ADHD Medication: Yes or No?

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Almost everyone knows that ADHD can be effectively treated with medication, and yet I meet people all the time who ask me about alternative treatments.

Why are people reluctant to take medication for their ADHD and are they doing the right thing by avoiding it?

Research tells us that a combination of medication and ADD coaching is the most effective way to manage ADHD.

Many people, reluctant to try either medication or coaching, look for alternatives.

To me, medication is a private decision that should be made after you have reviewed the facts and talked to your doctor. As an ADD Coach, I don’t feel that I can properly advise you on the best decision for you.

I can, however, give you some facts.

Yes, most people do find that they are much more clear headed and in control of their lives if they take medication for ADHD. And no, most of them do not feel like zombies when they take it.

The trick, however, is to find the right medication, the right dosage, and the one with the least side effects for you. This can be a lengthy process, and one that many people give up on too soon. Find a doctor who is very familiar with ADHD and medications to treat it and then just work with them until you find one that works for you.

If finding a doctor is a problem, perhaps you are looking in the wrong place. Most people start with their family doctor – someone they know and trust. Most family doctors, however, are not well acquainted with ADHD, except in a general manner and many are uncomfortable treating it.

Your absolute best option is to see a psychiatrist. Many psychiatrists often share their practice with psychologists and social workers, so it’s likely that they will start by referring you to someone on staff. Once your needs are determined, the psychiatrist will be in charge of your medication. You may also choose to see the psychologist or social worker for counseling or coaching.

Don’t be afraid of mental health professionals. There has been a stigma surrounding their profession for far too long.

If you have anxiety or depression, you may want to see a mental health professional for that. They will often choose to treat these conditions before your ADHD, to see if your ADHD symptoms improve as a result. Also, you often have to make a choice between treating anxiety or ADHD, since the stimulants used for ADHD will make anxiety worse. I think that anxiety should be treated rather than the ADHD because I have experience in that area and it makes sense to me.

As I said, whether or not you decide to treat your ADHD with medications is a personal decision. Just make sure you make that decision based on facts rather than fears.

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Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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2 Responses

  1. If ADHD is a brain disorder then why not start with interventions involving the brain? I’ve been reading what Brain Balance – – has to say about ADHD: that all neurobehavioral disorders have in common an underlying condition called functional disconnection syndrome. Through diet, behavior modification, brain exercises and educational techniques that help make connections, Brain Balance asserts one can reduce or eliminate symptoms. It is worth a read, particularly the “truth” section. I think it gets to the heart of what you can DO once your loved one is affected. They are brain based, not drug based… it’s a much more natural approach to improving brain function if you aren’t ready to try medication.

  2. Thanks for the information, Jennifer, and the comment. I’ll be sure to check the website out. You’re right, if we can find other means to treat ADHD, they are worth a look.