Depersonalization and Adderall Abuse (ADHD Stimulant Medications)

by Dr. R.E. Freedman

There are many individuals who require medications after being diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). These legitimately prescribed medications help them maintain full attention and focus in their lives. This enables them to concentrate in the classroom, in the workplace and other lifestyle situations which require full focus, which may have been lacking in the past. By using these prescribed medications, they are able to improve schoolwork, effectively take exams and hold jobs without difficulties. These medications enable them to retain what they learn and improve their school or workplace experience. It’s abuse of these stimulants, by those who do not require them, that could quite rapidly turn their use into a dangerous situation.

There are a great number of individuals who do not require these medications in order to correct an attention deficit disorder but often choose to use them sporadically when studying, taking tests or taking meetings in the workplace. They do not classify these stimulants as medications which could create dangerous side effects and are often completely unaware of the possible dangers of abusing them.

A closer look at these medications allows greater insight to the risks taken when used sporadically without full knowledge of the implications.

Properties of ADHD Medications:

Psychostimulants are the primary medications used to treat ADHD. Although these medications stimulate the central nervous system, they have a calming effect on people who are genuinely struggling with ADHD.

These medications include:

Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Daytrana)
Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
Amphetamine-Dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine, Dextrostat)
Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)

Adderall and Ritalin are among the most commonly used among these medications and work well for those with true deficit difficulties. Adderall, in particular, is one of the most abused of these meds, among college students, as they do not consider it a medication in the proper sense of the word. Many believe it is merely a stimulating substance, clearly stronger than coffee or any other type of caffeine but with little risk or consequence. Little do they realize the risks associated with these stimulants.

Common Side Affects of ADHD Medications:

Elevated heart rate
Elevated blood pressure
Addiction
Dizziness
Dry Mouth
Heart Palpitations
Withdrawal Symptoms
Anxiety
Depersonalization
Stomach Upset
Insomnia
Impair Creativity
Irritability
Shortness of Breath
Paranoia
Nervousness
Depression
In rare cases, Heart Attack and sudden death
Mental Illness and Psychosis in rare cases.

When sporadically using these medications, minus a prescription, the individual places him or herself at greater risk for some or many of the above negative reactions.

Reasons why ADHD medications create difficulties and must not be taken sporadically:

The individual MUST be examined and evaluated by a physician, determining that this medication is appropriate for them.
Many believe the “euphoric” reaction experienced after taking the medication is an indication they have ADHD and do require it, when actually the opposite is true. These medications are only “lifesavers” for those who have true ADHD.
One becomes both physically and emotionally dependent on the stimulants and loses self confidence and self esteem concerning their true ability to study, take exams and feel comfortable navigating through life.
They blindly join those taking these medications before learning the facts, risks and dangers of these stimulants.
They ignore the fact that methylphenidate or amphetamine stimulants are speed and create genuine risks.
Emergency room visits due to these stimulants have noticeably increased in recent years.
They overlook the fact that alcohol combined with these stimulants can increase heart difficulties, even on normal dosages of the ADHD medications.
Higher incidence of Anxiety and Depersonalization is frequently due to increased heart rate and stimulating result of these medications.

Bottom line, many find increased memory and concentration skills while using these stimulants is not worth the risk of these difficult and often dangerous side effects. They also lose self esteem and confidence believing they require this extra “boost” every time they study for a test or take a meeting at work. It creates a false sense of security along with increased risks of very difficult adverse reactions.

Recovery from the Abusive Use of ADHD Medications:

A willingness to see these meds for what they are rather than a presumed lightweight memory enhancer.
Realizing the dependence that has developed while on these meds is both physical and emotional.
Using a natural anxiety and depersonalization treatment program to permanently eradicate symptoms.
Learning self acceptance concerning school and work performance, relinquishing the risks involved with stimulant drugs.
Accepting that one is dependent on these stimulants and learning to interrupt this dependence effectively.
Weighing the risks versus the benefits of using stimulants and coming to the conclusion that feeling “normal” and healthy outweighs the often devastating side effects connected with these medications.
Learning how to counter the withdrawal symptoms which often occur with discontinued use of these meds.
Surrendering the urge to take a medication that may place you at both physical and mental risk when it has not been determined that you require a “boost” or stimulating aid to navigate through life.

Lastly, it helps to recognize your abilities and difficulties in life. There are alternatives to taking medications to increase your grades, schoolwork and position in the workplace. There are tutors and natural health suggestions that create increased ability to succeed.

Take time to lead a healthier life, through better sleep habits and creating a restful mind through meditation.
Learn to use foods as medicines and the results can be astounding. You’ll be able to create an alert mind and body without the complications of side effects or withdrawal symptoms.
Use exercise in moderation to wake up a fatigued mind and body. Focus increases and spirits lift as well.
Realize, if given the time and effort, your natural mind and body have the ability to focus, memorize and retain information. Through good sleep habits, nutrition, vitamins and exercise, you will be able to take full control of your life and achieve the same results under your own power.

For further information concerning this topic and other subjects connected to Depersonalization and Anxiety, feel free to contact us at:

Anxiety Busters, Inc.
http://www.anxietybusters.com
Office Phone: 215-635-4700
Office Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM (EST)
info@anxietybusters.com

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