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  #26  
Old 26-03-2012, 05:59
no eff eks no eff eks is offline
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Re: Adderall for academia

Personally I do not believe amphetamine should be used as a study aid for almost anyone without a condition which impairs their ability to concentrate/learn normally. The average healthy adult will experience improved concentration/memory formation/memory recall from an amphetamine based drug like adderall, this isn't something unique to people with ADD or atypical depression. This is only an issue because the drug is extremely addictive and causes changes in behavior/thinking over time which are imperceptible to the user.

Will amphetamine help you academically... yeah, at least for a while. Preventing a useful drug from becoming a debilitating addiction and cause of paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis is something few people are capable of on their own. Handle with care imo...
  #27  
Old 26-03-2012, 06:11
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Re: Adderall for academia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stepin Fetchit View Post
C'mon, bro, you can't snow the snowman. There's no way you have NO motivation and you're in grad school. You just know what's coming up is gonna be hard. Just face that shit and do your project, and make it fun.
You didn't read my entire post. I don't have no motivation for the project. Actually, my wording is poor. I have no *positive* motivation for the project. The motivation I do have is that it can negatively affect my grade, but this consequence doesn't seem to be enough. It has been enough for structured classes, oddly enough.

As for just facing that shit, I already mentioned this simply doesn't happen for me. I can tell myself to do this, say I will do it, make a schedule, etc, and I have done all these things. What I say and what happens is very different. This has been the case for over a decade, and it is not changing. Saying "just do it" doesn't work. If you know some secret to making something that you aren't that interested in fun, please let me know. If it is fun, then motivation will become a non-issue.

IDDQD added 1 Minutes and 25 Seconds later...

Quote:
Originally Posted by no eff eks View Post
Personally I do not believe amphetamine should be used as a study aid for almost anyone without a condition which impairs their ability to concentrate/learn normally. The average healthy adult will experience improved concentration/memory formation/memory recall from an amphetamine based drug like adderall, this isn't something unique to people with ADD or atypical depression. This is only an issue because the drug is extremely addictive and causes changes in behavior/thinking over time which are imperceptible to the user.

Will amphetamine help you academically... yeah, at least for a while. Preventing a useful drug from becoming a debilitating addiction and cause of paranoia, anxiety, and psychosis is something few people are capable of on their own. Handle with care imo...
Thanks. I will need to discuss this carefully with my psychiatrist, if I even get to the point of requesting the drug again. I certainly don't want to damage myself long-term, nor take a significant chance of that.

Last edited by IDDQD; 26-03-2012 at 06:11. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #28  
Old 26-03-2012, 06:15
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Re: Adderall for academia

IDDQD - Have you ever considered trying to find something to do with your life that you actually do find motivating? I know that sounds obvious, but from your posts here it sounds like you feel resigned to pursuing a career that doesn't sound very mentally stimulating for you. We all have something that interests us, it's up to you whether you recognize and/or pursue your true passions in life. I doubt using speed to push yourself through training for a subject you aren't excited about is going to end well for you...
  #29  
Old 26-03-2012, 06:27
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Re: Adderall for academia

Quote:
Originally Posted by no eff eks View Post
IDDQD - Have you ever considered trying to find something to do with your life that you actually do find motivating? I know that sounds obvious, but from your posts here it sounds like you feel resigned to pursuing a career that doesn't sound very mentally stimulating for you. We all have something that interests us, it's up to you whether you recognize and/or pursue your true passions in life. I doubt using speed to push yourself through training for a subject you aren't excited about is going to end well for you...
There are many people that simply have no calling that has a career path. I find challenging myself with a wide range of topics to be fun, and I have short bursts of motivation for that purpose. There is no career with such a description, as it doesn't really produce anything of use. I also enjoy studying both contemporary and past geniuses of the math, physics, and computer fields. I could write biographies on them, I suppose, but I don't fancy myself a writer.

I'm 25 years old, which is, while not particularly old, too old to bounce around from career to career trying to find a calling that has eluded me for a decade.

