Citation: Danny. "Better Living: An Experience with Amphetamines (Adderall) (exp37796)". Erowid.org. Nov 13, 2007. erowid.org/exp/37796
I have probably had inattentive-type ADD for most of my life, but no one thought to have me checked because I was never hyperactive. I have always been very mellow and lazy, more interested in books and computers than sports and running around like an idiot. At risk of sounding conceited, I've always been smarter than most of my peers, always reading ahead and getting bored waiting for my classmates, but around 4th grade (age 9), I stopped getting good grades.
As an adolescent, the negative feelings, the alienation and gloom and anger and guilt and self loathing that I've always had (or so it seems) exploded into full blown depression. Feeling like I had nothing to look forward to, and like I was inescapably doomed to a miserable, boring, pointless life, I started smoking pot, got a GED, and dropped out of high school 2 weeks into my freshman year. (Ironically enough, I smoke a lot more pot now than I did then. Mostly cos my closest friend, now, is a stoner.)
The ubiquitous antidepressant Prozac helped for a few months, but after the better part of a year, it just left me numbed and apathetic. I basically bounced around junior college and shitty jobs for about 5 years, until I discovered, and decided I needed to attend, a college with a very reputable engineering program, just for the sake of doing something productive with myself that I'd remotely enjoy.
Getting to move out of my parent's house in the suburbs cheered me up for a while, especially since, for the first time ever, I also had a girlfriend who would actually sleep with me, but after a few months, the thrill faded. School became drudgery, and my grades quickly dropped, especially due to the frequency with which I simply couldn't pry myself out of bed and go to school on time. Even if I cared about the material and tried to pay attention, I generally couldn't focus on the lectures I attended. While I rarely had any trouble comprehending the material, I just as rarely was able to absorb it and recall it on cue. I'm now about 2/3 of the way to my associates degree, and a handful of GE credits after that, my bachelor's. It's probably going to take me about twice as long as most people, because school 5 days a week, 7 hours a day is a little too stressful, and I want to get a part time job.
I finally decided that I'm fed up with doing poorly in school, paying chunks of money to retake courses failed, and feeling like shit all the time. I started seeing a psychiatrist again, initially just for depression. She urged me to do more research, and test myself for ADD. According to the Amen Clinic test, it's highly probable that I have inattentive type ADD and limbic system hyperactivity. This conveniently explained my tendency to either be unfocused and apathetic or singlemindedly hyperfocused to the point where I forget to eat, my tendency to fidget, and other traits.
After further discussion, I was prescribed Adderall. (This was earlier this week.) I found it very odd and amusing that Adderall is literally nothing more than amphetamines, because I've always thought I need to stay AWAY from amphetamines. I'm from Northern California, where meth is a major problem. And I'm already very skinny and a bit neurotic, so I thought if I started doing meth I'd just waste away to nothing. (Though if I couldn't get legitimately prescribed medicine, I would probably try doing some meth.)
And now the point. In short, I love the stuff. For one, it just makes me feel good. I'm normally very introverted and socially awkward/inept/retarded. I started drinking to remedy this, so when I'm out at a show or a party, I can hang out and talk to people and smile, instead of hanging out with myself and emanating rays of bitter, alienated hatred. (I really doubt I have a drinking problem, but it does worry me a little, how sometimes I'd rather stay home and drink whiskey all day than go to school. Never actually done this, but I want to sometime, just for the hell of it.) But when I'm on Adderall, I feel confident and sociable, almost like I do when I'm drinking, but still coherent and functional. I'm very curious as to how much it's going to improve my academic performance; my school doesn't cater very well to my learning style, but I like what I do. I'm not totally in love with it, but I like it, it's always been better than junior college or the shitty jobs I'm qualified for.
At first I only took one 10mg tablet, for fear that it would make me sick to my stomach, but it didn't, so now it's two. I take them when I wake up, it takes about an hour for them to kick in. At first I feel lightheaded, like being stoned, but that subsides and I feel alert, cheerful, talkative, and mentally sharp. My muscles feel a bit tense and my chest a bit tight, but no trouble breathing or headaches. (I've been getting headaches since childhood, probably just due to dehydration and/or concentrating too hard and getting all tense.) This is accompanied by a feeling of harnessed energy and power, like I could do damn near anything if I particularly wanted, but not fidgety or hyperactive. A little shaky or jittery, maybe, but no worse than I'd expect from caffeine. I probably drink about 12-16 ounces of cola a day, but no coffee, so my caffeine tolerance is low, and coffee is the strongest stimulant I've ever had before.
But I have a couple of concerns, mainly addiction. I like it enough that I'm worried that I'll develop a habit, and if I try to stop, I'll get extremely depressed. That, and I guess it could exacerbate my pre-existing paranoia. If it was as effective a social lubricant as alcohol, quelling self-consciousness as well as shyness (I've noticed myself talking a lot, and then feeling like I'm boring the person I'm talking to, with a slight tinge of 'shit, am I annoying EVERYONE?' paranoia), it'd be practically perfect for me. I can see a future for myself improved by this drug.
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