View Full Version : Medical vs Non-Medical Approaches (Split from Adderall Withdrawal Symptoms)


emily848
01-13-13, 07:51 PM
I've taken Adderall XR 20mg for two months and am already feeling like it's no longer working. I know many people take a higher dose than that, but if I'm going to have to increase my dosage every couple of months, it doesn't seem like a good long term solution for me. It's taken me a few weeks to face the fact that it is no longer working, but I've come to terms with that now & plan to quit. Hopefully withdrawal effects will be minimal because of the smaller dosage & short length of time taking it.

For those interested in Amino Acids I highly recommend the book "The Mood Cure." For liver detox, recommend the book "The Fat Flush Plan," I know it sounds like a fad diet, but is really just a guide for how to eat for liver health/ detox. I refer to it as a liver cleansing diet in regular conversation because "Fat Flush" sounds so faddy.

I plan to use information I've learned from both those books to cope with my ADHD as well as learning about meditation and trying that. I'm 36 & was diagnosed 2 months ago, so still figuring things out. Any advice appreciated!

emily848
02-04-13, 04:40 PM
So far, my decision to quit Adderall has been for the better. After quitting, I realized that the Adderall was actually making me more scatter-brained after it stopped working. The one thing it did continue to do effectively was eliminate all urge to spend money unnecessarily. That was the first sign I had that it was working, and the last thing to go when I quit taking it. Going back to will power for that now (putting as much as possible toward retirement or loan payments seems to work pretty well).

I've been practicing meditation for three weeks now and have experienced dramatic changes for the better. Almost unbelievably so. Am very happy and grateful to have discovered it.

pudge72
02-04-13, 04:55 PM
What kind of meditation have you been doing? How often? I've been intending to add meditation to my routine, but I keep finding reasons to put if off...

thanks.

emily848
02-04-13, 05:21 PM
I started with a book called "The Attention Revolution: Unlocking the Power of the Focused Mind". It's not intended for people with ADHD, though he does mention that it can help those afflicted. He doesn't seem to understand ADHD, though, saying that it can bring someone with ADHD up to a "normal" level of ability to focus. Since ADHD is not about being "deficit" but just out of control, I am hopeful that it could actually bring me to a superior level of attentional abilities compared to a "normal" person. Imagine being able to control hyperfocusing!

That book is about "Shamatha" meditation which is specifically for increasing the powers of attention. He talks about 10 stages of developing attention, but warns that only the first 3 stages can be achieved without dedicating substantial time to it through extended retreats. He recommends starting with 24 minutes a day. I've been doing 36 minutes a day and preparing to incrementally increase that by 3-6 minutes a day to eventually get up to an hour at a time. I'm trying for every day, but it's been six days a week.

1st stage: concentrate on the feelings of breath in the entire body. When you can do that for a few seconds at a time, you've achieved the 1st stage.

2nd stage: concentrate on the belly moving up & down only (so narrowing focus). When you can do that for a full minute, you've achieved the 2nd stage. I just managed that last night. Yea!

3rd stage: concentrate on the feeling of the breath through the nostrils & on the upper lip (so focusing on a more subtle object of attention). When you can consistently do that for almost the entire session, you've achieved the 3rd stage.

I haven't read ahead to stages 4-10 yet.

I began to see significant changes after the first week, and the benefits have only increased. I'll list some below.

* Getting to work on time! Versus before being 30-60 minutes late. I've been 5-10 minutes late the last couple of weeks, and this morning got here exactly on time. I'm really happy about that.
* Preparing meals! I felt too rushed and scatterbrained for that before and would have take-out, frozen food, canned food, or other pre-prepared food like top ramen 99 meals out of 100. Now I'm cooking simple, healthy meals (and doing the accompanying grocery shopping).
* Regular showers! OK, maybe gross to some people, but my whole life it has been a huge effort to shower regularly. I try to do it every other day, but would often go 3-4 days (like shower Wednesday and not again until Saturday or Sunday). Now it's no problem to shower every other day (I know most people do it every day, but every other day I think is acceptable).
* Cleaning up around the house! I was amazed to notice that the big pile of dirty dishes that is always next to the sink is going down. I'll just wash dishes if I have a few extra minutes, it's not even a strain. Compared to waiting for a bunch to pile up and committing one day to "chipping away at it." Also other general household chores. I just do them without anxiety.
* Feeling relaxed almost all the time! Before, I always felt in a rush to do something else (even though there's not anything else to do). Now I'm just relaxed and in the moment. Still harder in my cubicle at work (like now), but overall in my life I can run errands all day and be relaxed throughout it and at the end of the day.
* Working on creative projects without obsessing over them! I can spend a half hour or an hour on something that I'm not hyperfocusing on where before I needed to be totally obsessing about something to get it done at all. I have worked on several projects in a relaxed way that have been sitting around for years.
* No self medication! I won't get into details, but have been able to accomplish all of the above without the use of any substances where before I needed some kind of help just to tread water on the above responsibilities. Now I'm not just treading water, but full on swimming with a smile on my face (metaphorically speaking).

I can't believe the dramatic changes it has made to my life after just a few weeks and it makes me wonder what else meditation can accomplish. I'm looking into Vipassana meditation now and look forward to additional explorations.

Of course, I'm worried that I may be hyperfocusing around meditation right now and may lose momentum after a few months, but I've never had anything provide such a tangible improvement to my life, so I am really hoping that it continues, and as long as I'm getting the positive reinforcement of all of these benefits, I should be able to continue practicing it.

pudge72
02-10-13, 04:56 PM
Thanks for the reply emily848. I'm going to give it a try. Updates on your meditation would be greatly appreciated. Wondering if the effects will be lasting or short-lived. Hope they are lasting!!

emily848
02-10-13, 05:17 PM
I copied my post to this thread: http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139636 in the meditation & spirituality section, and plan to make updates there. Let me know how it goes for you! I meditated Friday night with my 11-yr-old nephew who has ADHD and he managed to sit quiet and still for 12-minutes and said he felt like a new person afterwards. I was very proud of him!

