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Starting ADHD medication as adult – did your world turn confusing too?

Starting ADHD medication as adult – did your world turn confusing too?2015-06-15T04:02:10+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Is It Just Me? Starting ADHD medication as adult – did your world turn confusing too?

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    This is probably going to be too long post ™, but I’m a bit confused at the moment so I figured I’d best to talk with the ‘experts’ of the subject, aka, other adults whom have started adhd medication to compare my experiences, as people around me seem to be a bit unsure what to say to me about it, or simply don’t understand what I’m going on about. I can’t blame them. 😀 But hopefully you guys have thoughts to share.

    I was diagnosed with dyslexia by the time I went to school, but it never sounded like full answer to why I was struggling. I was the strage kid who always seemed to lost track of what was going on, or note the things no one else would – I seemed terribly smart and dumb at the same time, so I was titled as lazy, strange and daydreamer. I’m disorganized easily obsessed about things for certain periods of time before getting to next one. While I was mostly known of being quiet, when I was with friends, I would be loudest of them all. I am verbally clumsy. Also as a kid I was highly emotional. While I’m usually at the good mood, I could be turned to any emotion in a second (which caused me, while I’m usually very calm and easy to annoy, almost break my friend’s arm when he finally made me snap when I was 10 or so) and I cool down fast. Thus I was easily crying kid, and really bad at stressful situations.

    As I grew up, I learned some power over my emotions. I’m still fiery, but I’m so used to suck it up that sometimes it’s almost a fault. 😀 I also react to other people’s feelings very strongly. If someone is in a bad mood in my company, it feels like a fireball flashing trough me. It feels like air would be full of needles when people are tense. If people are happy, my stomack is full of butterflies. If they are sad, my troath feels dry and I feel like crying. Most of this I don’t show, but I feel it. I feel it all the time. And as clumsy person, I have learned to trust this. Yeah, I’m going to skrew up things, thanks to my verbal disadvantage, but atleast I can dodge the lethal bullets.

    Or that was the thing so far. Now, in the age of 28, I was diagnosed to have ADHD. I’m some strange middle case between ADD and ADHD personality, since I do have restless feet they put me closer to ADHD side. I got 2 kids and husband and things have been pretty rough at the moment, I have been really exhausted. So I looked for help and this is what I got and most people who know me were like why didn’t someone give me a diagnosis before. Thing is, apparently I’m quite obvious, but I deal with myself better than some, so I managed to go little below the radar, just enough for people who know some to miss me so I wouldn’t end up to professionals.

    They started experimenting medications with me, I started with low dose of Concerta. It started working and showed great promise, but sadly the side-effects (my mouth dried out so bad that my tongue and mouth was full of wounds) were too much, so we jumped to Voxra (local equalent to Welltburin). Voxra was making me depressed and drowzy, so just making things worse. Now I’m wit Strattera. I started with 40mg for 2 weeks, now I have been taking 80 mg for a week. It is helping, not as much as Concerta did, but it’s just second week so we’ll see. But as a person who has habit to analyse stuff, specially thoughts, feelings and perceptions, This has been interesting and confusing experience.

    If you ask me how does it feel to take the meds, I could say simply “it’s easier to focus”, but that feels over simplification of the subject. First thing I noted was that words stopped jumping. Well, technically, my eyes stopped jumping, but as this is something that effects my reading quite a bit I find speaking of words appropriet. 😀 I have never read things in ‘straight line’ like everyone else seem to. I mean, I kinda do, but kinda don’t. My eyes are jumping from line to another. When I was learning to read they tried to fix this by covering rest of the words with paper, but it frusturated me and I learned to read without. Technically, I read the sentence start to finish like other’s do, but I register the words in order of which words are easy and my eyes lock in to first, so I have idea what is coming up in the text even before I get there. As silly as it may sound, as text has stopped jumping, reading has actually come slightly more difficult at times. Theory is that it’s cause my dyslexia is so bad. I have learned to use my jumping eyes to scout things so that when hard word comes in the text I have already figured where to sentence is going so it’s easier to figure it out – now I actually have to read the damn thing, and search for clues instead of doing it automatically. 😀

    Next, I felt like time slowed down. It didn’t, but it did. Somehow it just doesn’t run pass me as it used to. It makes thinking and speaking easier. Who wouldn’t want more time, eh? That’s pretty neat.

