View Full Version : Does a higher dosage mean my ADHD is more severe?

09-26-17, 11:06 AM
So I FINALLY got to see a psychaiatrist, and after a bunch of tests and experimenting around with different medications and dosages, I'm now on 40mg of a slow-release Methylphenadate. That was the highest dose my doctor would let me take, and I found that anything less just wasn't really effective enough.

So my question is, is the severity of ADHD at all correllated to how much medicine it takes to treat it effectively? In other words, if I have a higher dosage, does it mean my ADHD is worse?

I've been trying to gage just how severe I really have it, but my therapist and doctor both say really vague things like "well, that's more of a matter of perspective..." or "all that really matters is how it affects you", or "Don't worry, we will work together and come up with lots of things to help you." Are they just afraid to tell me how bad it really is...???

I'd love any answers!! Thanks

09-26-17, 11:32 AM
It might mean that, but it might also mean you metabolize medications quickly, or it might mean that you have a lesser response to medication, or it could be a mixture of those things. There isn’t a way to be sure, short of spending a lot of time and money, and even then, you couldn’t be 100% sure.

For myself, my ADHD is characterized as severe, and I have typically been prescribed medication dosages at the upper end of the scale. That said, I take other medications not related to my ADHD, and based on the dosages needed, my doctor and nurses all call me a fast metabolizer. My doctor once jokingly said that I was “a horse.”


09-28-17, 03:17 AM
Hi Ian,

Thanks for your answer! That is kind of what I thought, and I asked my doctor today, and he basically said the same thing. That in general it is corrolated but that some people also just metabolize fast. I do metabolize fast (at least for food) but I think my ADHD is more on the severe end of the scale too.

Only... I don't have any sort of category from my diagnosis... how do you know "how severe" it is? Is there some sort of rating scale, or is it just based on a general impression of the doctor...?

09-28-17, 03:52 AM
I have a slow metabolism but I suspect my ADHD is severe. My working memory is appalling, I cannot focus on anything for more than about 10 minutes and I always misplace things.

I'm on 30 mg of ritalin a day (3 X 10 mg a day) yet my mind always wanders off.

I do wonder if ritalin is suitable for me as I have been formally diagnosed with autism and predominant inattentive ADHD.

I hate my brain. :(

09-28-17, 07:48 AM
What about adderall or dexedrine?

09-29-17, 10:28 AM
Perhaps I am being impatient but I cannot say I have been overly impressed with the results thus far.

I still cannot recall even fragments of conversations, I easily lose things, make careless mistakes and never remember anything I read.

I cannot fathom how I can possibly work for a living if I am forever going to be this confused, spacy, flaky, unfocused and disorganised.

I don't know if there's something fundamentally wrong with my brain or if I am presenting symptoms of depression, autism and inattentive ADHD, all of which I have been diagnosed with.

09-30-17, 12:47 AM
Barbray, may I ask how old you are? What you describe really does sound severe... is that what you experience in school, or also all the time? Even with friends?

09-30-17, 03:55 AM
I'm 27 years old.

Though I have been informed that I am bright and intelligent, I fail to see why anyone would see me in this light. I left school with average grades (6 GCSEs and 2 A Levels) but I have always thought that I was considerably slower than everyone else.

It's disconcerting how 'blank' my mind can be throughout the day. Hopefully I will see some improvements on ritalin and citalopram.

10-02-17, 04:11 PM
Barbrady, I totally understand. It's so hard to see ourselves as bright when we keep experiencing the opposite. Even after an IQ test... well lets just say it feels hard for me to think that IQ even matters at all, if I'm not able to really use it.

Ive worked a lot of jobs, and so far I've found that even if I'm slower at some things (like giving correct change) my bosses never seemed to really notice. As long as you are enthusiastic, nice to people, and genuine!! Man they will forgive me anything.

At my desk jobs (more recently) no one really knows how long I take to do my paperwork and projects, or what percent of my day is spent inefficiently bouncing from task to task... But yeah it doesn't feel to good to know that you aren't doing your best. I'm really hoping that ritalin will help me there!!

Good luck to you, If you pick the right type of job, then it won't matter if you can't focus very long or are slower than other people.

10-02-17, 05:34 PM
Thank you, Sunflower.

I think I have gotten away with so much in life because I am an extremely placid and polite guy. They say that predominant inattentive ADHD can be harder to recognise because individuals tend to be rather quiet and compliant.

I don't know if it's ADHD or ASD related but I cannot filter out background noise at all. It's extremely overwhelming and makes it almost impossible for me to think clearly.

Supermarkets and town/city centres are the worst. When I am shopping, I invariably take far too long and end up forgetting something. I am always distracted by other people's conversations and random background noise. In many respects, I would perhaps be happiest in a soundproof padded cell. At least then I would be able to hear myself think. :(