View Full Version : Creativity Lost


Itsnog
02-02-17, 08:38 PM
Hello all! I couldn't find a thread with this topic so I decided to make one. If I overlooked an existing thread it'd be amazing if someone directed me to it. That's all for the disclaimer. Now to my big question.

Do others that have ADD/ADHD struggle with their creativity once you take your medication?

Here is a little background on where I am in life right now. I am an aspiring writer one semester away from graduating with an English degree and a minor in professional writing. I personally love my ADD more than I hate it. I love the creativity that comes with it, I am able to jump from subject to subject with seemingly unconnected thoughts and ideas, but more importantly it allows me to create things, whether it be drawings, fiction stories, or course papers (sometimes). Now the negative sides to this are obviously the fact that I annoy everyone I am around easily, I repeat a lot of things to the point of annoyance, I avoid doing things I don't want to do (whether that be laundry, homework, chores, etc), and I push things off for longer than necessary (procrastination). These are the biggest flaws of mine. I HATE not being able to finish tasks with as much gusto as common folk (not saying that people without ADD are lesser, but they do not understand how our brains work).

Now onto how I am dealing with ADD.

I currently take 5mg adderall instant release, but started off on vyvanse when I was first diagnosed in 2013. A nasty side-effect of the vyvanse on me personally was the significant lack of motivation in life, crippling depression that I faced after every comedown, but most importantly the extreme lack of creativity I used to know so well. I eventually could not take it anymore as I was demolishing myself mentally by taking it, so I switched over to Adderall. At first I thought it was a huge improvement, I wasn't starving myself (as the vyvanse does) and I felt more like myself, but after a couple of months I started to notice how negative it was on my body. I would also start getting some intense headaches after the come down. Here's the most important part of it all, when I took the Adderall I would not be able to tap into my imagination. The depressing thoughts would still invade and I would spend more time bashing myself than working on myself. Surprisingly enough I have taken Onnit's Alpha Brain, which has actually simulated some of the effects of the adderall but while keeping my creativity in tact, I just can't afford to buy Alpha Brain all of the time to keep up with it.

I have tried to find ways to cope with this side-effect, but I have found it more and more difficult as the days go by. Due to my field of writing I need to be able to make connections and be creative, but with medication I am not able to do so. Has anyone else had this happen to them? If so is there a way to supplement the Adderall, or is there something else I can do? Are there any Creatives on this forum that have any pointers?

acdc01
02-03-17, 02:34 PM
I have not. But I did read a couple other people said they suffered the same as you.

The answer given to them was to take med days off. Like when you need to be creative, take a couple days off the meds and hopefully you'll be more creative on those days. Then take meds on the days you need the meds to work.

dvdnvwls
02-03-17, 02:50 PM
You don't lose your creativity, but you can certainly lose some of your off-the-wall-ness. Reducing your dosage might be an option.

Fraser_0762
02-03-17, 03:25 PM
5mg of Adderall IR isn't much to be honest. It's usually just a starter dose but is commonly increased to around 20-30mgs and taken twice a day. The alternative is the XR formula.

Are you keeping yourself well hydrated? and are you consuming any other stimulants such as Caffeine?

sarahsweets
02-08-17, 05:12 AM
Hello all! I couldn't find a thread with this topic so I decided to make one. If I overlooked an existing thread it'd be amazing if someone directed me to it. That's all for the disclaimer. Now to my big question.

Do others that have ADD/ADHD struggle with their creativity once you take your medication?

I am of the opinion that if a medication messes up creativity that much, which IMO is sort of like part of your personality, then its not the right med for someone. I do not believe a persons'personality should suffer because they are on medication.

Surprisingly enough I have taken Onnit's Alpha Brain, which has actually simulated some of the effects of the adderall but while keeping my creativity in tact, I just can't afford to buy Alpha Brain all of the time to keep up with it.

What is alpha brain?
Are there any Creatives on this forum that have any pointers?
I think there are alot of people on here who are creative.

