View Full Version : Is Adderal the same with/without ADD


Zabra123
07-22-09, 09:29 AM
I went to the dr and told him I always thought I may have ADD because I find it hard to concentrate while reading. Often while reading my mind drifts before I finish a sentence. He gave me Adderall XR in one week of 15mg and one week of 20mg formats.

I was just thinking though, what if I do not have ADD. Besides the side effects like head aches, nausuea etc. (which I dont have) is Adderall bad for me?

I have taken it for the last 4 days and it helps me focus while I learn at work but I dont know if I am just on speed.. is it actually different for people without ADD?

I read people describing it on other sites and although they always seem to think they are describing different effects then those with (or without) ADD. They just seem to be more focused, and alert. The real difference is their intended use. Those with ADD are then studying while those "without" ADD are going out and partying all night.

Please respond if you know of any articles outlining tests comparing the results of Adderall on those with vs those without ADD.

Note: I really love being able to get work done instead of alt-tabbing, running for coffee, and generally changing tasks every 10 seconds.

pipermac
07-22-09, 10:14 AM
Are you saying that your Dr prescribed you Adderall without actually diagnosing you with ADHD?

If so I believe he is being very irresponsible.

I would go get a proper diagnosis before taking any medication.

Childe Roland
07-22-09, 10:24 AM
It will help anyone focus more. The military gives dextroamphetemine to servicemen to keep them awake during long missions. They call them "go pills." But it should help someone with ADD more because we have a lower baseline. Taking a small dose of stimulants might just take us to the level of focus that average people have.

Zabra123
07-22-09, 10:42 AM
Are you saying that your Dr prescribed you Adderall without actually diagnosing you with ADHD?

If so I believe he is being very irresponsible.

I would go get a proper diagnosis before taking any medication.

Before I start I wanted to say that I am NOT against Adderall or any of these drugs. I may be against how they are viewed.

The first thing I said was I talked to my doctor and be prescribed me Adderall. I think it was implied pretty strongly that he didn't high five me and say "dude these will **** you up"... he said I probably have ADD. My problem was that the symptoms of ADD are about as abstract as possible hence why I see so many posts about "do I really have ADD".

My point is simply that we aren't treating a broken leg. I believe we are taking a stimulant drug that effects everyone in the same way. We do not have a special spot in our brain that is being repaired or filled or something like people seem to make it out.

It just seems like ADD may have become the blame for everything for people who have what is really just a hard time focusing. I went through all my school including college and university and was fine. I am taking Adderall for a week now and it is interesting to be able to sit down and get a weeks worth of work done in a day.

Just to recap, I am not saying that some people do have the ability to focus better then others (God knows I have so many reward systems in place to get myself to focus despite having the desire to work that I drink upwards of 5 cups of coffee per day and I dont even like coffee). I am saying these drugs could work for anyone and I guess my point may be that they should be open to all then and remove this notion that ADD is a debilitating disease or something.. I was fine without it.

Zabra123
07-22-09, 10:46 AM
It will help anyone focus more. The military gives dextroamphetemine to servicemen to keep them awake during long missions. They call them "go pills." But it should help someone with ADD more because we have a lower baseline. Taking a small dose of stimulants might just take us to the level of focus that average people have.

Very true. It is just sad that out of all the articles Ive read most pretend the drug acts differently for people without ADD. Someone without ADD given the same dose as someone with ADD just has a much stronger reaction. That is it.

Then the media made this real connection that people who were borrowing the drug from friends with a prescription were going out and partying with it. Of course they didn't make the obvious connection that this was because of how the drug was seen by the user. If you see it as a party drug then thats what it is. If you see it as a study aid then bang.. magic same drug is now a study aid.

Personally I think party drug is a bad thing because it may lead to the drug being banned for it's more positive use.

Kiri
07-22-09, 11:22 AM
I think one thing to consider, is do you have a staticky mind? Does it often feel as though your thoughts are running everywhere at once? Is your mind like a tv or radio where channels are constantly being switched or played at the same time?

