It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



ADD / ADHD Message Board

  • Figuring out Adderall

  • Post New Thread   Reply Reply
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 03-13-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
    JenC02
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    JenC02's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Mar 2013
    Location: schomberg, ontario, canada
    Posts: 4
    JenC02 HB User
    Figuring out Adderall

    Hello everyone, this is my first time posting on here. I'm a 21 year old female and I was just diagnosed with adult ADHD in early January. I always knew I had it, well I suspected, I didn't know for a fact, although I was 100% sure of it considering focusing in school seemed to be the hardest task that it got to the point where I stopped trying and let all my grades go down the toilet, which has now screwed me over. Anyway, I will get to the point because none of that really matters! I've never posted on any message boards before so I'm not really sure how to do this lol. I began taking adderall mid January, and I started off on 5mg XR. Since then, I've gone back to see my doctor every 2.5 weeks or so, and upped my dose by 5mg until we could find one that fit for me. Now I'm currently on 25 mg, and when I first began taking this dosage I felt like it worked best, but the only downfall was that I felt like it wore off too early. I would take it around 9, 10 am and it would usually wear off by 4. Not only would it wear off, but it had this negative effect on me some days. When I felt it working its best, it was amazing. I felt focused, outgoing, positive, happy, and productive. But the negative effect it gave me sometimes after wearing off I would feel sad, SO sad, I had negative thoughts, not horrible ones but just a negative attitude about everything I would have been positive about earlier that day. I would feel very agitated at small things, I wouldn't feel like even speaking to anyone at all. I HATED it! By 11 - 11:30 pm I would be be exhausted and go to bed, and I'd fall asleep instantly. I realized by doing research that there is a link to eating citric acid foods and low alkaline foods that can cause the side effects of adderall to worsen, but I thought that it would be okay to still have them as long as it was an hour before I took my medication. So I would wake up early in the morning and have my fruits for breakfast then take my meds an hour and a half later. That helped, but didn't fix anything fully. I then spoke to my doctor about the medication wearing off too early, and she suggested I take another 5 mg in the afternoon, as soon as I began to feel my first dose start to wear off which would usually be around 2. This helped the good effect of adderall last longer, but I feel like some days it causes me to be a less focused on most days and only after taking the second dose. It's also making sleep an issue on some days, and I still experience the bad side effects some days but not everyday. All I want is to figure this drug out so that I only experience the effect adderall is supposed to have on you and nothing else! Does anybody have any suggestions? I can honestly say that it has changed my life, in a good way. Because when its doing its job I feel capable. I now have hopes and dreams that were in me before, but now I feel as though I'm actually capable of making them a reality. But I hate the side effects. I guess I'm just looking for someone who has maybe experienced what I'm going through or even some of the things, and what are fixes for it? Does it just take a really long time to learn what works for you and your body? With the doses, foods, ext.? And what is the most common impact that coffee and caffeine have when consumed while being on adderall? ANY suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated! Thats if anybody was able to get through my GIANT post without falling asleep lol. I apologize that its so long, I just wanted to get everything out! Please help and make suggestions, any! Thanks so much for the time. I also forgot to mention that SOME days I experience a bit of anxiety along with the other side effects. I shouldn't say days, its always in the evenings!

     
    Reply With Quote
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 03-16-2013, 04:16 AM   #2
    Thunor
    Senior Veteran
    (male)
     
    Thunor's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts: 546
    Thunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB User
    Re: Figuring out Adderall

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JenC02 View Post
    I felt focused, outgoing, positive, happy, and productive. But the negative effect it gave me sometimes after wearing off I would feel sad, SO sad, I had negative thoughts, not horrible ones but just a negative attitude about everything I would have been positive about earlier that day. I would feel very agitated at small things, I wouldn't feel like even speaking to anyone at all. I HATED it! By 11 - 11:30 pm I would be be exhausted and go to bed, and I'd fall asleep instantly.
    This is a good description of what some people call the Adderall roller-coaster. Adderall is a very powerful, but poorly targetted ADHD medication. Because of the way it's formulated, Adderall tends to be effective in a wider variety of circumstances than some of the other amphetamine-based medications, but also tends to have more pronounced ups and downs, and is more likely to have side effects. Adderall's ups and downs are often sharp and extreme.

