I'm Thinking About Trying out Medication

I’m a young adult that was diagnosed with ADHD just last year. I’ve been having issues at my current workplace that are definitely connected to having ADHD. Because of this and the toll it also takes on my personal life (and health) I’m considering bringing up the possibility of trying out some medication with my PCP.

I had previously brought this up with my PCP and was told I’d have to make an appointment (understandable). My mother, however, doesn’t want me to be on medication, and my therapist has taken more of a stance promoting CBT (the therapy kind). I did have a discussion with my mother that ended with a compromise-- I’d take my vitamin D supplement (for my deficiency) for 90 days and then we’d see if I still wanted to try the medication. (Spoiler: vitamin D doesn’t cure ADHD.)

Since then, the topic hasn’t been brought up by anyone else. (It’s been a couple months since the 90 days.) I’m afraid to do it myself, but I really would like to at least try medication to see if it helps because constantly working around my ADHD is exhausting-- especially with my comorbidities.

So now that I’ve finished that ramble… does anyone have advice on how to talk to a doctor about medication? Or talk to parents? Or general advice or information? I don’t want to go into this blindly.

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You mentioned having an ADHD diagnosis. Is it listed in your medical records for your doctor to see?

If so, just bring it up at the appointment, or even mention to the receptionist that you’d like to discuss (ADHD) medication at the appointment, so that the doctor is more prepared to have that conversation.

Instead of the conversation being about ADHD, focus on the effects of ADHD, how it impacts you in your life, how it affects your performance at work and when you were at school. If you can help them remember times that they have seen your struggle, it may help a case.

It helped me that my parents both experiences similar struggles (my dad moreso than my mom), and they were open-minded, but then again I was 45 when I was diagnosed. If I had been diagnosed in childhood or my teens, my mom may have been resistant to me going on Ritalin, which was the only medication option at the time. She probably would have had me try various vitamins. (Note: in my upper teens and early 20s, when I was still living at the parents’ house, I did try vitamins as well as ginseng and ginkgo… That combination only helped me a little.)

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You say you are a young adult. Your parents only have as much say as you want them to in this decision.

Vit D deficiency is an issue… though I would recommend 15 minutes of sun exposure over the pills. The amount of ‘vitamins’ people take that are not in a biologically available (read digestible) form is astonishing. Your body isn’t really made to take up vitamins from bulk pills anyway. Most of that just passes right through. And certain vitamins or minerals and medications interact and interfere with uptake.

I never took meds for ADHD… not until now. I am 43 and I am taking atomoxetine which is a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It means you have more dopamine and norepinephrine knocking about. I find it helpful and it’s not a stimulant.

Also, caffeine pills might be something you want to talk to your PCP about. The cognitive behavioral therapy is absolutely the way to go! But that doesn’t mean you might not want to use meds to help too. Things like the atomoxetine you have to take regularly but did you know that the stimulant meds you can take as you need them? So you don’t have to take them every single day for them to have their desired effect. In fact, taking regular breaks from the stimulant meds seems to show improvement in effect from a lot of what I have read so far.

And if your PCP is not cooperative then you need a new doctor. Don’t stick with a doctor out of sentimental reasons or just because. If they don’t listen and you don’t feel served by them then seek out another provider.

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Correct me if I’m wrong but from what I read in your post, it seems that your mother’s stance is the greatest blockade for you to start or try using meds. More so than your therapist’s.

I do understand it is nice to be able to have her support you on your ‘journey’. But since you are a young adult, it is important to realize that her consent is not required.

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I’ll have to put that on my list to check. I got a paper copy, and I know my therapist has digital records, but I’m not sure how much is carried over to my PCP.

That makes sense. Thanks. :+1:

I’m still struggling with the whole being autonomous adult thing. :sweat_smile: I’m working on it, though. (It’s harder than I thought it would be.)

I’ve tried sun exposure and eating foods rich in vitamin D, but my PCP recommended a vitamin D supplement, and since I’ve taken it long enough for it to build up in my system I haven’t had the joint pain that I had been experiencing daily.

The vitamin D hasn’t affected my ADHD, but it’s definitely something I can’t stop taking.

TL;DR: I do think you have a point, but if you ask your PCP and pick a safe, digestible pill/tablet for your deficiency it can make a huge difference in the long run.

I’m hesitant about caffeine since I’ve never had it before and I’m afraid it’ll worsen my comorbidities. :stuck_out_tongue: But that’s something to talk to the PCP about. But something that you don’t have to take every single day sounds like it might be good (I don’t have the best track record with consistently taking meds…)

Yeah. I was going to switch a while ago but then things came up and I figured it was better to stay where I was. But I do have a back up plan in case I need it.

Like I said… I’m not very good at the whole being autonomous thing… :sweat_smile: It’s something I’m working on in therapy right now.

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Unless they’re part of the same healthcare system, they probably do not have access to the same records. Your doctor could request the records from your therapist. You can notify your therapist that your doctor will consulting with them regarding your diagnosis.

Oh, it definitely is harder that I thought it would be, too. I’m still struggling at it, and I’m 47! (My wife had handled paying all the bills, but now that we are divorced, I’m having to figure it out on my own.)

There’s no secret to it, there’s no “aha” moment when you just figure it all out. Having ADHD, you will have to figure out what tools will help you.
For instance, with my example of paying bills…

  • A neurotypical person can usually remember, oh it’s (X) day of the month, the (Y) payment is due.
  • The easiest option for an ADHD person is probably automated payments. Unfortunately, many of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck. So, we don’t have any extra money to cover an unexpected expense, or an automated payment that comes out of our bank account before our bi-weekly paycheck goes in.*

*(This just happened to me. I live in Idaho, which has an income tax. I work in Washington, which does not. When my taxes were filed in January, a date was set to automatically withdraw my state taxes in April, and when that date hit I didn’t have the money to cover it. Overdrafted!)

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Yes!! Same here. Still have to figure so many things out. By now I learned to just put all due days directly in my calendar. Or as as I use ical, I have a calendar just for those dates. I also decide on the alerts, When and WHERE. With reminders. That helps a little.

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I’ll add that to my to-do list, then.

I hate doing bills, but at least the process of filling out the check and taking it to the bank isn’t hard. It’s just remembering to pay them on time that’s hard… and remembering to pick up paychecks… I have to set reminders for everything.

I have Google Calendar, so I’ve been putting my entire day in to schedule it and get things done. The only problem with that is when I forget to put things in so then there is no reminder.

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I’ve opted for direct deposit for my paychecks anytime it’s an option.

I’d prefer to automate all of my bills. I just can’t do that because I know I’d overdraft at least every other month, if I did.

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