This week I’ll be going to visit my psychiatrist with the intent of choosing a medication to treat my ADHD. I know that medication for ADHD is a controversial subject, perhaps even more so where children are involved. So I feel that it’s important to share why I am making this choice for myself, though I recognize it may not be the right choice for everyone.
What I’ve been learning
Since my therapist first brought up ADHD to me, life has been a blur. I immediately poured incredible amounts of time and effort into learning all I could about ADHD. I joined the ADHD Twitter community, started an ADHD support group on Discord, and started this blog. I’ve read three books on ADHD, I’ve watched webinars, read blogs, and done several self-assessments. I’ve called and talked to most of my family members and I have filled page after page in my journal, trying to wrap my head around what it means to have ADHD as an adult and to try to determine the scope of its impact on my life.
Since then I have also learned an entirely new vocabulary. Words like neurodiverse, neurotypical, hyperfocus, time blindness, and Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria are now all part of my vocabulary, when a short time ago I hadn’t even heard any of them before. Interestingly enough, when my therapist brought up ADHD I was looking for a new hyperfocus. I wonder if you can tell what my new one is?
In my journal I have recorded everything from my initial reactions to discovering I have ADHD to listing all the “signs of ADHD” that I immediately recognized as I looked back. I have a page full of former fixations and others containing descriptions of my struggles at work and at home which I attribute to having lived so long with undiagnosed ADHD.
It’s not a decision I take lightly
I share all of this to say, though it has only been a short time that I have been aware of my own ADHD, the decision to seek medication is not one that I have chosen lightly. It has come through a great deal of personal study as well as working with my therapist and psychiatrist.
A common thread among resources that I’ve read is that the most effective treatments of ADHD include a balance of therapy and medication. I have been able to make a good deal of progress with therapy. I have begun to understand ADHD and its many impacts on my life. I have been able to add many healthy coping mechanisms to my life and break down many mental barriers, all thanks to therapy.
But it is not enough. I still struggle in so many ways day to day at both work and home. Having talked at length with both my therapist and my psychiatrist about these continued struggles, we are all on the same page in deciding to turn to medication as an additional resource to treat my ADHD.
I know that medication isn’t magical. There will still be plenty of work that is required. I understand that for roughly 20% of ADHDers, medication is ineffective. And I know that it can easily take months of work to find the right medication and dosage to effectively treat ADHD.
But I want more. And I owe it to myself and to my family to seek the treatment that I can right now. Those who have been reading along know the struggles that led me to therapy and my hope is that continued therapy with the addition of appropriate medication will help continue my upward trajectory.
I will of course use this blog as a means to continue sharing my journey and my struggles. Every day I encounter folks who either just discovered that they have ADHD or who are beginning to wonder if they do. And they need a place to go where they can be understood. Where they can connect with others who are kind and welcoming and who share their stories for the benefit of those who come after.
So whether you support the use of medication to treat ADHD or not, I invite you to follow along this journey of mine and I will share my experience with you. If you disagree with my decision, please be glad that you have every right to your opinion and you may use it to inform decisions regarding your own life.
As for mine, I will do what’s best for me. For now, seeking medication is the course I intend to take. For whatever reason you follow, I hope that hearing my journey will be of some benefit to you as you find yourself making your way on your own ADHD journey.
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