December 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm #88671
AnonymousInactiveDecember 1, 2010 at 6:02 pmPost count: 14413
Hi all, I am new here but I am 22 years old and in nursing school right now. My best friend mentioned this site to me because I have been freaking out recently with all my school work. Long story short, I’m pretty sure I had ADHD but I am terrified of being on meds. I have been on some before for depression/other stuff and I don’t like feeling ‘not myself’ not that this is much better.. but I’ve reached a point where I’m OVER IT.
Are there ANY non-pharmaceutical options out there??REPORT ABUSEDecember 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm #96795
AnonymousInactiveDecember 1, 2010 at 7:23 pmPost count: 14413
Would you be scared to take insulin if you were diabetic?
why are you scared? What are you afraid of?
I was anxious about it to, but I realised a few things:
1) Taking ritalin doesn’t put me into an “altered state” – I’m ALREADY in an altered state. Ritalin brings me to where I *should* be.
2) I’m still ME when I’m on the Ritalin. Just a calmer me. My personality doesn’t change in any way.REPORT ABUSEDecember 1, 2010 at 7:52 pm #96796
Patte RosebankParticipantDecember 1, 2010 at 7:52 pmPost count: 1517
Okay, just breathe. You’re among friends, and I know that there’s at least one other person here who’s also studying nursing, and a few who actually are nurses. So they know what you’re going through. And I remember my own difficulties at university—long before I ever suspected I had ADHD.
I know from experience that what’s really overwhelming is the feeling that you’re swamped and there’s nothing you can do about it.
But there’s actually plenty that you can do about it!
The most important thing is for you to get a proper diagnosis, from a psychologist or psychiatrist. ADHD shares many symptoms with other mental and physical conditions. A proper diagnosis will determine if your difficulties are in fact due to ADHD, or if there’s something else causing them.
Post-secondary education is a radical change in the educational structure that we’re used to from elementary and high school. Everyone has some trouble adjusting to it, but those of us with ADHD or another mental condition find it especially difficult. If you’re feeling so overwhelmed that you cannot do your studies, then you should immediately talk with the Student Services Department at your university/college. They will have plenty of experience with helping students who have ADHD, and will know what kind of supports you’ll need. Also, they should have a psychologist on-call, who will be able to properly assess and counsel you.
Treating ADHD properly usually involves a combination of pharmaceutical and cognitive behavioural therapies. The meds correct the chemical imbalance in your brain, making it easier for you to adopt the necessary structures and behavioural adjustments, so you can function properly. Medications are not the be-all and end-all, but, in most cases, they are a necessary support. Like training wheels, when you’re learning to ride a bike. Some people eventually find that the behavioural changes have been so successful that they no longer need to take meds. But, at the start, they really do help.
As for being “terrified” to take meds, this is understandable if you had a bad reaction to previous medications you took for a similar condition. However, it is preventing you from rationally considering all of your options. If you were diagnosed with Diabetes, would you refuse to take Metformin or insulin, because you were scared to take meds? Of course not!
ADHD and other mental conditions are no different. If you’re properly diagnosed and your doctor/specialist believes that medication will help you, you should at least consider it. Learn the facts about the potential benefits and possible side effects of each drug, but learn them from LEGITIMATE medical websites, and discuss them with your doctor. There is so much dangerous mis-information out there, most of it from people who are just trying to sell you their “alternative” treatments. And (shockingly) from doctors who have failed to update their skills and information, so are still working with information that was discredited some time ago—notably, that “ADHD is a children’s condition, that people outgrow, so it’s impossible for an adult to have it.” So many of us have had to educate our doctors, but, in so doing, we’ve educated ourselves.
The trouble with medications for mental conditions is that they are never one-size-fits-all, so finding the right one(s) and dose(s) requires a trial-and-error process, which can be frustrating and slow. If one drug doesn’t work for you, or you find that its side effects outweigh any benefits, then you and your doctor must work together to try to find one that does work for you, with as few side effects as possible.
There are other things which some of us have found to be somewhat helpful too. These include taking Omega 3-6-9 capsules and using a full-spectrum therapeutic light box. And, of course, exercise and adequate deep sleep—both of which can be hard to get when you’re struggling with a full courseload. But even 20 minutes of walking briskly can help to clear your mind, so you can focus better.
So, first, go and talk to Student Services. Then, get a proper diagnosis.
Good luck!REPORT ABUSEDecember 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm #96797
AnonymousInactiveDecember 7, 2010 at 11:59 pmPost count: 14413
I just realised I may have come across as “grilling” you.
The reason I asked those questions is because they are very important ones to be aware of. You need to know WHY you are afraid of taking meds. If it is because you’re scared you’ll become a different person, well, you don’t.
If it’s because you’re scared of being in an altered state, well, you’re in an altered state to begin with. The medications just bring your hormone levels up to normal.
I’ve you’ve had bad experiences with antidepressants, well, these are stimulants. Not antidepressants. If you have symptoms of depression as a result of ADHD, then antidepressants won’t work because they are not treating the true cause of your symptoms.
