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Old 05-10-18, 12:17 AM
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Curious about how much meds help

So I see my PCP tomorrow afternoon. She now has the report from the psychiatrist that did my ADHD evaluation. She was talking about putting me on strattera. Which i have read many many bad stories about. I can't have stimulants because of high blood pressure. But i'm curious how much do meds help? I have trouble with algebra and my reading comprehension is horrible. And i'm just generally a horrible student. And i'm currently in college. Will meds make me a better student? Will i focus and be great. Or am i way to hopeful meds will be the cure all. You read articles on the good ole internets and people talk about taking aderall. They describe it like a magic pill. You take it and bam your straight A student and C.E.O in two weeks. Even a 20-30 percent increase would be amazing to me. More focus would be so much help. And better reading comprehension would be a life saver right now. My college is all online and 95 percent reading
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Old 05-10-18, 04:26 AM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

I describe meds like this: Imagine you are hiking to the top of Mt Everest and you have no oxygen tank. You may make it- barely and even if you do you cant enjoy it because you are too busy trying to catch your breath. Meds are like your oxygen tank. The climb to the summit is still hard but now you can breath deep an easy while doing it allowing you to focus on other parts of the climb.
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Old 05-10-18, 07:10 AM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

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Originally Posted by DUBL07 View Post
So I see my PCP tomorrow afternoon. She now has the report from the psychiatrist that did my ADHD evaluation. She was talking about putting me on strattera. Which i have read many many bad stories about. I can't have stimulants because of high blood pressure. But i'm curious how much do meds help? I have trouble with algebra and my reading comprehension is horrible. And i'm just generally a horrible student. And i'm currently in college. Will meds make me a better student? Will i focus and be great. Or am i way to hopeful meds will be the cure all. You read articles on the good ole internets and people talk about taking aderall. They describe it like a magic pill. You take it and bam your straight A student and C.E.O in two weeks. Even a 20-30 percent increase would be amazing to me. More focus would be so much help. And better reading comprehension would be a life saver right now. My college is all online and 95 percent reading
For people without ADHD, Adderall certainly increases focus and energy in the short term, but it's unclear whether those effects are sustainable long term. My guess is no.

As Sarah says, ADHD meds should help reduce ADHD symptoms, but you still have to commit to the daily grind of college/work/life.

Strattera tends to have lower success rates and more side effects than stimulants, but everyone is different. And Strattera takes a few weeks before it works.
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Old 05-10-18, 09:48 AM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

Hey Dubl, I think the easiest way to answer to your questions is to treat your ADHD and find out. If you want to make an informed guess beforehand, make a well thought out objective list of what prevents YOU from being a better student now. Then see if the list is mostly ADHD related symptoms or not. GL, -LN
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Old 05-10-18, 11:52 AM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I describe meds like this: Imagine you are hiking to the top of Mt Everest and you have no oxygen tank. You may make it- barely and even if you do you cant enjoy it because you are too busy trying to catch your breath. Meds are like your oxygen tank. The climb to the summit is still hard but now you can breath deep an easy while doing it allowing you to focus on other parts of the climb.
That's an awesome description. And i would totally be happier if that happened. I don't really expect it to be magic. But more focus and an easier time thinking things through would be epic. And less meltdowns and getting "stuck" on things and frustrated.

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Originally Posted by CharlesH View Post
For people without ADHD, Adderall certainly increases focus and energy in the short term, but it's unclear whether those effects are sustainable long term. My guess is no.

As Sarah says, ADHD meds should help reduce ADHD symptoms, but you still have to commit to the daily grind of college/work/life.

Strattera tends to have lower success rates and more side effects than stimulants, but everyone is different. And Strattera takes a few weeks before it works.
I have heard so much bad about strattera. And my PCP was strongly urging that. She doesn't have a lot of options that won't raise blood pressure. I know i have to work harder than everyone else. It bothers me to no end. I just want meds to make things more clear.

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Hey Dubl, I think the easiest way to answer to your questions is to treat your ADHD and find out. If you want to make an informed guess beforehand, make a well thought out objective list of what prevents YOU from being a better student now. Then see if the list is mostly ADHD related symptoms or not. GL, -LN
It's all ADHD related, lack of focus, lack of reading comprehension. I haven't read a book cover to cover since high school. And that book was read aloud during class. I never remember what i read, so it's pointless to read for leisure. Algebra is a no go, after googling it to death. It seems with a low executive function complex math is impossible. You can't hold the numbers in working memory long enough to do the equation. Math always seems "foreign" to me. Like i'm in a cave looking at hieroglyphs. Basically every horrible part of ADHD i have in spades. Meltdowns are common, I'm easily frustrated. And being taught by teachers used to neurotypicals really really annoys me. Hearing "try harder" or "just concentrate on it" and other things like that will lead to a cursing outburst. I just hope meds will calm that a bit. I don't expect a miracle. But having more focus and easing the learning process for me would be so life changing.
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Old 05-11-18, 02:36 AM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

