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DISCLAIMER: Adderall is Appropriate for Some People. I am not a doctor.

I really hate disclaimers.

This site is called “Quitting Adderall”, not “Don’t Take Adderall”. My target reader is somebody who already takes Adderall and wants to quit, for whatever reason. If you are not somebody who thinks “I want to quit Adderall” on a regular basis, then this website is not for you.

The majority of people of who find this blog do so by searching Google for terms like “quitting Adderall” or “Adderall addicted” or “help quitting Adderall” or even the occasional “Adderall is evil.” Most people understand the purpose and target audience of this blog just by reading a couple of the posts, and can quickly ascertain whether it applies to them or not.

However, there are exceptions. This site has gotten too popular for its own good. There are people who might legitimately need a lifelong dose of stimulants just to feel normal, and I don’t want to turn those people away from something that might help them. And there are very qualified people looking for scientific information on Adderall that this site was never meant to provide. So, in case there is any confusion, let me clear up a few things.

Disclaimer Table of Contents

  1. I am not a doctor or any kind of mental health professional
  2. Adderall affects people differently
  3. A lot of this content is old and I’ve said some stupid things
  4. Adderall works
  5. Adderall truely helps some people. I am not an anti-Adderall crusader.
  6. Some people can take “just enough” forever.
  7. Mental health drugs serve an important purpose
  8. Do not let my words stop you from doing something that helps you
  9. This website is not for everybody
  10. An appeal to mental health professionals: Help Me

1. I am not a doctor or any kind of mental health professional

Look, I just started this blog on a whim. I thought it would be therapeutic for me to chronicle the challenge I had taken on to quit Adderall in case there were others out there who were going through the same thing for the same reasons. I only ever meant to be “a guy who went through it and can offer some tips.” Somewhat happily, this site has become a little more popular than I anticipated.  I’ve had to learn a lot of science and psychology to keep the site growing, and talking to so many readers has taught me tons. But I’m still just a laymen offering his own personal advice. Always consult your doctor, your close friends, your parents, and your own mind; don’t just let some random guy on the internet tell you what to do.

2. Adderall affects people differently

The articles and comments I’ve written on this website are based on my own experience with Adderall, and on the experience with Adderall that many others have shared with me. The target audience of this website is not “everyone.” It is only meant for a certain type of person who feels that Adderall is doing more harm than good in their life.  That will not be everybody’s experience (see also: Adderall truly helps some people).

Please use your own judgement when reading this site as to whether or not it applies to you. If the stories and posts on this site do not resonate deeply for you, then you may be in a different situation. You should not feel guilty or convicted about taking a medication that helps you. If before finding this website you had a generally positive view of Adderall, do not let it convince you otherwise. Turn away and forget everything you read. It doesn’t apply to you, and wasn’t meant for you.

This site was not created to sway anybody away from taking Adderall. It is written for people who already wanted to quit. The problem is that it’s become a little too popular for it’s own good. Google is ranking me too well for generic keywords that I frankly would rather not have visits from. This site was created for the person who Googles “quitting adderall” or “quitting adderall help,” NOT for the person who Googles  “adderall info.” I may end up blocking Google on certain keywords to help prevent the wrong people from finding this site. So consider the query that brought you here. If you weren’t looking for advice on quitting Adderall to begin with, then look away. Nothing to see here. I will feel terrible if something I’ve written causes you inner conflict about a medicine that is a positive force in your life.

3. A lot of this content is old and I’ve said some stupid things

I created this site more than four years ago, during a difficult period in my life (namely, shortly after quitting Adderall). I challenge you, dear reader, to talk about any subject for four years and be able to vouch for the intelligence and accuracy of everything you said in the beginning when you’re at the end. I’ve grown a learned a lot since starting this blog, and you can often see those shifting attitudes if you read my posts chronologically.

But I have only ever tried to be encouraging, and gave the best advice that occurred to me at the time. It’s strange as a laymen to be thrust into a position of being asked for advice every day from people who are struggling, but it was important to me that I tried to help.

You might think that I should have refused to answer any questions due to my lack of qualifications, and directed everyone to a licensed Phsychiatrist. I’ve seen other websites do that. But I didn’t want to. These people weren’t asking their doctor. They were asking me, the laymen who (they felt) understood their struggle.  In many of these cases, people specifically felt like I understood their feelings and goals in a way that their doctor didn’t. They thought “Well, he understands my problem. I wonder what his solutions look like?”

Admittedly, my solutions weren’t always the best, and nor were my understandings. I could only draw upon what worked for me (explained in the emotional language that I spoke at the time), and as the site grew I could also draw upon what I’d seen work for others. But I have no textbook knowledge. I do not have psych degrees (yet) or formal training as a substance abuse counselor. And again, much of this advice was dished out during a difficult period of my own life (shortly after quitting Adderall).

The best I can do now is correct mistakes when they are pointed out to me. As a web writer, it’s not just the original commenter that I have to speak to; it’s also the person reading my reply years later. If you see a post or a comment reply — even if it’s four years old — that you think is misguiding and hurting more than it’s helping, then please alert me to it and suggest alternate, better advice. Nowadays my ego is largely detached from this website, and I’m happy to make edits if it will help people.

Stupid statements to watch for in old posts include:

  1. Hard-line views against Adderall (e.g., implying that Adderall is always bad in all cases, and that everyone should quit right now)
  2. New-agey spiritual statements (e.g., talking about destiny, soul, spirit, good/evil). Some of these lines of thinking are embarrassing to me now, as a newly-minted agnostic, but part of me still agrees with the spirit of what was said. You may not believe in a mystical destiny, but you probably agree that there is a career path out there that suits you uniquely well and that you should strive to pursue.

4. Adderall works

Anybody who has ever taken Adderall knows that it is brilliantly, amazingly, seductively effective at increasing your attention span. The notion of prescribing stimulants to treat ADD is medically sound. The science of ADD shows that some people’s frontal lobes don’t light up during routine activities (e.g., classroom) as brightly as most others’ brains light up. In terms of the brain, that’s what ADD looks like: the frontal lobe runs “cool” (understimulated) in environments where other people’s frontal lobes are perfectly warm (stimulated). This is why ADD people bounce all over the place (they need greater stimulation instead of being content with what stimulates other people…think of it like shivering to stay warm). Prescribing stimulants (e.g., Adderall) fixes this problem by constantly stimulating the under-stimulated brain.

5. Adderall truely helps some people. I am not an anti-Adderall crusader.

Adderall would not exist if there weren’t a legitimate need for its effects. I am not one of those people who thinks that Pharmaceutical companies are evil. In general, I am decidedly pro-Big Pharma. I am happy that I live in a time where there are several, well-funded companies competing fervently to fix every human ailment with a magic pill, and I think most researchers who go into that field are motivated by good intentions and deserve to be very well paid.

