Meds do not seem to work and genuinely starting to think I don’t have ADHD

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    • #189386

      I’m 17 and I have just started taking 36mg of Concerta. I have an inattentive type ADHD and I’ve been doing poorly in school since about 3rd-4th grade. I don’t know if I’m have to be patient in order for the medication to work, but I am losing help and considering the fact that I probably don’t have ADHD. If that’s the case then I don’t know my problem. I don’t have a learning disability if I pass higher on ranked tests than my “average-minded” peers at school. I do consider my self slightly intelligent, but not in a narcissistic way. I wish my grades can just come up to par with my intelligence. I had to switch to a self-paced homeschool, but I am moving slow with the workload. I probably do have a mood disorder, but I cannot tell if that’s true more than the people around me. However, the internet always says it’s linked with ADHD, but I cannot figure out how it can affect my work. Covid delayed all the cognitive tests that I was supposed to get, so that’s probably a factor in which I cannot tell if I have ADHD or not. I’m just trying to figure out if I should be patient with my meds, work with my meds to get my work done, go up a dosage, switch medication, or thoroughly consider the fact that I don’t have ADHD and find what I have in reality. This is my first time on Stimulants. I got on Concerta after taking Atomoxetine (30mg) which wasn’t doing anything for me either even though it was the lowest dose.

    • #189397
      Canadian Vin

      Oh my goodness, where to start ? You sound so positive yet pretty much dangling out there, not quite knowing how to deal with this ADHD “thing”….So perspective, I have ADD and so does my son. I am 67,he 37. He was diagnosed at age 4, me around 50. I spent the last 33 years being a life coach to my son, to help him figure out the nitty gritty of society that gets easily missed by people like us. We are both smart and I do not doubt you are either. But by God it is hard to work successfully when your brain is getting in the way!
      So here are my thoughts/questions. You need a coach/buddy who can help you with encouragement as you figure out how to work with the pitfalls ADHD puts in your way. Oh and by the way – there is NO DOUBT in my mind that you are smart!

      Meds: Sounds like they are not working properly for you yet. Meds often need to be changed or dosage adjusted until the best solution is settle upon.

      – What did your doctor tell you about what to expect with the Concerta?
      – Was there a plan discussed with the Doctor about establishing dosage or evaluating how successful it was for you.
      – Are your parents involved in your treatment plan and helping you with organising for school or spending time just listening and discussing problems in a helpful way?

      When we are younger we often do not know that we can note how we are reacting and processing outside stimuli. It is really helpful to you if you can develop the ability to start to notice when you are feeling focused and noting the circumstances around it. Time of day, food eaten, quiet or noisy surroundings, amount of sleep, exercise taken, when Meds taken, what felt different after taking them, how different, did you feel relaxed,calm, irritable, nervous etc etc.
      Make a list of your observations about how the med is or is not working for you and take that with you to the doctor. Keep the list efficient – we all do get verbal LOL. Make sure you mention everything on the list.
      If your parents are supportive then make sure that you are the one doing the talking although they should be of help too as we often do not realise our actions, they are aware of our pitfalls.

      – Write down what the doctor advises, arrange a follow-up to report how the new plan is working. Keep a notebook to record where success is happening, what works, what does not. Follow up with Doctor.

      – Home school is the hardest way to learn if you have ADD !!!! So play a game with yourself to get through the work. Decide you will study for 20mins then treat for 10mins. Set a timer, no cheating ! It is actually fun as you are in charge of what is happening rather than some other person….and it works. That was how I got through studying for my final level exams for becoming a CPA.
      Also studying – read the material. Then go back through it and write summary notes of the important parts. Neurologically if you watch, retention is reasonable, if you discuss with others it increases, if you type it then the memory is not really engaged at all so that does not help you remember the material BUT if you write it down by hand your memory really gets hold of it. Also if you then go back and read your notes the next day, it improves more. Little and often is the way. It takes a while for the information to settle in our memory banks but we can be very successful if we just go back a few times to remind ourselves of the note versions.

      Having ADHD is very powerful once you have learned to work with it. Being high energy and smart is an exciting way to be in life, you will just need to learn what works for you to cope with its negative impacts.
      – You will need to build some habits that will assist you in being organised without it being an ongoing chaos. There a number of books on the subject, one of which is Delivered from Distraction. It is probably available on audio too. Both writers have ADD and they are both Doctors – very helpful fellows.

      If your doctor is not very helpful – then go to another one. It is very important that it be a good relationship.

      Good Luck.

    • #189398
      Canadian Vin

      Oh and I forgot to mention –

      I was involved in a clinical study in 2008, it was to evaluate what improvements could be obtained by using either a computer program or Yoga to improve brain cognition, the study was for 12 weeks. We were tested extensively prior to the program, then at end, then 6 months later.

      The program we used was from Posit Science. Their program is now called BrainHQ and is web-based. About 3 weeks into it I suddenly realised how much more work I had done that day. It was really helping me! There is other research that has been done that confirms it is helpful to improve your focus and processing speed. It is not an expensive program – I think about $15/mo so you might find that helpful. It takes a little while of course to take effect.

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