    Unfortunately, the "outgoing, positive, happy" effects generally mean that your dose is too high. These effects are not therapeutic outcomes, and will wane in time, regardless of your dosage. To maintain these effects would require a fairly regular increase in your dosage. These are the effects that people are chasing when they become addicted to amphetamine or methylphenidate-based medications. It is also these highs that result in the Adderall 'crash' or the lows that come when the medication wears off.

    The focussed and productive effects should be more consistent, and are ones that you should be better able to maintain. There are several possible strategies that you can consider:
    • Clean living. This is a big one that will help manage your ADHD symptoms regardless of whether or not you medicate. Eat right, avoid processed foods (especially preservatives and artificial colours), exercise daily, get enough sleep, and moderate or eliminate caffeine and alcohol.

    • Another, more targetted amphetamine-based medication. There are a number of other medications that may result in less pronounced ups and downs while still allowing you to manage your ADHD. If you have insurance coverage or can afford it, Vyvanse is a good option; Dexadrine contains the same active ingredient as Vyvanse (one of the ingredients found in Adderall) and is much less expensive. Your doctor may or may not prefer methylphenidate-based meds like Ritalin, Concerta, or Biphentin. If you're looking to get off the stimulant roller-coaster, you may also consider Wellbutrin.

    • Tweak your dosing. A lower initial dose may take the edge off the ups and downs. You will lose the rush that gives you the energetic feeling and sunny outlook, but you may retain the focus. This may need to be balanced out by a slightly higher dose on the back end (20+10, rather than 25+5). This is something you and your doctor would have to discuss.

    • Some combination of the above.

    It's clear that your doctor followed the proper protocol, starting you at the bottom and titrating slowly to higher doses. Many doctors these days drop people into 30mg doses and wonder why they have negative outcomes. This leads me to believe that your doctor is a pretty smart cookie, and is probably a good person to work with on managing your treatment. Take your time, finding the right dose of the right medication can take a lot of time and frustration, but is absolutely worth it if you can find the right mix.

    Best of luck.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-16-2013, 02:27 PM   #3
    JenC02
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    JenC02's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Mar 2013
    Location: schomberg, ontario, canada
    Posts: 4
    JenC02 HB User
    Re: Figuring out Adderall

    I appreciate you taking your time to explain all of that to me! Thank you so much. How do you know all of that? I've tried figuring this out through reading a billion posts, still couldn't find an explanation or anything that made sense. More than anything I want this fixed because it isn't nice to deal with at all, its awful. Your post really makes sense though, yesterday and today I have gone without the 5mg in the afternoon and as tired as I get early in the evening and still experience the agitation and isolation issues I talked about to a certain extent, I would much rather deal with that then everything else because it isn't as bad. I'm considering going to a doctor who specializes in ADHD and drug therapy so that he can help me figure out where to go from here and what will work out perfectly. While I do have a smart doctor, she doesn't know much about adderall and when I have questions she has to flip open a text book to find the answers which is frustrating. So hopefully I will have everything figured out shortly. Thank you so much though. I keep reading about welbutrin. If you have the time do you think you could possibly explain that to me and how it might help? Thank you thank you thank you x a million.
    __________________
    JEN

    Last edited by Administrator; 03-21-2013 at 03:14 AM.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-17-2013, 05:31 AM   #4
    Thunor
    Senior Veteran
    (male)
     
    Thunor's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts: 546
    Thunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB User
    Re: Figuring out Adderall

    I have learned all of this because six years ago I was in a similar situation to what you're in now. I had a doctor that was willing to work with me, but had no history with ADHD or knowledge of the medications involved. I was forced to learn a lot of this as I was largely directing my own treatment under the supervision of my doctor. Things changed a lot for me when I managed to find a psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD, and knows these drugs and what to expect from them, but is open minded enough to discuss novel options when I suggest them.

