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My name is Karly and I am 21 years old. In my junior year of highschool, I diagnosed myself with ADD. I went to my parents with this information and they took me to the school's psychologist. I found out that I had once been tested for ADD as a child but since the hyperactivity was not present they concluded I did not have it. I am writing you because my situation with the treatment of ADD is very unique. I started with Dexedrine my senior year of high school. I became anorexic that same year. I went to college and remained on Dexedrine, no one knew of my eating problems. I eventually complained to my doctor that I did not like always being moody. He switched me to Ritalin. I picked up a smoking habit to calm my nerves while on this medication. Ritalin did not prove for me the same results with concentration as Dex. did. I switched back. Now the past year I was introduced to Adderall. I really love what it did for my concentration. I ended up having many personal and family problems this year. I eventually became dependent on Adderall. I picked up a drinking habit to allow me to fall asleep at night. Since some of my classes were in the evenings I would take the pills to late at night and drink to fall asleep. To make a long story short I ended up having depression ever since my eating disorder and three months ago tried to commit suicide. I am doing better right now. I do not remember the last time I felt so happy. I have gotten help professionally and quit drinking and smoking.

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I saw and read your very nice website on Ritalin. I am a research scientist, a theoretical physicist. To work effectively, I need some stimulant, at least some of the time. Colleagues use caffeine, of course. I don't. I believe that there are smarter ways. Would you have some suggestions of healthier, more effective stimulants? I have experimented with Ritalin, for example as a booster to get me restarted, using it for a few days only after coming back from vacation. This works very well, but it takes some imagination to find the drug. Before I use more of my imagination to experiment with other drugs (ephedrine?!), I thought I would ask a medical doctor first! Thank you very much for your help.

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I have been searching the web and I found your web page, which talks about ADHD and the use of the drug Ritalin. I have a boyfriend which I have been with for two and a half years, since we were both 16 years old. He told me from the beginning that he had this disorder, and also told me that he has been on Ritalin since he was 13. He is now nineteen and has not been taking his medication as of three months. He used to be so caring and considerate, and was actually improving his impulsive behavior. The Doctor and his parents even said that since he had met me, he had improved a great deal, and was on his way to recovery. He decided on his own to stop taking his medication, because he complained of headaches, and said that he didn't need it anymore. For the past three months, my life has been hell! I really do love and care for him, but he is out of control and I can't let go (because I want to be with him), but I don't know or understand why this is happening. He has a short temper and attention span, and if someone doesn't agree with him (especially me) he gets very angry and aggressive. I feel as though he is another person, yet their are still times when he turns around and is 'back to normal'. It is an ongoing rollercoaster, because one minute he thinks one way, and the next second, he will change completely. Is this something that ADHD people do? I don't know how to help him, and I don't know how to help myself, because I feel as though my life is over without him beside me, yet the person I now see is not the person I fell in love with. This is the first time I have ever sent an e-mail, because I have only recently connected the Internet, but I sincerely hope that you hear my cry for help and write back. PLEASE....

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