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Do you ever get off your meds for a few days and start to question…

Do you ever get off your meds for a few days and start to question…2015-04-20T18:29:02+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Is It Just Me? Do you ever get off your meds for a few days and start to question…

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  • #126976

    Post count: 23

    …if you really have it? I mean honestly I’m certain I do, but the past couple days I’ve had a hard time discerning my actual ADHD symptoms from what I think they are. It’s like they only start to affect me once I stop looking for them, if that makes sense at all. Due to complications at the good ol’ pharmacy I wasn’t able to get my refill and it’s been just a total mind trip for me. I feel a lot more capable than I remember being, before I got on the meds, and a lot more confident and it comes as a surprise to me honestly.


    Post count: 906

    It’s funny you should bring this up right now because I just went off my meds and I’ve been asking the same question.

    I missed my meds one day and then decided to stay off them for a little while, so I could reevaluate things. I’ve been wondering for awhile if they are really doing any good at all. Today is day 3 and I have to say the answer seems to be no, they aren’t. Aside from being a little more depressed, which I expected, there hasn’t been much change.

    I have also been questioning whether or not I really have ADHD, since the meds don’t seem to be making much difference. The answer, if I look at just the present, seems like no. But then, if I look back to my childhood, it becomes a resounding yes. (I’m thinking in particular about walking to school, sauntering along through the woods, watching the squirrels gather nuts, listening to the birds and calling back to them to see if I can get them to talk to me….. and all the other things I wrote in the letter the principal forced me to write about why I was always late.)

    The problem, I have concluded, isn’t that I don’t have ADHD but that the meds aren’t working. I’m going to start titrating again, gradually, and try to keep track of how I am responding more than I did before. It may be I was taking too much and I’ll do better with a lower dose. Or it may be that I just need to quit my whining and get off my arse and do what needs to be done…


    Post count: 17

    I can totally relate to the posts above.  I loved the part about the letter for the school principal.  I still do those things and I’m 67.

    Two weeks ago my psychiatrist and I decided that I should go off stimulants for at least a month.

    I had become extremely lethargic and my PTSD nightmares started returning in January, February, and March.  Sleep was again becoming a problem.  Starting in December we started changing doses, times of day to take the meds, and in mid January I switched from Adderal to Ritalin because my atrial fibrillation was returning.

    My psychiatrist now has me updating a daily graphical log that tracks a number of factors which we will review in two more weeks.

    We had a rather long and brutal winter, starting with about an 18 inch snow in the middle of October.  By the end of November my wife of 40 years moved off the farm and into a small home we own in town, about 20 miles away.  She just couldn’t deal with another bad winter.  I’d go back and forth a few times a week.

    All my toys and hobbies are on the farm.  I don’t have any place for my hobbies in town.  So, while in town I didn’t do much but read and watch TV.  Unfortunately, when I was at the farm I started doing the same thing.  I went back to abusing alcohol.  I had all these things I wanted to do, but I had become extremely good at procrastinating, which then increased my depression and anxiety.

    That has never been me.  Hyperactive describes my whole life, and in general I loved my crazy life of going around a circle at 60 MPH with one foot nailed to the floor. Yes, I’d always have multiple projects going on, flitting from one to another.  But, I did usually finish some of them.  Actually, I was quite productive, just never in a straight line.

    It is now going on 2-1/2 weeks since I’ve been off the stimulants.  Spring has sprung during this time.  My wife dared move back to the farm after I had 200 ton of gravel put down on our 1/2 mile of what had become a mud path.

    I’m now having 2-3 really good days for every bad day. I’m getting back to going high speed from sun up to sun down on the good days.  Then I guess I just get exhausted and need to be a slug for a day.

    I’ll see how it goes, but I think I’m going to be staying off the stimulants. They slowed me down too much.  I’ve got a lot of support and tools to help me stay partially organized.  I just doubt I’ll ever get off my daily dose of Zoloft and my occasional needs for Xanax.

    Time to start about 17 new projects, and maybe put some time in on the other several dozen on-going projects.

    Stay safe and crazy,



    Post count: 3

    Weighing in here on a few items raised above.

    First, I stopped taking my meds about 2 months ago. My counselor knows, but now my doctor. After a year of being on them, with a few intermittent breaks, I didn’t really think they were helping.  I also started to notice I felt ‘wired’ and shaky at times.  It seemed to be getting worse, so I decided to stop and really see how much it was helping.

    I suspect I need to try a different medication, but am not ready to do that just yet.  It just takes too much effort.  I’m working on other health issues first. The meds didn’t do what I thought they would do.  In my denial and ignorance, I thought they would make my ADD go away.  LOL  I now know that ‘pills don’t teach skills.’ But the meds didn’t seem to help me implement the skills.  There was just too much overwhelm.