    Next thing was the feeling that my sense of sight, and hearing… narrowed. That’s best way I can describe it. It feels like there is less things going on. World is more silent, and easier to manage. It’s nice,  but extremely confusing. Yeah, it’s easier to focus things on hand now, and I do things bettter and I don’t burn the rice while I’m washing dishes (I never managed to make food and wash dishes the the same time without failing other before meds) but at the same time I got this uncanny feeling that I’m constantly missing something. I’ve been notoriously hard to scare because I always know when someone enters the room or house unless I’m super absorbed to something. Now I actually miss people entering the room, opening TV, speaking walking breathing, moving things, that bird behind the window and the tree and what’s on the desk and such, you know, things I usually pay attention to. And it had made social interactions… easier and more confusing at the same time.

    I got more time and it’s easier to pay attention what eople say, that’s good right? Awesome, I’d say. I easily freeze when I try to talk to people because I can’t grasp my thoughts, now when I got focus, it’s easier. But as the time slowed time and my eyes calmed down, those feelings I got from other people, that when I sensed what mood they are in – that has gone more quiet too. Yup, you heard right. Other people’s feelings used to be overhelming for me, now I barely feel them. My doctor suggested it’s because my wondering attention has been paying much attention to other people’s body language, and I haven’t even had to think about it, I have just felt in my spine. Now, I have to pay attention to people’s actions in different way and thus, feelings are milder. I kinda got to learn to read people… differently. And it feels strange. O_O;

    So, I just want to know, does this sound familiar to someone? Is it okay? Did you experience something similar, did starting meds make some things more confusing while other things got easier? If it did, did it ease up by time? Or am I just being odd?

    Thanks if your attention span allowed to get to the finish of this monster post. xD Stay awesome everyone.


    Post count: 17

    Lollibyte — I am almost 40 years older than you, and I am a man, but my story is much like yours. I also never suffered from dislexia.

    I was diagnosed at age 66-67 with a mild form of OCD and ADD/ADHD. This was on top of having been treated for nearly four years for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and all those things that go with it. So, id already been through a lot of counseling, testing, and finding the right drugs to help thos issues.

    These issues have mostly been under reasonable control for over a year. That is when my psychiatrist and psychologist continued to look for solutions to other problems that were still causing me issues. That is when i got the OCD/ADD/ADHD diagnosis.

    I was started on Adderall. Much like you with the Concerta, cerain side affects were intolerable — including the extremely dry mouth and the constant bad tase in my mouth. It kind of helped but i sure didnt like the feeling. I felt like i was looking it myself from outside my body. I was changed to Ritalin. It started out very well. It certainly helped me stay moderately focused — not super focused, and not totally scatterbrained and doing 17 different things at once

    But, I’ve always been high energy and high achieving. The Ritalin took that away from me. I became a couch potato. I had to give it up if i wanted to get anything reasonably accomplisehed according to my expected schedule.

    I have been on Zoloft and im on an as-needed dosage of Xanax. For me, the Xanax at leasts takes the pressure of my self-imposed tasks. It is expremely helpful in contolling my anxiety, and especially controlling my anger issues. The Zoloft really helped with my depression, which was also a cause of much of my anxiety.

    Ive also been taught to use a lot of easy to use metal tools to compensate for these issues.

    Good luck.


    Post count: 24

    I totally relate with the quick strong burning emotions and very fast to get over it. It’s hard on relationships.

    Now about the medication, I am new to it too.

    Definitely time goes slower because now I’m aware of it . It’s nice sometimes but it does get on my nerves sometimes too.  What you say about being dyslexic and your eyes jumping because of the ADD I have a student who is exactly like that . Exactly.  he struggles a lot . I never did that but I did constantly read and have no idea what I was reading I did all of my homework and reading in general actually in the bathroom like sitting on the floor or sitting in the tub because there were less distractions.

