View Full Version : Coping without meds?


shoshkabob
02-23-16, 02:33 PM
I'm usually on Adderall XR 10 mg, but I didn't refill on time and I'm going to be without it for at least another week. At first lately I thought that maybe I didn't need it anymore (since it doesn't help when I'm tired, and I always feel great if I get a good night's sleep) but I've been miserable. I can do some of my more mindless work if I put on Netflix at the same time, but I can't get to my programming lessons at all because it requires more brain power and focus.

How do you cope without meds, if at all?

QuasarMind
02-23-16, 03:55 PM
I am not a woman but I saw your post flash up on the front page. If money is an issue try Adder all I generic or Vyvanse on the Shire Cares patient assistance program which gives them to you for free if you can prove your income is less than 32k a year.

For me life off stimulant add meds is myserable and because of a move to a drug crazed Oklahoma it took me 7 years to find a doctor that would give me a CII controlled substance and now I am on Vyvanse. It sounds like you have the same kind of add as me, inattentive type and for me that means foggy headed. I became dependent on 20oz Red Bull energy drinks which were expensive and dirty feeling. Now I am back to med gaps again after a friend stole pills from my bottle 2 months in a row... i confronted her this time so it shouldn't happen again.

10mg is a low dose, I used to take 30mg Adderall, 20mg at 7am and 10mg at noon or 70mg Vyvanse which lasts all day but it's not as effective as Adderall for me. You might want to consider an increase to 20mg a day but spread it out twice a day so it's more even until bed-time because if you are like me you want to be clear headed and not mucky until almost bed-time. If you have insurance Adderall IR has a lower copay and if you don't make a lot of money Vyvanse is free. My guess is you would probably find 50mg to be the perfect dose or Adderall IR 10mg twice a day. I found Adderall XR to still have a fast come up so you may not like the 20mg XR and prefer 10mg x2 better. Vyvanse has a very slow comeup. For me Adderall improved my short term memory better than Vyvanse, if I had to guess it has more norephedrine affinity than Vyvanse/dextroamphetamine. The Vyvanse does have a significant stimulant effect which for some is what increases attention but I need that and memory enhancement which the Adderall provides. Vyvanse does seem to have less anxiety but when I am on Adderall it feels like that anxiety wires my memory into place and in the end makes me more confident also. I found out that Sandoz brand Adderall was the cheapest and for me the cleanest feel and longest lasting. I found Barr brand to be shorter acting and Ranbaxy brand to be very weak. Barry was also twice as expensive as Sandoz and Ranbaxy I bought with insurance and never got a price. I think 90 10mg Sandoz pills were about $33 or about 35 cents a pill. Good luck and please keep your ADD treated. The worst decision of my life was only to take Adderall on my work days and it left my personal life a wreck.

Cyllya
02-23-16, 10:44 PM
I feel your pain, mostly. I normally take 10 mg XR adderall, I often have to skip a day due to prescription issues, and I recently had to take a break from it for about a week. It sucks.

My tactics are

Get a good night's sleep... if possible. Easier said than done, I know.

Oodles of caffeine (for me, that's about 300-500 mg)

Make sure I eat stuff with protein.

Take it easy. Accept that fewer things will get done, and focus your efforts on the highest-priority stuff. Most housework can wait until your meds are back. Get fast food instead of cooking. Use Febreeze on your clothes instead of doing laundry!

I don't remember having much hyperactivity before going on meds, but wow, did it hit me when I went off. I think it's the same thing as sensory overload, but it seemed to especially affect my arms and hands. I normally do a lot of leg-bouncing but that just wasn't enough. I coped with this using mostly proprioception, vestibular, or movement stimming, like various shoulder stretches, pressing my hands together as hard as possible in front of my chest (prayer pose), pushing on the ceiling while sitting in the car, deep breaths, autism-style hand-flapping, etc. Those are also soothing, so they also help with the "I feel like crap and therefore I'm sad :(" thing going on.

