when you take medication it’s really really really important to pay attention to changes in your behaviour. it can be very difficult for several reasons though, and these are the ones that i recognize the most:
1) it can be hard to even notice changes if you’re a head in the clouds person (which...a vast majority of us are). it can be hard to know if something has changed at all because what happened in the past??? who knows?? who am i????? should i ask other people ? i dont know how i act?? present me is always me?? how do i know if i changed if im always me ???????? hello??
2) you often wont want to admit if you notice negative changes because usually our secret desire is for medication to fix us immediately (which it doesnt). even though you might want to pretend it’s fine because the meds help you focus and you just want to be “fixed” and for there to be no more trouble, it is crucial that you do not sacrifice your mental health and happiness for some concentration. it’s not worth it. find the right medication.
a lot of people give up on medication because their first one or several were bad, but you just have to find the one that works for you. there are so, so, so many different types that you can try, and you can find the one that makes you happy and focused. dont give up.
and if you’re the type of person to ignore signs of bad meds because you just want to be one and done, NO!!!! recognize that these bad, huge changes are BAD and they are caused from the medication because it’s not right for you. if youre not sure, ask someone you know for help. make a note in your notes app, keep track of your mood and other bad symptoms you may know. if you recognize something bad that has appeared since you started taking the meds, its probably the meds!!! theyre probably not right for you bestie!!! dont pretend to be satisfied just because you dont want trouble. advocate for yourself!! do the right things for yourself!!! its not selfish to care for yourself!!
my first medication was honestly a really really bad time! but it’s ok, because i learned and moved on and it was an experience that i was able to use to my benefit. i did not recognize the side effects at first because my emotions were so muddled and i was numbed to pretty much everything😳i was sad and lonely and asleep, but i got someone to help me recognize that this was a problem! and i was like oh, oh yeah! so true bestie?? (sorry i cant stop saying bestie) and we made a change, and i’m doing a little better!
meds will not fix you, so dont pretend like they do—recognize when they hurt you, and make a change. it’s not okay to pretend to be satisfied when you are being harmed by the side effects. take care of yourself :) find the right meds :)
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For you or anyone else who cares to answer: what changes did you notice when you started adhd meds (if you did, I guess I don't know that for sure)? Side effects too, but I'm mostly interested in actual intended effects.
(Also thank you for what you do, this blog made getting my diagnosis a whole lot less intimidating)
I'm so glad this blog has been helpful! (And my apologies if you were waiting for a long time for this response.)
I started taking Adderall a little over a year ago, and I immediately noticed some changes.
My focus has improved, and I'm more productive at work. Instead of goofing off on the internet for 6 hours and then cramming in a couple of hours of work at the end of the day, I'm able to consistently get things done throughout the day.
My working memory has improved. Before meds, I would completely forget that, like, I needed to do laundry until I was opening an empty underwear drawer. I couldn't plan things ahead of time because I forgot that they needed to be done! I remember distinctly during my first week on Adderall, I thought, "Oh, I was going to do the dishes!" And then I walked to the kitchen and started doing them. Then I almost starting crying because that had nver been so easy before.
Tasks don't seem as difficult to start. In addition to the memory stuff, I often wouldn't do things because the thought of getting up to do them felt like a HUGE effort. I used to fall asleep on the couch regularly because getting up and doing my bedtime routine felt like too much work. It was easier to stay put, even though I knew I'd regret it the next day. Now, I can generally get tasks, even boring ones, started much more easily!
I still have bad days. About once a month, my brain decides it doesn't want to do anything at all. Those days usually mean I lie on the couch and watch YouTube all day, and meds don't really help.
Most of the side effects I had at the beginning my body seems to be used to now, so they don't really bother me any more. But the ones I dealt with were:
Loss of appetite. The first few weeks I wouldn't eat much during the day and then be starving around 8pm when the Adderall wore off.
Jittery feeling. This only lasted a couple of days with me: once when I started Adderall and again when we increased my dose a couple months in. It went away quickly and now I don't have it at all!
Dry mouth/skin. This one I do still have, but it's not as bad as it used to be. I just drink a lot of water and keep lotion nearby for my hands.
Last thing I want to mention is what the Adderall doesn't help with, and that's emotion regulation and rejection sensitivity. These are some of my biggest challenges having ADHD and it's frustrating that the needs so nothing for it. I'm actually looking to switch from a psychiatrist to a psychotherapist so I can get more support in these areas.
What do other people think? What have your experiences on meds been like?
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I saw a post about adhd medication taking, but it has some incorrect/misleading information so I’m making a corrected PSA.
If you are taking Adderall (or most other oral medications), you want to avoid citric fruit and juices for at least an hour after you take your medication. Critic fruit / juices will decrease the oral absorption of your medication.
You also want to avoid drinking soda for at least an hour after you take your medication, as it can also mess with medication absorption. Specifically sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can actually increase adderall absorption.
You should not drink alcohol while you are on your Adderall. Alcohol messes with a lot of things, and is rarely safe to take with a medication. Instead, wait until your Adderall has worn off before you drink any alcohol.
Marijuana and Adderall currently aren’t fully understood in their interactions, but what research I could find indicates that they should not be taken together unless you’ve consulted a medical professional and gotten the a-okay.
Solid foods beyond citric fruits should be fine, it’s mostly liquids that are a concern for messing with medications. If you’re ever unsure about whether something is safe, do a bit of research first. You can ask your doctor or your pharamasict about it too!
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