Medicines for ADHD?— ADHD Tip O the Day 817

 ADHD medicines – alway a controversy!

My View:

  1. The medicines – Ritalin, Adderal, Vyanse,Concerta, Daytrana, et al – are miracle workers for some, very helpful to others, somewhat helpful to some, and worthless or even detrimental to some. You will never know until you try it.
    2. All children with ADHD deserve a trial of medication. If it doesn’t help, that raises some question about the diagnosis.
    3. The medications do not lead to drug abuse. In fact, they reduce the frequency of drug abuse in people with ADHD.
    4. The medications do not improve school or test performance in students who do not have ADHD; however, it gives them the impression that they have done better than they really have.  Diversion of the stimulants is a real problem, especially in colleges.
    5. Especially in children, the medications can sometimes cause problems, particularly with insomnia, reduced appetite, or slow growth. The growth will catch up with time. Other side effects can usually be managed by changing the dose, the timing, or the form of the medication.
    6. The New York Times has been on a campaign against ADHD and against the medicines. They seem now to have switched to a campaign against antidepressants, which I believe is equally misinforming. However, the antidepressants are indeed more problematic than the stimulants.
    7. As helpful as the medicines can be, I believe that strategies are at least as important. Dr. Goodwin stated that the purpose of the medicines is to help us focus enough to be able to use the strategies.

 

From the ADDA insider:

 

There’s a raging debate about medication for ADHD. 

Some people are against it.

 They feel “we shouldn’t be drugging our kids.” (I’m not sure if they’re fine with drugging our adults with ADHD or not.) I hope no one in their family is ever diagnosed with diabetes! 

Others think it’s a “gateway drug” and will lead to addictions. Most ADHDers I know do struggle with their medications! Their biggest struggle is remembering to take them! (Doesn’t sound like much of an addiction to me.)

 Some people are for it. 

When you get an ADHD diagnosis the first thing we ask about is medication. (I’m speaking from personal experience for myself and for my daughter.) We’re hoping the right medication will “cure” the ADHD! Of course, once we get our medication, we discover “pills don’t teach skills.” 

No pill will cure ADHD. (With luck and hard work, most of will become grateful for all the traits that make us unique.) 

ADDA is neither for nor against medication for ADHD. We are for consulting your doctor. We are for taking only your prescribed medication. And we are for following professional advice at all times. Medication is not right for everyone. And medication is not the entire solution for anyone.

 In today’s Insider, we have two articles dealing with ADHD medications. 

In Highway to Hell: Untreated Depression, Anxiety & ADHD Drove Me to Addiction, we share the all-too-common story of James. James struggled with addictions for years, addictions that started when he was self-medicating.

 

In ADHD Stimulants: Medication Diversion in the Real World, we share a podcast. Jeff Copper of Attention Talk Radio interviews a college student about his arrest. Caught diverting his ADHD medication, he suffered serious consequences.

 No matter which side of the debate you fall on, don’t miss today’s articles. 

Warmest Regards, 

Patti Schwab

Editor

Various Personal Notes O the Day:
I am struggling with procrastination on many fronts, especially on this blog, my autobiography, my other ADHD book, and my book, The Bully. I am concerned about the attack on antidepressants which are very useful medications and fairly effective, especially in moderate or severe depression. There is a lot of distorted misinformation out there. Many of us ADHDers have depression.  I should have a lot of free time in May, and hope to catch up. One trap I hope to avoid is expecting too much. I need to get back to fishing regularly.

Strategies:
1. Keep the to do list short and realistic.
2. Focus on one thing at a time and forget about the others. That is one of the purposes of the lists.
3. Try to be careful about the sources of the information you are taking in. But, be skeptical of even reputable sources.
4. Be aware that my views and opinions are simply that. They are based on personal experience and wide reading.

doug

@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp    @thebullyonline #bully #bullying #thebullyonline
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Life with ADHD

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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. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (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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2 Responses to Medicines for ADHD?— ADHD Tip O the Day 817

  1. rammkatze says:

    Great post, as usual. I didn’t know the New York Times was on a campaign against certain drugs. I am well aware that there is a big problem with prescription drugs in the USA, but campaigning against drugs that don’t even really get you high is really nonsense. I’ve been on anti-depressants for a while now. When my doctor tried to wean me out, it didn’t take long for me to have a bad reaction. I think I’ll eventually be able to be off them for a while (I have been before) but I already know how I will feel when I need them again, and it’s awful. It’s like going through the motions. You can laugh, you can smile, you can work, you look normal. But you’re overly pessimistic and whenever you laugh or have fun, that “high” you get from your body’s endorphines doesn’t last longer than 5 minutes and you just feel…. nothing. 😐 Why would anyone think that living like that with no drugs is better than risking medication?
    As for chrildren, the more I think about it, the more I’m in favour of medicating children for ADHD. I’m a grown woman so my perception is a lot wider than a child’s. I notice what comes easy to others and doesn’t come easy to me. Little things, like ducking under a table to retrieve something. Normal people do this without worries and are usually fine. I duck under a table to retrieve something, and my brain almost instantly forgets that I’m under a table. The chance that I’m gonna get right up and knock my head is huge. And then there it comes: “you have to be more careful”. No one is careful when ducking under a table! Don’t they even realize that they don’t need to be careful? That if someone needs to be careful about something no one else has to be careful about, maybe there’s something wrong with the wiring? With my ADHD drugs (Medikinet = Ritalin), it doesn’t come natural, but when I’m retrieving the object from under the table, my brain flashes “remember there’s a table above your head”, and I get to dodge it when getting up. A child hardly has the life experience and vocabulary to explain this – heck, some children will say they have a headache when they mean a tooth-ache.
    Incidentally, my meds also help me focus better on my private time: pay more attention to people, pay more attention to my hobbies, playing the guitar, etc. Which is why I frown a bit upon the idea of children only taking ritalin when they go to school and be off the meds on the weekend. It’s like only grades and career matter from childhood on. ADHD causes more havoc that at school. I wish parents and doctors would give it a try to at least medicate the child one day of the weekend and see how it plays out. They might be surprised. But not having been medicated as a child, having children of my own or a doctor’s degree, this is just a semi-educated guess. I wonder: how do you stand on having ADD/ADHD-kids off their meds on the weekends, Doug?

    Like

    • Ram
      another great comment. i may just use it as a post. love your under table description, tho i understand that it is a real problem. mine is knocking things off the table. and you are right on that we need to be careful where vanillas don’t – identify problem areas, like ours with tables, and then make a habit of being careful with those. I’ll let your other good points speak for themselves.
      weekends off ritalin – hard to say, no harm in it and presumably no great benefit, but the child might be happier on them, like your point of being more effective, and the parents might be happier too with a calmer more focused child around. I like your idea of just giving it a try.
      thank you for your very helpful contributions to the blog and to the tribe.
      doug

      Liked by 1 person

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