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Top 5 “I wish I could turn it off” Situations


Once you take a pill, there’s no going back, even if you sometimes wish you could turn it off. Read through the 5 examples of times when I wish I could “turn it off”. Do any of thse situations feel familiar to you? If so, it may be an indicator that you are nearing the end of your love affiar with Adderall.

1. The Friday work lunch

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m out to lunch with all the guys from my office. Everybody is laughing and cutting up and talking about their weekend plans, in no rush to get back. Except me. I’m too tweaked out on Adderall to be able to relax like everybody else. I only came out to lunch because people would look at me weird if I said that I didn’t want to go. I can’t stand it. It’s wasting so much time. Wasting my Adderall time. I should be back working.

An old ex-coworker shows up as a special visit. Everybody is happy to see him. If I were sober I would be happy to see him too. He is such a cool guy. But I’m tweaked out so all I do is resent him for showing up because now the lunch is going to last even longer. I wish I could turn off the Adderall feeling and just relax like everybody else.

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2. At the movies with my girlfriend

It’s Friday night. I’m standing in line waiting to get into the theater. My girlfriend and her brother are laughing and joking right beside me but it’s like their voices are muffled. I’m lost inside my head. A million thoughts going in all directions at once. She can tell something is up with me. Keeps trying to verbally poke me out of my trance but I keep lapsing back into it. That one thought over and over again: God, let me come down. Turn it off. Let me be myself around her. I hate this. I shouldn’t have taken that last dose so late in the day. I wish I could just turn it off when I leave work.

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3. At the gym

I just did 75 sit-ups. My heart is pounding so hard I can literally feel the concussions pulsing and popping in my head. Am I going to have a heart attack? Is this OK to do on the Adderall? This doesn’t feel right. I’m worried already and if I keep going I’ll be downright scared. I better not push myself this hard again. I’ll stick to the weights and avoid the stuff that’s really going to get me worked up. I wish I could just turn it off when I was in the gym.

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4. The unexpected slack day

This is going to be the best, most productive day ever. The Adderall just really started to kick in, I’ve got my headphones on, and I’m deep into an incredible new project that everybody’s going to rave about when it’s done. I’ve got the whole day. It’s 10:00am. 8 hours left. I hope that’ll be enough.

That’s when the boss arrives. He’s in a happy, hyper-social mood, with smiles and jovial comments for everybody. He’s in a terrific mood. So terrific, in fact, that after making the “Good morning!” rounds, he stands in the corner of the main room where everybody can hear him and declares “I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we just finish up the tasks we absolutely have to do, then I’ll take you all out to lunch, then we can cut out early!”.

If were a normal employee, just working for the paycheck and not tweaked out on Adderall, those words would be music to my ears. I would be excited like a kid on a snow day.

But it’s too late. I’ve already taken the pill. God fucking damnit, I think. Just shoot my day the head. So much for all those grand plans. I hate my boss for trying to improve employee morale. If you want to improve my morale just leave me the hell alone in my Adderall world.

I wish I hadn’t taken that dose of Adderall. I wish I could enjoy this surprise day off. Wish I could be happy about it like a normal person. If only I could turn off the Adderall, but I can’t.

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5. The recurring “too much Adderall” dream

Maybe this is just me(?), but I used to have a recurring dream where I would end up swallowing too many Adderall pills and spend the rest of the dream terrified of what was about to happen as I grew more and more tweaked out and couldn’t stop it. You see, I was always methodical about my Adderall dosing; never really was one of those kids who took crazy amounts at once, so the concept of accidentally eating too many pills was pretty scary to me…so much so that it formed a subconcious fear that produced this recurring dream.

Incidentally: It’s been a year since my last pill, and I still have a simliar dream every once in a while. But instead of taking too many Adderall pills (as opposed to my normal dose) and regretting it the rest of the dream, I take one pill (as opposed to my normal no pills) and spend the rest of the dream hating the Adderall feeling as it kicks in; I nearly cry in the dream at the horrible choice I have made that feels like I just violated everything that I had worked so hard for. This dream is pretty effective at preventing me from taking a pill on a whim.

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Why wishing you could “turn it off” is a sign that you’re ready to quit Adderall

When you first start taking Adderall, it’s like a relationship with a new girlfriend/boyfriend that you’re infatuated with. The pill can do no wrong. It’s the most awesome thing in the world. Where has this been all your life? Any day is better with pills.

During the glory years of your Adderall addiction, you may occassionally have the thought “Gee, I kinda wish I could turn it off right now.”, but you’ll quickly dismiss it because all the other great things that Adderall is doing for you carry far more weight than a little moment of wanting to turn it off…carry more weight than a couple hours sleep or a few sit-ups.

