We are an evidence based, ADHD medical specialty practice which means that many times medication will be a part of our recommended treatment plan; following thorough evaluation, testing and diagnosis. 3 very key words. Why is it that medication seems to bring out 2 different understandings within the same concern? Kind of like the election last night!
Whether you are Democrat, Republican or Independent lets assume that you want freedom, a fair, honest and stable government, more people working than not and an economy that is less in debt next year than it is this one.
Whether you feel that medications work for most people or that they just cause side effects that make people worse and you can “overcome” ADHD, let’s assume that we all want people to be the healthiest, most stable, productive and happy individual that they can possibly be.
Ok, so now that we are all on the same page and we have your attention: medication when prescribed by a medical provider who has gone through proper evaluation and testing of an individual and is experienced, licensed and certified to prescribe said medication is part of the recommended treatment plan for someone diagnosed with ADHD.
Do’s of medication:
- Reiterate the above statement: Find a qualified provider to be sure they are making an appropriate diagnosis
- Be sure you are given a well-rounded treatment plan. This should include education on what ADHD is, how it relates to you as an individual, effects on your life AND a few ideas to help create strategies in conjunction with medication to improve.(Examples: knowing what your triggers are when you feel anxious or angry and how to move forward OR creating a system for yourself that forces you to put your keys, wallet, etc… in the same spot every day)
- When you provider tells you that they are going to start you on a lower dosage and slowly increase, this is intentional and for your benefit so DO follow their recommendations
- Track your mood, eating, sleeping, activity, productivity daily in a journal to report back to your provider in 2 weeks
- Feel proud of yourself when you see improvements: increase in the time you can spend on a particular task or in your ability to be an active listener in a conversation.
- Be open to suggestions, feedback and adjustments
- Be honest and communicate exactly what has been occurring since starting medication AND how your tactics and strategies are working. Is there more you need from them? Are you giving your best effort?
Don’ts of Medication
- Don’t take your neighbors, child’s, friends, etc…medication to see if it helps. There is nothing that says that even if you are diagnosed with ADHD, what your treatment plan will be until you speak with your provider at length.
- Don’t rely on your medication as a “boost” you need to rely on your Skills, Talents, Drive, Determination and Work for the “boost”. Medication is not magic, it is a part of a treatment plan, as such there are other things in your life that need improvement and reinforcement. (Diet, excercise, Commitment, Organization, Attention to Detail, etc…)
- Don’t feel ashamed that you are taking medication, there is no need to flaunt it, but no need to feel shame. You are investing in yourself and that is something to take pride in
- Don’t give up. If you are experiencing side effects, call the office immediately and explain as best as you can what you are feeling and when. This is very important in assisting your provider to get to where you need to be. TRUST ME, your health care provider DOES NOT want you feeling bad. They did not go into the field of medicine to make people feel worse.
So, why is mine above my coffee pot? Well, rarely is there a morning where I don’t have a cup of coffee first thing. This comes before I brush my teeth, comb my hair, etc… By the time I am half way through my cup of coffee I am already on to email, voicemail, feeding the dogs and thinking about what to wear for the day. All of those little things that make up my morning, or even the first half of my cup of joe, mean that there were that many opportunities for me to forget to take my medication. SO, my rule is, no coffee without a nice big glass of water and that way I rarely, if ever forget my medicine!