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9 Adderall-Created Work Habits that You Must Overcome

1. Waiting for the buzz to kick-in before starting to work.

On Adderall, your work routine looks like this:

  1. Have work to do. Don’t really feel like doing it.
  2. Take an Adderall. Dick around for 20 minutes.
  3. Pill kicks in, feel energized and focused.
  4. Feel like doing work.
  5. Work.

In your new, post-Adderall life, the energy and focus don’t come until after you’ve started the work. You’ll be sitting around feeling tired and unenthusiastic, and you’ll start looking for something to make you feel like working. In your mind, that is still the order of things: First you feel like working, then you work.

You can’t wait on your brain to “feel like it” anymore. Without Adderall, you will rarely ever feel like working (unless it’s something you care about). Instead, you must re-learn how to start working even when you don’t feel like it.

Often all it takes is one hard grunt of willpower to get you on your way. Then once you get rolling, it’s not so bad. It’s the start that seems impossible. And it still takes a lot of time to build this willpower muscle back up. Some people go lifetimes without ever really working on their willpower. Now you don’t have a choice.

2. Doing work in one big binge

Once you start a task on Adderall — however trivial — you have to keep going. You have to make it perfect. You have to make it epic. You will binge yourself on the task at hand. On Adderall, it’s downright fun to pop a few pills and tackle a big project in some grand fashion.

Work binges are so pleasant and commonplace on Adderall that you will try to approach every project in binge fashion. This means that you will regularly put off projects until you have time to binge on them. This is also why all-nighters are so common with Adderall users.

In post-Adderall life, you will rarely have the time or energy for work binges. All-nighters become the rare exception, rather than the rule. Whereas you once relished the idea of staying up all night on Adderall and finishing all your work, now you will avoid staying up past your bed time at all costs.

The sober brain prefers bites over binges. You must learn to break up your work into manageable sections.

3. The illusion of infinite time

Adderall allows you to get lost in the moment, with little regard for the motion of the clock. It is the fantasy of every Adderall user, at the peak of their high, to be able to freeze time and obsessively-tweak their project until they’ve seen it through to its glorious, perfect end.

It’s 5 o’clock and everybody else is going home? Good; that’s less distractions for you. The janitors are finished with their rounds and locking up the office? No big deal; you have your own key. It’s getting really late? No matter; you’ll pop another dose and keep working through the night. You can run home and shower around 6am and be back before everybody gets in. Oh, it’s 6am? Whatever, you can shower on your lunch break. You must keep working on this amazing project. Everybody will be so impressed when you are done.

On Adderall, you can always keep pushing back your body clock and personal life in service to the task at hand.

When you quit, you are suddenly at the mercy of your body and mental energy levels. At 5pm when everybody else is going home, you suddenly want to go home too. And in the evening, you want to sleep. You can tell yourself all day that you’ll stay late and finish it, but when “late” comes around, all you want to do is go home and sleep.

You suddenly realize that without Adderall, deadlines are much more real than they used to be.

4. Everything is pleasant

There are few tasks that are truly unpleasant when you’re on Adderall. Sure, there are tasks that you put off because they require extra attention, but nothing that you really dread. Whatever task is assigned to you, small or large, you know you can handle it — it’s just a matter of how much of your special awesomeness that you’ll get to apply to it.

On Adderall, you never have to “man up and do this” in anything more than a non-trivial way. In some sense the notion of work, as others see it, is gone from your life. You may tell yourself that you are a hard worker, but being willing to pop pills until you finish something is not quite the same thing as being a hard worker.

For most people, the definition of “work” is something like this:

Work: Doing something mildly-unpleasant that you are skilled at, for the sake of a paycheck that affords you things that you want.

Work is not a happy destination for most people. Most people do not wake up and say “hooray I get to go to work now!”

They plod through it dutifully, because that is what needs to be done, and they draw some satisfaction from it when possible.

That is a feeling that you have likely forgotten while on Adderall. You’ve forgotten what it’s like to count down the hours until your lunch break, and then count down again until you get to go home.

For you on Adderall, work is very enjoyable. To most sober people, work is between bearable and pleasant. When you quit Adderall, work can be agonizing.

It would be a mistake, at first, to expect work without Adderall to eventually be super-enjoyable again. Do what most sober people do: Aim for bearable, and hope for pleasant. In time, you’ll get there. And if you really work to change your life, you’ll break into all-new territory: fulfilling.

5. Epic expectations

When you are creating something on Adderall, it has to be more than perfect; it has to be the best ever. It must be the most epic, penultimate cover page (or whatever). When you finally finish, everyone will love and praise you for this. Of course, that’s if you finish (often, when the pill wears off or when you are forced to move on to something else, your epic project gets left to gather dust).

Let me tell you something you already knew: That drive for perfection you have is every bit as much you as it is the pill. If you have a problem with perfectionism on Adderall, then you are naturally a perfectionist…the pill just brings it out of you to an extreme degree.

When you quit Adderall, you still demand perfection of yourself, but you don’t have the will to spend the focused time making something perfect anymore. You hate yourself for it, but you just can’t make it as perfect as you know it should be without your pills. The idea of doing something in way that is less than perfect — and less than hugely consequential — is hard for you to accept.

This contrast between wanting it perfect and not being able to make it perfect (as perfect as you could have on your pills) often results in a kind of perfection paralysis. That is, you can’t bring yourself to even start the work because you’re so self-conscious of your own sudden inability to produce something anywhere near your former standard of quality.

Back in the time before Adderall, you didn’t have this problem. You just wanted to get your unpleasant projects done and over with so you could get the grade and move on to perfecting the projects that mattered to you. Before you found Adderall, you would write the crappiest, laziest paper that would get you a B or an A grade. On Adderall, you try to get published in one sitting.

Now that you’ve quit, you need to learn how to half-ass things again. You need to re-learn how to accept far, far less than perfect in the name of getting it done and moving on.

Here’s your first assignment: Bullshit something. A paper for school, a project for work, or even a cleaning of your room. Just do something so half-assed that you’re ashamed of yourself when you turn it in. Barely cross that “minimum effort required” line and then stop and call it done. Now watch the results. You’ll be amazed at how few people notice.

6. Coasting

Once you take an Adderall pill, you’re going to be in “productivity mode” for at least the next four hours whether you like it or not. To keep working on a project, all you really need to do is point yourself in the right direction and start, and the Adderall will keep you moving along happy and focused. It’s kind of like pressing the cruise control button on your car. You turn wheel, and the cruise control will take care of the gas pedal.

On Adderall, there is no “letting off the gas.” Your pedal is pressed down for you.

When you quit Adderall, it’s like you suddenly think “What the fuck? I have to keep pressing this gas pedal down myself now? But that’s so much effort for my leg to have to do!”

I’m over-metaphorizing this, but the point is: Without Adderall, you have to constantly re-make your own motivation to do a task, even as you do it. If you let off the gas, car slows down. It’s a whole new world.

7. Shooting from the hip/under-planning

On Adderall, you can think about everything at once. You can carry a million variables inside your head and all you want to do is find something to apply them to for hours on end. You want to do work that is exciting, captivating, impressive. By comparison to doing the actual work, preparation-oriented tasks like planning and outlining feel boring and uncreative, so you skip them. You don’t need planning — you’re an Adderall-fueled genius! You dive into the project and chase every obsessive tangent until you finish (or until your dose wears off).

In the sober world, planning doesn’t just make things better, it makes them easier to do. Planning is one of the great reducers of effort and unpleasantness. Planning is often easy. And the more you plan, the easier the work is when you get to it.