    Unfortunately, it's hard to immediately quantify much of what I say here, because it's a synthesis of six years of trying to figure out my own ADHD situation, plus my own special brand of oversimplification. I read about these things, then try to break them down to the point that they're easy to communicate--not that I'm any smarter than anyone else out here, but it saves time to simplify, rather than trying to explain my process. However, I'll try to give you some jumping off points (the caveat is that this is my own understanding of what follows, and may or may not be perfectly accurate--I am not a chemist):

    First, the precise reasons that stimulant-based medications improve ADHD are unknown. It is theorized that ADHD involves a lack of activity in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, and that stimulants wake-up that portion of your brain, so to speak. While again, it is not known precisely how, it is known that stimulants cause an increase in the available amounts of two neurotransmitters, dopamine (which is implicated in, among other things, feeling satisfied) and norepinephrine (also called noradrenaline or adrenaline). It is believed that stimulants increase these neurotransmitters' availability by both blocking the reuptake of these chemicals (meaning that they're absorbed and broken down by one end of your synapses), as well as causing them to be secreted by the other end. The increased availability of these neurotransmitters seems to have positive effects on ADHD.

    Adderall is formulated by mixing four different amphetamine salts. These are; amphetamine aspartate monohydrate, amphetamine sulfate, dextroamphetamine saccharide, and dextroamphetamine sulfate. The first two of these are racemic mixtures, which means they contain both dextroamphetamine and levoamphetamine. The difference between dextro- and levo- amphetamine is a slight difference in the three dimensional shape of the molecule, such that they rotate light differently, one presents a left twist (levo-), while the other presents a right twist (dextro-). While chemically these are the same substance, the difference in shape can change the way they behave, and what sites they will bind to in the body and the brain. Furthermore, a racemate (meaning a chemical made up of both d- and l- molecules) may have different physical properties and potencies than either enantiomer by itself.

    The reason all of this matters is that it's suspected that dextroamphetamine tends to be responsible for more of the positive effects that ADHD sufferers derive from amphetamines, and less of the side effects. This is why most of the amphetamine medications available are dextroamphetamine only (including Dexedrine and Vyvanse). Because it contains so many different versions of the amphetamine molecule, Adderall tends to be effective in a wider range of cases than the less broad versions, but also tends to result in both the extreme highs and lows that you have described, as well as a higher rate of reported side effects.

    For the above reasons, I consider Adderall more of a last resort than a first one. If I were directing someone's treatment, I would try a dextroamphetamine-only version (ideally Vyvanse) and a methylphenidate version (Concerta) before considering Adderall. Adderall will work for some people who don't respond to these other meds, but I would take the time to find out before jumping into Adderall. I have found Vyvanse to have a very smooth uptake and decline; I do find that late in the evening I hit a wall where all I want to do is sleep, but I do not get the depressive symptoms that come with Adderall.

    Methylphenidate is a chemical cousin to amphetamine and works in similar ways. It is best known as Ritalin, and has been used for treatment of ADHD since at least the 1950s. As such has been studied rather extensively, and effects of long term use are very well established (that said, amphetamine has been around since the 1800s, and has been used extensively for other purposes for a very long time--both are safe if not abused). Methylphenidate works better than amphetamine for some, and less well for others. Unfortunately, the only way to determine which group you fall into is to try. Treatment of ADHD is very trial and error.

    Wellbutrin is technically an antidepressant. It is considered an atypical anti-depressant because instead of working to prevent the reuptake (or absorbing and breaking down) of seratonin like Prozac and the other meds of that ilk, Wellbutrin works to prevent the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, the same neurotransmitters that are implicated in ADHD. It is because it has the reuptake inhibition effect on the ADHD neurotransmitters that it is sometimes prescribed off-label for ADHD. The nature of this medication (because it only blocks reuptake, it does not induce secretion), it take several weeks to reach full effect, so evaluating it's effect takes longer.

