I have hesitated to bring up the subject of stimulants on this forum because of my ongoing personal battle over taking them. That and the fact that most people have a total lack of understanding of these drugs, thinking only of the little pills they took in college to get them through finals week. Or the “speed” addicts sell their blood, and sometimes, their bodies to buy. I participated in early clinical research of Provigil for use in CFS. The drug was of little benefit to me, though I have since heard of others who have had great luck with Provigil, as well as, its newer version, Nuvigil. Ritalin was more effective in relieving my fatigue, but the “crash” as it left my system was profound, and within weeks of taking Ritalin, my blood pressure went from very low to dangerously high. Nine years ago, Adderall XR seemed a miracle. Within 15 minutes of taking it, I had the feeling of coming up from under water. And the XR meant no crashes. I felt like myself again. Though I had been diagnosed with ADHD early in my adulthood, I had no idea how severely my cognitive skills had been dampened by chronic fatigue. With the Adderall XR, my motivation soared, my blood pressure remained stable, and I felt human again. Though I knew that more than likely I would eventually have to deal with blood pressure issues, and recently I have, I made the decision then and there that quality of life trumped quantity of life every time. That was nine years ago. More recently I have become concerned about any effects long-term use of the drug might have had on my body, especially my Adrenal system.Though Adderall is not considered physically addictive, there is no real evidence for how or why it works. And as the years have gone by, and the Adderall has become less effective, it is obvious that my body has developed a tolerance. And since I don’t want to increase the dosage, my relationship with the drug has changed. So I conducted my own effectiveness study by cutting my dose by half for one week, then going for the next three weeks without using Adderall at all. I flushed an entire bottle of pills down the John, so regardless of how I might feel during that “trial” month, I wouldn’t be tempted to start taking the pill again. The result of my informal research was that without the Adderral my fatigue returned with a vengeance, and at a level that frightened me. I realized that, for reasons I don’t have the chemistry background to explore, I had to have the Adderall in order to live. If not physically addicted to Adderall, I learned that had a serious dependence on the drug. In my mind, Adderall XR became more than just a med I took daily for my CFS, it became the high octane gasoline I needed to fuel my body’s engine. Without it, I seriously felt ready for the salvage yard. And I hate that. Now my fear of being left without Adderall keeps me in a constant state of anxiety. And the anxiety increases exponentially with the number of pills left in any one Adderall bottle. The combination of guilt and fear controls my life. And that doesn’t seem normal—but does anything feel normal with this disease? BTW this is information I would never share outside this forum because it sounds crazy, even to me. But sometimes I look at that little orange capsule and think it is the only thing that stands between me and death. And though the logical me knows this to be a vast overstatement, the neurotic me isn’t so sure. My mind is occupied with “what if’s.” What if the insurance company suddenly makes the drug unaffordable? What if my doctor stops prescribing it? What if the pharmaceutical company quits manufacturing it? What if the bottle disappears? What if little green men with ADHD come down from Mars—and, well, you get the picture! I’m wondering what experience others on the forum have had with Adderrall XR or similar pharmaceutical stimulants, and if you have any advice or information that might help me come to terms with whether this drug is my friend or my foe?