ADHD and Medication

Background of ADHD and Medication

ADHD is a disorder that causes low attention span as well as impulsivity and inability to concentrate on tasks It has been treated with medications for nearly 70 years. Ritalin (methylphenidate) was the first stimulant prescribed for treating ADHD in 1955. And it worked in a variety of cases. Kids achieved higher scores in school and teachers observed the shift in focus from impulses and inattention to concentration and motivation. But, Ritalin was also associated with negative side consequences. Trouble sleeping or eating, nausea, headache and, of course, the most significant – increased anxiety! After the release of Ritalin the market has seen various medications designed to treat ADHD for both children and adults. A lot of them are controlled substances (a frightening phrase, to be honest). But the evidence supporting treating children with ADHD is quite clear.

In the study mentioned above, treatment was based on medication along with therapy. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics, an organization that is a bit of a parenting guideline to many, advises that it is important to be treating and perhaps medicating your child immediately they’re recognized as being suffering from ADHD. These are huge decisions to make simultaneously! It’s like going down a deep rabbit hole, trying to determine where to begin with treatment which usually results in being a trial and trial and. In essence, you must persevere until you have found the best method to deal with this ADHD diagnosis.

As promised, I’ll be sharing my personal experiences of growing up and coping with (and sometimes, not managing) my illness. It’s the typical family situation that everyone experiences However, you should take note of the many options we had to try in my own personal experience and the way I responded to these. I hope that this will give you a sense of what it’s like experiencing this process and that it will come out quite well at the final.

ADHD Management

My diagnosis was the inattentive type of ADHD at the beginning of my adolescence following an evaluation by a behavioural neurologist. After that my family discovered an therapist for me. We then started to find the correct dosage and medication. Ritalin (Adderall) was able to make it harder for me to manage my mood. I didn’t feel any difference when I took Focalin. Then, I decided to try Concerta which helped me focus well and had little adverse negative effects. As a teenager I began having difficulty falling asleep due to the stronger dosage I was taking which is why we started to try various other medicines. One of them was Strattera, which is the few medications for treating ADHD that’s not an stimulant. When I began taking it, I could feel all of my ADHD symptoms becoming more severe. Each time I entered the room, I was unable to remember the reason I was there. I would wander off in my sentences all the time and couldn’t recall which textbooks to take back to my home, for the life of me. I was worried that my ADHD was becoming worse. I was terrified that this was what I was likely to continue to be for the rest my life.

Then I decided to read the label that was on the side of the bottle. It stated that it “may worsen condition in teens”. I was stricken with anger that was just right. What doctor could possibly reveal something that was so comically obvious? Ridiculous! That was the moment I stopped taking ADHD medication for a number of years. My family members seemed to accept this decision, however my school performance was affected.

Through college, I dealt with my ailments with coffee and apologies profusely made to teachers if I didn’t remember the deadline. It wasn’t until my adulthood when I realized that coffee just wasn’t cutting it any more. The symptoms I was experiencing had severe negative impact on my productivity in my first two jobs. While I could feel that everything was slipping away from me however, I was determined that I did not require medication, and that I could handle my issues by myself. All I needed was to “try harder.” I considered medication to be a sort of unneeded crutch and I didn’t want to be forced take a pill just to be a person I was. Then, I realised that I needed medication to aid in my ADHD diagnosis however, here’s the most shocking thing that I realized I didn’t have to feel guilty for having medication. I didn’t have to feel ashamed or smug in needing medication. After all when I was diagnosed with asthma I’d be taking asthma medicine, and now I see my ADHD diagnosis in the same manner.

Why I’m telling this story isn’t to make you switch off or to medication or tell that you should not be a patient with your doctor, or any other medical professional. I am sharing my experience primarily to show that adjusting the management of ADHD is a continuous and often messy process. Some families begin treatment and notice changes instantly. Others families face a more complicated path to treatment for their symptoms. It can change at any time. The changing circumstances, the desires and expectations can affect a person’s ability in managing their ADHD. Controlling ADHD may require medication however, it also requires discipline and determination from the individual suffering from ADHD and caregivers (and important others – shout it at my spouse! ).

What You Can Do


Be attentive to your child when you are trying something new regarding your child’s ADHD treatment. Try to talk about what you observe with the child as often as you are able to.

Make sure your kid is aware of different ways they experience as they embark on various aspects of their treatment. This will allow them to understand the things that work with them, and also what not. There may be “I dunno” responses at the beginning, but requesting this along alongside your observation will allow them to gain a better understanding and appreciation of their diagnosis.

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