How much can I expect from meds?


So I haven’t been diagnosed yet, hopefully in a few weeks. But I’m 1000% certain that ADHD is 90% of my problem (there are probably a few other pieces of loose furniture sliding around in there too).

In anticipation of going onto some form of medication, I’m really curious to find out how many of my problems will magically disappear.

Obviously meds are not going to do much for many of the coping/defense/turn-a-blind-eye mechanisms I’ve built up over my lifetime, and I’ll have to work at it.

From reading other people’s posts who’ve been on medication for some time, it seems that it’s an ongoing struggle for many people. I’d been led to believe that meds cause an immediate improvement in 80% of cases.

So how much of an improvement can I expect?

Of course, one size never fits all. But in broad brush strokes how much of an improvement have people noticed, especially starting meds later in life?


From my experience, focusing on one thing becomes possible, making decisions becomes easy, getting overwhelmed drops off tremendously, getting frustrated drops immensely, and patience & rational thinking shoot up. So yes, big difference. Oh and I quit motor mouthing.

However I wouldn’t say that I feel much different, perhaps a bit more content. If I sat in bed reading a book that I enjoy & could naturally focus on (e.g. A situation that does not normally challenge me) , I don’t think that I would notice much of a difference with/without meds. The difference comes out in areas where I struggle.


That sounds really good to me brother!

I’m pretty excited about finding out.

So what are the down sides?

Tolerance/addiction problems I’m sure pop up with dexys etc. But how bad can it get? I’m assuming that I’m not going to end up stealing my neighbour’s TV just to get another fix?


Most brains I’ve talked to that are on those type of medications don’t have an addiction problem, to be honest. (Myself included) So long as you take your meds properly you really shouldn’t really have an issue with it. Like, for me, I’ve been on Vyvanse before (70mg) but that was 3-4 years ago and I stopped all medication after two bad psychiatrist experiences. So now I’m going back on vyvanse but this time we’re starting low at 10mg. Now, I KNOW I could take a higher dose (because 10mg isn’t really working) but my rule is that I take the medication as directed by my doctor. Tolerance, however, can be a thing - but it can be different for everyone. There are stories out there of people building a tolerance to the medication they are on… usually this results in them having to switch medication… some will stop the medication entirely and then go back on after a certain period to see if the tolerance has dropped. When you realize your meds aren’t working the way they used to, it’s time to bring it up to your doctor so you guys can figure out what to do about it. But it shouldn’t happen for a few years BUT AGAIN all bodies are different & such.


@HarleyKyn Cheers Harley. There’s a big difference between the clinical type of information available on the web and the more personal stories from people like yourself. I really appreciate being able to tap into the knowledge and experience in this forum.


One of the big issues for me is that stimulants make the heart work a bit harder. That’s not an issue for most people, but for myself (with minor heart issues) it could be a problem. I see the cardiologist in September to see if I can be on a regular dose.


I guess I’m pretty lucky in that respect… I’m as strong as an ox. :slight_smile:

Even though I smoke like it’s the 1950s, eat pretty much whatever I want, and have a 50m exclusion zone around gyms I still do OK whenever I sit for a medical (which is pretty regularly for work).

Apparently, my lungs are half my age, and my heart is tick tick tickety-boo.

I had to do a stress ECG (the one where you run on a treadmill which keeps increasing the angle of inclination, while you’re all wired up like a space chimp) a while back.

The guy gave me attitude when he saw my readout, said I was wasting his time and got a little upset. I had to remind him that I wasn’t there to diagnose a heart problem, it was for a medical. Made me quite proud of my unhealthy lifestyle. :sunglasses:

My last medical was quite physically grueling, one of the worst I’ve done, but I passed with flying colours. It was only when I went next door to get the Doctor’s tick of approval that he found out that I’d done the whole thing with a bilateral hernia which I didn’t even know I had. That’s why I’m out of work right now. Had to have surgery for it.

My Dad had heart problems, and I know it’s no fun. They never really worked out what was causing his arrhythmia.

Best of luck with the cardiologist, I hope you don’t get the same one I had.


By the way, I presume you know that nicotine is one of the medications of choice of non-diagnosed ADHDers? (along with caffeine & alcohol)


And certain other smokable herbs. Yes, I practise all of these forms of therapeutic quackery.

Actually, I’ve heard some good things about CBD oil as a better, less psychoactive alternative for THC. It is not directly aimed at ADHD, but helps with cognitive and general neurological health, as well as with depression and anxiety.

Is mentioning certain recreational herbs against the forum guidelines? As they are illegal in many places… But relevant to the topic nonetheless. Feel free to flag me if need be.


For me, emotional dysregulation has always been the problem. Now I can handle yelling students and adults.


Good teachers deserve a medal for what they have to put up with.

I cringe when I think of what the kids used to do to teachers. I went to some pretty rough schools. My class felt pride at having made every single substitute teacher we had leave the room in tears.

