OK, it’s been three weeks since my last Adderall and I am reporting on the effects (or lack of them).
For the first few days, I found myself on autopilot, reaching for the pill case that contained my little blue “energy pills.” But I steeled myself against taking them and let the ride wind down. I thought after a week, I’d evaluate my energy and focus, then decide whether to resume my meds…or not.
Well, Tracy Ware, the psychiatrist who spoke at the Meetup group two days after I stopped taking Adderall, scared the beejeezus out of me – her warnings about neurotoxicity seemed to be based in science. And I don’t want fewer Dopamine receptor sites – I want MORE. Now the jury is still out on the overall effects of amphetamines, but why tempt fate?
Tracy told me privately that the Adderall would stay in my system for at least a month. A MONTH? She said that the second week would likely be worse than the first week. Hmmm .. this sounded a lot like detox, right? I didn’t think of myself as an addict. Not ever. This was prescription medication. And I took only a tiny amount (max 2-3 pills a day of short acting 10 mg brand name Adderall).
But sure enough, the second week, I was draggy and had a hard time staying alert. Mostly, I was sleepy.
I found that if I got enough sleep at night (or with naps during the day), I was OK. But if I stayed up too late, got up too early or shorted my required 8 hours of sleep in some other way, I was blah. Just blah.
Couldn’t get things done. Couldn’t get motivated. Couldn’t get going.
But here’s the strange thing: I have been living in a mess in my bonus room/guest room for two years now. I am not proud of it. I am terribly embarrassed by it. But it’s true.
Last week (third week off Adderall), I got the darned room cleaned up. Granted, I had motivation (my kids were coming to spend the weekend with darling little Lilly). And I had help (Erica the super organizer came on Thursday morning and Janine the super housekeeper cleaned the rest of the house).
But I’ve had help before.
I’ve had motivation before.
But this is the first time I actually DID something about it.
Not only did we get the room cleaned, I bought a new bed, new curtains, new lamps and redecorated the room with a new duvet cover, pillows, mirrors and ceiling fan before they arrived! (Yes I had someone install the fan and hang the mirrors – is that cheating? Nope).
Point is that I am still tired/sleepy, but I seem to be getting things done anyway.
I am clearer about what I want and need done.
And I am pretty happy about it.
Is this an aberration?
Is it related to the absent Adderall?
Not a clue, have I.
But we’re gonna find out.
In 10 days, I am going to go back on Adderall and monitor myself closely to see how I feel, what I accomplish and how my loved ones respond to the difference (if there is a difference).
In the meantime, I am taking more naps, trying to get to bed on time (what IS on time anyway?) and working in my garden for the first time in months.
You know, I went off Adderall because I was so distraught and strung out at the end of April/first of May that I needed to do something to stop the anxiety and craziness. I thought maybe the Adderall was making me jittery so I decided to stop for a few days.
Then I heard Tracy Ware, MD, talk about how amphetamines can cause permanent brain damage (!!!!) so I thought I'd try to stay off of them for a couple of weeks. She told me they stay in your system for a month, so I extended my hiatus to 30 days. No caffeine, either.
More in my next post…
I can do without my Adderall, but if I have something that requires my full attention (I am currently a full time student) I really do sooo much better when I take it. Not only can I focus, but I can retain information better, and can actually discuss subjects that I previously read while on the Adderall. When I sit in front of my computer and am faced with too much information, I literally feel that I am going to crawl up the wall and have to take it. It has really changed my abilities in a very positive way.
I noticed this was written about 2 weeks ago and wanted to know how you felt the last week and a half of not taking the Adderall? You said Adderall can stay in your system for up to a month and was wondering if you felt a difference after that month was over and if you have started taking it again?
VERY interested in your results! I will also be joining you all for session the 21st. 🙂
If you don't mind…I wanted to ask you why you went off the adderall and then why are you going back on it?