View Full Version : Those who take meds - experiences?


MarmaladeSheep
06-29-17, 05:57 AM
I'm being encouraged to consider an adult ADD assessment. I am a worrier by nature and am currently worried about the implications (medication-wise) if I am diagnosed and offered medication.

I’ve done a stupid thing and googled various meds in an attempt to be as fully informed as possible. This has worried me silly and I'm hoping someone could give me their experience of long term medication use.

All I seem to find are newly diagnosed people saying their medication has helped immensely, but then the longer term medicated add'ers complaining of side effects like excessive anger (I am quite explosive with anger outbursts and worsening this trait frightens me), as well as chronic insomnia (something I already suffer badly from), and after an initial period of weight loss a lot seem to complain of excessive weight gain whilst medicated (I am happy with my weight currently, but I'd rather not get fat).

People also seem to complain that medication lessens their feelings of creativity or ability to create, something which is quite important to my job and “feeling like a robot” seems to be a common theme various ADD medication users report.

I am just generally having a bit of a fit about everything that a diagnosis could mean, and I've never been a one-step-at-a-time kind of person. So instead I'm scaring myself stupid. And worrying. As you do.

Any thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated.

TangledWebs
06-29-17, 12:52 PM
If I were you, I would take the assessment, and if you do have ADHD, try the medication out. You are the only person who will know whether you feel better on or off.

I have been on medication for ten years (i.e., Adderall XR, Vyvanse, Adderall IR) and have not experienced many unpleasant side effects.

Cyllya
06-29-17, 06:48 PM
I've never heard the "feeling like a robot" thing. I hear "zombie" Sometimes, referring to fatigue or brain fog or whatever.

Meds often have annoying side effects, but they're usually much less bad than untreated ADHD! If a med is actually an improvement in your life, you obviously stop taking it! (Or adjust the dose or something to make it an improvement. Stimulants are so short-acting that many folks get significantly different results depending on dose schedule and pill release form, so changing that up can solve the problem.) There are multiple meds available, so if the first one is no good, you may have luck with another.

If you are going to look at anecdotes about med results, at least make sure you get stories from an adult with ADHD or similar condition using the meds as prescribed for therapeutic purposes. (Teens might be okay too, but kids have more challenges getting meds right because the medical decisions are being made by their parent, who is trying to guess at efficacy by the kid's behavior. Parents may also have different treatment goals than the actual patient. Besides that, some people may use ADHD meds for recreational purposes or performance enhancement, and their situation won't apply to you. Besides the downside of no meds being much more minor for them, they might take stupid doses, take the meds sporadically, take pills they bought off the street, take meds that are medically contraindicated in their personal situation, etc.)

Not sure what anecdotes youre lokking at, but the long time ADHDers might have more complaints on meds because we're raising our standards? Good treatment is hard, for most people. Finding the perfect solution might take years, and it might not stay perfect forever. The newly diagnosed people are understandably happy about dang near any treatment because anything less bad than their symptoms is an improvement over what they had before, even if there are downsides. After you've been seeking treatment a while and found something better than symptoms, you probably still want better treatment, but you're only going to be happy if it's better than your previous best treatment.

The downsides of my meds are...
Xerotomia (mouth feels dry).
I feel extra groggy in the morning.
It only works for about 9 hours a day. Five days a week, I use those 9 hours for my job, so the result is that my boss and coworkers are happy, but my life is still dissolving around me!
The meds are affected by gastrointestinal pH, and I have acid reflux, so if I accidentally eat the wrong thing, the meds don't work for a day or more!
The meds only work about three months before I get too much tolerance and have to either stop the med for a month or raise the dose.
Skipping meds (including the above acid problem) temporarily makes me super-fidgety, to a degree slightly worse than my untreated baseline.
At the end of the day, my natural inclination to keep doing whatever I'm doing seems to get worse.
My copy is like $90 per month for the meds.
Heart rate and blood pressure is high.
When I raise the dose, I'm more susceptible to heartburn for a while.