But as the years go by and your Adderall addiction begins to loose its luster the scale starts to tip; these occassions of wanting to turn the Adderall off grow more and more prominent and carry more and more weight with you. You start to get increasingly frustrated by them.

I remember towards the end of my time on Adderall there were whole days when I said to myself (at the end of the day), “You know, self. I really didn’t need the pills today. I kind of wish I hadn’t taken them. The day probably would’ve been better and I would’ve enjoyed it more since I didn’t have the chance to get much work done anyway.”

Are you having these kinds of thoughts? Are there certain times or even whole days when you wish you could “turn off” the Adderall? If so, you may be nearing quitting time.

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17 Responses to “Top 5 “I wish I could turn it off” Situations”

  1. SB says:

    I just wanted to say that many of these situations you listed hit close to home for me. Trying to just relax on a Friday night, being at the gym and feeling heart palpitations (having to get off the stairmaster because of it) , being upset when you get an early day out of work/easy day of class…. how about when I was at a training day at work and they let us out at 11:30 AM for a 2 hour lunch break? The last thing I felt was hungry but I ended up wasting $15 on a meal I didn’t eat because I was had taken a pill to prepare for this training day.

  2. Gabe says:

    The first four sound like off adderall. But these last two days, first experience with very vivid, and in this case very vivid bad dreams (that start out very normal- normal like everyday life).

    It’s freaky. But I’d have a stressful two days too. Downtime, some relaxing music/book/show before bed hope will flip bad to good (or at least moot)

  3. Mike says:

    @Gabe – Are you saying that you’re experiencing bad dreams directly after coming OFF Adderall? Maybe it’s a symptom of those lowered dopamine levels. More than going to bed relaxed, I would suggest trying to go to bed happy…or very absorbed in some alternate reality to the point where you dream about it (so book/show might work for that).

    FWIW: Pushing Daisies is Prozac in TV form, and it’s free on Netflix. So that might be something to try if you can’t think of anything else.

  4. Stephen says:

    Im sorry but I disagree with so much on this, Ill take it one “situation” at a time
    1. Is it really that bad of a thing to not want to be somewhere others do? I assure you its pretty normal I went the first 22 years of my life without Adderall and I still dont take it but a few days a week and I promise you that happens all the time even around your best friends. If theres something else you could be doing, even something simple like playing video games despite the fact I always have a blast with my friends its not the end of the world if theres something else that I enjoy doing, like being a hard worker for example. In my opinion this situation is just being dramatic and blaming adderall for something extremely simple and not that serious that happens to everyone all the time.
    2. At the movies- I feel like this should be a no brainer but….. dont take adderall before going to the movies………. or just stop taking the extended release tablets so you can choose when you want to have the effects……and if for some reason all of that fails, SUCK IT UP and enjoy your night without being a debbie downer!
    3. Im active duty military and work out constantly, if you just did 75 sit-ups guess what your hearts going to be pounding regardless! If you honestly feel like you work out enough and have pushed your limits enough to know where they are and you feel like they are in fact being pushed, THEN GOOD thats part of improving! Honestly, the chances are your just making a convenient excuse like EVERYONE DOES including myself so you don’t have to continue (my head hurts/ too hungry/ not enough water/ etc. etc.)
    4. If you seriously freak out that much about a slack day then youve got issues, I dont care how much adderall im on its not going to make me any less excited to go devote my energy to one of my hobbies I love but might not always have the time for.
    5. This one completely solidifies one point that is repeated in almost every one of the complaints on this site: bottom line is your weak, the reason I take adderall is because I have big goals, goals that involve a large deal of school. I was terrible with school my entire life; I was held back in high school despite genuinely wanting to succeed I assumed I was just being lazy so I joined the military to get some perspective after I graduated. I assure you if there was any laziness in me before my numerous deployments and tours of duty working 14-16hrs a day 7 days a week for months on end in an extremely pressure packed job eliminated that. I wanted to take some school while I was in so I took a few classes and couldn’t figure out why I was struggling for the life of me and how hard it was to focus. This was unbelievably stressful but I continued to just barely skate by by putting in far more effort than what I should have had to. One day during a physical I brought up my attention and memory problem on accident with my doctor when he noticed I was always distracted and I told him in a making fun of myself way how ive always been like that and how in all honesty I had heard like 8 words the entire time he was talking to me. He referred me to a psychologist who prescribed me Adderall. It felt like I had been running with a 50lb pack on and I finally took it off. Since then Ive had the highest grade in every class that ive taken. With basic dosage discipline and not constantly blaming my simple every day problems on adderall Ive yet to have a single complaint (other than it kept me out of flight school) but once I finish my law degree I might stop taking it and get my wings then, so its all good. -see that im not crying that Adderall did something I didnt like, I realize that everything has bad with the good I accept it, I adapt and I move on like a big boy and not a whiney little child.

    seeing as how this site is mostly filled with opponents of Adderall im very well aware as to how this will be received if its even allowed to remain posted for more than a few seconds, but o well.

