What were the strategies you tried first? What were some of the questions you addressed with the doctor before starting? Did you have particular feelings or concerns about the medicine before starting? What eased your worries?
Thanks for sharing! Your experiences and responses to any of these questions will be helpful to parents and adults who are currently considering a trial of medication.
Decision Making Starting ADHD Drugs
- Our son was diagnosed with ADD at age 6. It took us almost a year before we made the dreaded appointment with the pediatrician. We were scared-off by all the negative publications on the web about the drugs and what taking it on a daily basis would do to him, what impact it would have on his cheerful and explorative nature. Also, a worrying number of children were diagnosed with ADHD around us. Our son went for Occupational Therapy and took omega fish oils and vitamins, but we observed no improvement in concentration. The pediatrician put him on a trial of stimulant meds. There was no instant ‘magical change’ in him but over time he improved from average to a top of the class student, boosting his self esteem. As parents, we had to learn that drugs would help our son have a happier, healthier life. Drugs don’t solve everything but we have taken the view that if you have a physical illness you take meds to deal with it. If you have a neurological problem, you may find relief from drugs.
- —Guest pebblesson
Not All Alike
- Our family is formed by adoption, and all the kids have ADHD. We have made many leaps of faith. We fight the medicine route as long as possible, but when a child is hurting and all else fails to help, meds are tried. Almost immediately the child's life is less stressful and new focus begins to make up for lost time in class and at home due to behaviors averse to learning. Not all kids or meds are alike so the fluid plan of approach is best, making changes as soon as needed. That takes an alert parent and a good child psychiatrist. I never want to begin meds, but after life on a med gets markedly better for my child, I am glad to have them as our option. I always tell parents, just do meds as a trial and then decide. But in the end one has to take a leap of faith that includes trusting a good Dr. and helping him know your child.
- —Guest hopernch
- I knew my son had learning problems from when he was 2, so when he was 8 we officially got him tested and had our suspicions confirmed. I have ADHD so when it was recommended that he be put on Concerta the decision was an easy one. I know that if I had been put on meds my schooling, especially college would have been MUCH easier, and I wouldn't have struggled like I did. Alex was "textbook" according to his speech therapist, so I did my research and talked to other parents and had him get a physical before we started the meds and an EKG after he'd been on them a year. He's been on 27mg of Concerta for almost 2 years now and I honestly believe it has helped him. The best advice I can give any parent considering putting their child on meds is to learn as much as you can about your options, talk to doctors, teachers and other parents and then make an informed decision on what's best for your child.
- —Guest Cathy
- My son was diagnosed with ADHD. My brothers and dad have it, so no surprise. We started him on meds when he began having trouble in school, hitting, grabbing, interrupting, etc. We didn't want him to get the self-concept of being a bad kid - which is hard to change once it’s there. The first 2 meds did not work, they made him aggressive. Now he is on a great one. We even make it out of the house in the morning with no yelling or melt-downs. He is also towards the top of is Kindergarten class. As a teacher, I have seen kids increase reading and math levels by several grades once they can focus. There are other things you can try like behavior plans, improving nutrition, etc, but they did not work for us.
- —Guest Jennifer
Mother of a child with ADHD
- My son takes Concerta for his ADHD and he does well and it helps him a lot. I was scared at first but him taking medication is okay. I am also going to try other options to help him too.
- —Guest angela
Deciding to Take ADHD Medication
- I was a stylist in a salon and a gal that I worked with came in one day and said, “Cindea you have to go see this Dr. I took my daughter to! You and my daughter are so much alike. He did all these tests and put her on medication and she can't believe the positive changes! So I made an appointment, went there three times then he put me on Adderall. Within a week I couldn't believe it. For the first time in my life I sat down and balanced not one but two check books! All of a sudden I was having one epiphany after the other and all kinds of things came to light about my relationships with my friends, family, coworkers and more importantly myself. I realized why I was always funny, easy going, let people walk on me, who else in my family would have been saved from addiction, or buying 14 of something because he couldn't remember where he put them, why we become an expert on at least one thing. Why by the time I finally got it it was time to move to the next grade. Some say it’s all in your head, but I've lived both ways and they're wrong!
- —Guest cindea mulholland
- I have struggled my whole life, but was not diagnosed until I was in my 30's. I tried books, counselors. I am on meds, Vyvanse 70 mg after trying Adderall and Strattera. It does help for a few hours. But it so difficult. My brain just cannot stop and relax. Looking online has become frustrating. Many of the sites have way too much writing. I can't follow that. I wish someone would create a video only website. I want to see how others with ADD organize. I hyperfocus, take time to clean and then it's a mess. I'd use a coach but I really am embarrassed. ADD really affected me and came to a head after kids came into the picture. It’s very difficult. I think I walked up and down the steps 20 times looking for clothes to wear because they are in every room.
- —Guest ann
Do I Take Medication?
- Yes and thank God for it. I am 60yrs old and did not get diagnosed until I was 52 yrs old and of course I was happy to find out I wasn’t stupid or had a head like a sieve, as my mother would say. After a month I thought okay now I know, but nothing has changed. I was still struggling. So I went to my doctor and said I want to try medicine. He sent me to a shrink and we talked and she agreed and I took it for several years. Until one day there was very little effect. Went to the doctor again. Same process. Now I am on a different stimulant. In the beginning we were trying different dosages and I had too much and felt awful and swore it off but started on a lower dose and all is well. My analogy is if I didn’t have meds it’s like trying to climb up a wall with water running down - kind of impossible.
- —Guest VALERIE JC
- My 14 year old son has been taking ADD medicine for approximately three years. Initially he went to a psychiatrist who was doing a trial study of different medications for ADD and we found that Strattera worked best for him. There were noticeable improvements the first year, but after that it seemed that it's not helping as much. It's hard to know if it is still helping, how much, or not at all. He is still aggressive and defiant, though the issues are more largely at home and not as much in school. I am afraid to have him stop taking it but at the same time I have no idea if it's still helping him. I will be putting him back into therapy to see if that will make a difference and then try to re-assess the medication situation again. So I suppose my decision making has more to do with keeping him on it rather than starting meds but I would like to share and hear other's experience with medication as well. Thank you.
- —Guest Tova