The Adderall Generation: 6 Annoying Side Effects Of The 'Focus Drug'

by Jeff Tinkoff

Long hours of studying, projects and other grueling work on top of extracurriculars can quickly take a toll on you.

It becomes harder and harder for you to stay focused on the task at hand.

Many college students see Adderall as a miracle drug that gives them the necessary superpowers to get their work done.

I would bet the majority of college students have had their run-ins with Adderall more than a few times during their four, five, six or how-ever-many-years-long college careers.

I was on Adderall as a kid to about the time I was a junior in high school. I decided to stop taking it because I felt like I didn't need it any longer.

Then, when I started college, my daily workload drastically increased.

It became very hard for me to stay focused long enough to complete all my assignments without dealing with insurmountable stress from the deadlines.

I decided to revisit Adderall, and that sh*t quickly became my miracle drug once again.

Adderall helped me complete my work efficiently, juggle my extracurriculars and keep my stress levels low.  

Most college students would certainly agree this little pill goes a really long way, as many students try to get prescribed themselves or look for friends who are willing to sell.

While Adderall gives you an attention span that seemingly goes on forever (or until it stops working and you crash and everything is awful), that doesn't mean it's perfect.

Adderall has many other side effects, and I'm not talking about side effects you hear about on TV or from your doctor, like low blood pressure or something of the sort.

I'm talking about the inconveniences that come with taking Adderall. If you've encountered Adderall, most likely, you have experienced some — if not all — of the following unfortunate qualities or inconveniences:

1. Being Unproductively Productive

While the main reason for taking Adderall is to help you focus, that doesn't mean it will help you focus on what you need to focus on.

There are days when I have to study for an upcoming test or have a project I need to complete, and I can't find the drive to do it, even while on Adderall.

You can get to be so focused on watching random YouTube videos, shopping for unnecessary things or scrolling though pointless stuff on Facebook that you'll be completely unproductive for hours.

Your mind sees this as being productive, but you could have just as easily skipped the Adderall and still wasted time on the Internet.

Your Adderall high had you so focused on whatever you were doing that by this point, it's not even worth trying to fight it to be productive.

2. The Inability To Eat Anything

The well-known fact about Adderall is that it leaves you with no appetite for the entire day.

Even when your stomach is growling, you cannot bring yourself to eat one bite of anything without feeling like you are forcing yourself to eat.

Adderall makes you feel like you ate no more than 30 minutes ago, so instead of food, you drink gallons and gallons of water (which just makes you pee about 1,000 times a day).

The fortunate thing about Adderall is that it doesn't last forever. Once your high wears off, you'll eat like you haven't eaten in days.

You'll feast like a king and eat whatever is in plain sight.

You end up eating until you are on the verge of sickness.

The bloating and stomach pains may be a bother, but it feels so damn good to have food in your stomach once again that you don't care. 

3. Perspiring For No Reason

Sweating is a normal part of life, but Adderall will make you sweat with even the slightest amount of exertion.

For me, my armpits perspire like I've been swimming in shoulder height water all day, but it varies between people.

It may be the result of nervousness or anxiety, but even if I do absolutely nothing, I still sweat profusely. There is no stopping it.

I guess there is no reason to be embarrassed by it; it's what the human body does (just not at the rate or amount you may experience while on Adderall).

My advice: Don't worry about it. You're honestly just better off ignoring it.

4. Becoming Anxious And Antsy

Anxiety sucks. People don't enjoy feeling like they need to be constantly productive without a second to relax.

Adderall will give you this anxiety, but again, it will only be a result of the Adderall, not a long-term effect.

While the drug helps you focus on certain things, you can't help but worry about the other things in the back of your mind: Family problems, school problems, current, past or future problems.

You just can't seem to not think about them.

The problem with Adderall is you can't relax; relaxing makes you anxious, so you do something — anything — to keep you on task.

Prime example: I was doing homework on day, and I looked around my apartment and thought, "Wow, this place is f*cking messy. I'm going to clean it."

Look at me being productively unproductive! I hate cleaning, but my impulse to do something took over.

Your anxiety from Adderall will drive you to do things you normally wouldn't want to do.

On top of all that, your anxiety may also stick around until the following day. The one thing you have to remember is it is only temporary. You can't drown in your thoughts.

 5. Post-Adderall Depression

This has to be my worst experience with Adderall. While it isn't like the traditional form of depression, it really does lead you to take a mental crash.

I will be completely productive during the day and then later, I'll hit a low and do a total 180.

I won't want to do anything.

Your drive to be productive completely vanishes and along with that, your mind drowns in its own depressive thoughts.

This low could be brought on by Adderall depleting all of your energy and brainpower.

Don't worry, though. In most cases, the cure to post-Adderall depression is a good night's sleep. I usually find myself back to normal the following day.

6. A Racing Mind At Bedtime

If you take Adderall a minute too late in the day, you will probably experience this. Adderall is like caffeine, so it makes it damn near impossible to sleep at night.

Even though you took it in the morning (or whenever), you always seem to have trouble drifting off to sleep.

You find yourself sitting in bed, thinking the most random thoughts and hours later, you're still wide awake.

I've tried watching a movie, reading a book and surfing the web and still, nothing works.

Honestly, you're just better off leaving it be and accepting the fact that you'll fall asleep eventually.

I know some people out there have methods for relaxing before bedtime, like sedatives or marijuana.

I don't mess with any of that kind of stuff, so if you have a good way of getting to bed, please feel free to help me out!

Many people react differently to certain drugs, including Adderall. You may not experience all of these side effects or maybe even any. I would guess, though, Adderall affects most people in one or many of these ways. It is not the most pleasant experience, but at least you got your work done! (I hope.)