I’m so proud of my step-daughter, she is one amazing kid! You see, she also has ADHD like me; the difference is, is that she has been on medication to control her ADHD symptoms since she was about 7 years old. Thankfully. She is only 13 now and she has such an emotional grasp on her strengths and weaknesses. I am so happy to see that, even though Lily has been through some rough times in her young life, she perseveres. Smiling, she doesn’t let things get her down.
I wasn’t diagnosed or medicated until I was 27 years old, and by that time, I had totally made a mess of my life. I only wonder how my life could have been had I been medicated young. I am excited to see Lily grow and avoid all the invisible vectors of ADHD that won’t pull her away from her focus.
Stimulant medication is usually the first thing a doctor will prescribe for the reduction of ADHD symptoms. But these medications do not behave the same way in my case. I was first prescribed Ritalin several years ago and it worked perfectly; the problem was that it is such a short-acting med that I was taking 2 or 3 a day, as prescribed. I wanted something longer lasting so I opted to try Vyvanse. It has not worked beautifully. Though these drugs are in the same catergory, they work very differently. The Ritalin made me calm, focused, nice, patient, and smart. Vyvanse, on the other hand, makes me feel like I’m an idiot. Sure it calms me a bit but that’s where it ends. And, I wanted to explain that my posts are so short because I am on Vyvanse, and it does not help the focus.
Being the “special” individual that I am; I take a few different medications daily to maintain (almost) normal function. I live with adult adhd, depression, and anxiety. It has taken months, if not years, to get my concoction of medications just right. And at 7:30 every morning, I take them. I cannot imagine how I would function without them. But I know that there are individuals who could possibly benefit from medication therapy, but choose to not take medicine. I can’t understand why. If you are someone who chooses no meds , comment a quick ‘why’ below. Thanks.
So, yesterday I went to an appointment hoping to find my “magic pill”. What I got was a new ADHD medicine. Not exactly new to me, I have taken Strattera before. It is a non stimulant and doesn’t work nearly as well as Ritalin, for example.
I’ve opted to give Strattera another try because I’d like to not be on stimulants right now. My Dr has assured me that it will not work because I am used to the way the stimulant alleviates my symptoms.
I’m trying the non-stimulant for seven days then I’m going to call the Dr to let her know how I’m feeling. If it doesn’t work, I will opt for a long-lasting stimulant such as Vyvanse.
If you’re a stay-at-home-mom like me, and you just happen to struggle with the chaos of ADD, you know that a good medication regimen is imperative to maintaining your sanity. Most of the time, doctors begin medication therapy to get the initial inattentiveness under control; usually after a short trial and error period the magic dose is found and the ADD seems to almost disappear. Suddenly, everyday chores like laundry and dishes seem to ‘get done’ without a melt-down; the kids make it to school on time, and dinner is on the table at precisely 6pm each night. To an ADD mom, this ease in routine is life-changing.
ADD meds are wonderful for helping keep focus in a classroom setting. They keep the vectors that pull us in 100 different directions at bay; this makes learning and retaining new material slightly possible. Also in a work environment where focus is key, meds for the adult ADDer are a necessity. But what if you don’t go to work or school? What if you’re just a stay-at-home-mom, like me, who utilizes medication to keep a steady attention span, so I can get things done. So my household can run smoothly, and I can be less anxious, my family deserves that.
Unmedicated, for me, is starting laundry, starting dishes, starting a grocery list, starting to clean the bathroom, and finally, starting dinner! Notice there is an absence of the word ‘finish’. I start several things, never finish one, go to bed exhausted and overwhelmed because nothing got done. I skip around from chore to chore, not getting much accomplished.
I was recently told by my doctor that unless I begin going to school or get a job, he will be taking me off my ADD medication. He says I shouldn’t need meds if I’m not going to be outside of the home. What?!?!? I plan to study the ethics of this issue a bit further. More to come……