I do believe that there are some people whose ADHD is 100% curse…a defect that holds them back from ever achieving happiness…who try so hard but just can’t do it…can’t hold their attention on anything for a prolonged period of time without excruciating effort….and no amount of natural passion for the work will help.

For those people, Adderall can be a godsend. It can be an answered prayer. And for those people, quitting Adderall would be a recipe for returning to lifelong failure.

Futhermore, some people have a great experience with Adderall, and consequently view this entire website — and the notion of quitting Adderall — as outlandish, foreign, and an act of irrational hypochondria.

6. Some people can take “just enough” forever

There is a difference between taking just enough Adderall to make you “normally stimulated” and crossing the line into over-stimulation. In my view it is only over-stimulation that is categorically immoral because it makes you more comfortable than you would be even with a “normal” attention span…and some discomfort is absolutely essential to help build character and direct you towards your natural passions.

Some people can take just the right dose never take more than they really need. They can still feel bored and forced (like everyone else) when doing activities they don’t totally like, but still remain capable of doing them nonetheless.

There are also plenty of great doctors who are very precise about the dosages of Adderall they prescribe, which means that there a lot of happy patients out there, a lot of Adderall success stories, and lot of doctors who’ve effectively treated debilitating ADHD with Adderall.

7. Mental health drugs serve an important purpose

There is such a thing as a chemical imbalance that no amount of therapy and “find your passion” bromides will help. There is such a thing as a person that is completely and hopelessly debilitated from their mental illness beyond the point of others being able to help…who is incapable of even helping themselves.

I once read a brilliant argument for mental health drugs. I wish I could find it for you. The thesis was essentially “We’re so concerned that with these drugs we lose a part of ourselves, but why should we be concerned over the loss of a part that hurts us and holds us back? This is not loss of self, this is purification of self. The drug does not crush the true self, it allows the true self to be free by cutting away the parts that hold it back. Or do you think it is more honorable, more effective to be miserable half the time?”

That argument holds very true for some people. For some people, the drug really does allow them to be free…for others, it shackles them with the illusion of freedom (even if they don’t realize it for years). This site is meant for the people in the latter category.

8. Do not let my words stop you from doing something that helps you

I’ve spoken to a lot of people about Adderall over the course of running this website.  Of those (over 100) people, most of them (IMHO) fell solidly in the “didn’t completely need it/overstimulating/abuse” category. I’m basing this on their own reports of self-defined dose increases. That is my target reader.

I also hear from people who I think might benefit from a small dose of Adderall. That is, based on my non-medical opinion established from hearing a few pages of their life story, I thought they seemed like the kind of person that Adderall was meant for.

These readers had a different tone of voice in their comments to me. Most readers of this site take Adderall, enjoy how much it helps them, then realize later that it hurts them.  The exceptions — the people who may actually need Adderall — have had longstanding struggles with ADD…to the point where it is a huge, debilitating part of their life. For them, the problem of ADD existed in its most severe form long before the solution of Adderall was presented. I’m not talking about people who “could be better at paying attention in school and such”. I’m talking about people that can’t get through school no matter how hard they try…and who have dreams that they need school to reach.

Quitting Adderall is not the highest goal of this site. Quitting Adderall is a means to an end…an end where you’re happy and self-motivated and naturally passionate because you’re doing something that you really love and following your dreams. Most people that come to this site want to quit Adderall as part of a step towards that higher end, either because they didn’t really need it in the first place, or because they needed it at first but it ended up controlling their life. I understand that for some, they actually need Adderall to get to that happier, higher end-goal.

I do not want to be the guy who says “Hey, Kid. I know you think that this medicine is helping you and that you finally feel normal…but you’re wrong…it’s evil…stop doing it…be miserable and you’ll be a better person.”  That is not my intention at all.

If you are the Adderall success case, if it truly helps you with a lifelong problem, then you should be able to read this entire site and have the nagging sense that “yeah…I get what you’re saying, but I think it’s different in my case…I think I need it.” If that’s how you feel then don’t let me stop you. This site is not for you. Ignore every word. Go do what makes you happy and helps you, even if that’s taking Adderall.

9. This website is not for everybody

You may believe Adderall is simply a medicine that is no more detrimental than antibiotics. You may be on Adderall right now and loving every minute of it (or simply not seeing it as a big deal). You may view Adderall as the wonder-drug that saved you from a lifetime of failure. You may think that this whole website is dangerous and misguided for persuading people out of doing something that helps you and/or helps people you know. If any of that applies to you, then you are outside the target audience for this website. I have no interest in talking you out of something that helps you.

You may not realize it, but there are many people who feel deeply that Adderall is holding them back from being the kind of person they want to be. This may seem counter-intuitive to you if you are somebody who has only seen the positive side of Adderall, or have only seen Adderall from the outside, but I promise you that such people exist. I am one of them, and the comment threads on this website are filled with passionate testimonials from many, many others. That is who I built this site for. Nobody else. Every word on this website was written for a person who takes Adderall and wants to quit on their own accord — for reasons that are clear to them but may be foreign to you — and I urge you to evaluate it from that perspective before flaming it.

10. An appeal to mental health professionals: Help Me

Are you a med student, a psychiatrist, or a neuroscientist? I know how revolting and wrong this website must seem to you. You are intimately familiar with the effectiveness of psychopharmacology. You have seen first-hand the effectiveness of Adderall in treating ADHD. You know the correlations between ADHD and criminality, the depth of ADHD’s effects on society and personal mental health, and a hundred other factors that I am clueless about and you know everything about.

Note: here is where I get on shaky ground. I don’t know what I don’t know, but I’m going to try and guess at where you’re coming from. Please correct me if I am unfairly characterizing mental health professionals.

You know that in some cases, people take more Adderall than they should and get addicted. For you, these people are unfortunate side effects of a legitimate treatment. Abuse cases are secondary to you. People that are negatively impacted by Adderall are the exception, rather than the rule. Such people are the problem of qualified substance abuse counselors, and not really your main concern (but you strive to avoid creating addicts by knowing the signs of addiction to watch for).

Now, here is where you and I are coming from completely different perspectives. The abuse cases that are secondary to you are my entire world. All day, you hear about the good Adderall has done, and its proper applications. Whereas all I hear about are the bad stories, where Adderall has caused (perceived) harm, often due to improper application (i.e., patients taking a higher dose than clinically necessary).

I hope you can appreciate that our different perspectives (credentials aside for a moment) give us both our own biases.

And I hope that you can see a space between these contrasting perspectives for a complementary relationship. You may think that no productive, intelligent relationship is possible between a person of your credentials and a laymen hack like myself, but I caution you against completely devaluing this website, and its author.

This website would not exist, and would not be as popular as it is, unless there was something legitimate here (this is more than cult-like mass delusion). I did not create this website out of some religious reaction to something I impulsively decided was “evil.” I created it because I had a very real experience with Adderall. I was diagnosed as ADD by a licensed psychiatrist, took Adderall daily for seven years (usually taking less than I was prescribed), decided that it was impeding my life, quit, and am now happier and more productive for it four years later. And I am not a fluke. The comment threads and guest posts on this site are filled with people who had the same experience.

