View Full Version : Unpleasant side-effect of adderall: alcohol

10-14-16, 11:02 PM
My psychiatrist put me on MAS because I reported anhedonia. It's so far not making me feel anything; I laugh and smile more, but I don't feel it. I don't sense pleasure from achievement or laughing or anything in any form I can detect, and I don't have an impulse to pursue rewards. He wants to put me on Wellbutrin next but I don't want it.

Largely, I avoid discomfort; I've been overriding my safety behaviors just to get treatment, because safety behaviors are unhealthy and stopping the drugs and never talking to the doctors again just because it's uncomfortable is not going to help. I don't know how I'm doing this. I don't see any reward, and this has been terrible. The MAS is causing anxiety as a side-effect, especially in the evening.

So when I was 23, I decided to brew beer.

Having never drunk before, I got some alcohol first. I immediately noticed feeling better than I had ever felt in my life, and I recognized why before I recognized what was happening: every minor negative event would replay in my head several times per second, upsetting my mood further until it was infinitely bad. I kept myself miserable and depressed.

I found that even 1/2 an ounce of rum would prevent that response for 2-3 days. Powerful stuff, that. I tinkered around a bit and eventually made that not happen anymore by simply not allowing myself to repeat the impulse. I've since learned to respond by figuring out how to correct or adapt to the situation.

I hardly drink. I've been drunk three times, each time for an experiment, and find the experience highly-unpleasant. It's a mixed bipolar episode: I become euphoric and depressed, experience flu-like symptoms, and laugh and cry at the same time until it goes away. More generally, while I like cider and port, I become avoidant after a drink or two--the thought of drinking more makes me feel ill, or whatever, like if you tried to eat an entire cake and suddenly felt nauseated looking at the next slice.

My consumption is self-regulating.

MAS is causing anxiety.

Alcohol binds pretty hard to GABA[a] and makes that not happen anymore.

For one, this isn't working for multiple days for me. A small drink does make the problem go away for the rest of the day, but it comes back the next day.

Normally, I sip alcohol. A glass of port or a half ounce of whiskey lasts me a good few hours; and it takes me an hour to drink a bottle of cider. It takes real effort to get over 0.01 BAC.

Today, I poured 3 ounces of port, gulped on it, and distinctly picked up on the abstract impulse to fill the 500mL sniffer to the rim before I was half-way through. I didn't really form a complete thought, but I definitely considered a lot more wine before I'd even finished the first glass.

That isn't normal.

This is disturbing. I don't drink alcohol that fast; and I pointedly do not drink a whole bottle of port in 10 minutes. That'd be 8 drinks or 3 quarts of beer (it's 19% ABV). A bottle usually lasts me a whole week, and that's a rush to drink it all before it goes bad.

It's not a compulsion, but my brain seems to suddenly think it'd be desirable.

... this is a hazard of having (more-)correct levels of dopamine, isn't it? :|

10-14-16, 11:43 PM
It's not a compulsion, but my brain seems to suddenly think it'd be desirable.

... this is a hazard of having (more-)correct levels of dopamine, isn't it? :|
No, it isn't. If things are tuned well, people tend not to be driven to self-medicate...

It's a hazard of being on a medication that's not providing any benefit, but is causing you anxiety, which you don't know how to deal with without alcohol.

Talk to your doctor about possibly lowering the dose of Adderall (lower dose may produce less anxiety) or changing to something else altogether if the Adderall isn't improving your life -- whether Wellbutrin or otherwise.

10-17-16, 12:34 PM
It wasn't the self-medication that's the problem--that's usually stable, although 8 years ago when I noticed that worked I also studied the difference in mental behavior, and then changed my mental behaviors to eliminate depression and anxiety issues. The problem was the unfounded sudden enthusiasm for consuming large amounts of alcohol, when usually I've firmly lost interest after a glass or two.

The adderall caused zero-sleep, no ability to swallow food, and other severe side-effects at 20mg XR; at 10mg XR it caused a lot of anxiety and low appetite; and at 15mg XR the side-effects all attenuated sharply. The anxiety actually seems to have gone away after about a week, although I'm cautious; it might be tied to normal anxiety triggers, i.e. it doesn't affect me until something that makes me anxious happens. I think not, though.

I think I like this dose.

Anyway I was just spooked by the sudden change in mental behavior. Long story short, I have really bad judgment when my mood changes (I'm used to a completely-flat mood), and start looking for more data while trying to not do anything stupid. I've never responded to addiction, so the impulse to drink a lot bothered me. I have zero established defenses against addiction impulses.

It seems to have ceased. Still. I'm going to chew on this for months probably, until the concept's familiar enough that I've got some kind of defense.

10-17-16, 08:01 PM
I would not drink alcohol if you're taking Adderall. Drink coffee if you have to.
My 2 cents.

10-18-16, 02:49 AM
what is MAS?