I need help (I think). Adderall Related. Thanks in advance.
First off; thank you in advance for taking the time to read this (I cannot tell you how appreciative I would be if somebody could offer some insight or advice that might set me on the right path), I'll try to be as brief as possible. As you'll likely gather; I'm reluctant to talk about this stuff with anybody but have recently come to the realization that something needs to happen... With that said, I'll be as open as possible (and it will be embarrassing; even as anonymous as this might be).
I'm a 23 year-old male who graduated from college last year. I was prescribed 15 mg Adderall XR during my junior year from a family doctor. He made a fairly quick diagnosis of adult adhd & offered the prescription as a temporary solution until we could figure out how to address my attention/alertness issues without medicine.
I was the type that never took Advil for headaches, so the thought of taking pills for a condition that I never even considered that I had seemed a little weird at first. But... it felt good; it really helped 'get me going' and while it never motivated me to care more about my grades/effort in school... it definitely accelerated my ability to do my job (mktg related) and seemingly helped me in social ways (being engaged in conversations, etc). Sleep was somewhat of an issue; but I was staying healthy and woke up just fine after a daily dose Adderall.
After about 6 months, I had another appointment with the doctor... and candidly, I was a little concerned he was going to recommend I stop the drug entirely. I made an active decision (on my way there, actually) to not hide/mask my real feelings towards it. We had a good conversation about natural ways to overcome lethargic mornings & restlessness at night (regular exercise and such) & at the end of it; I assumed the Adderall 'experience' was over. Instead; he prescribed a heaver dose (30 mg xr) and a sleeping aid that I was completely unfamiliar with at the time (Ambien).
Quite honestly; the next few weeks was probably the most productive & healthy I've ever been. Ambien seemed to be the perfect 'off-switch' and the higher dose of Adderall gave the feeling I had originally experienced 6 months before.
My girlfriend (now fiancee) came along around the start of the Adderall days. She is a year older & a year ahead of me in school. Towards her graduation/departure from the college town; I started to rely more and more on porn (something I've never admitted to anyone).
By the time she moved to the new city (where we both currently are); the porn thing had turned to a bit of an addiction. I was still functioning with my job and showing up to class; but I frequently had to hustle to accomplish either because of the habit. The 'sessions' (to be discrete as I can be) tended to focus around the Adderall usage but it took me a while to connect the two.
Also; along the same timeline... I found myself drinking more and more. She and I enjoyed wine but very rarely got anywhere past 'tipsy'. Her last semester in town, I took to drinking beer pretty much every night.
Amazingly, during this stretch (and even beyond it) I've remained remarkably healthy. As she left town and I suddenly found myself in a long-distance relationship; I'd definitely say the 'crutches' of alcohol and porn became more prevalent.
Now... this may seem to be disconnected with reality (and not make sense, but you'll have to trust me); my performance in terms of my job had been downright incredible. A few years of planning and execution of mktg strategies were paying off in big ways... but, about the time she left town... my boss was fired & I very literally operated for 2-3 months without knowing who I was supposed to be reporting to. I was the only employee of the firm within about 100 miles and (while my project's revenues were growing 400% over a 2 year period), it wasn't even a blip on the owner's radar.
Naturally (given the circumstances), I started to care way less about the gig. My education was wrapping up & I had more and more free time. I started to recognize the connection between Adderall/masturbation/porn and would (subconsciously, at first) plan my days around it.
There were times that I'd recognize how many beer bottles I was throwing away daily and I'd start to throttle my alcohol consumption... I was able to consume less without any noticeable side-effects.
I graduated from school without much effort & the pattern of spending more time by myself (porn) rather than focusing on my future career/current job started to grow. That stage lasted for about 6 more months.
To update the timeline... We're phasing into summer '11 (2 years on adderall, 1.5 years on ambien). I started taking 2 Adderalls on some days & the 'off-days' seemed to start falling more and more at the end of the cycle of the perscription (in other words, I was running out of pills before 30 days had passed).
I worked out an exit-strategy/buyout deal with my job that allowed me to move to my girlfriend's new town. It essentially let me move without any concerns of finding a job in the new place off the bat.
