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Adderall dosage-- too low or too high?
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Adderall dosage-- too low or too high?

My question is about my current dosage of Adderall (adderrall). But first, I'd like to share my background with those of you reading this. Bear with me, this post is very long.

I was finishing the last months of undergrad I found myself extremely depressed. It came to the point where I could not wake up in the morning without crying.  I was thinking of committing suicide nearly every single day. I couldn't put my finger on what was causing the depression. I had a strained relationship with my mother, but our relationship had always been strained.  In my family it was well known that I was the "difficult" child to raise.

My suicidal thoughts began to accelerate and what finally shook me was when I started to think about what I needed to do before I committed suicide. My thoughts even went into the dark place of trying to choose which way I would do it. It was then that I knew I needed help.

The only thing that held me back from taking my own life was the thought of my mother going through another suicide. Her sister had committed suicide in 1984. In August of 2003, at the age of 26 I went to see a counselor.  I was then referred to a "psychiatrist" at which point I was "diagnosed" with clinical depression. I began counseling sessions and was prescribed the anti-depressant Zoloft.

I would later learn that the psychiatrist misdiagnosed me. Taking Zoloft alleviated the depression, but my life began to spiral out of control.

Instead of being depressed all the time, my life was became a constant state of "up".  I began to drink excessively and in March of 2005, I got a DUI. That same year I also filed bankruptcy. Over the course of 3 years I racked up $33,000 in credit card debt.

My life continued to spin out of control until August 26, 2006. I went to a psychiatrist at which point I was diagnosed with Bipolar I and found out that the diagnosis of clinical depression was wrong. I was prescribed Lamictal and have been taking it for the past two years. It has worked fairly well.  No physical side effects.  I also went through some counseling sessions to get a grip on my life.

But in August of 2007, (guess August is my month), I made an earlier than usual appt to see my psychiatrist. Something else started to come straight to the surface. I chalked that something up to being symptoms of mania but eventually got to the point where I decided it was necessary to see my Dr.

I could not concentrate. I was irritable. People would constantly accuse me of tuning them out. After going over several of my symptoms my Dr. diagnosed me as having ADD. He told me it is very common for those who have Bipolar Disorder, or other mental disorders, to go undiagnosed for sometime, if not forever. He said the symptoms of ADD often resemble the symptoms of mania in Bipolar. A 30 day trial with Vyvanse worked "miracles". My ability to focus was way beyond what I had ever experienced. I was rarely irritable and in fact had more patience than I had ever had before. My mind was not a highway, etc. For the first time in my life I felt "balanced".

Because it had not been approved at that point for adults to be prescribed we had to choose something else. My doctor recommended that we start with the twice a day Adderall (adderrall).  It worked somewhat, but there were points in the day when I would get a huge burst of energy. I didn't like that side effect.

About 6 months later I found out that Shire Pharm's offers a perscription assistance program for Adderall (adderrall) XR.  My Dr. feels that my level of ADD is on the severe side, so I require a higher than normal dosage, 40 mg/day.

I responded somewhat better. I didn't have the huge bursts of energy; I was more level. But over the past 2 months, I feel as if I am no longer responding to Adderall (adderrall) XR. It feels like my symptoms of ADD are accelerating. I am not quite sure what the cause is. I thought it might be my dosage.
Here are some of my symptoms: My mind frequently feels like a highway, somewhat worse than before I was diagnosed.  I will start to do something and I am constantly thinking what I need to do next.

I will have something on my mind such as what I need to pick up from the grocery store and in a split second I forget what I was thinking.

When I was finishing my final term paper for grad school I got so distracted by every new thing I read while researching for my paper.  I felt the need to find out everything I could about it.  Even though I was distracted by topic to topic, I would be able to work on my paper for hours on end. I sometimes stayed up for 40+ hour’s straight working on my paper.  The times I did decide I would take a break and go to bed, I would feel the need to do something else.
In one of my class' we were required to read 4 books and research/write.  I had very difficult time reading. I would read and re-read the same page over and over, not remembering what I had just read because my mind was thinking of something else while my ears were reading the words on the page

Symptoms I  never had before:  I am a smoker, although I had quit for 2 years up until last December. A few months ago my cigarette consumption increased. It usually took me 2-3 days to finish a pack of cigarettes. Now I go through at least a pack a day and sometimes more.

I am having trouble organizing and finishing things. Just when I think I have a full grasp on what needs to be done I mess it up by first doing the things that should be done last. It's as if I can't even prioritize basic responsibilities.
I have been watching more t.v. than ever before. I can spend hours if not the whole day watching t.v.  At times, it's the only thing that keeps my concentration. Although sometimes while I am watching t.v. I get scattered. I will be 30 minutes into an hour long show and I will get up and spend the next few hours doing something else.  I eventually come back later to finish watching the show I had started to watch hours before.

