18 Year Old On Adderall Since 1st Grade, My Lifestyle With ADD

by ADD Woman
(USA)

I have been on adderall since I was diagnosed with ADD in first grade. The drug was prescribed to me because it had recently been proven (back in the mid 90s) that the growth problems Ridalin caused did not occur in children taking Adderall. For years the drug has helped me stay focused in school, helped me study and basically changed my persona. I feel my life would be completely different if I had never started taking the drug, in some ways bad, but some good. I often tell my friends that I am "addicted to the drug" but this is because I have been taking such a high dosage stimulant for so long. After prolonged prescription, my dosage has gotten high and higher. Currently I take an astounding 50 MG a day of Adderall XR or time-release. My body is so accostum to the drug that I even asked my doctor if I would have drastic side effects from withdrawal if I had to go off it. But she said absolutely not, I would basically re-adjust in 3 days maximum.


My friends in high school called me "the SPAZ". The side effects my body had to deal with and my prolonged exposure to the drug stopped the actual positive results the drug used to have from happening. So I would look insane, doing the weirdest movement possible. Things like never being able to tell a story well (especially when im on my meds) or fully forgetting an amazing night that happened 6 months ago because of my decreasing short term memory. I am an insane figiter, since I was a little kid I could never sit still. I always readjust my clothes or tap my finger or at restaurants ill sit and tear up straw covers or paper napkins into little pieces. I basically always have to have something going on with my hands. For a while I developed a tapping problem. I would just tap my foot to the beat (although a lot of guys I know do this because they are musicians) I did it because of add. I often say that my behavior is because im on medication, like my constant figiting. This is because when i'm off my meds often im even worse. I used to be the tiny little 12 year old who could scream at the top of her lungs just because she was unhappy with her meal. My problems were helped but NEVER CURED by adderall.

Since I was old enough to realize my many issues, I have feared that I will be on Adderall my entire life, I just hope my body isn't fully in need of it to function. I grew up in a city, so I only learned to drive about a year ago. Currently, I have driven without knowing I took my Adderall the same day. The sad thing is non of my friends understand the way I really would be if I wasnt medicated. So many of them use the pills to study at college for exams or massive papers. They describe their experiences as if they are on Speed not Adderall. It is nothing like how I feel. I am child who has been medicated her entire life. They think Adderall on the dayly, speeds my brain but in actuality it just puts me on the regular non-add person's level.
When I was about 12 like in 7th grade I realized I had almost a split personality disorder. Not in the technical sense but in the lifestyle sense. My teachers 4th grade were astounded when parents told them I had ADD. They said "Wow, you daughter has ADD, she is so quiet, helpful, attentive, always taking notes... blah blah blah" Basically at that time my medication really worked. All my friends at school rarely if not ever saw me off my meds. And when they did, they were in shock. Off my meds since I was in middle school I was crazy. I could never be quiet (not that I can do that on my meds any more). I just went from being the child my 4th grade teachers described a massive add.. very hyper active girl. It really hard to explain unless you see it.
My childhood friends could always say to me "wow, you definitely didnt take your meds today" and it was not until I was old enough to realize that they were kinda insulting me because they were commenting on my lack of normal behavior.

For a long time I have had eating problems. Thats what happens when you dont eat for 12 hours, but when your meds wear off at 4/5 o'clock in if take them at 8 am, you are starving. I started eating loads right after school.

Then when my weight started to bother me, I hated being off my meds because I knew I was hungry. Basically my body doesn't know how to be hungry like a normal person. I am never full off my meds and am never hungry on them. I feel like a SUPER HUNGRY GIANT when I dont take my meds and I hate. Seriously, what kind of person takes a medication that supposed to keep them concentrated but uses it to control their eating habits.
In 11th grade when I was taking driving lessons on saturdays and SAT tutoring on sundays I began to constantly take my meds 7 days a week. I just became that person who could never be off their medication because I always needed to concentrate, the problem was, that 2nd personality disappear, the fun loving girl who was crazy wild and not attentive. I just became closed off, a know-it-all and depressed. Did this stop me from taking my meds, of course not.

Basically, no matter what time of day I wake up, I take my meds which is NOT NORMAL. If I get up at 2 I take my meds. Why you may ask, because I don't want to eat and I know thats the only way to control it. I also dont want my friends to call me a spaz or tell me im being so add because i cant sit still or wont stop being bored. Teenagers are all alike which makes my problems probably sounds boring.