    P.S grow up and take control of your own life, it should take 5 seconds to quit if you want to and if your too weak to do that then you shouldn’t take it.
    P.P.S sorry if poor spelling and grammar makes it difficult to read im in a bit of a hurry, Ive got a paper to write.

  5. Mike says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for your comment. The greatest value of this article is that it serves as a good litmus test for determining whether or not your belong on this site. That’s one of the reasons it is permalinked to from the home page (through that 5 Signs article). If you read the list above and can’t identify with anything on it, or find yourself repulsed and completely disagreeing with it, then you’re probably not the type of Adderall user that this site is built for.

    You’ve confirmed this with your description of how you came to use Adderrall and of your reasons for using it. You are the type of legitimately ADD person who can be truly helped by Adderall in a big way. You are the type of person that Adderall was designed for, and Adderall is going to impact your life much differently (more positively) than many of the other people on this site. And because you fall into this category of “people who actually need it”, you should be ignoring every word of this website.

    You strike me as a person who is geared for willpower and logical decision making, and who is truly ADD and using Adderall under its ideal conditions. Good for you. But advice that works from your perspective doesn’t always work for somebody else. For example, it’s easy for a gorgeous girl to think that every problem can be solved with a smile and a friendly attitude. For her, it is that easy. For others, not so much. In some sense, quitting and dealing with Adderall is as easy as you say it should be. But it’s also not. This website exists for the people for whom it’s not so easy.

    P.S. Ok, just to address one point above because it’s killing me: I was not inventing a phantom feeling of rapid heartbeat as a subconscious excuse to stop exercising. I LIVE for exercising and I absolutely love to push myself. I don’t know if you’ve ever injured yourself while distance running or something, but the heartbeat problem I experienced was similar to when you feel a minor sports injury coming on (like an IT band problem, PF, Achilles tendinitis, etc.): You want to keep going, but your body is doing something abnormal and you’re afraid that if you push it you’ll make it worse, so you stop yourself, not because you’re making an excuse or being a pussy…but because you’re trying to do the smart thing and avoid 2 weeks of sitting out and icing your leg (or whatever). You may end up experiencing this one for yourself. Even though your brain is the type built to handle Adderall very well, ultimately you’re still exercising under the influence of a powerful stimulant. That scary-rapid heartbeat problem I mentioned is not exclusive to Adderall. I’ve known people who’ve reported similar unpleasant feelings from other stimulants like Hydroxycut.

  6. ricky says:

    I think some of the things you say may be right. In my case, the way I know I am on Adderall is, for example, at work when I continued working on the computer rather than engage in the conversation with my co-workers behind me. No one told me anything, but I noticed myself that I was too quite. And at home, I would not look for my bed in a 16 hour block, from the time I woke up to the time I said I have to go to bed to let my brain rest and fall asleep. I think Adderall is great for those like me who struggled with energy levels and motivation through some days, but I do know that it is part of my self to be sleepy even after a full night sleep, to take it easy rather than hard on myself. The problem is when that self of yours interferes with your goals in life, when you have acomplished A grades, work, and have a family, and instead of feel motivated and keep going that inner something gets on the way and you start to shut down. Adderall helped tremendously in this situation. It gives you a good feeling too, and that translates into well being.

    Now, I actually got to this website because I want to not take Adderall and being able to be productive in my day. Something in me wants to take it not matter what, but the idea of being dependent is not too appealing to me.

    I asked my Doctor if there was anything else besides Adderall and he told me ” we are in America, and that is what we have in America, if we were in the Amazon jungle, we will probably have an herbal tea or compound prepared there.” He meant that whatever other pill he found could have the same addictive effect.

    Thanks for the great comments in here. They all very valuable.

  7. Anthony says:

    Yeah, that exercising problem is absolutely correct.
    My PT score is fine (264), but it really makes you double-think what you’re doing when you suddenly hit the point where your chest gets this spasmodic discomforting feeling and you become disoriented, you’re suddenly aware of your pulse ramping up and you get a flushed and lightheaded feeling. That’s not wimping out of your training, that’s you honestly freaking out that you may have overdone things and hoping you’re going to survive.

    Especially if you spend the next few hours secretly monitoring the hell out of your heart rate, drinking water, and making sure to be within line of sight of a good number of people just in case but not telling anyone anything’s going on.

  8. jac says:

    Shortly before quitting i would often experience the following scenario.

