Life With ADHD, With and Without Medicine, by Ram — ADHD Tip O the Day 818

I am grateful to Ram for her many good contribution to the ADHD blog.  I don’t know if you read all the comments, so I’m posting her last one here.  Lots of good stuff in it.

doug

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?

Comments from doug:

The antidepressants are very useful in moderate and severe depressions, not quite as much in mild. Just as I recommend strategies, coaching and therapy along with the medication for ADHD, I highly recommend therapy and activity along with medication for depression.
There are many other similarities between the two, including having a lot of misinformation being printed in the media and posted on the net
My medication is Daytrana, Ritalin in a skin patch which avoids the side effects. The only side effect I have is insomnia if I forget to take it off in time.

Future Posts:

I am trying a new strategy of One. Eager to write about it.

May write about John Rosemond, a well known (I think) columnist who calls himself a psychologist (does not have a PhD- is that OK?) and has a lot of nonsense about ADHD in our newspaper. He’s a denier. Arrghh!

Plan an update on the latest ADHD scientific research findings.

Now that I’ve joined the ranks of the (almost) unemployed,  hoping to do better on keeping up with the blog, and to get the images fixed so they show up right on Facebook – at last.

@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp
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You are dissing us ADHDers

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You don’t believe in 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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11 Responses to Life With ADHD, With and Without Medicine, by Ram — ADHD Tip O the Day 818

  1. lisabitta says:

    I feel like my whole life I only had half a brain until I started on ADHD meds and Antidepressants at around 48 yrs. old. I agree with what Rammkatz said, and it seems unfair that a child’s brain has to adjust back & forth, back & forth, I’ve seen a young family member go through this. And yes, I can relate to the clumsiness thing too. Thank you for the time you put into this forum Dr. Doug. (Forgive me, can’t remember your exact last name, and if I go off this page to find it, I”ll never get back here) Blessings

    Like

  2. rammkatze says:

    Wow, Doug, thank you so much for your kind words! They mean a lot to me, because you certainly have been a great help to me! 🙂 Also because I’m very insecure about people and I’m often affraid I might be a bother. But that might not even be related to ADHD and I won’t get into it. 😉 Always feel free to share my replies! Glad to help. 🙂

    Like

  3. MindBody says:

    Re this comment:
    “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”.

    That has been a big issue for me too, but is now settling.

    The clumsiness issue in ADHD is important, but as it is not classified as one of the core symptoms it has been sidelined from consideration.

    It is my understanding that what is happening here is NOT that we forget that we are under a table, but that our mapping of where our body is and how that position relates to the position of the table is inaccurate. There are a number of issues that can generate such faulty body mapping, some of which relate to traumatic brain injury and toxic insults to the relevant brainstem area.

    It is my belief that the majority of cases relate to minor injuries to the upper cervical spine. These 2 posts outline some of the underlying issues:
    https://atlassubluxation.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/sensory-mismatch-and-vestibular-dysfunction/#comment-1445
    https://atlassubluxation.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/cervical-malalignment-and-the-reality-hologram/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mind- i certainly find clumsiness is a big part of my ADHD. I suspect its related to the miswiring, especially related to the cerebellum and the basal ganglia but who knows. I have also read some claims that balance exercises, which might possibly affect this system, can help ADHD symptoms in general. Lots we don’t know. thank you for your comment and links
      doug

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    • rammkatze says:

      Thanks for your input! I agree with you, it’s not about forgetting about the table. I just explained it clumsily. It’s just that – for a lack of professional terms – our brain stores a short-term awareness of our surroundings, maps everything around us and remembers it for use in motion. It just doesn’t seem to store it for us ADHDers (it “forgets”) or because of the miswiring, it won’t tell the right parts of the brain where to move. 🙂

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      • MindBody says:

        As best as I can see the issue is that the inputted sensory data is incorrect, differs from L to right and the data input varies such that at any one given moment the distortions in the sensory input vary. All it takes is something as little as moving the eyes to look at something and a range of head and neck muscles are activated, including the small muscles stabilising the neck on the skull- so the sensory mismatch may abruptly shift without our knowing it.

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        • MindBody says:

          The movements are as good as they can be in the circumstances, but it is a case of “garbage in- garbage out”, coupled with dodgy programming of critical sensory integrating areas like the vestibular system and the superior and inferior colliculi.

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        • rammkatze says:

          My knowledge of the brain is very sparse. But I did read a book called “Do zombies dream of undead sheep?” and learned quite a lot: nevermind the title and the somewhat pop-culture subject! It was published by Princeton University Press and the authors are two neuroscientists (forgot where they graduated from) who really created an amazing piece of knowledge for the layman (such as I). It was the winner of the 2015 PROSE Award in Biomedicine & Neuroscience.
          I remember one chapter they mention something about short-term muscle memory that would better explain what I’m trying to say, but I totally get what you mean! I sometimes want to take a sip of a drink and end up drenched in it because I do all the motions of taking a sip, but “forget” to open my mouth. I’ve noticed this happens when I’m doing the motions drinking and suddenly shift my eyes toward some place else. I think the mechanism might be different from my example with the table, though, since the motion of ducking under a table and getting out of there doesn’t usually involve turning our attention away from what was initially our purpose (Retrieve an object).

          Like

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