But my questions are, whats gonna happen to me when I graduate from college, get a job, am I gonna still have to take my meds? Because you know what, I dont know how to function with out them. I feel like my body won't readjust. I literally don't know what normal hunger is. I won't know how to deal with it. Right now, I can't think of the last time I was off my meds for more than 3 days. I even take them when I know im going to drink alcohol or smoke pot. The second especially more often then not because I have much better high. But I am so more fun when I'm not on my meds. Thats the sad part. Tons of people don't know that side of me because I don't like it. But they would, if they like drunk me, they like unmedicated me. Another question, do sound like an addict or just a girl whose been on Adderall for her entire childhood?? I think this thing I wrote is so mixed up because my brains jumps from idea to idea like a ball bounces down a steep hill. But you know what, I wish I knew if could sit in an office and work all with my medication. But I don't because when I don't take it I become OBSESSED with what I will eat. Basically I eat twice as much when im not on my meds (in my opinion that disgusting).

Adderall definitely works for me. But the side effects are a huge issue. I have tried off drug because my dosage is so high but they dont work. Or I just dont like them the way I enjoy adderall. An addict enjoys their high. But when i'm on my meds I wouldnt ever think of it as a high. Instead it just and when Im not on it, im super add girl and that's who ill be known as for the rest of my life. Too bad i became a spaz from being on medication. It has incredibly helped my worth ethic. Im an organized person. I have being late. But i never fall asleep easily so I have the worst time waking up. I have definitely changed as a person in my adults years on my medication. But my side effects are just getting worse. I just want someone to tell me that I wont be medicated my entire life. Seriously though, why do I have to be this person who logitimately makes the most random comments ever or utterly pisses off a friend for just bolting on a meeting. Im a flake and I just want to be a smart, intelligent 20 something. But im not as much as I should be. My adderall is my life. Without it I am just ADD SUPER SPAZ GIRL

Comments for 18 Year Old On Adderall Since 1st Grade, My Lifestyle With ADD

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Sep 29, 2016
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I have been taking adderall for almost 10 years
by: Anonymous

I was diagnosed with seivere ADD in kindergarden and have been taking adderall for almost 10 years. I cant function without it. I curently take 80mg of adderall.

Apr 25, 2016
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Adderall ruined my son's life
by: Jessica

My son was on adderall at age six. I was told he could not come to school if he wasn't on his medication. By age nine I would come home from work and there would be signs hung all over my house saying no more pills mom. Because we were low income his meds were paid for on Medicaid. Two months before he graduated I got a letter saying because he would be 18 by graduation his Medicaid would be dropped. After being on this highly addictive drug for 12 years and then to have no way to pay for it, he started buying it on the street.that was 2009. Since then he has become a meth addict. Talking to him he says he needs it to feel normal. He cant keep a job his only relationships are street people users and dealers. I found out today he was arrested for burglary this morning and is in jail. Adderall may be a quick fix but it destroys lives in the longrun. I wish I would have listened to my nine year old .

Apr 02, 2016
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Grain Brain and ADD, ADHD
by: Anonymous

Read Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter, a renown neurologist and nutritionist....great insight on diet and ADD, ADHd...etc. So many have been helped and gotten off the drugs

Mar 31, 2016
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I understand
by: Anonymous

This explains everything I have felt with since I was 9 in first grade. I don't understand the eattino because I actually have hadone the loss of appetite effect of Adderall take over my hunger and I barley eat in a day. I am severely underweight and I hate it. Thank you for putting in words my struggles through life.

Dec 03, 2015
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We are soul sisters.
by: Anonymous

I really really hope you see this whoever you are. I am sitting here in absolute shock that words cannot even describe at all because everything you wrote is exactly my life. I'm actually very scared. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was six years old and now I am 19 years old. My friends all love when I'm "non medicated" because they think it's funny. After years of being on both adderall and vyanse - I can't live without it. I know EXACTLY what you mean when you say you can't deal with normal hunger because I can't either. When I take my meds I know I can control my hunger because in my mind I know I'm in control. When I don't take my meds for whatever reason, I am out of control and thinking about food 100% the time. To answer your question, yes you are addicted. I am addicted but I know I am. You are fully dependent on a drug and will have to go to rehab to realize you are more than just a pill you've been taking your whole life. You will eventually have to come off of adderall. If you don't, you will have a heart attack by age 30. It's a stimulant and not good for your cardiovascular system. I've learned to be in control over the years. Although sometimes I get the urge to take two adderalls per day when I have extra (say if my doctor changed my dosage and I had more then usual) I can control myself. I hope u learn to also.

