My Forum Comments
Let me kill the suspense, you will have failures big and small.
I know it sounds cheesy, but failing a thousand times is better than never trying at all. Failure is how we learn best. You should hope to be lucky enough to fail so you can learn those lessons that only failure can bring.
There is nothing cool or beneficial about hyperfocus. As was mentioned above, it’s not something that can be controlled. Meaning, you can’t decide when to turn it on, and even worse, you can’t decide when to turn it off.
If you don’t get it, you’ve lucked out.
Because of all the false beliefs and negative opinions about stimulants, medical professionals will often cater to it rather than fight it. And, of course, just because someone is a doctor doesn’t mean they aren’t prone to misunderstandings that lead to false beliefs themselves. Find a new doctor if you don’t trust the one you have.
Some people do outgrow ADHD by early adulthood, but they are the exception to the rule. Medication doesn’t cure ADHD, it only treats it for as long as you take it. Just as glasses only treat poor eyesight when worn.
Your treatment needs may change over time, however, so it might be useful to take break and slowly reintroduce medication starting with a low dose and working it up to effectiveness. But that should only be done when your life can handle some temporary increased ADHD symptoms. And it should only be done under the guidance and advice of a doctor.
It has been shown that eating healthy and getting enough sleep are very important for maintaining medication effectiveness. Talk with your doctor about diet and sleep if you think it might be a concern. Also, cognitive therapy is known to be a very effective companion to medication, and is strongly suggested by the FDA as part of the first-line treatment of stimulant medication.
Emotional regulation can be tough for kids with mental health issues. However, it’s also true that some people, even kids, just aren’t the feeling type. Which is not to say they don’t have emotion, it’s just to say they lean more heavily on other cognitive functions.
The best way to help someone recognize and work with their feelings is to point out what you think they are feeling. Asking someone to tell you how they feel is an awkward question for all of us, especially kids. But if you say, “you seem sad right now,” and comfort them with a hug, you’ll really pull it out (assuming they were feeling sad, that is). Notice how my example didn’t offer any preaching about the sadness, and asked no questions about why. It’s best to mind your own business on why unless they offer it unprovoked. You can comfort someone without knowing why they feel what they feel. And, they will be much more likely to share with you when there’s no pressure to do so.
So, when you notice an emotion, acknowledge it with respect. This mean you’ll have to start with negative emotions since those are the most likely ones to expose themselves. If you see anger, tell him how healthy it is that he’s angry, point out some healthy ways to deal with anger.
There is no scientifically concluded cause of ADHD. Such things take time to pan out.
That said, we do know that it is always related to either genetic predisposition or early brain trauma (like pre-mature birth, or head injury). There’s no scientific work that pins gut bacteria to ADHD, and the probiotic fad is actually making people sick (because unless you have an actual deficiency, taking probiotics spreads bacterial colonies where they shouldn’t go, like the lower intestines). ADHD appears to be a mechanically different brain that lacks some important neural connections between different parts that exist in neurotypical brains. This is confirmed with brain scans.
Alternative treatments are not science based and can be quite dangerous when trust is placed in them over proven treatments. They are based on science-denial and pseudoscience. The scientifically proven first-line treatment for ADHD is stimulant medication. It is proven by generations of study and practice to be the most effective and safest treatment available. And it is very very safe. There are second-line treatments as well, which include medications that aren’t stimulant based, neurofeedback has shown some promise, and cognitive therapy can be useful (but rarely by itself).
Poor diet can cause symptoms that are similar to ADHD, but that doesn’t mean it is ADHD or that poor diet causes ADHD. No ADHD link to diet has ever been found in real science.August 22, 2018 at 11:29 am in reply to: Quarter Life Crisis (I Was Just Diagnosed With "Inattentive Adult ADD" #91954
There is a bit to unpack here, but I’ll do my best. To start, I think you should be reevaluated by a psychiatrist. Whatever diagnoses you had as a kid, it may have been a misdiagnoses. Whether or not you want to go the medication route, should that be recommended based on a new evaluation, it would still be helpful to know the particular issues you’re dealing with. I can definitely see signs of anxiety and depression in what you’ve wrote, and those can be primary conditions, or they can be symptoms of another condition like ADHD.
