Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Adderall Redux

It turns out that pounding in my chest was anxiety after all. I began taking Adderall again last Friday, and I'm up to 10mg a day with no side effects. Wow, what a difference it makes! I'm amazed at my increased energy and ability to stay focused. I have actually worked pretty much non-stop the last two days while at work. I can't remember the last time I have felt this good about my work.

What will life be like with treated ADHD? Will I finally earn a degree? Will I be happy? Not having a degree has made me feel horrible about myself for years. I went to a high school for academically gifted teens, but I was a solid C student. I had classes in which I excelled, and typical of ADHD those were in subjects I found fascinating. I then went on to a state college with open admission and was given an academic suspension twice. I didn't go back after the second failure. I skipped my one, and so far only, high school reunion last year out of embarrassment. My former classmates are professors, writers, CEOs, successful artists, doctors, and state senators. I'm an underpaid administrative assistant. It sucks because I would have liked to have seen them all. I can only hope that this medication and therapy will help me realize my potential, and that I'll be happy to attend the next reunion.


Blogger anna :-) said...

I know this is completely random... and I hope you don’t mind me leaving a comment..

I was googling things about heart rates and adderall cuz it kind of felt like my heart was beating really fast and was a bit worried that between the lack of sleep, adderall and coffee that I was going to keel over and die in the next half hour... (it's only 92 bpm, so I must just be way too tired and getting paranoid :-p)... your blog came up in the search results and I read your entries :). The effects of adderall really do seem amazing when you go from not being able to watch your favorite hour long tv show to being able to study for 5 hours straight. I’m a junior at a private university and this past semester has been horrible for me academically. I finally went to the doctor and discussed what was going on and what my options might be. She came up with three possibilities:
a) that I was super stressed out (well... i'm in a university that prides itself on striving for ivy league standards... that's a no brainer)
b) i'm ADD/ADHD
or c) that I was clinically depressed.
I thought it was really interesting that the two could not only be paired together but actually could have the same symptoms!

she said the ADD was the easiest to measure the effectiveness of the treatment with the fewest long term effects (tho after reading all these articles on the effects of adderall i'm not sure how I feel about messing with my neurotransmitters..) and i've been on it for about 3 weeks now. I haven't noticed a significant jump in my test grades, but I feel better, I feel more like i'm working closer to the level of my potential... which is an amazing feeling after feeling like I had to be the biggest failure at my university.

so basically I wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your blog and that I sympathize with random heart palpitations because of stimulants :-p.
(even tho I realize that the entry is several months old and you could be well past things like that... and well past the other things i'm about to talk about..) and altho I don't know you or your situation (and might be completely out of line when I say this), I also wanted to remind you that a degree doesn't equate success (i'm sure you know that). it's nice and it's a huge plus in our society...but i've known just as many people without degrees who were respected by their peers and lead successful lives as people who have graduated with one. college isn't for everyone, my brother was in a gifted and talented program from third grade on up and he flunked out after his freshman year of college. it took him a while to get back on his feet (he struggled with depression among other things) but now he's in a job that he loves and can support himself on. I just wanted to say that i've seen people go through things that sound similar to what you've written in here and that they've all pulled through and done well :).

I have no idea why i'm rambling on like this (probably because my other option is going back to studying organic chemistry...). so I guess i'll stop before I say anything else that you'll probably laugh at and think "stupid kid". hope you continue to progress well with the adderall and maybe take a little comfort knowing that some random person in cyberspace is rooting for you :-p.

p.s. I had several gay guy friends in hs (the university I go to know is a very conservative religious one so I haven't met too many here...) and watched them go through various stages of depression and estrangement. in trying to understand (and possibly be a more supportive friend) I found several resources for men who were going through those situations. Looking back I don’t remember reading anything about support for lesbians going through the exact same things... so I hope you've found a good network of support!

3:25 AM  

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