    This brings me to the potential bad news. Although you may find that you are part of the group that can find a medication and manage your symptoms with it long term, there is always the possibility that like me, you're part of the group that develops tolerance to medications very quickly. Anytime your environment changes, your body works to adjust to those changes and maintain its equilibrium. In cases like mine, it means that I have been unable to find a medication that treats my symptoms effectively over the long term.

    I have always found that I experience what I refer to as a "honeymoon phase" on any new medication. This is the time when the medication is new and works very well for me. I have good management of my symptoms, but over a matter of weeks, or at most a few months, the positive effect begins to fade. I tend to experience a decline in function to the point that I end up back where I was without the medication.

    In my own experience, the best effects were gained from Vyvanse and Wellbutrin. I tried a number of meds and combinations thereof, but it was when I stumbled upon Wellbutrin that my life really began to improve. I lost a good bit of weight, and was able to complete my university degree (somethign that I had been starting and washing out of off and on for fifteen years). I found that Wellbutrin gave me the best effect for roughly ten months before the decline began, and I don't feel I returned to baseline for over two years. Ultimately, however, I found myself in the same boat as always.

    The reason I told you about tolerance is not to discourage you, but to let you know that this is possible, and something you may have to eventually face. Many, many people manage their symptoms for decades with no loss in efficacy, so it's certainly worth giving it a serious try. If you do find that you're in the same boat that I am, however, I encourage you to learn everything you can while you're getting the effects from your meds. You can re-train your brain to work well without the meds, and can come up with strategies to function, even if the meds don't work.

    Take the time to look into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Buy a book, find a therapist, find a group, whatever it takes--learn this stuff. Addprogrammer tried to convince me to do this back in the day and I didn't follow through, but I should have. I'm working on learning CBT now, and the benefits are obvious. CBT is proven to work for a very wide range of mental health issues, and is big for ADHD. CBT is the future.

    In hindsight, this post is a little more rambling than I usually do, but I've run myself short on time and can't fix it. I hope you can follow it, and I hope some of it helps. No matter what, don't get discouraged from anything I've told you. There is a bright future out there for you, it just might take a little more work to achieve it than it does for some of your classmates.

    Best of luck.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-17-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
    JenC02
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    JenC02's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Mar 2013
    Location: schomberg, ontario, canada
    Posts: 4
    JenC02 HB User
    Re: Figuring out Adderall

    Firstly, I'd like to let you know that I can't thank you enough for taking the time to explain all of that to me. I know that in the future, when I've got it all figured out like you do, I will definitely still use this message board to try and help people who have been caught up in this situation. Don't worry at all about the long post, because you should know that it was GREATLY appreciated. It's very hard to deal with all of this on your own, I do have an incredible family and some great friends, but not a single person is able to understand how serious this is for me and how hard it is to deal with. I don't think its something anyone can understand unless they have been through it. The knowledge you have given me has shed so much light on my situation, and has given me an understanding that I haven't been able to find through weeks and weeks of research and reading millions of posts. If you don't mind, I do still have a few more questions. I'm sure I will be able to figure this out once I see a specialist, but if you have the time I would like to hear your thoughts as well.

    How are you able to tell when you have built up a tolerance to your dose? I do think this might be a factor for me. I know that sounds like a stupid question, but how do you differ building a tolerance quickly to adjusting to just having adjusted to your dose? I'm not sure if that is coming across the way I mean for it to, because I understand that the simple answer might be "your dose doesn't work for you anymore." But how are you able to tell when your dose doesn't work for you anymore? Or what I might really be trying to ask is, what do you feel throughout the day when you know you are on the right dose? That is something I'm not totally sure of, at all. Are there any ups and downs? Or should you feel steady throughout the entire day? Although I stopped taking my afternoon dose of 5mg, I still feel the focus wear off around 2 pm, which is exactly why I started the 5mg in the afternoon. So it seems neither works for me, although I do have SOME focus now that I stopped the 5 mg, just not for long. When I am able to get in with a specialist, I will definitely discuss vivyanse and wellbutrin with them and see what they have to say.

