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  #1  
Old 07-27-10, 05:08 PM
Marshallm Marshallm is offline
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Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

In browsing a lot of the threads it is very apparent that a large amount of ADD folks are medicated. Being ADD myself and having been on medication I know that it does help in some areas. Than being said, I firmly believe every ADD adult can find creative ways to cope in every situation without relying on medication.

I have taken most of the medications in the book and like everyone else I experienced focus and concentration but then again I lost a little of myself. ADDers are wired differently than others and when harnessed and used as a strength, our ADD is a strong advantage. It is way too easy to see it as a treatable illness than a type of personality. Everyone is pushing a "cure" that really does nothing but numb your true ambitions and help you fit into "the norm".

It has been hard but once I decided to stop medication and work hard towards solutions for challenges I faced, I found I grew as a person, an individual and I was HAPPY. I was myself- the way I was meant to be and it is a freedom I cannot express in words. Here are a few things I did that I hope will help other move from a dependency on medication to a dependency on themselves.

1. I sought out an ADD counselor. Notice I did not say a shrink or psychiatrist. A counselor(typically with an MBA) will listen to your trials and struggles and help you work through your frustrations and goals. They specialize in individuals with ADD and have encountered many of the struggles you are having already. They are a lot more affordable to pay out of pocket if no insurance ($25-$95) per hour session. The biggest thing is that they cannot write prescriptions (at least in CA) so they work for change. I leave my counselor feeling like a million bucks and it positively impacts every area of my life. If you do not do anything- just go see an ADD counselor once. It will change everything.

2. I removed the idea of medication from the table. If you know you cannot swallow a pill to cope, you will find yourself more determined to work things out.

3. I cut myself some slack. One of the biggest things I experienced was frustration in myself for not being able to perform in ways it seemed everyone else could. I now approach the situation knowing I am going to have to try a lot of ways that don't work to find one that works for me. I am unique, determined, and I will find a way. This method got me 4.0's in school, promotions on the job, and really helped me remove a lot of frustration from my life.

My hope is that you guys will get something out of this that will help you cope in your lives with having the gift of ADD.

Cheers,

Marshall
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  #2  
Old 07-27-10, 05:41 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

Marshall, it's a wonderful thing that you found this way to cope, but please don't assume that medications were a first-line option for all of us. I know that I am far from alone here in being an older person whose decades of coping skills just weren't enough. I've had a wonderful therapist who specializes in ADD and has ADD himself, but even that was not enough by itself.

We didn't give up trying because we found a pill to cope, and none of our determination sufficed to work things out. The medications were a last-ditch effort after everything else had failed. I hope you can go on forever without having to take anything, that would be great, but try to understand that not all of us are taking medications because it's easier.
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Old 07-27-10, 05:45 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

I don't have time to go into right now, but , OMG .....how many people are going to say they "lost themselves " when they took meds...that's as maybe, to each their own perception and life and reaction to meds...

and I am gonna say this so that everyone in the forum can hear ...

MY MEDS LET ME FIND ME !!!!!!..... without them ....useless .....with them .....I'm kinda awesome .....so stop telling me I can do it with out ...

I DON'T WANT TO .... so there !


I am 60 years old and I know what works for me





AHA ! another new poster ...gggrrrrr
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Old 07-27-10, 05:55 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

Time to start screening out the new posters lol. Every new person here drops a few lines about how they don't think meds are the way to go and then leave.

I'm glad you found what worked for you. Everyone is different. Meds are what works for me. I try very hard to cope with my ADHD. My meds allow me to cope. I didn't give up when I started taking them. In fact, it was a whole new chapter in my life where I had the ability to change. The leaps and bounds I have made since medicated is just amazing. The meds didn't do it. It was hard work on my part that did it. But I couldn't have done it without the meds to help me along. They are simply a tool. Some can cope without them, others need them.