In an Analogy

It’s moving day. You’ve got a big, heavy, oak cabinet that you have to move from one part of your house to another.

If you had unlimited physical strength, you could just walk up to the oak cabinet and start pushing and muscling it.

But you don’t have unlimited strength. You know you’re going to get tired after a few seconds of pushing. So you take your time putting down rollers and cloths to slide it on, measuring door frames, and planning your path before you ever start pushing. You have limited effort, so you naturally want to do things that will ensure that once you actually start exerting that effort, it will be as streamlined and efficient as possible. Plus, planning is an excuse not to have to start pushing yet.

As you’re pushing this painfully-heavy oak cabinet around your house, you might think about how great it would be to have unlimited strength like superman or something.

But the reality is: You wouldn’t actually move the cabinet better with unlimited strength. You’d forget to look where you’re going, you’d get overconfident, and you’d probably bang into a few things. Planning prevents those errors, but you don’t think to plan until it you have limited strength.

A planned world

After you’ve been off Adderall for a while, you start to realize that for most tasks, thurough planning followed by a little bit of effort will trump super-human effort that is unplanned. Most great projects are planned meticulously before major action is taken. Planning can make the difference in a quality product and a shoddy one; a repeatable success and a fluke.

Try this experiment: Go out and rent a movie that includes an extensive “Making Of” bonus feature. If you want to see detailed planning, watch a big-budget movie be made. Everything is scripted, cold-read, story-boarded, and set-designed before a camera even starts rolling. They don’t do this because they’re anal-retentive. They do this because it reduces effort and it’s more cost efficient.

Planning is your new best friend

Now that you’re off Adderall, you don’t have a choice: You have limited effort now. If you want to get something done without ripping your brain apart, you’re going to have to plan it a little. It may be uncomfortable at first, it may feel pointless and silly, but planning is the path to greatness in the world of the sober.

And nothing reduces effort like a little planning. If you’re freaking out over a project, step back and outline it. Break it down. Plan a little. Takes the edge right off.

8. Thinking that “work” is the same thing as “progress”

On Adderall, you have a tendency to convince yourself that productivity is the same as movement.  You’re making epic progress in your mind. You’re doing hugely creative things with style. You’re working harder than everyone around you and enjoying it. You’re such a hard worker, such a workaholic. And yet your life somehow seems to stay the same.

You’re knocking down so many trees that you forget to look at the forest and check your direction.

Work and productivity are nothing without constant awareness of longterm goals. A single hour of smartly-chosen work can often bring about greater results than days full of busywork.

The good news is that seeing the forest for the trees again will come naturally to you when you quit Adderall. Afterall, that’s why you’re quitting, isn’t it? To get your priorities straight again? Well, quitting Adderall will help you do that in spades.

If the problem of Adderall is not being able to see the forest for the trees, then the problem of being off Adderall is that all you can see is the forest. You have to learn how to chop down the trees again. But that’s a good thing. It is better to gravitate towards looking at the forest. It is natural for prioritizing to come easily, and work to come with effort. The way it is in Adderall World (work comes easily, prioritizing is difficult) is counter-productive, despite how productive it feels.

9. Infinite energy

With Adderall, you are never more than a pill pop away from 110% alertness, no matter how long you’ve been up. In fact, your biggest problem on Adderall is trying to relax because being overly-energized has become your natural state. There is no 3:00pm lull that can’t be fixed with a 10mg bump. You can let yourself crash if you have nothing to do, but if you’ve got work on your plate, you never have to worry about getting tired.

When you quit Adderall, you quickly realize why energy drinks like Red Bull are a multi billion-dollar market. Your energy level becomes a huge concern at every hour of the day. You feel like you’re tired all the time. At best, maybe there are a few spots in the day when you feel alright, but the rest of the time you feel like you’d much rather be at home in bed.

All the productivity tips in the world won’t help you if you can’t keep your energy up. It’s amazing how fast all your best intentions will go out the window when fatigue hits. For this reason, you must find a solution to your energy level problem. You must figure out your own personal method for staying productively awake for at least 9 hours a day.

Your natural tendency may be to try to stuff a bunch of sugar and carbs into your body to keep it awake like some kind of sugar-animated zombie. Don’t do that. Try to keep your snacks relatively healthy, and try to stay hydrated with water. But beyond that, having coffee at your desk can do the trick. Coffee won’t feel like Adderall, but it will keep your head up. After a while, that becomes all you need.

My personal energy solution: Coffee and granola in the morning gets me to lunch. Sometimes I can usually make it to the end of the day with just some snacks (fruit is the best), but if it gets really bad I’ll add another coffee. If I have stuff to do after work, I’ll grab a small coffee around 5pm as a booster, which will take me to bed time. I also exercise regularly and take Omegabrite every day (which made a noticable difference over other Omega 3 products).

91 Responses to “9 Adderall-Created Work Habits that You Must Overcome”

  1. InRecovery says:

    This was an awesome article, Mike. It answered a LOT of questions I’ve been asking myself lately. In fact, this was an excerpt from my most recent journal entry..

    “I would take it (adderall) then a few minutes later I would feel like working…Now? I don’t feel like working all the time anymore…What can I do now?”

    I am going to have to print this out and keep this as a reference. It helped me remember more the way I was before I got hooked on adderall. I’ve been struggling to remember that person since quitting. It’s also helping me make sense of the the way life is now.

    Your section on epic expectations totally made sense. Before adderall, I was always just getting by. Adderall turned me into this workhorse perfectionist with unlimited mental energy and enthusiasm of unlimited duration. I can’t be like that anymore. I have to learn to bullshit my way through life again – just like before… And bullshitting works just as well.

    I loved the section on “Thinking work is the same as progress”…On adderall I was always making huge, enormous “epic prgress in my mind” – lol. But you’re right. Life stayed exactly, exactly the same…

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks, InRecovery! Glad it helped. Quitting Adderall is kind of like walking back into your life after X years of amnesia. You will encounter a hundred things that feel at once novel and strangely familiar. You’ll come to a conclusion about some aspect of your life that departs from the notions you’ve grown accustomed to on Adderall, and you will marvel at how “this new way” seems to suit you so well, only to realize later that it’s a choice that fits the person you used to be…the person you were supposed to be….the person you are now again.

    So hang in there! You’re asking all the right questions and identifying the problems. Now it’s just a matter of getting used to the solutions. :-p

  3. Kari says:

    Wow, it’s been months since I’ve been on here. Last time I was going to quit but needed to finish school first. Well, I’m out of school and still taking it…shocker.

    I got it in my head that adderall was working for me (you know cuz I enjoy doing work & I look so tiny, hah) so I decided I didn’t need to quit. Then today, my boyfriend asked me to see a movie but I told him no because I need to clean. WHAT!? I’d rather clean than enjoy a movie with my boyfriend? Pathetic.

    I am in my own little ‘organizing and being perfect’ world and it’s not normal. So I’m back hoping I can end this once and for all. I’m scared as hell that I’ll gain weight and my life will collapse before my eyes, but I can’t be on drugs forever. This article was spot on and so motivational, I just printed it out to read again and again. Thanks Mike.

  4. MARCO says:

    Its true…
    I use to be a sailing ship with no direction …wow now ..i plan..were i am heading in 2 years from now ..
    great…but i don’t like to stuck with it…WHAT IS THE PLAN ??
    this is my dream now ….I need to make sort of business or Project some think will not need me to be think or alerted to any think..then i will go to stop aderall …it beens years were i did not care about planing …wow

  5. Robert says:

    Marco, I didn’t quite catch what you are saying…?