I never participated in that, but then again I was never very forward when it came to standing up for the teachers. Comparisons with Nazi Germany, when too many people just watched what was happening without acting on their consciences.


I’ve been on Adderall for three days and I noticed a difference an hour after I took it. I was worried it would cause me anxiety but it didn’t. I did get a little out of breath and my heart beats fast but I tolerate it hoping soon it will go away. I’m only on 10 mg right now and my mind still wanders but now I feel I have the power to tell my brain to stop and get back on task. I felt very odd today after my noon dose and I’m pretty emotional tonight but I think a lot of that is due to the fact I’ve been sick with strep and only got 5 hours of sleep last night. Hoping tomorrow is better…


I have been taking concerta now for a few months i started at a medium dose and had side effect issues and then started out as low as i could second time round i am now at 56mg and i think this is optimum for me. In a month or so i will try vyvanse. Thats because the stats say that 25 pecent of people will have a better experience on the other drug once they have started the other.

For me i found that the coping defence turn a blind eye behaviour is better. I want to engage with more than i did pre medication. Its actually quite an awkward feeling when you find your doing “new” things in your daily routine that are really just things that you avoided before or put of to the last seccond. And sometimes even enjoying them or at least the process without the anxiety that went with the task pre medication.

I also am finding general social interaction easier when the medication is active. But i do get a bit of a rebound effect and need a little down time when it wears off at the end of the day. I have started going to the gym around this time and its quite therapeutic because you just do your thing and keep your mind steady with a simple routine. And the meds have bumped my BP up a bit and i need to get a bit fitter to reduce it.

I have a fantastic psychaitrist and the biggest point he made was that you shouldnt measure the resuts of the medication by how it makes you feel but by the way it affects the issues that are the problem. As a rule most medications will have side effects and as it turns out stimulant meds can have ones that are quite possitive for some. The upper feelings that can come with them for me is overwhelming and at the start caused panic atacks which i have never had before. I went a month between dosage increases for that reason and i also had a supportng medication for those times. The up side of the glacialy slow progression is i really got to get a clear picture of how i was going and it wasnt such a sudden shift from where i was to where i am now. When i started this process i was uncertain of well everything. If i have ADHD? If i even belived that there was anything wrong with me ( i hate saying “wrong with me” but i knew for sure i was different)? And i think if i didnt have the slower progress to “adjust” i think i would still have some of those reservations.

The best advice i can give you is take your time with the meds. Its your brain your adjusting, in a way i needed to get to know yourself again and start testing my boundries to make progress with my life with the assistance of the meds.

I could write a thousand pages on this subject if you want i have read and studdied and watched and i find it super interesting

I am not sure if you can send private messages here but if its possible and your interested i dont mind going through a few of the details im not quite wanting in a public forum.



And i just realised this thread is 6 months old


Thanks for the advice AMAK. I’m getting used to the meds, but I still think there is plenty of fine tuning I need to do. Like you said, I need to start testing the boundaries with it.


Smoj, have they started trying off-label meds with you yet? People in the tribe respond differently to psychiatric meds


Medication is a help, yes, but dont expect your problems and issues to “magically” disappear. You still have to put in a lot of work and effort to do stuff or change the problems to the better. Medication is like a tool for that. You finally have the right bit to screw thw screws in their places, the screwing however is still made by you.


Sorry for the late reply Tom… Been in a hole for a while.

Not sure what you mean by “off label” meds. I can’t currently afford to see anyone to discuss options. I’ve only tried the dexamphetamine sulphate.

When people say “it’s like putting on glasses and being able to see clearly”… I never had anything like that sensation. I suspect I’m more focussed, but I couldn’t say for sure. I can definitely wake up better with them than without. And they do help me sleep (half a tab) when I’m lying in bed with the wheels spinning at 3600 RPM.

But while I initially found my emotional dysregulation to have reduced, it may only have been placebo. Because later on, I blew my top quite spectacularly with a colleague.

While I consciously knew that there was no magic bullet, in the back of my mind I was hoping for an instant reversal of fortune, a hot blonde in a Maserati and the winning lottery numbers.

Or at least a quantifiable improvement in certain aspects of my ADHD.

But at this point, I’m a little dissatisfied with what seems to be little improvement in my situation. In fact, in some ways my situation has worsened now that I have to disclose my ADHD and meds to potential employers.

Compared to before my diagnosis and medication, I’ve lost around 50% of my options as far as employment (after chatting with a couple of recruitment consultants about my ADHD and seeing how they have been able to place other candidates with ADHD).

It’s illegal here to discriminate, but that’s never stopped anyone before. There are a thousand ways you can justify taking somebody else, without actually saying “We don’t want him, he has ADHD”.

I’m thinking I will just drop the meds for a while, until I get a permanent job. Then I can tell them about it when it’s too late to quietly sack me.