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Old 10-14-16, 03:11 PM
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That one time when my doctor said I shouldn't be medicated

So I finally decided after years and years that I would explore medication options. I'm not committing to actually going through with medication, but I'm inching closer in that I want to get assessed and discuss the options for medicinal treatment with a professional. I've had therapy over the past few years, and while it helps in some ways, it doesn't make up for the fact that there are some things I struggle to do and all the talking in the world isn't going to help me in those aspects.

It's particularly scary for me because I come from a "psychiatric medicine is bad" and "you're perfectly fine" sort of background. It's required a lot of therapy to realize that these thoughts that have been ingrained in me aren't necessarily appropriate. So you can see that if you're brought up thinking that medicine is bad, it's really a struggle to come to terms with the fact that you might actually need it.

For years I've denied medication and slogged through life without it. I've come to the point where I've realized that I'm not where I want to be in life and there are goals I'm reaching for that should have already been reached. But it's not happening. I know medications aren't the cure-all for ADHD and won't solve all my problems, but at this point, I'm willing to give it a shot if I'm able to speak to a specialist who is familiar with them and with my medical health. (Unlike one time when a psych talked to me for 10 minutes and was going to send me out the door with a Wellbutrin prescription.)

I got up the nerve to ask my GP for a referral to a psychiatrist. While he gave me the information, he was also incredibly "Oh no don't do medications!" attitude. He went on about how they have side effects, and they're expensive, and there are other forms of treatment, and whatnot. He shared a brief bit about exercise and meditation and alternate options, etc. He's letting me make my own decision as to whether or not I want to go forward with a specialist, of course, but I have to say that it really shook me up.

I'm not going to change my diet because realistically I won't be happy and diet changes work in so few cases that it's not worth it. I don't have time for more than a bit of casual exercise a few days a week, and from what I understand, they don't really handle the full extent of the ADHD symptoms. I certainly don't have time to spend on meditation. At this point, I've tried therapy. I've had a psychologist sit there and go over things with me. I've had a therapist who's been very helpful in other aspects of life. I've had accommodations at school. But I still feel like I'm not achieving what I'm able to achieve.

So here I am, I've tried things and I've battled with myself and I've gone over the pros and cons . . . and then someone comes along and says, "Don't do it!" and I'm finding myself slipping backwards and regretting my decision to go forward with medication.

What do you think? I know that most people will say that I should go forward with the medication, but if you have "why" I should do that, it would be really helpful. Or if I shouldn't, that's fine to; just tell me why.
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Old 10-14-16, 03:29 PM
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Re: That one time when my doctor said I shouldn't be medicated

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Originally Posted by Tetrahedra View Post
they have side effects
Yes, they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetrahedra View Post
and they're expensive
Yes, they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetrahedra View Post
and there are other forms of treatment
Yes, and medication is a first-line treatment, ahead of all the others, for a reason.

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Originally Posted by Tetrahedra View Post
What do you think? I know that most people will say that I should go forward with the medication, but if you have "why" I should do that, it would be really helpful.
I can’t say for you, but...

For me, medication not only changed my life, but likely saved it.

The improvement in quality of life is immeasurable to me.

Yes, it is expensive, and yes, it has side-effects. Both of those things are of little consequence given the benefits to my function and well-being.

If only I could have been diagnosed and medicated as a child...

Dexedrine gives me a chance at living a life worth living (as I define that).


Cheers,
Ian
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Old 10-14-16, 06:50 PM
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Re: That one time when my doctor said I shouldn't be medicated

In classic stories, the hero always faces one last challenge or hurdle that they have to overcome ... and that GP's reaction was your hurdle.

No need to glorify what the GP said.

Sounds like you've given the matter careful thought and you've been quite reluctant and careful in your thinking. Go ahead and trust your thinking and your process and take that next step.

It's interesting ... at this point my life has become so much better on medication that the idea of there being something wrong with taking medication sounds to me like saying there is something wrong with having a good roof on your house or wearing a heavy coat in freezing weather.

Oh ... as for exercise and meditation ... I do those FAR more frequently now that I'm on medication than I did when I was not on medication. Taking a good medication, for me, allows me to do MORE of the "natural" stuff ... like getting good sleep and rest and exercising and on and on. There is not contradiction between the two any more than there is a contradiction between going to a heart doctor and eating well. Establishing a regular meditation practice is an incredibly difficult thing for most people to do, ADHD or no ADHD ... and doubly-hard for people with ADHD. This is an exaggeration but recommending meditation without meds is sort of like recommending that someone with breathing problems go out and run a marathon.

