Let’s get this out of the way: Prescription Adderall works very well for some people with ADHD. For others, however, Adderall effects can create more problems than it solves—exacerbating anxiety, irritability, anger, grandiosity, and even …
The Award-winning ADHD Roller Coaster – Archive of posts about ADHD Medication
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:
- Help target behaviors that might be addressed by medication, and
- Track progress over time.
Therapists cannot specifically offer medication guidance. But they are well within their “wheelhouse” in performing this function.
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.
This question comes up a lot: “How do you know if it’s ADHD or bipolar disorder?” And “Is there an ADHD and bipolar disorder connection?” My friend and fellow journalist-advocate John McManamy writes an excellent …
If you have an ADHD diagnosis, will that interfere with your dream of becoming a commercial pilot? As with all things ADHD’ish, it depends. This post explores FAA policy and ADHD, especially regarding medication. It’s …
Welcome to this ADHD Medications Guide Part II. Part I of this ADHD Medications Guide focused on common questions and answers, provided by longtime ADHD specialist Ted Mandelkorn, MD, of Puget Sound Behavioral Health. Here …
I cannot overstate it: We must be smart mental healthcare consumers. Especially when it comes to ADHD medical treatment. That means not assuming that your prescribing physician truly knows what’s what. No matter how “confident” that physician …
To save money, many people with ADHD take generic medications. Is this a good idea? Maybe not. Their physicians—and pharmacists—assure them that these generics are “exactly the same” as brand. Only cheaper. Unfortunately, that is …
Pressured by Congress to crack down on performance-enhancing drugs and “false claims of A.D.D.,” Major League Baseball is pleased to report that the number of exemptions for ADHD medications are tapering off. Is this really …
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.
This Thanksgiving finds me with much to be grateful for: friends, family, husband, health, and a book that is being generously received. But this very day, my biggest, warmest THANKS goes to all those adults …