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They called it ADD, now I think I may be an addict?
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.
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Hi
I do feel your pain. It's identical to mine in terms of using pills (prescribed by doctors for pain initially) to feel good. Be careful with Effexor - I was on this for years (and swapped and tried many others within 20 years). Don't take this for too long as I did because I believe that they CAN stop working after a while and when you want off these it's not easy (they're SNRIs so the more powerful types of antidepressants). You say that when you had some clean time you were ok, right? That shows that whether you were misdiagnosed or not that pills such as these temporarily make you feel good but there's always, as you know, an end to that. And then you're back in depression (very much like myself). I have struggled with this cycle for 20 years with the opiates (I'm 31 years old) and although they made me false sense of happiness, I now am in the mental position of hopelessness even tho I'm clean. You must try to abstain from all these poisons as much as poss because trust me, you don't want to end up like me - in big trouble and lost in general due to the insane abuse I made just from an innocent doctors prescription. I too, started opiates even when I was a kid and it's ruined me. You know you can be ok if u abstain long enough, so give it a try for as long as you can. Lola x
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Thank you for your response Lola. Stay strong and keep fighting, your words are very encouraging :)
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4522800 tn?1470329434
First I would like to Welcome you to our Forum. Stick around for support and you can support others along the way too.

Did the Adderral get you wired up or buzzed up?

The reason why I ask, is that I had pain meds prescribed for pain in the later 90s and then went up to getting the Methadone prescribed for pain and a Klon (benzo) I took at night. After my surgery, I had no reason to have pain meds, so the Dr started to cut me back. I was already running short for yrs and buying things off the streets. Someone gave me a Adderral and told me it would help with my w/ds when I ran out. THAT was when it all went so out of control. I would snort the Adderral (do not have ADHD) with my Methadone, as it would wire me up like my old crank days in the 70s-80s and so on. I would take the benzo to come down. This was over 3 yrs ago and I went c/t off all 3 of them. My w/ds lasted for months and months and it did take me over 2 yrs for my Brain Chems to adjust back after I removed these meds. I had a upper, downer and a all a rounder that highly affected the nervous system when I came clean, let alone the Brain.
The really good news for YOU, is that YOU do exercise and eat healthy. Plus, you take some good vit/min. Maybe you could just try to keep doing all of this and let the exercise and such bring back up those natural Happy Chems. When I had 10 months in I did try a AD med, but stopped it. I wanted my natural brain to balance out. I have been using off & on for over 40yrs and was told it would take over 2 yrs or more for my Brain to find a balance. Also, I have read that you should not take the 5-HTP with a AD med because you can get Serotonin syndrome. The speedy drugs hit the nor-epinephrine in our brain and the opiates hit many other brain chems like the Dopamine that surge to the mid-brain (survival part), Serotonin, Endorphin and Gabba is hit by Benzo too. There are many, many, Transmitters, Receptors and Hormones and many other parts of our Brain that get knocked down during opiate use. I love to study Addiction and the Brain. To this day it has really helped me in staying clean, but the best is all my Meetings and Church. Yes, paws can last for yrs and also has a Emotional and Physiological aspects that are very difficult to endure.

I have read so much about the L-Theannine, Passion flower and Ashwagandha being very helpful in lifting back up the Gabba & Serotonin, those are the body's natural anxiety and stress relievers. SO, I think you really know what is going on here and are doing all the right things in a more natural way. Maybe you can give those meds up and keep up with the natural vit/min and herbs. It does take time for these to kick in and start working right. I do not know, and I am no DR either. I just know that I do all natural as much I can. Staying Positive is a BIG one and redirecting yourself is good. I do wish you all the best and it does sound like you are on the Healthy side. Just know that these meds, do alter the brain chems in many ways.
Hope you have a Merry Christmas.
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Vickie
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Thank you for your response Vickie. Yes, the adderall did make me wired and buzzed up, but the thing it did most for me was the motivation. I find now that I have been off the adderall for 7 months I am still extremely depleted when it comes to motivation and it takes everything I have inside of me to get anything productive done. I started on the Effexor about 3 months ago and since then, the anxiety aspect of my problem is much better so I greatly fear coming off of it because I was literally panicking 24/7 before starting it. It is refreshing to hear that with time your neurotransmitters have balanced themselves out; my biggest fear is that I will be stuck with this lack of motivation and interest in life forever. i will continue to push and believe that with time, all will be okay. Congratulations on your success in giving up these drugs- i know firsthand how much strength it takes.
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4522800 tn?1470329434
Thank You!

From what I have heard and read, is that if you do get wired up on the Add then someone does not have ADHD. I know my niece is a English teacher for the mentally disabled, and one of the kids forgot his Add and she had to buy him a Red Bull to come down. It is suppose to do the opposite when we do not have ADHD. I guess I will research this a bit more.

When we do remove these type of stims, even opiates we have that No-Low Motivation to a Energy crash. It DOES get better in time. Work, work and keep on working at it is all we can do. Like I had said before, Exercise, Sun and Music helps stimulate those Brain Chems and therefore the Energy will come back for sure. It took me awhile but today I had a great Natural Energy day. Up and Downs but this is Life. I wish you the best and keep on pushing to the other side.
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