Your opinion works for you, my opinion works for me. Everyone has their own way of dealing with things. What makes you better than me trying to tell me what to do? I don't try and tell you to take meds, so don't try and tell me not to.
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  #5  
Old 07-27-10, 05:55 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

Maybe you didn't mean it this way, but the pedantic tone to your post really got on my nerves. I am not going to applaud you for taking the idea of medication off the table, if that's what you're looking for. That's a personal choice, but not necessarily one I think you should attempt to foist on others, like you are in some way making a better decision than those who choose medication as a treatment. You haven't achieved a higher level of existence since choosing not to take meds. I can "cope" without them too. As a matter of fact, I functioned most of my life without them and met and overcame many challenges. I graduated at the top of my class in college without them, etc etc.

That being said, medication is a blessing and I'm not going to feel like less of a person for using it, nor do I feel like a better, more valuable person when I don't use it. It doesn't destroy or detract from my personality or from my creativity. It helps me to be a better functioning mother, wife, teacher, and friend. I would NEVER discourage a person with ADD from trying this time-tested and effective method of treatment, nor would I discourage them from trying alternative treatments. By the way, I don't think anyone with ADD who takes medications thinks they are a "cure."

Let me repeat: ADD is a NEUROLOGICAL condition. Like epilepsy, depression, etc. Most people don't see those as a "gift" or a type of "personality," they see them for what they are -- physiological conditions that benefit greatly from a variety of treatments, including medications.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-10, 05:56 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

Just a couple questions...

How old are you?

What do you do for a living?
----------

Great you can do it without meds...

Maybe one day I'll get there, who knows?

Regardless, there's so much diversity out there... different people (with possible other deficits! and learning disabilities!) and different life style choices...

Creative ways of coping just may not be an option...
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Old 07-27-10, 06:17 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshallm View Post
3. I cut myself some slack. One of the biggest things I experienced was frustration in myself for not being able to perform in ways it seemed everyone else could. I now approach the situation knowing I am going to have to try a lot of ways that don't work to find one that works for me. I am unique, determined, and I will find a way.
I'll agree with you on this part. I need to learn to cut myself some slack.

Last edited by angora; 07-27-10 at 06:18 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-27-10, 06:48 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

Just when I thought I could take a short break. Oh well.

Every person's brain & body chemistry will be unique in the way they respond to meds.

Not knowing you or your diagnosis, how it was made,who made it,etc., I can't comment

beyond the statements made as being subjective to your personal experiences.

Does that somehow "transfer" to everyone else in the FORUM (or in the world with

ADHD)?

No, of course not,any more than mine do.

I can tell you that my meds allow me the ability to be more productive by improving

my evidence based (research supported) ability to Sustain & Persist long enough

to finish the task at hand.

Hope that helps & Welcome to the FORUM.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)
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Old 07-27-10, 07:04 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

You made an error in your post, it should be
Medication makes it easy to forget that I, MarshallM can find ways to deal with being ADD.

Is it so difficult to understand that people are different? And that everyone has different body chemistry, and that everyone has different levels of ADHD? I'm scratching my head, surely it can't be more difficult than E=MC2.

Caffeine doesn't do anything for me and tea makes me sleepy, yet some people on here find that caffeine works for their ADHD. How surprising, I'm different, that other person is not me.

And it's so annoying to have people on here "who have seen the light" and come here to preach their holy gospel to "the unsaved". I'm going to have to prepare my bucket of rotten tomatoes to toss at them.
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Old 07-27-10, 08:37 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshallm View Post
I firmly believe every ADD adult can find creative ways to cope in every situation without relying on medication.
One needs to be very careful when making statements as absolute as this. In effect, by saying that you believe *all* adults with ADD can cope without medication, you are saying each individual one of us who requires medication to get through our daily lives could get by without it. If you had said "I firmly believe that *virtualy* every ADD adult can cope without medication", while I believe you would be wrong, I would have responded to the assertion generally, as one counter example wouldn't defeat that claim.

