal for dinner now.

    2. Have you ever seen a fat Japanese person? Try eating only Japanese food. Just an idea that I always wanted to try.

    3. Gum.

    Anyhow, good luck! I know you’re picking a hard time to quit with grad school and work, but if you really push through it is possible. Although if at all possible I would lighten your classload a little before the semester starts.

  116. Amanda says:

    Thanks for the reply Mike. I tried running for a while but decided to join a bootcamp. It is usually interval training mixed with cardio and endurance training. I was able to lose weight doing this last summer but now my body just doesn’t seem to do anything I want it to since I’ve changed my medication and quit smoking. Diet is important I know and I try to eat healthy. I am not so great with a big breakfast mostly because I am too lazy to make anything in the morning, but I will try giving it a shot! Thanks for the advice!

  117. Mike says:

    Hi Amanda!

    I have heard of some accounts of a kind of rebound effect when it comes to Quitting Adderall and weight gain. As in, somebody will quit, gain 15 pounds, and then lose it back off somewhat naturally. I’m not a doctor/nutritionist, but it’s almost like they have to get their metabolism back in normal shape to handle 3 meals a day again.

    Also: I am worst morning person in the world, and also incredibly lazy in general. If I had to actually make or even stop to buy breakfast every morning I would never eat it. I’m not talking bacon and eggs. I started by trying to reproduce Starbucks’ Protein Plate: Hard-boiled egg, grapes, cheese, apple slices with honey peanut butter, and raisin bread thingy.

    One of two nights a week, right when I get home from work, I stop in the kitchen and just throw all my ingredients in a little Rubbermaid containers and shove them in the fridge.

    Then in the morning all I have to do is remember to stop by the fridge and grab one of my little Rubbermaids on my way out, which isn’t as hard as it sounds because I find my self-made breakfast delicious and always look forward to it.

  118. Lyn says:

    Hi Mike,

    Amazing info on Adderall. I have been taking 30mg XR generic adderall for approx 6 years. I would usually take weekends off. I started adderall originally to lose 30 pounds and help stay awake at night becuz I work the night shift. Well the funny thing is I never lost the damn 30 pounds and I really think it was becuz of the rebound eaten after the adderall wore off and I would also wake up during the starving. I could not control the rebound hunger for anything. So here it is 6 years later and I found myself addicted to this crap. I was very very very mean and nasty when I was on this drug. Never at work though, I would save it all for at home. God knows why my family still likes me. I was mean on the drug and meaner when I was craving it. So I decided to start running to help increase my non existence weigh loss. Well my heart rate nearly hit the roof during exercise and I could barely breath. All of this you would think I would quit. Nope I just kept saying I will quit when I lose the weight. Well I don’t know what hit me but in July of this year I got so weak wen running and my heart rate was so high I thought to my self “lyn ur going to kill yourself on this drug. I thought long and hard and came to the conclusion that a few pounds of extra weight was nothing to live with. I rather live chubby than be dead and not see my kids grow up. I was also sick of the constant insomnia. Even though I never went above my daily dose it really effected mysleep. My sleep cycle is screwed up enough bcuz I work nights so adding the demon drug adderall to it made my life hell. So when I started my vacation this year I stopped adderall cold turkey. I have not taken a pill since July 30th of this year. The first week was tough but I then got in such a happier mood. I felt liken had natural energy. Within 2 weeks I felt normal. I was sleeping great and getting things accomplished. I wanted to leave the house to do things. With adderall I was never wanting to leave my home and I never knew why. I though adderall would make me like wonder woman but it really did not. Adderall never made me that skinny wonder woman it was supposed too. Well here I am almost a month off of the junk. I am back to work ad believe me it had not been easy but I am taking one day at a time. I am actually eating healthy, running when I can and am more of happy person. I won’t lie there are days when I just want to say forget it and take a pill but I manage to get through it. I must say I am slightly envious of the people who got adderall skinny but deep down I know life is better adderall free. Thanks so much for ur wonderful amount of info and for helping me off this drug. It feels great to not have to go to the pharmacy anymore and be embarrassed to pick up this drug. I always though the pharmacy people would look at me and think this woman is a functioning junkie on adderall. Life is good. ~~~~:) lyn

  119. grant says:

    I do not seem to fit the typical adderallic. I picked up methamphetamine as a teen and got heavily addicted. Lost a lot of weight and my skin went to hell. I never slept and constantly picked at my face. Finally at twenty i told the doctor and she told me theres this pill called adderall that can help me quit with 0 meth withdrawl. I was so happy and excited because i lost all i cared about to meth. I felt like the road to sobriety was here. I loved it because I felt energized and stuff and thought this pill was magic. It was all to good to be true. I was torn when i realized this pill is the same thing ive been going through already. This Sh** is the same as meth! I just don,t knnow what to do now.

  120. Victoria says:

    I really like your website. It rings true to everything I’ve experienced. I started taking adderall two years ago to pull all-nighters in my pre-med classes. It raised my GPA from a 3.4 to a 3.7… I got a prescription for vyvanse and I’m hooked on and off constantly. I am addicted to the success… I now have almost a 3.8 in an Ivy League and am working to study for the LSATs for the next month. My main motivation to quit is because I know it’s unsustainable… and it gets harder the longer I keep on it. But the downside seems so much greater than the upside… My other motivation is the wrinkles I’ve been getting on it. I am looking older and I need to stop while I can. Whenever I stop, I gain about 5-10 lbs, my grades start to suffer, I don’t want to socialize… while on it, I am eager to talk to people and get to know them. Without it, I become miserable and closed in on myself. I don’t know if it’s worth it. I want to go to law school and think I’ve found my “true self” through that… but I know I don’t want to be on it when I’m 30 or so. I wonder if those who keep on it look significantly older by that point. I wish I could find a compelling reason enough to quit. The success is addicting… and I cannot accept failure from myself.

  121. cyrus says:

    I wish we could just make a website people could go to when theyre considering the first dose. Dont care what no one says on here if your addicted to this drug your odds are bad. The failure rates high. Only the strong quit. My friend took this addiction to grave. And thats what most atticts are fixin to do. I really want to be like one of y’all on here who have said “oh it aint hard as i though” or your old self comes back right when you quit b/c thts bullshit! you aint back to your old self when your gettin fat and sleepin all day and feelin like an overcooked biscuit.

  122. Elaine says:

    I feel like a foreigner in my own life. I have been taking adderall for almost two years and it kills me not remembering what I have done this past two years. I broke up with my boyfriend two months ago and now our relationship to me is like a vague memory of a dream. I don’t even remember how I felt. I know that I was devastated when he left me, but right now it’s like all my emotions are gone.
    I was supposed to finish my Master’s last semester and I failed my exams, the very last semester.
    I feel like I am in a cloud. Everything that I do or say feels like an out of body experience. I feel like adderall took over my existence and the real me is shrinking every day to accommodate the amphetamine.
    I realize that things are very close to spinning out of control, however here I am stuck, seeing my life falling apart in front of my very eyes yet I cannot lift a finger. I feel “comfortably numb” like the song.
    If I do know what’s wrong, yet I cannot react, what is it going to take me to actually make a move? Do I really need to hit rock bottom?

  123. Molly says:

    I have been taking Adderall for a little over a year. It was awesome for a while, I could go to school, go to work, go for a run, do chores etc. But when I started dating my boyfriend/love of my life that’s when I realized something was terribly wrong. I started to become extremely jealous for absolutely no reason. I became so paranoid I began to basically hallucinate. I was nervous and scared all the time and I could not be happy or feel in love with my boyfriend anymore. I felt like I was destroying the beautiful relationship we had I was in a constant battle with what felt like two personalities (me and my evil twin). We would break up because I would just snap into fits of rage and then get back together after I would apologize for my crazy behavior. My trust issues just got worse and worse I stopped seeing the love and beauty in life only the possibilities that someone could be lying to me or stabbing me in the back. Finally after a hell-ish Summer my boyfriend and I moved to South America to explore and have fun. Bringing my Adderall along for the ride seemed like a good idea at the time but I soon realized my problems would follow me no matter how far from home I was. After a long discussion with my Boyfriend he told me to just flush it down the toilet and never worry about it again. I did so willingly and happily and I do not regret it for a minute.Yes all I want to do is sleep and watch movies at times and yes I gained a couple pounds but I feel like myself again. I am happy and most importantly I am in love and I feel so grateful everyday that I made that choice because the sacrifice of a stupid bottle of crack is NOTHING compared to sacrificing meaningful relationships due to psychotic paranoid driven behavior. I am compassionate, funny, caring again and best of all I LAUGH ALL THE TIME! Laughing is one thing that I realized I never genuinely did when I was on Adderall.

  124. Nitro says:

    I came to this website oddly enough looking for why I should be on adderall. In reading this website, these reasons to quit, signs you should quit, if anything I have an increased desire to have it. Particularly, when looking at the side effects of quitting adderall, I see a list of things I already experience with very few exceptions. I already experience mild depression, lack of confidence, feelings of worthlessness, anxiety (about ever being able to function normally to begin with), mental allergy to big and/or creatively-demanding tasks, inability to concentrate, lack of self-discipline, desire to sleep more than necessary, and time moves painfully slow during work hours. My appetite, physical drive, and interest in social activities have always been low. I’m a student so a day job doesn’t apply, but I truly enjoy my studies and although I don’t have trouble with comprehension of material but getting my work done is a constant losing battle and my poor grades are destroying my relationship with my parents. I’ve always had a reserved/dry sense of humor and due to other meds I’m on my libido is often through the roof. What about adderall prevents self-growth, passion, and destiny?

  125. jay says:

    okay this website is amazing, but i have some issues i need to know how to cope with. I was prescribed adderall and vyvanse last september so ive been on it for about a year and 3 months. it was supposed to be just for school days but as we all know, this addicting drug started taking over my weekends too. my job requires high energy,a lot of movement and physical abilities since i work with children. i started taking my pills for work too, then weekends so i can wake up and get my errands done such as homework, laundry, cleaning, etc. as much as it helped me wake up and get all my stuff done, i noticed i was getting really angry all the time, no personality, i wasnt as fun..i would just want to sit in when the adderall would crash, and talk to NO ONE. i was done with that…long story short i just quit adderall on friday, the day before christmas eve. the first day off i was sooo happy, naturally energetic i thought i was going through NO withdrawls. however, christmas eve i got sick i was on antibiotics(im always sick) so christmas eve i slept ALL day then christmas day i was soooo tired and “blah” i felt like i was ON adderall again. is that normal? now its tuesday so its been 5 days, i am still sooo tired, no motivation. when is this going to end? i want to take one SO bad but i don’;t want to be be dependent on this stupid drug anymore. any advice? when is this going to get better?

  126. Mike says:

    @jay – Being stupidly tired 5 days after quitting is totally normal. It takes about 4-6 weeks to totally flush your system. Give it at least that long for the chemical withdrawals to officially end, and in the mean time start adding exercise and caffeine back to your life. ;-)

  127. jersey says:

    hey mike sorry for the writing. you’ll see what im talking about when u finish reading this. Well im been on adderal for 8 months now and i decided to look up the the side affects bc i felt my heart racing and couldnt sleep at all again. i stummbled upon your site and eanded up reading for hours. I dont have an addictive personality atleast i tell myself this bc of how i never got addictive to any drugs legal or illegal. I did smoke for seven years but i quit cold turkey for four years. As soon as i started taking adderal i started again. so much for not having an addictive personality. recently i started to tell myself that i want to quit . i hope can . reading through your site made me realize how i came about even taking adderal. its sucks but i dropped out of school freshman year in high school bc i was 17 and going to be held back again that means if i passed every grade with out gettling held back anymore i would of been 21 at my graduation probably drinking. my parents had five kids all no more than two years apart and move to america when i was four so we didnt have really anymoney even though my parents worked there asses off . so i had no clue i had ADD so didnt know why i couldnt pay attention in class even read a page of a book and concentrate on anything i was late to everything i went to. My whole life i just figured it was me that was the way i was. so i never read one whole book by myself in my life . sad know but what sucks last april i went to a doctor im 28 now by the way and he diagnosed me with ADD and gave me 15mg IR Adderal. Since i dropped out of school i knew i had to learn a trade so luckily my bestfriend father owned an electrical company and gave me a job and i took it and ran with it i never had such a drive especially bc my own family joked about how dumb i was with spelling and writing etc . I been told growing up i was never going to be anything even by my own teachers bc i use to be a bad student sice i got bored bc i didnt understand alot of the stuff they taught me and it wasnt bc i didnt want to cuz trust me i did i just couldnt learn anythig by reading it i had to do things hands on. so by the time highschool came it was just to much that i lost interest. i wish someone had maybe notice and metioned something to my parents so they could of got me checked out. but anyways i been doing electric for 10 years now so to prove my family wrong i bought everything they always wanted i own my own electrical company and been busting my ass the last ten years and made really go money but still wsnt enough to make me satifasfied at staying at thta pace and i deposited 150 thousand since i opened my company each year but this year i put 250,000 into my account since i got on these dam pills but my success has only made it worse for me my entire family never hesitates to ask me for money my friends either i guess so called friends and alot of my employees are close friemds who need help so with all this extra stress i have to work day and night so i started taking more adderal this months like 90mg a day and i hate it i want to quit but affraid i wont be able to help the people i love when they need it. i know most of the time there taking advantage of me but i dont care it makes me happy knowing they count on me since they didnt believe i would be this well off. bim not rich but im happy cuz i can afford nice things . wow after reading this back to myself i think i just need god in my life foreal im so stress and over work and no one sees it but i have to get of these dam pills and tell my friends family i cant go on doing this to myself putting this pressure on me financially its ging to kill me i think. thank god i have a wonderful fiance that cant wait till im off these pills. I just want to thank you for helping me learn alot about myself and my life with this site im definetly going to tell everyone im abusing the drug to make as much money as i can while im on it. also that im sorry but i cant stress myself as much with there financial problems anymore cuz i want my old life back. i just hope i still got the drive i had before doing these fucking pills. mike do u think it will take me a month to recover that scares me the most i cant be miserable for that long !!