You may argue that I was not using Adderall properly, and you’d probably be right. But there are thousands of other people in the same situation as me, and those people crave help and support. And when they ask their doctor, they get a binary answer similar to “either it helps you or you’re abusing it.” So they seek out and find me, a guy who had the same problems they did and got through the struggle of quitting successfully.

If you’re honest with yourself, my dear professional reader, who would you go to for help if you were really struggling with something? Somebody who understood it from the outside, or somebody who had been through it? Well, considering most of your peers are probably mental health professionals too, your answer might be different than the general public. But I think you can appreciate what I’m saying.

Sometimes, you just need to hear from somebody who’s going through the same struggle. That’s what this website is all about. And it’s been very successful at doing that. 90% of the emails I get say something along the lines of “Thank you so much for perfectly describing how I feel.” No matter how harshly or intelligently you criticize this site, you will always be vastly outnumbered by the people who swear that it has helped them tremendously (if only to articulate their own struggle). And for that reason, I will probably never take this website down.

So help me. I have enormous respect for your credentials. I fully support the means and ends of phsychopharmachology. And I am happy to integrate your knowledge into the site. The giant gaping hole in this site is “What to do with people who actually need Adderall, and how to determine who fits that category.” You can help me answer that question. I would love to have a relationship with a thoughtful, highly-educated mental health professional that I can refer people to for professional-grade advice.

And if you see something I’ve said or posted that is blatantly inaccurate or damaging,  don’t just flame me, tell me how to fix it. You can reach me directly here: mike at quittingadderall.com. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

11. Short-Version Summary

TL;DR – This site is called “Quitting Adderall” not “Don’t Take Adderall”. My target reader is somebody who already takes/has taken Adderall and wants to quit, for whatever reason. If you are not somebody who thinks “I want to quit Adderall” on a regular basis, then this website is not for you.

32 Responses to “DISCLAIMER: Adderall is Appropriate for Some People. I am not a doctor.”

  1. james s says:

    While I applaud the disclaimer you provide, there is some ommitted information and misinformation provided that I think your readers would benefit from that I would hope you afford me an opportunity to touch upon briefly.

    Where all other non-narcotic pharmacologic alternatives have been explored, Adderall CAN be of great benefit to those for whom it has been prescribed. In order to remain safe and to be sure that Adderall is a neccesary intervention for ADHD it is my suggestion that anyone considering a prescritpion be sure to see a psychiatrist and not a general practitioner. Receiving, accepting and medicating a diagnosis of ADHD from a family or general practitioner and not a psych is kinda like getting car repair advice from an electrician. Even if the car seems to have an electrical problem it still makes more sense to see a machanic. Further, to be sure your doctor acts ethically in diagnosis and pharmacologic treatment of ADHD I suggest also seeing a dually licensed psych and addiction specialist. Most addition specialist will only prescribe psychostimulants when they are certain a debilitating instance of ADHD exists and where all other non-narco options have been explored and they are relatively certain that prescription psychostimulants will be of benefit and the risks of use outweigh the debilitating nature of a patient’s condition.

    Considering that, your analysis of Adderall’s benefits seems to be limited to focus and attention. Further you describe its assets and liabilities almost solely as they relate to clasroom performance. I find that this is a common thread among those who misuse and abuse Adderall. Because they were never ADHD in the first place, they have no real understanding of the medications benefits.

    I am for example a recovering alcoholic. I stopped taking psychostimulant medication after 15 years when I graduated as a scholar student athlete from one of the country’s top colleges.

    I too was mistakingly under the impression that Adderall only benefits studies and looking back it wasn’t six months before I began self-medicating my disorganized, chaotic, depressed, anxious, stressed, hyperneeding of stimulation, bored and lonely brain with alcohol. After years of suffering and many attempts to recover I went about unsuccessfully trying to medicate my ADHD with all alternative meds. After two DUIs in less than a year, I saw two adiction specialists/psychs who both suggested a course of treatment with Adderall. I started five months ago and have never felt better in my adult life and with active participation in AA and treatment of my ADHD for the first time since stopping with psychostimulants I have no desire to drink.

    I certainly am not suggesting Adderall be taken by all alcoholics (though that was the reason for which amphetamines were initially prescribed) but to illustrate that the prefrontal lobes that are inactive on those who suffer from ADHD serve many other functions. One of extreme importance to those who actually have ADHD is Adderalls ability to stimulate impulse control centers in the brain resulting in less impulsive thinking and consequnetly less risky behavior.

    Additionally, with Adderall where neccesary a person has better coordination, sleeping patterns, reduced anxiety, stress and depression. Where properly prescribed those who take it are less likely to become addicts or alcoholics, less likely to die of stress elated health concerns (heartattacks & stroke). Most importantly their quality of life stands to drastically improve. Divorce rates reduced, average income up, money managing improved, parental relationships improved, less crime, spousal abuse, etc.

    Untreated ADHD is a recipe for disaster and a lifelong debilitation. If it wasn’t noticed at a very young age, there is a incredibly small chance you have it at all. ADHD is a neurological condition that you are born with. Over a lifetime coping mechanisms are developed as a means of self-preservation, but people don’t wake up one day in college and have ADHD. If your ADHD was untreated for so long you wouldn’t have been admitted to college in the first place.

    ADHD is not a disease but a disorder and disaboility so severe that it is protected by the Americans with Disability Act along with bipolar disorder and paranoid schizophrenia,

    I encourage your readers to review all sixteen diagnostic criteria of which distractability and lack of concentration are but one aspect…and defined as innocuous unless combined with several other primary symptoms.

    The very fact that there is so much talk of homework, clasrroms and attention indicates to me that the majority of people posting here don’t have a real understanding of the disability and therefore the comprehensive benefits Adderall can provide for those who need it.

    Finally, people who have real cases of ADHD don’t experience the high described on this site as the medication has a different psycho-physiological interaction than with normal people. If you are taking 60 mgs or less of Adderall and feeling super speedy, its cause you don’t have ADHD. ADDers are the ones who have a cup of coffee before bed to help them sleep. When you are spiked and a bit nausceous after your first Venti bold coffee of the day, they are the one that orders two or three more without effect.

    That I am told is the best litmus test. Go to Starbucks and order three venti coffees…black. If you can honestly drink them without feeling sick or speedy but feel “even” and feel you have better motor skills and more control over your thoughts, time, impulses, etc. you may well be a good candidate.

    I applaud your efforts with this group and wish you all the very best.my purpose is not to promote Adderall but give further consideration to those considering the use of psychostimulant meds. If you don’t fit the mold I have made here I strongly suggest you seek the counsel of a better qualified doctor.

