How soon did it take for meds to come up post-diagnosis?

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    • #192971

      Hello all,

      I hope that this message finds you well.

      Summary: In my ’40s, I was just recently diagnosed w/ADHD primarily inattentive, moderate. I have some attention issues, particularly if it’s something that I’m not interested in. If it’s something that I’m into, then on comes the hyperfocus. In the case of something that I’m not looking forward to, I can drag things out. Much of this has been under the radar, hence the recent diagnosis. Once that I closely looked at my past patterns, a lot made sense. Particularly, I never thought that I lived up to my potential but never knew why.

      To add some further context, I’m also on the spectrum (would have been formerly classified as Asperger’s). One of the ways that these two conditions manifests is that I sometimes snap when things don’t go my way, when I want it to. An example is when I ask my 6 y/o multiple times to do something and he doesn’t. By the 4th or 5th time, my voice goes up. After he does what I ask, I explain to him why I raised my voice and talk him through these requests. These outbursts are never extreme: neither my wife nor son are afraid.

      I had my first appt post-diagnosis. When the nurse practitioner through the practice that I’m using,

        much of the conversation revolved around her suggestion for me to start on meds

      . When she mentioned meds, she wasn’t overbearing. I wasn’t offended. It just seemed a bit quick to discuss them.

      Truthfully, I’m on the fence. My biggest problem was that I didn’t know what I had, so I didn’t know “what to solve for.” Now, that I have my diagnoses, I’m able to harness the hyperfocus and craft routines that work for me. Prior, my wife would complain some but not excessively re: my attn or lack of it. I do great at work (I’m on a computer for 8 hrs a day but have been working from home) with the occasional minor slip.

      In terms of helping with my attention, I drink about 3 cups, 10 oz apiece of Cafe Bustelo espresso coffee with about 1/2 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder per cup. Also, I have two cups of black tea (I reuse the tea bag) also with 1/2 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa per cup. Listening to my body, I worked out a schedule for spacing out these cups of beverages. I don’t think that I’m particularly sensitive to caffeine, as I once drank about 3-4 cups of black coffee at dinner and still slept that night.

      For any of you that are on meds and your symptoms are pretty close to mine, how soon after your diagnosis did meds come up? How much of a difference did they make? The nurse practitioner said that I could try them for 2 weeks to start to see how I feel? If I don’t feel so good, doesn’t work out, etc., then I could stop. The analogy that she used is of having vision problems, putting on glasses, then being able to see clearly. As an indicator, I asked my wife to bluntly say how my behavior is and she doesn’t think that I really need meds.

      While I recognize that it’s personal to decide whether to take meds or not, I welcome any feedback that can help me to decide. In advance, I apologize if I rambled a bit.

    • #193546
      Paul R

      Hi, You are probably self-medicating already with so much coffee and tea. I tried my first medication dose this Friday and it did help me focus and pay attention. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it up because of side effects.

      As for your question: My first diagnosis, which happened over 24 years ago, I was also offended. The practitioner was assuming I “feel” bad. I don’t “feel” bad mostly. But I do “feel” bad when supervisors and other people I work with give me hell for attention-related mistakes and shortcomings that put my job and my work relationships at risk.

      To your question, it is early for your provider to gloss over alternatives. Medications have their drawbacks too. You may be happy enough as is. You may become happier with medications though. It was really neat Friday to be able to stay so focused. There are non-medication ways to live with ADHD. Good luck!

    • #193559

      Good morning Paul,

      Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

      First, I know that I was consciously self-medicating with the coffee and tea. The combination of both with the cocoa that I use, which also has MCT oil included, did an adequate job at helping me with focus.

      Second, in terms of how my wife and my work supervisor saw me (pre-diagnosis), I am fortunate that I’ve never had serious situations either at home or at work. Now, I understand that the slips were due to my impulsivity (perhaps not thinking things through). At home, my wife’s occasional frustration is very understandable. On the flip side, I feel similarly when our son sometimes doesn’t may attention to what I say.

      Third, the update here is that I, ultimately, decided to try to medication. I figured that, as long as I didn’t have a bad reaction or literally nothing happened, I could always stop (confirmed that I safely could, prior to starting) and return to my previous protocol (coffee, tea & cocoa with MCT). Of course, I noticed that my attention was at the same level of my protocol or maybe a bit better. The biggest change that I noticed is better control of my impulsivity. I noticed that either it took me longer to hit 0-60 or perhaps it was at a lower level.

      Last night was a big test. My wife and I put a new desk together. I did most of the manual work, while my wife directed me. Once, we had to fix how we put a part together. Not once did I lose my cool and I was pretty focused. For so long, I have said that I’m “not a handy guy.” I don’t know that I am one but I wonder how much of my low (self-perceived) ability is due to my ADHD.

      Medication is a personal choice. I am fortunate that, so far, the medicine ended up working for me. Right now, I just started, so I need to dial in the appropriate dosage.

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