Most people hate their work, or so I am told. I don't hate my job, I just don't care either way. I am also good at it. I am prepared to live such a life, because I can enjoy the vacations, weekends, and hours I am not working, of which there will be plenty. Life can be very enjoyable this way. Yes, it would be great if I loved my job, but I fear there is no such thing for me.
  #30  
Old 27-03-2012, 00:37
Megan288 Megan288 is offline
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Re: Adderall for academia

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischerokee View Post
Negative side effects are only encountered if you abuse the drug and if you don't have a strong control over yourself.
That is not true. Even the side effects sheet says that's wrong. There is a whole list of adverse effects that happen at prescribed doses during a clinical study of only 3-4 weeks.

I also hope you're not saying that I abused the drug, since I had adverse reactions. I guess you skipped over this part in your head but, I had bad reactions to it on a 20 mg dose, and probably would have on the 10 mg dose if I had taken it longer than a month. I also started taking 20 mg ir in the evening bc my dr prescribed it to me. I didn't ask for it, but he gave it to me on top of the xr. That is where I experienced the craziest side effects for only a few months. That was a prescribed dose, though. That has nothing to do with the original poster but, I'm saying sometimes it's not the patients fault and it needs to be more controlled and people need to be more informed before they chose to take the meds.

Megan288 added 3 Minutes and 7 Seconds later...

Because most people don't get on an internet forum, and they don't understand the meaning of "abuse" unless it's applied to something they've seen on the news. They definitely don't think they can form a dependency much less an addiction.

Megan288 added 6 Minutes and 10 Seconds later...

Also, Chris, YOU know how it's supposed to work. You're a pharmacy student. You shouldn't get mad at the majority of people who have no clue what a side effect is other than what they've read on the side of an tylenol bottle. I hope you don't hold that grudge against people when you are a pharmacist. Adderal does weird things to otherwise healthy, not devient people. It's a strong drug and there are people who don't know how to handle it, knowing absolutely nothing about drugs in the first place.

Megan288 added 124 Minutes and 38 Seconds later...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stepin Fetchit View Post
Well first, if you don't have ADD, then you don't need it, and if you are misdiagnosed (or you stupidly diagnose yourself like many do) you are supposed to stop taking it if it makes you feel bad. This is not a drug that you become hopelessly chemically and psychologically addicted to after taking it a few times.
Sometimes people don’t understand their side effects. The full list of side effects aren’t easy ones... especially the psychosis side effects.

I definitely don’t think that Adderall’s reputation is worse than the drug. There are lots of people who can’t handle adderall, or their kids can’t handle Adderall and they go off of it right away. Also, the vast majority of peoples’ actual side effects aren’t reported to companies or the FDA.

Once I was babysitting a kid and he actually got an ax out of a place underneath his house. I seriously had to calmly pry it from his hands as his sister watched (he just thought it was a cool toy and was making a fort but it was unlike him). He then got in a huge fight with his sister and I had to call his mom. Nothing I did could make him act right and he ended up running and hiding in a far corner of the house under a blanket. This was so not like him and when I called his mom she said he had just started adderall and heard the comedown could be really rough. This was extreme behavior and it’s an example of what it does to everyday people. I also had a roommate who’d been taking adderall since she was 13 (yes, she was beginning to do drugs) and she used to fight with her bf for hours on the phone in a monotone. I did this, not as much as her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stepin Fetchit View Post
Well, I'm sorry druggies, but if you go into the doctor's office will unethical intentions you can't blame the drug, the pharmaceutical companies, or lack of government oversight for problems that you created.

Many seem to talk as if they don't understand how Adderall can be used for anything BUT abuse, like it's some drug that the government regulators missed and there is nothing that can be done, or that there's some massive conspiracy to keep children on it.
[/QUOTE]

Druggies can’t blame govt oversight if they wanted to abuse it in the first place, I don’t know why someone would blame govt in that situations. But, for people who know nothing about drugs, it is not controlled enough. The warnings and information come inconveniently late too many times. Given the problems people have with adderall and the fact that it’s a type II controlled drug, I think the government has definitely missed something. They don’t require dr.’s to pass out an information sheet with the prescription at the appointment. That is what is recommended, but not required.
.... people with ADD need things in black and white...

