After seeing my GP then speaking to a Psychologist and now the Psychiatrist its been determined that Vyvanse (by the Psychiatrist) would be the starting point for my ADD-I.
However I thought I would feel better if I told my GP, who has been the one hesitant to give me anything, out of respect I wanted him to know.
I called his office and he has yet to return my call, I guess I was hoping for a return call of reassurance to go ahead.
So to all who are much more familiar with this and way more supportive what would you say?
Nervous and hesitant
That's a tough one girl ANYTHING to do with your child is touchy.
I'm not sure the exact situation and I def don't know everything.
But I know that If he is not eating enough to take away the medicine felling is his belly. He WILL have upset stomach. Especially if this is the same side affect with all. Or a common one to him.How many different ones has he tried?
Children are far more sensitive and you have to be sure that the pros and cons really are in his favor. Not only to take him off completely but to change them.
Does he realize he has ADD, like really understand? If I could that would be my # 1 priority to make him understand ADD like an insulin patient, or someone with asthma .
Honestly its the not knowing that can be the kicker. And maybe Mom could use someone to talk to too.
As a professional, your GP knows that although he may be your doctor, his overall concern and goal is for your well-being. That being said, I'm sure he understands and likely acknowledges that the field of medicine is a large field and that each care provider generally chooses their recommended remedies based on their professional judgment from their field of expertise.
With that being said, considering that you have seen a psychologist and a psychiatrist who have both determined that you have ADD, I'm guessing that your GP will understand and consider that two other professionals have rendered their opinions and chosen what they feel is the appropriate treatment. Moreover, I think he'll likely understand and appreciate you keeping him in the loop since you were doing it out of courtesy and not as a requirement.
As for the Vyvanse, I was diagnosed just this past January at the age of 41 and have been on Vyvanse since February. Although I still have a long road ahead in terms of behavior modification adjustment, I have to say that the Vyvanse has had an overall positive effect to most areas of my life. I only wish that I was diagnosed earlier in life rather than now, to avoid having gone through the roller coaster of a troubled youth and experimentation in self-medication.
Oh well, no regrets, live and learn....
Shelley, I was absolutely scared to death about taking stimulant medication after I was diagnosed with ADHD about 13 years ago. My biggest fear was that the stimulant medication was going to dramatically change my personality and I was concerned about becoming lethargic or dull. After my initial diagnosis took place, I refused stimulants. Regardless that ADHD was frustrating, I had many issues with impulsive behavior and I was challenged with staying on task, I was used to this way of living and I tolerated the ongoing challenges, rather than begin stimulant medication. The unknown scared me.....
During this entire time, my oldest child was diagnosed with ADHD & he was prescribed Ritalin, which did improve his behavior & grades in school. Although my son did benefit from Ritalin, it did not change my mind about taking medication to treat my own ADHD.
It literally took me over 3-5 years to finally come to terms with my fear about stimulant medication....I was re-diagnosed with ADHD 2 more times and finally agreed to start taking Strattera. Immediately, I noticed that the medication helped me stay on task, it provided me motivation to take on projects that I usually would never have considered, I was more organized and I was more focused, which was very exciting. After taking Strattera for a few months, I noticed that I started to feel "dull" and depressed. My personality was no longer fun-loving, outgoing and talkative.....instead it was bland, boring and I felt as if a black cloud was over my head 24/7.
The end result: I discontinued Strattera, due to the depression and personality changes. My doctor decided to try a small dose of Ritalin and it was an absolute nightmare. Everyone reacts differently to medication and for unknown reasons, I had a severe negative reaction to Ritalin, which my doctor immediately advised me to discontinue. This horrifying experience prompted me to postpone stimulant medication for several more years.
I became very open to holistic & natural alternatives to medication, which proved to be very expensive, but helpful. Diet & nutrition play a big role in our ability to focus, stay on task and retain information. NOT all nutritional supplements are created equal. Many natural products were a complete disappointment, a waste of time and a BIG waste of money. However, I have definitely discovered some exceptional holistic products that have been extremely helpful & beneficial for ADHD, especially for focus, attention, brain function, memory & mood. Just like medication, it is trail & error.
In June 2009, after experiencing worse ADHD symptoms, I actively decided to try another stimulant medication. Yes, I was scared to death, but at this point in my ADHD jouney, I was wiser, more educated and willing to try another medication. This time proved beneficial with positive results and I was prescribed generic Adderall. For 2 years, I have experienced the best results with this stimulant medication.
I want to mention that in January 2010, my doctor had me temporarily try Vyvanse. I was already prescribed Prozac for depression. Upon taking Vyvanse, I experienced a serious negative reaction and my doctor advised me to switch back to Adderall, which I did.
I suspected Prozac was negatively interacting with the Vyvanse. I contacted the pharmaceutical company that makes Vyvanse to inquire about the possibility. The customer service rep claimed that there is NO testing and he did not have information regarding these two medications. He suggested I ask my doctor and when I did, my doctor stated there was no medical evidence. Regardless of what my doctor said & what the pharmaceutical rep said, I've talked with several individuals with ADHD who also experienced severe negative interactions when they were prescribed BOTH VYVANSE & PROZAC.
