A guide for a healthy use of drugs

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    • #89104

      Hey, how are you doing today?

      I’m a 24 y/o Male from Brasil. I work as a filmmaker and was officially diagnosed 10 days ago. But i pretty much knew since my teens. What recently made me pursue treatment was that the condition was hurting my career. A lot. It was a problem before, but i aways attributed the failures to other factors. But reevaluating my life, my behavior and past mistakes, made me realize that i would never fix my life for good if i didn’t reach for professional help. After my diagnose, my doctor prescribed ritalin 10mg 2x a day. The first day worked a little, as i didn’t daydreamed a lot, but i still coudn’t build much focus, and kept switching between tasks and losing focus on what i was doing.
      The second and third day the minimal doses didn’t worked at all.
      on the fourth day, after a bunch of research online, i found that the daily dosage could fluctuate to 20mg to 60mg per individual. Them i decided to experiment and take the daily dose in one go (20mg). Disclaimer: I know it was wrong, but i was anxious to get results, and since my doctor told that i would notice the positive effects right away, i decided to do.
      It worked wonders. It actually lasted the entire day, as i took the pills 10 am and could work and do my chores until 9pm. I could edit for hours, completed videos that was on hold for ages, and studied a lot about adhd.
      On the day after was a sunday, my “day off” As the doctor told me to take 6 times a week. Them i called him, explained the situation, and he told me to take 20mg per dosage, 2x a day.
      After this day i didn’t get much more of the same focus i got the time i took the 2 on my own.
      The main reason that was affecting my work was the editing part. I have no problems organizing the production and filming, but when it comes to sit down on my computer and edit the footage, i get the editor’s block. And them i avoid the work altogether. This is a major part of my work and identity, i know how to do very well and i’m pretty decent at. I think that i felt in the same trap that many people who suffer from ADHD also fall from time to time, that this part of my work became “dull” to me.
      I know the work will not come to me alone. I know i have to train my hyperfocus.
      What i want to ask here divide in two parts:
      the first; What are the best strategies to optimize the use of the medication in my favor? I’ve been trying to set a routine to take the pills. I usually eat, take the pills and take a shower to start to work. What are some “unknown tricks” that people who use the medication have to get things in track? I’ve been trying using purple noize + pomodori timer, with mixed results.
      second one; How do i work to minimize my dosage and avoid at all costs building tolerance and addiction? I’ve been reading about exercise and vitamin supplements, but everything is too broad or aimed to children. I was thinking in using the medication only when i have editing work to do, which would be 3/4 times in the week. Does it lessen the effect of the drug taking it fewer times of the week?
      I’m very terrified of disinvolving any kind of addiction. My grandfather was an alcoholic and i know that addiction carries through genetics + the ADHD pre-disposition to abuse substances. I’m a smoker, and i know first hand how a vice can rule a person life. I don’t want to add more shit to my list of problems.
      I’m hoping that i can use the medication to build good habits, and i know i can. In 2016 i managed to stop smoking and lost 30 kgs. Other problems got in the way back them, and i felt again to my bad habits, but now i hope i can get a fresh start with the medication to do things right.
      Thank you for your time for reading this. And sorry for my bad english, since it’s not my first language. I can only find good info and discussions in english.
      Um abraço!

    • #89111

      Hopefully you’re having this conversation with your doctor as well. Everyone is different, and there isn’t a standard dosage/treatment plan that works across the board. Through trial and error is how you find what works for you.

      That said, there are things that work more often than others. Personally, it seems to me that “take when needed” doesn’t work well for most people. At least not from what I’ve read and observed, which is not exactly scientifically valid information. But if you’re concerned about addiction and abuse, an unpredictable med schedule is more likely to produce that result than a predictable one.

      I have a friend who also has ADHD, and he takes medication only on work days. He doesn’t seem to notice that his ADHD is not well controlled, especially when interacting with his family on those non-med days (it’s complete chaos for everyone).

      I take my meds every day, and while I haven’t achieved what I would consider optimal treatment yet, I’m still way ahead in having symptoms under control in all areas of life compared to my friend. Again, this is just one little example, and everyone is different.

    • #89116
      Penny Williams

      Finding the right medication and dosage can be a challenge. The information on ADHD medication in these two articles can help you:

      10 Medication Fallacies Even Doctors Believe

      A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #90270

      I am still waiting on my ADHD MED consultation, so I can’t be much help. But everything I’ve read (obsessively researched) indicates that taking ADHD meds regularly *decreases* the likelihood of active substance abuse (since so much ADHD substance abuse is based in self-medicating ADHD symptoms) and that it works best when taken regularly (not just during work days or hours) because ADHD effects personal relationships, non-work obligations, etc. I also wonder if taking it regularly allows us to build the habits and tools we need to work with our ADHD brain and get stuff done? Like, with depression, there’s a bunch of stuff you can do to ease it, but taking your antidepressants makes doing that stuff a lot easier. It’s a personal choice of course, but I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that taking meds means increased likelihood for addiction or decreased effectiveness long term.

      I would recommend continuing to stay in contact with your doctor and get their opinion. I’d also recommend getting a book on ADHD strategies/living with ADHD if you can, like Delivered from Distraction. Medication is an important/essential foundation but for many of us it isn’t enough. A boring or difficult task may require additional tools or approaches, and there is probably day to day variability with meds as well…

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