Traveler5
02-11-13, 07:11 PM
Hi sarahsweets, thanks for replying. The Adderall was working quite well for about a month, but has stopped working over the last few weeks, so that's why I'm thinking it's a tolerance issue, and I'm concerned if tolerance is already coming into play.

Emily, What could have been happening is that the dose you were on in the beginning was not an effective dose for you because your body became adjusted to taking Adderall. It's to be expected that an increase in dosage after the first few months or so of taking Adderall is necessary. I wouldn't go off of it after being on Adderall only a few months. It's premature to do that. Once you hit the right dose for you, you might not need to adjust your dose for a very long time. I'd stick with it for a couple more months at the very least to see if Adderall is going to benefit you. You're already half way to a four month mark. Then you'll know better by then.

emily848
02-11-13, 07:32 PM
Thanks Traveler5, but I prefer not to take medication if I don't need it. The meditation is helping much more than Adderall ever did, and there are no side effects or tolerance issues. Adderall can be very hard on one's body and I feel that medications are overprescribed in our culture when other treatment options can be more effective; though they don't put as much money in the doctor's or pharmacy companys' pockets. I have been off the Adderall & meditating (pretty much daily) since 1/14/13 and am very happy with the effects of that decision.

Traveler5
02-11-13, 07:36 PM
Thanks Traveler5, but I prefer not to take medication if I don't need it. The meditation is helping much more than Adderall ever did, and there are no side effects or tolerance issues. Adderall can be very hard on one's body and I feel that medications are overprescribed in our culture when other treatment options can be more effective; though they don't put as much money in the doctor's or pharmacy companys' pockets. I have been off the Adderall & meditating (pretty much daily) since 1/14/13 and am very happy with the effects of that decision.

I totally agree.

I hope the meditation continues to work for you. Good news.

sarahsweets
02-12-13, 07:55 AM
This is a very popular myth. Every bit of evidence suggests that stimulants are a first line treatment for adhd. (unless you can cite a reputable source that says otherwise in addition to a source showing how overprescribed stimulants are) Some peopl find that other modifications work for them and those shouldnt be discounted, but a lot of times, people that have found success with non medication remedies like to suggest how over prescribed the meds are. This is often followed by "Big Pharma is bad, and trying to drug the entire world" You wouldn't say that insulin, glasses, blood pressure meds, cholesteral meds, aspirin,tylenol,advil,allergy medicine, asthma meds, or narcolepsy meds are overprescribed would you?



Thanks Traveler5, but I prefer not to take medication if I don't need it. The meditation is helping much more than Adderall ever did, and there are no side effects or tolerance issues. Adderall can be very hard on one's body and I feel that medications are overprescribed in our culture when other treatment options can be more effective; though they don't put as much money in the doctor's or pharmacy companys' pockets. I have been off the Adderall & meditating (pretty much daily) since 1/14/13 and am very happy with the effects of that decision.

Nibs91
02-12-13, 11:16 AM
I quit cold turkey so to speak last year at the end of July 2012. But I stopped taking it because it no longer had any effect; and my gp wasn't willing to increase my dose. There was no difference between adderall me and no adderall me. So I didn't experience any withdrawal symptoms.

I came back to adderall before finals and got a script from my GP. Been on it ever since. But I can tell that it already is starting to build tolerance.

425runner
02-12-13, 09:40 PM
Anyone who says there are no withhrawal effects or they last only 2-3 days is full of it. I quit Vyvanse last year and the fatigue, irritability, depression lasted 6 months! I was taking l-carnitine, eleuthero, tyrosine, maca etc. to help restore dopamine naturally but it was torture. I stopped craving it/needing it after a week but still had ongoing malaise. My GP ran all sorts of tests everything came back normal.

Finally my therapist suggested I get back on meds and so I started with a low dose Dexedrine and everything improved within a month. I love taking a break from meds on vacation or on a day when I can just relax/be lazy but those happen maybe once a year.

sarahsweets
02-13-13, 06:20 AM
I actually would love to see some hard stats for withdrawl in a theraputic sense...when I googled it there was nothing but horror stories

Nate W
02-13-13, 09:06 AM
Midlifeblues stated: "I had taken about 30 grams of adderall one day and with no valium on hand, proceded to stare at my ceiling with insomnia for 3 straight nights."

Please reconsider-- You took 30 grams of Adderall??That would be a little over an ounce, or 30,000 miligrams or 1000 thirty mg tablets. That could kill you and if it did not, you'd probably wish you were dead! Sure you don't mean milligrams?

--Nate

daqman247
02-13-13, 09:21 AM
When I went off Ritalin cold turkey I never had any withdrawal symptoms. Ive had withdrawal symptoms from only one medication in the past and that was anti depressants. I stopped taking them and damn near had a mental breakdown. Caused a really bad panic attack, but luckily music is my therapy for calming myself down as its worked since I was a kid. But those symptoms are wowza!

emily848
02-16-13, 01:56 AM
This is a very popular myth. Every bit of evidence suggests that stimulants are a first line treatment for adhd. (unless you can cite a reputable source that says otherwise in addition to a source showing how overprescribed stimulants are) Some peopl find that other modifications work for them and those shouldnt be discounted, but a lot of times, people that have found success with non medication remedies like to suggest how over prescribed the meds are. This is often followed by "Big Pharma is bad, and trying to drug the entire world" You wouldn't say that insulin, glasses, blood pressure meds, cholesteral meds, aspirin,tylenol,advil,allergy medicine, asthma meds, or narcolepsy meds are overprescribed would you?

