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bethie44 11-22-2011 08:19 AM

Questions about Adderall
 
I just started taking Adderall. I've struggle with bad attention problems for as long as I can remember- constantly losing things, unintentionally tuning out in conversations, etc. I'm so glad a doctor finally took my seriously about this and didn't just tell me it went along with my depression. I took my first Adderall a few hours ago. Right away, I feel more alert and focused. I read that the effects are pretty immediate. Even though it helps immediately, I was wondering if some things would continue to improve after you've been taking the medication for awhile.

janewhite1 11-22-2011 05:45 PM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
What happens after you've been taking it a while is that you [I]learn how[/I] to pay attention and be organized, which are things most people learned in childhood. It doesn't happen automatically, you have to try, but I found that, for the first time in my life, my efforts paid off.

I actually learned so much, I don't even take the medicine any more, I can manage without it! Some people always need it, though.

bethie44 11-23-2011 04:55 PM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
Thank you! I had a reality check today when I went out to run a bunch of errands and I kept forgetting things, losing things, driving past my destination, etc. just like every other time! I was thinking- "What the f@#$? I took these pills; Why am I still doing this crap?" I am going to see my therapist soon, and I am going to ask her for some behavioral strategies. I don't know how much she deals with ADHD, and I have only slightly gotten into these issues with her. If she doesn't deal with it that much, I am going to seek out a therapist who does specialize in ADHD. In the meantime, can you suggest some resources for helpful tips- particularly regarding organizing and keeping up with belongings?

janewhite1 11-24-2011 05:26 PM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
Well, I got training from someone who specifically works as an ADHD coach. Coaching is different from therapy, the intent of coaching is to teach skills more than to address emotional needs.

As far as remembering to do things, your cellphone can almost certainly be programmed to alert you, but of course you have to put the alerts in.

Organizing belongings is probably my weakest area. Honestly, I clean once a month. A couple days after my period starts, I get this weird brain chemistry shift, and the mess is so annoying I just can't live with it, so I clean up.

I have come up with a few. Right next to the front door, I have TWO boxes, one for recyclable junk mail, one for mail which must be shredded (because it has personal info on it.) I have a hook for keys by the door. I have a great many large plastic totes in the basement for storing projects, winter clothes, etc.

Ultimately, I am never going to have a home that would be acceptable to my grandmother if she stopped by unexpectedly. I've set the more modest goal of keeping track of vital belongings such as my keys or work materials, having clean work clothes, and making sure the place is safe and healthy.

bethie44 11-24-2011 06:10 PM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
My biggest issues-

-Keeping up with keys, glasses, etc. I am currently missing my glasses and have been going without them. I don't have horrible vision and can go without them. I have just gotten used to seeing the t.v. and street signs blurry. I know it's crazy, but I'm so used to living this way.

-When I'm driving, I often drive past my destination point b/c my mind is wandering. The other day, I actually missed the same spot three times! I know that's insane. It's one of the things that prompted me to talk about my attention problems with my doctor. I also frequently just drive to the wrong spot out of habit. I know everyone does this every once in awhile, but it is quite common for me.

-Leaving the house without everything I need. I practically always come back in at least three times. I have a babysitter that comes once a week for me, and last week she actually said, "Oh, I've just gotten used to you saying goodbye to me three or four times." She is a very sweet person, but it made me feel like an idiot. :-(

janewhite1 11-24-2011 06:33 PM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
Glasses are the one thing I don't lose, simply because I can't, I'm close to blind without them.

Get a new pair, trust me. A simple prescription like that shouldn't cost much, and if your license says you need glasses, driving without them IS illegal.

There are products you can attach to your keys that make a beeping sound when you press a button on the "base." The base attaches to the wall. Seems like a useful product, although for the most part I rely on just putting my keys down someplace smart. Hang a hook right near the door you usually enter and leave by, and hook them there. I also store my keys on a carabiner clip, so I keep them attached to me during the day when I go out.

We all do dumb things. Yesterday morning, I couldn't find my phone. No one else was home, and we don't have a landline. Luckily, I discovered a way to send text messages from the internet (to make the phone beep) otherwise I never would have found it. It was on the top shelf of the bathroom closet. Why on earth it got there, I will never know.

addprogrammer 11-25-2011 07:08 AM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
Bethie & Jane,

I've mastered finding my glasses, wallet and keys and cooking utensils. Everything else I lose. Solution? Let me know when find one.