  6. Leeloo says:

    Thx this website … Very good summary! Found some really useful things to think about. Ohmygod I am so grateful I’m off, I’m me again 🙂 I like me, it turns out. Has been ~ 2weeksish … What’s helped me? L-tyrosine and others, omega 3, B vitamins, NAPs, very important, need many, and exercise, cardio. Much love!

  7. JR says:

    Wow, glad I finally Googled “quitting adderall”! This article is EXACTLY my life for the past 3 years. Right now, I haven’t taken my morning Addy and I’m trying to trudge my way through some very menial tasks and I’m bored to death and don’t have the motivation to move on to the important stuff. This website is going to be a big factor in getting off of the junk. Unfortunately, knowing myself, I have at least a month’s supply of Adderall on hand and will use them if they are there. But thanks for the site. Great information and motivation to quit for good!

  8. Possibles says:

    This site and these posts have been really helpful in remembering why i quit adderall. i stopped around my 28th birthday after taking the drug for about 10 years where the height of these apparently common symptoms had gotten way out of control and maybe then some. The forest for the trees analogy was spot on, as was just about everything said about adderall dependency and recovery …. i guess the point is that it’s been 8 months without it and while the 72 hour binges are hazy memories now, i still miss it and think about starting up again… only different this time(haha cliché i know).
    Sobriety at first had helped me be social again. I reestablished contacts with friends, got involved with soccer again, ate again, slept every night again, showered and kept up hygiene again, did the work needed to pass the classes again… but it’s just not the same as when i’d never taken it. I can’t expect it to be for many reasons but i guess what i notice most is that i no longer have drive or desire and that effects relationships, overeating, or just eating and never exercising, oversleeping, bare minimum on projects(which certainly doesn’t fly in the art world), messy home, poor health habits, foolish impulsive behavior when out drinking, long nights of movie marathoning to the point of getting sore… it’s all just been pretty pathetic for the most part.
    I miss the writing, the free drawing, the whimsical projects, the investigation into science, philosophy, self and soul. i thought my introverted tendencies accentuated with the baby blue pills where something i needed to shed to make life better again, and while i certainly needed to dial it back a bit(a lot a bit), i now realize that those were some of the best qualities about me. Even if it didn’t always come off as impressionable to everybody else, at least i still thought i was interesting for exploring this stuff. at least i felt i was making a difference for the better, was journeying through the struggle to find meaning, explore the metaphysical consciousness or whatever. i don’t have that anymore. and i miss it. i o fasho needed a break and now i’ve had it but am still skeptical on who is it in me that says refilling my prescription is a good idea and/or for the better. (?)
    I’ve had some distance now to gather up what was adderall and what was me, and to my surprise most of the neg emotions i blamed on the drug where actually natural emotions. ie feeling anxious, zombied out or sometimes unbearable disinterest in the small talk of people wasn’t just the drug, but were from crowded rooms of new people, going to class after not going to bed that night, or hanging around with certain people who i obviously don’t have much in common with.
    I want to do better. I want to care more, and i want this to work like i deep down believe it can. I also wish these weren’t such vague terms but often times i think the universe has set it up this way for a reason. IDK, on one hand adderall allowed me to destroy my life, on the other hand the baby blues have allowed me to tap into something very spiritual that i cannot ignore forever… the rebuilding during sobriety feels stagnant and the calling to revisit the blue shadow feels reformable. i’ll post this and sleep on it

  9. Mike R says:

    This article might make sense for people who do not have ADHD and never should have been taking Adderall, but for me, these are not struggles that only appeared after stopping Adderall. These are the problems I’ve had my whole life, which Adderall did help with, even if it wasn’t a magic bullet.

  10. Brian G says:

    I agree with Mike. This doesn’t seem applicable to me at all, and I have ADHD combined type. These “habits” seem more like side effects from taking the medicine “as wanted” rather than as directed.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What if i felt like that before taking Adderall? Am just naturally lazy or what? I just took my first Adderall pill, and i worked like a bull. Part of me is just telling myself i’m a lazy piece of shit and that its Adderall doing all the work. However, through-out my entire life I have always been a slacker even in things i like not being able to keep aware of whats going around me for 30 minutes best if i force myself to do something and motivate myself completely like telling myself how i’m going to wind up being a screw-up and disappointing everyone who counts on me, that usually gets me going for 30 minutes but then i get really tired and usually take a nap or do something else for 30 minutes and then switch up again.

    Overall, that one Adderall pill made me get my shit together and after taking it and waiting a couple of hours (12+) I was still on my A game, perhaps not as strongly as my A++ game with Adderall however I was still doing better than before and I didn’t take another pill or feel the urge to. Is it possible that one 10 mg dosage of Adderall awakened me from my lazy past?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and also before i took the adderall pill i used to stay up late at night and pull allnighters even without energy drinks, just jumping from subject to subject trying to concentrate on something and stick with it. I’d say im a natural perfectionist. Any help?

    I’m deadly scared of being addicted to anything as I have been a moderate pothead for a 6 month period but quit because i thought pot was the cause of my laziness but when i stopped i was even more lazy and with pot I actually got some work done by listening to trance music and just zoning out and working. I’ve remembered myself to be this lazy since forever always managing C’s to B’s since preschool.

    Any help or am i just naturally lazy?

    I’ve tried many many times to change my mindset. However i’m currently trying to convince myself that the adderall pill i took was just a placebo and i just need to work my ass off and forcing myself to do things that i have to do. The funny part is I start the projects (without meds) and can go in for 30 minutes top and i’d get distracted by the internet while surfing for documentation and just stray completely off of my project(i’m a programmer).

  13. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU! GREAT ARTICLE! This is def somethig ive been looking for, it almost makes me sad thats after reading these articles thats its harder to justify the dependency. Ive been on this for 12 years and im about to pull my first all-nighter with a a full day of work yesterday and one ahead of me today. I have a splitting headache. Any adivce about seeing myself through a transition such as this while proving myself in my first corporate job and hussling the corp ladder for a promo-when is the right time-slowly ?

  14. lori says:

    What about for people who have some variant of chronic fatigue, and whose life has been markedly improved by adderall. Yes, I am very afraid of addiction but my life is soooooo much better on adderall, taken as prescribed.

  15. Notadoctor says:

    Am I reading this article right? Way to paint a bright picture on life buddy. I have taken adderall on and off for nearly ten years (at some times, more than needed) and only the times when I took too much would I have these negative side effects (worked, thought, and explored like a crack junkie yet got nothing done.) However, without taking adderall, I would have followed in the footsteps of what society (and this depressing article) tell us to do and that is settle. So I make a decision on my major in college at the age of 18 and follow that career path for the rest of my working life, ideally. This would have inevitably landed me at a boring job where work was WORK as described in this article. Graduated general business. Luckily, while in the process of looking for a job, I had a bit of down time where I was on adderall and gained a major interest in physics. Why? Because my mind was forced to be explored. I was forced to dream, and I was forced to do. Went back to school. My second degree was aeronautical engineering and I love every day at work. For those of you who dream on adderall, don’t let somebody tell you that it’s wrong or it’s bad, because even if things seem bad, you’ve still got your dreams (no matter what you have to take.) For those of you whom it hurts, don’t take as much bc too much adderall is def unhealthy for the mind and body. For those of you who completely disagree, have fun hating your job and working for someone with a dream. Long story short, no matter how you feel, never settle for less than what you are! Good luck to you all

  16. eddie b says:

    This is probably the single most direct hitting article for me. I had not been able to put this things into words; and now here they are. This is a great article. Thank you! This will most definitely change my life. I don’t know ‘me’ anymore.