I'm speaking from my personal experience. I am NOT saying that medication doesn't help lots of people - great for them! In my experience, as soon as a person is diagnosed with a mental disorder a psychiatrist prescribes them medication - that's their job, after all. It seems to me it makes more sense to approach the issue wholistically and consider lifestyle choices either ALONGSIDE or BEFORE medication. Maybe some doctors do that - unfortunately for me, not any of the ones I've been to.

There does seem to be some evidence that medications are overprescribed: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444301704577631591596516110.html
The article presents two views, but the "no, they're not overprescribed" view seems to be all about how medications help some people. Duh. That doesn't mean they're not overprescribed.

I also spent two years trying different medications for bipolar II disorder which it turns out I didn't have. I consider those two years pretty much a lost waste of my life. Why do I have to cite a source to express my thoughts that come from my experiences, but it's OK for you to exaggerate my stance and spout off your opinion with no citations?

No, I don't consider the other meds you list to be overprescribed, what does that have to do with anything? Again, I'm not saying medications don't help a lot of people with mental disorders, obviously they do, but IN MY EXPERIENCE, psychiatrists are very quick to throw medicine at mental disorders (or mental variations, however you want to term it), without even discussing potential lifestyle changes that may also help. If someone was abusing their body and taking advil all day long without thinking about healthier ways to live, I would consider that an irresponsible use of the medicine. If someone is taking care of themself and still needs advil because of recurrent pain, then thank the stars they have that help. If taking care of one's self relieves the pain and advil is not needed - even better.

sarahsweets
02-16-13, 05:14 AM
I hear what youre saying regarding your experiences but I have a hard time viewing a non-peer reviewed article from the WSJ as anything other than sensationalism ...because the WSJ doesnt participate in studies, influence control groups, have independent review of their own sources and articles and, they have want to sell papers. If you were able to help me understand with some reliable sources,or peer reviewd sources that I could look at, it would help shed some light on this for me. Honestly I really am interested, I am not trying to be rude. I think one of the reasons people (not necessarily you) like to say that psychiatric medications are over prescribed is because right now, they are one of the main forms of treatments for mental illness. We have no physical treatments for Bipolar or schizophrenia for example, we have to rely on a doctors evaluation and psychiatric medication which very often saves someone's life. I also find that there people that either never took meds for adhd, or took them and hated them, seem to want to cite this "meds are overprescribed" theme as a legitimate source, when really its antecdotal. I am sure there are plenty of doctors who will write a script after meeting with a new patient for 5 minutes, but IMO there are just as many, if not more people who are denied treatment either out of fear, misinformation, lack of knowledge or disbelief about adhd and other mental illnesses.


I'm speaking from my personal experience. I am NOT saying that medication doesn't help lots of people - great for them! In my experience, as soon as a person is diagnosed with a mental disorder a psychiatrist prescribes them medication - that's their job, after all. It seems to me it makes more sense to approach the issue wholistically and consider lifestyle choices either ALONGSIDE or BEFORE medication. Maybe some doctors do that - unfortunately for me, not any of the ones I've been to.

There does seem to be some evidence that medications are overprescribed: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444301704577631591596516110.html
The article presents two views, but the "no, they're not overprescribed" view seems to be all about how medications help some people. Duh. That doesn't mean they're not overprescribed.

I also spent two years trying different medications for bipolar II disorder which it turns out I didn't have. I consider those two years pretty much a lost waste of my life. Why do I have to cite a source to express my thoughts that come from my experiences, but it's OK for you to exaggerate my stance and spout off your opinion with no citations?

No, I don't consider the other meds you list to be overprescribed, what does that have to do with anything? Again, I'm not saying medications don't help a lot of people with mental disorders, obviously they do, but IN MY EXPERIENCE, psychiatrists are very quick to throw medicine at mental disorders (or mental variations, however you want to term it), without even discussing potential lifestyle changes that may also help. If someone was abusing their body and taking advil all day long without thinking about healthier ways to live, I would consider that an irresponsible use of the medicine. If someone is taking care of themself and still needs advil because of recurrent pain, then thank the stars they have that help. If taking care of one's self relieves the pain and advil is not needed - even better.

Lunacie
02-16-13, 11:27 AM
I've taken Adderall XR 20mg for two months and am already feeling like it's no longer working. I know many people take a higher dose than that, but if I'm going to have to increase my dosage every couple of months, it doesn't seem like a good long term solution for me. It's taken me a few weeks to face the fact that it is no longer working, but I've come to terms with that now & plan to quit. Hopefully withdrawal effects will be minimal because of the smaller dosage & short length of time taking it.

For those interested in Amino Acids I highly recommend the book "The Mood Cure." For liver detox, recommend the book "The Fat Flush Plan," I know it sounds like a fad diet, but is really just a guide for how to eat for liver health/ detox. I refer to it as a liver cleansing diet in regular conversation because "Fat Flush" sounds so faddy.

I plan to use information I've learned from both those books to cope with my ADHD as well as learning about meditation and trying that. I'm 36 & was diagnosed 2 months ago, so still figuring things out. Any advice appreciated!

You don't necessarily have to keep increasing the dose. It may be that
you haven't found the most effective dose for you yet.

It may be 30 mg works best for you, or several doses of Adderall IR during
the day. It's also possible that Adderall isn't the best med for you.

Please don't give up until you've tried more than just one dosage of only
one medication to treat your ADHD.

There has been a lot of research showing that meds plus therapy is the
most beneficial treatment for the most ADHDers.