I like to cook. Roughly 10% of my in-process culinary delights fall-out onto the floor. It has something to do with gravity - I think. I'm going to turn you on to the most wonderful floor cleaning device. The Shark Steam Mop.

I can't fix gravity. I easily fix fall-out damage. Some of the greatest minds have been unable to find a fall-out solution. I did it.

You owe me. ;)

Bob

bethie44 11-25-2011 10:36 AM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
[QUOTE=janewhite1;4884740]Glasses are the one thing I don't lose, simply because I can't, I'm close to blind without them.

Get a new pair, trust me. A simple prescription like that shouldn't cost much, and if your license says you need glasses, driving without them IS illegal.

There are products you can attach to your keys that make a beeping sound when you press a button on the "base." The base attaches to the wall. Seems like a useful product, although for the most part I rely on just putting my keys down someplace smart. Hang a hook right near the door you usually enter and leave by, and hook them there. I also store my keys on a carabiner clip, so I keep them attached to me during the day when I go out.

We all do dumb things. Yesterday morning, I couldn't find my phone. No one else was home, and we don't have a landline. Luckily, I discovered a way to send text messages from the internet (to make the phone beep) otherwise I never would have found it. It was on the top shelf of the bathroom closet. Why on earth it got there, I will never know.[/QUOTE]

Although I do wear my glasses to drive when I actually have them, I did pass my driver's test without them. Still, I think that I will go ahead and buy another pair. I realized what my problem was with my glasses. I wear them for such a small part of the day, and I never had a regular place to put them down. I think that when I get another pair, it will be easier for me to remember to put them in the same place every time I take them off. I will just put them in my glasses case on the end table in the den, near where I watch t.v. We have a mail organizer right next to the garage that has hooks underneath, and I have been really good this week about hanging my keys there :-) Another thing I lose often is my check card. I have reported my check card lost a countless number of times. If I get it out to buy something online, I'll just leave it on a table somewhere and forget about it. Also, if I use it while I'm out, I'll stick it in my pocket instead of putting it back in my wallet. I also can get into trouble if I just put it loose in my purse instead of actually putting it in my wallet. I am becoming more conscious of these things and putting the effort into putting everything back where it goes. While I do have to be the one to make these changes, the Adderall has definitely helped me to be able to focus on these things.

Another attention problem I have is paying attention to what I am reading. I have never gotten into reading, b/c after a page or so, my mind starts wandering like crazy, and I have no idea what I am reading. I've had this problem since I was very young. I actually picked up quickly on phonics, decoding, etc. It was just paying attention that I had so much trouble with. My parents used to read aloud with me when I had reading assignments. We would take turns reading a page. It was the only way I would actually know what I was reading about. Somehow, I still managed to get my Master's degree. When I had to read my texts, though, I would have to take notes obsessively to even remotely pay attention to my reading. I am hoping that I might eventually actually take pleasure in reading. I always felt like I was missing out.

Thanks for all your help.

dunwitty 11-25-2011 09:47 PM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
I took adderall for a little bit, its amazing for the first 6 hours or so, then you come off of it and its terrible. I got really depressed and just overall felt like crap. Its also kinda like meth and I doubt long term use of the stuff is very good for you. I was prescribed it but only took it for 3 days as I just felt like a zombie and couldnt sleep, just like a meth head YAY! The only times I would take it after that is when I had a really important test to take as it helped me remember everything a heck of a lot better, but other than that, I would never touch the stuff again.

janewhite1 11-26-2011 07:37 AM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
Dunwitty: Sounds like your dose was way too high. If you want, you could try taking about a third of what you used to. The effects will be less noticeable, but it might prevent the crash and insomnia.

Bethie: I've always been able to focus on the written word, even as a small child. Reading is my hyperfocus, actually. When I'm reading, I'm not really aware of anything going on around me. People who want to talk to me need to make an effort to get my attention.

What I can't do well is focus on the spoken word. It's really hard to get through school when most lectures, you're only hearing about a third of it. There were a few teachers who made class interactive and interesting enough that I could hear almost all of it, but just a few. I initially struggled in college, (okay, flunked out sophomore year) but eventually managed to earn a doctoral-level degree (not it medicine, but still nifty.)

I still struggle sometimes during meetings to keep from drifting off. If I had to take more classes now, I might ask the teacher's permission to knit during class, or do something else to keep my hands busy. I really think it might help me listen better.

bethie44 11-26-2011 10:51 AM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
[QUOTE=janewhite1;4885296]Dunwitty: Sounds like your dose was way too high. If you want, you could try taking about a third of what you used to. The effects will be less noticeable, but it might prevent the crash and insomnia.

