why do stimulatants “fix” ADHD?


Was diagnosed young, and again when I was 21, have been taking Adderall 20mg for years, and thought i was managing the symptoms well, until I spoke with the psych again. They ADDED 5mg and I am already feeling waaaaay slower and clear. How does something that is supposed to speed/”wake” you up, slow a person down?

In: Biology

For those with true adhd, hyperactivity is the body’s attempt to stimulate itself and to stay stimulated. So when you give someone with adhd stimulants, the body no longer has to move to stay stimulated, the meds do it. It’s why when people who don’t have adhd take stimulants they are highly energetic.

There’s a part of your brain that stops you being chasing after all the squirrels. In ADHD it’s too slow. Stimulants speed it up so you can stop your brain before it runs after that squirrel.

From what I’ve read online, Its basically dopamine.

Our brains are either too full of dopamine(hyperfocus) or extremely lacking in it, so we have no motivation to do anything and are as such just super bored because of that.

stimulants make it so you generally have a more balanced amount of dopamine in the brain.

Also apparently cortisol, which causes anxiety reduces dopamine in the brain. So when you’re nervous about doing something you’re bad at, you’ll lose motivation even faster.

Imagine your thoughts as birds flying in the sky and your ability to focus on those thoughts as a crosshair. Those with normal brains, the crosshair is able to keep up with a single bird and follow it through the sky. Those with ADHD have a slower crosshair so they can’t keep up with a single bird. In fact, as they try to keep up with the original bird, other birds will intercept their crosshair, thus confusing the individual. Stimulants speed up the crosshair, allowing someone with ADD/ADHD to have the ability to focus on a single bird.

I can’t give you the medical terminology however I have been on ADHD meds (I have tried all of them, not even joking) for almost 10 years and when I was 14 I asked my psychiatrist how they work and he dumbed it down for me by explaining that the drugs are there to correct a chemical imbalance. Too much drug, that’s where the “zombie” effect comes from, too little, well you know but yeah can’t sit still, brains on fire, can’t focus etc. etc. Adderall had too many stimulants in it and made me hallucinate and want to kill myself. I now take 60mg of Vyvanse bc it has much less stimulants however it is long acting (adderall isn’t) so I haven’t slept properly in 5 years. You win some you lose some. Hope this helped a little, i’m not an expert, I’m just heavily medicated and my bottle is sitting next to my bed lol