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Avatar universal

Taking adderall for years

I have been taking Adderall for about 8 or 9 years now without a prescription.  I have taken different amounts depending on what I can get from whoever.  I have never abused it, just used enough to get me through work and home life.  I usually take it for work though as it really helps me stay focused and just be a better person overall.  I feel as though I should have been diagnosed a long time ago with adhd as when I look at the symptoms and look back at who I was without it (schoolwork and socially) it would seem like a perfect fit.  I am 28 years old now and to the point where I cannot find it around anymore.  I have gone to the doctors twice to let them know my issues, however I have left out the fact that I have been taking it for so long, I know it isn't right to lie by omission to my doctor but I felt like if I told them how long I have been taking it they would shrug me off as some junkie just trying to get a prescription.  I know I also shouldn't self diagnose either.  The first doctor put me on some anti depressant because they knew I smoked and they thought that it would work well for that and my symptoms, didn't work.  The second doctor wanted to do blood work and it came back that I was a little bit low on my vitamin D count which he thought might attribute to my symptoms, not the case.  I don't really know what to do at this point, do I have adhd or am I tricking my brain into thinking I have it because I have been on it for so long (and when I say I have been on it for the 8 or 9 years, I mean I have maybe gone without in a day 3 weeks out of that time).  I was thinking about seeing a psychiatrist about it but I wanted to ask here first.  What should I do?
7 Responses
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
       People who have AD/HD don't usually build up a resistance to stim meds.  From what I have read, there dosage  will tend to stay the same.  However, if you are abusing the med, then you start upping the dose.  So  if you have been on relatively the same dose for years, then I think there is a pretty good chance that you might have AD/HD.
      Part of the trouble may be that when you talk to doctors you are not able to describe very well the symptoms to them or don't mention past history.   So the more you know about the condition - the better.   And, yes, I would definitely look for a psychiatrist that has experience with treating adults with ADHD.  You will have a much better chance of success.
       Here a recent link that you might find helpful - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/822549_1
       And, I was just reading the review of this book, "Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?".  It looks really good.  You might want to check it out!    http://www.amazon.com/Stopping-Coaster-Someone-Attention-Disorder/dp/0981548709
       Hope this help.  Keep in touch and let us know how it goes.  You are not the first one on this forum that has had problems getting doctors to pay attention to adults.
Avatar universal
I really appreciate the advice, should I tell the psychiatrist my history with Adderall or do you think they will shun me as well?  I really just want to be honest with someone about it and let them know how positively it has affected my life up to this point.
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
   I hear you, I just don't know if that is possible in the first meeting.  Fortunately, you are in a pretty progressive community.   You should be able to find a psyc who does specialize in, or at least has worked with, Adult AD/HD.   And if that doesn't work out, there should be plenty more choices.
     I did find some starting places for you to look for help (via CHADD)
http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/education/schools/school-of-medicine/departments/clinical-departments/psychiatry/divisions-and-clinics/index.cfm
    The above looks like it might be a pretty good place to start.
     Also found this link
       http://www.chadd.org/Support/Directory.aspx?state=279640047
   Man, I hope this helps.   Please do keep in touch and let me know how the docs respond.
       Oh, this also was a pretty good link on adults with ADHD -   http://************.com/lib/adhd-in-adults/0001206
      
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
   Oppps, they are still blocking that site for some weird reason, just put ************ before the ******* and you are good to go.
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
  Ok, will message you with that link.  There search engine is getting better.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to follow up and update you on what I ended up doing.  I made an appointment with a psychiatrist and went to see him.  I filled out all sorts of paperwork before going in to see him.  I told him everything.  I told him how long I had been taking adderall and how I felt about it.  He diagnosed me with adult adhd and started me on 70mg vyvanse once a day.  The vyvanse works alright but my brain feels foggy, I don't think it is for me.  I am going back for my follow up visit on Monday and I think I am going to see if he can put me on 20mg adderall twice a day.  Thank you for your help.
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
    See what he wants to do first.  V does have advantages.  It sounds like the dose was too high for you.  Give a lower dose a try first.  You can always go to the adderall later.
   Thank you for your reply.  I appreciate the info.  Keep me posted.
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