Thought Catalog
April 10, 2014

5 Things People Who Aren’t Prescribed Adderall Don’t Understand

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What is the issue?
Adderall has gained a reputation for making you “limitless.” I’ve even heard it called legal meth, or legal cocaine. It seems that many teens and adults these days, especially those in college, would do just about anything to attain an Adderall prescription. To most of these people, who likely don’t even have ADD/ADHD, Adderall makes them better, at least for a short time. But to those of us who struggle with ADD/ADHD every day, Adderall helps us feel as close to normal as we will ever get. If you’re prescribed, it’s likely that you have had someone tell you that you’re lucky. But we’re not as lucky as they think.
image - Flickr / hipsxxhearts
image – Flickr / hipsxxhearts

1. Being physically, but not mentally, hungry.

You hear your stomach growl. You know that you need to eat so you head to your pantry. You scan everything in it, but nothing appeals to you. On a good day, you might find something that interests you. But after a few bites, you’re already full. When you’re prescribed Adderall, every day is a battle of forcing yourself to eat, just so you can take in the calories you need. Many may think this sounds ideal, a simple way to suppress your appetite and lose a few pounds. But when your ribs start to show and your doctor is hassling you about being underweight, or when people ignorantly assume you have an eating disorder, it’s not so fun. Adderall makes us completely repulsed of something so simple that we once loved: food.

2. Being an asshole.

For those who take Adderall recreationally, it can make them feel unusually talkative and social. For us ADD/ADHD-ers, it calms us down, and sometimes even makes us the opposite of social. If we’re trying to get something done, don’t take it the wrong way when we come off as an asshole for not wanting to be social with you. When we’re focused on something and you’re repeatedly clicking your pen, please don’t take our death stare the wrong way. We’re just irritable because you’re distracting us from what the Adderall is telling us we need to do: focus.

3. Hyperfocusing on exactly what we’re not supposed to be focusing on.

For those of us who have ADD/ADHD, Adderall doesn’t magically make us limitless. Sometimes although we are able to focus, it’s on the wrong thing (Example: Me writing this article during class). Whatever it is that we are hyperfocusing on, has to be perfect. And this can take a while, distracting us from what really needs to be done. For us, overcoming distractions and ADD/ADHD is more than just taking a pill a couple times a day. It also takes serious willpower and learned cognitive behavioral skills in order to filter out the loads of irrelevant stimuli that flood our brains.

4. Becoming a zombie.

You’re not really sure where your personality went. You’re not really sure when the last time you smiled was because you’re feel so serious. You’ve been intently staring for so long that you remind yourself to blink. Your jaw is clenched. Someone may ask you if you’re okay or if you’re in a bad mood. You’re fine of course; the Adderall just makes you feel flat.

5. Being physically, but not mentally, exhausted.

Your body is sore and your eyes burn. Lying down feels so good, but sleep is out of the question. Your eyes won’t stay closed and your mind is still alert. Every day requires strategically not taking your meds too late, otherwise you will be miserable come bedtime, staring at the ceiling for hours. Naps during the day? Say goodbye to those.

Basically, we just want you to understand even though you maybe never will.

Adderall isn’t fun. Dealing with all of the above almost daily isn’t ideal. And dealing with a real ADD/ADHD diagnosis is FAR from lucky. Adderall isn’t a drug to joke about or buy in the library. It’s a medication that helps struggling individuals every day, and despite the negative side effects, we need that help. TC mark

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