I often get asked how to know if any therapist/counsellor/coach/psychiatrist/psychologist will be good with someone with ADHD. The first article is a very good guide. Having someone who specializes in ADHD is actually very important.
Down the page, you will find questions to ask your doctor and information about medications in Canada.
I’ve added the story of when I was on ADHD medication in the section on ADHD medication in Ontario.
STIMULANTS for the brain.
To clear things up; for some people, when they take ADHD medication, it is the first time they get to use their entire brain. ADHD medications have warnings on them like all other meds. They are not worse. Actually, vitamin C and Viagra have much worse side effects listed than ADHD meds and people still take them. In North America, 15,000 people die every year from taking Aspirin and Ibuprofen.
ADHD medications do not cause people to commit suicide if properly monitored. People with ADHD are more prone to suicidal thoughts even off medications. If your doctor is not monitoring how and when your ADHD meds are working for you, you could be on the wrong ones or you could be taking the wrong dose. That’s why a medication log is necessary. It’s important to ask your doctor the questions above.
When taking ADHD medication, you should feel different, more focussed, calmer, able to accomplish most of your daily tasks and report being able to learn simple life skills that you couldn’t learn before.
When I was on medication, I had patience to finish a movie, to listen to someone telling me a long story; I could get through my daily chores and enjoy them because everything slowed down. I learned to listen without cutting people off and to just smile and enjoy myself if I really didn’t have anything to say. No more running off at the mouth. In general, I learned a lot about myself. Unfortunately, my Pshychiatrist at the time, did not monitor me while on ADHD meds and at some point he increased my dose and I had suicidal thoughts and anxiety. When I discussed this with him, he wanted to give me anti-depressants. I refused to take them and went back to my previous dose. The suicidal thoughts went away but the anxiety didn’t. I had to stop taking the meds. When I find a doctor who knows about ADHD, I will take meds to make my hard days better. Meanwhile, I continuously study and work my coaching program. There are so many things that help like proper diet, exercise, sleep, breathing, having fun every day, journaling and other healthy lifestyle habits. THE BIGGEST ONE – Surround yourself with positive people every moment of every day if at all possible. Criticism and nagging are serious torture for the ADHD brain.
Methylphenidates: (effect dopamine)
- Biphentin is a better form of methylphenidate; has a slow release component; only needs to be taken once per day.
- Concerta is very common as it is well researched and developed. Can be taken once per day. The generic pill does not have the same effect. Ask your doctor to note on the prescription that no generics to be used.
- Ritalin is used less by some doctors because it can be used as a street drug and also it has to be taken more than once per day.
Amphetamines: (effect dopamine)
- Vyvanse This is an improved form of Adderall.
NON-STIMULANTS: some of these are also anti-depressants (these affect the serotonin)