  128. Marc says:

    “David,

    Don’t you dare be ashamed of being a park ranger. Go do that. I think intelligent people can often get the equation mixed up. You think “I’m smart, therefore I should do a smart job that allows me to contribute my smarts to the world”. This is not always the best path. Sometimes the best solution is to pick a day job that’s fun (though not intellectual), then let your smarts find their own outlet naturally. Instead of contributing and thinking all day and coming home to do something fun and relaxing, you do something fun, relaxing, and thought-provoking all day and come home to do some serious contributing…like an intellectual conclusion to the experiences and thoughts of the day. This way, you actually spend most of your time thinking freely so that when you do come home and put those thoughts into action you’ve had 8 hours (that day) to think on and develop them. In short: You always come home with a full tank.”

    THIS! My prior career killed my spirit, but being a “successful,” college graduate made me feel as if I had to do “professional” work. That’s what I felt people expected from me. I had to use my “smarts” in order to make good money.

    Now, I could care less what I do, as long as I’m happy. I realize now, after having pretty much hit rock bottom, that I don’t need much money to be happy. If digging ditches was fun to me, I’d do it. I’m not ashamed anymore. I don’t care about society’s expectations of me anymore. I just want to be free and happy.

  129. Mel says:

    I’ve taken adderall xr 20mg for 5-6 years now. During those years I did my share of drinking alcohol and partying very hard. For the past 4 months, I felt kinda dizzy and just different all the time, so I lowered my dosage to 5mg. I took that for a couple weeks, which didn’t do anything, and then doubled it to 10mg to see if that would help me feel a little better. It didn’t… Still felt really off to the point where driving a car is extremely dangerous and scary. I quite 2 weeks later cold turkey, so now I’ve been off adderall completely for 3 weeks… The first 5 days, I had brain pain and felt so off that I checked into my hospital and had them run blood tests. tests showed I was fine. A week later, I still felt very scary off, now into my third week and I feel soo dizzy, weird and out of it that I think I’m gonna either faint, be hosptitalized or eventually maybe die from brain issues, who friggin knows. It almost feels like I’m not getting the correct amount of blood or a chemical to my brain. Walking isn’t the same, everything just seems like a giant dream or not real everyday for 24/7 and it hasn’t got any better. Keep in mind that I do have all the other same usual withdrawls, such as extreme fatigue and can never get enough sleep, depression, u know, the norm.But the brain thing, that is just nothing I’ve ever exprienced. I did mix alcohol with adderall for soo long, that I’m worried I really messed things up. Is there any chance that other people are or have experienced this feeling I’m explaining in the brain while quitting adderall? Is this normal in any case? Please tell me… I’m extremely worried.

  130. InRecovery says:

    Mel, I can definitely relate with you about the feeling of not getting enough chemical or blood to the brain. It’s a horrible feeling and there’s not much out there on it. You aren’t alone. Unfortunately, I think it can be normal to feel that way getting off adderall. You have to adjust to it for abit.

  131. Valerie says:

    I have been on Concerta or some other stimulent, aderall, dexidryne, you name it for 12 years and want to get off of it because I don’t know who I am without because I have been on it since age 9. Also, I would like to bear children sometime in the next few years. I got retested for ADHD a few years ago and it was determined I don’t even have it. I am fearful though because for me it doesn’t have the appetite suppresant effect. I eat normally and have worked really hard to lose weight. I remember when I was a kid and would not take it, I would just eat, not because of hunger, but because of something else. I skipped it about 6 months ago accidently, and I just eat. I feel full, but I just eat. Will this be a temporary withdrawl effect or the norm? If that effect doesn’t go away, I will be 300 pounds.

  132. Sunshine says:

    I need help, I know I do.. I’ve been on Adderall 5 years and can’t function AT ALL w/o it. I never smile anymore, run out of my script a week before I should, suffer from 13 yrs of bulimia that returns w/ a vengeance when I stop taking it,and lastly my work performance suffers so drastically I got from being top performer to dead last out of 130+ employees.. My body hates me.. I’ve accepted this.. YEARS of insomnia and starvation have taken its toll to the point that my hormones have become so unbalanced I have two 5cm cysts on my ovaries. Adderall is how I cope, how I am still perfect in everyone’s eyes even though in reality, those that really know me see I am falling apart behind closed doors. I’ve been in therapy, talked to countless doctors, even been in residential treatment for bulimia.. Nothing works.. I need advise/opinions maybe even prayers bc at this point I’m running in an endless sick cycle carousel.

  133. Jamie says:

    Aderall is a bad drug. I have been taking it for 10 years. It was handed out like candy when I was in college. I don’t even think I have ADHD. It has made me lose my mind! I am impulsive, irrational, angry, unpredictable, sad, unfriendly, moody, rude and a perfectionist when I’m on aderrall. I have anxiety and work hard to be normal when i take the pill. I’ve lost friends b/c they think I’m a weirdo – I say weird things and act guilty and strange. Ive had problems at work because i’m unpredicatable and unfriendly somedays. I take it to numb myself of reality. I’ve gone through some rough times. It’s amazing I’ve made it this far in life. I want to stop b/c I’m afraid I will lose everything – my amazing job, my awesome boyfriend, the few friends i have and I want to regain my self resepect and esteem. I’m going on 2 days of sobriety! Please pray for me

  134. Misa says:

    I never suffered from ADD as a child nor a teenager. I was in my last year of college and dealing with alot of personal issues when suddenly I went from honors to failing. I couldn’t concentrate, I lost interest in everything and became extremely depressed. My doctor put me on Adderall and my whole world turned around. At first, I seemed so much better. My grades picked up, my relationship got better and I was getting so much done. I never noticed that after about a year, my personality changed. Everyone else kept telling me that I was becoming paranoid, aggitated and my mood was like a roller coaster daily. It is destroying my life now. I have always looked much younger than I really am and recently I looked in the mirror and was completely disgusted with myself. My weight has decreased, I have fine lines around my eyes and permanent black circles. I realized it was time to put a stop to this and get my life back. I kept saying one more month, one more month till finally my doctor retired and I decided to not seek a new one. On Sunday, I took my last pill and got everything done around my house so I could relax for the next few days. I assumed that sleepiness and lack of energy would be my only problem. I slept for 26 hours straight, woke up feeling anxious, depressed, angry, worthless and useless. I had no energy to even get out of my bed to take a shower. I felt like I had no support because things were not done around the house the way I do them. It was not cleaned to my expectation and I felt hatred toward everyone. It was the most awful feeling in the world. So of course, I took my medicine and went to work. Im mad at myself and everyone else is yellling at me for only making it 36 hours and giving up. I feel like my productive life will go to a life of being lazy and never getting anything done. Is this going to pass or do I really suffer from depression and anxiety that the adderall has been masking all these years?? I am about to lose everything, everyone is giving up on me and I want my life back! I have no self confidence and no self esteem anymore. No matter how many people compliment me, I still feel terrible. Should I maybe take an antidepressent while quitting or suffer with the anxiety/depression and hope that it passes. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Calling another doctor is not an option, I feel as if they will further medicate me and send me on another downward spiral. I was told that quitting adderall would just make me tired and lazy but the doctor did no prepare me for the emotional disaster that it caused. I trust other peoples opinions who have had the same experiences as me than my actual doctor. I have always suffered from OCD (checking locks, checking my flat iron is unplugged, cleaning the strangest things and organizing) but over the past few years it has escalated. PLEASE HELP! I took a leave of absence from work for a few days next week and this is my last chance. I work overnight, very long hours and in an extremely stressful environment so using my last few days of time off, I have to get through this.

  135. Alex says:

    Mike your encouraging some of these people to fail like the kid at the language school. He should wait until he is done with the program he already made the investment. Your whole schpeel about destiny and what you would have become without adderrall and how you would be a different person is ludicrous. For many people if they didnt take adderrall they wouldnt be a different person a failure. For the college students that take adderrall for school, dont quit until you graduate you dont want to see how different you might be if you fail out or dont get that degree.

  136. Mike says:

    Hi Alex,

    FYI: Just left you a reply on your other comment.

    As for the guy language school (Henry B, right?), two things:

    1. That was a really old post. I’m much more reserved and less mystical these days. I understand that it’s interpreted as current by everyone who is new to the site, but I want to prime you for the fact that you are now talking to somebody years older than the person who wrote that other response you’re taking issue with.

    2. Did you read my entire response? I did not encourage him to fail school. I did not advise him to stop Adderall in the middle of his course. I gave him an existential consideration, then conceded that continuing on Adderall until he graduated shouldn’t feel like a big deal, and then warned him about rationalizing different, increasingly distant quit dates.

    Forgive me if I’m empathizing inaccurately, but I think you read my reply from the perspective of treating ADHD. Read it again from the perspective of treating Adderall abuse. I think, in that context, everything I said was pretty standard: Addict says he needs his drug to get through X, counselor asks if he really feels X is that important, addict says he’ll quit someday, counselor warns against perpetuating the “someday” rationalization.

    That said, I completely agree with you that people shouldn’t quit Adderall if it means failing out of school and permanently scarring their academic record. That is why I regularly advise people to reduce their class load prior to quitting (if they intend to go cold-turkey), or even take a semester off.

    And I agree: For many people, the “different person” they are without Adderall is a hopelessly incompetent failure. But that’s just many people, not all people. For many people (like me and the thousands that have deeply identified with the stories on this site), the “different person” they are without Adderall is a happier person who’s more in touch with what’s important to them. I know that seems foreign and outlandish to you. Please see my big disclaimer for more on that.

  137. MLG23 says:

    Hello,

    I have recently quit adderall and am on day 3 of going cold turkey. I was taking 60mg a day for 4 years. I was unaware of what the withdrawal period would be like but it seems to be alot different then i expected. I expected the loss of energy, the weight gain, excessive sleeping but that I could deal with. These are the issues that I feel the least. Yes it is hard to get motivated and feel energetic without adderall but the part that has been the hardest for me is this empty feeling. I was also aware that depression could be an issue but apparently unaware of how serious. I am typically not someone who cries easily. I have cried at anything and everything for 3 days straight. The moment i am alone i feel as thought I am alone in life and will never be happy again. Its not to the point of harming myself but if this feeing remained forever then i suppose it would reach that point. I am capable of dealing with this as a withdrawal symptom because i keep teling myself it will pass ubt in the back of my head i wonder will it? I guess I just need that confirmation that one day life wont seem so empty and it wont be painful to be by myself. Like I stated before I can deal with the fatigue and weight gain but this i prey is something i will overcome and is a direct symptom of the chemicals leaving my body.

    I dont think its physically possible for me to cry another tear, but i continue to prove that theory wrong.

  138. Andrew says:

    @Tyler Hill, I had the same issues and sleep apnea was ruled out. However, I did test positive for UARS (Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome) which is like a less intense and more difficult to diagnose issue. I tried a sleeping with a CPAP and the results have been amazing. I’m finally able to wake up feeling refreshed in the mornings after not being able to do so my entire life. Google it! I think my abnormally large tongue falls back when I sleep and has something to do with it. Make sure you get a sleep study done by someone who is equipped to diagnose UARS.

