Reply To: Starting of ADHD treatment

Spaceboy 99

Hey there,

I’ve just been diagnosed as well, but I’m taking Ritalin, not Concerta, but they’re still both stimulants, which means they SHOULD work immediately (my instant-release Ritalin has an effect within 30 minutes). Now, something I do know is that Concerta is designed to have a long period of effect, which suggests to me that it’s an extended release medication.

Much like with extended relief opiate painkillers, you probably won’t feel a ‘high’ of any kind, nor, necessarily, that there is anything different in your life. My medication is instant release (until the 21st, when they’ll switch me to extended), so I DO feel that ‘high’, for want of a better word (it’s more like I know when it’s working and I can tell when it’s running out).

Because yours is extended release, you might have to look for the effects by the absence of symptoms. Have you found a general reduction in your ADHD symptoms? Have you noticed that you’re not doing things you shouldn’t be doing, are focusing when you want to focus, aren’t stressing out over everything (even if you stress out over SOME things)?

Also, have you ever felt calm before? I struggled to identify the feeling when I first took my meds. It actually felt oddly blank, almost as if something was missing, until I realised that the thing that was missing was the pressure, that constant need to have things done, or to be doing something, or to notice everything. You MIGHT actually be experiencing calm and not realising it.

Also, depending on other elements in your life (if you have stressors from work, school, family, etc.) you may NOT feel calm on your meds. They’re not designed to be mood-enhancing or mood-altering drugs, they’re designed to allow you to focus and help you resist impulsivity. A side-effect of being able to focus is being able to calm down in the face of multiple stimuli, but it won’t help you grieve for a loved one, for example.

If, after you’ve been taking your meds for some time, you don’t notice any effects of any kind, then you should have a word with your specialist. If you find that the meds are treating your ADHD, but feel you may also have some other kind of mood disorder that is stopping you from feeling calm, maybe you need additional medications, in which case you should also have a word with your specialist, or perhaps a different type of medication would help you better. It’s important to remember that there are about 50 types of ADHD meds, and they very rarely get the perfect medicine for each person the first time. Just because Concerta may not work for you DOESN’T mean that Adderall, Ritalin, Wellbutrin, Strattera, Vyvanse, and a whole bunch of others WON’T work for you.

I hope this helps, and I wish you every success with your trials of medications 🙂