    Which leads me to the comments about having 17 projects going at once. (I love how hullupoika described it.) That is totally me.  I have had so many successes, high achieving, etc. in my former jobs.  I was demoted once for ‘lack of soft skills’– which I see was totally my ADD, but didn’t know anything about then.

    I can get in such a funk about all of these projects around me, many of them are incomplete.  I don’t work, except for the writing and blogging I try to do and the multiple church obligations I have.  (Ok, I guess I really do work, I just don’t get paid for anything.) I’m actively saying ‘no’ to the new ideas and projects that come my way.  And by come my way, I mean I make them up in my mind (I could do that) or I hear of a valid need (I could volunteer for that).

    At times it feels like I am cutting off a body part.  I am living in a lot of angst about ‘not doing.’  I am incredibly bored.  I miss the excitement.  I am being more ‘responsible’ around the house and participating more in chores, etc.  I suppose this is progress.  But I definitely feel like I am fighting myself and my natural wiring.  Maybe the medication would help in some way, especially with the anxiety I am feeling about all of this.

    What I really want is for the ideas to stop popping into my brain and to be able to discern what to act on, how to organize my thoughts, etc.  That is probably what anyone with ADD wants.  I want balance in my life.

    Sorry if this is off-topic.  Thanks for listening.


    Post count: 32

    Hi everyone, this is a very interesting thread/conversation. I am only ten weeks into medication at the age of 54,  following a complete ‘breakdown’ and ultimately a diagnosis of ADHD. I already find that it is making a big difference in my life, in conjunction with knowledge about ADHD, particularly in undiagnosed women, and in respect to my personal whole life story. All I want to say is that medication is only a small tool that aids concentration and focus. Meds can’t offer anything else. We are all who we are, with diverse and complex challenges, different personalities, priorities, senses of humour and things that make us giggle, private demons , sizes and shapes. Add to the list! Meds don’t change any of these things. I am still in the process of putting small but important challenges within my medication 4 hour slots, and I am getting off the sofa and doing things. The meds are helping me to progress my recovery because I am doing more which is boosting my confidence, and I feel more positive.

    In the longer term I aim to use the meds when I need them. I believe that ultimately having and being ADHD is something to come to terms with first, and the support of meds is a secondary tool. Like most meds linked to performance /mood, there is no ‘cure’ attached – only a little help.

    I’m not really going anywhere with this except to say-  try not to ask too much of the meds, but use their boost to your advantage. I feel that we have to work with the meds – if we don’t then they won’t make much difference to anything.

    x x



    Post count: 23

    Thanks for sharing everyone!


    Post count: 20

    I use meds “as needed” and have been using them a lot less.

    The way I see it, the meds keep me calm so I can think more and react less. After over a year of meds I have “learned” how to handle situations and as a result need the med less.

    Still just as ADD, just handling it better.


    Post count: 5

    As a new ADHD patient…I have already started to explore not taking the meds…..I told my doctor they are nothing more than placebos….

    After 2 months on the meds…I stopped taking them….no difference. I have 1 percentile memory……I need a cure for that first anyway….regardless if I pay attention or not….I will just forget it 5 mins later anyway.


    Post count: 119

    I guess I’m in the same boat. I often wonder if meds are doing the trick. I’ve stopped taking them for a week or two at various points during the past three years and I still have difficulty parsing out if they are helping or making things worse.

    When I’m OFF them I have a tendency to rely more heavily on tips and techniques I’ve learned. When I’m ON them I have a tendency to place the burden on the medication to do the work.

    I think my brain is more effective at creative problem solving when I’m OFF the meds. When ON the meds I’m more linear in my thinking.

    I’ve also noticed that I exercise less when ON meds and when I do exercise I find it less enjoyable.

    When ON medication I’m more prone to anxiety, rumination and obsessiveness. When OFF I’m more happy-go-lucky and things tend to role off my back or I just don’t fully register them.

    When I’m OFF meds I wonder if I need to start taking them again. When I’m ON meds I wonder if I should stop taking them and I question their efficacy and dosage.

    I get tired of questioning whether medication is helping. I also get tired of trying to figure out what the heck it’s suppose to do. I too question whether I have ADHD from time to time. Usually this question pops up when I think the meds aren’t working.

    Maybe the problem is that I simply expect too much from meds and I just wish they could do more. Maybe it’s time to part ways with them. They may have served a purpose for a time but now I am finding other more effective ways to deal with life issues.

    I’m not saying meds don’t work, I’m just saying that they may not be working for me or they just aren’t targeting the symptoms that cause the most problems for me.

    In writing this I think I’ve come to the decision to start titrating down off them. It actually feels good to say that. I feel like I’m finally getting off the fence.


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