When I moved; I didn't find a new doctor... so the prescription for adderall (and eventually ambien) ran out. I functioned for about 90 days without the two but found myself drinking beer at unprecedented levels (for myself, ~8 beers a night) & I was also having to take diphenhydramine to fall asleep. I wound up drinking quite a bit of Red Bull to wake up and never felt 'right'. However, the whole porn thing completely went away. Without adderall... there was really no desire for it.
The actual 'sex-life' with the gf had naturally diminished as the porn habit grew; but it wasn't like the new found time (absence of porn) was accompanied by much more real sex.
Also worth noting; when she left for work & I started to wake-up in the mornings... I started having insane dreams. Hallucination type stuff. Some of which I knew were dreams; but I actually had the sensation (and the memory) of doing things that never happened. This aligned pretty directly with the discontinuation of Adderall; but also with one of my 'less-beer' periods... The dreams were never serious in nature, but they freaked me out big time. I didn't read search too much on the internet about that part of it, but I stumbled upon something about alcohol withdrawal that led me to believe it was connected to that.
The crazy dreams faded away but I eventually went to a new doctor near our new home to get checked out & talk about the two drugs. She renewed the adderall and the ambien prescriptions (this was about two and a half weeks ago); and I am right back where I was 6 months ago... and probably beyond it.
I take adderall with some flawed logic that it will make me more productive... Its been 15 days since the new round of prescriptions; and I'm already out of adderall (as of tonight)... The porn thing has come back with roaring vengeance. I've hidden it remarkably well from the fiancee; but I've found myself acting in rather despicable ways (downloading stuff and preparing the digital side of it) in front of her (with the computer screen facing me) and lying about 'doing work' while I sneak off to the bedroom.
There are things I've been intending to clean/organize for over 2 years at this point; but nothing ever gets done. The scary part is though... As little as I've been able to do in that regard; moving forward with my career/real-life has been even more stagnant.
I don't consider myself depressed & I've never had any suicidal thoughts; but my motivation to do things appears to be entirely misguided.
I have a wonderful, beautiful, sweet and sexy wife-to-be that I've had sex with once in the past 90 days (and its certainly not because of her lack of a drive). She deserves so much more than I'm giving her (and that goes way beyond sex).
The money from the 'buy-out' i mentioned is drying up & I'm starting to slip into credit card debt. I'd worry less about this aspect of it; but knowing that I'm miles away from actually making money again... its terrifying.
Perhaps most pressing... given the recent binge on adderall... I'm really concerned about the next few days and the return of withdrawal symptoms. I consider myself fairly sharp but I'm certainly not positive I'm not depressed; the thought of entering into a state of psychosis (like I mentioned w/ the dreams) is terrifying.
I write (& post) all of this because I really have no clue what the answer is. I just hope someone else out there has dealt with similar dynamics and can offer some advice to fast-forward to the end of the turbulence... I'm hoping the answer lies in something simple like a better diet and exercise but if its going to take more than that; I should probably figure it out pretty quick.
I'm open to all suggestions...
Thank you again for the time in reading the saga & for helping me get things turned around.
Re: I need help (I think). Adderall Related. Thanks in advance.
Well theraphy in all treatment plans seems to work best. I want to offer my support to you and advise as best as I can. I really think you're an addict. Not necessary to drugs or alcohol or even porn. Just a overall addict. That doesn't make you a bad person its just something you have to work around. A in patient treatment may help you learn why you are an addict and what you can do to
avoid any relapse. You may not need the detox part but you need the therapy part for sure. Some people have great success with 12 step programs. You are not required to say explicitly what your drug of choice is just that you're an addict. An addictions counselor can be a huge blessing to anyone in recovery. Any kind of therapist will help.
I've heard the pbrase "we are only as sick as our secrets " so with that idea honesty with the g/f has to happen if you want to be well. She deserves to know it all afterall she wants to spend her life with you. You need support from anybody who you can identify with : alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, anyone even other people with adhd. You need to feel that you are not alone, not a lost cause or stupid, lazy, dumb, thick, foolish or heartless. You're not. You're just another guy trying to swim upstream with only one fin. Adhd makes everything normal people do twice as hard. Imagine running a race barefoot over gravel right?
I'm going on far to long ...at any rate I just want to stress to you that it's not YOU its the addiction and the ADHD. The best weapons in your arsenal will be honesty, treatment and support.
***disclaimer +++ sorry for the use of the 'n' word (normal ) normal is overrated and relative but I was on a roll.
Go **bleep** yourself
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