I haven't had a decent night of sleep in months.  I never had a problem with before is motivation. I graduated 3 weeks ago with my M.B.A. and logically the next step would be job searching. But I can't. I feel like I just can't.
Several things go through my mind when I think about starting a new job and moving forward with my career. I fear that I will go into an interview and there will be something about me that the interviewer does not like.  Part of my fear has to do with the fact that I have a DUI and a bankruptcy on my record from 2005. I fear that I won't be able to find a job that I love, I will get stuck in a rut, I will work somewhere for years and be bored out of my mind. The thought having a job and being micro-managed scares the **** out of me. It makes me feel trapped. I am scared that if I do find a job I love, I will get fired eventually.  The one and only thing I know for sure regarding a job, is that I will always exceed at what is put in front of me.

Along with all those fears I start to worry about the fact that I am running through my savings and only have about a month's worth of expenses left. But still, that does not get me going. The thought of going out into the world and getting a job is torturing me. The past year and a half I worked two full-time jobs along with going to grad school fulltime. So it's not that I am lazy.

I don't feel like being apart of is being with people. I stay home all day. One of my best friends keeps on asking me why I never return her calls. When I am introduced to someone new, the first thing that goes through my mind is that they probably don't like me.

Now,  my question about Adderall (adderrall). Is it possible that my dosage is too high or too low?

What I hope is that someone on here, doctor or patient, will understand or be able to relate to the difficulties and challenges of living a life with these kinds of disorders. I am hoping that someone can provide feedback and/or share an experience.

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4 Comments Post a Comment
460185 tn?1326081372
I'm not a member of this Forum but read your post.  While I haven't been labelled with the same things you have, I have experienced and felt so much of what you described.

Just a question - why is Vyvanse not approved for use by adults?  What is it and what does it do?  If it helped why can't you still take it?

Ironically, a lot of my anxiety and depression occurred when I was nearly finished my PhD.  I didn't spend that many hours in front of the computer but I did go down some "paths" I wanted to explore and that made writing my dissertation more complicated.  I have not worked since I graduated.  Like you, I worked two jobs while I was at university and had a family.

You compared your mind to a highway.   I often compared mine to an electrical outlet that had too many electronic devices plugged into it until it finally just blew up.

I don't know how helpful this is because our problems seem to be different - I don't know anything about Adderall (adderrall).  Am reluctant to say much because of my feelings about not being good enough and having nothing to offer.  I'd be inclined to keep trying to take the Vyvanse that seemed to help you so much.

You can PM me anytime you want.  Despite different problems we are both in a lot of pain and are not able to benefit from all our years in academics.


Avatar f tn
Hey Lonewolfe, how do you PM on this site? Is it a chat messenger?

BTW, When I took the Vyvanse for a 30 day trial, it hadn't been approved by the FDA yet for adult use(Aug. 2007) I just found out about a month ago that it has been approved by the FDA for adults. I received a letter in the mail b/c I take Adderall (adderrall) XR, which is made by the same Pharm Co as Vyvanse, Shire Pharmecueticals. It was just a notice saying that Vyvanse has been approved for adult use. I see my psychiatrist in a little over a week for a prescription refill and I am going to ask if he'll switch me. He knows that Vyvanse is the one that worked best for me.  The great thing for me since I am not working, Shire also has a pt. assistance program. They actually will fill 12 prescriptions during an enrollment. You have to re-enroll each year. I don't anticipate being unemployed next year ;) but its great that they have that in the mean time.

How long have you been taking Vyvanse?  What have you been diagnosed with?

447130 tn?1225474466
I'm on Vyanse for adult ADD. My symtoms (symptoms) aren't horrible but I do have trouble with energy, focus, concentration, and completing tasks. They have started me on 30 mg. but I think 60 works better. I have been able to get a lot done, things that have been sitting around for months, I jst couldn't seem to get to them, I was very overwhelmed. The Vyanse has helped so much it's incredible! I'm very happy with it. I've been taking it for 2 months and I was finally diagnosed about 3 months ago.
I also used the 30 day trial card but when I got my refill it was $139. How do you get the pt. assistance program? I would be interested in that. Thanks,
Avatar f tn
Hi triedeverymed,

There is a phone number for Vyvanse Pt Asisstance. It's


You'll need to find out if you qualify based on income. If you do, you'll need to print off the application and have your dr fill in the needed info. They give you a year supply, not all at once of course. But month by month. Good luck

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