Good luck.

Tone
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Old 10-14-16, 07:33 PM
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Re: That one time when my doctor said I shouldn't be medicated

Medication is helping me a lot right now and I even did a test with psychologist while I was on meds and it showed that I improved drastically in focus and less impulsiveness while I was on the meds. I honestly wish I would of got diagnosed sooner and put on meds. I believe it would of saved me from getting fired and losing promotions, but now I will never know. Only side effect I'm noticing is that I'm getting really bad headaches, I'm hoping with strategies I can get off the meds later on in life but for now that is not an option for me. I notice things everyday that I would of done differently if I wasn't on medication, it is truly life altering if you find the right medication.
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Old 10-14-16, 07:49 PM
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Re: That one time when my doctor said I shouldn't be medicated

I can't remember the exact time. Probably after I had a nervous breakdown, I knew that a medical intervention was the best , of a bad bunch, option.

The prescribing doctor is key, there are a number of querks with these medications so to get good affect dialling them in correctly.

The motivation system has its own chemical subset. I've not come to the exact conclusion as to why this occurs, but the chemical connection between neurons is compromised and medication will assist that.

At work I was always seen as lacking motivation and drive, now it seems my coworkers only look at me as a threat due to my industriousness. This brings its own set of challenges.
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Old 10-15-16, 10:10 PM
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Re: That one time when my doctor said I shouldn't be medicated

Thank you, everyone. Your insight has been wonderful. I think I'm going to go forward with pursuing medications and see where that takes me. I've given it a go for several years without meds (since knowing of my diagnosis) and although I've made progress, I've failed to develop and improve in certain areas that are important to me.
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Old 10-18-16, 03:15 AM
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Re: That one time when my doctor said I shouldn't be medicated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetrahedra View Post
I got up the nerve to ask my GP for a referral to a psychiatrist. While he gave me the information, he was also incredibly "Oh no don't do medications!" attitude. He went on about how they have side effects, and they're expensive, and there are other forms of treatment, and whatnot. He shared a brief bit about exercise and meditation and alternate options, etc. He's letting me make my own decision as to whether or not I want to go forward with a specialist, of course, but I have to say that it really shook me up.
Because his specialty isnt adhd or psychiatric conditions I would take what he says with a grain of salt. After all if you see someone else, where does that leave him? Also, some docs feel inadequate when you ask to go somewhere else. They shouldnt and most dont, but some do.

Quote:
I'm not going to change my diet because realistically I won't be happy and diet changes work in so few cases that it's not worth it.
As long as you are healthy and dont eat a bunch of crap everyday I agree that drastic diet changes are hard to maintain.

Quote:
I don't have time for more than a bit of casual exercise a few days a week, and from what I understand, they don't really handle the full extent of the ADHD symptoms.
This is something to reconsider. While exercise doesnt do much specifically for adhd, the overall health and lower stress benefits cant be discounted.

Quote:
I certainly don't have time to spend on meditation. At this point, I've tried therapy. I've had a psychologist sit there and go over things with me. I've had a therapist who's been very helpful in other aspects of life. I've had accommodations at school. But I still feel like I'm not achieving what I'm able to achieve.
I have never been able to meditate well enough to have it work for anything for me.


Quote:
So here I am, I've tried things and I've battled with myself and I've gone over the pros and cons . . . and then someone comes along and says, "Don't do it!" and I'm finding myself slipping backwards and regretting my decision to go forward with medication.
Like I said, before, that doc isnt the expert and most PCP/GP docs dont know much about adhd or treating it. They are like mechanics. If you have a problem with low oil, they can tell you how to fix it. But if you are a BMW and need specific engine repairs, you wouldnt take it to a shop that deals with the same cars with the same problems in the same way right?
You would take it to a BMW specific mechanic.

Quote:
What do you think? I know that most people will say that I should go forward with the medication, but if you have "why" I should do that, it would be really helpful. Or if I shouldn't, that's fine to; just tell me why.
Why? Because at least for me, untreated adhd is like climbing a mountain and constantly gasping for oxygen. Meds are like an oxygen mask, with them you can get to the top of that mountain.
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