Oct 26, 2015
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ADD/ADHD
by: Anonymous

I really don't understand that i am not taking Adderall anymore. As a child i had a hard time learning and paying attention in class. When i was about in kindergarten i was diagnose with ADD/ADHD. I don't remember that much but my mom said i took many blood tests and had a lot of comments and witnesses from teachers. So i took Add pills throughout elementary school but once i reached middle school. I felt like i don't need medication to control my life so i stopped. It took me 2 months to get back on track. Ever since i haven't had any comments from teachers that my attention is off or any complains in the classroom. I'm a senior now and still don't take medications but lately school is being getting really hard. Is it possible a person could have troubles with add again? Could it cause me to have serious health problem taking the pill again?

Aug 23, 2015
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FLY BABY
by: Ralph Wolff

Hi everyone. I just wanna say it's great knowing that other people are out there going through something similar to me. I too have been taking ADD medication since the 1st grade. To everyone who doesn't think they can ween themselves off of it:

YOU CAN DO IT

YOU CAN BE STRONG


I started off at 5mg and have gotten my doctor to prescribe me 2 25 XR a day. Ever since college, I have been taking one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I find the only way I can sleep at night is by smoking recreational shrubbery throughout the day, and practicing my skin flute at least twice. At this point, I am very happy with where I am in my life. Seriously, the benefits from this stuff is a godsend. I think I may have found a way for humans to fly.

With my crackhead like rapid movements, I swear with the help of this new invention by my company I will be able to flap my wings so fast I'll be saying goodbye beagles hello eagles. If you want to fly, work for it and fly. Excuse me while I go to my roof to test out these wings.

Mar 21, 2015
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New on Adderall at 3
by: czg

I thanked you all for sharing your experiences. I recently started Adderall 15mg and I am 30 years old. All my childhood- teen years struggled with my grades. Wasn't able to pay attention to my teachers eve though I tried hard. My grades were not so bad but I was never an A student and I new that I am smart but for some reason I couldn't remember what the class was about. I was born in Mexico and over there they don't pay attention to this kind of problems just because the culture focuses more on other things even like that I am glad I wasn't medicated at such a short age. All the fears that you guys have now I have been trough it and for me is normal you guys should not be afraid of living without meds and being hungry all the time. My so was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 3-4 years old and unfortunately I got influence by his teacher and doctors on putting him on medication. I hated it. We tryed three diferent medications and they always did something negative on him. I felt that I was experimenting on him I felt so quilty so I decided on not giving him anything until he can decide a little bit more. Due to his simtomps I learned thay I have ADD.I decided to take Adderall because I want to proof to myself how smart I can be. I am going back to school pretty soon and I need that extra help to integrate my mother, wife, student, husband's caregiver, student live and why not loose weight.

Mar 07, 2015
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I can relate but I am 34 now.
by: Matt

I started taking Dexedrine when I was around 6 or so and I have been on and off of it since. I recently had to go back to Adderall XR because of my crap insurance and I take the highest FDA dose now but this is half of what I took 10 years ago and I feel almost everyone that has been there.

It sucks because much of this modern dosing is based on adult ADD i.e. Adults that never took these meds as kids so they are on 15-20 mg/day and I am embarrassed when I go to the pharmacy or when my doctor does because I am on higher doses than anyone I know or that my doctor treats but I just say, don't blame me, blame the guy who put me on it to not be hyper.

Sep 10, 2014
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An as adult, current-post ADHD
by: Anonymous

I just came across your blog and it brought back some memories, some good but some painful ones. I just turned 40 years old this year so ADD/ADHD was more speculation at that time than it is today. I went through K-12 with all of the symptoms but never went the medicated route.

I clearly remember the "spaz" moments like it happened yesterday. My friends and siblings called me that too. Some of those times left such an impression in my mind I still think about those moments almost daily. I remember doing and saying and doing things that should have occurred to me as embarrassing behavior, but I didn't realize it at the time. I was the kid that would day dream - a teacher would call my name, ask me what I thought about the passage but I wouldn't be able to give her the answer - of course, she already knew that I couldn't answer it due to my attention deficit.

I was also very impulsive. I would love to run, jump, what ever popped into my mind I would just "do it". The other kids just thought I was energetic. I later used this to my advantage in sports but there was still the day dreaming factor which affected me there too. I would still say things that were out of context and the other kids would be like "okay". Had I taken a drug like Adderall at the time I'm sure that I would've avoided those awkward moments.