MissAnnThrope
02-08-17, 10:29 AM
Sorry you are experiencing this.

We have similar backgrounds. But I've concluded that the ADD was a hindrance - yes, I'm a highly creative person, but I lacked the ability/motivation to channel the creativity.

Now I can focus and prioritize and harness the creativity.

I hope you can find the right med. Agree w/ Sarah Sweets that if a med is changing your personality, it is the wrong med.

Adderal doesn't work everyone; it did not work for me. In fact, I told my doctor that if I had to choose between Adderal and nothing, I would choose nothing. We upped the Vyvanse dosage instead.

Good luck.

Simargl
02-08-17, 12:44 PM
I've been in a creative rut since I started taking Dex IR a month ago. I think my issue is more aligned with not taking the correct dose, staying properly hydrated and nutritional deficiencies-- and possibly sleep pattern. >.> It's absurd how many things can mess with the effectiveness of ADHD meds.

I'm currently working on finding my balance. I still have a lot of creative thoughts. I just haven't been taking any action. I actually feel like all of my ADHD symptoms have been amplified lately. I've also been a bit depressed with zero energy. I'm trying to be patient because I know it takes time to get all of this right.

I got a lot done when I was taking Ritalin. I had the drive that I'm painfully missing right now.

I realize that I don't have any grand advice but I am empathetic.

Johnny Slick
02-08-17, 01:17 PM
I'm sorry, too, that you're experiencing this but I do wonder if it's actually your "creativity" that's suffering, necessarily. I've heard similar things but I have to say, my own personality really doesn't seem to have changed all that much since I started taking meds. I don't get frustrated by things nearly as easily (in fact, I can often tell when it's time to take a Ritalin by the reaction I have with an elevator or a slow-moving line) and I don't have complete diarrhea of the mouth when I talk to people but I think I'm as witty as ever and, dammit, I'm if anything doing *more* creatively-focused things now than when I wasn't medicated because the whole "oh god, Slick, you have to hold yourself in check" aspect of things is no longer there.

I realize that this is almost cliche here but are you seeing a therapist and if so, have you talked with them about this? The deal with letting depressing thoughts come in when you're on a stimulant in particular is something that's near and dear to my own heart. I feel like a lot of us have learned that there are certain thoughts you can just kind of poke at a little bit and then they'll just go away by themselves. Well, that's not necessarily "normal" behavior and they won't always go away by themselves: you have to physically push them out by concentrating on something else or otherwise changing what you're doing.

I think that a related issue here is: how do you "tap into your imagination"? If it really is just a thing where, at that very first, easy level, you just free-associate, write everything down, and come back to what you have later on and figure out what works and what doesn't, then yeah, that may not be something you can count on being able to do while on Adderall because that's something that only an unfocused mind can do (I mean, people without ADHD can train themselves to unfocus like that, too, but it takes some work). To which I say, you don't *have* to take 2 pills a day, every day, at exactly the same time or anything. If you need a "creative" day, you can skip your morning pill or something; just realize that when you do this, you're also going to have to work extra-hard to fight that lack of motivation that comes along with ADHD.

On the other hand, and I'm speaking as a person who wrote a book while on ADHD (but couldn't get it published! I mean, this is not nearly as big of an accomplishment as it sounds) and finished the first draft of another, and who has a lot of other creative outlets, I'm not sure creativity necessarily has to work in the way that you're describing. I often find that I work best not when I'm thinking about being creative or being depressed or whatever but when I'm not actually thinking about anything at all except what's on the page (or what my partner just said to me, or what the piano player just did, etc.). It's hard to get into that mindset where you're literally thinking about nothing except for just being in the moment but I for one find it faaaaaaaaaaaaar easier to get into the moment for the sake of getting into the moment when I'm on Ritalin than when I'm not. I feel like this is what people mean when they say stuff like "taking medication is like playing life on easy mode".

So, yeah, sorry for the massive wall o' text but... talk to your doctor about coping strategies or maybe even switching medications again.