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Originally Posted by DUBL07 View Post
So I see my PCP tomorrow afternoon. She now has the report from the psychiatrist that did my ADHD evaluation. She was talking about putting me on strattera. Which i have read many many bad stories about. I can't have stimulants because of high blood pressure.
Doctors shouldn't automatically rule out treating their ADHD patients with stimulants just because they have high blood pressure. Gina Pera talks about this issue in an article she wrote for Additude magazine, "10 Medication Fallacies Even Doctors Believe":

Quote:
“You might call adult ADHD an ‘orphan’ disorder,” says Margaret Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., a preeminent ADHD clinician scientist, based in Vancouver, British Columbia. “That’s because most professionals with the expertise to recognize and treat ADHD work in child services; they are not working in adult centers or seeing adults.”

The bottom line for adults with ADHD is: Be a smart health-care consumer, and learn as much as you can about medication before you start taking it. The Canadian Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Resource Alliance (CADDRA), a coalition of ADHD experts, has created comprehensive treatment guidelines for patients, parents, and physicians. The practice guidelines, including charts of medications, are available as a free download on CADDRA.ca....

In the meantime, if your prescribing physician makes any of the following 10 statements, share a copy of the CADDRA guidelines with her and talk things over, or find a new doctor.

9. “If you have high blood pressure, you can’t take stimulants.”
An adult should have a thorough physical before starting any new medication, and adults with ADHD should have their blood pressure and heart rate checked before beginning, and periodically during, treatment.

However, Weiss dashes the common myth that hypertension precludes taking ADHD medication: “I would say that it is never a contraindication. You treat the hypertension first. And, in fact, there are medications for ADHD that lower blood pressure.” These include generic guanfacine and its longer-acting brand-name formulation, Intuniv, which can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. These medications are often used as an alternative to, or in conjunction with, stimulants.
https://www.printfriendly.com/p/g/irSGq9

You might want to discuss this with your doctor because Strattera is not nearly as effective as stimulants are for treating ADHD. The ADHD expert Ari Tuckman says the following about Strattera in his book Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD (p. 129):

Quote:
The bottom line on Strattera is that it just doesn’t seem to be as effective as the stimulants. For some clients it works very well, but not with the same frequency that the stimulants do. An informal survey of therapists and psychiatrists whom I know support my experience with the medication in that it is just not as likely to be of significant benefit. Therefore, in my opinion, it should be considered a second-line medication unless there are specific reasons why the stimulants should not be used.
On top of that, Tuckman says this on the same page:

Quote:
Strattera should also be used cautiously in adults with hypertension and other cardiovascular risks.
So, it looks like Strattera has its own problems when it comes to hypertension (high blood pressure).
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Old 05-11-18, 11:12 PM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

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Originally Posted by PoppnNSailinMan View Post
Doctors shouldn't automatically rule out treating their ADHD patients with stimulants just because they have high blood pressure. Gina Pera talks about this issue in an article she wrote for Additude magazine, "10 Medication Fallacies Even Doctors Believe":



https://www.printfriendly.com/p/g/irSGq9

You might want to discuss this with your doctor because Strattera is not nearly as effective as stimulants are for treating ADHD. The ADHD expert Ari Tuckman says the following about Strattera in his book Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD (p. 129):



On top of that, Tuckman says this on the same page:



So, it looks like Strattera has its own problems when it comes to hypertension (high blood pressure).
I had a great appointment. She had a student with her, she usually does. He was in his last year and on his way to becoming a full fledged doctor. He knew a bit about ADHD, so we educated him. He was fascinated and had a few questions. My doctor treats children and adults. Children she can diagnose and treat in office. Adults they send out to mental health providers just to rule out depression and bipolar and other issues. It was a great appointment and i was given Adderall xr to try out. With the condition i don't overuse it and i keep track of my blood pressure. I have a blood pressure cuff at home, so no biggie there. I remain on my hypertension meds. She started me on 20mg i think. Talked to me about meds and how and why they work. Cautioned that it isn't a "magic pill" and i need to continue to find coping mechanisms and get over any learning issues i have. It was a great appointment and she thanked me for going for an official diagnosis. I see her again in a month to check how things are going. I feel a little relaxed now that everything is settled so to speak. Now to work on learning issues and get myself together.
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Old 05-12-18, 03:42 AM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

I'm glad everything turned out well and that your doctor was willing to let you try a stimulant as long as you're careful to keep your high blood pressure under control. Ritalin didn't work out very well for me, so when I decided to try a stimulant again, my own doctor recommended either Vyvanse or Adderall XR which are amphetamine based. If I hadn't picked the Vyvanse, I'd probably be on Adderall XR now, too.

