One Year Without Adderall

Haven’t posted in a while. I started writing this post and just noticed the date.

One year and one day ago I stopped taking Adderall.

Hell.

It was hell. I started taking Adderall five years ago for ADHD, which I do have. Adderall became my tool for escaping my depression, instead of merely aiding me with attention. Sad, stressed, annoyed? Take an Adderall.

I’ve had suicidal thoughts since third grade. Starting in middle school, as I began to fight my homosexual nature, I started having severe emotional lows. I’d hide somewhere, cry for hours, beg God to kill me, contemplate how to kill myself, this would between a few hours and a few days. Crashing, I called it.

Always had it, well middle school on. Once or twice a week I’d crash, have an evening of hiding, crying, wanting death and so on. Then I’d be fine the next day.

It became normal. Early in my prescription I realized if I took an Adderall when crashing, boom, I escaped it. Adderall let me focus on something else, get up and do something. It freed me from the crash.

Slowly I used it more and more to avoid my scary lows. 

The thirty days before I quit Adderall I was taking about 150mg a day. I’d been taking about 100mg a day for a few months before that.

I blogged about it. You can go back and see. It got scary. I hated myself. I had intense suicidal desires that I detailed on this blog. 

Most of those are gone. I don’t crash anymore, really. I do to some degree, but it is so different. It is just lows, not a real crash.

Nothing is perfect. I still think about killing myself, about how worthless life is, how meaningless existence is. In fact, I struggled with those thoughts much of the morning. They weighed me down.

Still, they are different. I’m not planning my suicide, or visualizing it. I’m not scared to wake up. Not scared to be alone. Scared to go to work, answer the phone, walk out the door. I was. It got so bad, Adderall fueled emotion mood swings. It turned on me. Instead of supressing my emotions, the feed them. Amplified them. 

Adderall started as a tool to avoid my depression, it became fuel for it.

My quality of life a year off Adderall, better. Much better. It isn’t even comparable to be honest.

Life is mundane. But I’m grateful it is that now. For so long, probably a year to a year and a half before I went off Adderall, life was a daily fight for survival. It was a daily battle with my own mind to push myself through a day.

Now, life seems dull.

Dull is nice.

Current Medication: Nuvigil 250mg, Seroquel XR 200mg, Strattera 100mg, Pristiq 100mg, Memantine 10mg, Lamictal 200mg

One Year Without Adderall

Nothing is enough

annieMy psychiatrist prescribed me Nuvigil last Wednesday, 150mg. I took it Thursday, in the morning, it was alright. Certainly not as energizing as Vyvanse, but Vyvanse is real strong at first, so I wouldn’t mind a step down.

However, by mid-day I was struggling. Low energy, no focus and back to my depressive state. Of course, I opened up one of my 40 mg Vyvanse capsules and took a third of it with Nuvigil the next morning. That was nice, almost perfect. The Vyvanse still comes in waves through out the day, every few hours I get a bump of energy that protects me from the depressive lows. The last one just hit, it does around 4pm, it is how I got off the couch to write this blog. Sigh.

Here I am again, abusing my prescription. But it is so difficult to choose to be unhappy, to choose to feel depressed. At times, I am just not strong enough. I fully understand that I do not want to get a high, I don’t want to go down the path of my past abusive behavior. However, I do want to have days where I feel present — where I feel alive.

In two days I see my psychiatrist, she gave me a seven day prescription. I am hoping she will up it to 250mg, we shall see. I will be honest with here. She’ll be disappointed, maybe angry. I’ll call Dan with her and tell him he needs to dispose of my Vyvanse. I don’t want to go back, these last few days, I’ve felt alive, I just wish I could do this forever. I know I can’t. 

To prevent myself from taking Vyvanse with Nuvigil I just gave Dan the pill bottle and told him to hide it. Tomorrow shall be interesting.

Maybe we will increase my Nuvigil prescription at my appointment on Tuesday. An increase in Nuvigil will help some, although, having experienced 150mg, I doubt even an increase to 250mg will be enough.

It won’t be, nothing is enough.

Current Medication: Nuvigil 150mg, Lamictal 200mg, Pristiq 100mg, Seroquel XR 200mg, Strattera 80mg

Nothing is enough

Dr: “You’re unlikely to experience pleasure in life”

captain 1911Just read the report from my psychological evaluation that I had done last week. The line I can’t let go, “His personality is such that he may have only a small capacity to experience pleasure in life.”

It feels and sounds true. Yet, reading it, so damning, part of me is devastated. A little of the hope I still have just died.

Below is a section of my psychological evaluation:

Psychological Functioning: The patient completed the MMPI-2, an empirically based measure of personality and psychopathology. His responses suggest that he cooperated with the evaluation enough to provide useful interpretive information and the resulting profile is considered an adequate indication of his present personality functioning.