    My doctor has told me that the adderall XR releases over the course of 24 hours, but all the reading and research I have done has said NOTHING about 24 hours. Most people have said its supposed to be over the course of 12 hours, but that it never lasts that long. So I am confused as to why my doctor has said 24 hours, are some adderall xrs different than others?

    And this is my final question! I think. Lol. Have you found that eating before or after taking your medication makes differences? So many people say that taking it on an empty stomach is much better, I've started doing that but I still eat a half hour to an hour after. Its hard for me to tell if it changes anything. Or should I be waiting a full hour until I eat after consuming my meds? And are there any foods in particular that can naturally boost adderalls effects and help it to last longer throughout my day?

    Sorry, one more final question. I have limited myself to having one coffee a day, but I've read about herbal teas and how they go well with adderall and help with the good side effects. Peppermint tea in particular, what are your thoughts on that?

    I know I keep bugging you but it seems as though you REALLY know your stuff. So its nice to have someone who is so knowledgable help me out. I know I will be able to resolve all of this with an expert doctor, but there only seems to be a couple in toronto and I have to wait until tomorrow to phone and book an appointment, and thats IF they are accepting new patients. So it could be a while before I get any professional help and until then I have to get by on my own. I understand if you are too busy to answer all these questions, and you have already helped me out SO much that I feel terrible to keep bothering you. So don't rush to get back to me, I can wait. Consider yourself such a good person for the help that you provide to people, I'm sure I'm not the only one you have taken so much time and effort to answer.
    __________________
    JEN

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-18-2013, 03:21 AM   #6
    Thunor
    Senior Veteran
    (male)
     
    Thunor's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts: 546
    Thunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB User
    Re: Figuring out Adderall

    I agree that anyone who hasn't experienced ADHD can't understand how it feels. My own family is generally unsupportive for one reason or another, from a brother who thinks I'm insane to medicate myself to a father who tells me I'm just lazy (my sisters have their own theories as well). My mother was somewhat supportive, I think she was relieved by my diagnosis because it made her feel less like a terrible mother, because I think she felt a lot of guilt regarding my failure to achieve what I was expected to achieve.

    Regarding tolerance; my primary issue is impulsiveness. Focus is a poorly defined word that can mean many different things to many people, so I tend to try to avoid it when talking about my own situation. I have major issues with impulsiveness; I eat impulsively, I spend impulsively, I squander my time impulsively. Furthermore, when reading (or listening), I have a lot of trouble sticking with any sort of article or book. I find that my mind wanders; there are times I'll get through several pages before realizing I haven't a clue what I've been reading for the last hour or more and have to re-read it. Maintaining my attention on a reading requires a huge effort and is so exhausting, I often find myself drifting off to sleep when reading. If I do, I find I'm better able to concentrate after the nap (I had a real eureka moment when reading a book about adult ADHD which told me that we tend to have small mental energy reserves, it really made sense given the nodding off when reading bit). This effort to remain both attentive and in the moment often leads to the point that I feel like trying to continue to read is futile; this is exacerbated by my impulsivity, and results in my deciding to move on and do something else. As a digression, it was once explained to me that the above is why we, as ADHDers can focus better when deadlines are upon us, the adrenaline that comes with the fear of failure gives us the energy to power through.

    So, when my meds are working, I am better able to control my impulsivity. Good decisions are much easier to make. I am able to both activate and follow through on tasks, and I am able to avoid behaviours that, globally, I want to avoid, but when unmedicated struggle to avoid in the moment (I've described my issue as having a disconnect between being in the moment and considering the big picture, meds help me make this connection). I am able to read for long periods without falling asleep or struggling to maintain my attention. I am better able to remain in the moment (rather than daydreaming about plans for the future).