  139. Becky says:

    Within the last year I have quit 25mg of seroquel and so far 750mg of lithium. That was easy to do since all I had to do was feel emotion for once instead of feeling numb and I am doing fine without it. I have been on adderall xr for four or five years. My parents are the ones who put me on all of the medication. I take 30mg of adderall a day. The reasons I want to get off are so that I can be myself and be free of medication especially since I don’t truly remember what it is to be myself because I have been on medication since I was in fifth grade, because I have been able to get off of my other medications with no problem, and to save money. My problem is that I am really afraid. The part of me that wants to stay on the medication is saying, why fix what isn’t broken. I also read that adderall makes you like everything that you are doing. What if I end up finding out that I don’t actually like the friends that I have or my major. I don’t know what I will do if I end up loosing enthusiasm for my major because there isn’t anything else I have an interest in. What if I find out the things that I liked I really didn’t because of the medication and I have less joy in life because of it? I’m not scared of the withdrawal symptoms that will go away. I’m deeply afraid of having to start over and rebuild my willpower, confidence, and worth ethic from scratch. What if it just causes me to fade away like a wall flower when I get off. I’ll be stuck. If that happens when I get off of it I’ll be miserable and if I have to get back on adderall I’ll be miserable. The other part of me that is for change is saying that I’ve already gotten so far with my other medications so why not keep going and that I want to be completely free. In the section on this page about will my life fall apart, it’s mentioned that you shouldn’t try to hold on to things because in the end they will not be important. How do you know if they are or aren’t important. How do you keep your sanity if you can’t hold on to anything? I’m a junior in college and I don’t know if during college would be the best time to get off, but I don’t think that when I get out of college will be a good time either because my schedule will be less strict. I have so many questions and doubts. If I feel “alright” now, why would I want to change and do something with an unknown outcome that might be even worse than I feel now?

  140. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  141. Sarah says:

    I really need help! I quit taking adderall a couple weeks ago after being on it for 14 years. I tried to quit like 10 times but I really did it this time. I still feel awful and I just want to know how long this is going to last. I feel so sick and tired. I can’t stay awake or pay attention, it is terrible. I have kids, a demanding schedule, and I don’t know what to do.

  142. Anonymous says:

    I really need help! I quit taking adderall a couple weeks ago after being on it for 14 years. I tried to quit like 10 times but I really did it this time. I still feel awful and I just want to know how long this is going to last. I feel so sick and tired. I can’t stay awake or pay attention, it is terrible. I have kids, a demanding schedule, and I don’t know what to do.

  143. Alice says:

    Hi mike, (PLEASE HELP)

    First, let me begin by saying that I have been trying to get off adderall for several years now. I have taken it off and on for over 11 years, and just can’t seem to figure it all out. If that makes sense? Can u help me figure it out? Here is my adderall story…

    I first began taking adderall in high school. It didn’t really affect me much other than me not ever being able to eat. I told my mom I could never eat, and that I wanted off of it. I stopped taking it, and then my freshman year of college, I was preparing for a test, and couldn’t focus. My roommate offered me adderall, I took it, studied all night, and had to have it again. I called my mom, and got back on the prescription. I took it all through college, and abused it when I had a test the next day. Not only did I take it to do well in school, I took it to keep any weight off I could. I am 5’6, and weighed 110 when i took it. I have always been thin, but when I took adderall, I was not only smart, but skinny too. This was another reason I wanted to keep taking it. it made me feel powerful.

    I graduated, and got a job. I took adderall the entire time I held this job. I advanced, and got promoted for my hard work, and extra efforts. I don’t account this to anything but the adderall. I took adderall everyday, and would even abuse it when major projects were due in order to get ahead.

    I recently got married and had a baby girl. I took adderall up until I found out I was pregnant. I stopped taking it while I was pregnant, and for a few months after she was born. Then my husband and I decided it was best that I stay at home while she was young. For the first few weeks after she was born people helped me around the house with things, so I didn’t feel I needed to do much other than take care of her. Then the helped stopped, and I was in charge of everything again. I needed something. I needed adderall. I went to my doctor, and started taking it again. Although, I didn’t take it every day. I took it when I needed to get things done. One day I would just hang out with the baby, take care of her, and do nothing else. The next day the house needed cleaned, and the laundry needed done, so I’d pop a pill.

    I take adderall about 2-3 days a week now. My husband hates when i take it. He say’s i’m like a zombie. I won’t go to bed when he does, I don’t talk to him after the baby goes to bed, and all I do is focus on stupid tasks that I think are important at the moment. I am prescribed to take 20 mg a day for 30 days. I don’t do it like this. I take about 60-90mg one day, get a ton of stuff done around the house, and don’t take it again for 2-3 days, until something else needs done.

    When I don’t take adderall I have no desire to do anything but sit around, watch my daughter play, or sleep. I sleep SO much more the days after I take adderall than I do any other day. I sleep from the time my daughter goes to bed (8pm) until the time she wakes up (8am), and I take a nap the same time she does, from 1pm-3pm. it is debilitating. I need to get away from this.

    Another thing that is very alarming when I take adderall is my need to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. I never smoke when I don’t take adderall. When I began taking adderall i was a smoker, and it made me want to smoke more when I took it. I also had the urge to drink alcohol to calm myself down when I took it, in order to go to sleep at night ( it was in college that I developed these habits.) I quit smoking and taking adderall when I was pregnant, so I never had any urges after that. However, when I took my first adderall after giving birth, all I wanted was a cigarette. I smoke a lot of cigarettes when I take it, and I have to have a glass of wine or two to wind me down before I goo to bed after taking it. Does adderall enhance other drug habits like smoking or drinking (especially if you had them when you first began taking the drug?)?

    Please let me know your thoughts! I really need help! You seem to know A TON about this subject, and mine is very unique, so you will be very helpful in solving my issues…

    Best, Alice

    I also use adderall to help me lose weight. I gained about 30 lbs. When I had my daughter, and wasn’t able to lose the weight after she was born (probably because my metabolism was so slow from never eating because I took adderall for so long, or because I actually developed an appetite after not having one for several years.) I thought that since adderall helped me keep the weight off when I was in college it would help me now. It really hasn’t done anything but screw my metabolism up even more, and turn me into a zombie a few days a week.

    I desperately want to get back to my normal self. WITHOUT adderall. Where I am able to maintain the household chores, keep up with my daughter, maintain a normal weight (not messed up by adderall,) and be the happy, outgoing self that I usually am.

    How can I do this without being dependent on adderall to do the normal tasks that are usually so easy for everyone, but so hard for those dependent on adderall?

  144. Rosie says:

    Hey Mike.
    Thank you for this site… I was prescribed adderall at the age of 9, or 10, and I’m now 28. I have been sober in AA for almost five years in September, god willing. I have never tried to stop taking adderall- I’ve thought many times about the possibility but I just didn’t have the willingness to try. Something in me this year has changed though, and when I found your site, I thought, “this might actually be possible…”
    I have been taking loads of Fish Oil, Zinc, and Iron, and while I’ve been taking 60mgs a day (upwards of that during times of crisis, like when my boyfriend relapsed this year and almost died– he is a chronic alcoholic in recovery as well). Generally speaking, I stick to my dosage. When I was drinking, I probably had days when I got up to about 100 mgs a day, though, and would continually freak out about whether I would run out too early.
    My body literally developed on this drug. I’ve been on it for 20 fuckin years. I am trying the step down method, and I’m on Day 7 at 55mg’s. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I stuck with it, and I made it to dance class even, on day 3. Thank god I have my dog to walk, too. She’s a puppy and keeps me moving. I do crave the little fucking pills and I can’t lie, I am surprised by how much of a difference I felt even just stepping down 5 mgs. I was very tired and moody the first two days- by day three I was feeling so hopelessly immobile I forced myself to go to dance class… I’m doing things this way first because mostly, I don’t want to go cold turkey. It’s like a foreign concept to me and I think it would be self destructive for me. I want to thank you for your open support on this site and for supporting every one’s individual recovery off of what is a seriously debilitating drug. You’ve made the impossible concept something possible- at least to the extent that I finally found the courage I have always wondered was inside me.
    Anyhow, off to bed. Of course, on 55mgs, I’m still up at 3:15. Probably need to take that last 5mg tablet a little earlier than 8:30pm… :)
    Goodnight and thank you everyone on this site for your courage and your support.

  145. Becky says:

    any suggestions for getting to sleep? Even now that I am off of adderall, I still can’t sleep.

  146. Jenny K. says:

    Hey Mike – It is so good to know I am not the only one struggling with this! Thank you for this site.

    Currently, I am 27 years old, working a 9-5 job and on about 40mgs of dexedrine a day (15mg XR, 25 Regular) every day. (I will refer to it as ‘adderall’ for consistency’s sake.)

    I was first prescribed around my junior year in high school, around the time my parents’ divorce was going on. My brother was on it and I took one of his just to try it. I sat in my room that day and studied for my history final constantly for hours. I even told my friends to leave when they stopped by, which was unheard of for this social butterfly….My soon parents took me into get evaluated and the rest is history. I remember wanting the drug in my tests. I could have easily been trying to purposely fail on the test to ensure they prescribed it. I believe I started off at 15mgs of concerta a day when I first was prescribed about 10 years ago. Then switched to dexedrine. I think at that time it helped me cope with my parents’ divorce (It made me not emotional, and just thought about school and going out) and it helped them, knowing I would succeed and get into college.

    There were periods since those early days when I didn’t take it for months or even think about it, but I took it more often than not. After gaining a lot of weight (on an off year) in college and then unintentionally losing all of the weight (and more) with the help of about 20mg a day, it started to become a crutch for me. It remained a crutch through my first job (which I despised), in graduate school and now in another job i’ve been in a couple years. The dosage has gone up. These days, I cannot do much or feel like doing much, with out it. Usually on weekends I take less. I kind of feel like Alice (who posted above) on that on the days I don’t take it, I just lay around and watch TV, etc. (Usually on Sundays.)

    I find my self taking little pieces of them here and there and I always feel like a criminal doing it.

    Last night, I did not sleep a wink. I read from a meditations book (I have gotten into yoga in the last year) and started thinking about a lot of stuff. I decided I wanted to get off medication and go the natural route. But every time I have ever tried this, I always come crawling back.

    I think it will take me a while to withdraw from this drug but I do think it is possible. I think I will be more creative, confident and fun. Like I used to be. Most of all I want to be more connected to people and not shut myself off in a corner with headphones on! Some nights i am so moody and my bf thinks i am crazy…side effect? i think so.

    Also, that fact that I am so OCD on it that sometimes I am too busy organizing my pencils to get anything done. I often think that if i wasn’t SO FOCUSED I would be better at crossing things off the list.

    I admit, weight gain is a HUGE fear of mine, and I know that I keep a “healthy” weight due to the fact that I take adderall every freaking day. Maybe it is mental, but it works for portion control and tracking my intake.

    What i decided: I don’t want to be 30 years old and on adderall. I think to get off this med, I will simultaneously need to rid myself of ALL of my addictions in the next year and a half (before my 30th). I first and foremost would like to be free of adderall (despite my doctor’s protest that I will probably be on it for my whole life –BULLshit.) I think with that, comes my addiction to sugar, coffee, my daily cigarette, occasional sleeping pills, etc. (Surprisingly, I eat very healthily other than these aforementioned things- mostly organic, vegetarian, etc. I also like to workout, and do most days.) I am hoping yoga is the key to keeping FOCUS as I ween off the medication. Any other tips? Will bookmark your site bc it is just what I need to get motivated!

    Thanks again for this support!

    Jenny

  147. Jenny says:

    Just started reading some more of your tips. They are GREAT! Thanks.

  148. James says:

    I wish they didn’t call it adderall. Ive been on and off this stuff for 15 years. If you go to an AA meeting, how many people do you hear say, “Hi my name is so and so, and Im addicted to Bud Lite.’ They dont do that. Its all alcohol there. Whether you drank Coors or jack daniels or budmweiser it doesnt matter. Adderall should be called what it is: amphetamine. Speed. Thats what it is…This is just a random thought but maybe think about it.

  149. Adrienne says:

    I am going to stop cold turkey today. My fear is that my depression will eat me alive because I will no longer be able to complete tasks or get out of bed. Bye Bye adderall

  150. I must say thank you to the creator of this blog. It has been extremely helpful and has motivated me when I felt like breaking and calling in a for a script. I have been on amphetamines for nearly 9 years and decided to stop about 7 days ago cold turkey. (it just so happened I was quitting on my 25th birthday :-)

    I had tried a few times to taper down and it just seemed like what I am going through today was just extended the length of time it would take me to taper. This is my first time trying cold turkey and I have made up my mind to stop no matter what. I can already see a difference in my overall social skills and my ability to think MORE clearly.

    To get some background on my situation: I had started taking ADD at age 17 when my much older and much more responsible boyfriend (whom is now my husband) suggested I get on the medication to help with certain responsibility problems (although now I am convinced I had just not learned the necessary life skills because I was still technically a baby and had no experience with being responsible before).

