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Old 06-16-18, 12:25 PM
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Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

Hey everyone, I apologize if this has already been discussed.

Quick backstory: I've been struggling at community college for several years; my transcript pre-diagnosis was entirely W's and C's. After being diagnosed with ADHD 6 months ago and starting stimulants, I've earned A's in all of my classes. I've always known I was capable of doing well in school, but just couldn't no matter how badly I wanted to.

Jumping forward to today, I can't stop myself from feeling like I'm cheating or being given an advantage because I take meds and feeling as though my instructors discredit me because I get accommodations (test taking in another room and extended time). I just completed an accelerated science course that I failed pre-diagnosis. This time around, I had meds so I was able to apply myself and work my butt off to end up with over 100% in the class. Even though I put in the work, I feel like I didn't truly earn it and I wonder if the professor thinks that, too. I keep reminding myself that it's just leveling the playing field, but I feel disheartened and frustrated. Anyone relate?
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Old 06-16-18, 12:36 PM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

Your advantage comes from being highly intelligent,not from taking medication. But who cares anyway. The world isn't a fair place. You do whatever you need to do to get ahead. Nobody gets ahead without taking every possible advantage available to them. Never feel bad about taking advantage, because I can assure you that if you don't, somebody else will in your place.
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Old 06-16-18, 01:19 PM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

It simply means that you're able to do the work now that you would have been
able to do if you hadn't been born with adhd.

Really not any different from someone with bad eyesight being unable to drive
or do other things suddenly being fitted with the right lenses.
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Old 06-16-18, 01:54 PM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

Is it cheating to wear glasses to read when your eyes can't see as well as "normal" people's eyes? Same concept with concentration and mental focus. Some of us need corrective measures to concentrate and focus at "normal" levels.


Meds don't make you any smarter, studies that try to prove they can have all failed to do so. Stimulants only bring your already intelligent thoughts into focus.
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Old 06-19-18, 01:02 PM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

You're still in the process of getting used to this whole new experience in your life ... the experience of success ... and academic success.

This is a new experience for you ... and sudden shifts in experiences ... even when the shift is fantastic--as your is--creates a period of the "bends" as the scuba divers say ...

Your experience is more common than you think ... I just had lunch with an acquaintance in her 40s who has been borderline financially "broke" her entire life ... who just inherited about a million dollars from her mom. You think she's totally relaxed with this new experience ... Actually it's confusing. She now has to look after money differently, hire financial advisors, figure out investments ...

And her mind just is not used to having money.

Well your mind isn't used to academic success ... But ... you're overstating a few things ... You say you worked hard ... that's a key to academic success ... the meds helped you maximize working hard ... you didn't just take a med, skip studying and show up and ace your tests ... the meds allowed you to work hard and focus.

Splendid. That's what the med is supposed to do. And if a ton of your classmates took the med, there's no guarantee that they would study hard and maximize things ... Unless they have the drive and ambition and some real brights, the med wouldn't help them in the same way it helped you.

Your studying is as essential as the med. Clearly you have drive and some ambition ... all those are essential ingredients.

Your insecurity about accommodations is just that: insecurity ... I'm a professor ... I don't give a blank about accommodations. I give them all the time to students ... and rarely had I seen a student go from say C to A based on an accommodation. Plus I also teach a bunch of non-ADHD procrastinators and I give them extra time on the fly as long as I know the work coming in will be good.

Allow yourself to feel grateful and happy about the effectiveness of stimulants. Praise the medication researchers and the ADHD researchers ... and whoever helped you get diagnosed and treated. Embrace all of that ...

Let this open your mind to human possibility ... sometimes we may be only a small step away from unleashing someone's potential ... Let yourself ponder that.

And understand that life is hard ... and you will have enough challenges in your life ... so you don't need to run around making yourself feel guilty ... In fact, your academic struggles have already taken a hit on your esteem ... so much so that you're feeling uncomfortable with success. Your guilt is itself a sign of the havoc that your condition has played on your esteem and confidence.

Relax ... share ... talk to teachers, parents ... your prescribing doctor, therapists ... Share these feelings ... You can work through them.

But just breathe and feel grateful ... and thankful ... and reflect ... and keep going! ...
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Old 06-22-18, 07:55 PM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

Thank you everyone for your kind responses. It really does help to retreat to a community of people who understand.
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Old 06-22-18, 07:58 PM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneTone View Post
You're still in the process of getting used to this whole new experience in your life ... the experience of success ... and academic success.

This is a new experience for you ... and sudden shifts in experiences ... even when the shift is fantastic--as your is--creates a period of the "bends" as the scuba divers say ...

Your experience is more common than you think ... I just had lunch with an acquaintance in her 40s who has been borderline financially "broke" her entire life ... who just inherited about a million dollars from her mom. You think she's totally relaxed with this new experience ... Actually it's confusing. She now has to look after money differently, hire financial advisors, figure out investments ...

And her mind just is not used to having money.

Well your mind isn't used to academic success ... But ... you're overstating a few things ... You say you worked hard ... that's a key to academic success ... the meds helped you maximize working hard ... you didn't just take a med, skip studying and show up and ace your tests ... the meds allowed you to work hard and focus.

Splendid. That's what the med is supposed to do. And if a ton of your classmates took the med, there's no guarantee that they would study hard and maximize things ... Unless they have the drive and ambition and some real brights, the med wouldn't help them in the same way it helped you.

