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Master's avatar

What has been your experience with Ritalin and Adderall?

Asked by Master (1358points) November 16th, 2009

Whether you use it for your ADHD or for its ‘cognitive enhancement’ effect, what is your opinion on these drugs?

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10 Answers

rangerr's avatar

Ritalin made my ADHD worse, and Adderall made me sleep constantly. I’d sleep for days at a time.

OutOfTheBlue's avatar


hug_of_war's avatar

The two people I know who took these for ADHD stopped because it caused anger issues or extreme sleepiness or had no effect/intensified some issues. They both benefited far more from behavioral approaches than pharmaceuticals.

drdoombot's avatar

I’m troubled by the idea that one day, I might be at a disadvantage because I will not be enhancing my focus with drugs like these, and it seems many other people will be.

derekfnord's avatar

I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, and I’ve found Dextroamphetamine (Adderall) to be extraordinarily helpful to me in overcoming its effects. I’m very careful not to abuse it in any way, and thus far, it’s been nothing but a positive for me. :-)

Facade's avatar

Ugh. I took Adderall my first attempt/year at college. I hated it. It would wear off within three hours, and then I’d crash. It also left me with insomnia. That was two years ago.

Darwin's avatar

Adderall didn’t do a thing for my son’s ability to sit still and focus. Ritalin worked well, but wears off too quickly. Now he is using Metadate, which is a time-release form of Ritalin. Without it he cannot sit still, talks extremely rapidly, and cannot focus on anything. He gets in trouble at school a whole bunch if he skips his dose because his impulsivity goes through the roof.

My brother was diagnosed as an adult with ADHD and takes Ritalin. It works very well for him. His son, also ADHD, takes Concerta and passes all his classes at school as long as he takes it.

Our neighbor’s daughter takes Adderall. Without it she is a terminal daydreamer. With it she can at least pay some attention to the teacher.

My brother’s steps son and wife are also ADHD. He used to take drugs for it when he was younger, but now they both use caffeine as needed and otherwise bumble cheerfully through life, forgetting things and losing jobs but being happy in spite of that.

In my experience if you are truly ADD or ADHD Ritalin, Adderall, and similar drugs can make a world of difference. If you are diagnosed as ADD or ADHD but the diagnosis is mistaken, it won’t do you any good at all and may cause problems.

Ria777's avatar

@drdoombot: the people using the Ritalin will have lovely addictions and lower default dopamie levels. I wouldn’t envy them. I’d pity them.

Ria777's avatar

@Master: why would you ask for an opinion and provide Wikipedia links? surely if we had an informed opinion, we wouldn’t need the links. as for the actual topic, I will post my answer tomorrow.

tarkay's avatar

Adderall is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. Before you guys all go ape shit about how bad it is for your body, let me explain..

I started in college with average to low grades and just having fun – normal. Anyway, was introduced to Adderall to study for exams, which allowed me to study for hours, days, whatever on end, literally memorizing a semester of work in a weekend for the exam (which is your entire grade in a college course). My grades went from C’s and B’s to straight A’s. I transfered from small low-rank college to UCLA which I would’ve needed a 4.2 gpa to get into out of high school, I got a job traveling around the world that I am able to balance working nearly full-time hours at with a 17 unit semester. Meanwhile took up guitar and a few other lessons for kicks, and decided to take the LSAT this weekend for the hell of it to possibly get a JDMBA. and I’ll be graduating this June with honors and an international career waiting for me. All of this I would like to credit to myself, but honestly there is no way in hell my life would be this good had Adderall not given me the ability to be proactive and a workaholic. Also I dont take it even close to every day. I take it when I have midterms, finals, or things have just built up and I need to cram, because there is some risk for addiction and keeping it infrequent reduces that risk, and I am now taking it legally with a doctor’s prescription for add. (Dr. prescribed it for every day, still dont)

Now, this is what I choose for myself. I know the risks, no one needs to lecture me. Fuck I’ve written three papers on it now while on it. I’ve read like half the med journals available on it on google scholar. Point is, the risks are variable, you have to know your own body to see if its good for you. I tell you because medicines are supposed to help people physically and mentally, and honestly adderall really helped me turn my life into what I wanted it to be. I dont want to advise you to do something that might harm you, but I do think that if you want to be a workaholic and enjoy advancing your mind and career just look into it. See if you’re prone to the health risks, and if its right for you. I mean honestly guys, have you never listened to a health commercial on tv when they say “side effects may include… ” and list how your insomnia aid is going to make get anal bleeding and die. Just because a medication has the capacity to elicit a certain side effect, does not mean that it will or even is likely. Bottom line, don’t be stupid and OD on it, don’t develop a handicap for it by taking it every single day, and know your own health risks.

Sorry this was long, hope it helps.

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