Citation: chemical smile. "The Best and The Worst Thing Imaginable: An Experience with Amphetamines (Adderall) (exp67550)". Erowid.org. Mar 27, 2021. erowid.org/exp/67550
From the moment I swallowed my first Adderall pill, I knew that I had committed irreversible damage to my life.
Since adolescence I have had persistent and very severe bouts of depression. The type of depression that breaks the barrier of pain and leaves you feeling completely numb. Depression to the point of not showering for weeks on end, living in filth, and neglecting all responsibility to myself and others. In a practical sense, it was easy to get by while feeling this way. My parents over-indulged me and I grew up with no rules and the most basic responsibilities that if I didn't tend to them myself, they would be done for me.
Around the age of 15/16 a psychiatrist put me on Prozac for my bulimia and depression, which did absolutely nothing for either ailment. I eventually stopped seeing my psychiatrist and through an online pharmacy I obtained Phentermine and Phendimetrazine. I had no idea that these drugs were in the stimulant family but I was hoping that appetite suppressants would curb the out-of-control bulimia, using the logic that 'If I don't binge, I won't want to purge'. -And they did help me. They did a world of good. Though in retrospect I see that these low-grade stimulants were setting the stage for amphetamine abuse later on in life.
Fast forward to 18. At this point I've stopped the Phentermine and the Phendimetrazine because online pharmacies are implementing stricter policies. I do some online research and come up with Adderall. A sufficient enough appetite suppressant and something that will motivate me to take care of myself and get control over my life. Perfect.
Within a week I am at an elderly psychiatrist's office, being written a prescription for 20mg XR (which would eventually be bumped up to 30XR/day.) I remember the day I took my first pill so vividly. It was summer and life felt okay for once. Early in the morning I took one 10mg XR pill, lay down on the couch and waited. Nothing was happening and I felt a huge wave of disappointment that in moments turned to complete despair. After reading about this miracle drug I had expected an instantaneous mood lift. Depressed, I tried to fall asleep.
-And then... It hit me. A light switch flicked on in my brain. I jumped up off the couch and ran into my bedroom. Mechanically and compulsively, I began to clean every square inch of that filthy room. On my hands and knees scrubbing the floor, filling garbage bags with debris, organizing and rearranging every last book and scrap of paper. I called my boyfriend mid-way through just to exclaim 'Woo!' into the phone repeatedly, and ramble on about how great my life has become. My parents were thrilled. I had never washed a single dish in 18 years or picked up my own dirty clothes off the bedroom floor.
I took the next 10mg that afternoon. I didn't sleep or even lay down that night and at 7AM the next morning, I took my next 10mg dose. I remember sitting on my front porch with a cigarette and hearing the birds chirp, trying to decipher human words from each chirp. I brought out some coffee and watched the sky grow lighter and lighter. It was a lovely morning.
Some things I felt the first few weeks on Adderall:
-a warm prickly sensation, that seemed to be coming from inside my skull
-blurry peripheral vision with the main focus of my gaze being exceptionally vivid (ie: I am staring at a painting held a few feet from my face. All of the painting fits into my field of vision, but I chose to focus on one tiny brush stroke. The brush stroke is exceptionally clear but everything around it is a complete blur.)
-a flushed face
-no appetite but feeling a responsibility to eat
-a craving for cigarettes that pushed me to 2 packs/day from my usual 1
-periods of insomnia sometimes lasting 72 hours+
I finally felt that everything was as it should be. I was happy, friendly, and intensely optimistic. I was clean, focused, and energetic. I was finally alright.
And then, dear reader, fast forward one year to now. It's four in the morning and I'm typing on my laptop with small trickles of blood running from the ever-present scabs I've been picking off my face. My once perfect skin is now a minefield of gray healed scars and fresh wounds. They never go away because I'm always reaching for something on my face to pick at.
I haven't had sex with my partner in almost a week. I never have any desire to touch or be touched anymore. The depression I felt in my teen years has become a creeping sensation of intense sadness whenever I am not busy with a given activity. I have a paper due in three hours and I've distracted myself with magazines and the internet for six hours now. I don't do school work anymore. I don't take care of myself anymore. I've abandoned the responsibilities I so eagerly attended to in those first few months on Adderall in favor of repetitive mind-numbing stimuli. I eat fast food every day of my life because I'm never hungry but my body needs an instant sugary pick-me-up at least once I day. I have heart palpitations every so often. I see spots. I talk and talk for hours, boring others to tears. The talking has become compulsive. I can never seem to allow more than a few moments of quiet to pass before I become uncomfortable. I am numb, but it is not the same numbness I felt in my depression. This is complete robotic numbness in between those moments of hard reality when the sadness filters through. Those brief moments of sadness have never been more welcomed by me. It is the only time where I can experience a brief moment of some emotion, of any emotion.
The psychiatrist still gives me my Adderall. -And the dosage keeps getting higher and higher. I take Adderall breaks but I can't mentally or physically handle more than 24 hours without it. My dopamine is shot to shit. Off days are the most painful 24 hours I can conceive of. Every muscle hurts. Light hurts. People, words, text on a page, it all moves so much slower. Anything and everything provokes anger. The insatiable hunger on off days drives me to binge and purge repeatedly.
I always thought that my life before Adderall was a hellish nightmare. Now that I'm dependent on Adderall, I realize that it wasn't so bad in comparison. My greatest fear is being without my pills. My greatest pleasure is taking them. This has become my biggest burden and my ultimate regret.
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