    Wow, I really like what you say about learning how to read people differently . that makes complete sense to me and I absolutely agree with that, I just had not put it into a full thought yet. I have always been extremely empathetic which definitely helps with my job and relating to children.  Now that I’m more task oriented there’s much less reading between the lines because I’m paying attention to what’s actually going on which is what everybody else does.  now you lose that innate ability to understand things that others don’t easily notice.

    So yeah I definitely agree that the medication has helped my life in a lot of ways but I’ve lost some things have always been a part of me which is sad.  I’m in the same boat.


    Post count: 30

    Hi lollibyte.

    I’m having some hard time with medications too. I’ve been diagnosed recently (I’m 34) and except the gender, I would say my story is pretty much like yours. I’ve been helped a great deal by a great family, good teachers, good friends, so much so that I never felt an “underachiever” or a “troubled kid” in my childhood and teen years.

    Anyway. I started with a low dose of Concerta, which I could tolerate very well. Except the loss of appetite, everything was like before. Maybe too much, for I could not really tell the difference in focus.

    I went to a stronger dose of Concerta but now, after 2 months I’m not entirely happy. While I can focus on “boring” tasks for longer without drifting I feel very very nervous the whole time and my heart is beating “harder” (not necessarily faster, but I feel it in my chest).

    This nervousness makes me a lot less nice to be around.

    I didn’t feel this tense since I had exams at university. And while I can manage feeling tense or nervous when something’s on, I can even say I like the adrenaline kick I get when I do art or perform or I have a date (oh, well I’m married now, but I used to like the excitement of a date) – I cannot stand to feel like that for no apparent reason.

    to a degree it’s like Concerta is putting me in an exited mood which usually helps me do stuff, but it’s only my body that get excited, not my brains .


    I don’t know if this makes any sense to anybody.

    I must also say that while concentration is improved, motivation hasn’t and I still have a long way to go. I pointed out to my Psy that my wife did not notice great improvements in time or task management. So she would like to put me on Rilatine, but I’m afraid I’ll feel even more boosted.


    I suppose I’ll wait and see. If it does not feel good, then I probably let it go.

    At least I know where I’m at and I have a better understanding of my condition. It’s possible I’ll have to make some major changes (find a Job that suits me more, learn tricks to manage time and tasks – which I’m doing already) and so on.

    This isn’t an advice, you better check with your doctor, but expect effects from meds because they do have effects.


    Have a nice day



    Post count: 1

    I always felt like the “odd one out” like there was something wrong with me. It wasn’t until my two children (now adults) were diagnosed that I found out why I didn’t quite fit in. My ADHD has affected my relationships, my work and my personal outlook on life. Sometimes in a good way and sometimes with disastrous results.

    My first experience was with Ritalin SR. It helped me to focus while I was at work, but didn’t help with my morning and evening routines. Also I tended to be jittery at times with this med, so I decided to stop. I wasn’t getting the results I was hoping for and part of me just didn’t want to have to depend on medication…

    It was several years later that I was finding it more and more difficult to cope and started Ritalin SR again thinking there was no other option.  After a few months my GP reviewed my progress.  I voiced my concern with the fact that I was also experiencing anxiety and depression. Anxiety was amplified by stress of getting places on time and Ritalin was not helping at all with that. Also my depression was made worse by negative feedback from my spouse and my inability to filter out all the feelings I experienced dealing with people in general. Pretty much the way Lollibyte describes it. I too over analyse; noticing every detail people emit with their body language!

    My doctor suggested Adderall and I have been taking it for almost one year now. It has made a huge difference in my life. The anxiety and depression is gone. I am able to cope better with time management and I am not affected as much by negative body language.

    When compared with Ritalin my experience is like night and day. It is like a switch was turned off and I can finally breath. I still have major problems with executive function, but I can step back and work it out. Still takes lots of effort, but now I can tune out the negative thoughts and focus on my strengths and weaknesses.




    Post count: 158

    @lollibyte that is such a vivid description of some of the “less visible” effects of ADHD and ADHD medications, it would be such a good read for anyone new to adult ADD.

    Your experience makes sense. Meds can be a subtle change, but multiply that little change by every moment in your daily life, and it really can be a ground-shaking change.

    Maybe you’re regulating yourself more – instead of regulating to other people’s emotions.

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