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tatatatommy 02-02-2005 08:14 PM

College students on Adderall With ADD and Dysgraphia
I was just wondering if there are any college students out there with ADD and Dysgraphia who take Adderall. This is my first time posting so I'm going to share my story. Hopefully there are some people out there that are going through the same things as me. I just really need someone that I can relate to, so that I don't feel so alone in this world.

I'm a student at The University of Hawaii at Manoa. I suffer from ADD and dysgraphia, which, so far, have made my college experience some what rough. I am currently a sophomore trying to get into the civil engineering program.

I'm having a lot of trouble adjusting to college. I have an Adderall XR prescription and am supposed to take 30mg a day, that doesn't work so I take 60mg every other day. When I first started college I would take 60mg a day but I found out that it's impossible to take 60mg a day because you will die, either from a heart attack or from starvation. Besides the fact that your brain can't retain information if you have been on Adderall for too long. After a while you will just be studying but you won't retain any of the information. Then there is the problem of not being able to sleep at night, if you don't get enough sleep, your brain can't retain information either. Also, you can't eat, so you lose lots of weight and your health goes downhill. Finally, you don't feel the need to be social and don't feel like talking to anyone. Sometimes I get depressed too and can't think about anything but all the pain and suffering in the world and how much I hate the world. When I'm off Adderall I can eat and socialize and sleep but I can't get my school work done and my room is a mess and I'm extremely disorganized. I'd personally rather give up eating, socializing, and sleeping, than get bad grades. I would do anything in the world to get A's in all my classes. I'm trying really hard to find a balance of studying, eating, sleeping, and socializing. I can be really good at a few aspects of my life if I concentrate on them but then other things deteriorate and I find myself going back and forth.

I just found out that I have dysgraphia. My whole life I've always had difficulty writing. My handwriting is atrocious and my spelling is pretty bad too. And I never developed as an artist. My drawings look like 5th grade art.

In high school I was a descent student. I didn't get D's or F's but I didn't have to worry about anything in high school. I had free food, a car with free gas, and lots of money, and was forced to go to all my classes, and my teachers talked to me if my grades were falling and they would call my parents if they got really bad. But in college I have to do everything myself and I'm not sure how to schedule my time. Asking my mother doesn't help because she has no clue about what itís like having ADD. She tells me to just study every night and get straight A's like my brothers. I don't think she understands that I'm not my brothers and I'm not her.

I really scare myself sometimes. I could have a test that is worth 90% of my grade and if I'm not taking my Adderall I won't even study for it. I simply won't care about anything, kinda like a nihilist. Even if I only have to study for one day to get an A I will simply put it off and I won't care about the consequence.

If there was some way to be the student that I am while on Adderall every day I would get straight A's in all my classes and would probably rule the world and make hundreds of millions of dollars. But I can only handle taking it every other day. This means I can only study half the time.

If anyone out there knows how to take Adderall everyday and get enough sleep and eat enough and stay healthy that would help me more than anything in the world. Perhaps there is another drug for people with ADD or a way to schedule my day.

If I could be on Adderall 24 hours a day my classes would almost be too easy. But taking 60mg of Adderall seven days a week is a physical impossibility.

Anyone have any advice?

mudhound 02-03-2005 06:15 PM

Re: College students on Adderall With ADD and Dysgraphia
welcome to the boards.