From my personal experience, my best advice is to practice common sense when taking medication. YOU ARE THE BEST ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF. TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT & DO NOT TAKE ANY MEDICATION OR NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS BEFORE GOING ONLINE & CHECKING IT OUT FOR YOURSELF. CHECK ALL MEDICATIONS FOR POSSIBLE DRUG INTERACTIONS & WHEN IN DOUBT, USE COMMON SENSE.
Thanks Andre I must say I do see a huge difference in the quality of my life and Friday it will be three weeks.
I was diagnosed in 1983. But i would have to say the roller coaster of a life I have had, was bound to happen considering the lack of parenting/divorces that I and my bro endured.
I have always felt judged for who I am as a person due to my history, history I could not change and choices my rents made which resulted in my brother and I having a pretty crappy shall we say outlook on life.
My outlook has been different for sometime 5yrs.
I've stated that, my depression did turn to acceptance as I really have struggled in life in so many ways.
I have had three children a 15 yr old girl whose life has been a blessing to me and I cherish her everyday, a girl 12 years old this year whom I've yet to meet by choice (private adoption), and a beautiful little boy whose 6 this year and I am thankful everyday.
I don't regret any of my choices.
I have done what I can with what I have.
And I have come a long way in life...........I am grateful for my time I am here.
I agree as they say............no regrets, live and learn.
For once in my life I don't feel the anxiety that has been apart of my life EVERDAY! Like a mole on your hand, it has been removed.
Medication, no medication ... is that the question? I have no idea if this helps, but let me share a little story. Recently I've read somewhere that medication is less important than mentors, caring people and psychotherapy (or relaxation methods as for instance yoga, though I'd strongly recommend keeping that habit!) Now ... I haven't been on medication most of my life, and thank god I am today, because I can finally live a functional life. Not only performance wise, but it also controls my anger, frustration, my social inabilities. Sometimes I don't take it and the speed at which I regress is incredible. I had wonderful mentors, parents, very caring people, therapy, more therapy, psychiatry, no therapy, more great mentors, a whole array of wonderful caring people, more therapy, ... and yet medication was the first and only thing that substantially changed my life, my incredible mood swings, my inability to focus and lashing out at others whom I deemed responsible at a current moment for lowering my focus, and most of all ... me being about as good to the caring people as they were to me. Since ADHD doesn't just affect concentration, it also affects your senses (smell, taste, sight, etc) and - most notably - your mood as the areas in your brain responsible for long-term thinking are impaired (an area in which anger, too, is born). I appreciate that there are tons of people out there suggesting that living without medication is beneficial for developping coping skills but no matter how many of them I learned, the essential problems never fully vanished and some became worse. Today, I'm on medication - I feel like a person for the first time in my life. I actually feel human. Now .. is that such a bad thing?
Maybe to fill up some of the information gaps I've left, check out these very interesting speeches by Russell Barkley on ADHD:
most importantly this one on emotional regulation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cw8jHUkHiA&feature=related
the addiction issue is not really a great risk.
I was on medication continuously for 20 months- and when I found other methods that also helped (in particular a mindfulness technique that involved very intense training)- my need for medication simply diminished of its own accord. There were no withdrawal effects and no cravings.
Both myself and my wife are GPS- and we have seen many people with ADHD since I was diagnosed in 2008.
The medications are not perfect, and there are some potential side effects- but as a rule- we have more problems with people forgetting to take them than with anything else.
The medications provide symptom relief and when they exit your system they do not work any more. In that context a person with ongoing issues with their ADHD will rapidly become symptomatic when the medication runs out. It is my firm belief that it is this phenomenon that many doctors mistakenly call addiction.
If a person's blood pressure climbed when their tablets ran out- would you call that addiction?
Re medications- psychostimulants remain the standard against which other medications must be judged. Strattera is certainly helpful for many- but there is a much greater depth of clinical experience with the stimulants.
As a final comment- I do not think I could ever have established the mindfulness practice etc that is the key to my self management nowadays without the assistance of medication. Combined treatment with medications and behavioural interventions remains best practice.
The only real questions are
1) Which behavioural interventions?
2) Can you find someone knowledgeable enough to help you select and apply them?
*EVERYTHING* I have researched, and seminars attended, and boards I'm on - as well as my wonderful GP office - says that while some folks respond wonderfully to behavior therapy only, most folks do even better with meds, and great with some form of a combination.
My Dr (and my son's Pediatrician in another practice) both have said that while meds can carry the bulk of successful treatment, if you don't alter certain behaviors & practices that exacerbate the ADHD/ADD, &/or add others that can assist in treatment (getting active for ADHD, to have a constructive outlet for all that energy, for example), then you are cheating yourself.
Declutter, simplify to the degree you can, delegate to a degree, have routines/item placements that you stick to (which can be a challenge in itself for us ADDers ^_^ ) are some of the co-medication things that help.
And I've heard very little about addiction with any of the medications, in those who truly have the condition vs say, those who want to take Ritalin for the speedy-effect when they gotta cram for exams. The more common is that GPs/Peds aren't familiar or comfortable prescribing Straterra or Intuitive for ADD/ADHD (their anti-depressants, orginally I believe).