I ask, because this is one of the biggest differences for me on adderall. Off meds, my mind is in chaos. On meds, I can actually focus on one thought at a time. My mind is quiet. For me, that is the difference between people with ADD and people without. People without may occasionally have trouble focusing, but not on the scale that someone with ADD has.

On a side note, I did great in school, gradewise, for both high school and undergrad. However, those grades didn't come without many near nervous breakdowns because I tended to procrastinate all my work until the last minute (even though I didn't mean to--I just couldn't turn on my brain's 'work mode'). It wasn't until grad school that I decided I needed help, because it became almost painful to do my work.

Think hard about how much the lack of focus you're experiencing affects your life. I hope you get things figured out. :)

Zabra123
07-22-09, 11:48 AM
I think one thing to consider, is do you have a staticky mind? Does it often feel as though your thoughts are running everywhere at once? Is your mind like a tv or radio where channels are constantly being switched or played at the same time?

I ask, because this is one of the biggest differences for me on adderall. Off meds, my mind is in chaos. On meds, I can actually focus on one thought at a time. My mind is quiet. For me, that is the difference between people with ADD and people without. People without may occasionally have trouble focusing, but not on the scale that someone with ADD has.

On a side note, I did great in school, gradewise, for both high school and undergrad. However, those grades didn't come without many near nervous breakdowns because I tended to procrastinate all my work until the last minute (even though I didn't mean to--I just couldn't turn on my brain's 'work mode'). It wasn't until grad school that I decided I needed help, because it became almost painful to do my work.

Think hard about how much the lack of focus you're experiencing affects your life. I hope you get things figured out. :)

I am 28 this has never destroyed me life because it never even existed to blame before. I have realized now that Im on drugs I can pay attention to what people are saying when it does not interest me a hundred times better. Before I had to use willpower to overcome it.. with drugs things are easier.

Going into work mode is something I think everyone deals with not just us. Although I am sure we have it worse. With drugs though I bet we have it easier because we pop a pill the day we want to go into work mode, the drug does its thing and we have already made a conscious decision to work and BELIEVE we will want to (which in itself is very powerful).

Kiri
07-22-09, 12:10 PM
Going into work mode is something I think everyone deals with not just us. Although I am sure we have it worse. With drugs though I bet we have it easier because we pop a pill the day we want to go into work mode, the drug does its thing and we have already made a conscious decision to work and BELIEVE we will want to (which in itself is very powerful).


Actually, my adderall does not help me go into work mode--not in the least. It quiets my mind, and once I start to focus on something, it helps a great deal. However, work mode has to come from within. The adderall doesn't help me feel driven to do the work, but it helps me focus on it and accomplish it when I finally start. :) It is by no means a miracle drug... oh how I wish it was. :D

Childe Roland
07-22-09, 01:47 PM
Actually, my adderall does not help me go into work mode--not in the least. It quiets my mind, and once I start to focus on something, it helps a great deal. However, work mode has to come from within. The adderall doesn't help me feel driven to do the work, but it helps me focus on it and accomplish it when I finally start. :) It is by no means a miracle drug... oh how I wish it was. :D

I absolutely agree!

I need to decide to go into work mode before taking meds. That's why I don't take my ADD medicine until I'm on the way to work or school. If I were to just take it in the AM while checking my email . . . I might end up spending all day sorting old messages into organized folders or googling things!

By the way, what did you study in grad school? I'm a 3rd year law student, and I'm sure I couldn't have managed all of these details without meds -- at least not very well.

Kiri
07-22-09, 02:31 PM
By the way, what did you study in grad school? I'm a 3rd year law student, and I'm sure I couldn't have managed all of these details without meds -- at least not very well.


I'm not sure if this question was directed to me or the OP, but I'll answer anyway. :)

I did my undergrad in English Literature, and am currently in the process of earning my MFA in children's literature. (On a side note, I'm also doing work to get my teaching license through another program...I start student teaching this august). Not as intimidating as law school, by any means. My MFA program does involve a lot of reading and writing, of both creative and critical papers. I did not ever think that I might have ADD until last term, when it was pure torture to try and complete my work. I never even realized I had so much constant chatter going in my head until the first time I took my adderall.. then it was... quiet. :p

I have to be extremely interested in what I am studying, and I would probably claw my eyes out after sitting through one law class. Kudos to you for doing it, especially with ADD. :D

mdbutler71
07-22-09, 06:19 PM
Often while reading my mind drifts before I finish a sentence.

