Are stimulants are more helpful than hurtful?

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    • #87417

      As the title says I’m wondering if stimulants are more helpful than hurtful. I need some advice for my mother to convince her that they are known to have positive effects but she still is very scared about the side effects and the possibility of me losing my mind because of these brain medications. She, currently, is only taking the natural route with over the counter medications like adderdrene xr and vitamins like omega-3 and iron and like 6 others along with the 3 I’m already taking (which is a real challenge because I keep forgetting to take them or forget to take all of them bc I’ll take 2 then forget to take the 3rd T.T) I feel that these ARE good to take but at the same time it’s way too many! One prescription could save me so many pill taking each day but she still won’t budge. I’ve been trying to convince her about the positives and it’s success percent which is a high number from what I can remember. There’s no real way to try and convince her without sounding like a drug hunter in the process, which I have already been accused of and am now going to be taking a drug test… 🙁 that has done nothing but lower my self esteem but that’s another topic and post. What do I do? What do I say? I need somebody who takes medication’s opinion, if it has greatly impacted you, if it negatively impacted you, if you could go back in time would you do it again. things like that. I’ve done lots of research but I need people’s personal experiences. Also, forgot to mention, how common are the side effects? What are the chances one of the worse ones will occur? Are the side effects bad enough to not take stimulants? Please write as much as you possibly can, it really helps my case for getting treatment for my daily challenges. Also, some other stuff that might be good to know: Male, 17, Haven’t gotten diagnosed yet because, again, mother believes they will just push drugs on me, get me addicted, and take my- her money. Thanks for any help 🙂

    • #87419

      I don’t see stimulants as being hurtful at all. I’ve been on Concerta for over 10 years and I haven’t turned into a drug addict. I can skip the Concerta if I want to, and I don’t have any problems. I don’t have withdrawal symptoms or feel bad because I skipped a day (except for my ADD being untreated.) One doctor told me that people who don’t have ADD will feel wired on stimulants and won’t like them. You should let your mother know about that. If you have ADD, stimulants actually calm you down and help you think clearly. In the past, doctors often recommended taking breaks from stimulants once in a while because they thought they could be harmful if taken for long periods of time. Doctor’s think differently now. Stimulants can be taken each day without being harmful. You should be able to benefit each day from stimulants, not suffer without them. Could you talk your mother into visiting a psychiatrist with you so he or she can explain it to her? So many people couldn’t be on these meds for so many years if they were going to fry your brain. You could ask your mom to read a book that explains ADD. Many people just don’t understand and need to have the information spoon-fed to them. An old-but-great book for her to read is You mean I’m Not Lazy, Crazy or Stupid? It explains the counterintuitive things about ADD, like how a stimulant can actually help you slow down.

    • #87461
      Penny Williams

      Studies show that individuals with untreated ADHD often self-medication with alcohol or illegal drugs. Not having treatment is more likely to cause drug abuse than to take a stimulant for ADHD. It’s a common misconception, but it’s not fact nonetheless.

      Does Stimulant Medication Cause Addiction?

      ADHD is a physiological difference in the brain, where neurochemicals aren’t naturally “adequate.” ADHD medications, specifically stimulants, work to even that out to more “normal” levels. Yes, there can be side effects.

      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

    • #87593

      Prior to being diagnosed with ADHD, I had just dropped out of undergrad after failing a number of courses. After starting meds, (and having cognitive behavioral therapy), I returned to school and graduated with a GPA a hair under 4.0, while being involved with a volunteer SAR team. Without treatment, I never would have been able to complete a post-graduate education, either. I remain on the same medication at the same dose that was started 11 years ago. This is essentially the fairy-tail result of finding the right med. I am by no means “asymptomatic”, but I am able to function at a level where my average co-worker can’t tell that I struggle with executive dysfunction. On days I don’t take the meds, or when I’ve had to go without, I don’t experience withdrawal. My focus and motivation, of course, become abysmal.

      There are also a few non-stimulant meds out there for management of ADHD, but I have no personal experience with them.

    • #87597


      Replies like you really give us hopes. I have a 7 year old kid n really worried about his future,like will he be ever settle in his life without being impulsive n able to make the difference between good n bad.

    • #87614

      People fear what they don’t understand, and most people don’t understand psychostimulant medication. Mostly because we have a very strong anti-drug culture, in spite of the fact that most people consume some sort of mood altering substance daily. They take a “if it ain’t my drug, it’s bad” approach.

      Anyway, stimulant medication is safe and effective, ADHD is proven to exist (genetics and brain scan confirm), and there isn’t any other scientific finding that contradicts that. Ideological propaganda is hard to overcome, and that’s what spreads the anti-ADHD/anti-medication message. Science says it’s safe.

      Alternative methods don’t work unless your condition is very mild. Research has shown that those with ADHD are far more prone to fall victim to the number one childhood killer: accidental injury. Due to poor impulse control, poor cause and effect thinking, strong urge for risk taking, etc. Meaning your health is much more at risk (by a very very large margin) without stimulant medication (should you be diagnosed with ADHD) than with it. Given that, it could be considered child abuse to deny one’s child such treatment.

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