There are many misconceptions about ADHD medications.
The two classes of ADHD meds are the stimulants and the others. The following truths primarily apply to the stimulants: methylphenidate – Ritalin, et al, and amphetamine – Adderall, et al. 70% of ADHDers will respond well to either type of stimulant, 20% will respond to one but not the other, and 10% either won’t respond (which indicates the diagnosis needs to be reevaluated to be sure it’s accurate) or are bothered by side effects even after adjustments.
These meds are not addictive (possibly very rarely?) in people who have ADHD.
They are misused at times, especially in colleges. Patients may be pressured to share them or may sell them.
They don’t help students to study or perform on tests unless they have ADHD.
Thus, they have a different effect on people with ADHD and people without.
They work quickly. Unless you’re started on a low dose, you’ll probably know in twenty four hours whether they’ll be helpful to you and if you’ll get any of the possible side effects.
You are statistically unlikely to get side effects. If you do, they can be managed or you can just change meds or stop altogether.
It may take a while to get the best med, best dose, and best schedule for you. It probably won’t.
The stimulant meds will not make anyone a zombie nor change anyone’s personality.
They should help with focus, motivation, inertia, and many other ADHD symptoms, but not all. They are unlikely to help with irritability, losing things, memory, patience, or sleep. However, Dr. Goodwin states that the purpose of the medication is to help you focus enough to use strategies, and strategies can help with each of those problems.
The meds are not medically dangerous; even people with heart or problems can use them, though I would with low doses and monitor carefully.
I believe that anyone with ADHD aged six or over deserves a trial of medication. They can sometimes have miraculous benefit, sometimes help somewhat, and sometimes don’t help (ten %). I see no rational reason to not try medication.
Quote O the Day:
They told me, “When you get older, you’ll understand.”
Bonus Tip O the Day, from James Clear
“When choosing a new habit many people seem to ask themselves, ‘What can I do on my best days?’
The trick is to ask, “What can I stick to even on my worst days?”
Start small. Master the art of showing up. Scale up when you have the time, energy, and interest.”
Bonus Links O the Day: