View Full Version : Is Medication Really the Only Way?


yoursupergirl
11-16-11, 04:08 PM
So I've been diagnosed with ADHD-I for a relatively short amount of time (since April/May 2011) and so far the only medication I've tried is Vyvance. I was basically ambushed by my mother and dragged into the clinic, diagnosed, and then told to take the damn medicine because that's what diagnosing is, which my mother tactfully failed to tell me. But anyways.

So I've been taking 40mg of Vyvance for like 6 months. Even with this relatively small amount, I've experienced rampant side effects (lost almost 20 lbs in 5-6 months, extreme loss of appetite, dry mouth, etc.) but most of these are no longer a problem. I don't really worry that much about them, I'm still a relatively healthy weight, etc.

My problem?

I've actually noticed that when I take ADHD medication, there's a big but not-so-positive difference in my behavior.

For example.

1. My general social tendencies --- When I'm off the meds, people seem to enjoy being around me. They like to hear my stories, they don't really mind the shortcomings that come with the ADHD. It feels natural. When I'm on the meds? They say that they prefer me off the meds because they miss what is authentically "me" about me.
2. My schoolwork --- Although my ADHD meds help me stay focused on one thing at a time, it's even harder to get to doing that thing in the first place because boring tasks are even more boring-looking. When I'm off, I can read books with ease like I always used to and generally do my work once I've forced myself to sit down and do them. Not so with meds.
3. My overall outlook on my future & life --- Life sucks on ADHD meds. I look at everything I have to do and feel helpless and lost because it all seems so much bigger when I'm on the stimulants. Everything seems too hard. When I'm off, however, I feel like I can really do it and get my act together and enjoy my future. Things are joyless on the meds.

My mom wants me to take the meds through high school, but to be honest, they're just making everything worse and seem pointless. I know that people are just going to tell me to switch meds, but to be honest, I don't think other meds will help, and I just know that having to adjust to new meds at such a crucial time in my education is a really dumb idea. I'm graduating high school in less than a year, and somehow, despite the meds, I'm still on the right track for the most part.

My questions is: have any of you found ways to manage yourselves without medication? And have any of you had similar experiences of being ambushed by your parents to take medication?

pechemignonne
11-16-11, 05:15 PM
So I've been diagnosed with ADHD-I for a relatively short amount of time (since April/May 2011) and so far the only medication I've tried is Vyvance. I was basically ambushed by my mother and dragged into the clinic, diagnosed, and then told to take the damn medicine because that's what diagnosing is, which my mother tactfully failed to tell me. But anyways.
That is not cool.

And she is wrong, that is not what diagnosing is. Diagnosing is finding out why you have the problems you are having. Then you decide on a course of treatment, which may or may not include medication.

A few things:

First, I'm not sure I understand how you were diagnosed. From what you describe, you went into a clinic and someone diagnosed you on the spot? If that's what happened, you may not have gotten a thorough and accurate diagnosis. Generally speaking, diagnosing ADHD takes more than one short meeting. Could you describe the diagnosing process in more detail? What kind of symptoms did you have, and what kind of questions did they ask?

Two: The medication you are taking should be having the opposite effect than the effect that you describe. It should make social situations, homework, and other things easier, not harder. So you may just be on the wrong medication.

Three: Is medication the only treatment you are getting for your ADHD? Did you see a counsellor, or an education specialist or anything?

Have your grades improved? Are there any other indications that the meds are working that justify you continuing to take it despite not feeling like it is helping you at all?

Yes, there are a lot of non-medicinal things you can do that might help alleviate your symptoms to some degree. There are also lots of other medications.

It seems like there are other things about your situation that are more questionable than the issue of whether you can go without meds, though.

RedHairedWitch
11-16-11, 11:00 PM
NO medication is not the ONLY way to manage ADHD. But for most folks it is the most effective, when the meds are working right.

Some people have to try different meds at different doses to find the right one. It's rare to get it right the first time.