blurayne 02-04-2005 07:38 AM

Re: College students on Adderall With ADD and Dysgraphia
Hello, My name is lisa and I am also a college student and take adderall xr everyday. First I want to ask, how long have you been on the adderall?? Only because when I first started adderall I was a mess! I had anxiety and lack of sleep, I never ate (although I could loose a few lbs, but not the right way). I noticed that after a few weeks, my body adjusted to it and sleep and eating came easier. The anxiety did go away and everything did smooth out. Also, you say taking 60mgs is too much. Maybe that's why the doctor only wants you to take 30mgs. so It will be a little easier for you to study (although you may have to work at it some) but at the same time you will find it easier to eat and sleep. If you are taking 60 mgs every other day, how can your body get a chance to get use to the medication? Your not giving it a chance. I would suggest you take 30mgs EVERYDAY as prescribed and once your body gets use to it, maybe you can go up to 40mgs and that may do the trick. By the way, some people have to take more than 60mgs a day and do not die. You just have to ease into it and give your body a chance to adjust. As I have said before, once you are able to get use to it, eat and sleep easier, but you find it's not helping you study, try going to 40mgs. Talk and work with your doctor, but most of all do not try to self prescribe the way "you" think it will work. As you said, it's not working anyway. Don't give up. Try it the right way first and see how it goes/ if you need to talk to anyone, I am here to talk to. good luck!!

index.html 02-04-2005 11:42 AM

Re: College students on Adderall With ADD and Dysgraphia
I agree with blurayne. Don't play around with your dose on your own. It can be dangerous. Instead, take it as prescribed. *IF* you can sleep, eat and aren't overwhelmed with anxiety on 30mg per day, but don't feel it is an adequate dose, go back to your doctor and talk about - gradually - increasing your dose.

Also, bear in mind that it REALLY isn't necessary for you to:

[QUOTE=tatatatommy] get straight A's in all my classes and ... rule the world and make hundreds of millions of dollars.[/QUOTE]

Perhaps you are expecting too much of yourself. B's are acceptable. You can still be successful in life without millions of dollars. If you lowered your definition of success, maybe you wouldn't have to play - dangerously - with your medication. Just a thought...

snowchick2684 02-04-2005 02:17 PM

Re: College students on Adderall With ADD and Dysgraphia
i definately agree...rather than playing with your drugs yourself, talk to your doctor. also, maybe you want to consider a different medication? i know there is a lot going on with strattera right now, but that has the ability to put you at a constant state of focus/attention, etc...unlike how adderall only works while it's in your system. also, i think maybe you're relying too much on your drugs. my dad always tells me "they're not magic pills meg, they just turn your brain on so you can study and work hard like everyone else". i've gone through, and am still going through so much counseling (through the college i attend, and most colleges have disability centers to help you with things like this) that teaches me how to study, take notes (check out the Cornell Method, i love it...), read, and organize myself, even when im not on my meds. i also have problems with the eating and sleeping thing...sleeping is more of a problem for me because i've had sleep problems all my life. as for eating, it sounds childish, but works for me: i put myself on a schedule...after a certain class, i have to eat something. and my roommates/parents/friends are good about reminding me to eat. it helps me knowing that i have to eat at a certain time of day, that way it's part of my schedule and i try to eat something whether i'm hungry or not. hope some of this helps :)

tatatatommy 02-07-2005 03:25 PM

Re: College students on Adderall With ADD and Dysgraphia
Thanks for the replies everyone!

ADDsubtract 02-08-2005 05:39 AM

Re: College students on Adderall With ADD and Dysgraphia
"Besides the fact that your brain can't retain information if you have been on Adderall for too long."

Any validity to this statement? :confused:

tatatatommy 02-09-2005 01:16 PM

Re: College students on Adderall With ADD and Dysgraphia
[QUOTE=ADDsubtract]"Besides the fact that your brain can't retain information if you have been on Adderall for too long."

Any validity to this statement? :confused:[/QUOTE]

When I say your brain can't retain information I'm talking about studying 48 hours straight, and when I say 48 hours straight, I mean 48 hours straight with a few short 1 hour breaks, your brain can't retain that much information, it's futile.

I used to think I could just put off studying all semester then take a huge dose of Adderall and study 48 hours straight, but boy oh boy was I wrong. Studying 2 hours a night for 12 nights is 10 times as effective as studying one 48 hour block.

Cramming like that kind of works for easy classes like history, but if you try it in Calculus or Physics or Chemistry, it won't be pretty.

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