View Full Version : how can i deal with ADD without meds?


yepimonfire
03-07-12, 10:59 PM
long post but please read.

my biggest problem is making stupid mistakes, not being able to concentrate, not being able to remember things, and possible SCT. the only thing the adderall really helps me with are those three things, however, even with the adderall i still have terrible hyperfocus, procrastination, and its hard for me to get motivated. the meds seemed to be making a giant difference the first month i was on them but now not so much, in fact, there are other things it is doing that i DON'T like, like flattening out my personality, making anxiety worse (potentially) hampering my bodybuilding goals (can't explain this one, i just have less endurance on it and it is potentially messing with hormone levels), ruining my libido and all sorts of nasty stuff, on top of that i now have to use caffeine along side adderall or it isn't very effective. i may have ADD, but i still feel like a druggy on this stuff and its making me into a different person.

any advice on managing this without the adderall? procrastination, hyperfocus etc can all be handled with strict behavior modification (because i've done it before) but the cognitive problems can't. i am a college student and i have to be able to concentrate, remember things and think. also what makes me even more upset is that lately i just got a new job, and i know i would have sucked in the interview without the adderall, every job interview i have been to they usually ask a bunch of questions and i always get stuck and can't come up with good answers, despite them being ridiculously simple questions. for once i actually came up with intelligent answers. my social interactions have also been significantly more "normal", i always have ended up making things awkward, (or at least thats how i felt about it) because of the ADD.

basically i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, i don't know what to do or how to do it and it sucks.

cyonce
03-08-12, 04:40 AM
There are definitely strategies that help although personally I haven't found them effective enough to lead the kind of life I want to have.

Some of them are:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (you'd have to do some research on this, its too complicated to explain in a post and can require outside help)

Adequate Diet Eating well, regular meals and good quality food help, I've found for myself I do better on a low-carb diet.

Exercise Regular exercise definitely helps althogh from the weight lifting comment I'm guessing you do exercise.

Meditation The time in my life before I was most successful was when I was meditating regularly. It's definitely harder for someone with ADHD to still their mind but having a mantra or something else to focus on helps a lot

ADHD Coaching Havent tried this myself but I imagine it's expensive though.

There are also supplements some people have found that help with ADHD.

A few of them are:
Zinc
Fish Oil
l-tyrosine

Zinc and Fish oil I've been taking for a while and may have helped me some, its hard to tell. I didn't try l-tyrosine until after I'd started medication and they didn't mix well for me.

A question about the meds though:

Have you tried any other ADHD medications other than adderall?

Sometimes people have better experiences with a different med.

If you're uncomfortable with taking stimulants there are other non-stimulant choices.

sarahsweets
03-08-12, 06:57 AM
Have you tried anything other than adderall?

yepimonfire
03-08-12, 11:11 AM
Have you tried anything other than adderall?

yup. adderall was the only one that was actually effective.

Hyperman87
03-08-12, 04:18 PM
Tried Ritalin, Dexedrine, Vyvanse, Strattera, Wellbutrin and Adderall nothing worked. Whoa that is unusual normally something works unless it's ether (Not ADHD or there is a co-morbid disorder like Depression or Anxiety) like I have and if that's the case then you'd need additional Medications or therapy. In my case (ADHD with Anxiety)I needed both.

yepimonfire
03-08-12, 05:45 PM
Tried Ritalin, Dexedrine, Vyvanse, Strattera, Wellbutrin and Adderall nothing worked. Whoa that is unusual normally something works unless it's ether (Not ADHD or there is a co-morbid disorder like Depression or Anxiety) like I have and if that's the case then you'd need additional Medications or therapy. In my case (ADHD with Anxiety)I needed both.

havent tried vyvanse strattera or wellbutrin. i have tried dex a long time ago and vyvanse is basically a long acting dex. and yes, something does work, its called adderall but i hate what it does to my mind and body in the long run.

yes, i do suffer from depression as well, but there are reasons for me not going on anti-depressants, once again i hate what they do to me regardless of the benefits, and i feel like i am able to manage my depression by re-training my thought patters well enough. anxiety as well but that comes and goes. i refuse to be drugged up on sedatives for it.

