When Medication Doesn't Work…

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    • #90406
      ADHDVermont Adult

      Learning that you have ADHD after 50 can be enlightening. It explains why and how life has been up to that point… how you have looked at the world… all the things that “could have been” as well as a celebration of the symptoms that make you unique.
      Alas… 3 years and 15 or so medications later, I have yet to experience that “ah ha” moment when meds kick in and you are focused… that moment everyone describes in the many books I have read about dealing with adult ADHD.
      It has been suggested that I try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a way to “work around” the challenges that ADHD presents. So far… it seems like a well structured “you can do it” experience. But again… a work around rather than a treatment.

      Anyone else in this boat? It seems so odd to me that no medication has done a thing for me. Yes… some have delivered unpleasant side effects but again, no “ah ha” moment of clarity and focus. Maybe there is a combination that has not been tried or some other supplement that could be added to the program?

      I would love to hear from others dealing with this… with the frustration of knowing your “affliction” but not finding a cure.

      Thank you

    • #90428

      I’m only a few months into treatment for the first time at 46. I too have not landed on an effective medication or therapy. I’ve seen improvements, but not enough to feel that I can improve the quality of my life.

      Adult ADHD is a relatively new discovery compared to childhood ADHD. And as such, there’s more to learn about it. Currently, the treatment provided is just the same treatment that works for children. I suspect we will eventually learn that those of us that are diagnosed later in life have unique challenges that current treatments don’t address. For example, we have decades of ADHD reinforced bad habits that children simply do not yet have.

      Cognitive therapy is a good idea. I doubt that it alone will be helpful, but perhaps combined with the medication that worked the best it will be.

    • #90429

      You are not alone. I have tried six or so meds. None of them have helped, all of them have had adverse effects. Ned Hallowell always says that medications don’t help about 20% of people living with ADHD. You have tried most of them, so you may be among those.

      If you have access to someone who knows how to apply CBT to ADHD, why not take advantage of it? I wish I could, but I can’t find anyone like that. And if someday they come out with something new that does help, you’ll have skills that will make the new treatment even more effective.

    • #90650
      Penny Williams

      There are alternative medications and alternative treatments that can help. Here are some ideas:

      Right Goal, Wrong Strategy — 11 New Treatment Ideas

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

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