  2. Mike says:

    Hi James,

    You know, it’s funny: When I see a comment come through that starts with “I read your disclaimer, BUT…”, I get all set for a flame war.

    That didn’t happen in your case. I really enjoyed reading your comment and I think you’ve provided some excellent information that, if you don’t mind, I’m probably going to quote in a post at some point.

    One of my biggest challenges with this site (and especially with the disclaimer) has been communicating the difference between somebody who actually needs Adderall and somebody who doesn’t. My hesitation has always been that Adderall is the easiest drug in the world to rationalize. If I’m at all wishy-washy on the “legit symptom” checklist or if I leave any gray area…somebody will use that as an excuse. I think the case you presented (complete with the coffee test!) is binary enough to avoid that kind of “convenient” interpretation.

    I am also (somewhat intimately) aware of the other symptoms of ADHD (impulsiveness, lawlessness, propensity for substance abuse, near complete inability to function confidently in civil society) but I don’t think I’ve ever communicated that sufficiently on this site, and you’ve done it brilliantly.

    I’m happy that you’ve posted this on the disclaimer page — the perfect place for a story of true ADHD.

    And excellent advice about getting diagnosed by a psychiatrist/addiction specialist instead of a General Practitioner. I wish that was required by law or something. If everybody did that it would certainly cut way down on the “gets handed out like candy” factor, and save lots of people lots of pain (while still helping those that needed it).

    Anyhow, congratulations on getting your life back together. And thanks again for the great comment.

  3. Michael says:

    Hello. I was recently diagnosed with Adult ADHD and started taking Adderall. It has been extremely effective for me, incredibly so. I’m currently taking 10 mg a day. All of the sudden, I’m capable of working more then I have before.

    I am 41. For most of my life, I’ve found it impossible to hold down a job. I’m unmarried, have never really been in a permenant relationship, and I started college but never finished it. I was originally diagnosed as bipolar but they are thinking that diagnosis was at least partially wrong.

    Since I started taking the Adderall, I’ve started school for medical transcription and I feel like I can think clearly for the first time. I’m getting more and more done, and I can understand things I couldn’t before. Not only that, but I feel like i’m walking out of this haze of depression. I have the energy to do things now that I never did before.

    Even so, I don’t really like the idea of the long term effect people keep talking about. I wonder if I should break it up and not take it every once in awhile, just to prevent long term effects on my health. As much as I need it, I worry about side effects and long term effects. I almost get the sense that my life has been so flawed up to this point, the sense of other people is that it doesn’t matter if it hurts me, because I’m that damaged.

    I always hoped I would figure out how to get things under control on my own, but that doesn’t seem to be realistic. Lately I read a lot of articles (usually on conservative websites) that diagnosis for ADD/ADHD is all just a big fad. That doesn’t seem true to me, but it isn’t fun to read a lot of the negative stuff that gets said. I wonder, if I start to take this every day, will I eventually reach a point where I have heart problems, circulation issues. Or maybe it will stop working at its current dosage, and I’ll have to keep upping the dosage.

  4. Mike says:

    Hi Micheal,

    Thanks for the comment. Look, if Adderall is helping you where nothing else has, then by all means, stay on it.

    At 41, you’ve finally found something that fixes you. Just keep charging ahead, and be happy about it.

    I do not think ADD/ADHD is just a big fad. I think it is very, very real and can really cripple some people.

    My only counter-arguments are that it is ridiculously over-declared. Like, it really seems like only 1/10 who are diagnosed are accurately diagnosed.

    You sound like one of the 1/10.

    Don’t worry about circulation problems and heart problems. Talk to your doctor about those kind of fears…he should be able to calm them. That should be the least of your concerns, in terms of your mental state.

    Upping the dose IS a concern, however. You do build a tolerance, but most people max out in my experience. Again, this shouldn’t be a huge concern if it’s helping you and you’re being responsible about it and staying in touch with your doctor.

  5. becky says:

    Hello. what a great site. I was diagnosed with adhd, about 10 years ago I am 55. My biggest concern is family history of heart disease. I do feel great on just 20 mills. of adderal but still very concerned about my heart. I would like to know if there is anywhere where adderal has caused heart disease to people with a family history off bad hearts. Thanks

  6. B says:

    Adderall is not needed for anyone. There is no reason for any one to be on high powered stimulant!

  7. Kellie says:

    I love this website. I hyperfocused through the whole thing! 🙂 Because of the bad press around Adderall abusers, and my mother’s opinion that there was no ADD in her day and everyone made it just fine, I have been feeling guilty or embarrassed for not being able to function close to normal without it.

    I read through “6 ways to outsmart your lazy, ADD brain” and I recognized all of the safeties from my own development. Then I realized that you were talking about people who have discontinued using Adderall. lol.

    I take 25 mg of Adderall on any day that I need to accomplish tasks and I still use those tricks to keep it together. I am self-employed (of course, right?!) and in addition to your list, I carry around a note pad with tasks. When I get distracted, I can look at the list and remember what it was that I was doing. Routines are also big for me.

    Off of Adderall, I am completely useless. I would love to be normal without medication! No interest in being Einstein, normal would be great. I would love to have a memory like everyone else. I would love to get in the car and have everything I need rather than making multiple trips back into the house to get everything that I forgot. I would love to access my intelligence on command rather than having to say “I read something the other day that related really well to this conversation. I will have to look it up and send you the link.” Because really, how charismatic is that? Add to that, I probably will forget what I was talking about mid-sentence because “something shiny” popped into my brain. It would be great to never have to say “uhhhhh. I forgot what I was talking about.” Oh, another thing that I would really love is to finish an assignment in a normal amount of time rather than spending hours on something that should have taken 45 minutes. LAST, I wish that I could focus this much attention on those things that I need to do rather than spending a couple of hours that I do not have reading this website 🙂

    Time to take my Adderall!

    Speaking of which, (something shiny!) I have literally caught myself walking to the bathroom, where I keep the Adderall on the sink, 5-6 times and getting there and thinking “I did it again, what did I come in here for?” Walk away, remember a few minutes later, repeat.

    Anyway, it felt good to read through this and hear someone acknowledge that yes, there are some people who would not be able to live any kind of a normal life without Adderall. I also appreciated the picture of what that person looks like.

    For the rest of the Adderall users – Quit! You are upping the game even more for those of us who struggle to achieve normal. 😛

  8. Kellie says:

    “B” You clearly do not have ADD, nor do you know anyone with it. If you did, I KNOW that you would not feel that way.

    How then do you know what a person with ADD needs? Why do you even care?

    It sounds like you may not have better things to do with your time than to sign into random websites and express ignorance. Might I recommend a task list? 😛

  9. Mike says:

    Hi Kellie!

    Thanks for the great comment! If you don’t mind, I’ll probably end up stealing that whole “something shiny!” thing from you. That totally cracked me up. That’s the one of the most accurate depictions of an ADD mentality that I’ve seen.