Hyperman87
03-08-12, 06:45 PM
Okay Well Very good points makes sense to me. :) Oh Btw I didn't wanta try benzo's ether but I think I was gonna get locked down on a psych ward if I didn't.That's how bad my anxiety is. It's not like I'm screaming about how great meds are but sometimes there the only option.

Electra2
03-08-12, 07:05 PM
I am on ritalin and I have now tried one day allmost completly without it (I only took one pill of it today) and ...
stuff doesnt get executed and all the ideas stay in the head,
and I get distracted,feel out of controll.
(Im actually gonna write this down and write poetry or make some kind of art about it when I get in the executive mode on meds)
I tried capsuls and that did not work out,
it only gave me a lot of heartbeat,
but ritalin in pill-form works,
so there is a difference there too.
I am a vegeterian and that works pretty good,
spesially lot of fruits,
but i know,
your a bodybuilder and Im on a diet,so.

fracturedstory
03-09-12, 01:07 AM
Do you take any breaks? I usually don't take my meds when I exercise. I start of dreading it then I don't know when to stop.

gatorADDe
03-09-12, 01:38 AM
exercise is probably the best natural way. Also, getting into a career that REALLY interests you can help avoid the issues ADHD can have on your professional life. However, in most peoples cases this may not be possible.

OTC or other herbs I self medicated with:

Guarana capsules- a bit more invigorating than just caffeine in my opinion.

Pre-workout supplements- I used to work out with these, but i realized how much more focused I was after taking them and eventually just ended up taking them every morning for a lil while as a daily stimulant. A bit more expensive than jus caffeine pills, but i found them to be more effective for me. Some of the ingredients may upset your stomach but i never had a problem.

Caffeine pills- Look for the "anhydrous" forms. Typically this for is more beneficial than the caffeine in coffee. Probably safer than the pre workouts.

Coffee/tea/colas- Very mild. Never did much for me but some people say it helps them. Has calories too.

Vinpocetine/ Huperizine-A - These two are common in memory enhancing/focus enhancing supplements found in many health food stores. Specifically a product I've tried is called "focus formula." I think it helped a little with caffeine on top of it, but it doesn't compare to adderall for me.

Fish oil (omega fatty acids) - I dunno how this works for inattentiveness. For me, it doesn't at all. But it's good for your overall health which is why I take it and perhaps in hopes that it's actually doing something. I read it could be "levels of omega-3s in the plasma and red blood cells of children with ADHD are lower than in kids who don't have the disorder." <http: www.drweil.com="" drw="" u="" id="" qaa400011.=""> I guess it's worth taking.</http:>

Stressless37
03-09-12, 01:29 PM
How s your cardio routine? Do you do any high intensity intervals? Do you workout in the am? How about your diet with little or no refined carbs? Those three habits help me when I was not on meds.But I had to keep also the strength training current ,each month new routine.

yepimonfire
03-11-12, 10:57 AM
How s your cardio routine? Do you do any high intensity intervals? Do you workout in the am? How about your diet with little or no refined carbs? Those three habits help me when I was not on meds.But I had to keep also the strength training current ,each month new routine.

there is no reason for me to do cardio. i work a physically demanding job. i usually work out in the evening because i have more energy later in the day. im always dragging up until around 1-2pm. my diet is fine.

yepimonfire
03-11-12, 11:00 AM
I am on ritalin and I have now tried one day allmost completly without it (I only took one pill of it today) and ...
stuff doesnt get executed and all the ideas stay in the head,
and I get distracted,feel out of controll.

yep. thats what happens to me without meds. i plan all this great stuff i'm going to do tomorrow and then i never get it done.

EDIT: one reason i have been avoiding meds lately is because i am running a cycle of activate/triazole/DAA. activate contains l-dopa and i'm not entirely positive but isn't mixing l-dopa with things like adderall a bad idea?

