You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

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    • #101443

      You know those commercials that are all like “THIS is your brain on drugs!” Yeah, well, that’s how I feel when I’m on my ADHD medication (Adderall). It took me a long time to realize the impact my ADHD had on me socially, and even longer to realize what Adderall does to my ability to interact well with others.

      Without my medication, I notice I actively engage in classes. I speak up and speak out often. I’m overall less irritable and much less “in my head”. The downside to not taking my medication though is that I legit can’t stop moving… whether it’s shaking my leg, tapping my fingers, or swinging from one side to the other in a swirly chair. It never stops and as a 21-year-old, I’m embarrassed to look like a 5-year-old who’s never been in a swirly chair before. I also can’t focus to save my life. Well, actually I can focus but it’s on all of the wrong things. It’s like all of my creativity literally pours out of me with no filter or steady flow. It’s just one idea after another and I have no control of my own brain. For example, I had the genius idea to write this post during a very intense lecture that I needed to be paying attention to. Someone can say one word that triggers a thought that sends me into a rabbit hole that I’m unable to come out of. Day 2 of no medication and I already have 35 internet tabs open and none of them are related. I wish I was exaggerating.

      But let’s say I DO take Adderall… I usually am way more irritable. For someone who’s already impatient, this is not a good thing whatsoever. I also realize how even more recluse and emotional I am. I’m naturally an introvert, but typically am able to lighten up to people I’m familiar with. Nope, not on Adderall. All of the things I want to say that’d show my engagement in a conversation goes out of the window and stays in my head. Which leads to incessant overthinking (typically start panicking that everyone senses I’m some weird sociopath), which does not help my pre-existing anxiety. But hey, at least I’m able to sit still during lectures and finish reading assignments on time. My creativity drops extremely as well. I just become a working machine. Hyperfocused on my crossing things off my to-do list while throwing out all of the fun of getting things done. I would have never written this article on Adderall because it’s not on my to-do list. I would have simply spent the day reading school-related articles (yawn!).

      It’s just frustrating that I constantly have to choose between two worlds. Either I can feel like a human but risk getting nothing (productive) done all day or take my medication and get (productive) things done but risk feeling like a zombie all day. How is this my reality? I’m ashamed for it to be. I wish there was another option. I guess what they say is true though… can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

      • This topic was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by tyasiadw.
      • This topic was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #102519

      Hi this sounds really tricky and definitely a problem that I worry about encountering.I have just been diagnosed with ADHD at 29 years old and have lived my life with swirling on a chair, jumping from one task to another and having so many tabs on my phone open that its just a smilie face icon now, rather than counting the tabs( so cute that it does this). Anyway, I just wanted to ask about the medication and your emotions. Did you always feel like a recluse from the first time taking Adderall?. Are they more regulated now even thou it makes you feel a bit flat? I would pick managing my anxiety any day with medication and feel a little bit zombie like. Would love to hear how things felt for you when you first started medication. Thanks for sharing

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