Advice about misconceptions & medication?


#1

I have an appointment this month to get medicated for ADHD at long last. HOORAY!

But my mother is extremely apprehensive. Whilst she’s supportive of me and wants me to have access to things that help my brain. She’s in the mindset that things like Ritalin and Adderral are just forms of speed and will lead to eventual addiction.

I’ve done a lot of my own research, and I’m aware this isn’t the case (most importanly when correctly dosed and used responsibly, and the fact they have a different effect on an ADHD brain vs an NT one), and that ADHD meds are some of the most researched medications for the last 80-odd years. But I can’t find a method to explain to my parents that this is safe without trying to write a cited dissertation.

She’s seen way too many news stories about the ‘ritalin crisis’ and how … people can get accidentally hooked on pain killers after surgery. She researches all the horror stories about medications cause she’s scared something bad will happen to me.

But right now, the worst thing that could happen to me, is to remain unmedicated and spiralling further into depression due to executive dysfunction struggle.

I know they psychiatrist will probably explain things to her at the appointment. But I’d still like to… gain some advice on how I can discuss this topic with my mother without it devolving into ‘but it’s an amphetamine and therefore is dangerous.’

I’m sure some of you have probably had your own discussions with parents about this topic. So I was wondering if anyone has any advice on the matter. :orange_heart:


#2

My Mom was very similar. She only heard the horror stories about Ritalin and Adderral, she never paid attention to the good stories, or seemed to care that “different bodies & brains have different reactions to medication”, so when I got prescribed medication… she refused to let me have Ritalin or Adderal but let me have Vyvanse (??? logic ???). I mean don’t get me wrong Vyvanse is quite nice both for the ADHD help and the fact it helps me curb my binge-eating habits… so I’m glad I know about it. However, having her constantly talk about only the bad stories drives me insane.

My only advice is explaining to her how medication actually functions for neurodivergent people. That when correctly prescribed and used responsibly, addiction isn’t really a concern. Stimulant medications help us to think clearly and can help streamline focus because of it. If side effects outweigh the good effects, then you just try a different medication, which is totally normal. And if the medication completely steals your personality away from you, you’re either on the wrong medication, on to high a dose, or both.

And say that, repeat it as necessary, that if you don’t get medication it’s more dangerous for you than anything else. And usually the “ritalin crisis” is caused by the abuse of drugs by neurotypical people. If NT people use ritalin or adderall it’s to gain an edge, or an advantage. If ND people use ritalin or adderall it’s so we can function like an average person, because we’re already at a disadvantage.

I was on Vyvanse for 2-3 years. And I had no problem weaning off of it and staying off of it. (This is a long story) And I was on 70mg when that happened. Now after 3 years I’m getting back on medication and I’m on 10mg of Vyvanse… and I have NO desire to shoot back up at 70mg. Like. At all.

I don’t know if any of this helps but I hope it does. And hopefully your Mom listens to your psychiatrist if she’s not willing to listen to your own research & such.


#3

Jessica did really well addressing it in her response to the Netflix documentary “Take Your Pills” (link below!). I’m actually now interested in this subject but I’m at work and can’t research it myself.
Sad dad face


#4

I’ve been distracted by this thread all day and remembered this one about how adhd meds work from SciShow Psych. It’s very sciency, but I thought it was really good in explaining the differences in how adhd meds work in NT and ND brains.


#5

i can totally backup the fact that there no physical addiction with ritaline for ND people and between the LP and the direct effect u can also (with ur doctor supervision) learn when and why u need it
in the prospect to reduce the quantity

me was sometime at 160mg/day and i could sleep with no issues

but mostly the meds work 3 years, after (i think) it s just not enough, it s really important to develop other strategies , timers( i ve 3 little ducks), journal, learning more about AHDH “co-morbidity” (it s the word in french) symptoms, logging and dealing with tasks in a non fixed way, meditation, basically to work on different levels, i found lot s of things in recent philosophers, also to “make” is a huge help, using hands,

but medication really help and neuroscience is becoming quite amazing

sometime to be able to stop someone quickly who has decide to put on me his own conviction between "natural and “chemical” i say 3 words :wink: : genetic, diabete and insulin … normally it s pretty easy to get it

i think is important to speak about medication, cause we need to question it between users n not make it taboo

best,
Raf
(the perfect Guinea Pig for this topic this week… …not a private joke, just my last post)


#6

Actually they affect both brains similarly. It’s just it NT do not need the extra benefit they provide us.


#7

They do tha same thing in the brain, but the RESULT is vastly different. If an NT takes our medication, their brain gets blasted and hyper-strung, while for us, it merely brings our levels up to what they’re naturally meant to be, so it becomes easier to function normally.

You can’t just look at what a drug does, you have to look at the effect. If a person in extreme pain is given morphine, it merely relieves the pain. Give the same amount of morphine to a random person and they’re gonna feel euphoric, relaxed, and most likely will develop a drug habit. Very different.


#8

There is no actual way to measure the levels in ones brain. Brain scans are innacurate for a vairety of reasons. Levels of neurotransmitters are constantly changing throughout the day.
The myth that they give different effects weather you have ADHD or dont have ADHD has been debunked. Low doses of stimulants are proven to effect everyone in the same way - people become more productive, find mental clarity etc.


#9

So why don’t everyone just take a little of it, then, if the effect is fine for everyone? Considering it’s addictive for most people even in small doses, but not for ADHD people who take the medicine correctly, I’d love to see the studies you mention as debunking the difference in effect.


#10

I recommend you read this, especially the conclusion:

"… research suggests that stimulants are more effective at correcting deficits than “enhancing performance.” "


#11

Thank you!!
@Marodir for having to explain something like this, to someone that obviously seems to not quite relate to ADHD, and merely seems to see this as if ADHD is not a disability. I am 52 and I have had this my whole life. The struggles and living in the fog is very hard. Trying to simply keep up with the rest and never being able to win at so many levels and not realizing that I could have been treated. Instead I believed myself to not be adequate.
Thanks again for backing it up.