View Full Version : Avoiding stimulants completely


Fraser_0762
06-09-13, 10:12 PM
Ok, so i'm on a bit of a mission to avoid all stimulants completely. (That includes caffeine!)

It's been approximately 50 hours since my last caffeine consumption (which was a big consumption!)

Right now, I have a bit of a headache and i've been feeling tired a lot. Although, my mood is actually a little better than it has been in a while.

I'm giving up in the hope that over time my concentration and motivation will improve as my brain recovers from long term heavy caffeine/stimulant consumption. (I just wish this headache would pass).

My mind currently feels like its going at 1000mph. But it seems to come and go. Usually it goes away temporarily if i've had a decent nap, then it starts coming back again.

I think i'm going to try and avoid gluten as well, as I hear some people have allergies to gluten that can effect concentration.

I've been drinking plenty of water for the last couple of days to hopefully help detoxify myself more quickly.

Wish me luck!!:yes:

silivrentoliel
06-09-13, 10:25 PM
good luck!!

dvdnvwls
06-09-13, 11:17 PM
You will of course have a headache after a lot of caffeine and then no caffeine, but that will fade soon. Good luck!

inattentiveaus
06-09-13, 11:30 PM
goodluck...did you use stimulants for therapeutic or recreational reasons? Making me worry that my recently prescribed stims will be bad for me long term!

Fraser_0762
06-10-13, 12:35 AM
Well its 5:30am. Haven't slept all night. My mind has calmed down a fair bit, so i'll probably crash out soon.

I don't really want to fall asleep though, as i'll have to wake up again in a few hours for some meaningless appointments.

I'm not going to reach for the caffeine to keep me awake. I know my brain is screaming for it... but I won't give in! NEVER!

SquarePeg
06-10-13, 01:52 AM
I have given up coffee and tea in the past and the headache was horrendous for a few days but it will pass.

I also gave up gluten a few months ago and it didnīt make any difference to my concentration or weight, so I guess Iīm not one of those affected by gluten.
Good luck

someothertime
06-10-13, 02:09 AM
Good work Fraser!!!

I dropped coffee....almost completely.......tried one day cold turkey but got sledgehammered.....

Physically it's not that hard........... I would have recommended reducing over a week or two.........but your deep in it now so if you make it through the next two days then kudos to you! Be kind to yourself no matter what.......... these things are ongoing and there is no such thing as success or failure......... just always staying mindful of choices and the bigger picture :)

On the other side is even moods, better sleep, less irritability....... less money :) ....... WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN, WIN hehehe!

Don't discount "routine" consumption........ those times where it was part of the schedule......... that can be the tricky bit.....


If you can;

-Don't keep it in the house
-Get a pause/delay tool happening ( drink water and wait 10 minutes ) etc. etc.
-Figure out a "go-to" replacement.......... gum, tea, hot water......... anything that gives you a little comfort but doesn't wreack havock with your energies......



Really good move man!

Twiggy
06-10-13, 02:48 AM
I've heard caffeine is hard to quit, since it's in a lot of drinks/foods and the headaches are pretty bad at times.

Good luck on your non-stimulant treatment.

Fraser_0762
06-10-13, 06:20 AM
goodluck...did you use stimulants for therapeutic or recreational reasons? Making me worry that my recently prescribed stims will be bad for me long term!

It wasn't just caffeine it was "other stuff" as well.

I just decided to quit cold t.

It's been 58 hours now. I don't feel too bad at all. My minds still all over the place and I keep getting stupid songs stuck in my head! :giggle:

But my body feels great. Not all tensed up like it usually does on the caffeine. :)

kilted_scotsman
06-10-13, 09:15 AM
It takes a while for the body to adjust. You might get cravings for a bit.... from the addictive component and also from force of habit.

I quit caffeine and alcohol cold turkey, also massively reduced my sugar intake... took about 3 months for everything to finally clear my system.

Once your clear you REALLY notice it when you eat/drink something that's high in caffeine or sugar.... you get to really feel how your body reacts to things....

Which makes it much easier to work out a regime that suits you.

kilted

Fraser_0762
06-10-13, 11:18 AM
Ok, I just fell asleep for about 4 hours there from 12pm to 4, although I only slept for 4 hours last night.

I had this bizarre nightmare where I found a big bag of meth-amphetamine. I was desperate for that feeling, so I took some. But I had a bad reaction to it, some kind of seizure.

Thing is, now that i'm awake, i'm not sure if the seizure was real or not, or only apart of the dream? :confused:

It seemed so real and was extremely f'ed up.

dvdnvwls
06-10-13, 01:15 PM
A dreamed seizure is probably just part of the dream. Dreams can be your brain's way of thinking through stuff; I think this one could be "I feel like I want stimulants but I'm not going to give in because of the consequences".

Expect f'ed up dreams and serious discomfort for these few days. It will fade.

Fraser_0762
06-11-13, 07:44 AM
Ok, it's been 83 hours since my last caffeine hit. I slept for about 8 or 9 hours last night, even although I slept for about 4 hours during the day yesterday.

