Citation: Anonymous. "Excellent Treatment for ADHD: An Experience with Amphetamines (Dexedrine) (exp113465)". Erowid.org. May 1, 2020. erowid.org/exp/113465
For most of my life, I felt fogged over. Everything I did, almost every single day, I felt I was in a daze with brief moments of lucidity. I suffered from what I thought was moderate anxiety, depression, and sleep problems, and while I sought help through both prescription pharmacology and self-medicating with cannabis, nicotine, and caffeine, nothing seemed to lift this fog. The SSRI's and hypnotics I was prescribed had no effect on the symptoms I experienced, which were numerous, but can be summed up thusly- an inability to make meaningful changes in my life, no matter how badly I wanted to. I drifted from crisis to crisis, losing jobs, alienating friends, not being a good enough mother to my children. I was in a bad way. I failed out of college. I reached my breaking point. I was NOT coping with life like a normal, healthy person should be.
I'm not sure what the exact trigger was, but somehow I came across information that would change my life. It came to me that since traditional pharmaceutical and lifestyle adaptations had failed to produce desired results, I should look into other possible causes for my numerous symptoms. I found testimonials from other people who suffered from ADHD, and it was like a lightbulb moment for me. Their experiences were SO similar to mine! I was 24 years old when I discovered this about myself. I went to my doctor with my conclusions, and after a simple screening procedure (some multiple choice forms and a 15 minute interview-style appointment), my physician agreed that my symptoms were consistent with ADHD (especially primary inattentive). Thus began the appropriate pharmaceutical therapy.
First, we tried ritalin/concerta. If anything, this medication worsened my symptoms! It made me hyperfocus for hours on the wrong things (television, internet). After a few weeks I went back to my doctor, explaining why this medication was no good for me. Next, we tried adderall. This medication was better- I got the focus alright! And it was euphoric for me. I felt great, like I could accomplish anything! I was very motivated and everything felt amazing. That is, until I hit the half life, about 6 hours in. After I crossed that threshold, I became very morose and VERY moody. I began snapping at my spouse, my children. Angry rages over small things when I am usually a pretty chill person. Back to the doctor, explained my issue with the medication, and she prescribed me dexedrine spansules (20 mg in the morning, 10 mg in the afternoon, 30mg total). Third time's the charm! This medication was jussstttt right.
I've been on the same dose for about 3 years, and it has done wonders for me. I take 20 mg as soon as I wake up, and I feel no come-on for the medication- except for the mental clarity that washes over me. Planning my day effectively, and in a timely fashion. I feel capable of just getting up and doing things- something I have NEVER experienced before prior to the use of this medication (except with the problematic adderall). I experience no euphoria, almost no side effects (I will get to that), and have no problems with 'coming down'. I sometimes notice I hit a slump in the mid-evening, where I feel 'fogged over', but by then I have usually accomplished most of what I set out to in a day. My depression and anxiety? Mostly gone. They rear their ugly head every now and again, but nothing like they were before, when I felt powerless and incapable to do anything in my life.
Side effects I've had on this medication are few. The most annoying is bruxism- I find myself clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth often.
The most annoying is bruxism- I find myself clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth often.
I take magnesium for it, which helps, but doesn't totally eliminate this problem. If I skip my dose (which I try not to, but sometimes it slips my mind), taking the medication the next day can cause slight anxiety, a 'stimulant' feeling which I dislike.
I have experienced no drug dependency with this medication- the only reason I know I have missed a dose is because I feel 'fogged'- I don't crave the medication whatsoever. I also experience only extremely mild personality 'blunting'. I become less inclined to humor while on my medication, and am slightly less 'loving' and 'whimsical', usually focused on the next step. I have also been able to significantly reduce my prior dependency on cannabis- I used to smoke up several times a DAY, and nowadays I only smoke small amounts a few times a week, and it's for pleasure, not because I feel a compulsion to do it. Caffeine use is moderate. One thing I haven't been able to kick is my addiction to nicotine- I still vape quite a bit, I find it takes the edge off of the bruxism and any stimulating effects, but I feel I will one day be able to kick that particular habit in the near future.
It also has not completely eliminated all problems associated with my ADHD. I have enormous problems getting to sleep on time every night, I lie awake for HOURS sometimes. I have been diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (common in people with ADHD) and absolutely MUST take quetiapine every night or else I am up until the early hours of the morning, no matter what time I woke up in the morning. I do not believe dexedrine is the cause of this, as by midnight the effects of the medication have long worn off, it just hasn't been eliminated or helped by taking dexedrine- at least, not significantly. I also have issues focusing, still. If I have to do something I absolutely loathe- like filing my taxes- I will put it off for MONTHS. I just can't face it until oops, crisis time. I do not feel 'cured' from my ADHD, but will say that the medication and dosage I am on has helped me make SIGNIFICANT strides towards a better life. I no longer suffer from it every day. The fog has lifted, and I now have clarity in my life.
It is my experience that many physicians and patients overlook the potential therapeutic value of this medication- it's old, it's got a simple one-pronged formulation, it doesn't have the sex appeal of newer formulations for treating ADHD (vyvanse, adderral, modafinil), and frankly, I suspect that there are no kickbacks from drug companies to physicians for this 100 year old generic drug. But for me, it is the ONLY treatment. It just works so well. Your mileage may vary... It is helping me slowly rebuild my life, one day at a time.
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