    I will say, It was nice to be the “machine” I had become and work like crazy those next 8 years to the point to now my husband and I own our own martial arts academy and I work nights at our gym. I dont think I wouldnt have been able to do it had my husband not stepped in and took up some of my slack.

    I personally enjoy Jiu-Jitsu because its not like you are exercising even though you are getting just as good if not better of a workout than say going on the elliptical.

    Any other recommendations on over the counter natural remedies to help with energy and that much needed happy feeling? 5htp maybe? I hear it works for depression if u take it 2x a day?

    Thanks!
    Alisha Horneff

  151. rascalphoto says:

    PLEASE DO NOT FLUSH MEDICATION!
    This adds to our already fragile water supplies.
    Here is a link on how to deal with unused prescription medicines.
    Thank you in advance.
    http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm101653.htm

  152. kenneth says:

    hi guys,
    I’ve been on 20 mg of adderall for about 3.5 years, but in the last 6 months, i’ve been able to go down down to 10 mg a day, now recently the past few weeks to 5 mg. I’ve also quit drinking coffee and switched to green tea.
    THE REAL reason why I have started to quit adderall, because I feel like as an actor, I wasn’t getting benefit from it for my creativity. I do realize that I still procrastinate with or without adderall, but I can’t say completely because I’m still on 5 mg for the last week. My mind has been foggy and cloudy, but I recently have been doing Koundalini Yoga. I was happy at 10 mg, but after doing 2 practices, I told myself I wanted to quit totally. Problem is, I’m in acting school, and its the last year and its the hardest! I’m struggling in class to begin with, but I feel like I’m going to struggle even more if I don’t keep it to at least 5-10 mg until august. I’m also thinking about going to a nutritionist to detox, and also go to an acupuncture once a week to cleanse and get my body back into normal mind set. I wasn’t very happy though I remember not being on adderall, so I’m not sure if this is a great move.
    I was soooo confident and energetic, felt funnier, wittier, people were more drawn to me in the beginning stages. Now, the last year, I have to say, its not going for the best. I have to say, I think my body is breaking down now from the stimulant.
    Does anyone drink coffee or large amounts of it when they are totally off adderall trying to stay off it? I don’t know if it would help or not.
    Thoughts?

    Kenneth

  153. Lance says:

    Hi,

    I’ve been taking adderall for 2.5 years. I’m planning on going cold-turkey after the weekend. I’ve always had success when i make up my mind and go cold turkey.

    Like the post above mine, the REAL reason i started to quit adderall is because I’ve noticed that I cannot think clearly. I’ll make instinctual decisions without knowing the real reasons why i made that decision until later. Time to get my life back.

  154. Seth says:

    Wow man, I’m in my mid 20′s and I’ve have had issues with pills (including adderall/right now) on and off since I was 19. I went to college for mental health and work in the field and I thought I read every google-generated response to my questions regarding quitting…. This page right here blew me away and I can relate to it right now so strongly it’s scary. I just bookmarked it to come back and re-read for inspiration. Its new years day since four hours ago, fresh off the worst year of my life including the ending of an unhealthy relationship with the only person I’ve been in love with, and like you said, …there’s never going to be a good day to start, start now. New years resolution, take control of my life. Thank you brother, this unmotivated google search at 4am was a godsend.

    - Seth

  155. Steve says:

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for all the input provided in this forum. I’ve been on a very high dose for 7 years (90 MG/day or regular Adderall AND 90 MG/day on Adderall XR).

    I went to my physician and told him I wanted to titrate down off Adderall, and I gave him my suggestion of going from 6 30MG tabs/caps per day to 6 20 MG tabs/caps per day, and then to 6 10MG tabs/caps per day. He didn’t agree with my schedule and instead told me he would cut me from 180MG per day to 60MG per day of just the XR.

    That just didn’t feel right to me, and so I “made a decision” to stop using Adderall on December 30th, 2012. I read articles from both camps (cold turkey and step-down titration). I decided that I would rather suffer with withdrawal symptoms for 3-5 days than to have symptoms to a lesser degree for perhaps a few months. So far so good; some anxiety and restlessness. I believe for me that cold turkey is the best way to break free from this medication.

    If you all have any feedback for my situation, I’m certainly open to hearing it.

    Thanks very much & Happy New Year!!

    Steve.

  156. JL says:

    Day 7 and I have gained 3lbs. But that’s with going to the gym and eating alittle more than I previously did on adderall but, not that much where gaining 3lbs is warranted. Weight loss and gain is supposedly a “science” right? A lb is equal to 3500 calories… There is no way I ate 10,500 extra calories this week!!! So WHY in the world did I gain 3lbs!!!??? Yes I know 3lbs isn’t a big deal but it’s the fact that no matter what I eat I still have no control over my body and weight… Makes no sense. Anyone have any positive words of advice to offer? Will my body regulate itself? Is this just my body getting used to being off of adderall? Mike, any thoughts? I am so worried to step on the scale tomorrow and see another lb added on. Besides the uncontrollable weight gain, I am so much happier being off adderall. I don’t want to get back on it, I just want to get a handle on my body. Please help!

  157. Bobby says:

    I’ve been off of adderall now for a good month and a half. I had been taking it for three years and usually when I got the meds filled, I’d be taking atleast 100mg a day and running out a oouple of weeks before my next fill. I went cold turkey, but I am still really craving the stimulus. I don’t like who I am on adderall..but to replace it I have been drinking alchoholic beverages a lot more than usual lately because of the lack of adderall. I have been trying to get my life back on track, attempting to make a steady workout routine (I used to be a swimmer and runner before adderall) but I cannot shake the desire for it. Does this go away in time? I don’t want to trade one addiction for another, I just need practical ways to fight the urges i have for the high again. It doesn’t help that i work basically as a telemarketer full time.

  158. Richard Teichler says:

    I deleted an extensive post I wrote to post up just now, explaining that Ive not only HEARD that people easy overdo everything ( like writing posts)…Ive found myself very often lately writing long, well written, way overlydone posts in forums I frequent. I say this to point out the fact Ive noticed a lot of the same behavior here . =P. new to the med… Not sure I dig.

  159. OB says:

    JL – People’s weight easily fluctuates between and 1 and 3 pounds from day to day while staying in the same range. So what you are experiencing is totally normal. This is probably the first time you are checking your weight daily so you’re noticing. We are made of more than 70% water so that plays into your weight too. Focus on the general amount.. like gaining 5 to 10 pounds is more notable than 3. Congrats for quitting, I’m on day 3 and am probably gaining weight too. it sucks ): I’ve been looking for someone to quit with for support so if you want to be penpals or something let me know we can trade emails.

  160. Charles says:

    As an ex-user of Adderall, I know the “crash,” or come-down period can be particularly rough in two particular ways: mentally and physically (not to minimize the other two equally important components – emotional and spiritual health). I have two suggestions for anybody going through what is undoubtedly the roughest patch of recovery:

    1. To address the physical aspect of recovery, I think there is one tried, tested, and true way to begin feeling better ASAP – start running. The chemicals in your body have accumulated over time and although your body works very efficiently to get rid of them as quickly as possible, stimulating yourself physically and literally sweating out the bad stuff will shorten the crash phase of your recovery, guaranteed. Another suggestion to compliment this part of recovery – change your diet radically to a diet rich in natural, unprocessed, and simple foods. This change will go a long way in re-balancing some of the major chemical deficiencies Adderall use has caused in your body.

    2. The mental come-down was hardest for me. I was very forgetful, absentminded, and had a constant case of “head fog.” Exercise and diet will also help significantly here but for those who want to start experiencing improvement in their cognitive functions sooner, I’d highly recommend spending some time on a site like Lumosity.com or Positscience.com to assist you in recovering and even advancing some of your cognitive skills. Training with these sites does require some intense dedication but you will reap rewards unfathomable even while on Adderall. This, for me, was my proof and the final nail in the coffin for taking Adderall: it didn’t actually do anything for me that I couldn’t have already done with my own will.

    Believe in yourself because you can do it. You owe it to yourself and to those who love you to give this pill the boot. Stay with it – hope is often just a day, an hour, or a few minutes away. You got this.

  161. TIffany says:

    After taking 120mg daily for the past two years, I didn’t have to be medicated or sober to realize the negative ramifications the drug was having on my cognitive state of mind and my body; I’d become a functioning zombie. I had been watching the world pass me by, and the lives of the ones I love, progress forward, while I continued to live in my own mental discontent (which I had grown to be content with). I quit cold from the drug almost two months ago. I have gained almost 20 lbs (I weighed under 100lbs). My energy level fluctuates tremendously. I have insomnia. I’m moody. In fine, I’m nore “normal” than I have been in many years (I had taken 40-60 mg for an additional 5 years prior to the last two on a larger dose). I have lived more of my life in the past month than I had in 3 years.

    At some point, my medication turned on me. I begin taking a medication that was intended to make aspects of life “manageable”, and incorporated the idea of needing “manageability” in all aspect of my daily life. Adderall stripped away all joy in my life.

    It is my opinion, in spite of my own ADHD diagnosis, that this med caused more “disorder” in my life, than my hyper ness and lack of attention ever has. Quitting adderall use, ultimately becomes a choice. You choose a better quality of life, having removed the madness of the effects of adderall.

  162. Cheryl says:

    Hey,
    My name is Cheryl and I am 24 yrs old as of yesterday lol, and I have been taking Adderall less than a year. I started with Concerta then moved to Adderall…. I started taking it my junior year of college when I realized that I would study 10X harder than my brother and for longer periods, but I would fail the exam when my brother would study 2 hours before and he would get a B or a C on it but I would get a D or an F. I am currently in Graduate School, and I am concerned that if I quit I will not be able to keep up with the readings or the mental challenges…. I should be finished in 2 yrs.

    I have noticed I am seriously a bit more different and critical of the people are me and the things they do. I will nag my husband and get angry at him for no reason at all. I feel annoyed with most things in my life as if they should be smarter and better, because they are just annoying. I don’t like the person I am becoming. I love the fact that I can understand exams better and not have to read a page 4 times before I understand it, BUT like you said above… something is just wrong with who I am while I am on this medicine. I take the medicine like 5 or 6 days a week. I am on the 20mg dose with the 10mg XR but I only take those when I really have a late class….. do you have any suggestions for me, because I really want my Masters Degree, but I dont want to hate life, and end up with heart disease if I stay on it so I am scared for those reasons….

    Your blog thing has helped me know that I want to quit even more now, but idk if I can afford to stop taking it since i am in Grad school…. I mean I got through my undergraduate degree mostly without it lol i took it towards the end of my junior yr., but idk Grad school is a lot of focus and reading… can you plz help me???? I would love an email or something just in case i forget to come and look on here again I LOVE YOUR opinions and I would love for you to email me and then copy and paste your response to me in an email and then put it on here… please…. my email is cherilpuleo@yahoo.com

    I REALLY NEED YOUR ADVICE PLEASE??????????????

  163. Tiffany says:

    Cheryl,

    I’m actually going into my Masters program. I started adderall about 2 years prior to starting my four-year. Of all degree programs, I recently graduated as a psychology major… I learned the hard way that the meds truly messed up my education. If I were still on them, I wouldn’t be getting back on track.

    Though I had a single script, from the same LMFT, for many many years, she didn’t identify when it all simply became too much. Not that it was her (LMFT) sole responsibility to assess my med management. However, I had discusses with her several times when I felt the meds weren’t helping. My dose was always increased as a result. Not that i argued with her for increasing the dose either. Many times, in conversation, I stressed my schooling was okay, but everything else wasn’t. In the end, I simply couldn’t focus on school either… The only way I was able to stop, was to stop seeing my LMFT (15 minutes every 3 months for 3 written scripts); I know she meant well, but she wasn’t helping me.

    I had become so stressed, so hyper-focused, so focused and over critical on EVERYTHING ( including my family- I haven’t talked to my mom in 4 years)… it took me 1 1/2 years to finish 14 credits!!! Mind you, I could finish an independent study, 4 credit class, in a week before, in the past. And in the last 14 credits, my GPA dropped from a 3.87 to a 3.47. Only recently have I regained my motivation to seek grad school again. Everything had become a challenge over time, including school.

    If school is the only reason you still take the meds, it’s probably not worth it. I think it’s awesome you have already moved into grad school. It is a lot work, I know. As for my experience, adderall was with me as I developed my confidence in my schooling abilities. For that reason, I attributed my successes to the drug, making it harder to quit. In truth, all it did was allow my mind the ability to maintain a level of attention- that wasn’t there in the beginning, to my own standards of what I thought it should be. It never really made me any smarter. It only helped me manage my time, to focus the way I wanted to.

    And from what I have personally researched, students on adderall long term, actually have LOWER grades. Many actually have a harder time graduating. Many end up with lower GPA’s than desired. I’m sure if you did the same research, you would read the same statistics. It was actually a relief, to discover it wasn’t just my experience. Not that I want to hear about others having effed up experiences, or doing poorly in school, but I really thought I was going mad, because I refused to believe it was the meds.

