View Full Version : How much can one improve with medication/treatment?


LikeAFox
05-07-17, 11:09 AM
I haven't gone for diagnosis yet. In fact, it's really just started to occur to me that I might very well be ADD/ADHD (I'm 35). I experience many of the common symptoms, ie, disorganized, messy house, procrastination, inattentiveness, etc. On a finer and more personalized description, I would say some of my biggest problems are:

- Making and keeping friends - I tend to shy away from the time and energy commitment it takes to maintain close relationships (this inevitably hurts people, which I feel terrible about.)

- Oftentimes I'll have two laptops going at the same time because if one is loading slowly, that lag period can be painfully boring.

- In group settings, I feel like the real, adult me is gagged and tied to a chair while a drunken clown is in the driver's seat. I can't stop joking and often come across as boorish and immature. I really hate this and wish I could stop. At the time I won't even notice the looks on people's face as I'm acting like a fool, but it will hit me later on and I'll be so upset that I did it again.

- Even things that I'm genuinely interested in, I seem to mostly just think about engaging in them rather than actually engaging in them.

- In general, bored, boring, boredom have been among my most frequently used vocabulary words throughout my life.

- I've spent most of my adult life in a depression because my job is boring and mundane. In my mind I'm convinced that my job is literally ruining my life. (I'm back in college now, but that doesn't alleviate my seething hatred for my current job.)

- I seem to have little to no patience for all the little annoyances that one comes across on a daily basis.


I suppose I can't imagine a life where a lot of these mannerisms are alleviated. The thought of being more "normal" seems like a pipe dream. If my suspicion is correct and I do get diagnosed and get medication, how much of a difference can I expect it to make?

l_ruth_
05-07-17, 06:29 PM
I have not myself got a diagnosis for ADD

when I got a diagnosis for ASD (autism spectrum disorder) this was a huge relief to me.

I don't know about meds for ADD, in particular, but I know it is in the brain and so if you get something which is targeted for what your symptoms actually are, this could be a huge help.

Also just since learning more about add in the past few days has made a huge difference. I think the more one understands about how this actually impacts one's life in specific ways, if indeed it does, so much the better - because then we can learn to notice for ourselves, and make those other changes independently (aside from the question of meds, which I think sounds like if they are targeted in the right specific way, can do wonders)

ToneTone
05-07-17, 11:27 PM
I would say think less about becoming "more normal" and more about living the life you want to live and completing more of the tasks you want to complete and building more of the kinds of relationships you want to build.

Impossible to answer your question ... because some people have great success with medications, others less so ...

Some people get help from medications but also get help from strategizing to minimize the impact of ADHD on their lives.

Medication helps me a lot ... But lifestyle changes are critical. Adequate sleep is absolutely important. Exercise is great for people with ADHD as is going out in nature ...as is eating a diet that keeps blood sugar from spiking up and down ... Finding a job that doesn't wear out your brain is critical for people with ADHD. Getting strategic about finding easy easy ways to complete boring and tedious tasks is important.

With luck, people make progress on these various paths ... and the self-work and the medication reinforce each other.

Sometimes even a small improvement brought on by medication can make a difference.

Not sure that is very helpful or specific ...

Good luck in pursuing a diagnosis.

Tone

aeon
05-08-17, 12:49 AM
Ultimately, you still have to do the work, but my goodness, meds make all the difference in the world, at least in my experience.

I can relate to more than a couple of your "mannerisms," as you put it. For me, meds greatly alleviate them, if not outright eliminate them.

That said, you asked what you can expect, and I am here to tell you that you would do well to expect nothing at all. Why? Because each person's response to meds is different, and most have to try a few before they find the right med, dosage, and regimen. Also, going into it all with expectations is a sure way to set yourself up for disappointment.

Get screened, and if appropriate, diagnosed. Work with your medical professional to find something that works for you. Remain open to suggestion, and take notes of your experience with a given approach. I would urge you to remain hopeful and persistent, but don't think meds will be any kind of magic bullet.

Optimally, they will support you in your health and well-being, as you define that for yourself, but those things will remain your responsibility, and your growth and success are, in the end, up to you.


Well-wishes,
Ian

Unmanagable
05-08-17, 09:12 AM
Welcome to the neighborhood!

Treatment can make all the difference in the world, in either direction.

