View Full Version : Are stimulants/amphetamines supposed to do anything more than help you concentrate?

04-07-17, 01:40 PM
Should amphetamines for add simply make you focus or is there more to it than this? I find when I'm taking my prescribed meds I feel more confident, energetic and social. I am able to actually hold a conversation and actively participate whereas all the years before I was diagnosed this was very difficult and I would mainly be quiet and out of touch. The best I could do was offer a one word answer etc.

Are these feelings and abilities that I never really possessed before of increased energy, confidence, easier ability to socialize, ability to prioritize what's important and needs to be done first all part of the "euphoric effect" that are not meant to last?

Are they the result of the medication making you more focused which in turn enables you to do these things like have a normal conversation because your mind isn't all over the place?

Or is it something else? I'm wondering because I'm just trying to figure out what I should be expecting to know if I'm on the right doses/meds as it's been increasingly difficult to tell lately.

I understand the whole "motivation comes from within" and that you have to take the first step.

What I mean by helping with prioritization is let's say I go to the library to do work. I'm all set, my books are in front of me, there shouldn't be any distractions, but I spend more time looking at my phone wasting time than getting to the work. That'll be the case if I try to do work without vyvanse/evekeo etc, but when I do and what I always thought meant they were working right will happen is that say I get a text, I'll quickly check it and respond and immediately put my phone down and get back to whatever I was working on, whereas if I haven't taken any meds, I'm probably going to stare at my phone another 30 minutes wasting time with apps etc. If I try to leave my phone, it still won't matter because I'll just find something else to distract me, the ceiling, random thoughts etc and before I know it I've spaced out for 10 minutes and have no idea what the last 10 pages of the book I read were about. No matter how hard I try I'll always end up doing something entirely different than what I intended to, I'll just zone out without realizing. (when off meds)

So should vyvanse and other medications used to treat add help you with prioritizing, being energetic and confident, or are these just temporary effects and it should strictly be helping you concentrate, no matter what it is on?

04-07-17, 04:00 PM
It’s not for me to say what they should or should not do.

But I have had those effects for 6 years now, and they are not part of any euphoria.


Johnny Slick
04-07-17, 04:17 PM
Well, they *are* stimulants, so feeling more energetic is probably not an unheard of thing. I definitely feel energetic during my improv classes (where I generally take a Ritalin right before they start) although at the same time I feel mostly just calm and focused for choir or work.

As for being more social, I think this is *definitely* true for me but I think it's a slightly secondary effect. I mean, I've always been a bit on the extroverted side when I'm with my friends anyway (okay granted that describes 90% of the population but BEAR WITH ME HERE) but when I'm amongst people I'm unsure of I just have a natural tendency to stay within myself that is built on years and years of guilting myself into developing some kind of a conscious filter on my thoughts when the unconscious one's not working. Now, when I am on le meds the filter is working and I'm pretty confident that it's working, too, so in turn I feel like I can speak more freely with others, even strangers, without accidentally saying something that makes me look like an ***.

As for the other stuff you're describing, well, that's another phenomenon I've noticed with medication: they *only* help you concentrate, period. They totally don't help you concentrate on the right thing. They also allow you to perform smaller tasks without breaking your concentration like, well, a person without ADHD can do, just like you experienced.

All in all, though, don't sweat it. I feel like a lot of us with ADHD are so used to life being hard that once it gets as easy as it's supposed to get, we think it must be because we're doing something wrong or missing something important. It doesn't have to be those things! It could just be that your filters are working now where they weren't before.

04-08-17, 07:38 AM
When I have issues I try to chilax.

04-20-17, 01:35 AM
Read the list of symptoms of adhd. Meds are supposed to help with those.

04-20-17, 08:11 PM
Increased energy is normal with ADHD medications as they are mostly stimulants, the same class of drug that coffee falls under. Also, in my experience ADHD itself is exhausting. By taking away some of the severity of the symptoms, you spend less energy trying to compensate for it, and therefore have more energy for other things.

Increased confidence is also fairly normal. The social effects could be related to the increased energy and confidence, but also it's probably easier to hold a conversation when your brain isn't somewhere else, right? ;)

The ability to prioritize, plan, etc. is something called an 'executive function' - and executive functioning is exactly what ADHD makes it hard for us to do. Medication isn't just supposed to help us concentrate, it's supposed to help us with all those little things involved with starting and completing tasks that
"normal" people take for granted. So helping you prioritize is exactly one of the things stimulants are supposed to do.

TL;DR: Everything you listed is normal, the energy may fade a little over time, otherwise the medication is working exactly as intended.

04-22-17, 02:35 AM
I know for me that Ritalin increased energy and motivation.. for the hour it works. I don't think there is a set way for them to work as long as it seems to be beneficial?

I think the trick can be telling what works, though.. I thought Ritalin was it but the side effects are so difficult that they often cancel out the positives. Now trying vyvanse, which seems to be acting similarly to how adderall did (no side effects but I definitely don't have ritalin's temp energy boost.. I was able to focus on a task for a while though).