Because you are young and not an old dog learning new tricks, you should be in therapy (such as CBT) to help you learn about ADHD and find effective coping strategies. You should be learning these things NOW.

You should also have some accommodations at school to help you learn.

You should be eating healthy ad sleeping well and not be a couch potato (I know, that's tough)

And you and your family should be learning about ADHD.

Here are some informative videos. See if oyu and your Mom can watch some of them together.

http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html

Unmanagable
11-16-11, 11:17 PM
This could be the condensed pocket guide for an introduction to ADHD for teens and parents. :) The link you provided looks like an amazing resource. Thank you for sharing!!



NO medication is not the ONLY way to manage ADHD. But for most folks it is the most effective, when the meds are working right.

Some people have to try different meds at different doses to find the right one. It's rare to get it right the first time.

Because you are young and not an old dog learning new tricks, you should be in therapy (such as CBT) to help you learn about ADHD and find effective coping strategies. You should be learning these things NOW.

You should also have some accommodations at school to help you learn.

You should be eating healthy ad sleeping well and not be a couch potato (I know, that's tough)

And you and your family should be learning about ADHD.

Here are some informative videos. See if oyu and your Mom can watch some of them together.

http://www.caddac.ca/cms/video/teens_adults_player.html

bree
11-17-11, 04:13 AM
can you just take it when you need it ie to study?

bree
11-17-11, 04:15 AM
But yousupergirl I totally agree with you thread stater and red haired witch its kinda a catch 22 isnt it

Massari
11-22-11, 03:54 PM
That is not cool.

And she is wrong, that is not what diagnosing is. Diagnosing is finding out why you have the problems you are having. Then you decide on a course of treatment, which may or may not include medication.

And who cares more about the OP? The op`s parents or pecheminione from addforums.com? Everybody is right on this forum lol it`s so funny. No guilty men in Shawshank.

; \

To the OP. DO what your parents tell you because they know better than anyone else and even if they don`t, they want your good. Also, Vyvanse is already a crappy drug, so if you apply negative placebo to it it will be even crappier. Try to take your medication and think about something else. If you think about how crappy it is, you`ll feel crappy I guarantee you. Vyvanse is an amphetamine (simply put) so whatever you do, you`ll do it with more interest. If you have fun, you`ll have fun with more interest, if you study you`ll study with more interest but if you get mad, you`ll get mad with more interest as well.

Laurelgardner
11-22-11, 09:08 PM
And who cares more about the OP? The op`s parents or pecheminione from addforums.com? Everybody is right on this forum lol it`s so funny. No guilty men in Shawshank.

; \

To the OP. DO what your parents tell you because they know better than anyone else and even if they don`t, they want your good. Also, Vyvanse is already a crappy drug, so if you apply negative placebo to it it will be even crappier. Try to take your medication and think about something else. If you think about how crappy it is, you`ll feel crappy I guarantee you. Vyvanse is an amphetamine (simply put) so whatever you do, you`ll do it with more interest. If you have fun, you`ll have fun with more interest, if you study you`ll study with more interest but if you get mad, you`ll get mad with more interest as well.

Um...what?

A) It's not a matter of who cares more, but a matter of who's informed. I think it's quite possible that people here may be more informed about this stuff than the OP's parents. A lot of parents, and a lot of people in general, don't really get how medication works and the fact that if the patient isn't happy with the effects, they ultimately aren't good.

Also, the fact that the OP posted because she's clearly unaware that there ARE treatment options available besides/in addition to drugs tells me that she's, frankly, not getting good help, here.

B) Everybody's reactions to drugs are unique. Vyvanse is perfectly lovely for me, but clearly not so for the OP and her input MATTERS. I don't really know what you're on about with the "more interest" thing...that's not how stimulants work on the ADD brain. Stimulants kick up brain activity in general, which kicks up the areas in the prefrontal cortex that are underactive for us, areas that assist in impulse control and executive function.