I think my brains tryng to fix itself. I still feel far from 100% and haven't seen any increase in productivity yet. But mood wise, i'm beginning to feel more level and not constantly up and down all the time.

Drewbacca
06-11-13, 11:17 AM
Good luck! I tried giving up caffeine... I can't get out of bed most days, without it. My body simply won't engage.

I did manage to get completely clean off off all meds, so as to start from square one. In fact, that's a big part of my recent absence, stepping down from mod-duties, etc. These transitions aren't easy. I hope that you find the caffeine elimination is helpful to you!

Ultimately, what I'm discovering is that I do need stimulants... but I'm gaining a better understanding in regards to type/dosage/etc. in addition to the other non-meds that clearly play a role (sleep, exercise, cbt for coexisting conditions, scheduling, etc.).

dvdnvwls
06-11-13, 12:30 PM
I don't think you get to expect increased productivity just from no stimulants. I think what you can and should expect is that no caffeine means greater stability, greater comfort, better sleep, and no decrease in productivity.

Prescription stimulant (which works much better than caffeine, namely that it actually has a positive effect) does increase my productivity. But if (for your own reasons) you decide not to use prescription stimulants, that's perfectly valid.

Fraser_0762
06-11-13, 12:36 PM
But don't stimulants just become counter productive over the long term?

I know they make you more productive to begin with, but the brains quite resistant to any abnormal chemical changes.

Eventually you're taking them to address the withdrawal and not the ADHD itself.

dvdnvwls
06-11-13, 12:47 PM
That theory seems to be correct in situations of drug abuse. In real-life normal proper use of prescription stimulants, people take the same dose for years and it helps them greatly. If you do have a stimulant-abuse background, it might be better to just stay away.

Fraser_0762
06-11-13, 01:06 PM
But surely there would be withdrawal regardless of the dose taken?

So how can you tell if the stimulant is actually addressing the disorder and not just the withdrawal?

I wouldn't say i've ever abused stimulants. I just took as much as I needed to be more productive, only to find myself needing more and more to achieve the same productive effect. Eventually I was just battling withdrawal.

Drewbacca
06-11-13, 01:29 PM
What do you mean by withdrawal? Certainly there is a come down after you stop taking a stimulant... when I was taking adderall, it was usually the second day after I stopped taking it that I really felt wiped out (the first day that it is completely out of the system). By the third day, I feel fine. I don't really think of this as a withdrawal... it's a little different with caffeine and headaches.

Fraser_0762
06-11-13, 01:40 PM
What do you mean by withdrawal? Certainly there is a come down after you stop taking a stimulant... when I was taking adderall, it was usually the second day after I stopped taking it that I really felt wiped out (the first day that it is completely out of the system). By the third day, I feel fine. I don't really think of this as a withdrawal... it's a little different with caffeine and headaches.

What i mean by withdrawal is finding that without the medication, your concentration feels worse than it ever did before you went on the stuff.

When you take the medication again, your combating the lack of concentration caused by the withdrawal and not the disorder itself.

ana futura
06-11-13, 03:05 PM
I'd say it takes me about two to three weeks to "reset" completely after stopping prescription stims. There is a noticable difference in my concentration/ behavior for the first week and a half, i don't think i'd call it a "withdrawal", but it definitely seems like an increase in my symptoms above base line. I feel like I'm back at square one after 3 weeks, like I was never on anything.

I take small doses, and i take an mph drug. I imagine larger doses or amphetamines would take longer to recover from.

Fraser_0762
06-12-13, 09:07 AM
Ok, it's been nearly 110 hours since i've had my last milligram of caffeine. Right now i'm listening to some music and I actually feel great.

I'm feeling kind of warm and fuzzy inside and somewhat optimistic. Is there such a thing as a stimulant free honeymoon period?

I'm actually listening to an album all the way through and don't feel fed up with it at all. I can't stop moving to the beats though. :D

dvdnvwls
06-12-13, 12:11 PM
Withdrawal symptoms from legitimate doses of amphetamines have been described quite a few times here. The person is sluggish and stupid for a few days and then they recover. A few people take longer to recover, and a few have minimal withdrawal symptoms if any. I have no argument with that fact.

What I do disagree with is "When you take the medication again, your combating the lack of concentration caused by the withdrawal and not the disorder itself." When I take amphetamines, it combats my disorder. I am significantly better with the drug than I was without it. If I was "only battling withdrawal", then I would be back to (bad ADHD) normal, and I'm not back there.

dvdnvwls
06-12-13, 12:13 PM
I wouldn't say i've ever abused stimulants.

Not prescribed for you, and continually supervised by, a doctor = abuse. Pretty easy to figure out.

ana futura
06-12-13, 03:33 PM
When I take amphetamines, it combats my disorder. I am significantly better with the drug than I was without it. If I was "only battling withdrawal", then I would be back to (bad ADHD) normal, and I'm not back there.