I also sense, and I mean no offense by this, that you’re behind in science literacy. That is the case with most Americans regardless of any mental health issues. The information you’re quoting above is derived from propaganda, not scientific understanding. Such propaganda comes from industries that are selling “health” products that aren’t confirmed through science to work (supplements, herbal remedies, acupuncture, homeopathy, some factions of psychotherapy, etc.) and thus they have a vested interest in confusing people about science. The techniques they use are two-fold, science-denial (calling science itself into question, without offering anything more reliable), and pseudoscience (using methodologies that look a lot like science, but careful examination reveals many deceptions and logical fallacies).
I will address some of your concerns. Dextroamphetamine and Methamphetamine are similar, but they are not the same. The slightest difference in molecules makes a huge difference in effects and side effects. Both are available by prescription for ADHD, but Methamphetamine is rarely used; not because of safety issues, but because of public opinion.
When it comes to toxicity, the substance doesn’t matter, it’s the dose. Even water is toxic if you take it in high enough doses. Another example, chlorine is not only safe to drink in small amounts, it’s healthy to drink in small amounts in water because it rids drinking water of disease causing microbes. But if you drank pure chlorine, it would kill you pretty quickly.
The horror stories you hear about amphetamines come from people who abuse it and take very high doses of it. At prescribed doses, it is very safe. In fact, it’s safer than having untreated ADHD, where we know one’s quality of life is reduced (as you’ve pointed out about your own) and their chances of early death are greatly increased.
ADHD is a real condition that is confirmed through several independent lines of evidence, including genetic markers that predict it, brain scans that show it, and identified behavior patterns that demonstrate it. They all line up and confirm each other. It’s also worth noting that ADHD has been identified and studied since 1775. Stimulants were first discovered to be an effective treatment in 1936; but it took “Big Pharma” until the 1970s to actually offer them for ADHD treatment. Meanwhile, doctors were prescribing it for ADHD anyway, which helped confirm its effectiveness. This is not a conspiracy from Big Pharma. Yes, they are profiting from it, but that in and of itself is not evidence of malicious manipulation. It’s only evidence of opportunism, which is valid behavior in a capitalist system.
Yes, there are people with untreated ADHD who seem to find an area of success in their life. This is a result of hyper-focus. ADHDers can become highly skilled and focused in a particular area, but that doesn’t mean they cured their ADHD. I will bet everything I own that the big successful entrepreneurs you hear about are either lying, or are only successful in the workplace. Which is to say, their home life is probably a mess, their personal relationships probably suck, and their work relationships may suffer as well. In short, anecdotes don’t tell us anything about what is true or false about anything. That is why we have the scientific method to sort out fact from fiction.
One final note: I think you may be malnourished, which will make all the issues you’re dealing with even more difficult. A vegan diet can be healthy, but it takes a lot of work to ensure you’re getting all the proper nutrition. Given that you’ve stated you’re not eating much, and given that you’ve stated you lack motivation, I think you’re hurting yourself with veganism. Medically speaking, there is no diet fad that is proven healthier than any other. Special diets are only ever recommended when there is a medical condition that is better suited for a special diet. Outside of that, science tells us that you should eat a varied diet that’s mostly plant based but includes meats and can include dairy. Eating processed foods and meats in moderation is fine. And if it gets you to eat, do it.
Find the web site called “science based medicine dot org” (Google that). It will provide science based information on diet and mental health concerns.
There is a very clear trend in this thread that I hope everyone ponders very carefully. Those that have experienced being held back directly tend to be against it, and those that are parents of kids being held back tend to be for it. Not true in every case, but a clear trend.
I’ll let the individual figure out the meaning of that.August 21, 2018 at 1:34 pm in reply to: Quarter Life Crisis (I Was Just Diagnosed With "Inattentive Adult ADD" #91753
Sounds to me like you’ve been victimized by a lot of science-denial and pseudoscience. Stimulant medication is safe and effective, and for people age 6 and older is the first-line treatment option for ADHD, with cognitive therapy recommended as an augmentation.
There is a problem, especially in the past, of doctors not taking the proper time to find the right medication option/dosage. You may have been treated in the past by a doctor that didn’t have good ADHD knowledge. But also, ADHD knowledge is growing every day. So, we know things now that we didn’t just a few years ago.
Try it again, with a doctor who is willing to start with small doses and increase slowly until you find the sweet spot. This is a process called titration.
If you want to read the rebuttals against the science-denial and pseudoscience out there, here’s a good source: https://adhdrollercoaster.org/category/myth-busting/
I know an elderly lady who is 88 years old. She has been a heavy smoker for most of her life and eats a lot of junk food. She’s in perfect health, doesn’t even have a smoker’s cough. I know many people like this, and more who know other people like this.