Later on, I self-medicated with alcohol. Some recreational drug socially but not indulgent. With alcohol though, I started drinking at maybe 14 years old and while my friends did too, they didn't seem to care as much as I did about the next time to do it. I felt like it relaxed me and made me feel normal. It spiraled into heavy drinking later in high school and college. Thinking back, I wish I would've been presented with the opportunity to take a drug like Adderall at the time. Potentially I could've avoided the dependency on alcohol but I will never know.

Today as an adult, I started taking Adderall XR 20mg several years ago but I plan on going down to a 10mg dose starting tomorrow. I feel like it has helped me in business and socially. In fact, I started a business on my own nearly 5 years ago. It is no "Google", but with little funding or loans, it is on par for over $1m + revenue this year with 4 employees. Not bad for barely making it through school and the adversity that I faced due to ADHD.

Jun 13, 2014
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18 years
by: kirsty timms

This post is so perfect. You know, I've been on adderall since first grade. I am now almost 24 years old. I have been on this medication for 18 years strong. And i hate it. It's refreshing to know their are other kids out there who have been on this medicine for as long as I have. I need someone I can relate to.

Nov 19, 2013
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I know how it feels
by: ADDhelp

I'm sixteen and I've been on adderall ever since I can remember..but I was taken off of it in middle school, and I just was so out of place, always starving, always bouncing from one topic to another, and for a lack of a better word, a spaz. I was recently put back on it as soon as i started high school, and I haven't had the need for food, sleep, or social interaction at all basically. My mind still jumps from place to place in ways that I think would make a normal person just explode. I'm so scared that I might be on it my entire life, but my eating habits and grades scare me loads more. I don't know how to eat normally, I would eat everything in sight, and still crave more, as if my stomach was a bottomless pit. I would say the weirdest things and become so annoying that even I wanted to get away from myself. It makes me so crazy I feel like I'm bipolar or have MPD. This gave me a little peace at mind though, knowing that I'm not the only one.

Jul 25, 2013
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there are other ways
by: Anonymous

I took adderall for 18 years now and I wish I had stopped earlier. It helped me get through college but 6 years after graduating I have started to change. I have crazy mood swings and crippling depression now but I have switched to welbutrn which is an antidepressant that also treats adhd. I am not saying adderall is really bad but it is speed (or a cleaner form of meth in a way) and over time it started to mess with me. There are other alternatives that work really well that are not stimulants that can help. I am not talking herbal remedies and hippie bull but actual science that can be prescribed. You are not a bad person for having this and you may not ever work in an office filling out reports all day but you can be happy. Artists, musicians, actors, programmers and marketing executives are classic examples of successful people with adhd. Adhd is only a different way of experiencing the world and after school it all gets better. We are the first generation to take this stuff and the effects are not fully understood yet. Talk to a doctor about trying something else.

Nov 27, 2012
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My heart goes out to you
by: Anonymous

While reading your post, all I could think of is myself. I am not only is your same exact position, but am currently still living this way, although i am a college student. Unfortunately, these eating habits will not go away with time. I have had the same starve for days, then eat everything in sight when I don't take adderall cycle since I was 15 years old. Adderall is great in some ways, but then again, sitting alone in a room for 5 hours, studying over and over is not what most people would consider a good thing. I become anti social, quiet an tuned out as soon as the afderall kicks in. I know and have known I am like this for many years, yet I can't seem to stop taking it. It's a daily struggle, and in my honest opinion, you will continue to live this way unless you seek professional help. I am miserable and I hope you have the courage to get help one day. I truly feel your pain and my heart goes out to you. You are not alone in this struggle.

Aug 31, 2012
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me too
by: Anonymous

I was also diagnosed and started medication while i was in first grade. I hated taking it until i reached high school. it felt like i could not function without it. while in collage i started taking more than i was perscribed on a dayly basis. I would run out early and get depressed until i could get more of it. when i would run out of it i would fail all my classes and lose my job. last april i desided to quit taking it. it sucked for about 2 months. then i felt more normal. i dropped out of collage and joined the navy, i also work a full time job until i go to boot camp. i would never have imagined that i could work a job without meds, but i can. it takes about 2 months to get normal without meds. don't drink or smoke while in that period, it only makes you wwant the meds again becouse it is so much better at first with the meds. college may not be for you without adderall but there are many more options.

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