Posted on 2023-12-05.

From despair to relieve – Dealing with an ADHD meds fallout

In early October I had to learn that my ADHD medicament, Elvanse1 on a low 20mg dosage, couldn’t be obtained anymore. My drugstore of choice couldn’t order it anymore and had no more in stock either. There seemed to be a supply shortage of this medicament in Switzerland, and later in other countries too, I learned. As of early December, the shortage is continuing and could last until February 20242. The brief response of the drugstore was to contact my psychiatrist, which I did, and who unfortunately ghosted me. I would guess a combination of bad time management and high workload – it’s late autumn/early winter and everybody is about to hit depression. Topping not being able to draft an alternative plan, October and November were the two months with the highest workload for me. Murphy’s law at its best.

I could have really used my meds during that time.

ADHD burnout3 hit the hardest towards the end of November and on the last weekend of that month I collapsed like a soufflé and felt like a bag of old potatoes. My partner got worried and asked if I’m starting to have “weird thoughts”. Luckily, akin to an early X-mas miracle, I was able to locate a drugstore who had a small stock left and able to mobilize my psy into writing another prescription. Moving the prescription wasn’t possible, since the medicament4 falls under the narcotics act in Switzerland and is highly regulated. I am now the proud owner of two month worth of Elvanse, and it feels5 really, really good!

But, after all, I don’t believe that it was the workload alone that did it. What was much harder to take, was the frustration of being back to my pre-meds-self. Having received my diagnosis with 42 means, that I lived half a life and managed to deal with the circumstances. And I did good. Nothing exceptionally, but I was able to live my life according to my wishes. When I started to take Elvanse early summer this year, I got to know a complete different aspect of myself. I was able to just sit down and execute whatever I put my mind to. Like writing this blog post …

Somebody on Instagram described a variant of ADHD like having three squirrels on speed in their head.

I forgot that this part of myself exists, especially during a wonderful summer where I was able to deep-dive research and get stuff done, and … I don’t like that part of myself very much. This being on and off the meds made this difference in being myself very apparent to myself. One of the toughest parts was the physical inability to do some things that didn’t inherent motivate me. I wanted to write this blog post a longer time ago, without the positive outlook back then. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t even sit down and just think about it, it gave me tensions and ants crawling my body and drove me off to do something else. The patience and energy of an avalanche of pebbles going down a mountain slope.

Being back on meds means, I can sit down, look up my tasks that say “Write blog post on meds fallout” and I do that in one sitting, without thinking, without outline or brainstorming. I’m happy to be back on meds. But, I guess I have some work to do to integrate that part of myself that I don’t like too much. You have to be able to love yourself, no matter what 💖

  1. Also known as Vyvanse and being based on lisdexamfetamine.↩︎

  2. According to Suche aktuelle Lieferengpässe –↩︎

  3. That’s a thing according to the internet: ADHD & Burnout: 10 Tips for Coping.↩︎

  4. Lisdexamfetamine is, you guessed it, related to amphetamine, the magic stuff in mollies.↩︎

  5. Not because I’m on molly …↩︎