I'm one of a small but documented number of ADHDers who benefit from
taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements daily. I haven't heard anything
about amino acids or liver detox in treating ADHD.

emily848
02-16-13, 01:11 PM
Hi Sarahsweets, thanks for clarifying your position. The WSJ article was not intended to be convincing, just trying to cover your requirement that I not express my opinion without citing a source. I'm glad you understand that "there are plenty of doctors who will write a script after meeting with a new patient for 5 minutes," but that's still not exactly what I'm saying. I believe an initial meeting with a patient will always be an hour (based on the 3 different psychiatrists I have seen). And I don't object to a psychiatrist looking for a prescription treatment to help their patient. What I do object to is the psychiatrist's only intent being to decide what medication to give the patient without understanding or discussing less extreme measures to treat their symptoms. The doctors I've seen have only been baffled when I experience negative side effects or the medication doesn't work as they had hoped and so they try prescribing something else and hope that will work. My psychiatrists have seemed to honestly want to help, they just don't know what to do. I'm not trying to prove prescriptions are overprescribed, I just mentioned that as something I've experienced.

That is very sad if there are people "denied treatment" because their doctor doesn't believe in or understand ADHD. I'm not saying that ADHD is overdiagnosed - I don't have any experience with that. I believe that both me & my nephew have been accurately diagnosed with ADHD, so I'm not trying to perpetuate the view that ADHD doesn't exist and shouldn't be treated.

However, not everyone with ADHD needs medication, and probably everyone with ADHD should have awareness of how to support a productive life in ways other than only taking medication.

I am not recommending that anyone stop taking or decrease use of their medication - that is between the individual and their doctor; there's no way I could have an opinion about that.

I really don't get why several people seem to be trying to convince me that I should continue to take medication even though I have been able to change my lifestyle so that I'm happier, healthier, and more productive than I have ever been in my life. What would be the point of going back to Adderall when it was never as helpful as the meditation has proven to be and also had several uncomfortable side effects? Yet several people have urged me to get back on it and increase my dosage. Why?

Hi Lunacie, I mentioned the liver cleansing diet and amino acids because someone had expressed interest in those earlier in the thread and I have looked into both and found them helpful before I was ever diagnosed with ADHD (I was just diagnosed Oct-2012, I am 36 now). I have no opinion as to whether they are helpful for ADHD, but I was mentioning a couple of resources that have helped me in understanding how to eat to promote physical and mental health.

I've also heard that Omega-3's are the only well documented supplement that helps with some mental disorders. That is one of the supplements I take. I also take a few amino acid supplements (5-HTP, GABA, Melatonin) as needed to help with mood, although I've needed those far less since I've been meditating.

Every person is different and therapy plus meds is not what I need. I'm not proposing what is best for anyone else, but I know from personal experience that neither of those things are the best treatment for me.

Why in the world would I want to continue experimenting with ADHD medication when I've found a non-prescription method that has no negative side effects and that has successfully treated all of my symptoms plus improved my life in ways I couldn't have imagined?

Lunacie
02-16-13, 01:43 PM
As I wrote before, meds combined with therapy is usually the most
effective treatment for ADHD, and that's really all I was saying.

It was not clear to me from your previous post that you feel you've found
other treatments that have been effective for you.

It sounded like you were giving up too quickly, which is common for
women who aren't diagnosed until they are adults.

This is an older thread and I did not read back through the whole thing
before reading the most recent response (yours) and writing a response.

I just wanted to make it clear that there has been no research indicating
that the amino acids and liver cleanse are effective treatments for ADHD.

Anyway, I meant to be reassuring, not coercive.
Sorry for the misunderstanding.

MellyFishButt
02-16-13, 03:08 PM
Emily, thank you for your post. Just for clarification, if I had tried all the lifestyle choices (food, exercise, etc) and still failed a large majority of my life, would you then be okay with medication? Or are you just against pills first, lifestyle second?

I personally tried lifestyle, didn't work, now on meds, and starting to work in lifestyle again. We will see if it helps.

Special-Ks
02-16-13, 03:32 PM
Over-prescribed? Relative to what?

At the end of the day, you decide whether or not to take medications. No one forces you. You can't say whether or not the prescription is necessary, warranted, or the "right" choice without engaging the facts of each patient's particular situation.

So to me, saying medications are "over-prescribed" is essentially meaningless because it lacks a frame of reference from which to make the call, and has no threshold for what constitutes "over" prescribing.

You will often find the term "over-prescribed" in the media because it sorta sounds scary and makes you worry about your health. So you tune in/log on/buy the paper.

Lunacie
02-16-13, 03:55 PM
Over-prescribed? Relative to what?

At the end of the day, you decide whether or not to take medications. No one forces you. You can't say whether or not the prescription is necessary, warranted, or the "right" choice without engaging the facts of each patient's particular situation.

So to me, saying medications are "over-prescribed" is essentially meaningless because it lacks a frame of reference from which to make the call, and has no threshold for what constitutes "over" prescribing.

You will often find the term "over-prescribed" in the media because it sorta sounds scary and makes you worry about your health. So you tune in/log on/buy the paper.

Oh yeah, I meant to address that point and forgot. :doh:

Only about half of those diagnosed with ADHD actually take meds on a
regular basis.

Those who are not treated are many times more likely to be impulsive:
injuring themselves and needing time off from school or work, spending
more on medical costs than would be spent on stimulant meds, engage
in self-medicating with alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs, more likely to
engage in risky sex and deal with unplanned pregnancy or stds.

emily848
02-17-13, 12:36 PM
Emily, thank you for your post. Just for clarification, if I had tried all the lifestyle choices (food, exercise, etc) and still failed a large majority of my life, would you then be okay with medication? Or are you just against pills first, lifestyle second?

I personally tried lifestyle, didn't work, now on meds, and starting to work in lifestyle again. We will see if it helps.

