“A few of my friends told me that Adderall had improved their lives so I got a prescription (no questions asked, and certainly no mention of whether I had attention deficit problems or ADHD) and everything was fine for the first six months,” says Rocky. He was taking 20 mg of Adderall a day, lost weight and felt great. But the “feel good” stage came to an abrupt end.
“My mind was racing and I couldn’t sleep,” Rocky says. “I thought people were in my house moving things around so I called the police, but they came over and arrested me. They put me in jail for two days, probably thinking I was on street drugs; I soon found out that the police can hold you in jail for this length of time.”
Rocky says that during 48 hours in jail he was totally crazed, but not one mental health worker checked on him. After two days, the police had to let him go. “I didn’t realize the nature of Adderall bipolar mania,” Rocky says. “During a manic episode, you don’t realize that you are having an attack. I thought I was making magic: I was remembering past lives and becoming enlightened.
“I continued to be psychotic. I lost my job as a waiter in May and filed for unemployment, and by August, I had a complete nervous breakdown. I think Adderall affected my personality and it likely contributed to me losing my job because I had a conflict at work.
“I was driving through the park one day and heard that song ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ on my car radio, so I got out of the car and walked around,” Rocky explains. “But I got arrested again: this time I was charged with lewd behavior and had my car impounded. An officer was recording me on video; I looked at the cop and grabbed my crotch, hence lewd behavior.” He was thrown in jail for another two days.
Rocky, age 37, began to alarm his friends and family with his behavior and they tried an intervention, but that too went sideways.
It was during the intervention when Rocky had the third incident with the law. This time his friend called the police - Rocky scared him during the supposed intervention. According to Rocky, the police jumped on him, put a bag over his hand, handcuffed and shackled him. When he got to jail, Rocky was placed in a restraining chair, adding that the cuffs were so tight his hands turned blue. This time he spent 30 days in jail, apparently because he urinated in a public place.
“I know that I didn’t urinate in public,” says Rocky. “After 30 days I had a hearing and if I didn’t plead guilty I would have to spend another 30 days in jail until the trial. I pled guilty and was sentenced to four days. I felt persecuted for having mental problems but no one was about to help me.
“By the time I got out of jail, I hadn’t taken Adderall for a month, and I couldn’t get anymore from the prescribing doctor. His nurse said that I broke the agreement by not getting it refilled on time and he wouldn’t be my doctor anymore.
“This was devastating news. I figured that if I just had the Adderall it would calm me down, so a friend gave me half a pill. I thought I would die. My heart was beating way too fast - I had no knowledge of Adderall heart problems.
“Finally, I called my father and he took me to the local mental hospital. They told my family I was very sick and suggested they have me committed, but I was only there one night because I refused to take the meds. I pushed an orderly and a few minutes later the police showed up. To make a long story short, I went into a major depression.”
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“Needless to say, my quality of life is diminished and I have gained 100 pounds. I am now in counseling, and because I had this reaction to Adderall, I have been diagnosed as bipolar. I am lacking confidence in myself and constantly worried that if I have another attack I would wind up back in jail. I have grounded myself, but who knows for how long?”