    As I begin to build tolerance, my struggles return. I act more impulsively, doing those things that I don't want to do (when I think about it from a global perspective), and failing to do those things that I know I want or need to do, but don't want to do in the moment. Reading becomes a struggle again, and I find my mind wandering into daydreams--pulling myself back to the moment is required more frequently and is harder to do. I do find that the mental energy is less of an issue now, even unmedicated, but I suspect this is because the brain grows and adjusts to what you do with it the same as your muscles do.

    Deciding when I'm back at baseline is subjective, obviously, but to me it's the point where I feel like I'm no better off with the med than without. I'm ambivalent about medication at the best of times, and if I'm not significantly better off with it, I don't want to take it.

    As an aside, I have also experienced the euphoria of Adderall that you get at too high a dosage, or early on in treatment. You feel good. You're happy, you're energetic, you're outgoing and less self conscious. These are not the effects you're chasing, as they will not continue. You will adjust to these, and they will disappear, so you're tempted to up your dose to get them back. They will fade at the new dose too, so you end up in this endless cycle of increasing dosage until you're in trouble.

    As to the duration of action with Adderall, it's intended to be 12 hours. Adderall is formulated by encasing the amphetamines in granules that delay absorbtion. They're intended to dissolve slowly over 8 hours, releasing the medication slowly as they go. I have never met anyone that feels like they get a full 12 hours out of Adderall. The problem is that different people metabolize at different rates, so this system is unreliable. Unfortunately, the marketing material says 12 hours, so that's what the doctors think. I've never heard 24 hours. When you're taking amphetamine, you want it gone by bedtime, or you'll struggle to sleep; amphetamine is a stimulant that is intended to keep you awake, so having it active for 24 hours is a bad idea, unless you're a fighter pilot and there's a war on.

    The half life of amphetamine in your system is 4 hours (that means the time it takes to wane to half its intended potency/effect). This is why if you're taking a long-acting ADHD medication, it's generally not recommended to take it after lunch (~8 hours until the last of it is absorbed, 4 hours to stop working).

    As for diet, I take my meds with breakfast (I also tend to drink obscene amounts of coffee, don't follow my example--keep coffee to no more than 2-3 cups a day). While there is some scientific basis for avoiding acidic foods, to my knowledge there have been no studies that have confirmed the effectiveness of any other dietary effect on amphetamine. Taking your meds on an empty stomach will probably make them feel more effective because your body is not using energy to digest food, making more available for other things. The real effect, however, is likely to be the same. Failing to eat regularly (ideally you want to consume something every 2 hours or so) causes your metabolism to slow down, which will reduce your energy level, as your body is trying to conserve.

    In a general sense, you can mitigate your ADHD symptoms through 'clean living,' which I addressed in my first response. Artificial sweeteners, preservatives, artificial colours, and high fructose corn syrup have all been shown to exacerbate ADHD symptoms. Getting daily exercise and solid proper sleep help as well. It's been shown that ADHD sufferers thrive on structure and routine. Establish your routine and keep it as rigid as you can, this will help.

    The only other thing I can recommend is finding an ADHD skills/life skills group that can help you learn and practise those skills that will help you mitigate your symptoms. Learn CBT.

    Best of luck.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-18-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
    JenC02
    Newbie
    (female)
     
    JenC02's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Mar 2013
    Location: schomberg, ontario, canada
    Posts: 4
    JenC02 HB User
    Re: Figuring out Adderall

    WOW! Whoever you are, you're amazing. So helpful to me. When you explained your impulsiveness, and inability to focus while reading or listening, thats me to a T. Sounds like we're very similar.