Post Quality Evaluations:
important point about the negative aspects of theraputic use of stimulants

Last edited by Megan288; 27-03-2012 at 00:37. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #31  
Old 27-03-2012, 00:37
staples Gold member staples is offline
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Re: Adderall for academia

There certainly are long-term studies on the effects of mixed amphetamine salts, particularly on children with AD(H)D, but there was at least one in progress (referenced from another paper, is how I am aware of it, specifically) that should be published by now, a 2-year long study of the use of mixed amphetamine salts in adults with AD(H)D.

There are also post-market studies, meta-analyses, case reports, and indeed studies with funding that does not present a conflict of interest.

Yeah, the prescribing information lists various potential adverse reactions to Adderall, including new or worse behavior or thought patterns, which seem to be the bulk of Megan's complaints in this thread. The only issue I have with the way she has talked about her own experience is that she practically promises it upon the OP! This is still just a potential adverse reaction and nobody should expect for it to occur without any predisposing factors such as a family history of mental health issues, and even that's not a guarantee.

You know what else the prescribing information says? It says you can report side effects directly to the FDA and gives you a phone number!

If you brought up these concerns with your doctor and s/he continues to prescribe Adderall, even increasing your dose, you should probably look for another doctor and possibly a lawyer. Doctor's certainly can be influenced by big pharma, I'm not contesting that, but they are still bound by the code of federal regulations, not to mention that there is a growing effort among physicians and medical institutes to prevent the influence of pharmaceutical marketing on medical practice and indeed several institutes have outright banned it within their own facilities.

My fiance would be a good example of the polar opposite of Megan; she was on AD(H)D medications from when she was in elementary school, most recently on Adderall for, geeze, probably 6 years or so. In the last couple years she would often just forget to take them, or she'd lose a prescription (or wait until it is no longer valid) before taking it to the pharmacy and it wouldn't really be a big problem for her (or, at least when she wasn't in classes, particularly certain subjects); there was no discernible addiction, it might as well have been a placebo! By now, I think she has formed good habits and reaped the long-term beneficial behavioral changes of daily amphetamine treatment--she just sort of stopped seeing her doctor and no longer takes anything. Still, neither I nor she would insist to anybody that Adderall is going to be harmless or even effective for another individual, that would be ridiculous, it really needs to be properly assessed by a therapist, and diagnosed by a psychiatrist, and if there's enough evidence to suspect pharmacological treatment is necessary, then the psychiatrist should use his/her best discretion regarding which treatment option would be the best first line of defense for the particular patient.

The bottom line is: if you and your doctor agree that your quality of life is impacted by symptoms that are consistent with AD(H)D and cannot be accounted for by any other mental disorder, substance abuse, side effects to current medications (prescription or not), or any other medical condition. Then you should discuss treatment options, which, for AD(H)D, should at least initially include cognitive-behavioral therapy possibly before (but not imperatively) pharmacological therapy. Make sure to voice any concerns if you find your treatment to have some/any of the negative effects that Megan has been talking about (or others described in the prescribing information), and if you feel that your doctor is making an inappropriate medical decision (even if you clearly ask about other options), then, as I said, seek a second opinion and possibly legal advice (depending on the extent to which the doctor's decisions can be reasonably justified by the doctor based on accepted medical practice).

Also, the NIMH is a governmental organization, whose funding is ultimately decided by their submitted budget to the House and Senate appropriation committees. The NIMH is mostly publicly-funded and required to disclose any private funding.

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  #32  
Old 27-03-2012, 04:47
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Re: Adderall for academia

chris..... Long term use of amphetamine causes addiction, whether you are taking it as prescribed or not. Read that again if you have to because it's important. That's the reality of this and any other drug that floods your synapses with dopamine. Over time you will become an addict.

I can honestly say I understand the chemistry of drugs like adderall as well as being all too familiar with the abuse perspective... That perspective makes me cringe when I see somebody suggesting a seemingly severely depressed individual like OP turn to speed as a solution. You'll understand at some point I'm sure...
  #33  
Old 27-03-2012, 08:59
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Re: Adderall for academia

"If you are going to do what you want anyway, then why even ask?"