This is very normal. Try reading actively rather than passively.

Unfortunately, we are able to read with our eyes while our minds are elsewhere. It's because of our familiarity with with the act of reading that allows many of us to develop the "skill" (I use the term lightly) to do so without 100% focus.

It's related to common reading material like newspapers and magazines. Typically, the important stuff is first, and it somewhat promotes passive reading.

Zabra123
07-23-09, 11:56 AM
Interesting points from everyone. I think I was a little frustrated when I wrote the first post (although trying not to sound frustrated). I was really expecting people to be discussing the drugs effects and instead found people talking about how ADD was life upsetting or even ruining. If your parents didn't support you growing up I can definetly see that as being a drive towards failures and maybe ADD or whatever a person has that makes them different may take the blame that bad parenting, lack of personal will, or many other factors should have. I also realize there are different levels and if you have debilitating ADHD then Im sure my conclusions no longer make sense.

I read an article on active reading, interesting stuff that may be helpful.

Childe Roland
07-23-09, 12:16 PM
If your parents didn't support you growing up I can definetly see that as being a drive towards failures and maybe ADD or whatever a person has that makes them different may take the blame that bad parenting, lack of personal will, or many other factors should have.

Meh. Parenting has nothing to do with neurochemistry. You are who you are because of your neurochemistry. Yes, environmnet also plays a role. But a supportive environment is not going to fix a dopamine shortage in your synaptic cleft. "Personal will" etc. is not independant of your neurochemistry. It is simply the outward manifestation of the chemical and electric operations in your brain. Don't fool yourself into thinking "you" are something other than your brain.

xraylady33
07-23-09, 02:05 PM
Adderall for those who have ADD....
Better Focus
Understanding of topics
All around more patient with life and people
Random thoughts seem to quiet down
Neurostimulators are heightened...brainwaves and chemical reactions are leveled to a hum....not super slow...or super high...
Loss of appetite....
Ability to finish task from start to finish...
Helps you sit still

Now....all of this is possible...not probable and still takes the initiative of the patient to want to achieve success or make it through the day without starting 50 things at once....The ADDERALL will help....

Adderall for those who DO NOT HAVE ADD...
Buzzed and hyper
OVER FOCUS on menial tasks...
It can make you a perfectionist...while stimulators are at peak levels.
Weight loss
jittery
Rapid heart rate..increased pulse, headache, drymouth...etc....

The bad news....all these side effects are interchangable....each one can be accoutable for the ADD patient and the non...
The studies that brought stims to the medical world, were established with patients who showed symptoms of "typical" ADD behavior...and it stimulateds them to "FOCUS"...
So, if you doubt your "diagnosis"..please be aware that stimulants are very addictive and cause dependence..muscle spasms...heart palpitations..etc. YES, these are symptoms for EACH patient...ADD or not...but why add chemicals if you don't need them. Good Luck in your quest for answers.

Fraz_2006
07-23-09, 03:59 PM
Meh. Parenting has nothing to do with neurochemistry. You are who you are because of your neurochemistry. Yes, environmnet also plays a role. But a supportive environment is not going to fix a dopamine shortage in your synaptic cleft. "Personal will" etc. is not independant of your neurochemistry. It is simply the outward manifestation of the chemical and electric operations in your brain. Don't fool yourself into thinking "you" are something other than your brain.

What makes you so sure you do have a chemical shortage?

I hear loads of people blabbing on and on about a "chemical imbalance"

Why should we buy into it?

Pharmaceutical companys like CIBA make billions each year selling these drugs off to people. And the Doctors and Psychologists etc, also benefit from the profits.

So if this has nothing to do with chemicals.... they are obviously not going to let us know.

They'll tell us anything so they can make there profit.

Yeah sure... we see the so called "evidence" on TV... where they do brain scans and it shows 1 brain more active than the other..... but who's to say any of it is actually real?... and not just 1 big con?