But why on earth would you advise her to stay on a drug that you think is "crappy"? For heaven's sake...

Also, to the OP...40 mg may be too much for you. I'm on 30, myself, and I wouldn't want to go any higher. Or, perhaps, you simply need to try a different med.

PharmD2013
11-22-11, 10:33 PM
First of all, how old are you?

It sounds to me like ADHD is not really the problem. Your mom probably just spoke for you at the clinic as if she assumed you had ADHD, is that correct?

Taking stimulant medication will not make you interested in something you are not truly interested in, but it will make it tolerable enough that you can power through it and not feel that it was a complete waste of time.

To me, it doesn't sound like your Vyvanse is working for you in the ways that it should. I would suggest trying a shorter duration stimulant to study on, and then it will wear off by the time you hang out with your friends.

You sound like you are capable enough that you don't require an entire day's worth of dose. Good luck

Massari
11-24-11, 02:37 AM
I don't really know what you're on about with the "more interest" thing...that's not how stimulants work on the ADD brain. Stimulants kick up brain activity in general, which kicks up the areas in the prefrontal cortex that are underactive for us, areas that assist in impulse control and executive function.

No. Caffeine kicks up brain activity in general. Amphetamines make you focused and more interested in whatever you're doing. Why do you give me chemistry lessons, don't you have the ability to read my profile?


A) It's not a matter of who cares more, but a matter of who's informed. I think it's quite possible that people here may be more informed about this stuff than the OP's parents. A lot of parents, and a lot of people in general, don't really get how medication works and the fact that if the patient isn't happy with the effects, they ultimately aren't good.

She's a minor. Turning a minor against her parents is bad weather you're wrong or right. If you think the parents are wrong, talk to them instead ok? And when I see pecheminionne saying her mother is wrong I get a chill down my spine because out of the 100s of posts I read from her, only few were actually right so she's like, the last person on Earth to say someone is wrong with such unjustified certainty.

Also, to the OP...40 mg may be too much for you. I'm on 30, myself, and I wouldn't want to go any higher. Or, perhaps, you simply need to try a different med.

Ok doctor.

Massari
11-24-11, 02:49 AM
You want my real opinion? I think she doesn't need any medication because she's better off without it. I think she doesn't have ADHD at all but hey, guess what: I'm not a doctor and what I believe doesn't matter right?

Who are any of us, to go against the advice of a doctor AND her parents?

KronarTheBlack
11-24-11, 05:54 AM
To the OP. DO what your parents tell you because they know better than anyone else and even if they don`t, they want your good. Also, Vyvanse is already a crappy drug, so if you apply negative placebo to it it will be even crappier. Try to take your medication and think about something else. If you think about how crappy it is, you`ll feel crappy I guarantee you. Vyvanse is an amphetamine (simply put) so whatever you do, you`ll do it with more interest. If you have fun, you`ll have fun with more interest, if you study you`ll study with more interest but if you get mad, you`ll get mad with more interest as well.

Parents are usually the stupidest Mutherfokkers when it comes to doing what's best for their children with ADHD. They do not have a clue and they usually just live in denial.

and Massari Vyvanse is just a terrible drug for you. It is a good drug for lots of people including myself.

If you feel that your parents are wrong in the way THEY want to treat YOUR ADHD then you have to do something about it. Write them an letter if its easier than talking to them about it. Bottom line is its YOUR brain so do some research and convince your parents to do what you want in a nice way.

KronarTheBlack
11-24-11, 05:55 AM
You want my real opinion? I think she doesn't need any medication because she's better off without it. I think she doesn't have ADHD at all but hey, guess what: I'm not a doctor and what I believe doesn't matter right?

Who are any of us, to go against the advice of a doctor AND her parents?

I actually agree with you that in my opinion the OP does not have ADHD because of the effects the meds are having on her and what she said about not needing the meds anyways.