However, since you phrased it as you did, I will respond individually, to your tacit assertion that I personally, like everyone else, could cope without medication. I suppose it really depends on what you mean by 'cope'. School wouldn't have been an option..I was put on medication in, I believe, third or fourth grade, after every effort by teachers, counselors, psychologists, parents, etc. had failed to enable me even to function in a classroom environment, let alone perform to the standards expected of me. Medication made it possible for me to get through elementary school, high school, college, and ultimately law school. All the therapy, counseling, special ed. services, etc. contributed virtually nothing when contrasted to the benefit I received, and continue to receive, from medication, and in fact, they were stopped before long, as no longer needed. In college, a brief experiment with stopping medication, and getting by without it, proved that things had not changed, and I still could not do so.

So, school wouldn't have been an option. Working wouldn't either...I honestly can't think of a single job that I would be able to do reasonably well without medication. On the days when I don't take it, for one reason or another, something as simple as mailing an envelope can be a huge undertaking...getting myself to remember, finding a stamp, addressing it, walking to the mailbox, remembering that the reason I left the house was to mail an envelope...these things all are major hurdles to overcome. I can't think of a single useful thing I could contribute to society with such limitations.

However, none of this would likely be an issue if I didn't take my medication, as the difficulties caused, in no small part by my ADHD, that began before I was diagnosed, and still persist in small ways, include severe depression. I believe the best possible outcome, had I not been diagnosed with ADHD and promptly put on stimulant medication as a child, would be (permanent) psychiatric hospitalization.

I suppose that you could call that 'coping', but frankly, I don't, and I don't see a coherent argument for that state of affairs being preferable to where I am now, with my medication.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshallm View Post
It is way too easy to see it as a treatable illness than a type of personality. Everyone is pushing a "cure" that really does nothing but numb your true ambitions and help you fit into "the norm".
Unless you're asserting that my 'true' ambitions should be limited to what I could accomplish without medication (see above for that), I take issue with this assertion as well. Medication has enabled me to at least have a shot at fulfilling some of my ambitions, which would be wholly outside the realm of the possible without it. I've never been able to 'fit the norm' and probably never will, medicated or otherwise.

ADHD is not a personality type. It is defined, in part, by dysfunction. If it does not cause you any problems, then it is not ADHD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshallm View Post
1. I sought out an ADD counselor. Notice I did not say a shrink or psychiatrist. A counselor(typically with an MBA) will listen to your trials and struggles and help you work through your frustrations and goals.
I'd be awfully wary of anyone asserting that business school prepared them to be an ADHD counselor.
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Old 07-27-10, 09:06 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

I was a trifle apprehensive about checking in on this thread just now, ( been working on a couple of pieces of furniture all day)


I thought I might have been percieved as being too harsh with this fellow......apparently not ! .....


would someone tell me what it is about people like this who think that we will call them savior, and fall down in deep appreciation of their wonderfull insights and why on earth didn't WE think of that .....what a waste of time ....



although I must admit , sometimes it's fun to let 'er rip.......



and it's not new people who we need to watch out against....we have perfectly lovely new people here all the time .....I've only been around for 6 months.....but there is an easy to tell difference .....



they're the ones who come strutting in, proclaiming any number of stupid things ...like exercise and good diet will cure ADD, or that it doesn';t really exist,
they are easy to spot because often they have "scientific proof" to back themselves up ...yah right !


.....and they often sound like preachers ......can I get an amen !......I really would like to know what they think they can accomplish here .......



the new guys that are going to become a part of the community, are full of questions, not unasked for advice .....they are often overwhelmed by how many other people there are out here that are just like them in so many ways......they feel at home here right away ...and say so ......


they don't come here to try to think for us .....or tell us what is right or wrong ....they want to learn about themselves .......



..so when I see a person with less than 10 or so posts, and they spouting off about some treatment or none, or speaking as if they and only they have the "truth" for ADDers.......I know immediately ......and I call them on it .......



I don't think that any of the people who have been called on it have stuck around .....thank ...uh, someone .....


one post and then ran like h***....hee heee .......



oh and the other dead give away ? ....their total ignorance......I love that we all are so much more educated about ADD that the flimsy stuff they bring to show us the error of our ways is torn to shreds in a heartbeat
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Last edited by novagal; 07-28-10 at 10:42 PM.. Reason: forum etiquette
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Old 07-27-10, 11:14 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

I, for one, like some of what he had to say. Some good points.

