Driving with ADHD (to medicate or not)

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    • #121753

      Hello everyone,
      I am new to this forum. I am currently trying to learn how to drive. I was diagnosed with ADHD-combined when i was eight. My most recent psych evaluation mentioned I don’t meet the full credential for ADHD-inattention but it needs to still be ruled-out. My working memory is in the 3rd percentile (borderline). She said that multitasking might be nearly impossible, extremely stressful with assistive technologies. Right now I’m having a bit of difficulty driving. I am working with a driver rehab teacher. She mentioned that she thinks i should talk to my psych NP about it. I asked my sister how my driving is when she teaches me at home. She said that i have a hard time focusing on multiple things. She also told me adhd medicines can be addicting. I don;t know if i should talk to my np or not about it.

    • #121763
      Uncle Dharma

      My specialist told me that when I take my meds – dexamphetamine – and drive, I will be a much safe driver.

      Also, The police here can test for methamphetamine, but not dexamphetamine.
      This is because they are chemically different.

      I am not addicted to my meds. I have never been addicted to anything.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Uncle Dharma.
    • #121773
      Penny Williams

      “…adults and teenagers with ADHD are four times more likely to be involved in car accidents…”

      Stop Distracted Driving with These Safety Tips

      It’s important to do everything you can to be as safe as possible behind the wheel. Medication for ADHD can be one of those things.

      And there’s no data to support becoming an addict from ADHD medication:

      Does Stimulant Medication Cause Addiction?

      Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of medication — they are the expert.

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

    • #121831

      Thanks for the helpful answers. I’ll speak to my NP about it.

    • #121834

      Ghost, driving involves hand-eye coordination and muscle memory, and with
      practice you can do just fine. Most of the laws are common sense, and be
      a defensive driver – Meaning pay attention, don’t do anything foolish that
      will cause someone to hit you, and don’t let someone else run into you.

      Practice builds confidence.

      What issues are you having with your driving? Speed management? Lane

    • #121846

      Hi Dizzy,
      issues i’m having is paying attention to multiple things around me (other people, cars, etc), staying in my lane, and stopping behind the lane. My brain mostly ignores my left eye so depth perception is affecting some of that.

    • #121877
      Mama Vautour

      I’d been driving for a long time before I ever took ADD medication. Personally, I find I drive better without it. I am better able to pay attention to everything going on around me, as well as way up the road and behind me. But then, I am actively looking for things all the time. Just don’t expect me to carry on a conversation while I’m driving!

      As for the alleged addictiveness of the medication, if that were so, why would so many kids not want to take it and why would so many of us, myself included, forget to take it? I couldn’t take the sustained release version of Ritalin, so I had to take a dose at work. Almost every single day there would come a time that I would be standing at my secretary’s desk with a baffled look on my face and she’d ask “D’ju take your meds yet, Deb?” or “Forgot to take your meds again, eh?” To which I’d respond with the obligatory mumbling all the way back to my office to take my meds and figure out why I’d gone to her desk in the first place.

      Good luck with your driving lesson! Remember…leave your cell phone in your purse! There was a time when cell phones didn’t exist. So you can live without it in the car. Seriously, or you might not live with it.

    • #122335

      Hi Mamavautour,
      When driving i have a hard time focusing on everything around me. I can’t talk while i drive either. I have made an appointment with my psych np to ask about medication.

      • #122336
        Uncle Dharma

        I cannot talk when parking or reversing.
        Everyone else in the car has to be quiet, and I usually turn off the radio.

    • #122389

      I find driving With other people in the car very distracting. I have to tell people to be quiet when I am maneuvering in traffic. And often when I’m traveling on the highway I will miss an exit because if I’m in a conversation with someone.
      BUT I love driving alone and sometimes will just get in the car and take a drive when I’m feeling overwhelmed by my racing thoughts. Driving alone in my car, I find that there is just enough concentration on the process of driving to calm down my brain. I feel like I’m in control, in control of something anyway. And my ADD Isn’t messing up my brain.
      Wondering if anyone else enjoys driving alone?

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by iamwoman.
    • #122419

      1. To get the most out of the visit with my own NP/Doc/medical provider, I am totally upfront with them. Not holding anything back, so he/she can do the worry, not me.

      2. It also might be helpful to have your close family member(s) with you in the visit. Me for one, is not a good observer of myself and not a very good self-advociate, sometimes. Having someone that knows you well can help to tell your story better than you can.

      3. I make a list of things that I want to ask or talk about before I go in to see my own NP/Doc.

      4. And I will certainly ask questions about my own health with my NP/Docs. Just between us, NP/Docs are not very good mind readers.

      5. It sounds like your NP is trying to figure things out (yes, that takes time). But if you think your current NP is not helping or not willing to listen, I will look for a second opinion if I were you.

      Hope this helps.

      And watch out, I drive a black Forester 😉

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