  10. Anonymous says:

    categorically immoral = Dianetics/ Tom Cruz Stupidity
    Identify your real cause coward

  11. Nichole says:

    Hi All,

    I have been on Adderall for about a year now. I am really glad James S added on to Mike’s disclaimer. I was also feeling pretty bummed as I read through a lot of this website. I’ve been feeling pretty guilty myself about taking Adderall. I don’t really like people to know about it because I don’t want them to think I’m just copping out.

    Interestingly enough, I’m still not incredibly focused, and I’m still not really great at sitting in a lecture class even though I take Adderall on a daily basis. Where I really see a change is in everything else. Here is a list of things I think anyone who actually has ADD or ADHD will relate to:

    -No more binge drinking or addictive activities. Since adderall I’ve been substance abuse free!
    -I can connect with people. Before I took adderall, I would always be somewhat aloof, rude and distant
    -I no longer have anxiety attacks
    -I am in a successful relationship for the first time ever
    -My employer is not always on the verge of firing me anymore

    Things that I’m still working on are more organizational than anything. Taking adderall didn’t stop my room from being messy, it hasn’t made me a great studier and it hasn’t made me alert enough to last a whole lecture class without doodling or daydreaming. It has merely made things seem manageable.

    Anyway, I do like all of the tips for quitting adderall ( I do them along with adderall just to stay afloat )

    For those of you who think you have ADD… there is a huge difference between ADD and laziness. I have ADD and I’m also lazy. With adderall I’m still relatively lazy, I’m still somewhat guided by desire rather than logic BUT I am not passed out on a bar floor every night and I’m not getting myself into so much debt that creditors are knocking at my door and I’m not being promiscuous as a prostitute. When ADD helps you feel like yourself, it is wonderful. I think what people who are wrongly prescribed adderall feel like on it, is what I feel like off it. I feel dark, depressed, unable to access my creativity and my happiness in sharing my creativity and myself with others.

    Well.. I’m totally rambling (I ran out of my prescrip three days ago and it’s been kind of awful. I haven’t kissed my husband since I went off it without Herculean effort. ) .. which is why I came on this site. I was wondering if I should fill my next prescrip or not… I think I will, and I think my work and family will be happy about it 🙂

  12. Mike says:

    Hi Nichole!

    Thanks for posting this in the right section! I think you’ve added a lot to this page with your story. Thanks for sharing it! FWIW, it sounds like you’re making the right decision to stay on it. I wish you and your family the best! Take care.

  13. Ben says:

    Adderalls appropriate for nobody! Its 2011 and amphetamines are given to anyone who cant focus. Cant they come up with a less addictive effective alternitive? Amphetamines are a death sentence. And its ok to give this to kindergardners? Yikes. Anyway my problem was with a more powerful perscription drug called dexedrine. I tried adderall first and had this unwanted anxiety thing to it. Dexedrine was even more calming and (stronger too). I loved dexedrine and my life was great and I lost weight and school was easy and I had a dream life. I felt like this life was an endless heaven. Anyway fast forward two years and I got the hell life. Im always drugged out and anti social and smoking to much and just like a poessessed soul. Withdrawls worse. You make the amphetamine withdrawl sound like it,s fun mike. Its more like having this brain fog and having your body be countrolled by a demon and eating so much I feel like a fatty. To anyone out there who,s thinking about trying dexedrine or adderall or vyvanse please dont! Your giving away your soul to the devil and your entering the slow road to death. It goes from moderate insomnia and weight loss and then to a paranoid state then to picking bugs outta ur skin and smoking all day and then to a deep depression and then to death by suicide or malnutrtion or a heart disorder induced by this stuff. Oh but don,t worry it takes many years to travel to the end of this road so it will be a long drawn out slow death. Please im begging you not to take this stuff! Im not even outta high school yet and this drug took everything from me. All i got left is my physical existance on earth. Im lucky to even have that considering im 5ft 11in and 125 pounds and have a blood pressure of 160/85. This stuff could literally kill me at any time. If this can happen to me it can happen to you too. Easiest way to quit is never starting. Your grades might be low your weight might be high and your energy level may be low but its not worth the tourment of addiction to speed. I hope somebody out there has read my story and is convinced by it to never touch amphetamines.

  14. Me says:

    I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading all of your stories tonight. After doing so I need someone to hear me, and care enough to truly listen.

    By the time she was 22 months old, my daughter staying awake upwards of 20 hours/day. When she was not fully awake, which was most of the day, she was half asleep, rocking back and forth. By the time she was 3, I realized that she was exactly like me. I never knew what was wrong with me, but I knew what I’d had to do to save my own life from however it was I was made. I started home schooling her and doing the most ridiculous things to teach her in a way that was show her that she isn’t mentally ill or so grossly cognitively deficient that she’s not able to function as a healthy human being. She required large signs all over the house in colorful colors to teach and reinforce the simplest of directives. Like “this is a light switch, you use it to turn off the light. don’t forget!” She required CONSTANT 1 on 1 interaction to keep her safe and on track. And a very rigid schedule that was never deviated from.

    When she started kindergarten, she was su spended from school b/c I had no idea what ADHD was. I attempted to explain to her teacher the way she was to forewarn her of my daughter’s needs. To no avail. It got to the point that I started doing with her the same thing that I did for myself that my grand mother taught me she had done w/my uncle. I put coffee in milk before school every day so she’d at least make it through the first few hours. I too drank coffee just to get to sleep at night.

    I was finally told that if my baby couldn’t be “controlled” that I’d have to find another alternative for school for her. I could not come to class and sit w/her every day and her teacher could not give her the structure she needed to help her succeed. Because I was just like her, it was beyond exhausting to maintain what she needed at home and be able to be there for my other daughter as well as keep myself in line too. So I took my daughter to the doctor. I explained that it seemed that she’d inherited my personality and that I needed help.

