View Full Version : non-medication treatments and career choices


kmusing
05-23-16, 02:12 AM
Hello everyone.

Just found this board...glad I did! Reading lots of helpful information.

...Thinking I have a lot of the characteristics of I-ADD and wanted some information on people with same who have not resorted to use of prescription medication for treatment.

If you have not done so, can you share a bit of insight on strategies or things that you found to help with your focus and memory etc?

Thank you!

sarahsweets
05-23-16, 02:34 AM
Are you against meds for certain reasons or do you just feel like you dont need them?

BellaVita
05-23-16, 05:35 AM
Hello and welcome! :)

If you truly feel you have ADHD, I highly suggest finding a good psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD. Medication is safe and has been studied for decades - stimulant medication that is like Adderall. It might greatly benefit you and help you live in a way you never thought possible.

I do not take medication, but there are several reasons for that I won't get in to. (None of those reasons being that I don't think medication is safe)

Some things I do that help me to cope:
-Physical activity of some kind every day. This is a huge one for me. Even the days I don't do my workout routine, I have a very high-energy dog who REQUIRES exercise every day and so I rarely ever miss a day doing that. That's one reason I got her: to get me back into exercising after a couple years of being sedentary. Well, that worked out extremely well.

-Nicotine patches - I use nicotine patches (low dosages) to help improve my focus, calm me down, rid me of anxiety, and give me better emotional regulation. These help me immensely. Actually, they work better for me than ADHD medication did. But please, do NOT go this route first. I have to since I cannot see a doctor and get prescribed medication.

-Vitamins - Having proper vitamins is essential. You don't need to do this if you properly absorb nutrients and have a well-balanced diet. But for me I have issues absorbing nutrients due to my disease and I cannot eat many veggies/certain foods because they trigger flare-ups. But the difference between me having my proper vitamins and not having them is a big one. B12 in liquid form is especially helpful.

For memory: I have a decent memory, but I am a very list-type of person so I either write down hand-written notes or take notes in an app. It also helps to make me feel like I can empty my brain a bit and not store the lists in my head.

Again, I really strongly suggest finding a psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD.

Coping methods and using different techniques will still be impacted by ADHD symptoms, it might make it very hard to stay consistent or focused on these things. ADHD medication will help with managing symptoms and that will help YOU manage your coping strategies better.

Hope this helps. :)

Unmanagable
05-23-16, 09:59 AM
Mindful eating, mindful breathing, neuroptimal brand neurofeedback, and mindful movement help to greatly manage my mind that stays full, along with the accompanying hellish symptoms that I've been dealt in this existence.

But I didn't discover I was able to manage anything in these ways until after I had been misdiagnosed throughout my life, tried many meds throughout the years (not just for adhd, as I wasn't diagnosed until age 43), and painfully learned my brain and body doesn't jive well with most all of them.

I also incorporate(d) the help of acupuncture, massage therapy, iridology, chiropractor adjustments, reiki, sound therapy, talking therapy, and eliminated meat, dairy, eggs, caffeine, alcohol, and most grains from my diet, thanks to a medical emergency scare.

The diet change had the most profound effects. I haven't "cured" anything, but have definitely eased my suffering and improved the quality of my life in ways I thought were totally out of my reach in this life time.

I've found so much relief in digging for and gaining more understanding from the roots of my issues, and then being open to "alternative" wisdom after being let down, yet again, by typical methods. But I only learned that after much discomfort in following the medically suggested routes for many years.

Having an extremely supportive husband, living in an environment that allows space for healing much more than creating hellish conditions, and living in a community that fosters the bartering scene vs. strict monetary exchange have been key in making my experiences possible.

Not sure where I'd be right now had I been placed in a position to face it all on my own. Incredibly grateful for my village and the opportunities that have presented themselves along the way.

kmusing
05-23-16, 11:32 PM
Hello and welcome! :)

If you truly feel you have ADHD, I highly suggest finding a good psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD. Medication is safe and has been studied for decades - stimulant medication that is like Adderall. It might greatly benefit you and help you live in a way you never thought possible.

I do not take medication, but there are several reasons for that I won't get in to. (None of those reasons being that I don't think medication is safe)

Some things I do that help me to cope:
-Physical activity of some kind every day. This is a huge one for me. Even the days I don't do my workout routine, I have a very high-energy dog who REQUIRES exercise every day and so I rarely ever miss a day doing that. That's one reason I got her: to get me back into exercising after a couple years of being sedentary. Well, that worked out extremely well.

-Nicotine patches - I use nicotine patches (low dosages) to help improve my focus, calm me down, rid me of anxiety, and give me better emotional regulation. These help me immensely. Actually, they work better for me than ADHD medication did. But please, do NOT go this route first. I have to since I cannot see a doctor and get prescribed medication.

-Vitamins - Having proper vitamins is essential. You don't need to do this if you properly absorb nutrients and have a well-balanced diet. But for me I have issues absorbing nutrients due to my disease and I cannot eat many veggies/certain foods because they trigger flare-ups. But the difference between me having my proper vitamins and not having them is a big one. B12 in liquid form is especially helpful.

For memory: I have a decent memory, but I am a very list-type of person so I either write down hand-written notes or take notes in an app. It also helps to make me feel like I can empty my brain a bit and not store the lists in my head.

Again, I really strongly suggest finding a psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD.

Coping methods and using different techniques will still be impacted by ADHD symptoms, it might make it very hard to stay consistent or focused on these things. ADHD medication will help with managing symptoms and that will help YOU manage your coping strategies better.