Thanks for requesting clarification because I'm obviously completely misunderstood through and through on this thread. First, why does it matter what I'm "okay" with in terms of your medication? I said earlier that I would never advise anyone to not take or decrease medication - that is between you and your doctor. I don't understand why people take me talking about what works for me as a general statement about what everyone with ADD or ADHD should do. I'm not saying that at all and it doesn't even make sense to me to think that way.

As when sarahsweets challenged me by asking if I think advil etc are overprescribed and I said:

If you are abusing your body and taking advil all day long I would consider that an irresponsible use of the medicine. If you are taking care of yourself and still need advil for recurrent pain then thank goodness you have that resource. If you are taking care of yourself and don't need advil then that's even better.

I feel like I'm being attacked because I don't want to take medication and because I think that lifestyle choices should be looked at either before taking or alongside taking medication. I don't think anyone really disagrees with that; I feel like a lot of people are bringing their own baggage to my statements and attacking me for it.

Do what works for you, I'll continue to do what works for me. Good luck to all. I would never advise anyone to take or not take medication and I think it is irresponsible for anyone to do so (outside of a doctor or a close loved one who is speaking based on personal observation of the patient's behavior).

emily848
02-17-13, 12:51 PM
Over-prescribed? Relative to what?

At the end of the day, you decide whether or not to take medications. No one forces you. You can't say whether or not the prescription is necessary, warranted, or the "right" choice without engaging the facts of each patient's particular situation.

So to me, saying medications are "over-prescribed" is essentially meaningless because it lacks a frame of reference from which to make the call, and has no threshold for what constitutes "over" prescribing.

You will often find the term "over-prescribed" in the media because it sorta sounds scary and makes you worry about your health. So you tune in/log on/buy the paper.

The frame of reference is my life. I'm not talking about the media. I don't pay much attention to media in terms of news, newspapers or magazines. No one forces an adult to take medication, but when you are diagnosed with a mental disorder and the only reaction from the healthcare profession is to prescribe medication, it creates a feeling that is the only option for treatment. Trying one med was helpful for me in realizing that I do actually have ADHD (and that I don't have BP II disorder which I tried many prescriptions for with awful side effects and no help). So now that I know I have it, I can do research into other treatment methods that are working for me.

emily848
02-17-13, 12:54 PM
Oh yeah, I meant to address that point and forgot. :doh:

Only about half of those diagnosed with ADHD actually take meds on a
regular basis.

Those who are not treated are many times more likely to be impulsive:
injuring themselves and needing time off from school or work, spending
more on medical costs than would be spent on stimulant meds, engage
in self-medicating with alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs, more likely to
engage in risky sex and deal with unplanned pregnancy or stds.

Are you saying that the half of people diagnosed with ADHD who do not take meds on a regular basis are "many times more likely" to do all the negative behaviors you list? Or by "not treated" do you mean people who are not living life with awareness of their ADHD?

Lunacie
02-17-13, 04:33 PM
The frame of reference is my life. I'm not talking about the media. I don't pay much attention to media in terms of news, newspapers or magazines. No one forces an adult to take medication, but when you are diagnosed with a mental disorder and the only reaction from the healthcare profession is to prescribe medication, it creates a feeling that is the only option for treatment. Trying one med was helpful for me in realizing that I do actually have ADHD (and that I don't have BP II disorder which I tried many prescriptions for with awful side effects and no help). So now that I know I have it, I can do research into other treatment methods that are working for me.

When you are diagnosed with a physical illness the doctor will usually
recommend the most effective treatment for that illness.

For instance, strep throat is generally treated with an antibiotic although
there are several alternative herbal treatments have had some success in
treating strep.

Why should it be any different for mental illness? Why wouldn't we expect
the doctor to recommend the most effective treatment which is often
prescription medications?

As you say, it's the patient's choice what treatment, if any, to pursue once
the doctor makes a recommendation.


Are you saying that the half of people diagnosed with ADHD who do not take meds on a regular basis are "many times more likely" to do all the negative behaviors you list? Or by "not treated" do you mean people who are not living life with awareness of their ADHD?

The impression I have is that it doesn't matter whether the person is
aware of the diagnosis or not . . . when untreated they have such poor
self-regulation that they are simply more likely to do things that incur
negative consequences.

They are more likely to do any of those things, not all of those things.
Just clarifying . . .

Oh, and I do think life-style choices can be a form of treatment, but a
much more difficult one to implement effectively.

emily848
02-18-13, 06:08 PM
When you are diagnosed with a physical illness the doctor will usually recommend the most effective treatment for that illness.

For instance, strep throat is generally treated with an antibiotic although there are several alternative herbal treatments have had some success in treating strep.

Why should it be any different for mental illness? Why wouldn't we expect the doctor to recommend the most effective treatment which is often prescription medications?

As you say, it's the patient's choice what treatment, if any, to pursue once the doctor makes a recommendation.

The impression I have is that it doesn't matter whether the person is aware of the diagnosis or not . . . when untreated they have such poor self-regulation that they are simply more likely to do things that incur negative consequences.

They are more likely to do any of those things, not all of those things. Just clarifying . . .

Oh, and I do think life-style choices can be a form of treatment, but a much more difficult one to implement effectively.

You sound pretty convinced that everyone with ADD/ADHD should be taking medication. I don't agree. I also don't agree that strangers should recommend to strangers that they should be medicated (or not). Luckily, no one is going to force that on to me. Again, I want to emphasize that I am IN NO WAY recommending that anyone else take or not take medication; I do feel like I've been backed into a corner and being asked to defend my decision not to take medication. It really turns me off to these forums in general, which is a bummer because I was hoping to find open minded people struggling with similar issues I'm struggling with sharing what works or doesn't work for them. NOT people who think everyone should be following the same treatment method that works for them or even that works for "most people."

