Vyvanse: the Unlisted Side Effect

Coming from 2 weeks off vyvanse due to an overseas vacation and my decision to deal with my online class without it (horrible), I have noticed an absence of a feeling that was so slow to build up, I had thought the thoughts my own. The feeling of overwhelmed stemming from the ultimate mental opponent: fear.

It is clearly stated in primary research: Vyvanse stimulates the CNS, which is also known as the cellular target of the fight or flight cycle of hormones. It is important to note that these hormones work on a feedback system.

Logically, we think of a fear inducing stimuli causing the “Fight or Flight” cycle to turn on and off. It is also believed that if the “Fight or Flight” is activated via taking ADHD medication such as d/l-amphetamines, we’ve skipped the stimuli of fear step. However, that is only partially true. Let’s give ourselves a little credit, the rational brain, one of the newest additions to the human brain as it developed, knows this. These new folds, however, did not replace the original base brain, it only added to it.

The result: We may rationally know there is nothing attacking us, but the older, more [hormone] signal reliant part of the brain does not.

If you notice:

  • Smaller tasks seem looming
  • Dreading having to engage in socializing (you know, more than usual)
  • Snapping at normal, out of your control things, such as road work, delivery being late, having to complete a chore/errand

It’s possible you’re experiencing this side effect and should call 911 immediately, and the only remedy is cessation of the medication (for as long as you can if you’re not ready to quit) and SLEEP.

Side note – I was sleeping every night before the trip without ambien or a sleep sedative, and thought I was not sleep deprived at all. 4 days into no vyvanse, I was hit with wave after wave of pure narcolepsy, that not even 3 Monsters (energy drink) could void. 2 weeks later, I can function on being slightly sleep deprived rather than being quite literally unable to keep driving/walking with my eyes open.

As per usual, we humans are social beings. Would love to chat some more about this and hear your ideas.

Getting through the craving

Today, what’s on the top of my mind is taking my ADHD medication. I know if I can make it to 3pm, I will not take it. I have removed my means of escape: ambien, so if I take it after 3pm, I will face a sleepless or restless night.

Arguments my brain is posing:

  1. You’re going to cave any ways.
  2. You need to take it to get anything done.
  3. It will assist you with your food cravings.
  4. No one will notice or care if you do take it.
  5. All of your successful friends takes it.
  6. You are not good enough to not take it.
  7. You can handle the effects, you are smart enough to mitigate the side effects.
  8. It’s not actually that bad of a substance, you’re just OCD.
  9. You’ll have no excuse to avoid the gym due to heart rate elevation if you do not take it.
  10. You’ll have a higher metabolism if you take it.

This negative brain chatter I might have consciously noticed 1 to 3 of them, but it took writing the thoughts down to really become aware of these arguments. When a craving hits, write down all the reasons your mind is consciously or subconsciously telling you. It is okay if you are not sure every reason it is lobbing at you. With time, you will become more and more acutely sensitized to the messages pulling you towards a substance.

After you write down these arguments, replace the messages with messages of strength of the transformed you that you outlined in Blog 2.

  1.  I have made it 6 hours today without needing/caving. Even if it takes just saying no 5 minutes at a time, I know I can get to 3pm.
  2. If I split my time up and have conscious thought into my activities, I can get many things done, albeit if I do not conquer all, I will not hate myself, as I did the best I could.
  3. I should not ignore my food cravings as they are indicative of needs.
  4. I will notice and I care.
  5. My will is not dictated by what my friends do.
  6. I am made of the same atoms and molecules every human is composed of, I am deserving of a free life as much as any human is.
  7. I should not have to “handle” any effects
  8. If it was not that bad for me, then I would not have any cognitive dissonance when I take it.
  9. Great, the gym is good for me.
  10. Higher metabolism without exercise means negative cardiovascular side effects, denaturing of proteins with elevated body temperatures thus losing muscle, and rebound slow metabolism post.

After writing this out, I already feel much calmer and more confident in my abilities. This is not to say the craving is 100% gone, but I no longer feel weak. Try it out and tell me if it’s worked for you.
*Picture significance: the cloud over my head is manufactured of my own dampening thoughts and not indicative of the true nature inside