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It is more than stopping using!

answered 04:51 PM EST, Thu November 22, 2012
anonymous anonymous
I was taking Adderall for about 6 months (I am not supposed to) and I quit about 3 weeks ago. It was difficult but I have not taken a single pill since the day I quit. I am still feeling tired and depressed, not like my old self. How long will it take for me to get back to normal?

Jill Edwards Says...

I was taking Adderall for about 6 months (I am not supposed to) and I quit about 3 weeks ago. It was difficult but I have not taken a single pill since the day I quit. I am still feeling tired and depressed, not like my old self. How long will it take for me to get back to normal?

First, congratulations. It is not easy to come off amphetamine based medication. The side effects can be quite uncomfortable and you have got past the worst of these now. The longer term is what you are addressing now. The process of recovery is first of all about the medication and then it becomes a matter of looking at what you want from life and moving towards that.

You no doubt had your reasons for starting to take Adderall and once you have let go of the drugs, the sense of the old problems may return, but you may find that at present you do not have the courage or energy to face them. The sense you have when you have amphetamine in you is that you are on a bit of a high and you can get used to it, so the normal level of energy can feel like “tired and depressed”. There is a process of getting used to normal levels of up and down.

Exercise can be of great help and you should see that you at minimum walk for half an hour and if you can you should join a gym and go there three times a week if possible. This will help to balance your mood.

I do not know if while you have been coming through the withdrawals, you have been isolating a little bit. It is important now to have regular contacts with friends and if you have any interests that you want to follow up, now is the time to do it. Even the smallest steps in the direction you want to go can be like magic in keeping you going.

Reading is useful, you may have access to self help books which will help to guide you in a positive direction, so taking on any kind of self-help programme will give you a sense of structure to your life.

Take care of your eating patterns, simply seeing that you have an eating pattern which includes moderate amounts of proteins (meat, fish and eggs), carbohydrates (whole grains, pasta,wholemeal bread) and fruit and vegetables, will be both a useful activity and contribute more than you might expect to feeling more lively.

You have a chance to investigate any possible plans you have for yourself. While you are taking care of the basics, and when you have established a routine, then talk over with some person who you trust, what steps you could take towards doing what you want to do.

I cannot be sure how long it will take for your mood to right itself, but I am sure that if you take these steps it will be a lot quicker. Best wishes.

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Page last updated Nov 22, 2012

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