I’ve been consistently taking Adderall for almost a year now! Crazy how time flies. My usual psychiatrist is very wary of treating his patients with stimulants, which I think is reasonable, given that I’ve been abusing* them off and on for five years. Surprise!
Obviously I didn’t tell my psychiatrist that. If he knew, he’d never prescribe me what I want. Not that it matters, because he doesn’t think my legitimate difficulty paying attention warrants use of a highly addictive, widely abused substance. Bummer!
Since he didn’t immediately hand over the addies (mad respect though), I found a different doctor who does! Honestly, getting an amphetamine prescription is super easy. So easy, in fact, that I got my first prescription by accident!
Let me explain.
Around my third or fourth appointment with Bummer Psychiatrist, we were still in the half-hour, drug consultation phase of our appointments. I told him the non-stimulant alternative he’d prescribed weeks ago wasn’t working. I thought that finally, my patience would pay off. Adderall, here I come! But nope. He recommended that I get tested for ADHD. Not a blood test. Not a brain scan. He might have meant the long ass questionnaire, which costs more than an actual thousand dollars. But from what I understood, he meant the TOVA test, a seizure-inducing adaptation of the 80s arcade game, Pong.
Just kidding. It’s not really an adaptation. More like a straight up ripoff. Just kidding again. I mean, I don’t know.
Being his usual bummer self, my psychiatrist had set up a catch-22. Option A: I don’t take the test, can’t “prove” I have ADHD, and don’t get addies. Option 2: I do take the test, it suggests that my symptoms are mild to nonexistent, and I don’t get addies. But how hard could it be to exaggerate those symptoms for a test?
So I figured that if I took the test, Bummer Psychiatrist would give me my drugs, and that would be that. But of course, he did not actually have this
computer game test at his office. I finally scheduled an appointment with the Middle Eastern doctor that kept popping up in my ZocDoc searches, whose office was all the way in freaking Hermosa Beach.
After driving for close to an hour, the receptionist showed me to the psychiatrist’s impersonal, poorly lit office, overlooking the 105. His desk was opposite the the long blue couch I sat on, but they both faced the same direction. Eventually the psychiatrist came in and I was taken aback by how distinctly opposite he was from the picture on ZocDoc. Instead even remotely Middle Eastern features, the man in front of me was white. Sort of. His face was pretty red and his skin was stretched tight across his cheeks, like he’d recently had Botox injections or maybe even a facelift. It turned out that the practice’s namesake was NOT the only psychiatrist who worked there!
Tighty McRed Face introduced himself and I think I hid my confusion pretty well. Then he sat down at his desk with his back to me, like I wasn’t there! You’d think that someone with an MD in brains would have more sense than that. Immediate rejection vibes. Like I wanted to look at his creepy face, anyway.
He swiveled his chair around and asked me what I was there for. With a strong foundation of confusion and blatant disregard laid, I mentioned my difficulty focusing and the TOVA test. I would have said more, but he interrupted me and just talked and talked until he talked himself into writing me an Adderall prescription a few minutes later.
That’s it! I hadn’t even taken the test, but I got a prescription, anyway! I walked out and drove another hour straight to my pharmacy. The best part is that my insurance paid for all of it! I literally get generic Adderall–legally–for free! Thanks Obama!
All of this can be yours** too, just by talking to a licensed physician who doesn’t give a shit! And there are plenty of those.
Don’t get me wrong. I really don’t like going to this guy. I just think if you’re going to prescribe a widely abused stimulant, you should be more discerning. I also really don’t think I should be more responsible than the doctor prescribing me drugs. I’m not even responsible enough to own a dog!
But obviously if I see a responsible physician, they’re not going to prescribe me Adderall, because I don’t have ADHD. Was that not clear? I definitely don’t have ADHD. And I do see a responsible physician, and he won’t prescribe me stimulants. Point made. But stimulants help so much, and plenty of drugs are prescribed off-label!
During our most recent session, I told Bummer Psychiatrist that the Strattera, a non-stimulant alternative to amphetamines that he prescribed months ago to placate me, wasn’t working. I mean, I was taking more than the highest recommended dose and it hadn’t done anything noticeable. Not like when I would accidentally take too much Adderall and feel cracked out of my mind. I don’t know how much Strattera I’d need to take for that effect. Anyway, I told him I wanted to “try” Adderall.
“But you have not been diagnosed with ADHD,” he pointed out, like he wasn’t responsible for that. But yeah, I forgot you’re supposed to be diagnosed with ADHD before being prescribed a highly addictive stimulant! Even though I’d taken the TOVA test with my drug dealer months before, and he’d justified prescribing me stimulants due to my mildly excessive inattention, Bummer did not share the sentiment.
He explained that stimulants might help with the symptoms of my depression, but only mask the real problem and consequently might make me lose motivation. I didn’t want to seem like I was trying to convince him to prescribe me addies or anything (I’m not picky!), but I argued with him.
“What motivation?” I asked. Like, I’m not exactly motivated to do anything as it is.
“Motivation to handle the root of those symptoms.”
“I’ve been using Adderall the entire time I’ve been seeing you and I’m still motivated!!!!” is what I did not say.
(Truly though, this is the best I’ve felt in over ten years. #psychotherapyworks #psychopharmacologydoestoo.)
Instead, I pointed out that Adderall could help me form productive habits, because isn’t my lack of discipline part of the problem? He agreed that was a possibility, but that his first responsibility was to do no harm, etc. etc., and he was like “I get it, your generation got screwed and it’s no wonder you’re depressed and that everyone takes uppers to get through the days at their shitty jobs so they can pay their bills,” and he’s really passionate and adamant about not contributing to that shitty drug culture.
It’s touching that he cares, but really not conducive to my goal.
I’d just have my dealer prescribe my anti-depressants as well, so I don’t have to go to two different doctors, but somewhere along the line, Bummer Psychiatrist tricked me into talk therapy. Our appointments started as drug consultations, but one day he snuck in some real talk and didn’t laugh or even smirk at my evasive jokes. It was sooo uncomfortable. After that, our half-hour sessions became hour long sessions and we didn’t even talk about drugs anymore (until that most recent session). I’d been looking for a talk therapist anyway, and the last one I’d tried looooved interrupting to give me her opinions, which were not particularly insightful or useful.
If my previous appointments with Dealer Doctor are any indication, he sucks at talk therapy (assuming he offers the service at all). He just sucks at talking in general. Either he’s being condescending and explaining things to me that I already know, or telling jokes that aren’t funny. Our sessions are always awkward. And his red cheeks seem to have gotten bigger, so his entire face is stretchier. Obviously I’m never going to tell him personal things about my life, or anything at all.
I know, I know, if I’m going to keep getting questionable drugs, I shouldn’t get them from a questionable doctor whose office is so fucking far away. I should get them from a doctor I respect. But if that’s not an option, better a questionable doctor than a questionable website based in India!
*calm down, the term is for hyperbolic effect.
**some exclusions may apply.