Hope this helps. :)

This helps a great deal, thank you. In terms of nicotine patches - may I ask did you previously smoke or was this something that you stumbled upon/was suggested to you? I ask this because I used to smoke, and sometimes occasionally do and find that when I do, my focus is improved - however I never thought of the connection before. Hope to hear from you.

kmusing
05-23-16, 11:34 PM
Hello everyone.

Just found this board...glad I did! Reading lots of helpful information.

...Thinking I have a lot of the characteristics of I-ADD and wanted some information on people with same who have not resorted to use of prescription medication for treatment.

If you have not done so, can you share a bit of insight on strategies or things that you found to help with your focus and memory etc?

Thank you!

I am not against meds, just wanted to try some non-medical therapy first before I started taking stuff that could work but also not if that makes sense.

ToneTone
06-09-16, 07:27 PM
Exercise is fantastic for concentration and brain function and ADHD and other conditions.

So is regular meditation ... (But is hard to do without a settled mind.)

So is walking in the park or in nature ...

The problem is how do you get to those behaviors with the brains we have--without medication?

I would also say coaching can help ... coaching with someone who understands ADHD ... who helps you practice ways of organizing and planning. It took me years to realize I could make organizer simpler by asking the question: "What would make keeping order easy?" "What would make planning ahead of time easy?"

Therapy can help ... by reducing anxiety and helping us accept without defensiveness the way our brain works ... I have found that the quicker I accept how my brain works (how it falters), the quicker I can come up with a work-around.

Therapy can also be a big help because a lot of ADHDers have started and failed to create more order and planning so many times that we've basically given up. You can't start the good habit unless you practice starting a good habit again.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses (being brutally honest about both) can help if you can move towards a job that uses your strengths and not one that requires a lot of work in our weak areas.

Good luck.

BellaVita
06-09-16, 11:06 PM
This helps a great deal, thank you. In terms of nicotine patches - may I ask did you previously smoke or was this something that you stumbled upon/was suggested to you? I ask this because I used to smoke, and sometimes occasionally do and find that when I do, my focus is improved - however I never thought of the connection before. Hope to hear from you.

No I have never smoked. (I do not tolerate even standing near someone who is smoking, I have a bad reaction to the smoke)

In February 2013 I was going through an extremely stressful time, my anxiety was through the roof. I suddenly got the idea to try nicotine patches - I was desperate for something to work. My ex-bf picked some up for me.

I didn't start using them again until maybe 2015. I started using them again because my parent kicked me off their insurance and I had to abruptly stop taking all of my medications since I couldn't afford a doctor. To this day I still do not have insurance, and so I use nicotine patches to cope.

Thankfully, they help me a great deal. But to anyone who is able to go to a doctor - then that is the best option. Self-medicating with nicotine should be a last resort.

Cyllya
06-12-16, 09:46 PM
Well, step 1 is to do all the stuff that non-ADHD people do to be focused and organized. It always ticks me off whenever this stuff is discussed like it's some kind of ADHD solution. Most people need to do stuff like this; the whole point of ADHD is that this stuff isn't enough. But if you aren't doing this kind of stuff, you are doubly disadvantaged.


Try to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and get enough exercise.
Make to-do lists and other lists.
If you have a task that is complicated, break it down by making a list of the individual steps.
Use alarms, post-it notes, calendar, etc. to remind you of things.
Read Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Get rid of any tasks that can be gotten rid of: get your paychecks direct-deposited, automatic bill pay, etc. If possible, hire an assistant or maid or something.
If you tend to repeatedly misplace things like your car keys, designate a certain spot (probably near your door) where you will always put things like that. It will take a lot of effort to consistently put it there at first, but eventually it will become a habit.


I've been trying to look into therapy for ADHD, but it looks like therapy generally falls into one of these categories:
Treatment of co-existing disorders, or helping you deal with sadness, anxiety, and low self-esteem that come from you having to struggle so much in life due to ADHD. Not actually dealing with ADHD itself.
It gives you information about ADHD so you don't consider it some moral failing in yourself. This could be useful to involve your family members in if they don't believe in or understand ADHD.
For kids with ADHD, there is "family therapy," which I think is basically parenting classes. It's about fixing "behavior problems," so it's not useful for adults or well-behaved children.
Teaches you coping techniques, as above. It might entail some kind of exercise to put this into place. This could be really useful if they can actually
teach you more than you could learn from a weekend of Googling. This is often not provided by licensed therapist but instead by "coaches" who have no legal licensing requirements, which could make it that much harder to find coaching that's actually any good.

The Feingold program might be worth a shot if you're desperate for non-medication solutions, but I've seen zero reason to believe it's ever helpful for attention problems.

ADHDMumofThree
06-16-16, 11:37 AM
BellaVita, I just stumbled upon this forum and then spotted your post about nicotine patches. I've actually considered using nicotine patches myself as I didn't want to start smoking. Then I considered e-cigs but I'm not convinced that they're going to be much better than smoking.

I thought I was a bit crazy to consider just randomly starting nicotine patches, and my husband is against it. I think he sees is as some kind of gateway drug situation. It's really interesting to hear that you are getting benefits from them. I haven't thought about it in a little while actually so I might give it some more thought.

I have smoked a handful of cigarettes in my late teens and did find myself less anxious and more focused but back then I had no idea that I had ADHD so I assumed that's what they do for everyone. Now, I'm not so sure. I can't see that it can be much worse than taking my medication.

Thanks for writing about it, it's really helpful x