  17. anonymous says:

    Bullshit. Medicate America to induce productivity!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely love adderall. It goes in spurts. Sometimes I”d take 80 mg (10 throughout the day). Other times I go off of it for 2 weeks to lower my tolerance. People drink coffee. They smoke. They eat butter. Yes yes the long term effects of adderall are dangerous, but combined with a healthy diet and rigorous exerice (Which actually allows you to go to sleep rather than stay up) I think people can do drugs responsibly 🙂

  19. Cameron says:

    I’ve been talking adderall for about 4-5 years now. I feel like I literally could not function without it. Everything you said in this article is from a very different/logical place. The biggest thing for me was the Work Vs. Productivity. It makes a lot of sense. & I think a lot of people that take adderall have felt as if they are spinning their wheels and going no where. You feel like your doing so much good for your life, and then nothing happens. It kinda hurts. I think adderall has put me into this artificial world, and Im experiencing nothing that is natural. Ever wonder why people that take adderall like sharing? They hate to be on it alone. You cant relate to people who arent on it. Whats happening in the brain isnt normal.

  20. ABCD says:

    Hi Mike,
    Did you encounter memory problems? Back when I used dextroamphetamine (similar to Adderall) in January 2011-November 2011, I stayed up on it a lot to study; I’d sleep for around 6 hours during 2-3 days a week because I was just so obsessed with working while on dex. I ended up with A+’s and A’s in my classes at a well-known rigorous university before I crashed in October/November and had to get off, but it’s been frustrating me that I have forgotten almost everything I “learned” in those classes even if I did perform at the top of my classes then. It’s supposed to be a subject where I’m entering a PhD program in as well, so I’m really concerned that I have not retained information that I “worked so hard” on during that time. What do you think went wrong? And has anyone experienced anything similar?

  21. Anne says:

    I think Notadoctor resonates with me, adderall gave me the ability to discover new things that I otherwise could not appreciate. I actually laughed out loud when I read the part in this article about epic perfection expectations. I just wanted to be able to understand others, read instructions, write a sentence which was grammatically sound, and, actually, BE the person who I feel I am inside, otherwise saddled by this kink in my wheels which is ADHD. Without adderall, I feel like I am flying in a cloud. With adderall, I understand what most people do normally. Perfection? Please. I am lucky when I don’t send an email to the wrong person, and that happens daily without the medication.

  22. Kc says:

    Wow this article was great. It is 100% factual. A very good explanation of what adderall does to you and why it is so hard to not take the stuff. Everything is easier on adderall. This article was an eye opener for me. Good job.

  23. Lorrie Heleker says:

    Reading this made me wonder whether the author had ADD, or whether he just wanted to focus more efficiently. All the symptoms he described as how he reacted on Adderall describe my life without Adderall. As an adult with a fairly severe case of ADD, I am calmer and more methodical with Adderall. I no longer obsess over activities, waiting until I can create the perfect project. I no longer feel like I can’t do a project at work or home unless I have the time to compulsively focus on it until completion. Now I can clean a room anytime. Before, if I couldn’t clean a room to the baseboards, I would not even begin. I spent a lot of time thinking and planning rather than doing. I think that Adderall is great for people who actually have ADD; not for people who want better performance or an energy boost.

  24. I Would Like to take the time to thank each one of you and the countless others that made all of this progress is functioning well and making a small profit.

  25. breanna says:

    sometimes i agree with/relate to the posts on here and sometimes i hate them because i feel like they only recognize the negatives and could talk people out of taking a drug that could legitimately improve their lives.

    that being said, i’m not sure how much i want to trust advice from someone who can’t differentiate between your and you’re.

  26. Mike says:

    @Breanna – My biggest problem with this site is that anyone can find it. If I could limit the views to only those who are trying to quit Adderall, and exclude people who are actually benefiting from Adderall, I would. Until then, I try to adjust the site where I can to be more explicit about its purpose, offer a prominent disclaimer, and correct misconceptions when they arise.

    Also: Sorry about that “you’re” misuse. I’m trying to get better about proofreading. I think I’ve corrected the one you were referring to (if not, let me know). Thanks for the tip.

  27. Tommie says:

    There seems to be many cases of abusing the drug on this site. The author identified the problems, but failed to mention the solutions. Yes, abused and not taken regularly it will be an up and down roller coster of cognitive thoughts. I can relate to all of it, but to take the correct path of the effect and controlling the cause leading to it, is a completely adult decision. If you obsess to much step back and take a deep breath and decide what you really need to complete. If this is too hard you are simply taking too much. The pros severely out weigh the cons. I questioned the effects of it, but when I was met with a great deal of responsibility the adderall came through and it’s true affects made me much more, efficient, intelligent, and social. Adderall supresses so many cravings, which is a blessing. As for not going anywhere in your life that’s because you were not focusing on things that matter. I am the most efficient employee at my job and have several projects going on outside of it. I thought I was different than others and I can tell from this site, I am right. I have friends that abuse it and some that only take it when they study, this is all wrong. As for planning, I plan way more and at an accelerated rate than I did before. There are so many aspects to taking this drug successfully. I’m so confused on how many of you say being efficient is bad and you think relaxing is better. To be blunt the best word to describe the affects of Adderall is efficient. This article is very well written on identifying hazards, but you can’t stop there you need to take the time to mitigate and solve the problem by being proactive and efficient. By the way I’m a Health, Safety, and Environmental Specialist; in the most demanding industry in the world and I learned to adapt to the challenges I was faced with. Humans, psychologically, deal with challenges in one way or the other and I choose the ladder. One more thing, when I “obsess” and make operations more “efficient” in my industry, I save lives; which is worth it all by itself.

  28. roxbury27 says:

    Tommie. This is a site for people who are trying to quit adderall. It offers support, not solutions. It’s a wonderful site.

  29. unkewl says:

    @ tommie :p This is a witch hunt site^_^. He always tries to make things seem like there “whats going to happen” when infact he is just spouting his random opinions and passing them off as definites, or worse facts when they are far from it. Lol the fact that he has his website bounced threw about 30 proxies says something in itself. Bet 200$ he also ahs illegal drug charges on his record >.> :p

  30. Elizabeth says:

    This is the first article I have read that I can actually relate to on my quest for an adderall-free life. I started taking adderall my sophomore year of college and now, six years later, I am battling the war within myself to drive to the drug store and refill my prescription, or to simply shred and toss the shit. Adderall has been both my enemy and greatest love. When I’m on it, mid-high, having the time of my life organizing my closet, I swear we’ll never part. Then midnight comes, I can’t sleep, my thoughts get to me, I feel alone, and I swear I never want to touch those poison-bead filled capsules for the rest of my life. Then 9am rolls around, and I pop a pill. Unquestionably. Only I can’t stop at just one. It’s ALWAYS about the high and when I will feel it next. My life resolves around that 30-minute-post-ingestion feeling of invincibility and productivity. Endless lists of things to do, which do not even remotely need to be done. I am a machine. Then I take a step back and realize I have made ZERO PROGRESS IN MY LIFE. I have isolated myself from friends– choosing Pinterest projects or reorganizing my nail polish collection over getting a few drinks with my once closest pals. And to the person who “matters most”? My boyfriend who is the sweetest, most loyal, and loving man on the planet? I am mean, snappy, short, and distant when our 9-5pm’s end and we get to spend a few hours together eating dinner and watching a movie. Off adderall, there is nothing I’d love more. On adderall, this is a disruption to my productivity. He is an inconvenience. And I hate myself for it. Even worse, he has no idea about my addiction. I absolutely hate the person I have become. Yet why do I continue taking it? For that instant high and feeling of satisfaction, when I know deep down inside I can’t keep living like this. To find false joy in movement (not productivity) that gets me no where. I want to slow down and breathe and enjoy life as it should be enjoyed. If only I could get through the baby steps. Like right now. I cannot get out of bed. But I’m going to do it. I have to do it. I must prove to myself this is possible. Because it is.

