Explaining Adderall to Scared Parents

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    • #129303

      Hello forums, hope everyone’s having a good day!

      I was diagnosed with ADHD shortly after college, but still struggled with its annoyances my whole life. Once it was diagnosed I made the decision to start trying stimulants—-Vyvanse worked somewhat but I still had trouble getting my work started. I talked to my psychiatrist about it and she suggested Adderall to cover for the time Vyvanse took to kick in (Vyvanse likes to take upwards of 2 hours to start being actually helpful in my case).

      I thought about it and made all the responsible considerations and decided to try it out. And while it’s only been a week I can see a huge improvement: I’m getting stuff done without any sort of jitteriness, giddiness or high. The only problem is that my mother is terrified of the horror stories of Adderall addiction and abuse, and she’s really upset that I’m taking it. I’ve tried to explain to her that a lot of the cases she finds on the Internet are people who take it when they don’t have ADHD, and a brain with ADHD responds to the med very differently. I’ve assured her that I would never misuse Adderall or take it in any other fashion that isn’t what’s been prescribed to me—-and I mean every word (I’ve studied a bit of medicine, I know not to double dose).

      But no dice. I’m 23 and more than capable of making my own decisions at this point in my life, but it still hurts to see her so scared and upset about something that I’m actually being very responsible about. She’s always been proud of me for doing so well in college (I spent basically all of my time studying to compensate) so she doesn’t understand why I’ve decided to pursue medication—and Adderall of all things.

      I think a big part of the problem is that the Internet is filled with all the horror stories of Adderall (and there are legitimate horror stories) but there are few if any articles detailing when it works as it should—because that’s not as interesting/sensational to read. So if anyone here has found a benefit with Adderall and is comfortable sharing, could you please tell me your experiences so I can try to balance her perspective a bit? Any other advice about what to do/how to talk with her about this would be greatly appreciated as well.

    • #129304

      It’s an understandable response from a loved one, especially your mother. I too have trudged through many of the same struggles you have (albeit at 51, much longer) before I finally discovered the source of my issues. You’ll have to continue to educate those around you about how these medications can help. Essentially, people throwing road-blocks in front of you would rather see you continue to struggle than take a medication that can take away some of the fog associated with ADHD. A fog that only those with ADHD can fully appreciate.
      I would also consider researching dyslexia, as over 50% of people with ADHD have some degree of dyslexia. After countless hours of research on ADD, I came to the realization that much of the difficulties I experienced in school were due to dyslexia. Dyslexia deals with difficulties with reading and writing, which transcends executive functioning, rote memory, etc – which are also key markers of ADHD/ADD. I have an IQ in the top 2%, but scored only a bit above average on standardized testing – and was nearly always the last person to turn-in their test. Was that because I couldn’t focus due to ADD, or because I couldn’t make sense of what I was reading due to dyslexia? Upon much reflection and introspection, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a little of both for me – probably a mild to medium case of each. They both have their challenges and distinguishing them is difficult, but having the knowledge one way or the other is valuable information for you as a person.

      I would also recommend watching some Gary Vaynerchuk videos about living your own life. Gary swears like a sailor, but speaks truth. He speaks of regret in many of his videos – which is a powerful reminder to all of us to keep searching, keep experiencing and keep living our own lives.

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