Does that mean smoking and eating junk food are healthy activities? Of course not. That’s the difference between anecdote and statistic. Not everyone who engages in unhealthy behavior will get unhealthy results. But statistically, the chances of avoiding health issues as a smoker/junk food eater are rare (even if one’s personal experience makes it not seem so).
Pulling a child out of the only social group they know, and dropping them into a new one is statistically a risky thing to do. Deciding to do it requires a lot of risk/benefit analysis. Those of you who have had success, that’s great. But recommending it to others, especially when you don’t know the particulars of their situation, is as irresponsible as claiming smoking is healthy merely because you can pull out some anecdotes about healthy people who happen to smoke.
Also, those of you claim success whose child is still a child, you don’t yet know if there will be long term negative effects.August 20, 2018 at 1:30 pm in reply to: After school activities a struggle after meds wear off – please help #91727
Keep in mind you can keep trying until you get it right. Which is to say, the change your doctor is recommending isn’t the final step, it’s another try. And if that doesn’t work, you and the doc can keep going on to the next try. Trial and error is really the only way to find the best treatment with ADHD.
That said, if the current recommendation doesn’t sit well with you, explain that to the doctor. You know things he doesn’t in terms of your child’s sensibilities and temperament. And he knows things that you don’t, in terms of medical treatment options and the risk/benefits of each. The two of you need to combine your knowledge for the best results.
Ultimately, ADHD treatment is not a personal choice. It affects everyone who must be around it. So, unless someone is willing to end up alone because they chased everyone out of their life, they must respect the feedback they’re getting from those they want to be around.
Has he been given direct feedback about how his behavior makes those around him feel?
Does he understand your past, and how his behavior brings up the pain of it (i.e. feeling super insecure and unsafe)?
I would say the first step is to take stock and make sure your experience is communicated clearly and without any chance of misinterpretation. In the end, you’ll fail if you try to micro-manage his treatment. He will experience it as an attack and a judgement on so many levels. It’s best to explain why you feel the need to do so, and let him decide if he cares enough about you (and the others his behavior affects) to care enough about his treatment.
In the end, you can only control you. You may have to day, “on days when you don’t take your meds, please don’t be around me.” But I would not recommend starting there. Try to have a direct and honest conversation first, provide resources like articles from this site, etc. Try to show him how skipping meds not only affects his quality of life, but the experience of those around him.
I can’t tell if this other kid is just an example of how all kids treat your son, or if it’s just that kid. If it’s just that kid, then you really should confront the parents directly and sever the relationship if they’re unwilling to work it out with you.
Keep in mind, though, that they may have an issue with you that you’re unaware of, and that issue is what may cause or at least contribute to the problems you see. We all think our own kids are better than other kids in some way, shape, or form and we’re highly prone to closing our eyes to behaviors that others see more clearly. So, be willing to accept feedback if you’re going to give it.
If this is a more general problem, then you probably can benefit from an evaluation of treatment. Perhaps a second opinion if his current doctor thinks everything is fine. For example, he may need some cognitive therapy to help him better learn social skills, or an adjustment of medication.
You and the school know better than any armchair critics. That’s all that needs to be said.August 17, 2018 at 12:39 pm in reply to: Should u forgive even if your ADHD friend hurt you badly? #91421
First and foremost, have you given clearly articulated feedback to him about how his behavior effects you? Passive aggressiveness (the unhappy look) is not very effective, and often produces the opposite of what we think it will. No one can read minds, and not everyone’s mind thinks the same way (especially the ADHD mind).
People with ADHD often have a hard time with empathy. He may not be aware that he’s hurting you if you haven’t clearly said so, with no ambiguity. Clearly lay out your needs, and listen to his needs as well (*you* might be missing something too). Once that conversation is had, if you still feel like he’s not willing to work at being sensitive to your needs, then you can properly evaluate whether or not to continue with the friendship.
Hmm, I have BC&BS and they cover my brand name Adderall (I know that isn’t your request, but it sounds like that’s the reason they’re denying you).
Have you just called to talk to a customer server person there? I know when I needed permission for something (in my case, it was the need for name brand), they had a process, but I had to keep calling to ensure it was in motion. It sounds to me like they are confused about what the request even is, since they keep mentioning name brand even though your request is for dosage beyond the FDA recommended dose. 80mg a day is pretty high, even higher then the recommended dose for narcolepsy, so there is going to be hoops to jump through because they don’t want to be sued over it.