I wish you all the best continuing good fortune with therapy and medication. I look forward to continuing to explore non-prescription ways to take advantage of the good features of ADHD and minimize the negative features. I am very lucky to have had a flexible job that I greatly appreciate for going on eight years now, and I am beyond lucky to be in a 17+ year faithful relationship with a wonderful & practical partner. In other words, I am very grounded in my life and don't need a stranger telling me what I should be doing; although I do appreciate hearing about what works for others, and I always enjoy being directed to an article or book that sheds light on the subject of ADHD.

deadmau5
02-18-13, 07:38 PM
Its pretty obvious from reading your posts emily that you are against getting treatment with medication. You made that very clear. If that works for you than so be it, but dont get disgruntled with people who are just trying to help you with the best knowledge they can offer you from their own experiences. People on here are very open minded and to say they're not is very insulting to be honest.

Lunacie
02-18-13, 07:53 PM
Its pretty obvious from reading your posts emily that you are against getting treatment with medication. You made that very clear. If that works for you than so be it, but dont get disgruntled with people who are just trying to help you with the best knowledge they can offer you from their own experiences. People on here are very open minded and to say they're not is very insulting to be honest.

Thank you for expressing these thoughts.

I am absolutely flummoxed that anyone could take my posts to be saying
that "everyone with ADHD should be taking medication."

I certainly made it clear enough that I myself don't take stimulant meds for
my ADHD but treat it with the supplement Omega 3.

Emily says she appreciates being told what works for others . . . apparently
that doesn't include being told that medication works.

Special-Ks
02-18-13, 09:07 PM
Emily - one thing I forgot to add in my post was that I think it's awesome that you have found techniques/resources that help you function and feel better. Especially because you discovered these things on your own, which takes a bit of courage and determination.

My view is that one should take advantage of the resources available to find what produces the most benefit for them. I don't think anyone is telling you that meds are the only way. Just that they are an option, and should hopefully be considered with an open and inquisitive mind.

I do see your point and understand where you are coming from, though. At the end of the day, it depends on the quality of the health care you receive. Not all doctors are created equally, and there are good doctors, who work diligently with the patient's best interests in mind, and choose to explore a wide range of ideas ranging from lifestyle changes, to nutritional concerns, to medications. And there are undoubtedly some less caring doctors, who prefer to hand you pills, and tell you to move along, hoping you won't have any problems for them to deal with.

Psychiatry is a difficult field to practice, because everything is so subjective, and rather than being able to rely on quantitative measurements, as in other fields, psychiatric treatment depends on the patient's ability to effectively communicate the essence of their experiences and concerns to the doctor, and, crucially, on the doctor's ability to listen attentively and understand it.

emily848
02-18-13, 10:25 PM
bwilley: I AM NOT AGAINST MEDICATION. I don't know how much CLEARER or OBVIOUS I can be about that. I have NEVER stated that I am against medication. I have stated repeatedly that I'M NOT. As I've said several times, I don't understand why anyone would take anything I've said to mean that anyone else shouldn't take medication. Much less that anyone would think that it is "pretty obvious" that I've stated "very clearly" I'm "against medication." I'M NOT. I have only defended and explained why I prefer not to take it after multiple posters recommended I continue to experiment with ADHD medication.

Lunacie: I asked you specifically whether you were saying that anyone not taking medication was likely to have the negative consequences you list and your answer seemed to me to be yes. You did NOT make it clear when you said you benefited from Omega-3 supplements that those are the ONLY "med" you were taking as treatment. I asked you for clarification of what you meant by "not treated," because if you meant the half of people who are diagnosed but not taking medication it seemed like a pretty extreme statement. Looking back at your reply to my request for clarification, you didn't really give a clear answer, but I was left with the impression that by "not treated" you meant not taking meds on a regular basis, which I took to mean prescription medication. It's really unfortunate that I misunderstood, sorry about that. You say in your most recent post that I say I appreciate being told what works for others but that must not include being told that medication works [FOR SOME PEOPLE]. If you put in the part in brackets then the statement would make sense as far as trying to make me out to be a hypocrite, but by leaving it out there is no connection between me feeling defensive about statements that imply everyone should be taking medication. You're actually making another statement that sounds like you're saying medication works for everyone, but you also said that you don't believe that, so maybe I'm starting to understand that you're just trying to say that medication works for a lot of people. I agree with that. Please stop putting words in my mouth and trying to put me down. I'm not trying to convince you of anything, I've just been trying to explain that I don't want or need medication myself personally (at least not at this time).

I don't mean to come across as argumentative; I'm just tired of being misunderstood and feeling ganged up on. I feel like I keep repeating myself and people keep telling me I'm saying something I'm not. I'll try harder to look for the helpful intentions of posts directed at me. I am not an argumentative person by nature because I'm not interested in convincing anyone I'm "right" about anything, but I do get frustrated and upset when I feel misunderstood. I tend to exit out of conversations where I feel misunderstood or not listened to, but I'm trying to hang in here because that's something I'm trying to change about myself, and also I don't want to feel driven away from what I'm sure is a very helpful resource (these forums).

robotsex
02-19-13, 07:05 AM
Good to know the withdrawal symptoms last 3 days max. I've been on Adderall again for about a year at 50mg a day. I've experienced the withdrawal symptoms, which basically consists of fatigue, which isn't a big deal to me. Thank god amphetamines in therapeutic doses have very little withdrawal effects on me. I'm 7 years sober from alcohol and drugs and compared to the heroin kick adderall is a breeze. I'm sorry to hear some people have bad experiences with the meds and coming off of them. Different meds seem to affect people differently. I will say, 10 years ago when I took the original shire adderall it would effect me very negatively because I wouldn't take it consistently and daily. I would take it as needed. For me consistency has been very key. I have noticed "tolerance" effect, but to be honest this has been for the better. Early on the meds would really force me to do things -- now I feel like I have a choice in terms of how I want to spend my time.