If you’re afraid of the stigma attached to medications which affect the brain, think of it this way: Would you feel this way about a medication which helped you if you had bipolar disorder? Epilepsy? Schizophrenia?
You need to know why you’re afraid and what you’re afraid in order to address that fear and make an informed decision about whether or not to take the medication. If you just refuse to take it because you’re scared without actually examining why you’re scared, then you are not doing yourself any favours, and may in fact be doing yourself a disservice.
Don’t make decisions out of fear, unless you know what’s behind it.REPORT ABUSEDecember 11, 2010 at 5:41 am #96798
DeborahMemberDecember 11, 2010 at 5:41 amPost count: 7
Talking to you about my experience is taking a chance for me! I’ve noticed sometimes alternative medical experiences aren’t welcome. But I’d like to say that “Totally ADD” has been a lifesaver for us. Without the support of the website, workshops, and friendly staff and members, we’d be lost.
I’ve used both my medical Dr. and naturopathic Dr. for several problems. My son had chronic bronchitis and was getting worse. Our medical Dr. was wonderful, we tried everything but over time, my son was getting sicker. I asked him what we should do and he said he didn’t know. He wouldn’t give my son his 5 year shots because he was too sick.
Two years previously, my older brother died when he was given and x-ray dye because he had kidney stones. He’d had an allergic reaction and the medical Dr. did not react in time. Once he did, the epipen wasn’t where it should have been and more time went by. By now, my brother had no vitals, and was frothing at the mouth. They did their best to revive him, but it was too late. (My sister in law was in the room and is a nurse, so we know the details.)
Because of this experience, when my Dr. said he didn’t know what else to do for my son, I considered alternatives and asked around if anyone knew a naturopathic Dr. and was told of two in our area. He gave my son a pill called ‘Bronchese’ (a vitamin for anyone who wants to be stronger in the chest) and he stopped coughing! We had him tested for allergies and found him allergic to cats and mould. My medical Dr. suggested “Claritin”, there was a warning about long term use on the label and at this time I was very sensitive to warnings because of what happened to my brother, so I checked with the Naturopathic Dr. to see what he had and he had a drop called “Bio 84”, that my son took for environmental allergies. He was much better than he was, with occasional problems that required his puffer in emergencies. Eight years later, I still have a current puffer although he hasn’t needed it in years. We still use both Dr’s, we are a team and I’m grateful for both of them.
Both of our boys are in a program involving diet, exercise, fish oils, chiropractic adjustments, balancing the brain (one son is weaker on one side and the other on the opposite side), lifestyle changes (less computer/TV/video games), and more. They went through testing at the beginning that included checking for impulsiveness and will be retested at the end of the program. ADHD is not cured, I don’t want to change them, I want them to be the best version of themselves as possible. Both have been tested elsewhere, but neither has a definite diagnosis, one has inattention, but not enough for a diagnosis, and one has a temporary diagnosis until we find out about anxiety. Their Dad has an ADHD diagnosis. He’s not in the program, but will go through the testing shortly.
I’ve found through the amazing ADHD journey that there are many puzzle pieces we can try to see if they fit or not. I think everyone’s puzzle is different. I hope sharing one of our experiences helps someone.
As said above Hopefulnurse, a reliable diagnosis is so very important, and maybe two opinions, to see if they match.REPORT ABUSEDecember 11, 2010 at 6:01 am #96799
AnonymousInactiveDecember 11, 2010 at 6:01 amPost count: 14413
I hate pills and don’t take them if I can at all avoid it. But every day I am deeply grateful for my ADD meds. Taking them is an act of self-love. The only thing they change about me is give me the ability to do the things I need to do to survive. Give yourself a chance to just try them.REPORT ABUSEDecember 12, 2010 at 12:18 am #96800
AnonymousInactiveDecember 12, 2010 at 12:18 amPost count: 14413
I was scared to be on medication as well. When I was younger I was on Ritalin and it made me a zombie. But nowadays they have better medication, and can tailor it to your needs. I’m on Vyvanse now, and I don’t think I could make it through college without it.
A few things I’ve found helpful with dealing with my ADD while in college is by using a white-board to write EVERYTHING down. All my classes, what assignments I have due, when they’re due, and all that. I check them off when I complete them. I use flashcards to memorize my key terms, and before a test I try to write down what I think my short answer questions will be.REPORT ABUSEDecember 12, 2010 at 12:45 am #96801
AnonymousInactiveDecember 12, 2010 at 12:45 amPost count: 14413
Like the Totally ADD and Loving it!? documentary mentioned, the drugs used to tread ADHD have been in use a very long time. They are “safer” then aspirin. I can say that at 34 years old I wish i had been in your shoes at 22. I was on Paxil and failing out of college. I dare say that an ADHD diagnosis then would have been the difference.
I say go for it! If you don’t like it after you’ve given it enough time and tweaking with your Doc.. stop taking them. No lasting (if any) effects.
You have little to loose and so very much more to gain.REPORT ABUSE
Pretty sure I have ADHD, Scared to Take Meds2010-12-01T18:02:20+00:00
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