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Women with ADD/ADHD This forum is for women to discuss issues related to being a woman with AD/HD.

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Old 09-08-17, 08:45 AM
PillBlast PillBlast is offline
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Unhappy Am I me when I take my medication?

I have been diagnosed about 3-4 months ago and since then I have been taking medication. I am just now in the process of switching medication because the lack of appetite with Ritalin was not manageable for me. I lost a lot of weight and I am underweight to start with and a terribly picky eater.

I stopped taking the pills for a few weeks before my next appointment with my doctor and gained back the weight. Now I am trying some new medication and the whole difference of me without my medication vs. me medicated is more clear. My brain is again clear during the day and I am less impulsive. What changes most is also the ability to interact with people, listening to them connecting better. Yesterday my husband told me how sweet I had been to my daughter that day( I was so much more patient). It was the first day medicated after the break, I know the medicine makes me a better person for others to be around but it also takes a lot from me.

During the many years I developed a lot of coping mechanisms for dealing with school and work and even though medicine makes it easier it also kind of takes away from my creativity. I never managed to figure out coping mechanisms to deal with people and my impulsivity.

Now I am left wondering if I am me when I take my medication? Should I just take it for the sake of my family? I'm not sure how to deal with it all and I would love to hear a bit of feedback from some that maybe felt the same way at one point or another.

When I brought this question up with my doctor initially when discussing medication she explained to me that I'm just like a heart patient that needs to take the medicine to function properly. My brain simply needs it in order to function normally. I can't help but wonder if it really needs to function normally, and what is really normal when it comes to the brain? My normal had been my ADHD brain for 27 years.

Any coping mechanisms for being more patient with kids and spouses and creating more meaningful connections? Listening better etc.? I feel like a lot of what I found is about dealing with the academic and work related part of the coin, but as a mother my relationship with my daughter is just as important if not more than all that. I want to not take medicine because everything else is ok without, but I don't want to be a bad mom or spouse.
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Old 09-08-17, 10:02 AM
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Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

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Originally Posted by PillBlast View Post
Now I am left wondering if I am me when I take my medication?
The essential aspects of who you are, remain present, always. That said, the day-to-day functioning of your person may change due to the lessening of your disability.

Also, regardless of meds, you are a living being, and so you are a process in motion, not a fixed thing. You are going to grow and change, so the “you” of today will no longer exist in some future tomorrow.

Meds may help with that growth because less of your resources will be used to cope, and more can be dedicated to learning new ways by which to live the life you want to live.

The you that is a woman, a wife, and a mother...they are ever-present. Meds may help you to grow in those life domains, but they will not disrupt that which is foundational.

So you will be you...but perhaps a you that you have never known...because you didn’t have the opportunity, much less ability, to do so.

Speaking only for myself...I didn’t fully understand or become my best self until I was on meds. Today, I am more myself than I have ever been, in all my life, and meds have been instrumental in the process of me coming to my own fruition.


Best to You,
Ian
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Old 09-08-17, 02:31 PM
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Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

You will be the best 'YOU' you can be.
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Old 09-08-17, 02:33 PM
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Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

When my granddaughter was younger she was very anxious and argumentative.
Her poor brain couldn't listen and process what was being said to her.

The first days after she started taking Concerta, she could listen and understand
and arguing was not her default setting. She was able to connect with others.
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Old 09-12-17, 04:51 AM
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Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

What I learned is that there is no such thing as "who I really am".

The more I go through therapy, the more I change (for the better), in ways I wouldn't have thought possible. I thought being an anxious, impulsive individual with low self-esteem was just who I was, doomed to always feel unhappy and unfulfilled (and there was some comfort in that, strangely enough). But now I understand that I can choose to be whoever I want (with some limitations, and not instantly), without it feeling "fake", through self-reflection and improving the areas that I don't like or are detrimental.

The questions to ask yourself are: Who do you want to be? If you had a magic wand that could change anything about yourself, what would you change? What parts of yourself do you hold dear and want to hold on to? Make a list, if it helps.

Then work from there. Approach it in a goal-oriented way, rather than letting yourself be driven by that vague feeling of unfamiliarity and uncertainty (they go away with time). Do you want to be more patient? Then that's who you really are (or will be, with practice).

Do you want to hold on to your creativity? See what steps you can take towards that. I find that meds make me have fewer racing thoughts, thus fewer creative ideas, but they help me flesh out the ideas I do get a bit more, and actually put them into practice. See if lowering your dose helps you reach a better balance. Or take days off meds every so often, gather a bunch of ideas, and put them into practice on med days.
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Old 09-13-17, 07:19 AM
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Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

Thank you for all your kind answers. I wrote this as I changed medications (still in the stage where the doctor is trying to see what works best) and I was having a lot of doubts.

I understand all your points of view, and now I am more open minded to the transformation I see in myself. I guess I just need to do a lot of work in order to get somewhere different with my life.
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Old 10-27-17, 10:03 AM
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Exclamation Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

Please know that you are not alone in feeling this way. I have been medicated for 8 years, and this was a major concern of mine. In all honesty we are not our natural selves when medicated, but not all of us are able to complete necessary tasks without it. The two things that helped me were using my medication sparingly, while also learning as much as I could about the disorder itself. ADHD and ADD are often mis-diagnosed or treated with the wrong medications. It is important to be certain of your diagnosis before comiting to medication as it is highly addictive and also have many side effects. If you do find that medication is necessary, please be kind to yourself and know that you are doing all that you can. This is still a very new discovery, and we must be patient with ourselves. Perhaps writing a journal may help to keep track of any changes in mood or thinking. If you ever need anyone to speak to please don't hesitate to contact me.

You are not alone, never forget that!
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Old 10-27-17, 12:17 PM
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Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

Always remember that medication exists to help you. It's not about helping anybody else deal with who you are. It should always be about what's in your own best interests.
If the medication helps you to feel good, then good, keep taking it. If it does the opposite and makes you feel bad inside, then try something different.
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Old 10-28-17, 07:55 PM
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Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

Meds have helped me function better ... and perhaps I'm self-deluded in that when I function better, I like to say, "THIS is the real me! Yes!"

On another note, I too was profoundly changed by therapy and ten years ago, by a specific therapist. We just had great patient-therapist chemistry ... I got her. She got me ... But here is the thing. She coached me on new life strategies and new ways of being in the world ... that were so different than my "natural" strategies ... and yet, they were exactly what I needed.

I came to her because my strategies weren't working. I was in the throes of addictive, compulsive, self-destructive behavior that rotted my esteem. She showed me a way out ... show me that there were doors I didn't know I could go through ... Heck she showed me doors that I couldn't at first see.

Maybe if this therapist had coached me on robbing banks and assaulting people--then there would be an issue ... But no, I learned and am still learning more effective ways of living in the world according to my goals and values.

Specifically I learned how to voice my real thoughts and feelings as opposed to hiding and trying to win favor by being passive and catering to the feelings and desires of others. Turns out my passivity actually made others uncomfortable and kept them at a distance.

Tone
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Old 11-15-17, 08:50 PM
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Talking Re: Am I me when I take my medication?

When you find the right medication for you specifically, you will not only feel like you, but a super version of you (since ADHD is a superpower ) It's a journey finding the right solution but you will get there and you won't be worried anymore. Don't fret i think everyone who starts medication feels this way because its just such a process to find the right medication.
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