Stressless37
03-11-12, 02:24 PM
long post but please read.

my biggest problem is making stupid mistakes, not being able to concentrate, not being able to remember things, and possible SCT. the only thing the adderall really helps me with are those three things, however, even with the adderall i still have terrible hyperfocus, procrastination, and its hard for me to get motivated. the meds seemed to be making a giant difference the first month i was on them but now not so much, in fact, there are other things it is doing that i DON'T like, like flattening out my personality, making anxiety worse (potentially) hampering my bodybuilding goals (can't explain this one, i just have less endurance on it and it is potentially messing with hormone levels), ruining my libido and all sorts of nasty stuff, on top of that i now have to use caffeine along side adderall or it isn't very effective. i may have ADD, but i still feel like a druggy on this stuff and its making me into a different person.

any advice on managing this without the adderall? procrastination, hyperfocus etc can all be handled with strict behavior modification (because i've done it before) but the cognitive problems can't. i am a college student and i have to be able to concentrate, remember things and think. also what makes me even more upset is that lately i just got a new job, and i know i would have sucked in the interview without the adderall, every job interview i have been to they usually ask a bunch of questions and i always get stuck and can't come up with good answers, despite them being ridiculously simple questions. for once i actually came up with intelligent answers. my social interactions have also been significantly more "normal", i always have ended up making things awkward, (or at least thats how i felt about it) because of the ADD.

basically i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, i don't know what to do or how to do it and it sucks.
Hi, me again, I read this again, plus your response to my comment on cardio exercise.
Thinking about what your wrote here as well:
"there is no reason for me to do cardio. i work a physically demanding job. i usually work out in the evening because i have more energy later in the day. im always dragging up until around 1-2pm. "
And what I have found myself that the early morning, 20 minutes of HIIT, (5min warm-up at medium speed, one minute fast, three minutes medium, one minute fast, three min. medium, one minute fast and five minutes medium cool down) (that's actually 19min, but it give a minute for adjusting :) )
Really gives me:
1. that second wind later in the day
2. Improved thinking clarity for hours
3. endurance for other heavy projects (a physically demanding job)
On non lifting days, it's ideal to do this twice in the same hour.
On lifting days, if time permits, only after strength training
Always making sure to drink plenty of water during/before/after.
I sort of view it as a defense against depression.
Yes, cardio has excellent physical health benefits, but for me I NEED it for the mental health benefits.
BTW, I found a regular, progressive strength training routine to improve reflexes outstandingly.
I notice when I don't adhere to a good routine, lots of things start to landslide and my ADD really tailspins.

Brob2
03-11-12, 03:10 PM
Yes, cardio has excellent physical health benefits, but for me I NEED it for the mental health benefits.
BTW, I found a regular, progressive strength training routine to improve reflexes outstandingly.
I notice when I don't adhere to a good routine, lots of things start to landslide and my ADD really tailspins.

I really really really like your whole post and encourage anyone who can to follow your suggestions.

:goodpost:

musiclvr2675
04-06-12, 04:47 PM
Hi, me again, I read this again, plus your response to my comment on cardio exercise.
Thinking about what your wrote here as well:
"there is no reason for me to do cardio. i work a physically demanding job. i usually work out in the evening because i have more energy later in the day. im always dragging up until around 1-2pm. "
And what I have found myself that the early morning, 20 minutes of HIIT, (5min warm-up at medium speed, one minute fast, three minutes medium, one minute fast, three min. medium, one minute fast and five minutes medium cool down) (that's actually 19min, but it give a minute for adjusting :) )
Really gives me:
1. that second wind later in the day
2. Improved thinking clarity for hours
3. endurance for other heavy projects (a physically demanding job)
On non lifting days, it's ideal to do this twice in the same hour.
On lifting days, if time permits, only after strength training
Always making sure to drink plenty of water during/before/after.
I sort of view it as a defense against depression.
Yes, cardio has excellent physical health benefits, but for me I NEED it for the mental health benefits.
BTW, I found a regular, progressive strength training routine to improve reflexes outstandingly.
I notice when I don't adhere to a good routine, lots of things start to landslide and my ADD really tailspins.

