A question for those on meds...

Hi Everyone (who reads this).

I just got diagnosed at 27 and started taking vyvanse… a check in with my pyschiatrist now has me upping my dosage and they want to start me on another medication.
I feel like… I dunno, I am still in a bit of denial or something about the ADHD (family rejects it and so have mates) and I am already on medication for anxiety and depression so it’s just more tablets.
I know that treating the ADHD will probably result in less medication overall in the long run but I just have hesitations about going through and trying all these different ones.
I did th same to start treating my depression, so I don’t know why I am so hesitant now. Maybe the cost - I don’t know.

Does anyone else have any reservations about their meds at all? Has anyone else tried a few drugs for their ADHD before they got it right? How long did that take? Did you get any side effects? How did you cope?
I worry that work and study will be impacted…

Sorry for the weirdness.
Steph.

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Hi Steph,

I was diagnosed last August at 44. I was in a psychiatrist appointment for depression and anxiety, when he handed me a multi choice questionnaire. I scored 18/20…best result I’ve ever had on a test! He asked me if I realised in 15 minutes I’d changed position 10 times, played with the heater controls and checked the clock 4 times!
Long story short, I’ve been prescribed lisdexamfetamine 70mg. In addition to that I’m on 40mg of citalopram and 7.5 zopiclone!

I was cynical and in denial for around 6 months,but after reading everything I could it was obviously correct.

I hated the lisdex to begin with; it was almost an evil ally. It helped me but at the same time, confirmed the diagnosis.

My heart rate was a bit funky to begin with, but stabilised after a couple of weeks. Work…my boss referred to me as the new and improved Tony. He knows nothing about my ADHD or meds. Clearly something’s changed!

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Hey Tdog,

That’s really comforting to know.
The meds I am on currently do have an effect, but it’s just like a slight slow down of how I am usually (non medicated). I think that’s why the psychiatrist wants to up the dose and start me on something else.
Meds do cost, I must say… but I guess it is worth it?
You’ve mentioned your boss has seen the change… what about family and friends? Do you feel better for taking them all?

Steph

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I am about to attempt to go down the route of medication and doing a lot of research prior to my initial diagnoses, so that I’m not just throwing away large sums of money. But also, so that I know that’s going on, as best as i can at least. So I’ll keep you posted on my experience. :+1:

My understanding is that ‘usually’ what is considered a careful and well monitored approach is where they start your medication on a low dosage and incrementally increase based on ongoing observations over time.
I believe this is because often, there are side effects to these medications, to which they will vary in symptoms and severity from person to person and even within the same person, results will vary over time.
Hence this approach, which it seems, from what you have explained, is what your doctor/ psychiatrist is attempting to do.

I’m 29 currently and have had people around me on the odd occasion, mention i might have it, both in jest and out of genuine concern.
My family initially rejected the idea through my schooling years, despite some teachers and parents casually mentioning it, due to the stigma attached to the ‘label’ as they called it.
So I fully get your reserve and to be honest, it’s probably the same reason that I’ve waited until now to get diagnosed.
In light of this though, my point is, I don’t think as a society we will see everyone be ‘accepting’ of neurodiversity and as such, my personal choice will be to be selective who I share my diagnoses with, but also try to understand some people will reject the idea, simply because they don’t understand and sometimes they simply don’t want to.

And again, simply from what I’ve watched and read, it can take easily a few months to finally get the right medication and dose that ‘fits’ you.

And not necessarily related to the meds you’re specifically talking, but side effects I’ve heard of people encountering on medication for ADHD often include appetite suppression, anger and irritability and sometimes in cases where the dose was later identified as too high, people reported that they felt like an emotionless zombie.
In light of this though, if you are truly worried about side effects, you should definitely be able to get your psychiatrist to go through the list with you and inform you what effects you need to be conscious of, specifically for your medication.

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That’s exactly right! Key is to keep a close eye on the wanted and unwanted effects of the meds. Your doctors want you to give them as much feedback as you can. It’s supposed to help with some of the impairments you encounter and if it’s not working for you, then it’s not working for you! It’s gonna take time, but that’s because you’re the one giving them the test results as you try and find the right meds (or no meds at all) and the right dosage.

Cheers

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I’ve had reservations about medications in the past. And I’ve gone on and off of them multiple times. For me, I finally had to take a look back at the pros and cons of medication with a wide lens. I found that things were worse when I wasn’t on medication than when I was. There are definitely some trade offs, compromises, and sacrifices with certain medications, but I’d rather have the stability and functioning I get from staying on medications. There are times I still miss what things were like without medications, but I remind myself of how poorly that has gone.

I started on Vyvanse too in addition to the other medications I’m on for mood issues. It hasn’t resulted in me taking less medication. It has resulted in improved functioning, happiness, and quality of life.

It can be good to try and track things about your medication and its effects. Whether that’s a journal or a smartphone app. You can keep tabs on what’s going well and what’s not, and correlate certain things to when you take your medication or when you go without it.

Bottom line, most of the medications are safe, but all medications require close collaboration with your provider. If you have anxieties or hesitations, talk openly about those. It can also be good to talk through those anxieties with a therapist if you aren’t already.

Whatever you do, good luck!

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I went through a long trial and error process with medication for depression and anxiety along with several meds that really didn’t agree with me and a 10 year break from meds in the middle. Though I always approach meds carefully, I think the feeling of reservations passed before ADHD meds came into the picture. I try to think of side-effects as things that might have work arounds and look for ideas to offset them as part of deciding if a particular side-effect is a deal breaker. For me the process of trying ADHD meds has been far smoother and more successful than anti-depressants. The first med tried has been pretty good in terms of effectiveness and fairly low on side effects (some headaches and loss of appetite at higher doses). It’s not perfect and I hope to make further changes, but it’s still been an easier process than my previous one. I hope that you will also have somewhat smooth sailing.

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