Maybe it is just a lack of willpower.... but we will never do anything about it.... because we keep buying into the BS that the Pharmaceutical companys are feeding us!

Childe Roland
07-23-09, 05:54 PM
Oh there's reams of evidence that people with ADD have less brain activity in executive control regions of the brain, and that stimulants increase brain activity in those regions. They've been safely and successfully treating children with Ritalin for more than 50 years! There's way too much scientific research to be one big hoax. Major governments around the world certify stimulants as an effective treatment for ADD. In the USA, the FDA manages that.

I think a conspiracy is unlikely. That would require governments across the world to be conned or be participating in a scheme with pharmaceutical companies. Remember that world governments are very different. But the conservative USA, somewhat militant Russia, and green/liberal Germany all allow stimulants. All major medical research universities would also need to participate in this plot. It seems to me that governments are generally very cautious about Schedule II drugs. I remember that Canada banned Adderall for awhile because there was some bad research showing it could cause sudden death.

In my opinion, the world is simply not that elegant. Conspiracies are too hard to pull off in the age of investigative journalism and internet communication. :P

tama
07-24-09, 12:21 AM
I think everyone has had that worry that maybe they really shouldn't be taking stimulants. It's true that it doesn't directly "fix" a problem all ADD people have, and that most people can benefit from it regardless. I've come to learn, though, that many other "disorders" and "diseases" aren't clean cut either. Take IBS, for example. You can go to a dr and tell him you have stomach problems, and if they don't find anything wrong they might just diagnose you with IBS. I tend to not put too much credibility in diagnoses for such conditions, personally. My best friend HAS ADD, i know this, and his doctor basically just accuses him of trying to get a script and won't diagnose him.

I think we're conditioned to think that just because it's a disorder with a medication to treat it (well.. to help relieve some symptoms temporarily), it means everyone either has it or doesn't, like a simple blood test or something could reveal "yes" or "no". I'll be honest, like a lot of people, a year ago I thought ADD was mostly about pharmaceuticals trying to prey on people who lacked focus. This was mostly because since I wasn't diagnosed as a kid (they told me I needed really expensive testing my insurance wouldn't cover) I attributed all of those school, social, organizational, etc etc problems to just how I was. And, in a way, that's correct, it's not like ADD is a virus that comes and infects you, causing a hectic mind. However, adderall enormously helps these areas, so therefore I feel it's the right thing for me. There's no textbook model we should compare to to see if we have ADD despite what we're told. Every person has their own brain and their own problems that a stimulant may or may not help. This is why I personally am wary of giving young children ADD meds, I believe they should first be mature enough to get an idea of how their brain normally works then decide if medication should be used as an aid. I never acted out in class, and I didn't (usually) drive my parents crazy bouncing off the walls- but if you could see in my mind there was some crazy stuff going on that is now all of a sudden organized. Since being on adderall I feel regretful I spent all those years struggling so hard to do things based around the way my hectic and irrational mind could handle it. It's like working for 3 hours to finish a 1 hour job (metaphorically of course.) This made my ultimate potential so much less because I had to jump OVER my problems, expending valuable energy, every time I wanted to do something. You grow so used to those problems, though, that you may not even remember they're there holding you back until they're diminished. Only this year have I seen my true potential, and it's inspired me.

Everyone feels lazy and unfocused at times. For me, I always knew something in me was holding me back consistantly, but it took trying adderall to realize the extent of this. I got good grades growing up purely from just being a smart kid (which is also why I never was diagnosed). I did practically no work in high school. In college, my grades really slipped, and I just blamed myself for being lazy and irresponsible. I've been on adderall for one semester, and that was my best college semester. A's and B's in a 17 credit all engineering classes schedule, which I would never have pulled off even back in my freshman generals. Yea, adderall can help anybody do better in school, but for me it was a profound change in my mind that is much more than just some extra focus.


TLDR: if adderall helps you overcome problems that always have held you back and gives you a new insight on how glorious a calm mind can be, I wouldn't be worried about being wrong in taking it.