I haven't taken any action. I will do what I want, but I haven't decided what that is yet. I see too many arguments from both sides of the fence in my own mind. I believe it is best that I talk to my psychiatrist, who is quite a level headed guy, and see what his take on my predicament and current outlook on life is. Yes, it was not that productive for me to ask on a forum. At least it looks like some interesting discussion has been generated, so the thread is not a complete waste.

I thank everyone for giving their opinions.

Cheers!
  #34  
Old 29-03-2012, 23:17
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Re: Adderall for academia

So does anyone have any further thoughts on the long term use of amphetamines to aid academic work? That was frankly a much more interesting topic than the slanging match this thread has descended into.

I realize that emotions can run high on certain subjects, especially when there is a difference of opinion, but let's be mature about this and not resort to unnecessary personal attacks please.
  #35  
Old 30-03-2012, 08:12
Urgez Urgez is offline
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Re: Adderall for academia

ive been using adderall for diagnosed ADHD for ~2 years now, at times abusing and other times as prescribed. IME, adderall use in academia and art is often an unfortunate but necessary* evil for some. it is hard to deny that often times, the greatest discoveries or efforts are accomplished outside of one's normal responsibilities in school or in the professional world. this is obviously because most people get paid to a) do what others tell them to do, or b) maintain operational "status-quo".

you want to be an innovator? great, do it on your own time: no one wants an innovation that isn't proven to work, and no one wants the innovating process to happen on THEIR time. therefore, only the truly dedicated are spending evenings and weekends putting in the necessary research to further their goals. this is not an easy sacrifice for most people, myself included. ask someone why they don't exercise? "i don't have time to go to the gym." ask someone why they order in every night? "i dont have time to cook". the simple argument here is that there is time for ANYTHING as long as it is prioritized in one's life. priority, in turn, comes from desire and motivation.

well, along comes a pill that provides artificial desire, motivation AND time- the fundamental ingredients for innovation. seemingly, adderall has become a miracle solution for the "bright but lazy" demographic. what the average user/abuser doesn't realize, however, is that they are jumping from everyday caffeinated intoxication to what is substantially a schedule II narcotic. adderall = pharmaceutical speed, there is no argument on the planet to change this. as such, it carries with it the risk of addiction, which IME&O is *much higher for those in academia and art*.

it's one thing to use adderall to do your homework or cram for an exam. it's another thing ENTIRELY to have it fuel the pursuit of your dreams...

Last edited by Urgez; 30-03-2012 at 08:16. Reason: typos & clarity
  #36  
Old 30-03-2012, 09:05
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Re: Adderall for academia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urgez View Post
no one wants an innovation that isn't proven to work, and no one wants the innovating process to happen on THEIR time.
Interesting point, but not entirely true: most of my time this year has been spent in research and development in order to develop an innovative solution for my employer, for example.

Using adderall to gain the 'extra time' you talk about in order to innovate won't necessarily turn into something useful. Without the guidance of people who understand business and/or consumer trends, it's going to be unsuccessful more often than not (ever see commercials offering lawyers to help you obtain a patent? the announcer quickly utters a disclaimer that most inventions are not successful and the inventors do not end up making a profit). I would suspect that feelings of grandeur--a known side effect to amphetamine use--probably play a large role in motivating the effort of pursuing an ultimately unsuccessful product.

So from this perspective, with such low frequency of success, I don't know if you can really justify adderall as a necessary evil. Usually, a good enough business plan will attract investors, giving the innovator the appropriate capitol to spend time on their idea... Using amphetamines for this purpose seems like an ignorant attempt at innovation from the get-go. If it isn't, then it should be easy to show that "the greatest discoveries or efforts" that are accomplished "outside of one's normal responsibilities in school or in the professional world" are also accomplished thanks to powerful psychostimulants that gave the innovator(s) the extra time they needed.