The patient’s profile was developed using the D (depression), Pt (psychasthenia – fear, anxiety, tension, depression, intruding thoughts, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms); and, Pd (psychopathic deviant – rebellious, non-‐conforming; family problems; impulsive, angry, irritable, and dissatisfied) scales. Patients with this pattern tend to exhibit a pattern of chronic psychological maladjustment.

The patient appears to be quite anxious and depressed at this time. He may be feeling some tension and somatic distress along with his psychological problems. He endorsed several items related to suicidal ideation and should be monitored for risk. He indicated a history of impulsive acting-out and substance abuse for which he expressed guilt and remorse.

His personality is such that he may have only a small capacity to experience pleasure in life and tends to be pessimistic in outlook. It appears he is experiencing disturbed interpersonal relationships. Patients with this profile are prone to substance use and abuse disorders and all treatments involving medication should be carefully monitored.

Dr: “You’re unlikely to experience pleasure in life”

I want Provigil, I want it now

iran 1880Again, I did a bit of research this morning, sorting through the endless array of drugs for depression. The most significant problem I face is my lack of energy, my difficulty just getting up and doing things.
My psychiatrist has been resistant to Provigil before, given my history of stimulant abuse. But I’ve done relatively well with Vyvanse. Provigil appears to be less addictive. Below is my notes on the drug. Yes, I used wikipedia, and I am not ashamed.
If you take Provigil, let me know your thoughts on it, I’d greatly appreciate it.
Modafinil (Provigil)
 
Off-label use for fatigue
Modafinil has also found off-label use with the neurological fatigue
  • reported by some with multiple sclerosis.[12]
  • In 2000, Cephalon conducted a study to evaluate… A group of 72 people with MS… Participants taking a lower dose of modafinil reported feeling less fatigued and there was a statistically significant difference in fatigue scores for the lower dose versus the placebo. The higher dose of modafinil was not reported to be significantly more effective.[13][14]
  • Modafinil is also used off-label to treat sedation and fatigue in many conditions, including depression
 
Addiction and dependence potential
  • addiction and dependence liabilities of modafinil are very low.[1][2][33]
  • shares biochemical mechanisms with addictive stimulant drugs, and some studies have reported it to have similar mood-elevating properties, although to a lesser degree.[33]
  • In accordance, although very rare, case reports of modafinil abuse exist.[36][37]
  • schedule IV controlled substance, a category for drugs with valid medical uses and low but significant addiction potential.
    • Adderall and Vyvanse have significant more abuse potential, schedule II
 
Tolerance
Large-scale clinical studies have found no evidence of tolerance with modafinil at therapeutic dosages even with prolonged use (for 40 weeks and as long as three years).[39][40][41]
I want Provigil, I want it now

Before Vyvanse starts to fade

o5sxo4x
Four hours ago I took Vyvanse. It is how I am writing this right now. Vyvanse is at its peak.

This is when I have desire. At about six hours, gone. I’ve been on Pristiq 100mg for a fifteen days now, I think it is helping. I don’t seem as low in the evenings.

Life is best from hour two to hour five of Vyvanse. It is when I feel the most alive.

I took Adderall for four years, heavily abusing it the last few months I was on it.

Am I ever going to feel normal? Am I ever going to feel as if I have desires not during the peak of Vyvanse?

Honestly, I am not sure. Maybe I became so use to the Adderall that my body doesn’t feel right without it.

Maybe stimulants are just a god send for me, they clear my mind in a way that nothing else has. Sigh.

Oh well. I need to post this and head to the gym .

Before Vyvanse starts to fade

What meds do you take? I have a psychiatrist appointment tomorrow…

CaptureI’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, depression and bipolar disorder. Recently we’ve been wondering if I have severe depression and I’m not actually bipolar. My medication cocktail is still not right.

Previous: Seroquel XR 600mg, Gabapentin 1800mg, Strattera 80mg, Effexor 150mg, Prozac 30mg, Cymbalta 60mg

Currently: Vyvanse 30mg, Lamictal 200mg, Seroquel XR 300mg, Strattera 80mg, Pristiq 100mg

There are so many meds out there, I can’t keep track.

What is your diagnoses? What medications do you take?

What meds do you take? I have a psychiatrist appointment tomorrow…

Ever take stimulants for depression? Advice needed.

Do you take stimulants?

Stimulants are occasionally used to to combat treatment-resistant depression. Having done a bit of research, it appears there are varying opinions on this. It is largely agreed that stimulants can be useful for short-term treatment, while waiting for antidepressants to build up. Long-term use of stimulants to treat depression is a bit more controversial.

If you’ve used stimulants to treat depression for more than a couple months, I’d be super grateful if you could tell me about your experience.

  • What stimulants did you take, what dosage and for how long?
  • Did you have to increase the dose often, a few times, never?
  • What was your diagnoses – depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, etc?
  • Did you take other medications – antidepressant, mood stabilizer, etc?
  • What impact did stimulants have – improved energy, euphoria, etc?
  • Did you ever take more than prescribed?
  • Anything else you think could be helpful?

 

Ever take stimulants for depression? Advice needed.