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On Concerta and Still No Motivation

On Concerta and Still No Motivation2012-09-13T18:17:13+00:00

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  • #91011

    Post count: 14413

    I was diagnosed with Inattentive ADD last year. My whole life I have had zero ambition and motivation to do anything. I need to be in crisis mode to get anything done. I have been on Concerta for a year and it works great for focus and attention, but I am coming to realize I still have no motivation. I see my co-workers really push themselves for that promotion, but I still have no ambition to achieve like they do.

    Has anyone with Inattentive ADD gotten that motivation push from Concerta? (I take 72mg)


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    Are you just taking Concerta, or are you working with a life coach or psychologist for behaviour modification?

    As with any mental condition, meds aren’t enough. You still need to put structures in place. As I’ve found out.

    Meds are like training wheels. They’ll help you keep your balance, but you still need to learn how to ride that bike without them.

    As you get used to the new structures and methods and habits, you may very well find that you don’t need as high a dose of the meds. A few very lucky people find that, eventually, they don’t need the meds at all. Everyone is different.

    Last night, I saw “ADD…and Mastering It” on PBS, and it gave quite a few pointers too. One of them was, “Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Take action, and the inspiration will come.”

    Evidently, we all have trouble getting motivated!


    Post count: 229

    So glad to see this thread.

    It serves as a reminder to me that I shouldn’t get all stressed out about Am I taking the right medication? Should I take a different dose? and that I should at least put equal thought into other strategies and tools to help with my ADD.

    And tools that I will actually use, instead of tools that I will admire but leave in the box.

    Still, it is difficult.

    I’m a perfectionist as well as a procrastinator, and one thing that gets in the way of my starting, other than the ADD paralysis, is my desire to get things perfect. Even my ADD treatment. Even the tools I select to deal with my ADD.

    I get all fired up about a new strategy (typically, a schedule), tell myself I’m going to stick to it, and fail to remember that stick to-ing anything is…….kinda the difficult thing with ADD.

    The only thing I tend to be able to stick to are unproductive ruts! Television, internet, junk food, etc.

    But maybe we can encourage each other to get to it.

    ha! Instead of setting a specific alarm for myself, which is a tool I’ve found doesn’t work because I will typically ignore the specific task it is reminding me to do because I’m not in the mood to do that particular task, I could simply set an alarm that says “Get to it!” when it goes off, and it can serve as a reminder, maybe not to do a specific thing, but to get to doing SOMETHING other than my mainstays.

    Do something different, something connected, something productive.

    It could be write a poem or brush my teeth.

    If I have a choice in the matter, I’m much more likely to choose to do SOMETHING. I can say “I don’t want to organize my pocketbook now.” But I’m less likely to say “I don’t want to do ANY different, connected, productive thing right now.”

    The alarm would help me get away from the tv and do things that benefit my mind/body/soul. Hopefully!


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    After years of thinking about it, I finally went out and bought a recumbent exercise bike. I made sure it was a good quality one (since junk would just be a frustrating waste of money), but not too expensive, and I set it up in front of the TV.

    That way, instead of flaking out on the couch, I can ride the bike. And you know how much we like doing multiple things at once!

    So far, I’m up to 10 miles a day, every other day. My lallies are a bit sore, but it’s a good soreness…as if they’re finally getting a bit of exercise.

    I biked all through “ADD…and Mastering It”, when it aired on WNED, the other night. And I felt very smug when they talked about exercise being very effective for helping you focus.


    Post count: 14413

    I understand exactly what you’re experiencing – I have been on Concerta (plus antidepressants etc.) for years, but didn’t have any interest in anything. I used to sew my clothes, quilt, bake wedding cakes, act in plays and musicals, and ice skate regularly. For over 10 years, I didn’t care about any of it.

    Just recently (4 weeks ago), a new psychiatrist (for meds management) suggested that I try some mood stabilizers for recurrent depression. We went with the T3 thyroid hormone replacement (which had the least of the potential side effects).