Out of curiosity, do you have any personal knowledge or experiences of success stories where the innovator had to use a psychostimulant? I'm not asking you to be specific (unless you don't mind), just curious if this indeed works out for certain people, or perhaps within a certain field.
  #37  
Old 30-03-2012, 10:12
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Re: Adderall for academia

Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
Out of curiosity, do you have any personal knowledge or experiences of success stories where the innovator had to use a psychostimulant? I'm not asking you to be specific (unless you don't mind), just curious if this indeed works out for certain people, or perhaps within a certain field.

Paul Erdős.

Specifically: After 1971 he [Erdős] also took amphetamines, despite the concern of his friends, one of whom (Ron Graham) bet him $500 that he could not stop taking the drug for a month.[13] Erdős won the bet, but complained that during his abstinence mathematics had been set back by a month: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper." After he won the bet, he promptly resumed his amphetamine use.*

*From the Wikipedia article on Paul Erdős, which this forum does not let me link to.

IDDQD added 2 Minutes and 46 Seconds later...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urgez View Post
... which IME&O is *much higher for those in academia and art*.
How did you come to this conclusion?

Last edited by IDDQD; 30-03-2012 at 10:12. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
  #38  
Old 30-03-2012, 12:24
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Re: Adderall for academia

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDQD View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by staples View Post
Out of curiosity, do you have any personal knowledge or experiences of success stories where the innovator had to use a psychostimulant? I'm not asking you to be specific (unless you don't mind), just curious if this indeed works out for certain people, or perhaps within a certain field.
Paul Erdős.

Specifically: After 1971 he [Erdős] also took amphetamines, despite the concern of his friends, one of whom (Ron Graham) bet him $500 that he could not stop taking the drug for a month.[13] Erdős won the bet, but complained that during his abstinence mathematics had been set back by a month: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper." After he won the bet, he promptly resumed his amphetamine use.*
From what I can find on him, most of his impressive contributions were made before amphetamine use. Furthermore, nothing about him suggests that amphetamine use was a particularly important factor in his contributions, but more specifically, nothing suggests he needed to use amphetamines in the way that Urgez suggested innovators often need to use amphetamines; that is, he did not use out of the need to work on his theories on his own time (in fact, most works were co-authored--not to belittle his contributions, just to demonstrate that he was not in any situation similar to what Urgez described).
  #39  
Old 30-03-2012, 17:55
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Re: Adderall for academia

A quick google scholar search brings up 299 papers written from 1971 that were authored or co-authored by him. He had a hand in over 1,000, but Google Scholar only shows 415 in Mathematics (anything outside of Mathematics is probably confused with a different Erdős). I don't know what his greatest contributions are off the top of my head, but judging by the number of citations, he made many significant contributions post-1970. If I recall correctly, a mathematics paper gets cited 2-3~ times per decade on average (I'll try to get the source for this shortly). Many of his 1971+ contributions have hundreds of citations.*

Secondly, based on the anecdote (and remember, it is just that...), he is claimed to have stated: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper." This at least suggests it was having a significant effect on his creative capacity.

*There's a lot that I am not considering which you should be made aware of. First, I am not sure how many papers he is directly responsible for vs. how many he co-authored. Second, citations can be a bit deceptive: famous people get cited more, regardless of the quality of their work. Third, people sometimes cite their own previous work to boost citation counts. I am not sure if Erdős did this.
  #40  
Old 30-03-2012, 19:13
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Re: Adderall for academia

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDQD View Post
Paul Erdős.

Specifically: After 1971 he [Erdős] also took amphetamines, despite the concern of his friends, one of whom (Ron Graham) bet him $500 that he could not stop taking the drug for a month.[13] Erdős won the bet, but complained that during his abstinence mathematics had been set back by a month: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper." After he won the bet, he promptly resumed his amphetamine use.*

*From the Wikipedia article on Paul Erdős, which this forum does not let me link to.

IDDQD added 2 Minutes and 46 Seconds later...