Bethie: I've always been able to focus on the written word, even as a small child. Reading is my hyperfocus, actually. When I'm reading, I'm not really aware of anything going on around me. People who want to talk to me need to make an effort to get my attention.

What I can't do well is focus on the spoken word. It's really hard to get through school when most lectures, you're only hearing about a third of it. There were a few teachers who made class interactive and interesting enough that I could hear almost all of it, but just a few. I initially struggled in college, (okay, flunked out sophomore year) but eventually managed to earn a doctoral-level degree (not it medicine, but still nifty.)

I still struggle sometimes during meetings to keep from drifting off. If I had to take more classes now, I might ask the teacher's permission to knit during class, or do something else to keep my hands busy. I really think it might help me listen better.[/QUOTE]

I also have trouble focusing on the spoken word. It has gotten me into trouble several times with my husband! I think he finally understands, though :-) I have also gotten lost in lecture classes since I was a little girl. I always did poorly in history/ social studies classes, b/c I could not follow what was going on. I cannot believe that I am just now getting help for this at age 30. It kind of makes me angry that for some reason no one would ever take me seriously about these problems. However, I am trying to be positive and focus on having a better present and future. I got a self-help book for Adult ADHD, and I am going to talk to my therapist. If that isn't enough, I will seek out an ADHD coach. Do you have any tips for staying focused during conversations, meetings, etc. (other than medication- I know you don't take that anymore)? Thanks.

janewhite1 11-26-2011 04:20 PM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
Good note-taking can help, I mean the kind where you actually process what's said and write down the important parts.

If there isn't much note-taking to be done, I find that keeping my hands busy helps. I only really listen to music while I'm doing chores, for example.

bethie44 11-29-2011 06:40 AM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
When you did take Adderall, did you notice that it affected you differently from day to day? I don't mean gradually having less of an effect from one day to the next, either. It can be totally sporadic. One day I will be super focused the whole day, one day it might seem to work for only a few hours, and one day it might be like I didn't take it at all, but not necessarily in that order.

Thunor 11-29-2011 09:16 AM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
[QUOTE=bethie44;4884727]Leaving the house without everything I need. I practically always come back in at least three times.[/QUOTE]

Lists, lists, lists. I learned to get around this problem by keeping a checklist with everything I need on my BlackBerry, and checking everything off right before I left in the morning. Eventually (I mean it took a good while), the list became set in my mind and I was actually able to mentally check it off before walking out the door. This worked for evening chores and bedtime details as well, though less well, because I'm less inclined to have my phone in hand during those times.

Sit down and try to think it through, and list off everything you need. You will undoubtedly forget something (unless you're better able to recall these sorts of things than I am), but when you realize down the road there's something that missed the list that needs to be there, take the time to add it. In a few days, the list will be complete, and you'll never leave the house sans lunch/wallet/keys again! ;)

[quote=duwitty;4885203]. . . then you come off of it and its terrible. I got really depressed and just overall felt like crap . . . felt like a zombie and couldnt sleep . . .[/quote]

As Jane said, your dose was unquestionably far too high. Properly dosed, you should be better able to focus and make good decisions, without the sleeplessness. The Adderall crash is rather famous, we've all felt it. This is one of the reasons that I don't like Adderall as a first option for ADHD management, it's too many meds in one, which results not only in the benefits of the various ingredients, but the side effects of all of them as well.

[quote=dunwitty;4885203]The only times I would take it after that is when I had a really important test . . . [/quote]

This is actually an abusive behaviour pattern, I would not recommend it.

I'd love to weigh in on more of the questions posed in this thread, but Jane has simply been too thorough in answering them all, and there's nothing I can add. ;) Thanks Jane! Your advice is well grounded and helpful to all of us, as usual.

BassetLover10 11-29-2011 12:50 PM

Re: Questions about Adderall
 
I am in the severe ADHD range with only 1% of people diagnosed. I have been on and off meds for it my entire life so This is super super important! Adderall or any other ADD or ADHD medications do not teach you to pay attention, for someone with attention problems it simply speeds everything up to match your rapid thought process. These medications are terrible for your body, have a lot of side effects, and for most people are addictive. I was off meds for about 3 years as an adult and eventually got so bad that I had to get back on. If you stay on them constantly then you are slowly taking away your ability to controle some of your ADHD without the medication. What I do is rotate days so that one day I am medicated and the next day I am not. You cant take these things forever so its important not to become dependant in any way or when you get off youll be worse than before.


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