I wrote about getting an updated MRI done in The Future of My Brain. I have White Matter Disease which simply means that I have lesions on my brain. The good news is that I only had maybe one new one for a total of three and they aren’t in any places that would cause concern. I do have to go back in a year to check again, but in the meantime my neurologist wanted me to be open in addressing one of my mental health issues in a way that had not been done before since he felt it contributed to some of my memory issues. Specifically he prescribed Adderall for my ADHD and it is my first time being medicated for this since I was originally diagnosed around 17 years ago.
So last Tuesday, I entered a new world. When I picked up the script the day before, it was for a generic version called Dextroamp-Amphet ER 20 MG C substituted for Adderall XR 20M, but the pharmacist shared that it is manufactured by the same company that makes the original. I have never looked into ADHD medications. When the diagnosis was originally given to me, I was already on more meds than I wanted for the depression and anxiety. I had no interest in adding another pill to the mix. Plus I wasn’t sure I believed I had it… back then you usually only heard of young boys with it and never adult women. Can I tell you now though how much I thoroughly regret that decision and wish I had started back then? I took my first pill Tuesday at around 9am and this fog that I had been living in gently lifted a bit.
My family had concerns over the drug… “Don’t college kids take it for all-nighters? Isn’t it just speed? You will get addicted. It will make you more anxious.” So I asked around to other women who have ADHD or who parent children with it and they were all super encouraging. The bottom line from all of them was: “If you truly have ADHD, none of these issues will be a problem for you. It will do what it is supposed to do.”
And it has.
I will apologize to any men reading this, but I have to note that this first week may not be the best to judge because it was *that time of the month*. I don’t know how much of my normal hormonal imbalances played into how it worked for me, but despite that I am very happy.
I am not cured. I don’t know if this is the right dose. BUT …
The mental quicksand that I usually move through has lessened significantly. One of the biggest issues that I had with myself was that I knew what I had to do but was incapable of following through on even the simplest of tasks. “Time to the do the dishes? Oh, that can wait until dinner,” is what the me two weeks ago would have said. All this past week, those basic things got completed without battling my inner self every step of the way.
One of the best benefits is that I am not constantly beating myself emotionally. Every time I would normally forget to do something, I would be very mean to myself. I did not realize how often I was really doing it until it let up. I am no longer calling myself an idiot every 10 minutes.
Some things I don’t want to comment on yet are sleeping and eating. During *that week*, I always have issues with those two things.
I do want to point out that it doesn’t touch my depression or anxiety. I can feel the separateness of it all. I feel those issues have neither diminished nor become heightened in any way. I was prepared for extra hand-wringing, pacing and internal chaos, but it all stayed pretty much at the level I have become adjusted to.
It has been an really interesting week for me not to have to lose fights to that side of myself over every little thing. I am glad to be taking the Adderall generic alone without being on anything else. Let’s see if it continues.
xoxo ~ Melissa