Goodbye old me? Starting medication...

Hey Tribe,

Soooooo…I’m 30 years old, female, living in Canada.
I was just ‘officially’ diagnosed last month and prescribed meds.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.
I watch myself (and sometimes journal/track my progress) when I’m on meds and working - I’m super productive. I feel like I’m digging my business out of the grave it fell into in these past 8 months.

I’m really grateful for how the meds are supporting me but then, when they fade I catch myself feeling really sad for the fact that I’ve lived my whole life without them and I want to still value who I am without the meds.
Brings up tears to think about.

I can see that they are really helping me in many aspects from work to fitness to relationships. Though I can’t help but feel some grief.
I’m afraid of the change - there’s so much online that scares me when I read people’s testimonials of the addictive qualities of these meds and how coming off them can be horrific…and how they loose connection to their soul/deeper parts of themselves.

Can anyone here relate?

How have you come to terms with your need for medication?

I’m grateful for the ability to post here – I think I just needed to voice that.

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Very good idea!!

There is a lot of stigma around that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38qpm6VKBFc

Welcome to the How To ADHD Tribe!!!

Best Regards
Trent

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I felt sad that i will never know what life might have been had I been diagnosed and had access to medications before my late 30’s.

Always try to remember that medication is a tool. It’s not who you are or any sort of measuring stick to make comparisons between good and evil or any other thing the world can come up with.

It is a tool that changes the activity of neurotransmitters in your brain. That’s is primary function its why its prescribed to you.

Anything else is a secondary function or side effect call it either one that makes you happy.

Yes they can be addictive. And some people have a rough time stopping use of ADHD medications. That’s why the lowest dose possible to get the best results.

With the loss of connection with ones self I can’t comment really. What I can say is that I am not sure I actually had the ability to fully know and understand myself before I was diagnosed and had my meds sorted.

Learning about ADHD gave me better understanding and clarity on why and how I did things. And the meds gave me a chance to learn about and get to know myself without the huge mental load that daily life with ADHD can come with.

I read that quite a bit from people saying that they want to still be or value or what ever way they frame it "the person they are/where before medication.

In my mind they are the same person. What changes with the adjustment of brain chemicals is 1 of 2 things or maybe both. These are just my ideas not any sort of fact or researched Information.

  1. The expression of that personality. The reason I say that is your actions and decisions are still being informed by a whole life of experiences and learning. Its just how an adjusted brain communicates that to the outside world.

  2. The comprehension of that personality or any other incoming information . Same as above .

M

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First of all . . . WELCOME!

Many years ago when my 4 yr. old son was started on Ritalin my wife and I saw how much they (the meds) helped him to be less hyperactive and better able to pay attention in school. And when he had “drug holidays” (a ridiculous term) on week-ends, he’d become more like his “old self”! A first that confused and upset me. I’d ask my wife: “Which one is my son . . . on meds? or off?” Truth is that they were both the same person. The medication . . . and tutoring (to give him a “different” way to learn how to read) . . . etc. enabled him to succeed in school. Now he’s 43 and doing just fine.

Without the meds you are still “you”! Perhaps without the meds you display different skills. For me (74 and ADHD) I was more creative, especially as the class clown. I could more easily come with “one-liners” (jokes, puns, and just “silly stuff” . . . which also got me i trouble in school (and later at work).

It is natural to grieve a little, and “regret” not getting the help that you could have benefitted from all these years . . . But, now that you have . . . Give yourself a break . . . remember to be kind to yourself . . . Give it time!

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Mmmmm… thank you @vh0622, @Brooklyn, @AMAK

I really appreciate your thoughtful feedback.
It feels really supportive to have a space to express some of what I’ve been experiencing – I’d like to share a little…

Its been a scary ride.
I’ve had support here from my partner (who was diagnosed 2 years ago at age 38). He offered me some of his Dexedrine, which I used in an 'independent trial, if you will.
When I finally met with my doctor he said “So, you tried dexedrine and felt like a normal human?”
…felt like a normal human…
those words are still echoing in me.

Big questions have been coming up within me such as –
“Do I need medication, or can I make adjustments in my lifestyle that allow me to be how I most naturally am and thrive?”
“Why am I choosing to succumb to the pace of our cultural norms if ‘keeping up’ requires me to medicate?”

…yet, of course, when I’m real with myself, I do see that the symptoms extend far beyond productivity and time management…

I can see how deeply my brain chemistry has effected my relationships throughout my life in regards to emotional dysregulation and impulse control. This ‘way of being’ has really taken a toll in so many ways and I’m finding it difficult to communicate or feel understood by my family who have experienced ‘my way’ for so long.
I’ve felt ostracized, judged and blamed for so long for being ‘too emotional’, ‘too sensitive’, ‘unmotivated’, ‘lazy’, ‘the problem child’ etc etc…
I can see how much this has affected my self-esteem and confidence. I’m highly skilled and have a lot to offer my community yet haven’t really taken flight fully.
I’m hopeful that this is a turning point for me and that things will get better.

