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Old 05-06-19, 10:25 AM
Harp_77 Harp_77 is offline
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What to expect with ADHD

Currently I am in the midst of being diagnosed for ADHD. I have been on depression medication since I was 17 and I am currently 42. The doctor thinks that it may be ADHD I have had all along and never was diagnosed correctly years back.

If indeed I have ADHD, what can I expect in regards to medication in how effective it is? Do you really notice a difference once on medication?
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Old 05-16-19, 10:55 PM
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Re: What to expect with ADHD

Hi Harp,

To answer your question, there are different kinds of medication a doctor can give you if you have ADHD and you wouldn't know until you try them how effective they will be for you. It's a little bit of trial and error to see what will work best for a particular patient.

In general, stimulant medications based either on methylphenidate like Ritalin or Concerta or on amphetamine like Adderall or Vyvanse tend to work better and be more effective and the improvement can be quite dramatic and life changing. They can help you concentrate better, make it easier to finish tasks, etc. Some people respond better to methylphenidate and some respond better to an amphetamine so you might try both if you are diagnosed with ADHD.

But some doctors are reluctant to prescribe methylphenidate or amphetamine in the beginning because they're a Schedule II Controlled Substance and can be abused and they're more work for the doctor to prescribe. Some doctors worry, too, about giving them to older patients because they can raise your blood pressure or elevate your pulse and can be dangerous in patients if they have a heart problem. So, they might start you first on an antidepressant like Wellbutrin or on Strattera to see if they will work. But from what I've heard, they are usually not nearly as effective and often don't do much to alleviate ADHD symptoms.
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Old 05-18-19, 12:21 AM
SashaBV SashaBV is offline
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Re: What to expect with ADHD

It can be frustrating when first treated. We're all different and usually the doctor starts with very small doses of a medication and then increase if it doesn't work. Patience isn't easy for most of us. Then there's side effects...and generics often have more side effects and less potency. What can you do? Most of us must use the generics and hope they work and don't leave us worse off than no ADHD medication. I'm not on the first kind of med I first tried and that is common, to have to change to another med. And perhaps start off at low doses again. Just my experience. Currently I'd like to increase my Adderall dose. but my psychiatrist didn't agree the last time I saw her. My current dosage doesn't seem to be working well for me now. Then, too, I'm having to deal with some pain because of a back injury, so I'm not a happy camper in other ways.
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Old 05-18-19, 03:11 AM
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Re: What to expect with ADHD

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Originally Posted by SashaBV View Post
It can be frustrating when first treated. We're all different and usually the doctor starts with very small doses of a medication and then increase if it doesn't work. Patience isn't easy for most of us. Then there's side effects...
It certainly can be frustrating sometimes and trying to find the right medication and the right dose takes a bit of patience. And some days the medication seems to be working great and other days I think, "Is this stuff doing anything? What happened?"

Not too long ago I bought some groceries, paid the checker and walked out of the store and was half way across the parking lot to my car when a bagger came running after me to tell me that I had left without picking up my groceries. And then a few days after that, I was driving home about 9:00 PM and was thinking how dark it seemed outside and then realized that I had forgotten to turn on my headlights. My meds had probably worn off by the time I was driving home at night, but the incident where I left my groceries in the store happened in the middle of the day when my meds should have been working.
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Old 05-18-19, 10:21 AM
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Re: What to expect with ADHD

Expect to possibly have a few days or more of euphoria if prescribed an amphetamine. The euphoria is just your body adjusting to the medication. It’s a temporary side effect only. Some try to chase the euphoria which can lead to abuse and addiction. When your body adjusts to a proper dose you should hardly feel it. You will just be able to focus and control your ADHD symptoms somewhat better.
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Old 09-21-19, 06:31 PM
NeverBeenHuntin NeverBeenHuntin is offline
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Re: What to expect with ADHD

I know this post is a bit older but I still wanted to share my personal experience. I was diagnosed at 28 (last year) and had struggled with depression and anxiety for most of my childhood.

I tried multiple antidepressants with very little success. I started researching ADHD once it was apparent that I was constantly forgetting things, making simple oversights, and failing to stop for red lights or driving 10 mph under the speed limit if my wife had asked me an engaging question. Retrospectively, it's easy to see that I struggled with ADHD throughout my entire childhood. I don't want to sound conceited but, I was lucky enough to have a high enough degree of natural intelligence that the lack of reading and attention in class was masked by my knack for memorization and test taking abilities.

To avoid writing a novel on this thread; I will just say that I am in such a better place as a husband, father, and adult since I started taking Vyvanse to treat my ADHD. I seem to have developed more patience with my first and only toddler. I don't obsess over organizing my belongings or notes when I feel like I need to put myself in control. My work performance improved dramatically to the point I was the top performer in my department and landed a raise and promotion. A month before my first Vyvanse dose; I was written up and threatened to be fired for my lack of performance. There are days where I also feel it "kick" and others when I feel like nothing is happening.


Give it a chance to work for you and take it slowly.

Last edited by NeverBeenHuntin; 09-21-19 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 09-25-19, 03:26 PM
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Re: What to expect with ADHD

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Originally Posted by NeverBeenHuntin View Post
Retrospectively, it's easy to see that I struggled with ADHD throughout my entire childhood. I don't want to sound conceited but, I was lucky enough to have a high enough degree of natural intelligence that the lack of reading and attention in class was masked by my knack for memorization and test taking abilities.
Thanks for posting, NeverBeenHuntin.

I wasn't diagnosed until I was 51 and also gradually learned various strategies to compensate for my ADHD in school so that I eventually got fairly good grades. But things got more difficult for me when I went to college, especially when I got into graduate school.

I got a PhD which sounds impressive, especially for someone with ADHD, but it took me 12 and a half years in a program that was supposed to take 7 years. After getting my dissertation topic approved, getting a research grant for it and working on it for at least a year and a half, I decided to change my topic to something different which I'm sure caused a lot of consternation for my dissertation adviser. And then after spending several years working on my new topic and only getting about half of my dissertation written, there was a mad rush to write the other half in about six months. I was still making silly last minute revisions in the way I did some of my footnotes and then racing to print the whole thing out on the day it was due, with my father imploring me all the while to get the thing done. It's amazing that I got my degree.

There were a few other people in my department who took more than 7 years to get through the PhD program, but they had what looked like much better reasons for doing so, like having to work part time or, in one woman's case, having a baby and trying to raise a family. In my case, not only did I not have to work, but shortly after I started graduate school, I moved back in with my parents and didn't have to cook my meals or wash my laundry.

I never would have finished at all without all the help my parents and other people in my life have me. One of the books on ADHD I have calls people like these, "external executive functioners," i.e. individuals who compensate for and often mask many of the weaknesses that a person with ADHD has. These people might be parents, or a spouse, or a girl friend or boy friend, or a secretary of the person with ADHD. What often happens is that when the person with ADHD no longer has these "external executive functioners" helping them, they end up floundering quite a bit.
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