“Take Your Pills” Commentary. What’s Adderall REALLY like?

I just finished watching the new Netflix documentary “Take Your Pills” which discusses the rise of Adderall and amphetamines and ADHD. What’s so great about these little blue monsters?

Adderall is a powerful drug. Only one methyl group from Methamphetamine, it can cause a myriad of health problems and psychological issues. As someone who has struggled with attention problems, I will discuss my experience with Adderall in hopes that it takes away any glorification of Adderall this documentary claimed.

Adderall floods your brain with dopamine and norepinephrine. Basically, it lights up the “feel good” neurotransmitters that allow someone to focus on tasks for longer periods of time.

People with ADD and ADHD have fragmented attention spans. They are easily swayed by environmental distractions, absorbing too much stimuli. Their brain is overloaded with too much at once, resulting in the inability to get anything significant done–because their attention centers are “burned out”.

Basically, it’s a symptom of dysfunctional or low dopamine levels. The more a person switches from one source of novelty to another, the weaker attention span they have. If you have a weak attention span and can’t get much done because of it, you almost certainly have low dopamine levels.

This is a significant and rising problem: With low dopamine, you feel unfulfilled. You aren’t confident to stick with things. You give in to distraction, and give up too easily. You become susceptible to making poor decisions, seeking drugs, and becoming depressed. 

The real solution to raising dopamine is to focus on tasks for longer periods of time and eliminate distractions. A good example would be reading a book, running, or walking in a forest. These activities restore healthy neurotransmitter levels.

But why bother when you have pills, right!? That’s the mentality society has come to now. We want instant access to everything, and Adderall is no exception. Spending time diligently, and disciplining yourself is too much work. Eating wholesome foods is a hassle. Good parenting is too much work. Pills are more efficient apparently.

Negative Effects

I don’t take Adderall much anymore because I couldn’t relax on it. Here are some of the side effects I experienced:

  • Emotional blunting (when taken every day): I felt robotic, and unable to feel naturally happy.
  • Anger: People would irritate me for no reason. People were like obstacles I wanted to get out of my way. (When I’d go grocery shopping on Adderall, every person in the aisle seemed like roadblocks).
  • Stress: Inability to relax until 2am. Nonstop “let’s solve problems” thoughts. Racing mind and heart rate.
  • Lower dopamine levels when not on it

Positive Effects

  • Significantly increased conscientiousness: I followed through on every commitment I had. I cleaned my house. I connected with coworkers and friends more openly. I finished projects I kept delaying.
  • I felt more motivated to do mundane things, like dishes and cleaning.
  • Around 50-80% decrease in social anxiety.
  • Increased peripheral awareness.

Anyhow, I’ll be honest: Adderall really helped me in the short term rut of my life. As an adult with attention problems, I finally felt like I could accomplish more. However, the side effects are just too intense for me to bother taking it often. It might seem alluring, but trust me, it’s not.

I recommend having 2 or 3 strong cups of coffee before ever considering Adderall. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. Seeing that 11% of kids are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD (and most likely taking amphetamines) is really, really scary.

Stay sober guys.

What do you think about ADHD and amphetamine use? Leave your comments below!

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Author: Seth Williams

Creator & Author at BeHereNow.blog

7 thoughts on ““Take Your Pills” Commentary. What’s Adderall REALLY like?”

  1. I respond at 2am, not because of adderall, but because mine wore off and I became consumed with something that led me to a time of hyperfocus (something that also comes with ADD) and didn’t come out of until a minute ago. I know there is a lot of bad experiences with Adderall and those are typically the ones people like to write about, but it’s something that greatly improved my life. I don’t like that they give it to children and I was diagnosed in college, so I didn’t use it when I was young, but it’s something that’s hard to tell people that I take because of the stigma that’s created by articles like these. It didn’t work for you and that happens with a lot of different medications for a lot of people no matter the ailment, but caffeine can cause just as many mental and physical health problems. When I didn’t take Adderall I still read books, worked out, ate a nurtritious diet, meditated, and walked in nature, but at the end of the day I still had ADD and it was a huge source of shame for me. Obviously it’s not the healthiest thing for my body, but it’s what allows me to participate in a society that wasn’t built for me and I’m okay with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there, thanks your for comment. Amphetamines can benefit many people’s lives greatly. If you are taking low doses (the lowest effective dose, which for me was only 5mg of Adderall) you should not be ashamed of using something that allows you to function productively. If society gives you a gift that can help you–try it. If you are sick, you do what is necessary to get better and check your pride at the door. Don’t feel bad about making decisions for yourself that help you!

      I present a variety of opinions on this blog to help educate people on what they’re getting into. I feel that “Take Your Pills” documentary over-glorified Adderall in a somewhat dangerous light. I wrote this article to present a counterargument based on many truths surrounding amphetamines and my own personal experience.

      As I mentioned in this article, I take Adderall occasionally (I too, am diagnosed with ADD). However, I am extremely knowledgeable of case studies, side effects, and the biological implications of taking amphetamines. You said “Obviously it’s not the healthiest thing for my body” which suggests a limited understanding of the substance you’re taking. This isn’t stigma–this is fact, and I encourage people to educate themselves on what they’re getting into. I know children who (against their will, as they are under the age of reason) are taking over 30mg of Adderall. This is explicitly dangerous.

      Regardless, I still take it sometimes. So do you. No problem with that–we have free choice. If Adderall strengthens you to prevail, despite the tradeoff, all the better. In my last article, I elaborate on the dangerous of ignoring psychiatric help (https://beherenow.blog/2018/03/18/being-spiritual-is-no-substitute-for-psychiatric-evaluation/ ) by only “meditating, eating healthy, exercising”, and ignoring psychiatric care, such as CBT and medication therapy. This would seem to argue in your favor, which I don’t entirely disagree with.

      Above all, I encourage free-thinking and self-education 🙂

      Take care,
      Seth

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! I recently watched the documentary too and agree that it seemed to overglorify the drug. In fact I just wrote about this on my own blog hah. For me the only thing it seemed to do is reduce fatigue, but eventually I started getting insomnia even at a low dose. It’s crazy how many people take it these days without being prescribed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 Yeah, I just don’t see amphetamines as a sustainable productivity aid in the long term. What goes up must come down. One productive day followed by several unproductive days due to sleep cycle disturbance isn’t exactly pragmatic, especially when people take the drug every day.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Yeah… Adderall can be a nasty little medicine…. You sound very responsible, like you said only taking a small amount and not every day… Unlike me. I’m glad you are working to find other soultions. As far as the fatigue, have you ever tried modinifil or provigil? My sister works nights and takes modinifil, prescribed by her Dr.
    buy adderall online here
    https://mandnpharmaceuticals.com/

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    1. Thanks mate. Haven’t tried Modafinil, although based on my research it’s not as potent nor effective for treating ADD symptoms compared to amphetamines. Its intended use is for narcoleptics and people who work late hours like truck drivers, security guards and such. It’s not been something I’ve pursued to try, but it’s certainly become quite popular with entrepreneurs. I generally don’t agree with off-label use of pharmeceuticals, but people can do what they like if it helps them.

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  4. Hey! love the blog post, very relateable. I have been taking adderall for 3 years not and could not agree more! Great Content from your blog, I am a first time blogger follow back please!

    Like

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