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  #1  
Old 10-01-11, 04:31 PM
Pugnax Pugnax is offline
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Why am I suddenly unmotivated?

The Situation:
I am 21 years old and am a junior in college studying engineering and neuroscience. I recently finished working for a conservation corp doing trail work (i.e. constructing and maintaining trails) in Colorado of the summer. I loved the work and the lifestyle of being a "trail dog" but after finishing the program and coming back to school for the fall I find myself depressed and highly unmotivated. I do not have trouble sitting still or concentrating but I get distracted easily while doing homework/studying and have trouble getting myself to get up and do my work. I have not had these problems in the past two years in college and am very confused as to why I am having these problems now. I love my classes and am very curious by nature becoming very excited to learn how and why things work so I do not think my low motivation levels are caused by disinterest in my major. I think part of my problem is coming straight out of one environment (the trail) and being immersed in an entirely different one (college). My unmotivated tendencies have been putting a huge burden on me and it has become very fatiguing to constantly force myself to do my studies. I don't procrastinate ( don't have enough time to) but occasionally buy Adderall from a friend who is prescribed it to boost my motivation. It helps immensely. My question is could I have ADHD even though I do not exhibit any of the symptoms besides being unmotivated and if there are any medications the could help my situation? All opinions and constructive criticisms are welcome. I'm having a lot of trouble figuring this out by myself.
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Old 10-01-11, 04:48 PM
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Re: Why am I suddenly unmotivated?

Your reactions to stimulants is not an indicator of adhd. If everyone who took stimulants to gage whether they had it or not the whole world would be adhd.
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Old 10-01-11, 04:53 PM
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Re: Why am I suddenly unmotivated?

No, if you have no other symptoms of ADHD it's unlikely that you have it, but the only way to be sure is to have a professional assessment. Using stimulants like Adderall can cause lethargy and ADHD-like symptoms when they wear off. That can last days or weeks, (especially if it's a high dose or you're using it often) -- so if you don't have ADHD you're probably shooting yourself in the foot there.

Even those who have ADHD get temporarily worsened ADHD when their meds wear off (often called rebound effect, it is basically withdrawal). To the point where it can be dangerous to drive.

My advice would be to a) get an assessment, b) stop using Adderall, as it might save your bacon once or twice but it's not a sustainable strategy (even those with ADHD need to take it daily), and c) continue to get regular outdoor exercise. Humans belong outdoors and don't respond well to being cooped up inside.
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Old 10-01-11, 05:22 PM
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Re: Why am I suddenly unmotivated?

Thank you for your responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Your reactions to stimulants is not an indicator of adhd. If everyone who took stimulants to gage whether they had it or not the whole world would be adhd.
I agree with you. I do not believe my reactions to Adderall is in any way an indicator of a disorder. My decision to use a stimulant was to help with my motivation and not to self-diagnose myself. The reason why I thought I may have ADHD is because I've become easily distracted and unmotivated. A large part of me does not believe I have ADHD but I am trying to narrow down and find a solution to my current problem thinking an attention disorder might be the underlying cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selita View Post
No, if you have no other symptoms of ADHD it's unlikely that you have it, but the only way to be sure is to have a professional assessment. Using stimulants like Adderall can cause lethargy and ADHD-like symptoms when they wear off. That can last days or weeks, (especially if it's a high dose or you're using it often) -- so if you don't have ADHD you're probably shooting yourself in the foot there.

Even those who have ADHD get temporarily worsened ADHD when their meds wear off (often called rebound effect, it is basically withdrawal). To the point where it can be dangerous to drive.

My advice would be to a) get an assessment, b) stop using Adderall, as it might save your bacon once or twice but it's not a sustainable strategy (even those with ADHD need to take it daily), and c) continue to get regular outdoor exercise. Humans belong outdoors and don't respond well to being cooped up inside.
As you say, because I do not exhibit any other symptoms I probably do not have ADHD and as I said to sarahsweets above a large part of me does not believe I have ADHD. But in any case a part felt it might be an attention disorder. I do need to stop taking Adderall, you're right. It has been a blessing this past week but like you say it's not sustainable. Thank you for the advice. I'm going to try and schedule an appointment with my physician and I do need to get out and exercise. It's just hard to find the time.
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Old 10-01-11, 11:55 PM
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Re: Why am I suddenly unmotivated?

I've been wondering about this... Turns out "exercise withdrawal" is a thing.
http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?hl=...ise+withdrawal

That doesn't really surprise me. I usually feel and perform my worst after I've gone a week or two without walking anywhere (I sometimes walk several hours a week).
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Old 10-02-11, 12:55 AM
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Re: Why am I suddenly unmotivated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugnax View Post
The Situation:
I am 21 years old and am a junior in college studying engineering and neuroscience. I recently finished working for a conservation corp doing trail work (i.e. constructing and maintaining trails) in Colorado of the summer. I loved the work and the lifestyle of being a "trail dog" but after finishing the program and coming back to school for the fall I find myself depressed and highly unmotivated. I do not have trouble sitting still or concentrating but I get distracted easily while doing homework/studying and have trouble getting myself to get up and do my work. I have not had these problems in the past two years in college and am very confused as to why I am having these problems now. I love my classes and am very curious by nature becoming very excited to learn how and why things work so I do not think my low motivation levels are caused by disinterest in my major. I think part of my problem is coming straight out of one environment (the trail) and being immersed in an entirely different one (college). My unmotivated tendencies have been putting a huge burden on me and it has become very fatiguing to constantly force myself to do my studies. I don't procrastinate ( don't have enough time to) but occasionally buy Adderall from a friend who is prescribed it to boost my motivation. It helps immensely. My question is could I have ADHD even though I do not exhibit any of the symptoms besides being unmotivated and if there are any medications the could help my situation? All opinions and constructive criticisms are welcome. I'm having a lot of trouble figuring this out by myself.
not to be contrary, but I have to ask the question.... how do you know if you exhibit any of the symptoms of ADHD??

if you asked me 2 years ago if I thought I had ADHD, I'd tell you no. In fact, I'd likely have told you I was just lazy and a bit crazy.

turns out, the right diagnosis, meds and a year of therapy have revealed that yeah... I TOTALLY have ADHD. ADD/ADHD'ers don't really have the most accurate perspective of ourselves.... that being said, get an evaluation.
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Old 10-02-11, 02:13 AM
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Re: Why am I suddenly unmotivated?

Quote:
ADD/ADHD'ers don't really have the most accurate perspective of ourselves.... that being said, get an evaluation.
I agree with this, and would like to add that ADHDers don't likely have the most accurate view of each other or of people in general. I know I've gauged a person wrong more than once.
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Old 10-02-11, 10:17 AM
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Re: Why am I suddenly unmotivated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugnax View Post
Thank you for your responses.



I agree with you. I do not believe my reactions to Adderall is in any way an indicator of a disorder. My decision to use a stimulant was to help with my motivation and not to self-diagnose myself. The reason why I thought I may have ADHD is because I've become easily distracted and unmotivated. A large part of me does not believe I have ADHD but I am trying to narrow down and find a solution to my current problem thinking an attention disorder might be the underlying cause.



As you say, because I do not exhibit any other symptoms I probably do not have ADHD and as I said to sarahsweets above a large part of me does not believe I have ADHD. But in any case a part felt it might be an attention disorder. I do need to stop taking Adderall, you're right. It has been a blessing this past week but like you say it's not sustainable. Thank you for the advice. I'm going to try and schedule an appointment with my physician and I do need to get out and exercise. It's just hard to find the time.
Some things to consider as well is whether or not symptoms have been present since childhood.
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