View Full Version : Meds vs. No Meds for adults with ADD
I thought I would bring this thread over to the ADDult section too.
Here's is a little article that I wrote a while ago about my thoughts on the issue:
AD/HD and Medication
So what’s the big deal anyways? A person gets diagnosed with AD/HD and starts taking medication. Then he or she is cured of AD/HD, right? Some may think that is the case. Those of who have lived with the diagnosis of AD/HD have found of that is not the case.
As a person who has lived with my own AD/HD and done an extensive amount of research about AD/HD, I have come to learn that AD/HD and medication is a very complex issue. There are those who believe that problems associated with AD/HD can be cured by a pill. There are also those who believe the use of medication for AD/HD is unethical and wrong. And, there are very many people whose beliefs fall somewhere in the middle of the two.
I am one of those people whose belief falls somewhere in the middle. Though I do not believe that a person’s AD/HD related problems can be “cured” by medication, I do believe that medication may be a helpful tool for some people with AD/HD. I know of many people whose lives have improved from the use of AD/HD medication. I also know of many people who have chosen not to use medication and are leading happy productive lives.
I believe whether or not a person uses medication to help with his or her AD/HD should be his or her own personal choice. I do not feel that anybody should force his or her opinion of AD/HD and Medication on others. I do think that an ADDer should try to educate himself or herself about AD/HD and medication and then make his or her own personal choice. Others should not judge the ADDer for the choice he or she makes.
There will always be people who like to force their views and opinions on people no matter what the issue is. As ADDers we need to make our own informed choices when it comes to AD/HD and Medication. I do think it can be beneficial to learn about the different views of AD/HD and Medication. Then we can make our own choices and views.
No two ADDers are a like. What helps one person may not help another. Like so many other things, we learn through trial and error. If an ADDer has found something that works for him or her that is great. If an ADDer is still looking for something that works the ADDer must know that he or she is not alone.
03-11-03, 12:14 AM
I just got the book Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell and just came across that in the book,
"While about 85 percent of adults will benefit from one of the several medications that are used for ADD, about 15 percent do not, for one reason or another.......there is more to the treatment for ADD than just the medication. Education, behavioral modification, and psychotherapy all can help. "
Personally I don't get the Meds because I have no medical insurance and no money.
03-11-03, 09:18 PM
I found another interesting thing in the Driven to Distraction book. It was talking about a college student who was diagnosed and felt that having to depend on medication made him inferior.
When he would stop taking Ridalin he would do bad in school. When he continued the pills again he would do good. This pattern stayed consistent when he stop and start the ridalin again.
So the med worked for him but he was fighting the fact that he needed it.
I actually experienced this exact thing during the first 2 years I was on Ritalin. I just hated the fact that I had to rely on a med...and would "forget" to get a new scrip filled.
03-13-03, 09:06 PM
It really took a while for me to accept the notion of taking meds. I currently take Adderall when needed. I actually need it EVERY day but I have a limited supply. Currently out of work, no insurance.
But the stigma of having to be "on medication" is powerful. You spend a lot of energy hiding the fact that you take meds. You hope no one sees you when you get your prescription filled, hope the pharmacist or techs don't know you, hope no one finds your meds which you take great care in hiding, etc.
You wonder what a future boyfriend/girlfriend will think when they find out. It goes on and on.....
03-20-03, 12:40 AM
I pesonally let people know about my meds, if and when i think its appropriate. In my home, I leave them out in the open in the kitchen where anyone can see them. If I know them well enough to be in my home, then they can see what my meds are if that is of interest to them! They need to get a life though, if that is really important to them.
I find it relieving to just be me, and if being me is in one small part the fact that i take meds, then so be it. i don't surround myself with close minded people anyhow. if a med in this day and age of modern medicine causes a person to not like me, they definitely were not my friend to start with. but i dont go out with a flag telling the world either. just like i have a gay brother, who doesnt wear a sign saying he is gay, but he doesnt hide being gay from his friends or aquaintances when the time is appropriate, and hopefully sooner than later. the secrecy i think takes on a life of its own, and then the secret is far worse than the truth. The truth is typically very benign, in most matters of life.
03-20-03, 11:28 AM
I have multiple issues besides my ADD, so Im on multiple meds at multiple times in the day ((crosses her eyes)) That can be a bit embarrassing when someone asks what I am taking. Sometimes I lie and just say tylenol. It's easier and less emotionally draining. But lately I have just been saying "These are my homocidal pills and these are my suicidal pills" then I do a mwahahahah. Usually people laugh and forget the conversation. I have had some rude people take it further, I figure they deserve the shock,so I tell them. "I'm Bipolar 2 ultra rapid cycler, AD/HD, OCD, PTSD" I have had some great conversations come out of that, and I have had some laughably memorable shocked faces. Each person has to decide what is best. While it is illegal to fire someone for an illness, we are all aware of how easy it is for the employer to simply say "The employees performance degraded" etc. So I think a wise and thoughtful decision be made when devulging to your work or fellow employees.
