Medications

The Award-winning ADHD Roller Coaster – Archive of posts about ADHD Medication

Overview:

Perhaps no area of ADHD creates as much confusion as medication.  Self-education is critical here. But it’s far too easy to be intimidated—or, worse, to suffer from low expectations.

I’m here to elevate your expectations—and help you reach them by providing a basic education.

No, not everyone with ADHD “needs” medication. But for many, medication will be the single-most effective tool in their toolbox. That’s why I place strong emphasis on getting it right.

Can we trust the average prescriber to get it right? Probably not.

As an ADHD advocate and educator for 20 years, I’ve heard thousands of medication-gone-right/wrong stories.

Each new gone-right story thrills me. Each new gone-wrong story infuriates me. Sadly, the gone-wrongs seem only to be increasing in number.

Almost all consumer books on ADHD reduce advice on medication to “Talk with your doctor.” No, I’m sorry, but that is not enough. Not for most people.

Self-Education and Self-Advocacy

Self-education and self-advocacy is the only way to ensure that you get the best results from medication.

No, no one expects you to be a psychopharmacologist. But becoming familiar with the basics will take you a long way toward your goal: Higher functioning and a happier life.

My first book, Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?, remains the only consumer book to detail an methodical approach to optimizing ADHD medication.  (I wrote it with the guidance of top ADHD clinicians and researchers.)

I encourage you to read the three chapters devoted to medication. Then, keep adding to that information by checking out the posts in this category. (With ADHD Success Training, I’ll be offering step-by-step guidance for working with your prescribing professional to achieve the best outcome.)

Attention: Therapists Treating ADHD

If you are a therapist, please know that you can help individuals and couples with ADHD medication treatment—while still respecting your licensing guidelines.

Please refer to Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy: Clinical Interventions, by Gina Pera and Arthur L. Robin, PhD (2016, Taylor & Francis).

This is the first clinical guide to couple therapy based on the proven evidence of what works—for Adult ADHD and for couple therapy. We included a step-by-step intervention toward helping couples to set and monitor treatment goals.

As you know, prescribing physicians typically can spend only a few minutes with clients. As a result,  they know very little about their patients, especially if they aren’t using rating scales and getting feedback from a loved one. (And, from what I hear, most are not.)

As therapists, however, you have more time to:

  1. Help target behaviors that might be addressed by medication, and
  2. Track progress over time.

Therapists cannot specifically offer medication guidance. But they are well within their “wheelhouse” in performing this function.

Conclusion:

If you choose to include medication in your or your child’s treatment plans, being pro-active is not a luxury. I believe it is a necessity.

When Physicians Have “ADHD Denial”

Denial and misrepresentation of ADHD difficulties remains pervasive in spite of remarkable new science. One of the most important reasons, other than some simply not wanting to have a problem or take medications, is the fact that the basic new science is often overlooked. Most importantly, the psychiatric labels have not kept up with functional brain science. The current labels are too superficial, too descriptive, and lack functional biological significance.

The unhappy result of these circumstances: medical targets are imprecise, miss significant symptom objectives, and often are simply used capriciously. If docs don’t have a precise target, it’s almost impossible to hit the mark. Missing the mark directly correlates with encouraging denial.

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