Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Food on ADHD Meds

Some of you may know that I finally got my ass to an assessment clinic this month, after years of suspecting that I might have ADHD.

I'm currently on 10 mg of Ampehtamine, or generic Adderal. Life on medication has been a rollercoaster this week, what with experiencing my first real blow of depression, getting back shitty grades, and my car getting wrecked about 2 minutes minutes from my place. But thanks be to God, I have clothing, a roof, and food in my fridge.

"Your appetite will decrease...people use this as an appetite suppressant," My doctor told me Friday as he wrote up my prescription. I lol'ed at him and said "I run a foodie blog with friends. I don't really believe anything can do that to me."

I'd researched side effects, so I knew it was used for that. I was CERTAIN, just CERTAIN, that there was no way anything, any drug, any person on the wet 'n' wild face of this earth, could ever take away my love for food, the holy delerium of tasting a farm-fresh egg, the visual appeal of leafy green veggies (ESPECIALLY RAINBOW KALE LADIES, I MEAN, SERIOUSLY, THAT IS JUST BEAUTY EMBODIED) the natural highs of a well-marinated steak or whole fish grilled to perfection.

This morning, I got up to get ready for my exam, and I could barely get myself to open the fridge door.

My body and brain recoiled as I fought the ludicrous urge to leave the house without eating.

Eat? Seriously? Gross. Wait--you're serious. You're trying to open that fridge. You must be insane. 

I laughed nervously and swore out loud. I used to WAKE UP in the morning just so that I could eat eggs. What the hell was going on?

"Food just doesn't taste real good...." related a friend of mine who is on different medication, Concerta. The thought of food tasting like ash sounded ridiculous at the time.

just not that into you.
But today, I've experienced something heartbreakingly sad. It's not just an appetite-suppressant. It's actually more like an appetite-repulsant.

I reluctantly took out a steamed sweet potato, heated it up, maple syruped it, cinammon, nutmeg, the whole shebang. I tasted it. It's not that food tastes like ash--but more like I recognize the taste, this is "supposed" to be yummy, but my brain is not receiving signals that this should be pleasurable. I process more of the texture than I do the happy feeling of "MMMMMM." I taste cinammon, I taste sweet potato, I taste nutmeg, all very sharply, but at the same time, it's like my taste buds are too busy reading magazines on the toilet and they're like "Oh, hmm, cinammon. What, you want a fucking parade? Get a life."

So I fry an egg. Anything more than one egg feels stupid. I taste it. It's from a farm, it tastes like a real, farm-fresh egg. It doesn't taste like ash. But it doesn't feel good or bad. The act of 'eating' was annoying to my body. I wonder, is this what individuals with anorexia feel like?

Brain: K I get it. Can we get over this eating thing now? 

I'm not hit with the euphoria I usually feel. I'm not comforted by flavour. I don't have memories of warmth, satisfaction, laughter. What's the point of food, then?

I gulp down the egg and force another two spoonfuls of sweet potato. I've made coffee, but I don't really care for it. Come to think of it, around this time in the morning, my house is usually fragrant with the deep, earthy scent of freshly-ground, freshly-brewed coffee.

 But today, even as my coffee brews, I can't smell anything.


  1. Aww. Has this continued? Do you still appreciate the visual beauty of edible plants? In time you may regain some ability to relate sensually to food... How are your other side effects going?

  2. I have to ask, if these side effects continue, do you think it appropriate to ask yourself, "Is it better being off the meds and just living with ADHD?" Just speaking for myself, I don't know that I could handle what you're describing. Either way, good luck and I hope everything goes back to normal for you!

  3. Hey guys, thanks for checking in. I hadn't been taking meds regularly, as they weren't terribly effective in concentration, and were just making me sad at the end of the day. My doctor and I are still adjusting doses until we try a different medication, but in the short term, thankfully, TASTE HAS RETURNED!!!! Matt's parents prepared a wonderful beef roast dinner for his birthday, and I don't think I'd had a better food experience since the last time I ate at Amy's or my Grandma's. It was divine. I was like "OH MY GOD PEOPLE, POTATOES! A CARROT! THIS IS DELICIOUS!!!" Everyone, even the little kids, were making fun of me.

  4. And Phil, I'd been considering it...but when you can't find your assignments due NOW, aren't able to recall very much after you've studied hours, and forget to punch in at work regularly, it's very embarassing. These qualities get attached to you and people start referring to you by your forgetful habits, and it's very hurtful.

  5. I'm so glad that your sense of taste has returned! Hopefully everything else will fall into place for you as you get the dosages and such sorted out. I imagine that it's been pretty difficult but you sound determined to make a change and I applaud you for having the courage to do so.