ADHD Medications: Side effects, Dangers, and other Boogey Men — ADD Tip O the Day 646


Why we don’t take the medicine:

Some people just don’t like to take medicines.  It’s just a thing.  OK.

Some people think all medicines are harmful.  Well, that’s OK, too, I guess.

Some people are uninformed or misinformed.  Well, there’s a possibility of help for that.

I prefer natural substances.  Are  you aware that if natural substances work, they generally do the same thing in your body that the medications do?  That they are produced without regulatory control? That most of what you buy does not contain what it says it does and some of it contain things that are harmful?

I don’t want the side effects.   The side effects listed for the medicines are possible side effects.   That does not mean you will get them.  The percentages are available for each medicine – maybe 40% of the people taking this medicine get this side effect, or maybe only 1 in 100,000.  It will still be listed as a side effect.  If you do get a side effect, most of them will go away in a few days if you stay on the medicine.  Or you can reduce the dose, change the timing, or switch to a different medicine.   Almost all side effects will go away if you stop taking the medicine. You don’t have to stay on it and suffer.

It’s too expensive.   Very good point!  But see about the generic, shop different pharmacies, see if your doctor can help you with this.  There may be another less expensive form.

I want to beat this myself, without a crutch.  Good luck with that!  If you try a while and it’s not working, then maybe you’ll try the medicines.

Those medicines are addictive.  The research shows that there is a very low rate of abuse and an extremely low rate of addiction from these medicines in people who actually have ADD ADHD.

The medicines are dangerous.  If you are in generally good health, don’t have high blood pressure, haven’t had heart problems and don’t have a family history of certain heart problems, the medicines are safe.  Even if you have risk factors, usually you can use one of the medicines with some precautions.

My cousin’s neighbor said that her friend’s hairdresser told her that that medicine made his brother-in -law’s hair turn green and his ears fall off.          What can I say?

Try It:

I believe that everyone with ADD ADHD, adult or child, deserves a trial of medication.  It may not help, it will help many, for some it’s  a miracle.  You won’t know without trying it.


Definition O the Day: 

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses while giving disproportionately less attention to information that contradicts it.

or put another way:

The Misconception: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis.

The Truth: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions.

Bonus Link:

Long well-informed well-reasoned excellent discussion by K. Kalikow MD about using medication.

ADD,ADHD,attention deficit,disorder,medicine,medication,drugs,

ADD ADHD, the gift that keeps on giving.

About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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13 Responses to ADHD Medications: Side effects, Dangers, and other Boogey Men — ADD Tip O the Day 646

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  10. betsydavenport says:

    I have more than once told someone with an unevaluated refusal to consider medications that it’s not possible to make an informed decision unless one has tried medication, first. That to give it a fair try doesn’t mean you have to marry it. But a fair trial means finding the best medication (works the best) at the right dose (not necessarily a “low” dose, but the dose that makes functioning most effective), taken at the right frequency. Then, decide.

    And when it comes to children, I believe if they are having trouble moving through developmental stages at a normal pace, medications must be tried, and the child’s opinion (after finding the right medication at the right dose at the best intervals) should be taken into account. Many children might find life more satisfying if only their parents would allow them to make a choice.


    • Betsy – another excellent point. I quite agree. If a child has been properly diagnosed – whoops! I started to say something nasty – anyway, they deserve a trial of medicine.
      As always, thank you for commenting.


  11. Good points, Doug.
    I had a similar experience with anti-depressants. I was struggling big-time with depression/menopause/ADHD and my daughter-in-law suggested I talk to my doctor about an anti-depressant. “Oh, no,” I said. “I don’t want to take anti-depressants.” Well, I ended up getting so desperate that I took anti-depressants. Oh, my gosh. They made a huge difference on my ability to function – night and day difference. Sometimes you just have to have meds if you want to function.

    Liked by 1 person

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