    I myself was thrown away by my mother when I was a kid b/c she couldn’t handle me. I remember being drug by my hair out the door of my own kindergarten class room by my teacher because she couldn’t tolerate me anymore. I was constantly told I was stupid, and my mother was informed that I had some sort of mental illness or cognitive deficiency because I couldn’t understand basic directives. On my way to school I would drop my back pack oblivious to having done so. The only way I can explain it is that I’m constantly 2 hours ahead in the future and have no concept of the present. I will take my kids to the bus stop and by the time I get back to the driveway, in my head I’m already in the house doing laundry. So my car has sat in the driveway running for upwards of 7 hours because I never took the keys out of the ignition. At work I must follow the same process to do the tasks assigned to me. It must be broken down in to very tiny steps, or I get confused and have no idea what’s going on. I get up and wander off and I don’t know how many times I’ve been told how stupid I am or asked if I’m “retarded”. I’m 31 years old and to this day I’m made fun of and treated like a moron for the way I am. It is beyond heart breaking to be this way and try to explain it to people. I must have absolute and total silence to learn anything new. And then it takes an EXTREME amount of energy to do so, so much so that when I start a new job by mid-afternoon I’m so tired I can’t keep my eyes open from the energy its’ taken just to remember how to get to the bathroom from my office. When I’m driving anywhere, even if it’s a block from my house, if I do not first learn step by step directions or have them in front of me, I won’t be able to find my way home b/c I don’t understand and am not able to remember the steps it takes to get back there. It takes me months to learn how to get to new places when I move. I find myself apologizing just for being alive because I forget, and get so confused as to how to complete very basic tasks. Most of which are excruciating for me to finish because I’m always 2 hours ahead in the future. I am a know it all. I already know the asnwer before you do and so does my daughter. I complete your thoughts for you b/c I think SO FAST. So much so, that when I’m having a conversation many, many times I don’t know how to respond b/c there are so many words in my head at the same time moving a mile a minute I don’t know how to use them or make them flow so that they’ll make sense. So I just stare at you dumbly because I can’t formulate a response.
    I read 200 pages/hour. And I don’t forget what I read. But I cant’ sit still to save my life. I can’t watch movies or t.v. They drive me insane. I have learned to keep a notebook with me AT ALL TIMES and to keep myself in the present, which was an excruciating thing to learn by itsself, and then write down every single word of every single thing a person says to me so that I don’t forget what I’m being told.
    I am 31 years old. I have been in nursing school since I was 28. Once I realized my deficiencies and then decided to try to learn how to live with them, it took me 10 years to finally be able to go to school. And even then, I would jump up and walk out b/c sitting through a class was hell on earth. I never studied b/c sitting still drove me insane. And somehow I made it through, and passed my LPN boards in 28 minutes. I am now 2 months from completing my RN and the amt. of discipline it’s taken to complete this has been incredible. I can try to explain it, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who understands what it means to be this.

    My daughter’s pediatrician told me, after I wrote down every way my daughter’s personality and mine are manifested and gave it to her, that she’d never seen such extreme cases of ADHD in her years of practice. I sat in front of her sobbing so hard I couldn’t talk because I needed someone to understand what it’s like to be told that you’re an idiot, and a retard, and to not be trusted to do simple things because your’e so stupid. And then to see that passed down to your child and how it makes you want to die that you would give such a burden to your own baby.

    I didn’t know what ADHD was before I was a nurse. I thought it was some crap parents made up when they didn’t want to deal w/their kids. I refused to put my daughter on medication. Until I realized that raising my kids alone w/no family and no help meant that I wasn’t going to be able to home school my daughter and I certainly couldn’t be there at school every day so she didn’t get kicked out. I finally agreed and the c hange in my baby was miraculous. She still required a schedule that we never deviated from. Nothing changed in terms of the needs unique to teaching her responsibility for the way she is. It just made it much easier for her to understand what her teacher and I were trying to teach her.

    I too finally relented and went on adderrall as well. Again, I still have to do ridiculous things to keep myself in line. It’s not some magical answer or the secret of life. But for the first time, I don’t have people telling me how stupid I am. I’m not so exhausted trying to keep myself from going from 1 mistake to another every moment of every day that I want to cry when I get home from work anymore. I still have to write things down. I still have to be very disciplined. But it doesn’t kill me to do so anymore.

    I went looking for this site b/c my daughter is 10 years old and to be so young and require adderrall just to keep yourself from perform basic human functions concerns me greatly. And I feel like I’m cheating at life as far as my own stuff goes. Because it’s so easy now for me to concentrate on completing tasks successfully. I expect that it should be hard. I feel guilty that it isn’t.

    The biggest thing I want to communicate with all of you is that both my daughter and I have been treated like we’re worthless morons b/c of what we are. I hate myself for being so stupid. People think we’re hilarious. That our idiocy is cute. Or they ostracize us b/c we’re so extremely different in the way our thought processes are are manifested. In some ways I thank God that I am what I am so that she doesn’t have to live w/it alone the way I did when i was a kid. To have your own mother beating you and calling you a liar b/c she’s sick of hearing you say, for the 03843434th time that you forgot something, tends to take a toll on you that never goes away. In other ways, my heart breaks that my baby has to live w/this.

    And I’ve grown bitter at hearing people say “I have ADHD”. I will say honestly, that I know damn well that you do not. I have yet to meet anyone like my daughter and I. And I hate it. I want to know why we are this, and where the other people like us are. I worked with another nurse who stood in the middle of a hallway who looked at me and told me I was the stupidest human being she’d ever met. Who, come to find out was on a very large dose of daily adderrall. For her “adhd”. The very people who treat us this way are the ones who claim to have this so they can have their amphetamines to lose weight and feel good. Who have no clue what it’s like to live with this hell.

    I tell no one that my child and I have this. I am beyond bitter when I go to have my daughter’s meds filled adn NOT ONE PHARMACY IN THE ENTIRE CITY, THE CAPITAL OF THE STATE, has any more adderrall b/c so many people “have ADHD”. If as many people had this as they claimed they did, no way our country would be functioning at the level that it does right now without a chaotic disaster occurring at least once on a daily basis. Adderrall is what finally made me stop wanting to die every single day for being such a worthless moron. It’s given my daughter a beautiful gift that I never had as a child. For people like us, without it, our lives are a hell that you can’t ever understand.

    We don’t have elevated BP’s. We don’t eat it constantly through out the day. We don’t have extreme paranoia if we forget a dose. Nor do we deal w/suicidal thoughts or malnutrition. I don’t want to be on it and I dont’ want my daughter dependent upon it either. But youd’ never get to the point that y’all are describing here if you’d treat it as the therapeutic agent that it is. It’s not evil unless you treat it as such.
    Thanks for listening.

  15. Mike says:


    Do not feel the slightest bit guilty about taking Adderall. Ignore every word on this website. You are very much the exception to the stories and articles posted here, and you need to get that solidly in your brain: It’s medicine for you. You should feel no more stigma than a person with a knee injury feels about taking anti-inflammatories….it’s just good therapy. It does nothing but help you.

    As two final notes:

    1. Everybody who talks down to you or calls you stupid can fuck off. They’re narrow and shallow and they don’t know enough about people to understand what you’re going through or why you act the way you act.

    On the flip side, don’t be so hard on people who find your absent-mindedness cute. I know your mother made you feel shameful about it, but I assure you that to the extent that it doesn’t harm you…it can be kind of endearing at times. If you find people who think your faults are endearing, they are more likely friends than enemies.

    2. Thank you so much for posting your story on the right page! You may not realize it, but hundreds of people will end up reading your story, and I think it will be healthily polarizing.

    Take care.

  16. Sara (your properly prescribed friend) says:

    I take about 10mg of adderall once a day, about three times a week to help me study (otherwise i zone out and dont retain anything). during finals/midterms, i’ll pop more like 7 a week, spread out of course. In my life, i have been lucky enough to use therapy and medications together as a tool to be a better person, and to be my best self.