Not sure what to do about programming class, besides the above. It might depend on what activities you're supposed to be doing. If you're in the middle of a long project (and it's not due until after you'll be back on the meds), maybe spend time now doing tedious things like commenting your code, organizing your syntax references, etc so that you will be able to work faster once you recover. If there are lectures, maybe ask a classmate for a copy of their notes, or make an audio recording. Does the school have any disability accommodations you can take advantage of?

Withdrawal will put you in worse shape than you normally are without the med, so as you go longer without it, it'll probably get LESS bad. (I feel like withdrawal always effects me longer than it's allegedly supposed to.)

sarahsweets
02-24-16, 05:35 AM
I dont think the op was looking for advice on what to switch to, a "come up" or which drug she should ask for and at what dose. My understanding is that she will be without her meds because they werent filled on time and whats to know how to deal with that
I am not a woman but I saw your post flash up on the front page. If money is an issue try Adder all I generic or Vyvanse on the Shire Cares patient assistance program which gives them to you for free if you can prove your income is less than 32k a year.

For me life off stimulant add meds is myserable and because of a move to a drug crazed Oklahoma it took me 7 years to find a doctor that would give me a CII controlled substance and now I am on Vyvanse. It sounds like you have the same kind of add as me, inattentive type and for me that means foggy headed. I became dependent on 20oz Red Bull energy drinks which were expensive and dirty feeling. Now I am back to med gaps again after a friend stole pills from my bottle 2 months in a row... i confronted her this time so it shouldn't happen again.

10mg is a low dose, I used to take 30mg Adderall, 20mg at 7am and 10mg at noon or 70mg Vyvanse which lasts all day but it's not as effective as Adderall for me. You might want to consider an increase to 20mg a day but spread it out twice a day so it's more even until bed-time because if you are like me you want to be clear headed and not mucky until almost bed-time. If you have insurance Adderall IR has a lower copay and if you don't make a lot of money Vyvanse is free. My guess is you would probably find 50mg to be the perfect dose or Adderall IR 10mg twice a day. I found Adderall XR to still have a fast come up so you may not like the 20mg XR and prefer 10mg x2 better. Vyvanse has a very slow comeup. For me Adderall improved my short term memory better than Vyvanse, if I had to guess it has more norephedrine affinity than Vyvanse/dextroamphetamine. The Vyvanse does have a significant stimulant effect which for some is what increases attention but I need that and memory enhancement which the Adderall provides. Vyvanse does seem to have less anxiety but when I am on Adderall it feels like that anxiety wires my memory into place and in the end makes me more confident also. I found out that Sandoz brand Adderall was the cheapest and for me the cleanest feel and longest lasting. I found Barr brand to be shorter acting and Ranbaxy brand to be very weak. Barry was also twice as expensive as Sandoz and Ranbaxy I bought with insurance and never got a price. I think 90 10mg Sandoz pills were about $33 or about 35 cents a pill. Good luck and please keep your ADD treated. The worst decision of my life was only to take Adderall on my work days and it left my personal life a wreck.



OP- Expect major fatigue, its lasts loner in some than others. For me, it goes a bit beyond a week and can sometimes come in cycles. I have been on stimulants for over 10 years so when I dont get my refill for some reason it seems to hit me hard. Lots of sleeping.

Sunlovinlady
02-29-16, 04:16 PM
I don't take meds so I've really had to find other ways to cope. Try herbs like Rhodiola rosea or any of the calming herbs, fish oil and magnesium are great. Even check out essential oils if you're open to it. Excercise and eating healthy help me a ton. No processed foods or fake sugars. Taking a walk outside, especially near anything green helps me. Some people like yoga for it. Getting organized helps me a lot. I drink Advocare spark and I swear it helps me focus. These are what help me personally though. It could be a different story for you. I'm ADHD combo type (inattentive & hyperactive). Playing lots of games helps me and listen to music is a big one. Cuddling calms my anxiety at times. Lot of downtime helps me more than anything though.

lpowers92
03-01-16, 07:50 PM
So I have been on and off of ADHD meds for years - I normally spend around a year or two on them before deciding to quit because of the side effects.

Coping without ADHD meds kinda sucks for the first month. Your brain is foggy and, personally, I have no energy whatsoever. I normally end up getting pretty bad anxiety during this period because I am not performing up to my potential.