Does this sucks? Heck yes. Do I want to forgo treatment to avoid these problems? Heck no! (I would have already stopped if that were the case.) Half the downsides are basically "it's good but it's not enough."

I've tried other treatments with a worse list of downsides. I stopped them because my current treatment is better. (Some of them, I would have continued if I didn't already have a better option, some I wouldn't.) I'm going to switch treatments next week. The new one isn't a stimulant, so it'll probably be terribly unpleasant the first few weeks. After that, it might be better or it might be worse.

For those of us in a place where adults have to drive a car to make a living, untreated ADHD is physically dangerous.

A psychiatric assessment should screen you for a few other problems besides ADHD. Maybe ADHD isn't even your problem, or not your only problem. (Downside is the meds for other conditions are often worse, but an upside is there's more non-medication treatments.)

sarahsweets
06-30-17, 09:04 AM
Coming to a support forum that is dedicated to people taking their medication as prescribed for adhd like here for personal experiences with medication is a good resource. Googling questions about medication and clicking away will get you nowhere. Most people are not diagnosed or if they are, they are self dosing at their own whim and not a doctor's orders. There are entire groups of people who obtain the meds illegally or unethically and proceed to play doctor and dose themselves and their are a zillion posts about people either abusing it or just 'trying it out" cause they got some from a friend. Google can be great or evil.

Cyllya
06-30-17, 07:11 PM
Oops...

If a med is not actually an improvement in your life, you obviously stop taking it! (Or adjust the dose or something to make it an improvement....)

Hopefully that makes more sense! Don't stop improvements.

Pilgrim
07-01-17, 12:12 AM
I always keep in mind what life was like untreated and I'll take treated every time.
I was also a bit concerned re ' creativity ' , not a problem for me.

mrh235
07-04-17, 08:18 PM
I'm being encouraged to consider an adult ADD assessment. I am a worrier by nature and am currently worried about the implications (medication-wise) if I am diagnosed and offered medication.

I’ve done a stupid thing and googled various meds in an attempt to be as fully informed as possible. This has worried me silly and I'm hoping someone could give me their experience of long term medication use.

All I seem to find are newly diagnosed people saying their medication has helped immensely, but then the longer term medicated add'ers complaining of side effects like excessive anger (I am quite explosive with anger outbursts and worsening this trait frightens me), as well as chronic insomnia (something I already suffer badly from), and after an initial period of weight loss a lot seem to complain of excessive weight gain whilst medicated (I am happy with my weight currently, but I'd rather not get fat).

People also seem to complain that medication lessens their feelings of creativity or ability to create, something which is quite important to my job and “feeling like a robot” seems to be a common theme various ADD medication users report.

I am just generally having a bit of a fit about everything that a diagnosis could mean, and I've never been a one-step-at-a-time kind of person. So instead I'm scaring myself stupid. And worrying. As you do.

Any thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated.


I've been on vyvanse for 6 years. my biggest complaint is it's hard to find the right dosage, and it turned out the right dosage for me was higher than I'd expect (80mg), but once I received the right dosage I haven't had to have it upped anymore.
When it comes to anger - vyvanse calmed me down so i'm actually far more emotionally stable. I don't have the insomnia issue if anything vyvanse allows me to go to bed earlier. Weight gain- yea i have that, but the thing is that's a common side effect with most medicines.

The whole emotional dampening and killing creativity isnt accurate - i struggled with creativity and focus so badly before my ADHD was treated and if anything with meds im far more creative. The robot/zombie feeling just means the dosage is too high.

Don't read too much into the side effects. ADHD medicines are incredibly and life-saving for those of us with ADHD, and not everyone experiences those side effects you mentioned. It's also a matter of balancing the dosage right

someothertime
07-05-17, 08:30 AM
my advice.... go in with an open mind and suck it then see....

too much to get preoccupied with that detracts from useful experience...

sarahsweets
07-06-17, 03:33 AM
my advice.... go in with an open mind and suck it then see....

too much to get preoccupied with that detracts from useful experience...
lol! I know this is a typo but God I needed that laugh!