This is going to be a bit long as I've never been on any sort of website to reach out for help. Please bear with me. Back in May, 2011, I went to my GP and told her I was having problems focusing in school. She gave me a written test and after I completed it she told me that I was ADD. Since I knew someone with ADHD I knew a little bit about what it was, but not a lot. The doc prescribed me Adderall 20mg XR. One per day. At first my life simply put, turned around overnight. I just had a bad break-up with my long-term girlfriend but instead of sitting at home watching ESPN; I was out and about! Exercising, lifting weights, making new friends, reading a lot more (mostly self-help books) and overall feeling like this life of mine is now mine to live for the first time!
Flash forward to December of 2011, I was home for Christmas break and started having to take more adderall to get the same effect. My GP prescribed an additional Adderall 10mg instant release pill for when I felt I needed another boost. That was around the time I believe I had a manic episode. All of a sudden I didn't want to take these pills again and did some reading online and saw a lot of negatives regarding Adderall. So I quit -cold turkey- Withdrawl was hell- no energy, crazy sleep cycle, always irritated. There was a point I thought I may have been going through extreme paranoia. After the physical withdrawal was the real problem presented itself: The psychological withdrawal.
I felt like an empty shell of what I was before and was depressed severely. I spoke with multiple counselors, doctors, and psychiatrists and by August of 2012 I was lost and the only answer I could come up with was to go back on Adderall IX up to 30mg a day. Things seemed to be going well again, I moved into a great condo, had a new girlfriend, was back to the me that I love being.
Flash forward to May 2014 and things unravelled. After the adderall would were off, I would smoke marijuana to take the edge off. This worked well except for the angry outbursts upon waking up. I would wake up so incredibly tired and irritated- to the point of an out of control teenager (I'm nearly 23 during this time.) so I decided to go off of the adderall again, this time my GP (that I was originally diagnosed ADD) recommended Straterra instead. I was just starting a new manual labor job when I made the switch, so that could add to the exhaustion I experienced all summer working. The anger subsided and I was feeling relatively good except for the fatigue and loss of motivation (two things that I was certain to need for my new career).
So at the end of the summer in September of 2013 I went back yet again to Adderall- this time 15mg IR tablets 2-3 times a day as needed (went to a psych doc this time). Things were better than ever! I started my new career in September and by January 2015 I was the Rookie of the Year for my company. I was engaged to my gorgeous girlfriend, making great money, loving my job, loving life in a nutshell. However, what goes up must come down.
I started taking up 60mg per day to get the same motivated effect. Then the anger came back in April 2015 worse than ever- punching out walls every morning upon waking, breaking doors, basically anything or anyone in my path was in danger. So I decided to stop for good- cold turkey.
The first couple months weren't as bad as before, I exercised constantly, used lots of vitamins and supplements and again the anger episodes subsided. However throughout June, July, and August of this year I had the worst anxiety, self-doubt, depression I have ever gone through. I finally couldn't take it anymore and the psych doc put me on a few different anti-depressants- none of which worked. Until finally he put me on Effexor XR 150mg once a day. It has seemed to help with the depression, however both the lack of motivation to do anything productive or concentrate on anything is minimal. Since going on Effexor I got back into the gym and in the 4th week of my routine I bulged a disc in my back. Doctor proscribed me Norco 10/325.
After I starting taking these in conjunction with my Effexor, everything was going well. In a happy mood, able to concentrate better than before, get some work done, etc. However now my Norco script is up and I'm already feeling back to the old unmotivated, semi-depressed, lethargic self that I hate. I want to know why this never ending lack of drive and low energy is only cured with amphetamines or opiates (I do eat mostly well and exercise regularly). Growing up I was always an athlete, loved lifting weights every day and used a lot of nutritional supplements. I never had any issues with my energy or motivation during that time.
I was given a few opinions on perhaps I was misdiagnosed from the get go with ADD, and am now just basically addicted to speed from the doctor. It is quite possible that I’m going through Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms after taking Adderall for close to 5 years, and even after being off of the drug 6.5 months, I may have a long road ahead of me to feel “normal” again.
Supplements I’ve implemented with the Effexor XR 150mg include: L-Tyrosine, L-Lucine, GABA, Vitamin D-3, Vitamin B6 and B12, rhodiola extract, Ashwagandha extract, Siberian root (eleutherococcus senticosus), Maca root, Fish oils, and 5-HTP.
Now, I have an amazing wife and family that supports me 100%, I have a baby on the way and I need to figure out how I can be the best me not for just myself, but for my whole family that depends on me. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any suggestions or comments are much appreciated.