Your studying is as essential as the med. Clearly you have drive and some ambition ... all those are essential ingredients.

Your insecurity about accommodations is just that: insecurity ... I'm a professor ... I don't give a blank about accommodations. I give them all the time to students ... and rarely had I seen a student go from say C to A based on an accommodation. Plus I also teach a bunch of non-ADHD procrastinators and I give them extra time on the fly as long as I know the work coming in will be good.

Allow yourself to feel grateful and happy about the effectiveness of stimulants. Praise the medication researchers and the ADHD researchers ... and whoever helped you get diagnosed and treated. Embrace all of that ...

Let this open your mind to human possibility ... sometimes we may be only a small step away from unleashing someone's potential ... Let yourself ponder that.

And understand that life is hard ... and you will have enough challenges in your life ... so you don't need to run around making yourself feel guilty ... In fact, your academic struggles have already taken a hit on your esteem ... so much so that you're feeling uncomfortable with success. Your guilt is itself a sign of the havoc that your condition has played on your esteem and confidence.

Relax ... share ... talk to teachers, parents ... your prescribing doctor, therapists ... Share these feelings ... You can work through them.

But just breathe and feel grateful ... and thankful ... and reflect ... and keep going! ...
Thank you so, so much for this response. To be honest, I got a little weepy reading it. I guess I needed a pep talk and yours did the job.
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Old 06-23-18, 04:46 AM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

I had the same experience of going from struggling with failing grades to being the guy with the highest test scores. It does have an effect like guilt in a sense. I still feel it at work sometimes, but it doesn't matter. Without the medicine I couldn't do my job. And aside from that I'd give you some advice from experience, "Avoid ever telling you're co-workers or employers," you take adderall because as soon as you tell them that you're giving them info to use against you" They will see you and think "drugs," I know from experience. Keep you're personal info to yourself in the workplace.
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Old 06-23-18, 05:44 AM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

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Originally Posted by stanses View Post
I had the same experience of going from struggling with failing grades to being the guy with the highest test scores. It does have an effect like guilt in a sense. I still feel it at work sometimes, but it doesn't matter. Without the medicine I couldn't do my job. And aside from that I'd give you some advice from experience, "Avoid ever telling you're co-workers or employers," you take adderall because as soon as you tell them that you're giving them info to use against you" They will see you and think "drugs," I know from experience. Keep you're personal info to yourself in the workplace.
I agree. And Avoid at all costs even telling your employer that you have adhd.
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Old 06-25-18, 06:34 PM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

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I agree. And Avoid at all costs even telling your employer that you have adhd.
I'm still not 100% on this. And I've suffered on both ends. I told HR and had my doctor write them a nice note about (some of) what's wrong with me so that if I get locked up the company will (has to) hold my job. It has to be there when I get back. Probably also streamlines the short term disability if I ever need that.

ADHD is a little different. If that's all you have it may be fine. If you have the fun accompanying mood disorders and are medicated for them and you go down in a burning ball of fire (like I do every so often) you run the risk of losing your job. Or of you'd run the risk of being out of meds which could affect your job performance.

I'd say more to weigh that decisions very very carefully and consider all factors in your particular situation. In my case it is very possible to tell HR and have it on file without letting any of your bosses/coworkers know.

Basically if you think it could have a negative impact on your job now or in the future OR if you need accommodations - I'd go the HR route. They have confidentiality restraints I believe and was told if something does happen I don't even have to communicate what it is with my boss. It will be handled by HR entirely.

Just consider everything and make an informed decision. That decision may change based on where you are in your life, what job you currently hold, any accommodations you may need, or any other issues that develop.
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Old 06-28-18, 12:26 AM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

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I agree. And Avoid at all costs even telling your employer that you have adhd.
i try to keep it at a dont ask, dont tell, personally. people are very opinionated on the subject, especially with the "take your pills" garbage movies coming out

when you apply for jobs they ask you if you've ever had any sort of disability, can say no and play off the ignorance card if anything

then again, if you **** positive, you're gonna have to tell someone, and employer is bound to find out
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Old 07-05-18, 09:36 PM
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Re: Feeling guilty and discredited because I take stimulants..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneTone View Post
Your insecurity about accommodations is just that: insecurity ... I'm a professor ... I don't give a blank about accommodations. I give them all the time to students ... and rarely had I seen a student go from say C to A based on an accommodation. Plus I also teach a bunch of non-ADHD procrastinators and I give them extra time on the fly as long as I know the work coming in will be good.
I used to teach at a university, too, and wouldn't have had any problem with students who needed accommodations.

I just wish that they had been available to me 30 years ago. I didn't know at the time that I had ADHD and doctors were only just starting to become aware that adults could have it, too. But I got lower grades in some classes than I should have because, even though I knew the material, I was unable to finish the exams on time. I even ended up having to drop a few class part way into the semester or take a pass/not pass grading option because the exams were done in such a way that they had lots of questions but only a minute or two to answer each one. I just couldn't organize my thoughts and write my answers fast enough so that a lot of the exam was still left undone. I would have done badly in the class and the professor seemed unsympathetic to my difficulties. So I decided in a few cases to drop a class or in one case, I took a pass/not pass grading option. And these were classes that I had really wanted to take.
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