Reply To: Medication breaks

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Hi Ella!

I am only speaking from personal experience, but maybe it will be helpful in some way to you.

I am a graduate student and I was diagnosed with ADHD during undergrad. When I started grad school I had trouble transferring medical records and I guess at that point I was worried I had to go through another long period of testing and decided to quit my medication cold turkey (I was prescribed Vyvanse 60 mg).

Just like you, I worried about depending on the medication, and I guess I had come to a point where I was “done”, as if I was a cheater for having a medication that is so popular among my peers who do not have ADHD and abuse it as a party drug or study drug (ugh). I went close to 4 months medication free and well, it didn’t go well as far as academics. BUT, here is the big BUT. I learned a great deal about myself, and although I am back on medication now, I know that I can survive without it, but I have also accepted that medication for me is needed for school purposes.

I am not sure about you, but prior to me stopping my medication, I definitely had a very tight psychological attachment to it, and I think my greatest fear was the idea of not having it available because I had been on it for so long.
It was HARD, especially in the beginning because my symptoms are pretty aggressive, but I think I accepted that medication may be a part of my life forever, but I also believe in those “medication breaks”.

I guess what I am trying to say is that by going through those months without it, the fear I had prior is not as strong today. I don’t worry about having my medication with me all the time, I know I can take it when I need it and also not take it on days when it is not necessary. I am not controlled by medication, I choose to take it.

I think it is natural for us with ADHD to FEEL so much more and overthink. We are such passionate people, and every experience seems like straight out of a hollywood movie sometimes haha. What also helped me is the additude podcast series, especially the ones that discuss our emotional processing and personal characteristics. It gave me some knowledgable answers as to why I react so strongly to so many things when others don’t, and how the language of my thoughts often are negative, even though many of the ADHD characteristics could be great strengths as well.

Not sure if this post made any sense, I am just writing my thoughts as they come. Best of luck to you! You got this!