This is a good point. However, I do definitely notice a dip below baseline in my symptoms for a few weeks when I am off meds. This is very different from the first 3 days spent off dexedrine. That is a true withdrawal, and I feel like absolute crap.

Like I said before, I wouldn't call the 2 -3 week period following med cessation a "withdrawal", but it is a worsening of my ADHD. I am more irratable, hyper, and spacey. My partner has confirmed this observation (unsolicited). This is a different phenomenon from being more aware of my ADHD behaviors- that is permanent, and also a blessing.

Personally, I have not experienced anything resembling a permanent worsening of my symptoms, and I can't imagine such a thing happening with how I take meds (situation dependent).

If you were on a daily dose of an amphetamine med for a long time, well, maybe your baseline symptoms would increase for a longer period of time. But how would you even be able to tell? I am a different person on and off amphetamines. If I were living as a different person for years, the return to my old self would undoubtedly seem very jarring, and unfamiliar. So I wouldn't be qualified to say just how long my baseline symptoms were increased for.

At the end of the day it's all subjective, based on anecdotal evidence, and impossible to prove either way - as we are really talking about brain "feel" and that is a thing that can't really be objectively measured. Although, if you think your symptoms are worse, does it matter whether or not they actually are?

namazu
06-12-13, 03:48 PM
That theory seems to be correct in situations of drug abuse. In real-life normal proper use of prescription stimulants, people take the same dose for years and it helps them greatly. If you do have a stimulant-abuse background, it might be better to just stay away.

I would edit this to say "some people take the same dose for years and it helps them greatly".

I have been a "real-life normal proper user of prescription stimulants" (my primary med noncompliance results from forgetting or skipping doses), and the dosages that once worked for me no longer do.

There is some evidence to suggest that, even at therapeutic doses, some people's brains may (apparently) counteract/adjust to stimulant medications over time by upregulating transporters. For example, this recent study: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0063023

P.S. Good luck, Fraser! Hope the headache has cleared.

dvdnvwls
06-12-13, 04:00 PM
I would edit this to say "some people take the same dose for years and it helps them greatly". [/URL]

Thank you - absolutely right, and that was what I meant. My sloppy writing made me sound categorical.

Fraser_0762
06-12-13, 06:33 PM
It's been shown that long term amphetamine use can drastically effect the terminal button which is in charge of releasing dopamine and serotonin into the synapse.

If the terminal buttons in the neutrons gets damaged, then they can no longer release dopamine or serotonin, regardless of whether you're taking stimulants or not. They're damaged and will no longer release these chemicals into the synapse.

It makes no difference if you're on a low dose or not. Scientific evidence has shown this to be the case.

Others can disagree with me, but i'm well aware of the scientific facts.

ana futura
06-12-13, 07:21 PM
It's been shown that long term amphetamine use can drastically effect the terminal button which is in charge of releasing dopamine and serotonin into the synapse.

Not that you confused them, but I think distinguishing between amphetamines and methylphenidate is important here. There is no similar evidence with methylphenidate, correct?

The study Namazu posted about mph is very interesting. I wish they would have done the same study with dexedrine as well.

Fraser_0762
06-12-13, 07:47 PM
Not that you confused them, but I think distinguishing between amphetamines and methylphenidate is important here. There is no similar evidence with methylphenidate, correct?

The study Namazu posted about mph is very interesting. I wish they would have done the same study with dexedrine as well.

Methylphenidate is a dopamine re-uptake inhibitor. It works by blocking the dopamine transporter which prevents dopamine from leaving the synapse and re-entering the neurons. By blocking the Dopamine transporter, more and more dopamine can build up in the synapse, increasing pleasure.

Amphetamine works by actually entering the dopamine transporters and occupying the neurons directly. This prevents dopamine from re entering the neurons causing it to be re-pumped into the synapse over and over again.

jman05
06-17-13, 01:07 PM
But don't stimulants just become counter productive over the long term?

I know they make you more productive to begin with, but the brains quite resistant to any abnormal chemical changes.

Eventually you're taking them to address the withdrawal and not the ADHD itself.

There is some validity to what you are saying. I even discussed it with my doctor, but he said tolerance doesn't happen. Shows what doctors know! I had to tell my doctor that strattera wasn't a controlled substance. He disagreed, only to say he was wrong by the end of the appointment.

I took many stimulants, and built tolerances to all of them. Me and my brother noticed that same thing. We took provigil, and would skip weekends. On weekends we would be extremely tired. When we stopped taking it completely, we were basically tired all of the time for a few weeks.

Its basically like saying you can't get dependent on coffee. People become dependent on coffee to wake up. Eventually their bodies adjust and what they think is a stimulant beyond normal levels, is just a fix to get their bodies back to normal levels. Its just like any other drug. Thats why my dad has to drink a pot of coffee every morning.

One important thing to realize is that your body is adapting to the stimulating effects of the meds. I'm an inattentive, so I need the stimulation. ADD meds work for other reasons than the stimulation though.