View Full Version : Being ADD and on Adderall all my life, struggling in college

09-30-17, 04:33 PM
A little background.. I am 23 years old. I was diagnosed with ADD at a very young age and have been on adderall ever sense. As I got older my doctor has upped my dosage, but for the last 2 years I have been on the maximum recommended dosage of adderall of 75mg a day. I take 30mg in the morning, 30mg around 12:00 and half a pill (15mg) around 4:00pm.

I've been going to college for the past 5 years, and acquired an associates degree. A little over a year ago I got married. At that time I took a year off school to figure out what I wanted to do with continuing my education, my life, career etc. During which time I worked full time and continued with that dosage regularly. I did ok I was able to work fairly efficient and only every now and then would I loose motivation and productivity.

This fall I decided to go back to school and I got into a program at the same college I've been attending for years. It's been almost 2 months and I've been really struggling with my schooling, the program is pretty intense and I have been studying 24/7 to try and keep up. My ADD has been making it extremely difficult to stay focused in class and studying in general. It didn't used to be so hard for me. adderall used to help me so much with school but now I honestly can't even feel much effect after taking it. I don't know if it's because I haven't been in school for a year or if my body has built up so much of a tolerance to the drug from being on it all my life. I'm getting really discouraged because the side effects of adderall are getting worse and Studying is a constant battle. I'm afraid that I won't be able to pass my classes or even function like a normal person ever again. I stay up late hours trying to study almost every night but get little to nothing accomplished.

For the college program I'm in I need to memorize a lot of terms and my memory completely sucks. I don't even have my husbands phone number memorized if that tells you how bad my memory is. I used to be able to remember stuff a little better like studying for an exam, I would study really hard all day and most of the night before the test and do really well on the exam, but the next day most of it would be gone. Now I can't even do that it's hard for anythink to stick in my head.

I have a really bad habit, or some might consider it a nervous tick, of playing with my hair but it's not just playing with my hair and I don't just do it when I'm stressed or nervous It's a constant thing. This might not make sense to anyone but especially when my hair is up in a pony tail, I will play with the "bubbles" in my hair and I will do this until my hair is almost completely matted. I absolutely hate that I do this and I don't know how to stop, not even wearing a hat prevents me from doing this. ADD is literally taking over my life! My eating habits are ridiculous Some days I won't be hungry and struggle to eat much of anything all day or I'll be extremely hungry and eat a lot and never be satisfied. I will have times when I can't stop talking and times when I don't say much at all. I am a very self conscious person and at times I will get really down and depressed and rip myself apart until all confidence in myself is non existent. These are all things I experience while taking my adderall regularly.

I've tried taking a break from adderall, to see if it would help my tolerance to the drug. But not taking it even for a day is even worse. I'm sluggish, fatigued, I have no desire to do anything whatsoever but I can't sleep so I will sometimes spend the entire day on my phone (Facebook, pinterest, etc...). If I have to do something that day like work or help on the farm, It's nearly impossible and I'm dragging my butt all day. Off my meds I will play with my hair even more which I didn't think was possible, I will be almost non-coherent to people around me. It's like I'm in a completely different world. I will also get really depressed and be so hard on myself for not being able to be motivated about anything.
I've tried other things to help with adderall not being effective anymore. My doctor had me try Ridelin and it was no different for me than being on adderall. I've also tried the extended release and that didn't help at all either.
I don't know what exactly I'm doing writing all this in a forum. I've never done this before, I usually just read what other people have to say and try any find someone that's maybe going through a similar struggle.
But if anyone has any advise for me I'm open to anything, at this point I'm desperate to find something that can help me get through school and life in general.
I apologize for this post being so long, and all over the place. I didn't know what details to leave out and what would be relevant so you could maybe understand.

09-30-17, 08:57 PM
In a similar place where University is a huge struggle because of how hard it is to focus, read, and memorize. I finished a 2-year College Diploma, but the methods of learning were more practical so it was easier to get it to 'stick'.

I'm on Vyvanse (just diagnosed this year), so it's a bit different but I've tried these 'studying methods' I made:

1. So I would make the usual notes. The pre-lecture notes and during lecture I put an sub section. Then after a week or so, or when I feel like that topic has been covered enough in class I write a 'script'. Essentially a summary, but I would word it as if I would speak it. It kind of summarizes the notes I made (and slides or whatnot your prof uses to help teach). It's kind of like listening to a prof speak to you again about the topic.

2. I would then record me trying to speak about it. The 1st time it usually sounds like you are just plain out reading. After a few days, I would record again, maybe in split segments. Then I would do it again after the 2nd time, and by the 3rd time I feel comfortable enough to talk much more free flowing about it. It flows more like a conversation would, than reading.

2. Recently, I decided to 'animate it'. I looked through different animating websites, and I'm about to try Powtoon soon since it is more 'simplistic' but still captures attention. I myself remember things easier when they are moving. So the idea is, on Powtoon you can voice over your animation. Essentially now you pull your script up, and add images/diagrams/figures related to your study to each different topic you are talking about. Follow Powtoon's tutorial and make slides for each topic (obviously make more slides if needed), add the voice over, then add the photos and time it. Edit, etc, and eventually instead of just a simple voice over script of the summary, you have a moving animation that points at figures and images to watch/study. I suggest making it cover main ideas, and have separate small animations after each main idea that highlights any specific detail you need to know!

You can even just put your voice over in your music folder and attempt to maybe listen to it on the bus or while waiting for it.

The idea is after the simple lecture notes and pre-lecture, instead of just simply summarizing and re-reading it, when you make that script it is an even more personalized version of you learning that material.

When you record it several times, you basically study as you. When you pick photos and images, you are also studying by trying to relate images to your idea. When you go to make your animations, it may seem time-consuming (probably will for the first few animations) but you are inherently studying while doing this cause you are connecting ideas and making relationships. You are trying to animate the idea itself. Now it's not a full blown cartoon animation, but it moves things and makes it easier to focus in my opinion. Then when you are done, you have a custom video study material for yourself and a music file!