Adderall Xr Experiences (10mg)
For those who don’t know me, or perhaps inclusively, don’t waste every moment of their life thinking about ME and what problems I struggle with, it’s pretty obvious that I have that whole “ADHD thing”. I phrase it that way because I grew up (mostly) in the era, and generally in a household that believes that such things are all nonsense, and excuses not to embrace the way God made you. So of course, I don’t believe that it is real, and even when I sort of am starting to, I still feel very tongue-in-cheek about it. Back to the story at hand. I say that it is “pretty obvious”, in that clearly I can’t hold onto a single thought for very long, I jump up to go run outside the moment I sit down, my attention span lasts 5 minutes at best (it used to be 20), and I jump from topic to topic in a single conversation very fast, mid-sentence. People used to complain that I was “making fun of them”, whenever we tried to have a serious discussion, because I never stayed on topic. On the other hand, since being at MIT, people seem to be more tolerant of that probably because either a) it’s a common thing, or b) everyone is smart enough keep track of the winding road my mind goes down.
But anyway, I got “adult tested”, which means they ask you a bunch of questions, how distracted you are by shiny things, how much you struggle with traffic laws, if your significant others have ever commented about it and been frustrated, and the “types” of problems you had when transitioning from high school to college. Since child testing is far more common, it was a struggle to find anyone in Michigan who tested adults in any fashion. I scored a 4 out of 5, which I’d say meant something if the tests weren’t seriously pre-loaded with indicators for what the “correct” answers were already.
Background over (boring). Jump ahead. I’ve now been using the Adderall (Pic 1) for about 2.5-3 weeks, and I have lots of opinions. First all, the bad, everyone warned me about the “aggression” and the desire to beat the living daylights out of people for no reason. I didn’t feel that. Well, I sorta did, but perhaps because I knew about it, it felt manageable. Second of all, people told me that I would lose weight, and while I thought they were on crack since nothing can stem the fuel requirements for my nuclear fusion metabolism, turns out, I was wrong. I dropped 20lbs in 1.5 weeks — this is notable because I dropped under my optimal weight, which is generally super duper hard to do. Whenever my weight gets too low, I start passing out, which would happen when I was cutting weight for TKD sparring — to reach lower weight classes — and sure enough, I started passing out here too. I just didn’t know why. People also told me that adderall would make me “hyper focused”, and it would be almost like i was “happy” to have mundane work, which I did not notice. In fact, I noticed very little of those adderall specific effects, that you hear all the study-drug-kids extol — perhaps the dose is generally too low. The other thing is that it makes my skin crawl. I mean, all.the.time. It always feels like I’m needing a shower to wash off the perceived bugs (maybe they are actually there).
The good, For you EE people out there, the Adderall basically increased the SNR (signal to noise ratio) in my brain. I’m suddenly able to hold onto thoughts a little bit longer, in fact, long enough to have devastatingly cogent discussions. I’m also less irritated internally at the “noise” in my mind, the 15,000 thoughts just waiting to surface, including the bright lights and environmental stimuli. In fact, I notice that my stress level goes down dealing with people and other interruptions because I know I can come back to my thoughts, whereas before, the moment I was interrupted, it’s all over. Thought and task are forgotten about. In a mechanical description (now that I have a car), it is like if my mind is a transmission, then most of the time, its a 6-speed gearbox with only the 6th gear. ultracruise. When I’m in it, nothing can stop me, but the moment I’m out of it, I just coast to a stop on the side of the freeway until something comes along to give me a push. And I do generally need that push, heavy metal, bumpy music, pushy friends, etc. With the Adderall, it’s like I’ve grown the ghost of a 3rd gear. I can get myself out of idle, and get less interesting things done, the work, the incline, without being upset that I’ll never start again. And let me tell you, since this is the year of dealing with the IRS, the adderall is really helpful. Getting through their stupid paperwork, filings, holding on the phone for 4 hrs, talking with them for 3, asking questions, writing it down. No way I can do that in my normal state — partly the reason why I’m in the situation with them now.
And the weirdly enough, sparkly stuff doesn’t catch my attention or eyes anymore; it’s like I don’t even see it. Which affects my appreciation of the “beauty all around me”. Food is… ummm, almost painful to eat. Not because of the reduced appetite, but because the tasty sensations that I love are almost painful to my tongue! I can’t put my favorite foods in my mouth, sometimes just the presence in my mouth seems repulsive and weird. And the dry mouth. Just constantly. Finally, I was told/read that it would kill my sex drive, which I was sort-of looking forward to a little, if without a GF I can trade that energy for intellect (see: George in Seinfeld episode) then that would be awesome. But no, that soo did not happen. Good to know I’m strong that way. aw yeah.
The really bad: Adderall is/was making my hair fall out. It is seriously thinner than it was 1 month ago. And we all know, since I’m unmarried, I still need my hair…
So basically, I’m not taking it anymore. I can’t stand the hair falling out and skin crawling sensation, and sometimes I think I can emulate the mental state that the adderall puts me into, to get work done. That’s hard, but it’s nice to know that I can do it without drug inducement. (Pic 2)