    I guess I should know forsure I'm on too high of a dose when I feel like I can't pay attention to something long enough because in my brain I have more things that need to get done as well, so I try to do things very fast and have this feeling of anxiousness in me. That was when I was taking the extra 5 mg though. Still with the 20 mg, I feel as though it is the right dose however it wears off very early and I'm still experiencing the agitation quite a bit, and I don't want to be/ feel like I cannot be social at all. That goes away after a few hours or so, but its so annoying to deal with. Yesterday I was feeling fine and went to the mall to shop, and pick up a few things, when suddenly trying to find my size in clothing became extremely annoying to me. Then when I found my size in something I went to the mall specifically for, I thought I don't even want this I don't want to be here and threw it down then left. Couple hours went by and I wished I had bought it. I also had a very handsome guy try and engage in conversation with me, normally I would have been ecstatic about it and spoken with him but in the moment I was in such a terrible mood that I was short with him and blew him off. Something I also regretted later on in the day. During the time that I feel that way, there is absolutely nothing that I can do, because everything, no matter what it may be, irritates the heck out of me. Its very frustrating.

    Anyway, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions about the foods and tolerance. Would you know if weight has anything to do with dosage and what you should be on? It must play some role. Or is it all about tolerance?

    You're actually great. I'm sorry to hear that most of your family isn't very supportive with everything, that must be rough. My parents are fully supportive, however I don't think that they understand what an extreme drug adderall can be and how hard it can be on someone. Like you, my parents are supportive because they are just happy that I have been diagnosed and that I can actually straighten my life out now with some help. Before I was diagnosed with adult ADHD, I was diagnosed with depression the year after I had somewhat finished highschool. I never got better, not even with a few anti-depressants I had tried, up until I was diagnosed with ADHD in January. Primarily I was depressed because I thought I was good for nothing, I thought I was stupid, I didn't graduate high school with all of my friends, I finally ALMOST finished a year after them but I was short one credit. I had hopes and dreams, deep, deep, down in me. However I didn't think that I would ever be able to achieve them, because I thought I was too stupid to ever be able to manage school. I was incapable of doing anything, even a receptionist job. I found it too difficult because whenever someone would try and show me the ropes, my mind would wander so much that I still wouldn't have a clue what exactly I was supposed to do even after being shown over 10 times. However, when starting adderall, even on the 5 mg, I noticed a change in myself. I was able to see that I could do something with my life, I was given hope. I realized I was capable of making my dreams come true. I finally found happiness in myself that I cant remember ever feeling. Maybe it was my first time being generally happy and not depending on others to make me happy, thats how I dealt with depression. Rather than trying to fix it, because I had tried a few times with college and jobs, I gave up on trying and just occupied myself with friends and a boyfriend so that I was never left alone with my thoughts. But when I would be left alone with my thoughts, the depression was still there. Anyway, I don't know how I got rambling on about that but thats my story. The point of it was to say I am in no way ready to give up on trying the different medications, even with the flaws that adderall has had and how awful they are, it's still changed my life for the better and I do not want to return to the darkness that I was in for so long. My parents were able to see the difference in me too, which is why they are so supportive I think.

    I just want to thank you again. How old are you and what do you do now? I know those are personal questions but I'm just curious because you are incredibly intelligent.
    __________________
    JEN

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2013, 02:05 AM   #8
    Thunor
    Senior Veteran
    (male)
     
    Thunor's Avatar
     
    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts: 546
    Thunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB UserThunor HB User
    Re: Figuring out Adderall

    I feel like you might benefit from a different medication. In many cases, the agitation and anxiety are found to be less prevalent on dextroamphetamine (Vyvanse or Dexedrine). You will also likely find that you're less likely to crash when these meds lose their effect. The intense highs and lows tend to be more associated with Adderall than with these other meds.

