Reply To: PLEASE HELP! On the fence about meds…

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I just barely started my 7 yr old on meds. It was a tough decision, but I was diagnosed with add at age 30 and was prescribed Adderall and the effect was immediate and life altering. I cried. Life was so much easier and more beautiful with my “brain glasses” on. I could not believe “normal” people had always had the advantage of a clear brain and calm body and I could not believe the amount of things that I thought were normal that dissipated with medication. The volume of the scurrying voices in my head turned way down and I was able to stop and smell the roses. My capacity for patience, love, and living in the moment was hugely amplified (by amplified I mean to a neurotypical level, though it was a huge difference for me). I just wish I had it sooner. The other thing is, with ADD, you kind of think, “Well, if I could just get it right this time, things will be better.” I cannot tell you how many times I created routines for myself, to do lists, and other things that normal, functioning people do. I even found myself “studying” other people so I could get it together like them. The moment the meds kicked in, I realized I would have never been able to maintain a to do list or a self-imposed routine without the help of medication. My brain just could not manage normal strategies under those unmedicated circumstances. I do not have experience with formal alternative strategies, just with my own perpetual self-improvement plan failures.

Then again, I understand your conflict and it does feel weird giving your kid daily brain meds. But, honestly glasses for your brain is such an accurate description of how this medication feels. It does not alter your personality. It allows your personality to finally show through as all the chaos moves aside.