Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Comments by js339

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  • ADHD is real, though it may be over-diagnosed, and people with ADHD can benefit a great deal from medication. MRI imaging of individuals with ADHD show that people with ADHD have differences in the structure and function of their brains compared with people who don’t have ADHD. Having ADHD doesn’t automatically mean that someone needs medication. A “mental difference” after all isn’t a “problem” unless its a problem to YOU in your life.

    I have ADHD. I was diagnosed as an adult (though I struggled with, what I now recognize was ADHD symptoms, my whole life). I take a stimulant medication, and it has dramatically improved my quality of life. I only wish that I had been diagnosed and had started treatment earlier in my life.

    Having ADHD feels driving down a highway at night in a raging storm…you can keep the car on the road, but it takes every ounce of your attention and it is incredibly stressful. You go through life feeling as if you’re constantly “missing” 1/3rd of what is going on around you. You run the risk of “driving off the road” at any moment.

    For me, taking medication is like driving down the road on a sunny day…you can do it with little effort and no anxiety…which leaves so much more “room” in your life for other goals/activities/relationships. Medication allows my brain to function at the speed and the efficiency that it has always “wanted” to.

    Eating an “ADHD-friendly (low carb, low gluten) diet, getting vigorous daily exercise, and taking supplements (Magnesium, zinc, omega-3s, ect) helped somewhat…I tried them all prior to seeing a psychiatrist, and they remain very important in helping me manage my ADHD. But, for me at least, “lifestyle interventions” didn’t help with my symptoms enough. I needed medication as well.

    Within 30 minutes of taking my first dose of stimulant medication, I felt my mind “quiet down” for the first time ever…I suddenly no longer felt as if I was constantly being mentally “pulled” this way and that by competing impulses and distracted by things I didn’t want to be distracted by.

    Medication is a “tool”, and it isn’t right for everyone…but I think its incorrect to imply that ADHD isn’t “real” or that people can’t derive great benefit from it. People should be evaluated by a psychiatrist if they think they have ADHD (it can be over-diagnosed, and other mental issues can be confused with the condition…so don’t just rely on your family physician…see a specialist).

    I think, if a person has significant symptoms, they should consider trying medication…for me, starting ADHD medication gave me a LOT of insight into my ADHD symptoms. It provided a new “mental reference point” that allowed me to better understand myself and how my mind functions. That is VERY valuable insight that is useful even if someone chooses not to continue taking medication beyond a brief trial.