April 16, 2019 at 3:48 pm #114195oceanic_taurusParticipant
I have diagnosed with ADHD around 6 years old. The doctor gave me Ritalin. I hated it. I know why now. As a special education teacher in training. It is ghastly that my students sleep nearly half the day away from the powerful effects of their medicine. Students some days will be dead out cold and drooling on their desk and there is not much I am able to do. About three years ago I tried Adderall and while it worked great. The days I forgot it. Oops, I guess I will not be able to do anything at all today. It became such a crutch to take medicine every day.
I quit taking the medication about two years ago and started college for teaching. I knew I was most likely setting myself up for failure. However, I was able to finish my classes in just 14 months starting with nothing and this was a 5-year degree. I am now working on student teaching and graduate this fall. There are multifarious strategies and safety nets I have to keep in place to keep my disorder from consuming me into a world of distractions. One that helps me push through huge products is the timer method. Twenty minutes of work and then 15 minutes of free time. This has alleviated a vast amount of stress that builds up with large projects.
I still need improvement in social skills and living skills. I am a sociable person like most with ADHD/ADD, I have learned to refrain from talking and listen and use social cues in the conversation to communicate my transitions in the conversation without using negative or panic body language. However, I am only able to handle so much. If I get around someone that talks for more than an hour, I lose my patience and try to excuse myself. Relationships not so successful with. I stay very active and busy. School, two jobs, volunteer work as a crisis counselor, and trying to stay active in fitness. When I am working on something like cleaning, repairing my car, and working on school work, I can get very snappy when people do not understand I am focused on what I am doing. It is a downside for me. My friends understand it better and know when to be quick and brief when I am trying to do something.
Living skills are getting better. Cleaning is a nightmare for me. I downloaded one of the free ebooks on the site. Something struck me hard. It said to try taking pictures of your living environment. I did and the visual photos hit me very hard as to what a pigsty I had. I have been cleaning today focusing on those pictures and going back and looking at my progress. I think this may be successful for me.
I do not ever want to take medicine again for my condition. I hate the long waits to see the psychiatrist, going to the pharmacy, the side effects, and then I can’t function in the morning until my medicine kicks in with no one understanding why I look like a zombie. Has anyone else done well without medicine as well?
April 18, 2019 at 7:08 am #114356OutsiderParticipant
Sounds like you have found many strategies in life to be successful. I wouldn’t let a bad experience with Ritalin stop you from trying meds again. I resisted meds and diagnosis for many years claiming that I like who I am and I have been very successful in life without them. Then I found a really good psychiatrist that works well with me. What I found is that a good psychiatrist needs a lot of time with you to properly find the right medication balance for you. Most psychiatrists in managed care do not have the flexibility to offer you very personalized care due to administrative demand to keep patient flow moving. A lot of great psychiatrists have moved on to working in hospital settings with private practice on the side that does not accept insurance. Working with a private pay psychiatrist has been great. I get appointments when I need them and we have thorough discussions about what works and what doesnt. I use health care spending accounts and get partial reimbursement from insurance. It is well worth it. I would rather drive around in an older used car and put “car payment” money in to my mental health. Enough about that.
I gave in and went through meds. Some meds were horrible but I have found Adderall XR to work but I need to adjust my dose often and I have developed a great system so I am usually in a good place. this took months of trial and error and always started at 1/2 the minimum therapeutic dose. Not everyone responds the same to medication and you may be very sensitive to some of them, like ritalin. Turns out, what I thought was a very successful personal and processional life could get better. My wife feels she has a better me, I havent lost my creativity and at work I have been promoted twice and shifted to a new position that I thought was never attainable, all since finding the right medication and at the right dose.
Give it another try. Find a good psychiatrist that can help you work through different medications and dose titrations. It may cost some $$ if you have to pay out of pocket and may be a lot of appointments in the first year, but you will be better off if successful. Good luck!!!
April 22, 2019 at 7:49 am #114408Dr. EricParticipant
Just be really careful in drawing comparisons.
Everyone’s response, both therapeutically and side-effects, to medication is individual.
I cannot imagine life without the support of my meds.
I also a medical doctor that titrated me in a way I almost never seen done in my professional practice.
Despite my positive experience, I don’t push parents to medicate their children.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize and see kids getting misprescribed or overprescribed.
I have also seen kids not respond to meds that would literally kill me.
For example, the timer method works great when it works.
I have also seen kids have such an aversive response to timers that they cry when they see a board game that uses a sand timer.
I also very rarely disclose my status as an ADD’er to very limited circumstances.
When I do, I am very careful and conservative in making sure I am doing it for their benefit, not mine.
April 22, 2019 at 7:55 am #114501Penny WilliamsKeymaster
This overview of ADHD medication will help you understand how it works and how to find the right dosage and medication that works to improve your ADHD without compromising feeling good:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
April 24, 2019 at 9:33 am #114615damnmouseParticipant
I also do not medicate. Never even tried it, largely because I felt spiteful about how my providers and teachers talked about it when I was a teenager, then I learned some coping skills as an adult. Here are some things that help me succeed:
-I sleep using a weighted blanket. I just started this and cannot stress enough how successful this has been. Normally I constantly feel the need to move when I lay down and have a hard time turning my brain off. This provides an overwhelming sense of well-being and calms that irritability that makes me want to be moving or notice strange sensations on my body. It also makes me not think stressful thoughts at night.
-I put my hand over my mouth when it’s not my turn to speak.
-I cross my feet and put them under my chair when I am in meetings to prevent bouncing my knee or other types of fidgeting that will distract my coworkers.
-I talk to myself to try to keep me on track.
-I give myself time to take walks.
-carbonated water only, no soda.
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