    It’s been remarkable! I now am back into my creative thinking and looking forward to new projects. I’m even interested in starting an honest exercise regimen (ha – “regimen” is not normally something I can pull off – wish me luck)! Life is looking brighter now with interests to investigate.

    BTW – don’t sweat the motivation for promotions at work. I’m not an ambitious type of person, but I do need to be recognized as valuable. You may not be motivated in your given situation or position, which is the issue with the JOB, not your overall ambition for promotion. Cut yourself some slack with this one, and consider whether a promotion is one of YOUR motivators – is it something you really want, or are you more concerned that since your coworkers have the goal that you should have the same motivations?

    I wish you all the very best – it WILL get better. :D


    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    I think there’s a difference between what Concerta does for me and ‘motivation.’

    Concerta helps tune out the interruption, turn down the distractions, reduce the ‘noise level’ so I can hear myself think. It impacts the level of Dopamine and Norepinephrine. (Pronounced Nora pin eff rin.) (Not Nor Pine Frine!)

    But motivation comes from myself. From what I want to get out of life, or contribute to the world, or experience, or build, or just try out and enjoy… And that’s can’t come from a pill. It comes from my desires, dreams, wishes…

    Perhaps what’s missing NoAmbition, is not motivation, or as you name suggests, ambition. Or goals. It”s just they’ve been forgotten. When you fail enough times, when you stop believing your capable… well, what’s the point of trying? Ya know what I mean?

    When we’re five years old we can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning and we don’t want to go to bed at night, cause we think we’ll miss something exciting. After all, when you’re five, the world is exciting. Unless you’ve come from a truly dysfunctional family. And every family is dysfunctional in one way or another, but you know what I mean.

    Where was I? Oh, right, I was five years old.

    Ask a five year old what they want to be and then stand back, “Fireman! Astronaut! Michael Jordan! Famous! Policeman! Santa! A Cowboy! A figure skater! A Princess! An inventor! Race car driver! G I Joe! A builder! A train engineer! Ballerina!” Ask five minutes later and it’ll change. And then we try things and they don’t go well. And we don’t know why. And we’re 12 years old so we don’t consider that it might be due to a slightly below normal level of some neuro-transmitters that impact our planning, prioritizing, and focusing powers.

    Maybe the place to look for motivation is in what you might have wanted to be, at one time, but have given up on.

    A question I ask my kids is, “If I could guarantee you would succeed, and money would flow, what would you do with your life? Or even with the next five years of your life?”

    Another way to break the mental barriers to dreaming is to imagine someone you admire a lot, and picture what would be said at their funeral. What would people say about them? Think about what would bring you to tears about that person? If you’re in tears, it’s because it means something to you, right? In other words it’s something you admire. You can go from admiring it in them, to aspiring it for yourself. Even if you have zero faith you’ll ever become like that. That’s okay. That’s just where you are now.

    What would you want people to say at your funeral? Don’t get morbid. And don’t be afraid to be a bit over the top. The world needs you to be bigger than you think you are. It needs that from all of us.

    It’s not that you lack ambition. You just don’t have goals big enough to motivate you. Get off the couch to get in shape? Ugh. Get off the couch because the house is on fire? Zoom! Get off the couch because someone you care about is in danger? No question what you do, right?

    And don’t make yourself wrong for losing sight of goals. We all do it.

    Most people want to win the lottery. But ask them what they’d do with the money and they have to think. Very few can rattle off a clear goal, or a bunch of dreams they would love to fulfill.

    The fact is an awful lot of adults, not just ADDers, are so beaten down by life, so scared by the media and all the advertising telling them what will make them happy, they’ve completely lost touch with what they want, and with what touches their heart. Or what injustice angers them enough to make a difference.

    Another approach is to ask, “Who do I think is a hero?” In this cynical age we can dismiss heroes, and no one is perfect.

    Getting clear about what you want, and dreaming big, letting go of limits is something I’ve learned to do. Let go of limits to your thinking. That’s what everyone else has been doing. Don’t do it to yourself.

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