And if he is a troll, he's a patient one, since his only other post came way back in April. He sure did wait a long time to tick you guys off. It is funny that when a person comes here with an approach that doesn't necessarily involve meds and they voice their opinion, suddenly they must be taken down instead of ignored. If a person is positive about their ADD, and you want to be negative, why not start your own negative thread and find company rather than browbeat the positive guy/gal? If a person wants to promote an approach without meds, why not let them and those like them discuss it without the need to tell them how much you and others need meds?

I don't necessarily ascribe to the thought that ADD is a gift, but I certainly don't view it as a curse either. Usually with bad comes good, an vice versa. If worked with, it can be a lifestyle that differs from the norm yet is possible to yield happiness like anyone else but in a different way.

I wonder if sometimes people come and read and would love to post something positive or about their views regarding abstaining from meds but they shrink back because so many people here want to kick them when they do so. Of course, it is "fun" to do, right? And surely they are trolls, as it isn't even remotely possible that they might be a legitimate poster with an opinion that differs from the majority and just finally felt comfortable enough to voice it. Bunch of cowards, standing up and voicing what they know will be an unpopular opinion! I also love how people knock such a person for trying to force their opinions on everyone else here, so then everyone else here beats them to death while trying to force their own opinions of the necessity of medication upon that person.

After reading the initial post once again, I can say that I pretty much agree with all of it. I guess I better be ready for the angry mob with their swords drawn to come after me. How dare I try to find happiness and work with my ADD rather than squelch it behind medication? If you guys don't hear from me for a while, I'll probably be under a bridge with the rest of my troll friends, lol.

Last edited by mADD mike; 07-27-10 at 11:19 PM.. Reason: .
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Old 07-27-10, 11:19 PM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

It's funny - my biggest ADHD issues have to do with motivation and follow through. So coaching and lifestyle changes are all well and good, but I am physically incapable of actually executing these changes without medication. So, I'm very glad that some people can get by without medication, but everyone's ADHD manifests differently.
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Old 07-28-10, 12:02 AM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

I've tried for years to get up and do something. I really have. It wasn't until I was diagnosed and put on meds was I finally able to do it. That said, everyone's body is different and everyone's case of ADHD is unique.

I have no problem with people coming here with new treatments that don't involve meds. My problem comes from the holier than thou attitude that usually accompanies it. There's no reason to be condescending or damning to those who take meds just because you found something that works for you without using meds. How about just a testimonial or an explanation of what worked for you? Why the need to make it sound like all those on meds simply gave up and don't try hard enough?

That 's why these people get blasted when they post threads like this. It's not the idea of not using meds. It's the idea that meds are bad and everyone should find a better way. Using meds is no more or less natural than anything else.
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Old 07-28-10, 12:04 AM
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Re: Medication makes it easy to forget that we can find ways to deal with being ADD

i think it's great that you've found ways to manage your symptoms and laudable that you'd be willing to share your strategies with others who might benefit. however, can you see how dismissive it is to say *all* people with adhd can find similar success? do you understand that the 'just do it' and such is what leads to people being judged as simply being lazy or stupid?

two further considerations:

1. if your symptoms do not present significant issues in at least two areas of your life then you don't have a disorder. i'm not suggesting you don't have an attention deficit or that you might have less impulse control/more hyperactivity than the average person, but you don't have a *disorder*. (sincere congratulations on that and wish i could say the same.)

2. if your symptoms are managed by your creativity and volition then they must be falling on the mild to moderate side. that's great for you, but those of us who aren't so fortunate would probably be better 'helped' with compassion and understanding.

my point is that you may have the best of intentions, but your personal experience is foreign to many, just as many of ours must be foreign to you given your claims. i can appreciate that your circumstances and degree of symptoms provide you an opportunity to use the techniques you noted. can you appreciate that my circumstances and degree of symptoms do not offer me that same opportunity?

i'm not suggesting that medication is a 'cure'--far from it, in fact--but it is as legitimate a component in treatment as those you suggested and, for some of us, a prerequisite for accessing your suggested techniques and many others.
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