View Full Version : What kind of improvements can I expect when I find the right medication for ADD-I?

06-13-14, 10:11 AM
Hi there! I'm 24 years old and I was just diagnosed yesterday with ADD-I.

I was homeschooled during my grade school years and never knew anything was wrong (I had the protective mother type and became very dependent) until I went to college. I went from being a quiet and super smart kid with a 3.8 GPA to a quiet idiot with a 1.8 GPA. I just fell absolutely apart. I only went to college for 3 semesters before I gave up, got a job and got an apartment. Needless to say, living on my own didn't work out either because I am so impulsive in my spending and can't manage my money. Couldn't remember to pay bills, etc. (You all know the drill).

On top of that, having a career has been impossible. I have alot of dreams and desires but can't reach any of them. In the past 4 years, I have had 10 jobs. Never working more than 4 months at any job. Three-fourths of them have been the result of being fired and the other one-fourth by quitting before I knew I was going to get fired. For the longest time I have believed that I was just a no-good lazy bum. Partly because I have been told that so many times by other people and partly because I can see all of my failures in life. But now, with the diagnosis, I can see a silver lining for the first time since I was 18!

However, I want to keep my expectations reasonable. How can I expect the right medication to work for me? How will I see it improve my life? Will I be able to work without zoning out and do things like remember to take out the trash? I'm currently unemployed so I'm waiting to get medication before I continue searching for a job. I don't want to go into a new job with my issues untreated. Sorry if this kind of rambling. :)

06-13-14, 01:37 PM
Hello, and welcome to the forum!

The right medication at the right dosage will stop you from zoning out, and allow you to follow through on your decisions.

That means if you decide "I'm going to make a to-do list" it will get done; if you decide "I'm going to do what's on this to-do list" it will get done; if you decide "I'm going to procrastinate and waste time on the internet" then you will procrastinate harder and longer than ever, and waste entire days on the internet instead of just hours. :)

In other words: Medication lets you use your will power, but it doesn't give you won't power. :)

06-13-14, 04:02 PM
if you decide "I'm going to procrastinate and waste time on the internet" then you will procrastinate harder and longer than ever, and waste entire days on the internet instead of just hours.

haha...yeah...I had to learn this the hard way!

It can take a while to find the right dose on these meds (stimulants). I'm talking months.
It took me around 4 or 5 months to start approaching that right dose for me.
And those were some incredibly frustrating months. I had heard so many amazing things about these meds and how they really helped people out, and in many cases helped people just really start to turn their lives around...
Yet I wasn't getting ANY of that. And I wanted it so badly!
But my doctor wanted to be slow and to be safe (and I'm grateful, in the end, for her being so). She wanted to slowly increase my doses so that I wouldn't get too many bad side effects from these meds.
But she has been very open and non-judgmental. She's had no problems giving me the increases in doses that I've needed...she just wanted to do so slowly.

And now, almost 7 months into my journey with meds...I'm finally where I want to be with them! I finally hit that correct dose about 5 months in...and the last 2 months have been very good to me.

Like DVD said, meds have helped me focus and have helped me follow through. I love that about my meds.
I can focus on things for a much longer period of time without getting bored. My brain just doesn't feel so dam scattered all the time and I don't have the constant need to bounce from 1 thing to another so rapidly anymore.
And I get more done. I 'think' less, and 'do' more. I've not only picked up my incredibly messy apartment...but I've also kept it picked up for the most part for months now. Something I've been unable to do for years unmedicated.
My meds elevate my mood sometimes as well...they just quiet my brain, give me focus, and for some reason make me feel really appreciative of things sometimes lol. It's as if my meds clear out all this fog I constantly live in, and it just feels really freaking good!

My meds help with anxiety too! I (sometimes) feel just so much...I don't know how to put it..."smoother" in public situations. Where before I was super rigid and hard because I was always so worried I'd say something stupid, or look bad around people or I sometimes just feel a lot more relaxed and carefree. I feel a lot more mellow. Smooth. It's actually very nice!

I feel very unproductive on days I don't take my meds.

It might take you a while to find that right dose...but once you find it, I think you'll know. It's black and white for me. I can't believe how much my meds help me with everything.

They don't fix me. I still procrastinate, I'm still late to meetings/appointments, I still do a LOT of 'doing nothing productive' in my life.
But they make things so much easier for me. I can actually focus, my brain doesn't feel so damn scattered and they just make it easier to actually follow through with my thoughts and wants.

I'm glad I never gave up on my meds. I was starting to wonder if I'd ever find a dose that would help, and it was so frustrating early on. But I stuck it out and found that dose and it's been amazing!


06-13-14, 04:22 PM
Thanks, dvd and psycho. That is really nice to know. Whenever I make a to-do list, I end up just staring at it. I want to do it but I'm just so completely overwhelmed. I may even start it, but I eventually give up because I just can't. My "want to" is there. I can feel it. But the ability to do it is what is suffering. Can't even imagine what it feels like once I get the correct meds/dosage.

Psycho, One of the best things you mentioned was about the social anxiety. I feel that way all the time. Like whatever I say or do is going to be stupid. When it's close friends, I'm fine. But when it comes to co-workers or meeting new people, I'm petrified and often do say dumb things because of my fear. When someone is standing there talking to me, I'm not listening to them. I'm listening to my inner voice repeat exactly how I want to say something so its not stupid.

I don't expect to never procrastinate again or never forget things, etc. But what I'm looking for is improvement. Even just a little. I just want to be able to keep a job. I don't have to be employee of the year, lol. Thanks, again guys! You're giving me a bit of hope. . .

06-13-14, 10:51 PM
I personally chose the supplement route and I have had decent results. I used to wear headphones and listen to music just to mow my 1/4 acre lawn without having to take multiple breaks.

Last time I mowed I took one break to use the bathroom because I simply couldn't hold it any longer.

I was in the bathroom another day and oddly found myself cleaning the sink completely. Even now, I can assure you my cabinet doors are all closed.