    I just spent a long time writing to you about how offended, invalidated and downright terrified i felt after I read your posts. It was a pretty angry message…. but then i read your response to “me” and realized you aren’t reaching out to people like me… you’re speaking out to those who are in your shoes and trying to create an open dialogue and support system online. which exists for all sorts of stuff, and things like that have helped me in the past.

    i just want to say a few things though… there are a few posts on here that are written in such a way that readers might think they are looking at scientific info/medical advice. but in reality, your description of what its like to take adderall is misleading in that it overlooks/fails to mention the fact that everyone is wired differently…and that there is huge variation in how people respond to drugs. you should clarify that the description is how YOU (and maybe some others) feel on adderall, but that others may enjoy/hate the drug regardless of how you experienced it. additionally, your post labeled “FAQ’s” is presented as unbiased information, but you tend to sneak in little bits that read as scare tactics to me. for example stuff about rotting teeth, “dirty” highs, etc. i know you have a disclaimer (i know you must hate that sentence but keep reading!) but i found your site through google and didnt see your disclaimer until after i read a bunch of your posts! so i got kind of offended and upset. and i think that may be why people attack!

    The other thing i was going to say is that part of the reason i was so upset by this site was that I literally didn’t study or do homework in high school. my grades sucked. and the weirdest part is, i didn’t know i was supposed to actually study because i had NO idea how. i’m in college now, and in the past 3 years i’ve started taking adderall but also maturing, working on my anxiety, and now i get good grades… i feel so proud for working on becoming stronger. and i’ve been proud that it has resulted in becoming a real student, learning study skills, and feeling motivated to learn. i dont know… should i be worried that my grades/recent successes are just because of adderall? i go back and forth between thinking i’m fine and worrying that i’m f’ing up. you probably dont necessarily appreciate properly prescribed people posting, and if you think i am one sorry, but i’m a little freaked out!

  17. Mike says:

    Hi Sara,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m really sorry that my site caused you inner turmoil, and I appreciate that you were thoughtful and read the disclaimer before flaming, and that you gave me lots of constructive feedback to act on.

    As you correctly ascertained, this site is not meant for you. You’re in a different situation with Adderall, and you shouldn’t feel at all bad about taking it.

    In light of your comment, I have added a new section to the disclaimer, and I have completely removed the General Adderall FAQ page from the site. Really, I should have removed that page ages ago. I don’t know why I kept it up so long. Kind of hard to delete something I put so much time into I guess, even if it doesn’t really serve my purposes anymore. It took you pointing to it as the problem to really jar my brain into clarity. So thanks!

    And look, I want to reiterate that you shouldn’t let this site make you feel bad about something that helps you. I know I am just a laymen, and I get flamed by all the real psychiatrists for even trying to dish out advice, but if it helps at all I want to say this: After 4 years of talking to Adderall users, do you know how I distinguish somebody who actually needs Adderall from somebody who is ready to quit? The people who actually need Adderall start their story with statements like “I have always struggled with studying, homework, and tests even at an early age.” The people who are ready to quit start their story with statements like “I miss the person I was before Adderall.”

    There is a completely different tone and feel to the comments made by people who actually need it, and your comment has that tone and feel.

    The “is it me or is it the pill” dilemma is a common one, and it’s completely pointless. That’s just wasted worry. Let me resolve it for you: Your successes our your own, pills or no pills. Adderall only serves to bring out something in you that was already there. If you like that thing, then keep it. It’s yours.

    Thank you again for staying so thoughtful constructive. You sound like a really solid person. I wish you very well.

  18. Jon says:

    Mike, have you ever considered becoming a professional counselor? You are a born psychologist and a gifted writer, and I can tell from the postings you have written that you have a passion–or at least you derive great satisfaction–from doing both. All the advice that I’m observing you give to the people asking for help or guidance on this website seems nearly impeccable to me. I’m impressed by your sense of propriety when addressing others on this site and I can infer a sense that this is helping A LOT of people who literally have nowhere else to turn.
    Your website has truly inspired me; in fact in the last few days I have been spending great amounts of time (time that I should probably be spending doing something constructive) reading and re-reading the posts on this forum. I too am an INFP Myers-Brigg type personality (at least that’s what I score with the aid of Adderall). From what I’ve read and from my own experience INFPs—along with other idealist-type personalities—are natural psychologists. They are often gifted with language, creativity, artistic abilities, and (generally above all else) compassion (I’m sure you already know all this:)). They tend to be motivated by self-improvement, are curious about what makes others tick, and enjoy using their knowledge of self to aid those in times of personal distress.
    Anyway, I’m having my own major issues with Adderall and—thanks to you and the people on this site—I’m giving serious consideration to quitting, or at least to significantly cutting down my dosage. I have more I’d like to write but I’ll have to save it for another time. For now I need to get back to my schoolwork. Thanks for being here for us and keep up the great work! Take care for now.

  19. Mike says:

    Thanks, Jon! Very nice of you to say. And well said, if I may add. *INFP fist bump*

    Funny you mention it! I’m actually in school to become a psychologist. I’m pretty early on the path; still working on my first psych degree and trying to impress my teachers enough to earn good choices for grad school. But I’m really enjoying the education.

    Did you ever see the movie The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft? There’s a scene at the end where Helen Keller finally realizes that everything in the world has a name. She freaks out (with excitement) and starts pounding the ground and signing furiously “What is the name for this?!” and Anne Bancroft (her teacher) is like “G-R-O-U-N-D — GROUND!” and then Helen runs up to a tree and signs “And this?! What is this called?!” and Anne Bancroft signs “T-R-E-E — TREE!” And Helen Keller is crying and smiling and hugging Anne Bancroft, so happy to finally understand language and words. That’s basically how I feel in psych class every day.

    I hadn’t heard about the connection between INFP and psychologists before. That’s really cool, and makes a lot of sense!

    Very best of luck with your own quitting process. It’s pretty miserable, but if you keep your natural INFP-focus on self improvement, you’ll win out in the end by smartly-steered persistence.

    Thanks again for the nice comment!

  20. buy levitra says:

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  21. Jillian says:

    Hi Mike,

    There are comments on the site from a few people who don’t seem to realize that going from alcoholism/binge drinking to Adderall is not much of an accomplishment. I am also alcoholic and segued into Adderall. I stopped drinking in 2005 and then found Adderall, which was just another way of getting buzzed. Yes, I do have clinical ADD. And I never took more than I was prescribed. In fact, I was taking less of a dose four years in than I was in the beginning. So I was not “abusing” it either. The trouble is that most people, especially in the beginning, don’t realize that they’ve simply traded one drug for another. And Adderall was more problematic for me than alcohol because I became accustomed to getting that euphoric feeling on a daily basis from Adderall (I didn’t drink every single day). Plus, having it sanctioned by doctors, family and friends made it more acceptable. Adderall is an *amphetamine*, a Schedule II drug. You can’t call yourself clean/sober if you take it. And I’m not telling anyone not to take it, I’m just saying you can get your high from alcohol or you get it from a pill. It took me awhile to realize this.