    I’m a perfectionist. I’m also a neat freak. For that reason, nothing was ever good enough… It wasn’t always this way. But over time, my meds seemed to bring out not only the best qualities in me, but the worst of my “better” qualities. Mind you, I’m still a picky perfectionist off the meds. But I can already see myself stepping back from various projects (I live in a new build house), and see that I can be content with the results, more so that I could have possibly been only 3 months ago. It’s actually reassuring to know that I am still the way I am.. The difference… I have enjoyed TV again, that’s kinda nice. Before I could paint a room in silence.

    Maybe it’s the harshness inside me that is a protectionist, knowing how both stubborn and driven I am, that made quitting my meds such a challenge. But it was also the reason that I feel firm in knowing that quitting (without taper) was a must for me. I’m not sure if you can relate at all.. But I can identify with your passion towards higher education. And for that reason, I can’t imagine you being more successful on meds.. I only know how much I truly undermined my own potentials- and it’s reassuring to know I don’t have to be so ‘perfect’… Ya know?!

  164. Cheryl says:

    Tiffany,

    I can definitely relate to all the things you said. Especially painting a room in silence lol I have talked to my husband and we decided I want to get off my medicine so I have stopped taking it. However I have chosen to take it only one test days so that I can focus on question, but I will not use it to study or read so I may be using it 3 times a semester, I do not need it to write papers or anything so I will not be using it for assignments. I decided that since I got to my junior year without needing it I am clearly smart enough to do school without it, but since I need a GPA of a 3.0 to graduate from graduate school then I will just take it so that I can better understand the tricky questions professors are known to ask lol. Other than that I will not use it… Grad. School is def. mostly papers and discussions so the test thing is not a big deal at all lol, and since it is a brain stimulant I will never need to get a higher dose because I will not get immune to it because I will not take it very often lol… Since I have been off of it , I seem to enjoy life much more lol I am able to laugh at stupid things and not get angry all the time. I feel nervous some times like I am not smart enough without it, but my husband tells me I am and that is just the side effects of getting off the drugs that I am not good enough without it lol, he assures me that is not the case…. I made him read this blog so he knew the mental state I would be in getting off the medicine lol his support has helped a ton lol. Thank you for your response it helped a lot and I really enjoyed reading it!

  165. Dr0ski says:

    I dont usually post on forums or blogs. Especially not nowadays that my withdrawal seems to have stripped me of the ability to write well. But I want to get involved with this one particularly because I need the help. I was on stimulants, particularly adderall, for some 20 years. In grade school I didn’t like taking it and then in college I realized that I could be super-productive man or whatever.
    Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore. And I wasn’t supposed to smoke weed with it. So basically I got to where I couldn’t handle it with or without the pot. I miss it. I’ve even tried taking it since I quit. You might call that a relapse.
    But I can’t help but feel S.O.L. without it. I never knew work without taking plenty. I had to nearly O.D. just to study anything. I’ve gained 30 lbs since I quit. I want to be the guy that posts on here for a year or two and after about 18 months is really on top of the world. Anyone that wants to help me get there it would truly be appreciated. I think thats an honest estimate of how long it will take.
    I want to add more but it might come off as war-stories. I’ve sobered up before but that time I knew I would return to prescribed stimulant use for ADD and whatnot. I know you all understand. I want to be normal(not really) but I thought I needed it just to fit in. The only thing normal I want is a normal work ethic. It would also be nice to feel like going to the gym. I know there are reasons to quit, and reasons that I am better off. I can’t go back anyways. So maybe I should get rid of the pills that I’ve got.
    So for starters, Is there anyone out there that quit after 5-10 years of use and has now found true motivation without it? I’m sure some of the posts are about just that..I will get around to reading them ASAP. But I’ve got to go now. I guess I had to blog before I left.

  166. mandy says:

    hey Dr0ski!

    This is my first post. First off, thanks to Mike and everyone who has shared their experiences here. This site has been a motivational tool for me. I don’t know if I would have made the final decision to quit without it. I had one of those “wait I feel this way. So I’m not the only one?!!” moments too.

    Much like you and others who have commented, I wanted to quit (part of me did, at least) but doubted my ability to survive Adderall-free. Would my life crumble around me? Surely it would… but it hasn’t!

    A little background info: I am 25 and took adderall all through college (that’s 4 years), obtaining it from those with scripts. My usage increased over time, of course. Once I graduated I continued to buy large amounts from friends to maintain my habit until I decided the uncertainty of being able to obtain it (and enough of it to keep going going going) was too much to bear and I got my own prescription. I followed the dosage, for the most part, taking 30-40mg a day. On weekends I would take more if I was going out with friends.

    In total I was on it — abusing it, rather (using it to be productive and to party hard) — for over 5 years, not quite 6.

    I quit exactly 3 weeks from today. I hate my job and was well aware I was using adderall as a crutch. Sure, I have trouble getting work done while on the job. I’m lucky that my productivity is not closely monitored. Like Mike advised, your goal early on should be realistic and achievable: simply being able to make it through the work day is tough enough. Try setting up a system of small goals and small rewards once you’re at the 1 week point.

    The good news, career-wise, is that I am pursuing my dream and making the jump to do something different. I had the willpower and surprisingly the energy to apply to an opportunity entirely different from my current job, one that’s aligned with my dreams. I have been accepted and am overjoyed such great changes are happening.

    I quit cigs over 8 months ago, before quitting adderall. I also started running, partly in anticipation of quitting adderall. I think both of these decisions were very beneficial.

    Right now fatigue and headaches are an issue for me but it has been worth it. I can’t party as hard as I used to and I go to bed at like 9:30 most nights. I am able to still work 6 days a week, do laundry, clean house.

    You can be great (and are great) without Adderall.

    Stop fooling yourself (letting Adderall fool you). I believe in you and can say first-hand that the best is yet to come!

  167. Vince says:

    Started taking Adderall in law school b/c I was terrified of failing and wanted to be able to work harder than everyone else. It helped and I finished in the top 10% but who knows if I would have been able to do it anyway without the adderall. After I graduated I kept telling myself that I’ll just take it for a bit longer to get this work done and be able to put in the long hours. I was stuck on it for 4 or 5 years but only at 10 mg. I quit about a month ago and just recently noticed how easily agitated i get and how much I absolutely hate my awful attorney job. Thankfully its a gov’t job and does not require the biglaw firm hours or else I’d never have quit. I’m tempted to go back on it but I don’t want to. I feel like I’m a miserable jerk to my friends/family and get very angry at them very easily. I’m wondering if this is a withdrawal symptom.

  168. Frankie says:

    I’m happy people still post on this blog. I have been taking adderall for roughly 7 years now and I have always been very conscious not to up my dosage. On average I’ve only taken 10-20 mg time release (per day) with the occasional 25-30mg during college when my schedule was overwhelming.

    I spent this last summer forest firefighting and found that I could go 2 weeks without any, mainly because the job was so rigorous and I knew adderall would have a negative effect on my heart. I felt wonderful and was suddenly relieved that something forced me to quit. The job is extremely physically demanding but has no demand on you mentally or creatively. Once the season ended I started taking 10mg time release again for some reason. I felt like it was keeping me from over eating and getting stuff done every day when I was feeling bad effects of cumulative fatigue from the summer.

    Since then I’ve kept it at 10-15 mg a day and no more and I’ll only take it 5-6 days per week. Really all I’ve been doing is training for the upcoming season and designing a book for a freelance job (I am an illustrator and graphic designer yet haven’t been able to do anything creative since I graduated college last year). I seem to depend on the adderall to work on the book and get me off the couch to even go on a run, yet I don’t think it’s healthy. I have no personality when I’m on it and I feel like it’s draining me.

    I know I’m on such a small dose but for some reason I can’t go cold turkey. I’ve done it before but I’m scared it will effect me physically when I need to be in the best shape of my life right now.

    Does anyone have any advice on what quitting will do to me physically? I’m scared my heart rate won’t be the same or I wont be able to keep my weight even though I am working out every day. If it will help my stamina and endurance then I will have a much easier time quitting. I am just scared my body has become slightly dependent; my fear all of these years.

    For some reason I’m scared to admit this to my boyfriend even though he would help me. I just have been in denial for so long that I take it almost everyday I don’t know how to admit it to someone.

    I do have ADD and it is very evident but adderall has striped me of my motivation and creativity and maybe even my energy. I want it back and for the first time I’m admitting that I need some help.

  169. Frankie (again) says:

    Ps. I’d like to mention another fact about my experience with adderall. I never really had trouble going off of it for a week at a time or a couple of days however I think mentally I’ve become more addicted than physically. I can even take a high dose and fall asleep easily during the day. I’ve been told that means I am accurately diagnosed though I think it is my own will that is keeping me from stopping because it has so little side effects on me. I just don’t want to have to take a pill to be productive, no matter how ADD I am. I don’t think I’ll ever learn unless I stop taking it.

  170. RodneyG says:

    For the Past 3 years I have been taking two 30mg tablets a day of the Adderall IR. I found myself starting to go into an anti-social fog. It was effecting my family and my work. I finally decided that I had enough. I wanted the old me back (most people I know liked him better anyway). I drastically tapered off within 4 days taking one 30mg a day only for two days then took half of that for 2 days. For a week and a half now I have been off completely. I’m really not sure when the bad side effects are going to come. The first 3 days I didn’t take anything I really dragged and didn’t want to get outta bed. Forced myself through the day and tried to go to bed. The funny thing was at bedtime I found I couldn’t go to sleep. I had a slight restful feet thing going and it kept me up most of the night. I gathered that was the dopamine levels going crazy causing that. Eventually it was hard to determine if it was the lack of sleep making me tired or the Adderall withdraw. As far as other side effects I don’t have the constipation actually I find I’m having to stop and go more frequently. I was also under the impression that I would get hungry a lot that’s not the case either. I’m writing this for those who are scared of the withdraw effects. I just want them to know that not all withdraws are the same and some may be more milder then others. Everyone is different and will react differently but all I’ve read is horror stories of Adderall withdraw and wanted to give my more positive recovery for some hope to others. God be with all of you in your attempt to kick it.

  171. miriam says:

    my 11 yr old son was just taken off of addreal xr 10mg last fri and he is more hugry and more aggresstion should i wait til next week to call the doctor or call the doctor now!

    worried mom

  172. Anonymous says:

    what are you going to say to me. weight lifting was all i did on adderall. it was a strength. if you think excercising is not another thing adderall amplifies you’re an idiot. period.

  173. Julia says:

    Hi Mike,
    I guess you would say my case is pretty exteme. I have taken some kind of ADD meds since I was eight years old. I am now 28 and have been off adderall for six months now. I did it cold turkey and it was amazingly easy physically but progressively my passion for life has diminished. I have been thinking a lot about going back on the meds because of how depressed I have gotten. Thanks to looking to see side effects I came across this website and have a better understanding for what is going on. I was one of those people that everyone called to for help and was the solver of all problems… and then… I wasnt. That has been a great additive to my depression since so many people became disappointed in me. I truly am so glad I saw this today because I really wasnt sure why i was feeling the way I was and was tempted to get a script in hopes that it would help get me out of bed happier. I am relieved to say the least to know that there is a reason and a light ahead!

  174. Francine says:

    Good Morning, I just quit taking Adderall after being on it for almost 10 years. I started it when I was going through a Divorce, and then Child Custody issues in Court. I retained full custody of my two beautiful children, and I tried before to quit Adderall, because I really didn’t “need” it anymore. But, every time I tried, I failed. Now, I quit…cold turkey. Just one day decided I wanted a clear mind, body, and spirit. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and felt that the meds played a big part in it. The first week was by far the hardest. I was starving all of the time, and my body and feet SWELLED up like balloons. I gained almost 20 pounds in one week, but I knew that it could only be from retaining fluids. Is this correct? Is this common, and does anyone know how long this will last before my body readjusts? Thank you for this forum. It is helping me tremendously!! God Bless.

  175. Jena says:

    I laughed and cried when I read this! I be quit four ties ow in my life… Been taking adderall for 29 years on and off… This time it’s for good…. I’m on week two and no matter what I’m never going back. Strangely though I have worked out for years now even on meds. The work thing I can relate too. Thankfully I’m on a simbatical and there has been so. Uh change in my life it just seems like now or never….. I’m having all sorts of symptoms I have every time. My consist on bowel movement issues and water retention in the legs.. So of course I have gained weight.. But as for accomplishing daily tasks and being tired… Surprisingly I have been ok this go round! God is faithful to the faithful and to time I’m getting set free for good! Thans for writing this!

