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