Somewhere in this thread is a post from Jeff [Pills Don't Teach Skills] that is sooooo right on - so if anybody reading this reply missed it, go look for it.
Like I say about visual focus as a metaphor for cognitive focus - "ADD meds are like glasses for kids who are struggling with reading. If you need 'em, you NEED 'em. If you don't, not only will they not help, they might just give you a big-time headache. But you STILL have to learn to read!!"
I think the point that Jeff, Mags, etc. - many of us "older-timers" - are making here is that medication is a personal choice that may - or may NOT - end up being a lifetime coping strategy, even if it works well for you - and that there is more to do to manage, EITHER WAY!
ADD affect is a moving target. As the meds help you figure some things out, life gets gets easier to manage. As life gets easier to manage, many find they can reduce or eliminate meds altogether. As long as life remains the same, you're good to go!
HOWEVER, if life changes in ways that intersect your particular ADD challenges (you have more kids, change jobs, change abodes, divorce or marry, go back to school, or hit that dreaded menopause change in estrogen production - which seems to wreak havoc with dopamine transporter mechanisms), you may find you need medication again (for a while or forever).
So don't "keep score" by whether or not you are able to do life by yourself (winner) or whether you need "help" from a substance (loser!) -- and don't let anybody else make you feel bad for however you choose to proceed - either way.
ADD management is often compared to diabetes management because a lot of the philosophies behind their procedures make sense for us too. A lot of women have to take insulin for "gestational diabetes," for example - but are just fine when they're not pregnant. That doesn't mean anything outside the fact that something changes that means you require medication, then changes again so you don't.
Set your life up so that you get to WIN!!
I used to joke about being a "rock farmer " with one of my very first clients, who worked with me for many years. Unless that client was leaping over obstacles daily, it didn't count. Meanwhile, down in the valley was a band of fertile soil that made it a whole lot easier to grow the crops. Nobody was giving extra credit for tasty veggies grown way up on the mountain -- and the yield was MUCH larger down there in the valley. My client knew that intellectually, but somehow always wanted to do everything "the hard way." I used to have say, "ROCKS, M -- you're farming rocks again. Get your tush back down in the valley!!"
So -If you don't need meds, why set yourself up for side effects, complicate your life jumping through all the hoops to stay medicated, and why pay good money for doctors visits and the meds themselves???? But if you need meds and are too scared or proud to take 'em, you're farming the rocks. Unless you know for SURE that they don't work for you, why would you make that choice?
To answer your question about your GP (I know, you've moved beyond - but this is for anyone reading) - it is NEVER a good idea to hide info from any of your doctors. They need to know what you're taking as well as what you're thinking about taking -- pharmaceuticals, recreationals, herbals, vitamins, WHATEVER. There may come a time when your very LIFE depends on their having that knowledge!
How do you tell them? It's not so much what you SAY, it's how you think about what you say - what's behind it. Doctors aren't gods - they give you medical advice, and sometimes you get conflicting advice. Even if everyone agrees, it's still your body and your life - so YOUR choice is always valid - even against prevailing medical wisdom (Steve Jobs, anyone?)
Hold that thought while you thank them sincerely for their input, tell them you've decided to go another way (and specifically, WHICH other way), and you'll that you'll keep them in the loop about how its working. Then DO that -- as a sign of respect for their opinion.
mgh (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, SCAC, MCC - blogging at ADDerWorld and ADDandSoMuchMore - dot com!)
I had/have problems with learning (and everything else in general) , so mu Psychologist told me i should take meds. But i'm really scared.. What if it change me? What if i became less me, and more someone else.. Or l became addicted.. So i decide not to go there and to try "i don't know what yet", but i'll figure out.. :D.. .
If you aren't yourself - you're on the wrong meds or dose. You should "more" yourself - if anything, you'd be "different" by being able to stay focused & on-track, w/o running around like a chicken w/o a head or someone who jumps discussion topics :)
As for addiction, multiple studies show that there is little to no risk of addiction from the ADD/ADHD medications, and in fact once on the correct medications, almost no substance/alcohol abuse due to getting the problem treated, rather than self-medicating.
"w/o running around like a chicken w/o a head or someone who jumps discussion topics"
:))))))...Yea that's me!..I'm new in dealing with ADHD..i mean i deal with it my hole life, just didn't know that..
Sometimes, i think yes, i'll take meds.. I wanna see how is to have focus.. and be organized..productive..And be able to deal with daily routine.. But, again I'm a writer and i wonder what if I would lose that flow of thoughts that i have and love.. So, i can live with me running around like a chicken, and wasting my time on daydreaming, losing stuff, forgetting, not listening, procrastinating my exams and almost every obligation i had to do.. But I can't afford losing that creative part of me.. And i could just try and then stop if i see that it's not it...So i'm concerned ..and i have many questions that i need to find answers before i make that decision..
So i'll try to stop jump discussion topics and read from beginning :D :D
p.s.. Sorry guys if i made same grammatical mistakes, English is not my native language :)))))