I take a several vitamin and nutritional supplements each day. I was visting my parents a few weeks ago and we were all going some place together in the morning. Of course I was running late and I need a large glass of water to take my vitamins. So I ended up bringing my vitamin pacck down to the kitchen. I have one of those 7 day pill organizers.
I think to my parents pills were pills. I tried explaing what they were. I think it would have been easier if it was prescription medication..lol
After much thought I am actually considering taking medication again to help with my AD/HD.
I still don't think that anything is "wrong" with my brain. But since I do live in the crazy world I may as well use tools such as medication to help me accomplish things that I have trouble with.
I have an appointment with a Neurologist on Tuesday. It should be very interesting...
06-06-03, 01:13 AM
tara: you say taking medication "again". so youve been on before?was it a positive exprerience the first time for you?
For the most part the medication itself was a positve experience. It helped some. However I had a very negative experience with the so called professionals that were "treating" me for AD/HD. They really didn't "get" adult AD/HD.
The medicine issue is a big one for me. My job requires alot of problem solving, just up my alley when it comes to my multiple trains of thought. I have ridalin at my disposal but if I take to much its like my multiple thought ways gets closed down but the phones and constant noise doesn't bother me. So I try to limit it as much as I can... its tough.
06-08-03, 08:31 PM
If we go back to 25 yrs ago and so on we did not have medication for the so call Behavior of ADD/ADHD. I was given valium at one point to end up falling a sleep in class. It has been only 4 yrs that I founded out about my ADD. So, I am not dead, manage to do well in life but ounce I founded out it did explain alot the way I feld different, my way of thinking, always racing, ect. you all know. I still not medicate myself yet with doctor prescription but I am trying Sam-e and alternative natural medication that is working good for me. Reading about ADD/ADHD
and getting some other kind of help and understanding it, (it is not and handicap, not to feel a shame of if) does help going through life. Still I believe the choice is yours to medicate.
Whatever makes your feel good, is your choice
Welcome fellow Ontarioite MCHAMBERLAND
im from Clinton Ontario myself
06-08-03, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by livingwithadd
After much thought I am actually considering taking medication again to help with my AD/HD. I have an appointment with a Neurologist on Tuesday. It should be very interesting...
So Tara, how are you doing with this?
I am one of the lucky ones. I am really good with ritalin and it has helped me to such an extent that I have been able to address myself many of the issues around ADD. And have with very little help sorted many things out. As I said I am one of the lucky ones I have no reactions negativly to ritalin and no lows etc I can even take it in the evening if goooing out and have no problems sleeping(something I did have a problem with before).
I too beloieve everyone should be free to make up there own minds but have been attatcked in forums before many times for supporting medication and that everyone should respect the wishes and believes of others without prejudice in this matter.
I still have one hurdle to get over and that is remembrring to renew my script in time I am still sometimes late then I noitice why I am on it
06-17-03, 08:45 PM
You know, I'm beginning to believe that I might be one of the 15% that meds don't help. Sometimes it seems to work well, other times not. I recently had one of my WORST days at work while on Adderall. I fouled up so many things that I thought surely I'd forgotten to take it. But no, I had taken it. It just doesn't always work for me and I don't know why.
07-07-03, 12:41 AM
Funny, I can take my stratterra before bed, and wake up after a night of sleep... feeling great...ready to conquer...strange huh?
07-07-03, 03:13 PM
My puts -- (take 'em or leave 'em) ;)
1) I tried three stimulants before I found something that helped (just by coincidence, it was ritalin....). I personally would not do without them any more than I would do without antibiotics prescribed for an infection.
2) I consider herbal and nutritional supplements chemical treatment just the same as pharmaceuticals. You can cruise the web for postings on interaction warnings for common herbs (even cooking herbs) and common medications.
3) My feeling (after reading all the same books everyone else seems to be reading) is that medication is just one arrow in the quiver, it can give you the edge to make the non-medicinal remedies work better.
4) Everyone has a choice about if and when to use meds -- however.... Based on my own experiences with growing up and being an adult with AD/HD, I wouldn't hesitate an instant to recommend to a parent to at least try the medication option with an affected child. I just wish my parents had the option when I was a kid....
07-08-03, 08:51 PM
I'm currently not taking any medications but am functioning "within acceptable parameters". I've tried several different meds in the past but none have helped.
Having spent more than half my adult life (and ALL my childhood) with ADD and not knowing it was anything other than just me not trying harder I have found ways to deal with life.
Things could be better though and if I were introduced to something that could assist me I would have no problems taking it.
I had an appointment with a nurse practioner last week. I felt very comfortable with her. She seemed to ask the right questions and have pretty good understanding about medication and AD/HD.
We decided that I would start on Celexa for my anxiety. I was impressed that she was aware that stimulant medication can make anxiety worse and that she knew both needed to be treated.
I have another appointment with her at the end of the month. I think we will be adding concerta then.