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  23. BRICE says:


  24. Amy says:

    Brice, 90 is a REALLY high dose in my experience! Have you thought about cutting down how much you take (by a LOT) and working on fixing your alcohol issues separately? Using Adderall as a crutch to manage alcoholism isn’t good for you at all!

  25. hari says:

    @Me: I hate Adderall with a passion, but you reminded me what a huge part of my life was like without it. Unlike in your case, my parents provided structure and tutoring through grade school, so I wasn’t diagnosed till college. But externally imposed structure and tutoring is its own kind of Adderall, and my upbringing gave me so much self-esteem that I was convinced that it was other “normal” people who were the stiff, slow-thinking, unfeeling robots who were missing out on life. But over the many years of nonstop failing through coursework at college, I started to see my unique personality as my failure. After significant encouragement from classmates, I met a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD. A single pill of Adderall showed me a world I never knew existed, one where the background music and four television channels in my mind that were a constant source of amusement for me were shut off, where daydreams ended and gave way to cold reality, and I had to wonder if I was the one with real issues, if I was the sick deluded one who lived in a perpetual daydream. I told myself that I was the artist type with the overactive imagination, but I couldn’t focus long enough on anything to get good at it without lots of external structure. Adderall did make a huge difference, but there is also no doubt, 3 years into it, that it has taken away most of my personality and uniqueness. I once prided myself on being vibrant, but now I am a semi-autistic programmer who can code for 6 hours a day. I don’t have wide interests or any particular interest any more, as so much of my world has mutated around coding (I swear it wasn’t the plan!). The only reason I don’t quit Adderall is stories like yours that reminded me why I started in the first place. But honestly, I need to remember why I started. I used to take it and make every day count with a “never again” mantra to remind myself of the purpose, but now I’m taking it for other, far less worthwhile reasons, and I think that shift has made all the difference. I don’t need the medicine any less than when j first started, but 3 years of Adderall is surprisingly effective of changing your brain enough to dull out even the darkest of memories.

  26. manifest_apathy says:

    I have around 5 years of psychiatric drug experience under my belt, I am currently 22 years of age. I found this post while seeking for Adderall SUCCESS stories, and I applaud you for taking such a realistic approach to this subject—it is clear that your intent is to educate and provide an outlet for those seeking nurturing advice.

    I’ve taken all forms of Ritalin, Modafinil and Armodafinil, but have had the most success with Dextroamphetamine. When I began taking prescription benzodiazepines (clonazepam, and then valium), I became lost in a haze of stimulants and GABA-B antagonist drugs for the first few years of my college education. I tapered off Valium—which is a story for a different post—but continued taking Dexedrine as it helped me stay motivated and active despite the extreme depression I was experiencing from benzo withdrawal.

    Eventually, after working many night-shifts as a cook at a restaurant and feeling doubtful of my lifestyle choices, I managed to get off all psychiatric substances for a period of 3 months. During these 3 months, I experienced an initial “manic” feeling of triumph at having Quit Adderall. Then the depression set in. Then the depersonalization. Then suicidality.

    I consulted a new psychiatrist who began me on a treatment that involves SSRI’s (Luvox, for obsessive compulsive disorder), and Ritalin—eventually finding that adderall is preferable in terms of side-effects and benefit. I’ve been seeing him once a week for the last month and a half. It hasn’t been an immediate fix, but I have a much more realistic perspective on my mental health situation (please, all, limit your alcohol consumption if taking any kind of medication—it’s obvious advice, but crucial) and feel like I have the proper support and tools to get back on track.

    LONG STORY SHORT: just taking the fucking drugs if they work, take a few breaks here and then to assess your organic state, and keep your doctor in the loop.

  27. ADH-Me says:

    I’m not sure if you still monitor this website as it seems like most of your posts and comment replies are from 2009/2010 but I am thrilled to have found it. I am of your typical early diagnosed ADHD variety that has been taking adderall every day for 8 years, and on and off throughout childhood prior to that. Like most of your visitors, this is the first place I’ve found a relevant perspective of someone who is an adderall success story on paper that desperately misses organic failure. The mere existence of this site is such an inspiration – You made it to the other side and wrote the code and content for a website dedicated to quitting adderall, SANS ADDERALL. I can’t think of a more elegant way to punch ADHD in the metaphorical dick than that.

    I have to flame you a little bit though because I kind of have a soft spot for the recently-departed-from-adderall voice that you are distancing yourself from in your disclaimer. For those of us that are just beginning our journey, we don’t want/need more professional opinions or more reasons why adderall can help ADHD. The professional opinion for me is that adderall allowed me to conquer my ADHD, hone my abilities, and become extremely successful in my career. I want to hear the unprofessional, off-the-cuff, banter of someone who was in the same boat, had everything to lose professionally, but had everything to gain personally by quitting. I want to hear what it’s like to just mildly defeat ADHD, use my abilities as best I can, be tragically adequate at my career, and regain the emotions necessary to assess how I feel about it.

    To be clear, you’ve done an amazing job with this website and I understand that the disclaimer is an important clarification for you to make due to the subject matter. I am merely concerned by the distance you seem to want to put between your legacy commentary and your current perspective. The context of your site is built around someone who successfully treated ADHD with adderall but lost themselves in the process. We already know adderall is a great drug for ADHD and we don’t care, we want out. It sounds like shit advice to give someone now that you’re not in the throws of quitting adderall, but the old conversations between you and your visitors are so valuable and authentic to someone who is. Don’t look down now from your adderall-free ivory tower and start going neutral on us – you forget how quickly a couple of pro-adderall comments on the interwebs can induce cognitive dissonance in someone with bone-dry dopamine receptors and a bottle of adderall upstairs that can fix everything.

  28. Adam says:

    Mike, thank you for this disclaimer page and website in general. You’re doing a wonderful service for people all around the world, especially with your patient and empathic approach, understanding that we don’t all share same experiences and perspectives. Keep up the good work!

  29. Hey, just searching about some blogs, seems a pretty good platform you might be employing. I’m currently making use of WordPress for some of my websites but looking to change one particular of them more than to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in certain you would recommend about it?
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  30. adult ADDer says:

    YOU ARE A HERO for those of us who need a small dose of Adderall to help us function. When the pharmacies run out because of abusers or I am traveling and a pharmacist refuses to fill my prescription because they assume I am an addict pharmacy shopping, I get angry because Adderall abusers do not see how they hurt those of us who really need it. The slow release and newer meds put me to sleep, but without Adderral I nearly lost my drivers’ license because I got so many tickets due to spacing out. With the help of your website, someday I may be able to get my legitimate prescription filled more regularly. Thank you.

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