Would love to hear more about a good routine that works for you. How do you get the motivation going to do all this? I'm dragging ***** in the mornings, lucky to get up in time let alone fit in a workout but if it actually will help my mental clarity I'd like to find something that will work for me.

yepimonfire
04-26-12, 12:04 PM
Would love to hear more about a good routine that works for you. How do you get the motivation going to do all this? I'm dragging ***** in the mornings, lucky to get up in time let alone fit in a workout but if it actually will help my mental clarity I'd like to find something that will work for me.

just force myself to go. once i see the weights and get into the gym the testosterone takes over and i'm ready to tear sh*t up lol.

ana futura
04-26-12, 04:29 PM
I'm reading two books right now that are really helpful-
this one is really straight forward and has a lot of CBT type management strategies.
It's got a really ADD friendly layout and isn't filled with worthless case studies-

http://www.amazon.com/Succeeding-With-Adult-ADHD-Strategies/dp/1433811251/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1335472075&sr=1-1

And this book is about mindfulness meditation for ADHD. It's nice because a lot of mindfulness books are written for NT's- "take the time to smell the flowers, blah blah blah." The author recognizes that our problem is spending too much time smelling the flowers.

http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-Prescription-Adult-ADHD-Strengthening/dp/1590308476

ana futura
04-26-12, 04:37 PM
Regarding cardio- there is research that certain types of cardio are effective for treating ADHD. The excercise has to incorporate a repetitive movement, and your brain must be fully aware and engaged in the activity- like cycling, rowing, and cross country skiing.

Listening to an audio book while using a treadmill wouldn't be very effective, because your mind would be distracted and the task is too easy.

This is a great article-
http://www.bicycling.com/print/1034

Stressless37
04-26-12, 05:28 PM
Would love to hear more about a good routine that works for you. How do you get the motivation going to do all this? I'm dragging ***** in the mornings, lucky to get up in time let alone fit in a workout but if it actually will help my mental clarity I'd like to find something that will work for me.

Ideally, I have ALL the needed things ready the night before.
I have to get this stuff together before I am tired, or it won't happen.
This includes:
My sneakers
Car keys
Clothes- everything from underwear to socks
My headphones for music
Set my alarm clock on my cell phone
(sometimes I have to put it out of reach so I have to get up.)
I keep bottled water handy.
Getting at least 6 hours sleep, the night before is helpful.

A great morning is when I get up right when my eyes open.
If I close them again...it's too tempting to stay in bed.
I ALWAYS take a shower, because it wakes me up before I workout.
Sometimes I have like 4oz of black coffee.
Also I have music on my phone that I play while I get ready.
It takes me about half hour, and the gym opens at 5am.
I ideally get there before 6 and am done before 7a.m.
(BTW, I don't eat anything until I get home because it seems to slow me down? Some people always snack before a workout)

It's not busy traffic wise or at the gym when I go early.
If I don't go before 8:30 am I don't go at all and I dragg all day. :(
If I miss one day, it can easily be two..no good. (except Sunday is off)

Another idea I keep in mind is to get excited about something new connected to working out...
1. new workout music (free music apps)
2. new sneakers (when needed)
3. I make sure I really like my exercise outfit, get a new t-shirt, tank top, etc.
4. strength training routines MUST change every three weeks

This way I don't get bored as easy...(even trying different gyms?)

Once you get a few days or two in a row, you can feel better right away.
It can get addicting after you start feeling the effects.
The HIIT 20 mins is short and it gets your heart rate up.
It activates happy chemicals in our brains that keep us feeling good.
I often do the elliptical set to random at level 12 for 30 min and
it's just right.
I would do 20 min on stat. bike on HILL setting, which is intervals, at a challenging level
The treadmill I use sparingly when I am bored of the other two.
Where I go also has videos for stretching and strength training, step videos.
So, I made a point of doing most of them just to mix things up and not get bored.
I used to go to a place that had step classes and those are fun and challenging.

Hope some things I mentioned help encourage you.
When I think of exercise healing me gradually as part of lifestyle, it boosts my confidence and self esteem, which can be quite fragile otherwise.