Reply To: I Need Some Advice about My ADHD

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It’s difficult to advocate for yourself when it seems you’re powerless to do so. I know the feeling! Keep educating yourself so that you are able to explain your beliefs. The more you know about your condition, the better it looks when talking to doctors and parents. Your parents are obviously in serious denial and most likely have done little to educate themselves by choosing to make decisions regarding your mental health based on assumptions instead of facts.
I also have a substance abuse disorder. I self medicated with alcohol, marijuana, opiates, and finally meth. The more I tried to disregard the ADHD diagnosis and medication to treat it, the more I self medicated until I lost jobs, failed out of school several times, lost my children to social services, and put myself in risky situations. Everybody has an opinion on shit they know nothing about, especially ADHD. I’ve heard it all from doctors prescribing me provigil, a psychiatrist misdiagnosing me with anxiety, friends and family saying everyone is a little ADHD when I describe symptoms, and social workers pressuring me to try suboxone to treat my meth addiction. I’m looked at as though I don’t know what I’m talking about despite the fact that I’ve gathered information from a variety of credible sources and eloquently summarized the information in a way that is understood so that even my 11 year old sons understand my condition.
Finally finding the right doctor and the right medication was a long process. I gave up easily when medication didn’t instantly work. I wouldn’t want to try medication for a year. My life was derailed by ADHD in so many awful ways such as abusive relationships, being fired from jobs, low self esteem, and addiction. Looking back, being unmedicated, misunderstood, shamed, and not taken seriously was so much worse than being prescribed stimulants. I hope it doesn’t take you going down the path I did before you are given the medication you need. You’re young and your life has the potential to be great if you’re given the right medication. I’m 34 years old and been on adderall XR since December. I feel like I’m beginning my life and it’s been instrumental in keeping me sober. I don’t crave weed or meth like I did early on in sobriety before I was prescribed medication. The ADHD induced anxiety and sleep problems also subsided. Medication changed my life!
Don’t give up doing what is right for you. Only you know yourself best. If your parents, therapist, and others can’t support you, move out and get a new therapist. Or at least threaten to in order to show them how serious you are about YOUR mental health and living your best life possible. Don’t let them hold you back. I let what other people thought hold me back and it got me nowhere. I hope you get the medication you need and find the right info to advocate for yourself.