How did you come to this conclusion?
i come to that conclusion based on what i know regarding the effects of amphetamine and from personal experience. i have several friends that have abused adderall on and off going back almost a decade and the one thing that seems pretty clear to me: those that used it simply as a study aid have avoided a daily use pattern or have developed much more self-control than the others with life-long artistic, entrepreneurial, or scientific ambitions. IMO, the reason is fairly obvious: these types of pursuits have no ceiling, so to speak. the effect that is intesified in these cases, which i have admittedly experienced myself, is not only the chemical reward for simply having the goal but the *clarity of direction required to ultimately achieve the goal*.

the later of these effects is something any adderall user can relate to- the uncanny ability to suddenly bring organization to one's life, priorities, and THEN all the little things that have been procrastinated to irrelevance . most people enjoy such productiveness, but ultimately they value something about their lifestyle that the drug masks or interferes with (sleep, health, financials, etc). they are prioritizing these things in a conscious manner, but more substantially in an ingrained behavioral way. would you deny that there are some people that content with "mediocrity".. and others who will sacrifice love and life to chase an idea to the bitter end?

id call your attention back to my post where i specify that it is "an unfortunate but necessary* evil for some". in my own case, i believe this is true in the context that once i realized the creative potential that could be unlocked, much like Erdős, working without the drug was equivalent to the blank piece of paper he spoke of. yes, you could argue that he brought this upon himself, but ramifications aside he likely experienced an opening of the mental floodgate: a feeling of grandeur is only as grand as the well justified belief that it is *possible*, that with certain logical steps in the right direction this idea could be realized.

of course i can't ignore the mania, obsession, tunnel vision, and eventual depression that accompanies chasing the high- because that's essentially what this boils down to.

i appreciate the well thought out discussion, thanks for the replies!
  #41  
Old 02-04-2012, 18:53
staples Gold member staples is offline
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Re: Adderall for academia

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDQD View Post
A quick google scholar search brings up 299 papers written from 1971 that were authored or co-authored by him. He had a hand in over 1,000, but Google Scholar only shows 415 in Mathematics (anything outside of Mathematics is probably confused with a different Erdős). I don't know what his greatest contributions are off the top of my head, but judging by the number of citations, he made many significant contributions post-1970.
81 of those papers were published after he died--publication takes some time. He was also known to continue work on ideas he had started earlier in his life--it looks to me like most of his work likely done on amphetamine is related to graph theory, which makes sense considering that psychostimulants can improve capacity of working memory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDQD View Post
Secondly, based on the anecdote (and remember, it is just that...), he is claimed to have stated: "Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper." This at least suggests it was having a significant effect on his creative capacity.
It does not suggest that at all! He stated this after 8 years of amphetamine use plus a month of withdrawal and he's referring to how he felt during his period of withdrawal! Considering his medical problems near the end of his life (he lost consciousness during several events, and, surprise surprise, suffered a couple major heart attacks--the last one killed him), it's very likely he took uncontrolled, and possibly obscene doses. Even if his use didn't cause significant structural damage (however, if I had to guess, I'd say it probably did, but that's purely conjecture of course), the extent of neural damage and receptor down-regulation not to mention psychological dependence could account for his observation and it says absolutely nothing about his creative capacity before amphetamine use or in the hypothetical situation where he never even started using amphetamines.

But again, this seems distinctly different form the situations under which Urgez is arguing amphetamine use may be a "necessary evil".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urgez View Post
a feeling of grandeur is only as grand as the well justified belief that it is *possible*, that with certain logical steps in the right direction this idea could be realized.
This assessment is unsubstantiated, and inconsequential--if feelings of grandeur were to arise from the conception of the idea combined with the planned intermediate logical steps, then that would be one thing, but they are induced by amphetamine in people using it to come up with or implement a novel idea as well as those using it for recreation and it is unrelated to the belief that a novel idea can be realized, and, again, can make even unrealistic ideas seem realistic (and I would still expect that this happens more often than not when amphetamines are used in the way you describe).
  #42  
Old 03-04-2012, 07:10
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Re: Adderall for academia

The philosopher Jacques Derrida, father of deconstruction, abused amphetamines while in graduate school... while swim is sure it has plenty of performance enhancing attributes for intellectual work, Derrida ended up having a nervous breakdown or something, course he was popping barbiturates as well to sleep. Of course, swim finds nightly sleep necessary to maintain the intellectual performance enhancement.

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