    I can relate to both the anxiety and agitation effects, I got to the point I was downright aggressive for a little while when I first started taking Adderall and Wellbutrin together (under my psychiatrist's supervision). The problem with stimulants is that they cause effects throughout your system, there are no medications out there that effect only ADHD. As a result, many of the comorbid issues that accompany ADHD such as anxiety and obsessive behaviour can also be magnified. Often, as your body and brain adjust to the medication somewhat, you will find that some of these side effects disappear.

    As to dosing and body weight, it's likely but not guaranteed that body mass will have an effect on how much medication will be required. It's not a hard and fast rule, however, so you can't make assumptions on that basis. You have to go through the process and see how you react at various doses.

    If you and your doctor decide that sticking with Adderall is the right move, I recommend talking to your doctor about lowering your initial dosage, but increasing your afternoon booster dosage. You were having side effect issues at 25+5, now I'm seeing that you're at 20+0, and while you're still struggling with side effects somewhat, the benefits are wearing off in the early afternoon. Consider something along the lines of 15mg in the morning and 10mg at noon or 1. That should give you a more sustained, but less pronounced effect throughout the day.

    Depression diagnoses are very common with ADHD. My own initial diagnosis was depression. I didn't personally agree with it, but deferred to the doctors and nearly died because of it. It's only now becoming understood that adding SSRIs to ADHD can actually activate <depression>, so treating our disorder as depression can actually be extremely dangerous (of course, at the time it was considered impossible for Celexa to make me depressed, so I got a lot of incredulous looks from doctors and pharmacists). The unfortunate thing about psychology is it's a lot less objective than we would like to believe; you could present the same symptoms to 5 different psychologists and walk away with 5 different diagnoses.

    My experience has left me with the belief that many doctors have a 'catch-all' diagnosis, one that they default to when they're unsure. For many doctors this diagnosis is depression--given the explosion in ADHD diagnoses out there, it's clear that many other doctors use ADHD as their 'catch-all.'

    As to my own situation, I've been through this journey and I'm comfortable with where I'm at. Each member of my family has their own issues to deal with; they're as supportive as they can be given their individual worldviews, and I can't really ask much more of them. The rules of the board discourage giving away too much personal information, but I suspect I can get away with admitting that I'm 40 years old, and I work at a treatment facility for youth with addictions and mental health issues that have found themselves in the care of the justice system.

    I appreciate the compliments. I always knew (I say 'knew' because 'believed' isn't a strong enough word) that I was intelligent, but spent most of my life frustrated at my inability to make use of my smarts. I would always do really well in highly structured situations, and would be promoted quickly to entry-level management positions. Unfortunately, when they make you a manager, they expect you do be able to structure your own work, and I would wash out shortly after my promotion, because I did not possess that ability. Washing out of another job, or another year of university would depress me, and I would go through a period of hating myself before starting the process all over again.

    Learning about ADHD, and realizing that it was my demon changed my life. I have spent the last five years learning to accept myself for who I am, and I've learned a ton about how to function despite my affliction. I have benefitted immensely from simply learning to drop 'stupid' and 'worthless' from my personal vocabulary. I have been frustrated by my seemingly endless ability to develop tolerance for medications, but at the same time, I function better now without medication that I ever did before the diagnosis (that said, I'm currently on 40mg Vyvanse which is working nicely for the time being). My hope is to continue to work on applying CBT to my daily life, and hope to one day get to the point that medication is moot.

    Don't sell yourself short. It's clear from your posts that you're very intelligent yourself. Your struggle to maintain attention is going to be a serious personal challenge for you, but that's a challenge that that someone as smart as you can overcome. There's a book that made a big difference to me early on. It's by 2 women named Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo, who have suffered with ADHD for a long time, and have learned to overcome it with humour and grace. It's called You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! , and I'm sure the title speaks to you the way it did to me. It's a brilliant book that provides a lot of great insight. After that, it's CBT, CBT, CBT! You won't regret it.

    Last edited by Administrator; 03-21-2013 at 03:18 AM.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Reply Reply

    Tags
    adderall comedown, adderall side effects, adderall xr



    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:41 PM.





    © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!