Normal very likely means something different to each person you ask, based on their life experience and previous programming, be it familial or societal.

I would urge you to not strive for that, as you'll end up trying to please many different external expectations that will leave you feeling quite empty.

Strive for raised awareness of self, learning how to love and best nurture self, and the healthiest methods possible to achieve overall wellness.

If meds can actually help get you there, that's great, and give thanks.

If they don't, be prepared to seek answers in other places that can improve your overall wellness.

I found a lot of un-learning was necessary to get over the hurdles I thought existed in achieving relief.

Meds didn't work for me long-term, rather they increased my difficulties.

Environment, consumption habits, sleep habits, emotional support, daily activity, thought processes, etc. have had a longer lasting positive effect for me than meds ever did, but I also incorporate many other things I used to avoid, like acupuncture, massage therapy, chiro adjustments, etc. all made available through an amazing bartering system created in my local community.

My greatest symptom relief (for all things in addition to adhd) have been through my drastic changes in my choices of consumption, in using my breath, in making sure to include daily movement that's also fun, and learning to better redirect my thoughts in the moment they appear.

Best wishes in finding your most effective and healthiest healing grooves. It can be a jungle out there figuring it all out. You've found a great space to learn more.

LikeAFox
05-08-17, 02:16 PM
You all make a good point about reigning in expectations. I can certainly hit a lot of brick walls when I idealize too much and end up being severely let down (though usually the let down was internal and preventable.)

I do wish I had more emotional support. My realization isn't just as to me, but I would bet money this applies to my mom and brother as well. They are both content to let life pass by while they alleviate with video games and television. We are not a close family as each of us seems absorbed in whatever little world we have built for ourselves that seems interesting and a relief from daily monotony. I look at my mother and it's terrifying, really, to have let so much of life pass by with almost nothing to show for it except literally hundreds of thousands of hours of watching television.

Thanks for the good advice and I do appreciate the replies very much!!

sarahsweets
05-16-17, 03:54 AM
"Normal" is a dirty word. :)

BricksAreHeavy
05-27-17, 12:43 AM
Wow I relate your personalized description of problems. Especially about thinking about engaging in something but never actually engaging in it. I'm always told I need to just start something, but it just doesn't happen.

Bored is also a vocabulary I am always using.

If anyone can answer this - that would be great. When I was prescribed vyvanse I felt guilty at first because the feeling of chronic boredom seemed to have lifted a bit as I was then able to start on things I needed to accomplish. I didn't necessarily enjoy these tasks by any means, but being able to complete what I needed to made me feel better and seemed to have give me some meaning. Is this cheating? I don't feel it is at all, I've just been without medication for 1.5 years and have gotten used to an insane amount of overcompensation to the point where I'm being driven crazy and feel like this will forever be my "natural state".

kwalk
05-27-17, 11:36 AM
Cheating with medication? No. ADHD gives you motivation problems and it's core problem- concentration. So this is helping you. I will say this though, even though I went through a period where I constantly made myself do the same thing everyday so I could stay focused (even on meds because they don't work like they used to) and basically trained myself to be motivated. I find I can still do things off meds and you should too because do you really want to spend every waking moment on meds?honestly I hate taking meds at home unless it was for school work, because I still wouldn't get things done and hated the expectation that I had to do something on meds. Plus I like to rest. I recently started an online business with something I enjoy and because I have to live up to my expectation to not fail my business and make customers happy ( I want them to enjoy my clothes!) I have a great deal of motivation to get things done and I'm practically spending every waking moment lately doing it because I have another full time job.

sarahsweets
05-30-17, 04:09 AM
If anyone can answer this - that would be great. When I was prescribed vyvanse I felt guilty at first because the feeling of chronic boredom seemed to have lifted a bit as I was then able to start on things I needed to accomplish.
Sounds like it was working the right way.

I didn't necessarily enjoy these tasks by any means, but being able to complete what I needed to made me feel better and seemed to have give me some meaning. Is this cheating? I don't feel it is at all, I've just been without medication for 1.5 years and have gotten used to an insane amount of overcompensation to the point where I'm being driven crazy and feel like this will forever be my "natural state".

Cheating would be if you were completely ok or above average with no impairments and then you illegally took medication or faked a diagnosis to obtain a prescription for stimulants to be used as a performance enhancer. Meds level the playing field. They do not make us better than, but they can help make us equal to.