Friday, December 05, 2014

ADHD: Medicate or Not Medicate?

What Now? Asked an excellent question in a comment to my previous post, it's worth copying here:
This is a comment/question coming entirely from ignorance: Do you not want to take ADHD medication because it has side effects you don't want? Would there be benefits of such medication for your life in general? It sounds like you'd consider medication for a "real job" but not for your current work, but it also sounds like your current work is making you pretty miserable because of the ADHD. I'm not pushing medication, just wondering!

... The truth is that I don't really know the answer! :-(

I don't like to take medications in general to begin with. I was a very sick kid (with asthma, several bouts of pneumonia before I had my tonsils out at 4 years old), but my mom really tried hard to not only seek "regular" medical care for me (which she relentlessly did). but also to go the natural route.

I had a juice fast at 6.5 years old, followed by a 100% raw/ no grain diet for two weeks and that did WONDERS on my allergies. Unfortunately we didn't stick to a vegan diet (only ovo-lacto) after that, or I'd have been basically cured of asthma and allergies, but I went vegan when I was 18 and was very strict for about 10 years. I went back to eating dairy once in a while after I got pregnant and had the boys -- and I blame THAT for their asthma too. Good thing it's mild. Now we're vegan most of the time.

(I also had two unmedicated births and didn't even take painkillers afterwards. I don't like doctors, surgeries and the like and I'm delighted that I'm so healthy -- thankfully!)

So... I'm VERY big on natural treatment and prevention, BUT, I should say I'm not really taking any of the supplements recommended to people with ADHD (fish oil, Omega 3, 6, DHA, etc) and that I don't really believe the non-scientifically supported claim that going gluten-free helps ADHD. I'm also pretty scared of medication that would make me addicted, change me and the way I am/react, etc. I feel that  I don't know if I can really trust this medication, its side effects. etc.

Another problem is that diagnosis of ADHD was pretty rough (uncertain because my perception that I have it is 100% clear, but other people's responses to the questionnaires not so much), so I'm still dealing with that, and trying to convince myself and my husband that it's a real condition, that maybe I could/should seek medication.

So, yeah, it's super hard and I don't exactly know what to do!

Thank you so much for the comment/question, What Now? It heartens me to know that there are some friends out there still reading. I know Spanish Prof takes medication once in a while, I should talk to her more...


What Now? said...

I wonder if it would be worthwhile to try one of the natural remedies. I can't speak to their usefulness at all, of course! But, if nothing else, it might be a statement that you're making to yourself about the reality of this condition in your life and your determination to thrive. Just a thought!

Heidi said...

The medication vs. natural remedies debate is really complicated, isn't it? And so hard to put the time into figuring out what the best option is during a semester...I'm only teaching part time, and I am totally in that boat myself!! All the best as you press ahead with your project. What works well for me to get myself motivated is setting a goal for how much time I can spend that day. (Usually for my practice goals.) Then I try to get that time in early in the day so I can have the rest of the day for other things. Just a thought. That system worked well for both Michael and me when we studied for comps. :)