  31. Amanda J says:

    This is a phenomenal article. Thank you so much. I came across this article while google-ing the mental health risks of adderall. I’m glad to know I’m not alone.

  32. chrixian says:

    lol #5 is so dead on .. as a programmer it can be hell even starting on something because i have to think thru everything and have the perfect end result already existing in my mind .. needless to say that rarely works out .. people know to come to me for fixing existing projects not starting new ones 😀

  33. christian man says:

    Just popped an adderall to read this, some very good points made.

  34. kayla says:

    I can’t begin to tell to express what an impact this post had on my overall view of adderall and my adderall addiction. I love the metaphors and felt like this was truly the only post I can relate to. I’m wondering what you think on occasionally using adderall as a productivity boost? As you mentioned, my worst fear is that I will no longer be the productive, successful employee/student/girlfriend I once was. This post helped me realize that I was once ENOUGH and I can be without the drug, but I’m nervous to venture that battle. What if when I was productive and feeling “enough” I just wasn’t utilizing my full capabilities? If my employer has learned to expect certain expectations of me (while I was on adderall), how do I continue to provide that same satisfactory work? Will the occasional pill matter in the long run of my overall career and future success? Do other non-drug users feel this urge for adderall to get them through work/education settings? Also, after a long day of work (and adderall using) I find myself wanting and consuming alcohol more often. Could adderall contribute to an alcohol problem?
    Thanks so much again for this post. It really is so empowering to know you’re not alone.

  35. Ryan says:

    Adderall kills your spirit and makes you feel inadequate without it. Why live a numb life? Embrace the real you, thats when you’re at your best.

  36. red_eyes_32 says:

    I am reading this on the morning of day 3 (…day 3 of an unwanted binge.. so please excuse any grammar fail)

    Prior to coming across this website, I would only ever find heavily biased garbage or drug-user forums. Basically, I could never quite resonate with anything until I found this page in the heaps of tabs I opened moments ago.

    I really appreciate this website and the resources provided. Also this 10-work-habits post has answered a few of the questions I keep swirling around as a distraction to keep my Adderall alive.

    One of many conflicts in my mind is about, how unenthusiastic I am when working and how embarrassed I feel sometimes at the quality of work without Adderall. ( “if I had adderall, I could make this 50x more awesome!” )

    But I think what you are saying here is, for the rest of the non-adderall workforce: Work kind of sucks period and so does everyone’s quality of work?

    I really never ever thought about that. I am not sure it will be easy to accept that, but at least it’s something I will be thinking about now.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I really appreciate this site. I take Adderall, but still struggle with the pro’s & con’s of all pharmaceuticals in general. I am 23 so I try to assume that I will learn in time if this is right for me or not. Sometimes I hate your articles but honestly, there is a lot of negative information on the internet about Adderall already that can be blown off as from people who just don’t get it because they haven’t tried it or are bitter about it. I think you do an amazing job of reminding us that take it or have taken it, the negative aspects and what to look out for. This article had great points that I think are applicable to anyone that struggles with productivity or ADD. Props!

  38. anonymous says:

    @Breanna- you’re a bitch.

    @Mike- you’re an angel. you write this amazing article, and even when people act bitchy about it’s imperfection (your, you’re) you still ride out and treat them with dignity and class. thanks for making my day

    ps. 2nd day on Adderall, loving it so far, thanks for all the great advice, I will definitely use caution going forward. 🙂

  39. Jameee says:

    THank you Mike!

    I just recently quite adderall as my life was falling apart before my eyes.

    I have been on it for about a year and a half and it destroyed my relationships with my family, friends and boyfriend, not to mention I went from a strait A student always on the deans list to dropping out of college this semester because I had too much anxiety. I found myself doing exactly what you said regarding projects. I would put it off til last minute and then I would try to make it the greatest thing ever taking way too much time on small details. I would then not finish in time, then I wouldnt go to class, which defeats the whole purpose of staying up. I would make excuses why I couldnt watch a movie with him because I was too freakin jitttery and wanted to clean something! SMH

    As for anyone who thinks this drug will help them….

    ….YOUR WRONG. ADDERALL IS JUST LEGAL COCAINE and you will hit the wall and fall off the wagon, eventually. As you slowly increase your dose, because of your built up tolerance, you will have a hard time seeing your self transform into a Euphoric-chasing-pillpoppin-Zombie

    . I mean come on people, they banned this stuff in CANADA!

  40. Carl says:

    I have read through the many opinions and feelings posted here and want to mention that many may not realize the symptoms they describe are so close to that of methamphetamine. After all only the prefix is different ie dextro / meth. Maybe if viewed in this light it will be that added help to stop for those who wish to do so. To be honest I can barely tell the difference between the two other than the means of ingestion. Good luck to all no matter what your intentions are

  41. Giselle says:

    I’ve been taking 30mg of Adderall everyday for 10 years. I’ve felt everything you wrote about. But the last 3 yrs or so I don’t feel like doing much when I don’t take it and I feel very foggy. Then when I do take it, it gets me going for about 2 hours then I still don’t feel like doing much but I’m tense, anxious and usually have a headache. What should I do?! I’m 22! I have a 2yr old daughter I stay home with all day. My husband works all day. All I do is sit around kinda/sorta clean and usually make dinner. What the hell is wrong with me? I hardly do anything, I’m freaking tired and I take ADDERALL!! I went to the doctors a few months ago saying all this and they kinda just laughed, they checked my thyroid and everything is fine. Help me out please!!

  42. madhu says:

    The truest testaments to Adderall I have ever read. Nothing good/productive in life comes without effort, if it is- you must be doing something wrong. Please try to get this out to a bigger news paper or a magazine for more people to read and help themselves untangle from the webs of medicated highs.


  43. Robert says:

    I am pretty sure this article is from the perspective of a ex abuser of adderall… I use it for ADD, if I take to much, I get sleepy and want to do nothing. Before adderall, I woke up everyday hating what had to be done, no motivation to get out of bed unless I was going to do something fun, even if I didnt have to do something unpleasant that day. At work, I would constantly bounce around, walking into my office to write an email, get a call or notice an important email and forget about what I came in the office to do and get overwhelmed at the difficulty of completing tasks. I have a above average IQ, I can give you random facts and discuss about almost any subject but could never focus on anything that took very long to learn. Now I am learning c++, I have gotten 10X as far as it took in the same amount of time to learn VB pre-adderall. I didnt know what it felt like to feel normal, I felt crappy everyday, it was like depression and I was treated for that without success for a long time. This drug has a high potential for abuse, if you have a real doctor that is recommending it, you have appropriate self control, use it. Dont be ashamed that you need this type of medication, from someone that hated amphetamines and avoided treatment for over 20 years, it changed my life.

  44. Robert says:

    @Giselle: If your a add sufferer like me, sounds that way, ask your doctor to change your medication. Try ritalin, strattera, dexedrine etc. They all are similar meds but chemically diffrent, if your med stops being effective due to tolerance that change should help. I myself, if I take more than 30mgs in a day get super tired about an hour after the last dose, if you just upped your dosage that can also be the cause.