  176. Catherine says:

    Honestly… I’ve read most of these comments and I have taken this amazing life changing pill 8 years. I used to take 20mg XR but realized I was a walking stroke waiting to happen with blood pressure readings like 153/118. So at that point I switched to the short acting pills. They are 5mg but I take 2 each morning. That’s my prescribed amount. Every summer I’m not in school, I don’t take the pills. Which means every summer I gain 25-30 lbs and then when August/September comes I lose it all immediately. I don’t intend to take this pill my whole life. But I have to say after reading your (the author) story and everything you went through.. It makes me never want to stop. Like I just popped my addy and that typical 15 minute high that comes right after you take it? Yea that was killed by reading this site. Now I’m in my 4th year of nursing school so I understand the body, psychology, pharmacology, etc behind all that is addy. But seriously lighten this page up.. Before reading this I was ready to quite for the summer but now I don’t want to. Perhaps I have stopped so many times in my life I’m used to whatever side effects come with it but not one of you can honestly tell me you don’t or you will never miss taking adderall? Because every time I start my pills again.. (After three months off of them) I just feel this amazing sense relief that is incomparable to anything I’ve ever felt. Let me know, I’m very curious about this whole site even though it kinda Killed my buzz. Have a nice day y’all!

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  178. Gavin says:

    Hey guys…so I’m only 18 and have a lot of drug problems in my family and myself. I find when I don’t take my prescribed 25xr I get depressed. I’ve been taking them for three years now. Am struggling with whether to stay on them or to just cut off now. Being on adderall makes me not want to do other drugs..and the other stuff I have less control over. Its not that I have a terrible problem, I am graduating highschool in two weeks and am attending college next year..my drug use does not get in the way of my everyday activities for I mainly use other drugs like marijuana and pain pills at night before I fall asleep. I’m just scared to get old and not be able to get off the adderall when I want to and have to go through some of these tragic stories. I don’t want my future kids/wife(God willing) to have to see that. Any advice? Please.

  179. Kishta says:

    I just dumped my 15mg adderall and there were 21 of them:( I took pics to remember that it only harmed my body and that I would never go to it again. I have exam this Thursday biology, last exam failed even though I was talking my meds oater failing over and over with this Nasty pills I finally dumped it. I am planning to pass this coming up exam on my own . Can anyone help and give some advices on how to study, sty awake in school? I did the hard part which was dumping now I need motivation

  180. josi says:

    you are amazing thanks!

  181. Kishta says:

    Been off of it since the 18th got. A 70 on my bio exam without pills yah thank you god for everything

  182. D Wreck says:

    You know I never make replies on websites like this. My name is hidden due to my lack of confidence in anything. I have been through too much on this medication, especially since I gave myself worse ADD from a research chemical overdose. I still to this day, cannot think anything enough, luck god whatever from not letting that drug pull me under. Though the amount of relearning that was involved was… Inhuman. Being 20 years old and forgetting how to walk, talk, even act normal in public, because you’ve led yourself to believe you could never be a normal person again..

    Lets just say, I had made fun of kids in my high school abusing this drug. What kid didn’t know of adderall, and its amazing ability to make you do homework, study for a test, and not sleep all night. All while having a ball, taking your test ready to kick its as cause that was all you had to think about was that one test. I was always one to assume ADD doesn’t exist because I don’t have it right? No one in my school has legitimate ADD or ADHD. I didn’t know what the hype was about. Being a video game nerd, I thought of it as a cheat, for most kids completely capable of taking a test without it.. I found it almost unfair at the stuff I heard. This drug could never be used for good I preached to my mom time and time again.

    A year after my incident with a research chemical I should not have ever laid my hands on.. I had severe ADD to the point of not even being able to do enjoyable things. Enjoying life was not an option at this point because I could never muster up the courage to hold a job. I cared too much what others thought of me, I basically was in a world of pain. I was told by my doctor that they could do many extensive tests, while I do think the tests could be faked.. I did not lie on a single question.

    The look on that doctors face said it all. I knew right away that I was probably going to be prescribed this drug, that I knew no one who took for any other reason than to boost their test scores for a week. My fear for drugs was so high at this point, I didn’t even want to take anti-depressants for the fear that might make me even more bonkers than I could ever be. AntiDepressants had always made me hate my life. Sick daily, and walk through life like a zombie. Cared about nothing really. Just got through the day. Didn’t feel like complaining because well.. I was a zombie, zombies don’t exactly feel anything.. They are dead after all..

    She was a miracle worker, doing nothing but help me for the next year. I had gotten over my fear that adderall was this powerful stimulant that could kill an entire mob of elephants, and for once I realized they actually prescribe it for a reason. There is always the bad apple who comes along to abuse it, as with any drug. Misinformed parents disgusting me completely.. Forcing a child to take something so cruel when the kid couldn’t even tell you what an attention span is. My views were changed. It helped, and I was trying to get comfortable with the fact I was taking such an infamous drug known for its abuse.

    After a while, my mom. Decides it’s not for me. She tells me I’m an a*s h*le, a piece of sh*t, someone who she didn’t want to be related to because I was apparently so nasty is what they, my parents, say.. I think it was due to the fact that I cared more about getting my work done for once, than complaining to them that I can’t get shit done.. I was all work, no play and if you got in the way, sometimes I did get agitated, but I was busy, I had my schedule and stuff needed to be done.. For my sake.. I kind of had no time to do anything, but actually care about life for once. Care about tasks, plan ahead. I for once wasn’t so jumbled up. I figured out how to be tidy, neat and organized. I have never in my life seen myself care about what I was doing. I was ready to make advancements in my life..

    Well lets just say easily six months pass, and my mom decides……. I don’t think you’re doing good on it. Cold turkeys me without my consent. I tell her I can’t get things done, she says I wasn’t getting anything done, I was doing nothing but abusing. I kept the bottles downstairs, and in arms length of them so if they had ever really doubted me, they could of just counted if they didn’t trust me so much.. but nah. Reading on the internet it’s ‘medical speed’ is a stimulant, and makes me raging lunatics, and is nothing but abused. Anyone who says other wise is a f*cking drug addicted poof ball.

    Well. Not more than a month later, and I thought I had IBS. I was losing weight.. and fast. I looked sickly. Almost on verge of dying. I knew something was wrong, as I complained for months. I thought it was the comedown from my adderall, i knew some step was missed when taking me off of it..

    That’s not the end to my giant wall of text.

    She’s signs me up for rehab, months and months and months after I had stopped taking it. You don’t go to rehab after not taking any drug for easily 3 or 4 months. I was getting agitated from the countless doctors telling me nothing was wrong. I was a belligerent ass hole. I was making things worse than they appeared…. So getting brought to rehab after your parents get you nice and drunk, lie about where you’re going, and you wake up in the middle of the country. I had no idea where I was.. To be honest I thought places like this in Texas were surely just a myth, only to be left to populations of 5000. Nope. I was wrong. Stuck.

    I was belittled to the point of feeling inhuman. My parents told the rehab I held them emotionally hostage. I had made their lives hell. They didn’t know who I was anymore. The whole time though, acting as if nothing was actually wrong with my behavior, as if taking me to see countless doctors wasn’t annoying enough.

    I ran into the biggest piece of trash. Dr. Callighan, or Calligan. She was hyped up to be the ‘Second Best’ in the nation. Boy, have I met anyone as stupid as this woman. If she’s second best…….. The first surely had no idea what he was talking about either. They told kids their pot addictions were so bad they needed 3 to 4 month treatments. At the ages of 13-14. I thought parents would just make the kid a hermit for the rest of his life if he was to be caught smoking weed really?

    I wanted to make the best of this h*ll hole I was never going to get out of. This is where I knew it was a joke. After belittling me in front of my parents, spitting off lies, that my parent’s apparently didn’t notice her preaching to me.. I have a chat with her. She tells me. This is a dual diagnosis facility. And we are here to treat your depression. So me not being stupid, I don’t lie about my drug use. All experimental, drugs do nothing but cause problems. I didn’t think prescribed drugs could be viewed so negatively when people are clearly lying with no proof, or basis for their bullsh*t.

    My parents make up a lie that I continued to smoke pot through my adderall, which was absolute crap. They had full access to my room at any time. Never gathering any evidence along the way for this ‘rehab’ to notice as believable. It didn’t matter. I knew right away after I told this woman, 2CP a psychedelic drug – a research chemical at that.. Made me believe I was dead for a short while. And trust me. That was god damn enough for me to never abuse drugs. I don’t want to experience death like I thought I was experiencing. Nothing but thoughts. Basically you brain just went into no mans land and all you could do was think, for eternity. about everything you’ve ever done.

    She tells me

    Schizophrenia, off the bat

    Tells me its not normal to feel like your dead on psychedelic drugs.. And this woman was an expert? I’m not a drug wiz, but I’ll be damned if someone tries to tell me you can’t trip hard enough on drugs like LSD and mushrooms to lose sense of ones reality, and perhaps think you’ve slipped a little to far, and think you’re dead. All my friends loved those drugs and told me all about their death trips, and this and that.

    She puts me on countless antipsychotic drugs, but can’t figure out why I’m getting so anxious, why I’m not able to sit still. Why I’m crying cause life seemed.. Crazy to me. I wasn’t myself. And trust me. That right there is another reason I will never abuse drugs. Once you’re in that trap of fear, their is no going back until that drug has worn off.. And those antipsychotics lasted longer than any god damn drug i had ever done. including the 2CP.

    THIS IS WHERE MY ACTUAL QUESTION COMES INTO PLAY – For those that don’t want to hear my life story, and how I’ve learned to appreciate something I never thought in my life would be prescribed to me for any reason..

    They end up finding an intestinal parasite. Thrush took over my tongue. I was belittled by the other kids. I was made fun of for hating my life being there. Hating the drugs they forced upon me. Hating how everyday my life was just getting worse and worse, and no one could figure out why… Because my mom the smart ass told the doctor “Theres no way my son could have parasites. NOT IN OUR HOUSE.”
    Being so noble, as our house is tidy…

    Well it was parasites, and it was causing me chronic fatigue. Anything I ate was literally for nothing. I would have the nastiest stools in that place. I had to be escorted to and from private bathrooms because I couldn’t get my intestines to clear from the constipation. The countless wiping I had to do. It was like my rear end could never be cleaned. ten minutes turned to twenty minutes of me sweating bullets cause I’m making the poor counselor late from being able to go home.

    90 pounds, five ten i’d say about in height. I’ve never known my height, seeing as one second I’m this, next second I grew two inches in five seconds it seemed like.

    But I stopped growing. My mentality never got better, and no matter how much food I shoved down my face, nothing. I hated food by this point, because nasty cold food that youre the last to eat while its being served for god knows how long.

    I ended up being put on a prevpack, and this nasty liquid stuff for my thrush. finally. Time to start feeling better. Nope, a whole month I was to be on the prevpack and the nasty liquid yellow stuff.. 2 or 3 weeks, whenever the bottle was done.

    lets just say, i puked on their floors so many times from the explosive, and projectile vomiting i could not control. the only advice the people could give me was dont think about it, it makes it better. it was only time that was able to make me feel better..

    crying heroin addict, insistently crying that he was going to relapse couldn’t afford how long my parents could afford to keep me there, with no drugs being abused at the time of being admitted. doctor tells me i need 3 months of some ridiculous therapy that would costs loads of money to get me better.

    they didn’t do anything.
    nothing.
    no counseling. saw one once.
    the doctor. i never saw her cause she was never there. but rest assured, my parents were being very pleased by what they WERE HEARING. Not what was actually going on.

    almost two months go by, and I was finally rid of this parasite that killed my weight, worse than adderall ever did, or could have for that matter. Mentality finally stable, food feeling right in my stomach, brain feeling healthy again I leave.

    I absolutely had to drop that doctor. The amount of lies I had heard was inexcusable. and no matter how much money that woman asked for my parents are were there to pay her check after check.

    seeing my psychiatrist I had dropped due to feeling able to not take antidepressants, i inform him of the mishap at the rehab. which i find out.. does not do dual diagnosis. They are strictly drugs. I give him the piece of paper im supposed to let every doctor know – basically saying you can’t prescribe me anything. But anti-depressants. He looks at me, we have more long thought out talks.

    He realizes that I probably couldn’t be making this up. Why would I even show him a piece of paper, let him know what happened straight up, and be a drug addict. He knew me for so long, that he knew something had to be fixed. Seeing as I was back home hating life, not being able to do the simplest of tasks again. He prescribes me adderall again.

    well last week. I was feeling happy. like I had achieved everything the proper way. being truthful and honest is how i’ve always been.. and lets say with adults its seen for how it is, but kids these days think you’re lying about anything.