    I would wake up intending to spend the whole day in doors studying. I would take a pill and decide to have some coffee and watch some Family Guy while i waited to get ‘motivated’ (ie, waited for it to kick in). Three hours of Family Guy later, and i would wish i hadn’t taken it.

    I would get in the ‘zone’ and it would be three hours of watching Family Guy (or any other pointless task, facebook, baking, playing Heroes of Might and Magic 2, googling Adderall etc) Then i would finally come down enough to change my focus and move onto a new and more beneficial task.

  9. jeff says:

    Dont replace it with alcohol. Ive tried that. Just remember how much drunk people were anoying when you were on it. Just like you are annoying to those not taking it.

  10. jeff says:

    Actually writing songs i would be very productive. Playing for drunk people woild however. Put mein abad mood. Playing normal covers. With my band. Would drive me crazy. I later tealized that the adrenaline rush of publicly performing without it would make me shaky because ifelt like ie wasnt a good enough. Now i dont mind the drunks so much and i have a much more intimate experience with the people that come to see me because they love music.i still struggle writing music. Im having to completely retool my creative process. Since i being off of the drug however,i realise that alot of my music was incomplete or could have been better. I wish that i could have turned it off because it alienated me from my true passion. Iwas writing music out of nervous habit. Thats what i would do when i felt like my heart was about to explode.after i had been up for days i could sing songs and just sit back and listen. I know now that that was just my body fighting the lie of feeling incredible while i was really dying. Now i can turn it on when i play covers at an open mike. Because the crowd. Getting into you music is awsome. Funny i didnt realize this on it. Alot of the songs i used to right only sounded good to me because i was on that drug. I still have to fight the urge to fill that script sometimes though. Its so easy. But i try to keep myself going by realizing that being off of it is like a sort of morphine. I dont do morphine but the calm is there if you dont perseverate on yourlifestyle while you were on it. I eat alot now. And im glad that i can finally gain some wheight.what made me stop is im having a little girl,and i refuse to let some chemical effect the way its gonna feel to hold her in my arms. Funny how such a focusing drug can cause the distractions it was desighned to prevent

  11. Kevin says:

    I only started to get the “turn it off” feelings once adderall went from being a medication to a crutch, and grew into a dependence.

  12. Robert says:

    To get back to basics, it’s extremely important to take the right dosage of this medication. Any feelings of being ill at ease while relaxing (or trying to relax) with friends might be a red flag that your dose is too high. Adderall puts ADD’ers in the ballpark of life so they can participate. If you’re already in the ballpark and are taking it to hit extra homers, you probably shouldn’t take it. The proper diagnosis of ADD is critical before using this medication. Take a look at your past and count the number of intense disappointments and the number of failures despite your intelligence level. If your Dopamine systems are working properly, consider yourself lucky and continue to build on your successes without messing around with Adderall.

  13. Nytol says:

    As someone else said, for me your list sounds like me not on Adderall.

    I’ve not had a dream about taking too much, but I have had a lot of unpleasant, anxiety inducing dreams since starting it.

  14. kiks says:

    i didnt think i was going to connect to this post until i read number 1. YES

  15. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if adderall is worth it for me yet. I sure as hell haven’t found the right dose. Still, I don’t wish that I could turn it off.

    When I take it, I feel like myself but with the exceptional ability to concentrate. The downside of the increased concentration is that mundane activities, like driving, don’t keep my attention for long. I have a really hard time getting off the internet and remembering to eat enough food.

    Also, when the drug is peaking I feel emotionless and sometimes empty, especially if I’m bored. I’m sometimes glad to be away from strong emotions though. That’s when I can speak my mind without being overwhelmed.

  16. Anonymous says:

    People with anxiety get to feel all of this all the time, without even taking a pill.

    Side note – The gym comment really surprised me. Wanting to turn off adderall at the gym? I can barely conjure the energy to take a brisk walk without adderall let alone crush sit ups at the gym. Even when on adderall, I would NEVER be able to workout hard enough to stroke out on abs. 25 crunches? Maybe. 3 sets? You’re pushing it.

    That part reaffirmed for me just how abnormally lazy, lethargic, and unmotivated my natural self is.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Stephen may never experience this exercise heart concern because I agree with the post below his of his being the perfect candidate for this drug although I don’t take it myself. He may present problems when withdraws in order to enroll in flight school. What drug was the pilot on when he flew into the mountain? Was that the adderall trance I see in a six year old. I am thinking dosage way too high and reading the first post here and a few pages elsewhere other than the fact it is an amphetamine this could be the child’s problem.
    Patients with head and neck injuries experience exercise heart issues (even simple tasks such as passing the salt around the table) and if such patients followed ER protocol blasted over the news channels and talk shows they would spend nearly every day going to the er for all the symptoms of heart attack and stroke.

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