September 2, 2018 at 3:59 pm #98043
I was diagnosed with ADHD 3 months ago and apart from the initial relief that there was something causing my symptoms I’m still lost! I have been taking different doses of Elvanse to try and control my symptoms but it’s either to weak or to strong! I feel like I’m trying my hardest to get things done but still not achieving my goals . I’m due to see my doctor next week regarding meds but feel so frustrated that I’m diagnosed but still not performing like I feel I should. Has anyone had a similar experience? Is it possible I’m not on the right medication or am I not trying hard enough? Any response would be grate thanks for reading.
September 2, 2018 at 8:41 pm #98044Blake_Participant
I have a similar experience regarding my initial diagnosis; trust me you are not alone in this struggle. When I was initially put on Concerta, I was taking 15 mg and felt like it wasn’t helping as much as I thought, then I went up to 30 mg and also felt overwhelmed, on edge, anxiety filled, whatever. The solution is to talk to your doctor and work with him/her as much as possible. I also have problems with anxiety and talking to other people about topics like this, but you’ll feel so much better once you find a treatment that works for you. Try out different dosages, or even different brands of medication, if it isn’t working, tell your doctor, I’m sure they want to work with you to help find an effective solution.
Hope this helps!
September 3, 2018 at 6:13 am #98058
Hi Thanks for you reply!
I started on Elvanse 30 which was great for me emotionally it calmed my anxiety and I’d never been so relaxed in my life, I would then crash around 2 o’clock and would be so tired I’d go to bed. My doctor solved this with a dose of Ritalin. When I saw the ADHD nurse she took me off the Ritalin and upped the Elvanse which took a while to get used to. The standard generic form I have to fill in showed there was still a lack of focus and concentration so I was upped to 60 which I really couldn’t handle even though I keep trying occasionally. I’m thinking when I see her again I’ll be trying a new medication altogether. I suppose what I’m asking is when I get the right medication will I know? Is it a light bulb moment or does it happen gradually. Thanks for anyone taking the time to respond
September 3, 2018 at 3:40 pm #98069Blake_Participant
First I’m glad you’re working with your doctor and telling him/her when things aren’t working. That can be a huge task for people like us, I know my ADD causes me to experience heightened emotion, so telling someone “bad” news (even when the topic, like medicine not working, isn’t even really “bad”) sometimes overwhelms me and causes me to shut down, kudos to you for overcoming that.
My advice would be to not expect a lightbulb to go off, medication is not a cure-all for our problems, its a tool that helps us live more “normally,” just like organization tips and things like that. The main benefit you want out of a stimulant is increased focus and concentration. When you start a medication, take it consistently for an extended period of time, without a break, maybe a week to two weeks. If you feel more productive and focused, the medication is probably working! From there you should assess how your body is feeling, you know your body better than anyone else, are the negatives of your ADHD increasing in intensity after starting the medication? Like increased anxiety or emotional outbursts? If so that’s something you can talk to your doctor about.
Really its just assessing how your body and brain act as an person with ADHD and assessing the benefits and drawbacks you notice after starting a medication. Tell your doctor everything you notice after taking a medication, they can help you decide if that lightbulb went off or not.
September 3, 2018 at 6:32 pm #98077drhallowellParticipant
Hi Justin, This is Ned Hallowell here. I am a psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD. I’d add to what Blake suggested by reminding you there’s more to treatment than medication. Education is where to start. Read a book (I can’t help but recommend one of mine, like Delivered from Distraction) so you will have a full toolbox, not just medication. Then, based on what you learn in the book, pick out what applies to you. Maybe you need a coach, someone to help you get organized. Or maybe you should start an exercise program, or a meditation regimen, or both. Those will help for sure. Subscribe to ADDitude because there are always helpful articles. Maybe join a support group. Get plenty of what I call the other vitamin C, vitamin Connect, positive human contact from other people, or even a dog! One of the big enemies in ADHD is negative thinking, so make sure you have people to hand out with who are positive. All this is by way of saying that medications can be hugely helpful, but you also want to make sure you have a comprehensive, multimodal plan. Good luck!
September 3, 2018 at 6:36 pm #98078
Thanks for your reply! You’ve actually sussed me out with your answer!! I have to see my ADHD doctor this weekend and I’m a little anxious off telling her I don’t think my meds are working, so I was seeing advice about what I should or shouldn’t feel from them. The fact you have just responded with what I really mean makes me realise I should speak up so thanks!
September 3, 2018 at 6:52 pm #98083
One of my other concerns is that I’ve been diagnosed and handed a pill with no support to back it up as of yet. I’ve spent all my life not being organised and I’m aware that a tablet isn’t going to cure this!! The fact that my meds calmed me initially was a breakthrough and I fully embraced them moments until I realised I wasn’t getting all areas of my ADHD under control. I will definitely look at you books and hopefully draw some good advice from them. Ideally I’d love a life coach that could help teach me how to be organised etc etc. My partner says she has seen a great improvement in my symptoms and that I’m being a bit hard on myself, guess I thought I’d get a quick fix and things would be slightly easier, I’ll have to try harder but that’s what us adhers are used to! Thanks for your reply
September 3, 2018 at 10:22 pm #98126maxbParticipant
I was diagnosed 2 years ago at 46. So relieved! But after the buzz and thrill of seeming to have a normal brain with my meds…soon came the crashing disappointment of not suddenly being “fixed”..super-human or even vaguely like I wanted to/imagined I could be.
Thing is, I have a lifetime’s worth of bad habits, similarly slacker/joker/lazy friends etc. The meds help my brain slow down and focus…but to get things done I have needed structures and repetition, apps. Counselling helped up to a point…but I am known to be a persuasive gabber and became sick of listening to myself sound convincing and motivated…then going home and getting distracted with the 5000 things which distract and entertain me always anyway.
For me, I have had to set my life up where I give myself way fewer excuses, block out a lot of distractions, have a strict timetable with accountability until the “have-to”things become in some way enjoyable. Usually that is when I meet cool people (cause I’m great with people) so then I want to go to see them…task itself becomes a sideline. Anything enjoyable, fun, interesting I can and will do no problem…so I try to con myself in believing everything I need to do has some fun and interesting side to it:-)
Good luck – it will be with you for life, try not to get too exasperated with it:-) Max
September 4, 2018 at 8:38 am #98155Penny WilliamsKeymaster
It’s very possible that it’s not the right dosage or medication for you, but you can’t expect sweeping positive changes from medication alone — it’s just one tool in a successful ADHD treatment plan.
There are two types of stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall, Vyvanse, Evekeo…) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Quillivant…). Almost everyone does well on one type or the other, but not both. This medication guide will help you learn all you need to know about medication to work with your doctor effectively to tweak it:
Medication is rarely just right on the first medication and dosage tried:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
September 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm #99812
Hi quick update on my last appointment, my doctor has decided we have tried the elvanse for long enough at varying doses and I’m now trying methylphenidate xr. The focus when I’m doing what I’m best at is so good it’s untrue but when I put my self to the test and try and do the things I either struggle with or find a bind it’s like I haven’t even taken it!! I end up bouncing around starting one task moving on to another back to the first thing I started. I then nip to the shop haha trying to stay on task is so hard my mind is constantly trying to think one step ahead causing me to jump from one task to the next it’s so frustrating. I’m alredy thinking to my self where am I going with this post? Have I gone off on a tangent
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