February 7, 2019 at 9:48 am #108841Ella CParticipant
Hello I am a college student with Inattentive ADD and I have been on adderall for a couple years now. I have been taking an extended in the morning with instant in the afternoon.
What I worry about is that I hear a lot about people going off meds in the summer. I’ve tried this but it’s really hard for me because I work in the summer and find it challenging to function without the meds. This makes me worry about my health from being on the medication so long as well as worrying about being too dependent. I cut out the instant release in the summer and on days where I don’t have much school work. But not taking any medication at all throws me out of wack since I’ve been on it for so long.
Is it bad that I don’t go off of it completely? Does anyone who is older or in college with adhd have anything they do that works for them?
PS I have talked to my doctor about tapering off the adderall once I graduate and the demands of studying go down. So I don’t plan to be on it the rest of my life.
February 7, 2019 at 2:40 pm #108888Penny WilliamsKeymaster
The majority of people take ADHD medication every day. It depends on how you function without it if it’s a valid idea to skip it for the summer.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
February 7, 2019 at 3:16 pm #108889Jeanett0510Participant
I am only speaking from personal experience, but maybe it will be helpful in some way to you.
I am a graduate student and I was diagnosed with ADHD during undergrad. When I started grad school I had trouble transferring medical records and I guess at that point I was worried I had to go through another long period of testing and decided to quit my medication cold turkey (I was prescribed Vyvanse 60 mg).
Just like you, I worried about depending on the medication, and I guess I had come to a point where I was “done”, as if I was a cheater for having a medication that is so popular among my peers who do not have ADHD and abuse it as a party drug or study drug (ugh). I went close to 4 months medication free and well, it didn’t go well as far as academics. BUT, here is the big BUT. I learned a great deal about myself, and although I am back on medication now, I know that I can survive without it, but I have also accepted that medication for me is needed for school purposes.
I am not sure about you, but prior to me stopping my medication, I definitely had a very tight psychological attachment to it, and I think my greatest fear was the idea of not having it available because I had been on it for so long.
It was HARD, especially in the beginning because my symptoms are pretty aggressive, but I think I accepted that medication may be a part of my life forever, but I also believe in those “medication breaks”.
I guess what I am trying to say is that by going through those months without it, the fear I had prior is not as strong today. I don’t worry about having my medication with me all the time, I know I can take it when I need it and also not take it on days when it is not necessary. I am not controlled by medication, I choose to take it.
I think it is natural for us with ADHD to FEEL so much more and overthink. We are such passionate people, and every experience seems like straight out of a hollywood movie sometimes haha. What also helped me is the additude podcast series, especially the ones that discuss our emotional processing and personal characteristics. It gave me some knowledgable answers as to why I react so strongly to so many things when others don’t, and how the language of my thoughts often are negative, even though many of the ADHD characteristics could be great strengths as well.
Not sure if this post made any sense, I am just writing my thoughts as they come. Best of luck to you! You got this!
February 14, 2019 at 4:00 pm #109319Dr. EricParticipant
Not a medical doctor, so please discuss your concerns with him/her.
Personally, I only took/take my meds when I need to get stuff done.
(I also have an awesome wife who puts up with the unmedicated me better than a new girlfriend would.)
I work in a school, so I am able to keep the same cycle as I did when I was a student.
I took complete time off over Christmas break. I only medicate on weekends when I was studying. Currently, I will take one dose over the weekend to cover the time that I need to be productive… bills, chores, etc.
The two college summers that I worked as an EMT doing 911, my doc have me a half dosage.
For starters, the adrenaline rush when it was life-or-death was a natural medication.
I needed enough to make sure that I did not make mistakes, but being too laser-focused was actually a detriment to the job as it impacted my situational awareness. For example, being “distracted” by the behavior of a pedestrian or motorist gave me a heads up that they may cause an accident when I was driving Code 3… or the distraction of a shiny object alerted me that the 5150 patient had a knife nearby.
I am one of those people that has had to keep my prescription for over 25 years, and I will likely do so until I retire.
The time off is the most effective defense that I have had against developing a higher and higher tolerance.
I used to take a really low dose. Now, it is pretty high, and I don’t want it to go higher.
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