  45. K.P says:

    I FEEL ALOT LIKE GISELLE ALSO!! (maybe we need out of the house!! ughh)
    So I REALLY loved the article! I’ve been on adderall for maybe 6 months..?? BUT I’m not sure what is going on with me..I have always been told that I was ADD but hated “uppers” (ex opiate addict-4yrs clean) well after being told again that I have ADHD I finally tried it out. but for me, Ive actually gotten MORE lazy. putting things off, such as SHOWERING!!! like really!? dont worry I still shower lol but I have to force myself to do it. I always forget what I was doing or talking about in the middle of a conversation, I lose track of time & never want to leave my house…but I do NOT GET ENERGY! & ppl actually joke about how “slow I am” & am always late for everything! I will actually have jobs lined up and then when its time to go I get scared to even go! and I actually will get tired while on it.. extremely tired to the point where Im sleeping sooo much! (13hrs last night) and the WORST part about this is, I have a 2yr old and I stay at home with my child & never even want to go outside or take her out! again…I have to force myself. I do not know what to do!!!! I’m wondering if this is from the adderall & I may not be taking enough or if this is depression (which I’ve tried every depression med out there in the past & no luck!) on top of all this I’ve had severe anxiety/panic disorder since I can remember!!! (25 now) I have been on meds for that though. I feel like my dreams & passion is fading away & dont know what is going on!!!!!!! not sure if anyone has any idea what this could be..???? I know you are not doctors, but thats why I’m here. I WANT TO HEAR FROM EXPERIENCE. HELLLPPP!! will check back in a few days or so..not sure if anyone even checks these..? just came across this site looking up my symptoms.

  46. Want to start again... says:

    WEll … I Was taking adderall for a couple years when I was 19 unprescribed… Probably about 30-60mgs a day… After seeing my life go in a direction i truly knew it should not be going, i decided to quit… It was difficult and surely not something I was used to, because with all other drugs, i never made them a habit.

    I got through it, found an amazing woman, job, house, and two dogs. Things are great! But can they be greater?? Now I am a manager at a small company with my eyes on taking over ownership. I feel that a dose of adderall in the right way can be what helps take me to the next level…

    My question is, does anyone think this is possible? or is it the addict coming out in my 10 years later? I have taken 10mg’s here and there over the past 10 years, whether to stay up for a concert, or wake up early for a big inspection. Never have I done it more than once in a 6 month period. However now I feel I should see a doctor and have this become part of my life, on a slightly more frequent basis…..

    Am I insane??

  47. quit-once says:

    yes, you are crazy for thinking you can handle adderall or any other stimulant ever again. Once an addict, always an addict. If things are going well for you now, STAY THE FUCK OFF SPEED! You are playing with fire every time you take a pill “now and then”
    If you go back on the adderall after ten years of freedom, you are fucking nuts.

  48. Don't start again. says:


  49. Don't. says:

    Maybe make a list of all the pros and cons to help you decide.

  50. Cynthia says:

    I don’t think you guys really have ADHD. It’s been a torment all my life. I got fired from 5 jobs and divorce 2 times I’m on my third marriage. My children’d had to yell so I can stop myself from thinking and answer their question. I hate cleaning bc I get so distracted. I just napped when I was home to avoid going out. I hated appointments I missed them purposely. I used to constantly lose my keys, my id and my purse. I have no license bc I forgot to pay a 80 ticket. I love adderall. I will never go back to the life. My family are much happier. Get a second opinion bc ADHD is not what you had.

  51. Kelly says:

    This article is amazing. I was addicted for 2 years and it was ruining my life. Five months ago I went cold turkey and I am finally starting to get some motivation back. Everything in this article is very accurate and well written.

  52. RedHotBlue says:

    Wow. This article and comments are exactly what I was looking for. I’ve been on the drug for over 11 years after being diagnosed with bipolar. I did fantastic in school and graduated with honors but my career has totally fallen apart (or never got off the ground) since I graduated 5 years ago. I am back in retail now for the past two years earning the same amount doing the same job I did was in college. My confidence was so shaken to the core from being fired from two office jobs and I always wonder if it was because there was a disconnect on the personal level vs. task level of the job at hand because of the adderall. I have no problem getting hired but then it all comes crashing down a few months later. I struggle with taking too much. I am prescribed 60mg a day but often take way, way more than that. I relate alot to people who said there is a certain spiritual connection and they like to read and explore and create. But I also believe I have memory problems from adderall. I’ve been on it so long I feel like I don’t even know who I really am because every day when I take it and create this task driven day and measure my productivity often at the expense of investing in other relationships. I’m very scared to get off it, let alone figure out how to control my impulsive need to take more and more. I feel like I am missing a sense of self. I don’t feel whole. The worst part is knowing what it is and then choosing to experience that aftermath of getting off it. Why choose to put yourself through that? What is the reward in the end? I need the strength to find a reason to quit or cutback. I know it is really unhealthy and almost everyday I berate myself for taking so many drugs but I feel almost bullied into having to accept that I am bipolar and there is no other option for me to be ‘normal’. Adderall makes me feel like I am a weak person because I can’t do things without it. Its like a created false sense of confidence. I need advice on how to strengthen my self-control. I would probably be considered an addict and alcoholism is rampant in my family. Thanks for your advice, condolence, and help.

  53. Jolo says:

    The funniest thing is he wrote it on Adderall 😉 JK

  54. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I’ve been on here several times but skimming over this list of 9 truisms about what it’s like before/after Adderall was right on. I have been off of it for 15 months after over 10 years on it including the last few at 90mg a day. I lost my full time teaching job on it, got downgraded in a part time ministry job, and find myself clinging to hope and trying every supplement out there to make me “feel” like getting the things that are vital to my life done. It’s combined with lifelong depression, severe ADD, and anxiety that I also have to battle through. Just do it seems trite but so far the only remedy that actually might work. I say “might” because I’ve fallen so far short of achieving anything substantial. This is harder to take because despite my self-loathing and depression, I know I am an exceptional musician able to play most anything I hear immediately and have a music education degree on top of it. My supplement search has taken me through l-tyrosine, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, 5-htp, aniracetam (best so far), gotu kola, and rhodiola rose to name some, including bouts of actually eating all organic, and exercising for half hour to an hour every day and also some attempts at self-hypnosis and meditation. Still, I’d rather wallow in stagnation and lack of knocking down my “to do’s” apparently because here I am using procrastination method #593 to avoid what I need to do; i.e., writing about how much I’m sucking at life right now than doing something productive. My next hope that I get the same push I used to get from adderall will be (when I have some $$) to try adrafinil which is a precursor to modofinal as I understand it. To just feel half of the wakefulness and euphoria I felt on adderall especially the confidence that it gave me that I COULD succeed I would sure like to have. If I knew what I know now and had a redo of adderall at a lower dose is even in my mind which I need to forget because I know it’s not good. Someone out there have opinions or thoughts on this?

  55. Don Gaudreau says:

    Jolo I have a sense of humor and can laugh at my situation but it struck me as a little cold to simply write what you wrote about Redhotblue’s anguish of being on Adderall if you’ve been there too. If you haven’t been there, good for you but a little encouragement along with the joke would be good too. I know this isn’t a support group site per se but it would be great if it didn’t degenerate into negativity or meanness. Some people come here in a pretty fragile condition. I actually think the comment was funny too but then thought of the crap I’ve been through thanks to this modern marvel of pharmaceuticals. So, lol, my rambling is not Adderall fueled as his might have been so I’ll leave on this note;’ Hang in there Redhotblue, and know that being off it is better than what you’re going through even though you’ll miss being on it.