When I decided to try meds for the first time last month, my mother was wildly opposed to the idea and showed up at my house with a huge basket of supplements such as fish oil, magnesium, homeopathic remedies etc. Bless her heart. I see that it all comes from love…and, it kinda hurts to not feel understood or to have the belief that dietary supplements will be ‘enough’ to help me where I’m at.
Of course, thats all important - diet, exercise, mindset work…
and, it feels really supportive to have found an online community that understands firsthand the experience and real need for meds.

Perhaps it will be a short-terms fix to help me as I feel as though I’m currently drowning in the compounded effects of having lived my whole life undiagnosed.

Do any of you feel inspired to speak to the experience of stopping meds because you feel like things are going well… and then crashing again? (I feel this happened last week).

Anyways, a long share -
thank you for the space.
:pray:

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We are always here if you need me just @me and I will come and check out what you need.

What’s normal LOL normal does not exist

I suggest try meditating. It works for me, I always meditate on test days, important events, times when there will be a lot of people. I don’t meditate every day for school because I go to a private school so there is not enough people to make me overwhelmed.

We all hope for you!!!

Does your mother not like the idea of medications like “It can turn you into a zombie”

Your in the right place but meds don’t work for everyone and you might also need multiple kinds of treatment

also my adhd is making me type this as I’m typing something else lol :slight_smile:

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I believe that is already happening . . . :sunglasses:

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I agree

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@Savvy_Sav
Omg, I feel you. Most of what you said resonates with me, from the living so many years undiagnosed(47), the emotional dysregulation and impulse control, finding it difficult to communicate and be understood by my family, feeling ostracized, judged, blamed, too emotional, too sensitive, unmotivated, lazy… and for me personally, the feeling of hopelessness, loneliness. I felt like I had so much to give and so much potential and was so frustrated that I couldn’t harness it, couldn’t find the motivation and focus to do something great with my life. I’m almost crying as I write this…
You. are. not. alone.
I was soo wary of trying the meds. I saw a lot of horror stories as I was doing research. As a matter of fact, the day before my appt with my doc to talk about meds, the hubby and I inadvertently watched “Take Your Pills” on Netflix not knowing it was about ADHD meds!
I still have mild worries about it and it’s only been a month on Vyvanse.
The reasons I decided to try meds are because I HAD to do something to help myself. There was no one else who could do it. I was miserable and making everyone else in my life miserable. My emotions were so out of whack that I could see that I was driving my loved ones away from me but didn’t know how to stop it and the anguish I felt was unbearable. I got to the point of literally packing a bag and thinking of admitting myself to the pysch ward of my hospital just to find help.
That was my turning point, that’s when I realized that trying meds couldn’t possibly be worse than what I was going through. I felt that I could always wean off of the drugs if I don’t like how they make me feel and I know that it may take trying a few different ones before finding one that works. I know that if I choose not to go with meds that I can always look at more homeopathic methods that others have mentioned. I also know that talking with a counselor/therapist/psychologist who knows about ADHD is important(even if it’s expensive). She is currently helping me develop healthy boundaries.

So far the effects of the meds are quite mild and I may actually have to think about a stronger dose or something different. The side effects are noticeable but I can work with dehydration, slightly higher heart rate and mild sleeplessness as opposed to everything I was experiencing before.

I apologize if that was a bit of ‘over-sharing’ and lengthy.
I hope this helps you and I hope that you find a path that best works for you.
:pray: :hugs:

P.S- I never felt like I was normal, even as a child. The more I learn about my ADD brain and the more I understand how it sees things and processes things, the better and more confident I feel about myself. Like I have tiny superpowers that only a few other people would understand and appreciate :wink:

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Hey @lovetheoutdoors

Thanks so much for your reply.
These have been busy days, but I did take in your message soon after you wrote it and its been echoing in me with a really lovely tune of solidarity and connection. I’m grateful for that. Thank you.

“My emotions were so out of whack that I could see that I was driving my loved ones away from me but didn’t know how to stop it and the anguish I felt was unbearable.”

^^ I really feel that. Thank you for sharing. Its been a tough road.

I’m not sure if I have much in me now to respond with. I just wanted to express my gratitude.

I’ve been dabbing into meds but not full-on every day.

My doctor (with very little questioning) prescribed me 30mgs/day and that was insane.
I’m self-mediating and adjusting as I need. These days 5mgs is enough to get me going and stay focused so I’m letting it play out and am observing how this all works for me and my body.

Ultimately it is really sweet to have this space to connect in.

Thank you again.

I hope your journey with your meds is going well thus far.

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