The only issue that I would question is the idea that you should use it sparingly and not every day. At least in my case, I feel like I need it every day. And with an extended release medication like Vyvanse, I don't think that it would be easy for me to go on and off of it all the time. When I've been on it for a while and then don't take it the next morning, the rest of my day is basically wasted and a lost day, because I have a big crash in energy and mood and end up sleeping half the day. I think it takes a day or so for my body to adjust to not having it in my system.

Anyway, good luck and I hope everything works out!
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Old 05-12-18, 05:04 AM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

Dub- what did the doctor mean about not overusing the med?
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Old 05-12-18, 05:31 PM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

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I'm glad everything turned out well and that your doctor was willing to let you try a stimulant as long as you're careful to keep your high blood pressure under control. Ritalin didn't work out very well for me, so when I decided to try a stimulant again, my own doctor recommended either Vyvanse or Adderall XR which are amphetamine based. If I hadn't picked the Vyvanse, I'd probably be on Adderall XR now, too.

The only issue that I would question is the idea that you should use it sparingly and not every day. At least in my case, I feel like I need it every day. And with an extended release medication like Vyvanse, I don't think that it would be easy for me to go on and off of it all the time. When I've been on it for a while and then don't take it the next morning, the rest of my day is basically wasted and a lost day, because I have a big crash in energy and mood and end up sleeping half the day. I think it takes a day or so for my body to adjust to not having it in my system.

Anyway, good luck and I hope everything works out!
She is giving me the freedom to choose when to take it. My friend is on Adderrall xr as well and loves it. He is encouraging me just to stay on it and enjoy the full potential of my brain. It's a 100 bucks a month on my insurance right now. I will take a dose and see what happens. She told me i don't have to take it everyday. She did warn about crashes though. Being on it and then stopping can be jarring and you crash. Once i lose more weight the blood pressure issue should subside. I have lost 40 already and need to keep going. Then i'll only be on Adderall

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Dub- what did the doctor mean about not overusing the med?
She had a patient who thought if one is good....two is better. He was burning though a months dose in two weeks. She was just tossing out a warning that it is a stimulant and this is how it works and why kinda thing. Also mentioned not to sell any to anyone and keep it safely tucked away. I guess you get a charge like selling meth? controlled substance charges or something. She was just telling me everything i needed to know. She is an amazing doctor. First one i have ever had that i just love.
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Old 05-13-18, 01:46 PM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

As much as I love the effects of Dexedrine, I can't imagine overusing it.

The cost would be too high, and terrible to boot.

Plus there is past life experience with drug abuse that informs sobriety and values which is nonegotiable at this point, but I digress.

Taken as prescribed, Dexedrine is life-changing for me, nearly miraculous in fact.

Deviation from that, and noncompliance with my regimen, and everything I care about would be flushed down the toilet.


Cheers,
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Old 05-13-18, 03:12 PM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

I like to think that meds just helped me to accomplish the rest of the work that I need to do to get myself where I want to be, but there's no denying the fact that when I go without medication I definitely feel the difference in more ways than one. Meds are not the end-all answer, but they are a very important part for sure.
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Old 05-13-18, 04:11 PM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

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I like to think that meds just helped me to accomplish the rest of the work that I need to do to get myself where I want to be, but there's no denying the fact that when I go without medication I definitely feel the difference in more ways than one. Meds are not the end-all answer, but they are a very important part for sure.
That's the resounding answer i have gotten online. That meds give a "boost" and help get things done. And i'm totally fine with that. A boost would help me immensely. My friend is loving adderall xr so far. He said it takes some getting used. The additional focus took him a minute to get a handle on.
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Old 05-13-18, 05:07 PM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

The Boost in motivation is definitely helpful, but it's what you do with that extra motivation that really counts. Study up on it. Find out why do you have had the issues that you have, what has caused them, what triggers them, and how you can avoid them in the future. Knowledge is key in these situations, and the sky is the limit with what we can accomplish once we figure out how our brains function.
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Old 05-13-18, 11:23 PM
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Re: Curious about how much meds help

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The Boost in motivation is definitely helpful, but it's what you do with that extra motivation that really counts. Study up on it. Find out why do you have had the issues that you have, what has caused them, what triggers them, and how you can avoid them in the future. Knowledge is key in these situations, and the sky is the limit with what we can accomplish once we figure out how our brains function.
I'm looking forward to seeing what i can accomplish. Haven't had a motivation boost or focus boost before. So i'm excitedly cautious to try it out.
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