  56. Don Gaudreau says:

    btw, my earlier post (#54) was not intended to be listed as “anonymous”

  57. quit-once says:

    Don, this web site has an amazing support group over on the forums. I encourage you to become a member and participate as it sounds like you could provide valuable insight to people who are just beginning their quit.

  58. Chrissy says:

    When I was 19 my doctor prescribed me adderall with a good intent .. Considering I was on academic probation at Bucknell and more concerned about the Greek like there . She wanted me to focus on class . It fucked me for almost 6 years . my whole life and has left bad bad bad memories to ..and I’m not even allowed back at home anymore and rarely speak to my family .
    Was sober for a year and boy I was back I don’t know wtf happened why I did it .
    Then all the money I saved I spent and I go from dr to dr and worry about getting more and running out. And don’t ever go to the gym just got fired for being late Still haven’t finished school , was on aid but dismissed because after a few weeks on adderall I stopped going to class I’m nuts on it cause of high high doses / I like the euphoria cause to forget how much this all sucks I love everything wih it and am easily entertained doing nothing.
    My boyfriend knows about my addiction and thinks I quit but I fool people easily . I really don’t know why he has stayed with me he gives me money and food and his wonderful and is trying to help me look at nursing schools around here but I’m scared I can’t et it off . I sleep for days and get so said heck if it’s past my dose time I can feel myself getting more depressed I know that ally of it is probably that I have lost everything that makes me who I am because of this frickin devil pill ..: my cross country running , my artwork , I volunteered , school job ,..all friends I don’t have a single friend even today I talk to its so sad and pathetic. My whole family I lost them. All I have is my boyfriend .i hate being so alone maybe the adderall is my friend that’s why I also like it … Does anyone know of anything to help ? Help me please help me .. I tried all that stuff I can’t Been since August again help in want my life again thanks

  59. Mr. Right says:

    I’ve done adderall in the past here and there but then took it for a 6 month stretch. Never had a script, just got it from buddies. In that stretch I stopped for a few days a couple times and felt the can’t get out of bed feeling. Well guess what folks, pull your ass out of bed and go for a run. (It’s not impossible to get out of bed, you have to use your mental powers to do it. If there was a fire in the house, you could jump up and get out no problem).

    Starting to feel tired again later in the day? Go for another run!

    It’s impossible not to feel energized after a run. Never heard anyone in my life claim they feel better without taking a run.

    Nobody can blame this drug, only themselves. If you start exercising regularly, at least once a day, and you still feel the same way, I will be proven wrong. If you are feeling shitty off it and you don’t exercise off it, you just prove you are lazy and should just go right back on it.



  61. change is hard says:

    I’ve been on and off Adderall a few times now. Each time I stop taking Adderall, I eventually quit my job due (!) to utter lack of motivation and lack of focus to do the work assigned to me. Maybe this is depression. I’ve taken meds for that too without any improvement.

    I just find it generally soul-crushing that I spend 40 hours of the week (not including the overhead of commutes) doing things that put money in my pocket and keep me alive and healthy long enough to resume the same routine after a 48 hour break from it. I think about how I will be doing this for years, decades to come, and I feel like life is largely worthless on account of that fact alone.

    Adderall gives me the energy to get out of bed and confront this reality despite its absurdity. It allows me to make that 45 minute trip that I didn’t want to, to drop off that one thing at the post office, to go get the haircut I’ve needed for weeks, to finally wash the laundry I dig through every morning to find the least-dingy pair of drawers.

    I want to quit because I realize it’s an artificial crutch. But I guess it’s not too distinct from one taking medication that might keep him or her alive. I have a sickness of the brain and this is how I manage the symptoms.

    For every time I try to “free” myself from this I fail miserably within a few months. The quality of my work falls to deplorable levels, I get less done in a span of time, and I am just a lazier and less motivated person in general. I tell myself that I will just “try harder”, but this is the illusion of free will. It might not be too distinct from a paraplegic attempting to walk. Physically, this is impossible; the will to do it is irrelevant. My brain needs a wheelchair to get around in life. There’s no getting around it.

    But to say I’m not counting down the hours until I’m off work is false. I can’t wait to go home right now even though I just took my second dose for the day.

    I’ll quit when I can maintain my life without it.

  62. Thank you says:

    A godsend article for me. thank you

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  64. James chetsky says:

    This is honestly the best representation of adderall I have ever read. As someone who regularly takes adderall for study purposes, I have never read an article that’s hits it right on the head so well. Good work, well written.

  65. Bob Carr says:

    How simplistic and silly this article is. This man it up and live without proper medication is based on the puritanical ideals. Some people, particularly those who don’t have adhd, don’t understand that it’s a biological problem not a issue of will. Like typical Americans instead of understanding, you much prefer the truly lazy route of blaming and punishing the victim and the sufferer.

  66. Frank Ortiz says:

    This comes at a perfect time!! I’ve been without Adderall for almost 3 years (took it for almost 3 years too) I still have a lot of issues with staying focus (squirrel), and finding the “will” to do anything that’s not interesting, but are responsibilities. I think about going back to Adderall, probably everyday. I’ve gained a lot of weight, and even though I lost so much weight with Adderall (the right way. Eating 7 times a day and working out), it’s hard to remember exactly what I did back then. Everything is as if it didn’t exist, or a movie. I feel as if I want to remember motivation to get healthy again. I’ve dealt with being overweight since I was 11 years old, so with Adderall, I was able to focus on losing weight, which is why I was so successful in it. I even went back to school and was VERY successful at work. It’s tough, but I found out that planning makes things easier- even though It does feel dumb. I also was able to break a silence, after 19 years. I was molested when I was 11, and never (and really havent) told many people. But the constant thought of that, since 11, and telling myself that it really didn’t happen to me, and since it did happen, there’s something wrong with me, and living with shame, that all this thought kept my mind (at least subconsciously), kept me away from the real life. Since I broke my silence, since have become a bit easier, especially with the eating. Now I understand my triggers, and what makes me over eat. This was the most important thing I’ve ever done. And I said it a year ago, and it made me understand a lot of myself. With the help of God, church groups, and sponsor, I do love myself a lot more, even though I gained all the weight that I had lost back (140+ lbs). The brain is a powerful thing, and getting more control of it has helped me a lot. Now I feel like Adderall is NOT what I need, but I miss the effect.

  67. KML says:

    fantastic. so true, this made me laugh! it’s so hard. thank you 🙂

  68. M Grace says:

    This article explained everything I knew deep down but needed to see written out by someone who actually knows what it is like. Ironically, my moving day is in two days and I just 24 hour-ed the job because I could. Alert at six am fe natural and I should say goodbye to that because hopefully now that I’ve graduated I’ll quit like I said I would. Good luck to all of you!

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  71. Zac M says:

    People are still reading and commenting on this article three years after it was published. Thanks for sharing.

  72. Jon Snow says:


    Today is my 75th day off of Adderall. I was taking 60-75 mg a day for the past few years, but I’ve been on at least 45 mg a day for a decade. These 75 days have been full of tribulations. I’ve been reading this website often, especially when I feel like getting back on the A-train.

    But now I’m starting to feel like I need Adderall to be successful. It’s been so long since I did any substantial amount of work without it, I often wonder if I will ever be able to use my brain like a normal person. Maybe my brain chemistry is forever altered because of my rampant Adderall usage. Maybe I’ve passed the point of no return.