    Mom sneaks into my room last week while I’m on cloud 9, finally depressed, and ready to move out of this awful place i live in. What is it that my parents said to me, oh yeah they’re making it toxic. and the living conditions are ridiculous. I’m 21, and I can’t go see my friends without my parents first having a ‘family discussion’ between only the two of them. I can’t go out and do anything without constantly being asked where I was, or what I was doing, who did I see, were they drinking or smoking around me. I get fed up finally from the abuse they’re making me suffer through.. There was not a single thing to eat in this house when my mom decided to sneak into my room and dump my bottle. I’m completely confused, and she starts telling me I was abusing it. Whole time wheres the bottle, I don’t understand how it dissipated with pills in it. Could my sister have done it?

    Nah, parents attack me, threaten to ruin my life for the millionth f*cking time that I’m trying to assault them, or I’m trespassing, or in the process of Grand Theft Auto.

    WHO AM I TO THESE PEOPLE? I had lost it, when complaining there is not a single thing to eat, and being punched in the face, and having everything be your fault is where i draw the line.

    A week of sleeping goes by. I hadn’t taken a poop in quite sometime. Oh thats normal. Cold Turkeying me was a great idea. It’s probably the reason.

    I have just crapped out the most abominable poop after 8 days of nothing. It smelled like death again, looked abnormal as hell. I could smell my breath, which also smelled so bad, no amount of tooth paste could cover up. Mouth was was a joke.. It couldn’t be

    The thrush is BACK. My parasites are BACK. And the only thing I can think of from what I’m seeing is my immune suppression being completely destroyed by the sudden stoppage or my adderall.

    Could all this be screwing with my intestinal tract, stomach, and even tongue? I’m literally sitting here waiting for my mentality to just cease into nothing again. my weight has already dropped and the stools just get worse. the stuff on my stools looks like its back and ready to make my life a living hell one more time.

    Is it the cold turkeying? Or is this just a coincidence that right when my parents decide to take over my life like im 6 and view this medication as nothing but a drug that is meant to get you high?

    I apologize. But in order for maybe someone to help me, I thought alot of info was needed to be given. I’m just scared, and I’m afraid to use the restroom anymore. Afraid to look at my tongue. Knowing there is a god d*mn fungus living on it.

  183. Robert says:

    @D Wreck, dude I had fucked up parents too, get the fuck out of that house. Go to the hospital in your area, they will see you without money. Tell them of your stomach issues and your past infections, be sure to know the address and number of that rehab so they can get your medical records faster. They will help you, you sound like either your crazy or have some fucked up parents, your doctor is sane, if he doesnt think your crazy than your parents are fucked and you need to separate yourself from them. Your surrounded by alot of ignorance, you parents intentions are probably good but that doesnt excuse the damage they are causing. I was the same way believing that Adderall was a gimmick that people used to get high, I was diagnosed with ADD at 13 and refused to take the medication. I was forced to a psychologist because my mother accused me of having issues. They would blame things on me that I had no involvement in since I was small child, they would attack my character and alot of other real mind fucks that you cant see are happening because there is no one to tell you whats right or wrong but your parents. I had alot of issues that I had to work out because of it, imagine being told you broke something, you know you didnt do it so you honestly say you didnt. Then being told by the only people in your life that they know you did it, being yelled at and told again and again that I did it and I am a liar for sometimes 4+ hours of your mother screaming and making hurtfull comments while she runs around the house slamming doors and breaking shit. A dad that acknowledges what your mom is doing is wrong but then when she involves him he jumps right on board and wont speak against her because he doesnt want to have that wrath turned on him. Anywho, that was just the tip of the iceberg, I understand what your feeling and @ 27 years old after struggling with ADD I started taking Adderall, it has change my life, im happy, im social, I can learn the things I want to and I feel like a normal person now. But also, if you really are abusing your adderall, understand though there are great benefits to this drug, but you must have the strength to control your use of it. The problems that arise from its abuse far outweigh its short term benefits.

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  187. Liz says:

    Mike,

    I have come back to this site so many times over the years. I just want to say thank you so much. I am on day 11 free of adderall after 9 years. When I’m awake at 3am it’s no longer in some speed induced numbed out haze and I’m instead awake weeping with some kind of joy mixed with sorrow as I replay the moments of the day where I experienced interacting with my family,without a vacant distance inbetween us, or feeling sensation of a rainy day, or the smell of sunshine. Being present for these things,as opposed to experiencing them as the sensation of a sort of memory, on a random day day off of adderall. I am looking forward to experiencing life as myself again. And when I look at it the right way, I am free of so much fear and flooded with so much joy. Your site has helped me so much with obtaining the tools to help myself do this. Thank you.

  188. Mike says:

    @Liz – You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for your beautifully-written comment!

  189. Kristin says:

    Mike,
    I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this site. I am a recovering alcoholic (a year and 4 months sober – by the grace of God!) I am applying the 12 steps to my adderall addiction, and allowing myself to heal one day at a time. I took adderall for a full year before I even quit drinking. (I was on adderall for over two years.) Throughout my recovery from alcohol, I felt a strong conviction when I went through my fourth step (admitted to God, to myself, and to another human being the EXACT NATURE OF MY WRONGS.) I knew deep down that adderall was affecting my emotions, personal and social life, personality, etc. I diluded myself into thinking that I NEEDED this little pill – that it was “acceptable” since it was prescribed by my doctor. “After all – he knows much more than I about my ‘condition’…” After the initial “Wow! This pill is the answer to all my problems!” phase, I began to realize that the little magic pill wasn’t working any longer. I was tired all the time, moody, unpredictable, and a shell of who I once was. I haven’t taken adderall for 5 days, and I’m still exhausted and quite fuzzy mentally. I am fully aware, however, that I felt the SAME way when I was detoxing from my old, faithful enemy, alcohol. I know this phase is temporary, and that it too will pass. I am being kind to myself. Allowing myself to heal – and SLEEP. My husband has been more than supportive, stepping up to help take care of my three year old son, and making this transition as easy as possible. I visit your site frequently (as does my husband!) to find information and validation that I AM doing the right thing. I know that my TRUE self will begin to break through, and that I will be the person I was meant to be all along.
    I too have been an overachiever my entire life. I recently had surgery to remove my tailbone (random and totally unexpected circumstance.) I literally woke up one morning and couldn’t walk. The pain was so intense! It took 8 doctors and many months of being unable to walk at times until we found a diagnosis…Through the injury and following the surgery, I continued to go to school, trying to finish my BA, took care of my son, and through sheer mercy maintained my sobriety. I know that my lack of rest and inability to heal properly was directly attributed to the false energy I found in adderall. I have continued to struggle through the healing phase of my surgery. I’ve had muscle pain, extreme fatigue, my hair has been falling out, and I look 10 years older than I did before adderall! However, in this short time off adderall, I feel less muscle spasms in my back, reduced pain, and have felt a renewed strength returning to my back. God bless you for sharing your story – your experience, strength and hope with all of us who are starting this difficult journey. I am hopeful and excited to find myself again…
    Thank you again~
    Blessings,
    Kristin

  190. Ttwdn says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading every possible thing I can about what adderall does to a person. I’m not taking it but my husband has been for over two years( not sure because he lied about it). I am desperate to find answers. I’m am supposed to go file for divorce today but struggling with this huge decision. My husband has been so emotionally distant , mean, uncontrollably angry for a very long time. It’s been pure hell with the constant ups and downs. He has finally started to read these kinds of stories and realizing that he is not the same person. He’s telling me he quit about two weeks ago( we are separated). I do see glimpses here and there when we talk on the phone but he still tells me that he doesn’t have feelings about anything and doesn’t know if its good or bad if I file divorce. That breaks my heart. We used to be so much in love people would always comment on how googley eyed we still were even after 23 years together. He called me this morning and actually told me to give it a couple more days to see if his emotions will come back for me. This is killing me to the point where I don’t know if he’s just not in love with me anymore or if its just the drug that is still making him emotionless. He’s still very scattered with his thoughts but I do see some small sign of caring in his voice. I haven’t seen this at all for about one year. I hope he’s telling the truth about that he quit. My question is, do the emotions come back to the person eventually or am I just fooling myself. He has been very honest in telling me that he has felt dead, gray, empty, while on adderall and that he wants to have real emotions again. I take this as a good sign. I’m so confused about all this. I’m sick of being treated like shit but don’t want to really give up yet. I’m scared that he could care less about losing me. Ok I’m rambling. Just wondering if anyone else stuck it out with their spouse and the feelings came back?????

  191. Collins says:

    I’ve only been on Adderall for about 8 months and I am in the grips of something that feels horribly wrong. I started taking it every once in awhile when I needed to concentrate on a specific project. Then it became a couple of times a week, then every day, and now daily plus a little bit extra than what I’m supposed to take. I don’t know when it began to happen, but some switch has gone off in my brain and now everything feels wrong. I’ve wondered if maybe I’m developing some sort of psychotic disorder.I feel bad when I take it, but I feel worse if I don’t. I try to go through the day without it but the mental anguish becomes too unbearable. I am loosing control of my own mind. I want to quit but I can’t. I am rageful, my thoughts have become magnified, and I can no longer concentrate, not even on television becomes it is too loud in my head. I am paranoid, and mentally exhausted, and have developed severe panic attacks where I feel like I am having a heart attack. The only way to quiet my brain is to finally take a sleeping pill. Today I am trying to bear the day without it. It is almost 6 at night and I have been sitting on my couch feeling like my brain is mush and I am so sad. Is it better to wean off of it or stop taking it all together? The agony is endless.

  192. Collins says:

    Tdwdn,

    I wanted to respond to you because I know how desperate you must feel. I would like to say that your husband is not capable of real feelings right now. I know you’re heart broken but I will say that for me, I am not in touch with my own true feelings, and even less capable of feeling emotions for someone else. Sure, I am more social, but it is all on a superficial level. I feel like a prisoner in my own brain and incapable of connecting to anyone on an emotional level. The rage and the uncomfortability takes over. Adderall has made me focus on some things, and lose focus of everything else except that which the drug chooses for me. I hope this helps for you to understand that I know down there in his mind he sees what is happening but he can’t connect to it. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time, and I wish you both the best.

  193. Marie says:

    Hi Mike, I can’t thank you enough for writing this article. I feel now relieved that what I’m going through is ‘normal’. I was prescribed vyvanse or adderall for the past 3-4 years and quit cold turkey about two months ago. I felt superhuman but so out of my mind unhealthy throughout taking it. It was as if my personality transformed into some robotic cyborg on speed where I felt I couldn’t control the words coming out of my mouth most the time. I sat 12 hours at my desk working everyday and if I didn’t I wasn’t happy. I usually didn’t start eating until 5 or 6pm at night. I actually gained weight when on it, about 20 pounds, probably from the 3-5 glasses of wine I drank to go to sleep. Everything you’ve mentioned above has happened once stopping it. The first day I was fine, but then day three hit and I couldn’t leave bed. Then fast forward a month later and I’m still in bed, watching a Heroes marathon for the second time while spending close to 200 dollars playing candy crush. I’d get these bursts of motivation randomly and go for a run with my dog but then fell back into that coma soon after. I’m still up and down but I finally feel like the surface is near and I’ll soon be able to catch a breath of fresh air. I’ve had extreme vertigo the past three days, so much so that I can barely sit up without throwing up. I forced myself to bikram yoga (in which I had an panic attack during) and I feel a bit better from that. I guess if I had a question for you it would be -have you experienced vertigo at all?
    Thanks again for your unbelievable inspiration.
    All the best,
    Marie

  194. Nick says:

    @Mike.
    Hey mate remember me?? I wrote too you in 2010 and just about every year since. Was just cruising through the internet bored at college seeing if this site is still going strong. I’m happy to see you’re still motivating and inspiring people to improve there lives. Since I quit adderal I’ve had a very adventurous life. I spent two years at University, a small private school. Took a year off to gain some more perspectives on things and decided to travel the world. After studying abroad in Fiji & New Zealand, I realized to myself this was something I enjoyed, packed my bags and just moved to Australia for a year. Started off with some crazy but very commendable jobs. Ranging from Managing a sales firm-personal training-recruitment. A lot of that success coming from my social skills I developed after quitting adderal. I then made some money and spent 3 months backpacking pretty much every country in Southeast Asia. I just got back in the states a few weeks ago getting ready to finish my degree. I’m also half way into writing a book. I don’t know who or what to credit for all that adventure, but I could definitely agree that if I was still taking adderal I wouldn’t have had the guts or mind set to do it. I still like to take a look at the site every now and again too see my old posts, and too see other people make the decision to change there lives. Hope all is well. I’ve said it 100 times but I’ll say it again. I sincerely thank you Mike.