Lunacie
02-19-13, 04:58 PM
Lunacie: I asked you specifically whether you were saying that anyone not taking medication was likely to have the negative consequences you list and your answer seemed to me to be yes.

You did NOT make it clear when you said you benefited from Omega-3 supplements that those are the ONLY "med" you were taking as treatment.


Dr. Barkley, who has done a lot of research and compiling of research done
by others, says that people with ADHD -who are not treated- are many
times more likely to experience any of those problems than someone who
doesn't have ADHD.

Omega 3 works very well for me. Why would I take a stimulant as well?


I asked you for clarification of what you meant by "not treated," because if you meant the half of people who are diagnosed but not taking medication it seemed like a pretty extreme statement.

Looking back at your reply to my request for clarification, you didn't really give a clear answer, but I was left with the impression that by "not treated" you meant not taking meds on a regular basis, which I took to mean prescription medication.


Treatment is not synonomous with medication. Treatment includes my
taking Omega 3, or getting exercise and good sleep and a good diet, or
engaging in meditation or chiropracty.

Right. About half the people who have been diagnosed with ADHD do not
take meds more than a month if that. Some turn to other treatments.
Some continue to self-medicate with other things. Some die.


It's really unfortunate that I misunderstood, sorry about that. You say in your most recent post that I say I appreciate being told what works for others but that must not include being told that medication works [FOR SOME PEOPLE].

If you put in the part in brackets then the statement would make sense as far as trying to make me out to be a hypocrite, but by leaving it out there is no connection between me feeling defensive about statements that imply everyone should be taking medication.

You're actually making another statement that sounds like you're saying medication works for everyone, but you also said that you don't believe that, so maybe I'm starting to understand that you're just trying to say that medication works for a lot of people.

I can appreciate adding the brackets to my previous statement. However,
I believe I've read that medication does work for around 80% of those who
try it. Not everyone, but enough that it makes sense for meds to be the
first line of treatment.

emily848
02-19-13, 05:10 PM
Thank you for explaining what you mean and what works for you more clearly. I take Omega-3 supplements, 5-HTP, get regular sleep, and meditate. When I'm really taking care of myself I also exercise regularly, take a B-complex, multi-vitamin, vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium. I also try to incorporate other tenets of nutritional therapy as outlined in the book "The Mood Cure" by Julia Ross, mainly having to do with getting enough protein, vegetables, and fruit (and avoiding sugar & caffeine as much as possible). The supplements have been very hepful for me, but it has only been since I've been meditating regularly that my life has really turned around in dramatic ways. I am very thankful that I was able to accomplish that without medication because of how hellish the two years I spent trying different medications for a disorder I didn't have was for me. I expect it would not be as terrible trying ADHD medications since I do actually have that disorder, but I am glad that the meditation works so well that I don't have to do that.

Thanks again for clarifying, I really didn't understand what you were trying to say before. I found Dr. Barkley's website and will check it out.

Lunacie
02-19-13, 05:29 PM
Thank you for explaining what you mean and what works for you more clearly. I take Omega-3 supplements, 5-HTP, get regular sleep, and meditate. When I'm really taking care of myself I also exercise regularly, take a B-complex, multi-vitamin, vitamin C, magnesium, and calcium.

I also try to incorporate other tenets of nutritional therapy as outlined in the book "The Mood Cure" by Julia Ross, mainly having to do with getting enough protein, vegetables, and fruit (and avoiding sugar & caffeine as much as possible).

The supplements have been very hepful for me, but it has only been since I've been meditating regularly that my life has really turned around in dramatic ways. I am very thankful that I was able to accomplish that without medication because of how hellish the two years I spent trying different medications for a disorder I didn't have was for me.

I expect it would not be as terrible trying ADHD medications since I do actually have that disorder, but I am glad that the meditation works so well that I don't have to do that.

Thanks again for clarifying, I really didn't understand what you were trying to say before. I found Dr. Barkley's website and will check it out.

A lot of us here have a very difficult time reading large blocks of text.
Would you please edit your posts when you're doing writing them into
smaller paragraphs with a blank line between them? Thank you.

I tried 5htp for awhile, but didn't see any benefits. I finally agreed to try a
sleep aid (trazadone) about six months ago and I love being able to sleep,
but still didn't see any changes with my AdHD symptoms. I do take a B-
complex vitamin, D3, magnesium, calcium and feel those have been helpful
with other issues, but not with the ADHD.

I know I might feel better if I could give up sugar and colas, but I can't
seem to make it work.

I was doing quite a bit of meditation before I learned anything about ADHD,
and it was great but it didn't decrease my ADHD symptoms. It might be
more beneficial now that I'm taking the Omega 3, but helping to parent
two special needs grandchildren has made my life a little too chaotic to
meditate on a regular basis.

I got the impression that you had tried meds for ADHD and they hadn't
worked. Huh. What were you taking meds for when you had those problems?

emily848
02-19-13, 06:47 PM
I was diagnosed with BiPolar II disorder in Dec-2008 and spent 2 years trying different medications. It was a horrible time for me and I finally gave up and went back to coping mechanisms that had been keeping me afloat.

Another 2 years later (in 2012), I read a book about ADHD ("Driven to Distraction") because I help my nephew who has ADHD with his homework and wanted to understand the disorder better. I found out it is much different than I thought and I could relate to a lot of the symptoms. I subsequently went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed.

Looking back on my life with greater knowledge of how ADHD works, I see that school was a huge help for me in keeping my life in order for a long time. I was either going to school part-time while working or taking a heavy course load until I graduated with my MA degree in 2006 (at the age of 30). The resulting demands and high stress forced organization onto my life and kept everything in place, so after I graduated what I now recognize as ADHD symptoms worsened.