    I want to get a job. I absolutely need to get a job. I got my PhD with Adderall and now I live with my parents, unemployed and useless. The withdrawal is mostly over, but I still haven’t learned to work without Adderall. I can’t even seem to do all of the necessary paperwork to apply for academic jobs. How in the hell am I supposed to hold a job if I can’t focus for long enough to apply for one?

    Reading this article reminded me of how amazingly I could work with the help of study buddies. I could do anything. I am glad I took a break, but maybe it’s time to get back on it. I don’t know, my life sucks right now and something needs to change. I never thought I’d start taking Adderall again, but I don’t know anymore. I’m thinking about buying some from a friend.

    I worry that I will take it “just to find a job,” and then, of course, become dependent again. I don’t know, but I’ve had months to apply for jobs and have yet to send out one application. It’s embarrassing when friends ask what I’m doing with my life. The answer is: nothing. I entertain myself with the internet and sleep half the day. I deleted my Facebook account because I am ashamed of my current situation and tired of hearing questions about where I’m working, etc. I live in social isolation and have adopted a sedentary lifestyle for the first time in my life. Every day, one of my first spoken words is “f*ck.” I wake up mad at myself and stay that way all day, trying only to distract my attention away from shame. This shame is largely a product of my uselessness, though it is also a catalyst of inefficacy.

    When is it too late to quit Adderall? If I ever start taking it again, I hope to take breaks periodically. But I’m not sure I’ll have the discipline. I have no discipline.

    Thanks for listening to my rant. Life is f*cking hard without drugs.

  73. KLawK says:

    @Mike – Thank you for this article.

  74. Solo says:

    I’m trying to quit Adderall but whenever I do my brain is in a fog, I feel sluggish. I started at 10mg went up to 20mg within a month and stayed at 30mg for a year. The longest I’ve been of it was 9 days and that was like hell

    Adderall has made me moody, zombielike, crankie. I’m an asshole now, help!!!

  75. Shannon says:

    This article was speaking about me the whole time! I do this! I binge and run out 2 weeks after I fill my script. My “work” is at home- my to-do list- my distasterous room I’m constantly trying to clean! I’ve been on addys 10 years. I don’t know how to stop binging. Please email me how. I don’t wanna go off the meds I just wanna figure out how to control myself from self dosing and go back to taking what I am prescribed!

  76. SClassico says:

    Almost 3mths clean now. I come here quite a bit. Very well written articles Mike. Although I’m going through hell, I have hope that the brain can replenish itself in time. There’s days I think I’m fu**ed forever too, but I won’t lose hope. I wish all of you well and hope things get better for all of us. Take care!

  77. Morgan says:

    Bingo! Soooo very true, you have to relearn how to do basic things in life. Nice to see it written down and confirm what I am feeling. Good advice to follow and a reminder to plan ahead. Thumbs UP!

  78. ąęążłę says:

    są pochopne wyłożyć całość dokonaj weselnych, sumując z
    krępującymi, jeśli ogarniają że przeznaczenie się na nie sprowadzi im znaną pociecha.
    Są szczególnie wyrachowane również skoro naturalnie zatem umiem poruszyć – bezlitosne.
    W 4 losach na 5 popularnie zaciekawione podejściem praw do skupionego skarbie.

  79. the black hole says:

    SONS BUILT all gone if I hadn’t taken adderall
    I wouldn’t have rose up against my xhusband.
    So I live at in my mothers house I sleep on the
    Couch. I had everything my four sons would ever
    Desire now my sons are all displaced as young adult men. My xhusband drives across us in a semi. I took the blessings we accumulated our whole lives. So sad.

    My only confidence was meth.I have lost everything. If there is ever a class action suite I should be first in line. Been off a year
    Last christmas. Guess what I now have to deal with eating healthy to lose Weight afterall.
    I am very much experiencing a miricle …
    I actually find myself reaching for the broom doing dishes making beds.I have prayed very hard
    About this.I have a joy and energy that has not
    Come from me. I had a 10 year smoking habit that
    Left bout 40 weeks ago. So what would my life have been without adderall?

  80. mind = blown says:

    Thank you.
    I’m a senior in college and have been prescribed ADD meds for 5 years. I’m a fairly small person and I’m currently prescribed 60mg per day.
    Lately I’ve been really worried about my health, particularly my heart health. I’m pretty convinced that someday they’ll discover that ADD meds are worse than meth and we’ve actually been poisoning ourselves..

    Anyways I was beginning to worry that I’ll never be able to quit taking adderall because I’m literally worthless when I’m not on it. I felt like my options were 1)keep popping adderall till my heart gave out or 2) quit taking adderall and end up homeless or worse because I was incapable of being a productive member of society.

    Basically, this article saved my life. I could relate to every word and Loved all the examples
    Printing this!

  81. Adam says:

    I just glanced at this and wonder if the author was ever properly prescribed adderall. As an adhd sufferer the effects are very different from what he wrote. When I was on it, thoughts turned into actions, and tasks could be started and completed with no problems. Clear and simple.

  82. girl says:

    and but the take-away about work/jobbing is all of accurate and soul-crushing. and somehow a little amusing, besides

  83. Anonymous says:

    this page is a gold mine of sorts. I doont even know how i ended up here–have no relevant motives/inquiries–but read a portion of the artle, and of the reviews, and find so many of both to be weirdly insightful and well expressed on all sides of the subject

    and but the take-away about work/jobbing is all of accurate and soul-crushing. and somehow a little amusing, besides

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  85. Fred Smith says:

    tp those of us who have been properly diagnosed and continue in treatment for ADHD, these mostly seem to read as tales of addiction to a drug they should NEVER have been taking or, at least, not at the dose and frequency at which they did. So much of what I read here describes what happens when one who needs Adderall takes too much. The binging/hyperfocus/all-nighter behavior a lot of you described is so very much/exactly the reason those of us happily on Adderall are taking it. When on the right dose this does NOT happen..

    I am not a doctor but I have found that pretty much everyone I know who has successfully been on Adderall for 5+ years does NOT get a buzz from it. At best, you will notice you are ready to tackle a project you had put off but it is a subtle feeling.

    Also, the dose is very closely tied to your particular brain’s needs and NOT your mass (weight) or severity of symptoms off of Adderall.

    I don’t think many of us taking Adderall be as happy and successful if we didn’t regularly work with a psychologist on “occupational” therapy side of ADHD (getting a proper diagnose which requires input from family/friends, coworkers/managers, and/or teachers and classmates) you will learn many helpful techniques (#1 make and use checklists!) that Adderall alone will not fix.

    Good luck to you all.

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  91. ファッミ says:

    somehow, reading all this just made me feel awful. so awful i couldn’t finish the article. i’ve been on adderall since i was 12, i’m 18 going on 19 now. i started so young.. i cant imagine living a life thats not like it is with adderall. without adderall, i wont be able to feel like doing anything? i wont find any work or tasks enjoyable? whats the point if i never feel like doing things? why would i want to start doing something if i never felt like it in the first place? how can i really enjoy life then if i never feel like doing anything, but i have to make myself do it anyway? how do i live with such a lack of motivation? it sounds unbearable. ik i cant go on taking this stuff anymore, its destroying my life ik it is. but.. i want to enjoy life. how can i do it? i like drawing yenno. but without adderall, it seems like such work. how can i live if i can’t even find enjoyment in something that i actually do like? how can i go on never feel like i wanna do things that i actually do like? i feel so lazy and bored to death without adderall, nothing is interesting anymore. how i can live that way??? what do i do??? someone, please help me. if anybody can answer me, i have a tumblr you can message me on. please, please help me.

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