After the first month, my anxiety normally gets better or worse depending on how much sleep I am getting. However, my ability to focus and get my **** done goes up exponentially. I am still my usual spacey self, but I am taking care of all those things I didn't do the first month.

I find that a good night of sleep is a massive thing, personally I find my concentration peaks at around 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Also - exercise. Seriously. You've had a stimulant that has been making your brain produce neurotransmitters like dopamine for a while. Without it, those levels will be lower. The fastest way to get your brain to produce more? Exercise. This helps with sleep too.

And of course, eat healthy. Otherwise, you'll feel lethargic for other reasons than no longer being on a stimulant.

Hope that helps!

sarahsweets
03-02-16, 05:08 AM
I don't take meds so I've really had to find other ways to cope. Try herbs like Rhodiola rosea or any of the calming herbs, fish oil and magnesium are great. Even check out essential oils if you're open to it. Excercise and eating healthy help me a ton. No processed foods or fake sugars. Taking a walk outside, especially near anything green helps me. Some people like yoga for it. Getting organized helps me a lot. I drink Advocare spark and I swear it helps me focus. These are what help me personally though. It could be a different story for you. I'm ADHD combo type (inattentive & hyperactive). Playing lots of games helps me and listen to music is a big one. Cuddling calms my anxiety at times. Lot of downtime helps me more than anything though.

Always make sure you run all this by your doctor.

Gypsy Willow
03-28-16, 05:22 PM
So I have been on and off of ADHD meds for years - I normally spend around a year or two on them before deciding to quit because of the side effects.

Coping without ADHD meds kinda sucks for the first month. Your brain is foggy and, personally, I have no energy whatsoever. I normally end up getting pretty bad anxiety during this period because I am not performing up to my potential.

After the first month, my anxiety normally gets better or worse depending on how much sleep I am getting. However, my ability to focus and get my **** done goes up exponentially. I am still my usual spacey self, but I am taking care of all those things I didn't do the first month.

I find that a good night of sleep is a massive thing, personally I find my concentration peaks at around 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Also - exercise. Seriously. You've had a stimulant that has been making your brain produce neurotransmitters like dopamine for a while. Without it, those levels will be lower. The fastest way to get your brain to produce more? Exercise. This helps with sleep too.

And of course, eat healthy. Otherwise, you'll feel lethargic for other reasons than no longer being on a stimulant.

Hope that helps!

^^^ I vouch for all of this. I've been off meds for going on 5 years now. Also, caffeine helps me. Starbucks. I also have tried the Ginko Biloba and that worked great for me but started causing stomach upset, so I stopped it.

willow129
03-28-16, 06:22 PM
Was on and off meds this winter because I was having difficulty finding a prescriber.

It was so hard, I didn't really have great coping mechanisms...I basically got really behind on work, but...

I find music motivating and also a way to tell that time has gone by...like...oh that CD's over...what have I accomplished?
Lists: Kanbanflow - GREAT site for to-do lists, and breaking big tasks into little chunks
When I'm going to do work I try to put everything I need all together in the place where I'm going to work so I don't have to get up and go get something and then get distracted
I put on a cheerful/funny TV show or music or something in the background while working, some sound that makes me feel good
Having a list set up for what I'm going to do the next day, the night before, and really carefully considering what my priorities are. I get up, there's the list. I don't have to think about it, I've already done that, just gotta start acting on the list. Hard. But still, at least the list part is done.
Moving distracting objects - that would be the computer for me, but probably smartphone for others - away from bed so they aren't there when I wake up, and don't keep me from falling asleep.
Also the "selfcontrol" app. I have a really hard time with the internet. I block websites so they can't distract me.

aeon
03-28-16, 08:56 PM
Massive consumption of caffeine.

Setting alarms *hours* before need-to-be-there time.

Sit outside in the rain.

Cry a lot more.

Cruise control at all times, no exceptions.

Sleep when able, but *no* trazodone.

Self-motivate with fear of consequences.

Swear. A lot. Colorful, even.

Realize moods change, this too will pass.

Let the small stuff slide.

Recognize that most stuff is small.

More caffeine. Much more.


Cheers,
Ian