How did ADHD medication change you?

I was diagnosed a few days ago at 26 years old and I am yet to start my therapy, so I’m wondering what’s the difference I can expect. I heard amazing stories of people finishing colleges and accomplishing great things, so maybe someone here has some stories of their own. The rest of the post is my personal story living with it up to now.

Since ADHD awareness is almost non-existent in my country even within psychologists, I was told my entire life that I just need to try harder, that that’s just the way I am, that I am lazy and so on. I was even told by a psychologist that I scored over 120 on an IQ test, yet I managed to get mainly D’s in math, physics and chemistry in elementary and middle school and I failed an entire year in high school, despite private tutors and me legitimately giving 110% of myself to succeed.

Speaking of high school, I went to a transport logistics high school and I barely got D’s in all transport related subjects, I had good grades only in foreign languages, computers and history, so although I have a transport logistics diploma and could technically work as a dispatcher, I learned jack and I can’t even work jobs I have a diploma for. In my country salaries are pathetic, only around 400 usd per month, but I’ve noticed a lot of people are working as remote truck dispatchers for American companies and getting like 1.600$ or more per month, which, while probably bellow average in America, would be like 4 average monthly salaries here. Proportionally speaking that’s like a German receiving 8.000 euros instead of the average 2.000 per month, just imagine what kind of life you could have with such income.

I’m also interested in programming and 3d modeling, where I could earn even more and since I currently work a job at a train station where I sit for hours doing nothing, I could do that in addition to my job and get like 6 or 7 times the average salary…but I don’t, because despite all the euphoria and motivation I get at the start, I lose motivation and after a few weeks learning programming or 3d modeling, it becomes boring, no matter how much I loved it at first. Then after a few months I get interested again and I lose motivation again.

Same thing with languages, I know 2 foreign ones at an advanced level and 3 at a very basic level. The 3 that are on basic are only at a low level not because I struggle with any words, grammar or topic, but because I start learning for a few weeks and as soon as my motivation drops slightly, I decide to postpone studying for tomorrow and play video games now, then the same thing tomorrow and suddenly 2 months passed and I didn’t learn a single word. I tried countless methods and in the end I found one which proved to be 5 times more effective than anything I tried before and even that wasn’t enough to keep me studying. If I tried to force myself to sit down, I’d instantly start feeling resentment and stop, it’s as if my brain is trying to ban me from doing what I want, because it’s not stimulating enough.

Hopefully at least some of these things will improve when I start taking meds and maybe I can get my life in order.

Ritalin was great for tasks, and just for getting stuff done. It also seemed to make me in general more aware of my senses, like it amplified it enough for me to care enough to pay attention to them. Just a hint weed seems to have a like effect especially on that last part.

The first time I took ritalin there was an amazing ‘locking in’ into my body and connecting to my senses. But this was the only time I felt that amazing happening in a happy drug realization way. Though it still worked the same.

I was prescribed it as needed and used it along with my work flows which were highly variable. I tried it for daily use at times, but I found that life for ‘normals’ was a bit too boring to live it constantly and I found it better to use it as needed.

Over time and shift of career towards one more suitable for who I am meant that I didn’t see the need for it anymore but it was a great tool for the time and I value the experience and understanding of how it worked on me.

And back to weed that I mentioned earlier. Now that it’s legal where I am I have tried some different varieties and on some I have noticed that greater connection to my senses which can help me concentrate at times and also can make food taste amazing. It is really fascinating that it had a somewhat like affect to ritalin which I did not expect but could not deny. Both I feel have helped me understand how my body works and helps me answer questions about my life and feelings.

I don’t (to the best of my knowledge) have ADHD, and I’ve never taken any stimulant stronger than caffeine, but I’ve seen it work wonders in some of my students.

Two of my kids are on slow release amphetamines. As my eldest said at 21 when they started: If it makes you feel normal, and can get stuff done, then you have ADHD. If it makes you high, then you don’t.

My eldest now no longer lives in a bio-hazard, and can actually turn in homework (middle school and high school, they would do the homework but almost never actually turn it in). There’s more but those two are obvious.

Hope it makes a difference in your life.

Decades ago, when I was still teaching, we had a very bright child get a scholarship to the school.
Sadly in his first term, he seemed unable to concentrate very well and even got into minor trouble.

We spoke to his parents, who said he had been diagnosed with ADHD, but they were scared to give him medication.
After more discussion, the pupil went onto Ritalin - and blossomed.
He rose to the top of his class and was part of a team that won a National Schools competition. :smiley:

All the best to you.

It might be like putting on glasses for the first time. You might suddenly find yourself looking at the world in a completely new way.

Or it might be more subtle. It might just allow you to slip into a frame of mind where the impulse to get distracted doesn’t go away, but you’re able to ignore it.

Or you might hate the way it makes you feel - it might make you feel like you’re a different person altogether. Or you might feel nothing at all, because the initial dosage isn’t high enough.

You’re going to hear lots of stories about it being a magic wand and, for some people, it kind of is. But don’t pin your entire future on a miracle drug completely changing your perspective and allowing you to study harder and get a better job and ‘get your life in order.’ The pill isn’t going to do that. You’re still going to have to put in the work.

Keep an open mind. Be willing to do a lot of self reflection so that you can help your doctor determine the correct dosage. And good luck.

My daughter was on Ritalin (or Adderall, I forget which) for a bit in 5th grade. Her teachers noted that she DID seem to concentrate better, but it also negatively affected her behavior - she was more explosive.

To be fair, she has a number of other issues going on, and her ADHD diagnosis was not that straightforward. We’d been warned about the potential behavioral issues with her.

Later on, she used (still does, I think) Vyvanse, which has a much slower rate of release. That did NOT have the behavioral issues.

My own personal experience with stimulants includes Nuvigil (not the same class of drugs - it’s a wakefulness-promoting medication) and Ritalin. The Nuvigil is to help me with daytime sleepiness, and does not entail any kind of euphoric sensation. When I first started on it though, I took a dose when we were doing a long day of driving. And I felt good. Not Good, or GOOD!!!, just… well-rested and alert. I wound up driving for something like 10 hours (with stops for bathroom breaks etc.). It was actually a bit frightening: I kept asking my husband if I was driving erratically or anything. He was baffled, and kept assuring me I was doing fine.

I’m sure it helps me focus - if for no reason other than the fact that I’m not struggling to stay awake. It takes a couple hours to really kick in. And if I skip a few days (e.g. weekends or vacation), the first day back on it, I tend to have nasty insomnia that night. I’ve gotten in the habit of taking a half dose, rather than skipping it entirely, on the weekends.

The Ritalin is actually specifically for driving - because even with the Nuvigil, I can get drowsy in the afternoon. And I was specifically given this because it has a fairly short half-life - so I can take one at 4 PM and still be able to sleep that night.

You’ll definitely want to be careful with the timing of whatever you’re prescribed. Don’t take it too late in the morning, for example, or it won’t kick in in time to help you out. Don’t take it too late in the afternoon (if that’s your dosing regimen) or it’ll keep you from falling asleep at night.