After I was diagnosed with ADHD in Oct-2012, the psychiatrist prescribed Adderall, and after a 2-3 week adjustment period it worked pretty well for about a month, then it stopped working. I was hoping I was going through a bad patch and it would start working again, but after a few weeks I realized it wasn't working anymore and decided to look into alternative treatments before trying another medication or changing the dose of the Adderall.

Since the Adderall worked for a time while none of the BP II medications did, I am convinced now that I do have ADHD and do not have BP II (the psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD agrees).

I have been surprised how much the meditation has helped me (most significantly: getting to work on time, getting chores done at home, and ceasing unhealthy self-medication habits that have been a huge part of my entire adult life). Knowing that the problem was with controlling my attention (rather than just the random mood fluctuations of BP II) led me to explore meditation, so without an accurate diagnosis I never would have done that. I was hoping it would help me exercise control over my attention, but it has done much more than that for me and I just hope it continues.

I still struggle with caffeine; I love coffee! But I know that I function better without it, so I think I'll be able to continue staying away from it. Sugar has been easier, so far, but that could change anytime. I've read that eating plenty of Saturated Fats helps reduce sugar cravings, as does taking 5-HTP, but that kind of thing works differently for everybody.

I have a pretty quiet life aside from helping my nephew with his homework after work four days a week. My partner works nights and we have a quiet home and no children, so it hasn't been too difficult to work meditation in, especially since it has enabled me to stop several useless activities that I was putting hours a day into.

emily848
02-19-13, 06:48 PM
Sorry, I'm really bad at keeping my posts short. I did try to break it up into smaller paragraphs though.

deadmau5
02-19-13, 07:25 PM
I apologize if I made you feel like I was ganging up on you emily because that was not my intent and I know it doesnt feel good to have that happen. All i was trying to get across from what I read is that you seem to be against getting treatment with prescription meds for YOURSELF after having no success with your dose of adderall. Thats what I perceived as obvious nothing more. Is this not correct?

I apologize for not being clearer in my first post. I def never read anything where you were trying to convince people to or not to be on meds. I thought you shared some good points about whats been working for you and thats great. One thing I didnt want to let go though was you saying that people on here are not open minded because that is far from the case and uncalled for in my opinion.

Lunacie
02-19-13, 08:29 PM
I was diagnosed with BiPolar II disorder in Dec-2008 and spent 2 years trying different medications. It was a horrible time for me and I finally gave up and went back to coping mechanisms that had been keeping me afloat.

Another 2 years later (in 2012), I read a book about ADHD ("Driven to Distraction") because I help my nephew who has ADHD with his homework and wanted to understand the disorder better. I found out it is much different than I thought and I could relate to a lot of the symptoms. I subsequently went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed.

Looking back on my life with greater knowledge of how ADHD works, I see that school was a huge help for me in keeping my life in order for a long time. I was either going to school part-time while working or taking a heavy course load until I graduated with my MA degree in 2006 (at the age of 30). The resulting demands and high stress forced organization onto my life and kept everything in place, so after I graduated what I now recognize as ADHD symptoms worsened.

After I was diagnosed with ADHD in Oct-2012, the psychiatrist prescribed Adderall, and after a 2-3 week adjustment period it worked pretty well for about a month, then it stopped working. I was hoping I was going through a bad patch and it would start working again, but after a few weeks I realized it wasn't working anymore and decided to look into alternative treatments before trying another medication or changing the dose of the Adderall.

Since the Adderall worked for a time while none of the BP II medications did, I am convinced now that I do have ADHD and do not have BP II (the psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD agrees).

I have been surprised how much the meditation has helped me (most significantly: getting to work on time, getting chores done at home, and ceasing unhealthy self-medication habits that have been a huge part of my entire adult life). Knowing that the problem was with controlling my attention (rather than just the random mood fluctuations of BP II) led me to explore meditation, so without an accurate diagnosis I never would have done that. I was hoping it would help me exercise control over my attention, but it has done much more than that for me and I just hope it continues.

I still struggle with caffeine; I love coffee! But I know that I function better without it, so I think I'll be able to continue staying away from it. Sugar has been easier, so far, but that could change anytime. I've read that eating plenty of Saturated Fats helps reduce sugar cravings, as does taking 5-HTP, but that kind of thing works differently for everybody.

I have a pretty quiet life aside from helping my nephew with his homework after work four days a week. My partner works nights and we have a quiet home and no children, so it hasn't been too difficult to work meditation in, especially since it has enabled me to stop several useless activities that I was putting hours a day into.

My granddaughter's 1st therapist had a hard time letting go of the bipolar
theory for her, and my therapist insisted I have bipolar after our very first
45 minute session, despite the fact that I have a family history of ADHD
and Autism . . . but NOT bipolar.

It seems to come down to even the doctors and therapists thinking that
ADHD is basically little boys being hyperactive. You'd think by 2012 they'd
have some idea of how ADHD looks in girls and how often it occurs. :rolleyes:

Sorry, I'm really bad at keeping my posts short. I did try to break it up into smaller paragraphs though.

Yes, thank you, great job. I really appreciate the effort. :)

Umpirewith ADD
02-09-14, 12:52 PM
Emily, it's been almost a year since anyone jumped on you about meds.;)

First, thank you for your detailed posts. They are very helpful.

My 21 year old son has been on Adderall about 2 years and he is a b**ch without it. Because of what he is like when he is on it, I started it two days ago. I feel a little weird as it has worn off each day and sleep has been rough. But the main reason I tried it is -- I don't have time to evaluate if holistic approaches work. So I jumped on the meds.

I'm not sure I saw in any posts was anyone specifically having daily withdrawal symptoms each afternoon or evening.