  195. Matt says:

    I have been on and off dexedrine since I was 5 and if I stop taking it, it makes me hyper, loud, obnoxious and I act 13. After a few days off of it though, I forgot that I used to take it. I did try Adderall and it was miserable. The eating part is the same with me though. I never develop a tolerance to that effect at all with any of them. Sadly, I have to go slow to quit because this was relied on for years to learn skills that require practice and gradually reducing the dosage. I never gain weight because I get almost manic without it so I am flying everywhere. It does put in a world though. It makes me overly appropriate, no sense of humor and just socially aloof. When it wears off, I make people laugh hysterically at the comments I come out with. I will be off of this crap responsibly in 5 years. Even when they give it to kids and it shuts them up, it is still satan in a bottle. It gives you this uptight, humorless existence.

  196. Kishta says:

    I was off the meds for a while until I went back and here I am still addicted

  197. Djahn says:

    Finding this site is super helpful right now. I finally quit Adderall about 3 months ago. I was prescribed 90mg daily. I have had a love hate relationship for several years with this med which I started taking in 2003.
    After my divorce in 2010 I really lost my tether on reality, I felt that with my new “free” life and adderall anything was possible but things just got worse. All of my relationships became stressed and many ended. I was aloof and detached and lacked impulse control, I felt better, sharper, wiser than others but it was pure mania.
    I narrowly avoided jail at least twice and the hospital/morgue a few times. My decision making ability was impaired and I had no idea who I was anymore, nor did my friends and family.
    Adderall was no longer working for me and was wrecking my life but I continued until I lost faith in my prescriber for giving me some very costly advice, I was finally pissed-off enough to quit “cold-turkey” and oh man, it sucked. Things are improving slowly. I am encouraged to find this site and read about your experiences. We are brave and shall be rewarded.

  198. amazing article you got here, thanks a lot for sharing it!

  199. Anonymous says:

    OK so I have been off adderallXR 30mg for about a week now. I am so sleepy and feel lost all day. I was to the point this morning that I felt like a mad woman trying to find some..Is this break yy

  200. Anonymous says:

    Is this normal I meant

  201. Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous- yuppers. Totally Normal.

    @everyone- Thank you Thank you Thank you !!! All of this has been amazing- just to know I’m not alone. Yes, even making a meal, getting up and going to the bathroom – if you’ve been on it for a long time, you don’t want to do anything when you quit.

    I’ve been on almost 10 years- I didn’t know that before I typed this.

    I’ve been off it less than a month – bc of financial restraints, if we’re being honest.

    Plus I’m a yogi- and a teacher at that- so hard to meld my sense of natural wholeness with constant pill popping. And yet…

    So here I am – kinda determined to not go back. I miss myself. I’m kinda amazing and beautiful and creative and brilliant and whole and intuitive – and ambitious, but smart. I’m really smart.

    I used to be vegan. The best most sustainable way to quit meat/everything is not deprivation- that only makes the object you deprive yourself of more desirable – a treat.

    Substitution with healthier options.

    I’m not a doctor, and this will not make you at the addy-point but….it will help shorten your recovery…

    GMP pill turbo (Good morning pill turbo)
    Elebra
    Onnit Labs Alpha Brain
    L-Theanine

    All of which are available online. None of which do I collect any representative fee from.

    Honestly…they just help. I don’t drink coffee…most drink a ton…A big part of my quitting has been realizing what is and is not acceptable.

    I’m literally recalibrating my body.

  202. Joe says:

    I’ve been on Adderall 10mg and metadate cd 30mg twice along with my antidepressants. I have ADHD and Dyslexia.

    Since taking Adderall and.or the metadate my postgrad work has been prolific and i can read at levels i never dreamed i could as a kid.

    However, after 6years of taking my meds I know i am an addict. What’s the trade off between a higer-intellect and stopping my long term adderal use? Will my cognitive abilities greatly affected from withdrawal?

    I know i’m at a point where i need to stop as I’m abusing the prescribed amount.

  203. Anonymous says:

    I took adderall for a little over 4 years starting out with a lower dose and eventually up to 40mg a day. I knew I had a problem and kept telling myself I would stop. I am happy to say I have now been off since July (8 whole months)however, what led me to stop was not how I figured I would finally do it. I had what I thought was a heart attack one morning and had to be rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital. After having that spell I quit cold turkey and it hasn’t been until recently that I have had severe depression and anxiety. Trying to make it through each day has been struggle. I too am tired and don’t care so much about that it is is the anxiety and depression I am having a hard time dealing with. I find that if my mind is not deeply involved in a project at work then instead it tends to wander and think about things that have no importance and cause the anxiety. I really thought that after 8 months I would be past this… Does it get better? How long does it really take for your brain to go back to normal?

  204. Momma says:

    I have taken my 8 year old off of his Adderall XR. He was taking a total of 25mg per day in 2 doses (15 mg in the morning and 10mg at noon) for the last 2 years. I want him free of it as I feel it does him no good but only harm. This is the middle of the second week without it and he is struggling. Major mood swings, lack of self discipline, boredom and heightened sense of humor really describe him right now. I find myself disgusted with the doctor who originally prescribed it to him as well as the doctors who continued prescribing. I’m the one dealing with the feelings of time lost. I can’t tell you how much I’ve cried, how much I’ve beat myself up for ever listening to the doctors when they said it was fine….for being uninformed, for trusting them and not checking it out for myself. However, we will get through this and he will be a happier and healthier child who will grow into a wonderful young man. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. Thank you to anyone who read this and your prayers/positive thoughts are much appreciated :)

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  211. AAddict says:

    Just turned 37. Been on Addy’s for over 10 years. quit once for 5 months, but felt like shit and got another script. Stumbled upon this site for the first time this morning. (5am) Been binging this month and I’m 2 1/2 weeks out from another script. About to dose my last 90 mg’s via enema then I’m going to rub one out(will be the last time for that fun for a long while)I cant get horny without the pills:(. Without pause, I’ll pop a clonazepam or 3, pop in a movie whilst I fall asleep and wake to a new life in about 12hrs. No more Adderall, no mater what.

    I’ll be back to post on my recovery. Thanks MIKE. YOU Rock!!

    “To win, You have to indulge the part of yourself that doesn’t care about your obligations.” (?? Someone smart and inspiring)

    Do or Die.

    “There will never be a good day to start. So start now Stupid!!!” (? from another smart one)

    Good luck to all. Nobody needs adderall!!!!

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    My Dr. prescribed adderall to me like it was candy; I guess he knows the stuff is no good but just wanted money. At first I had no problems whatsoever: my mood had improved, I was getting As in EVERYTHING, I lost without while eating whatever I wanted and not working out, I even became more social. But the problems started when I was not getting enough sleep and my heart would be racing so fast. I felt soooooo unhealthy. And I started to blank out on tests. That’s when I realized I gotta stop this. It’s not good for me in any shape or form; especially since I was having irregular heartbeats. I was on it for about 8 months and only towards the end did I notice the heart problems. I just quit cold turkey. The weight can has been AWFUL. I look terrible and my grades have slipped. But I don’t care. I just want to feel healthy and normal: not like a nasty drug-relying person. I do miss it a lot because of how thin and beautiful I was but it was not worth the blank-outs and lack of sleep.

  220. KimberlySue says:

    Today I woke up and took my heart rate before my medication. Later today it was 20 beats higher, Adderall will be the death of me if I keep it up. I had a meeting with my boss who told me I was too aggressive and expected too much out of people. I kept taking this medication to help me behave at work, now the side effects are the problem. I literally don’t know who I am, but I know the person inside me wants to be free. The person I am now is not happy. Tomorrow will be my start to a sober life after being medicated for 20 years. Thank you for this site.

  221. Not ready for fame says:

    Thanks so much for this group. I’m an undergrad student who has gotten good grades my whole life with nothing but hard work and a lot of willpower. This semester I got it into my head that everyone else was on adderall and had truly convinced myself that I had ADD/ADHD because I wasn’t able to meet all my self-imposed commitments at the level I thought I should. At first I thought this was the best thing ever because I could focus more, eat less, workout less, and have take less bathroom breaks…but then I started to lose myself and blank out on tests. I started to realize that adderall was making me a less productive person (and more stupid!) because I would hyper focus and never actually get anywhere! I would spend a night studying material and still be seriously confused the next day (which is rare for me). The best way I can describe it is that I was thinking “with blinders on” and whacked out. I began to lose connection to reality. I’ve always been a nice, positive person, but on adderall I snap and get very impatient and don’t even realize I’m doing it! Really there is no up side for me except looking good with minimal effort…and that’s not even why I’m still on it. I just can’t afford to quit right before finals week. I’ve been on this crap for about 2 months and I’m sooo ready to be rid of it. I would rather have less focus and more understanding of the material I study than be in the library all day and gain nothing. Please, no one try this. THERE ARE NO TRUE UP SIDES! I was never paranoid or scared before adderall. Now I’m constantly on edge thinking someone is out to get me. It is very weird. I can’t wait to back to my loving life, social, confident, and HAPPY self. Thanks for this site!!! Adderall was my stupidest decision to date. I will be tearing up my future prescriptions next week and I will follow up with my progress.

  222. Not ready for fame says:

    My heart rate is at crazy high levels too, which is very strange to me, since I was a fitness freak before addy. Hopefully there will be no lasting heart issues.

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  224. omicroneridani says:

    I took Adderall for two years, then stopped because I lost my health insurance. Several years later, I’m taking it again, 10mg once a day.. sometimes I split it into 5mg twice a day. The only negative side effect I have is some days my neck is very stiff. What’s strange is that a lot of the problems I’m reading here that adderall seems to cause for others are t things it fixes for me. It makes me calmer and less irritable. I sleep better at night. I’m able to listen to people when they talk, and able to either be productive, or calmly read/have a walk/etc. The years I couldn’t afford it, I worked very hard, but my life slowly fell apart until I had to quit school, my job, and move back with my parents. I’m glad that there is support for people who want and need to quit, but for some reason it has worked for me. It makes me feel like a human being… not get-everything-done superhuman, just regular human, lol.

  225. Kelly says:

    4 months without ad and I’m itching like crazy daily.
    Why???!!!! When will it stop it’s ruining my life.
    I thought I would feel better and have my life back.
    I can’t find anything showing anyone having this hyper sensitive
    Skin thing anywhere.

  226. A says:

    I have been taking 15mg Adderall XR for about a year now.. originally (like most of us) I took it unprescribed for the boost of energy during my last semester of college. Ive always been a great student and people enjoy being around me (before the pills) the medication has not had a huge impact on my daily life but I do know that the days I skip are depressing. Depression runs in my family and the biggest change I’ve noticed over the past few months is my ability to ignore those feelings more specifically surpress them. I am very conscious of my body physically and mentally, I do not feel depenent on the medication but do fear the comedown. Are there other forms or this “energy boost” besides energy drinks? Am I overthinking and should not have a desire to quit? Obviously 15mg isnt as much as I thought. Great article/page Mike.

  227. A Concerned says:

    My wife is a recovering alcoholic who was diagnosed with Bi-Polar while in treatment. She was put on Bi-Polar meds at the time along with Prozac. She has not had a drink in over a year and is now getting Adderall from somewhere. She sleeps all day, stays in bed on the computer all day, drinks red bull and eats candy bars all day. I am so worried and concerned she is going to go into shock. She does not take care of herself or her kids. At one time- she was one of the greatest person I had ever met, loving, caring, supportive and the most beautiful woman in the world in my eyes. Today, I am so worried, she is not the person I once met, she does not like to do anything, goes out at night to sit down at the beach till all hours of the night, does not like being at home or doing anything with the family. She is addicted to her phone and computer and doesn’t go anywhere without it. I have never seen anything like this in my life. She says she is fine and has never been more assure of herself or clearer in her entire life. After 10 years together, she now wants to leave me and our family. We have good life, we don’t have to worry about bills and can afford a lot of nice things in life, however I’d rather be “rich in love” than rich in $ and I’d do anything in this world to save her from the person she has become today. THOUGHTS?

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    Ive been on Dextroamphetamines since 1999,or longer….. I know Ive been living in a distorted reality ever since I started getting them prescribed me. I went from time released 15 mg Dexedrine, 4 times a day to Adderal 30 mg, 3 times a day about a year ago. since switching from time released to fast acting, Ive realized something seriously wrong with me. ive not only been on Amphetamines (for add), but in the years folliwing my Dex-amph prescripts, Ive had to take Xanax, Ativan and a handful of other Benzodiazapines as well as at least 2 dozen different antidepressents. i dumped all my pills down the toilet about two weeks ago. having a hard time dealing with my nerves. im I hopelss because of being in amphetamine land for so long?

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  237. Very good post. I’m going through a few of these issues as well..

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Adderall has completely changed my thinking pattern. I started viewing my friends as a big waste of time. Hanging out, and doing the sort of things that friends do together, makes me feel anxious. My mind believes that it should be spending its time being more productive.
-Johnny

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