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OmNom Offline
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Unhappy My ADDillemma - April 16th 2012, 04:32 AM

I think it was around 7th grade when we started seeing the neurologists and getting tests done and whatnot and I was 'diagnosed' with ADD. For 7th and 8th grade I was on the same medication which was working fine for me, my grades were finally starting to go up and I was feeling much more self confident because I had always struggled academically.

Then, this year when I started high school, I went back on the same medication and it was working just fine. My first quarter grades were much better than expected and I was ready to give it my all for second quarter knowing how well I did first quarter. It was probably around the middle of second quarter when I started experiencing weird side effects - stomach problems, fatigue, trembling hands, etc. We went to the neurologist and got my medication changed and for the remainder of the second quarter I was doing well, maybe not as well as before but still managing.

After coming back from Winter break, the first week on the same medication that was working for the couple of week before brek started to give me side effects also. Mostly the same but some different, some new ones, some stronger an some weaker.

Long story short, since the end of winter break, I have been put on at least 5 different medications and either I was focusing well but had side effects or had no side effects and wasn't focusing well. I got back my second quarter grades a couple of weeks ago, and my average was a 77 - a 12 point drop from the previous semester. I was failing a class and almost failing another 2.

I just can't stand the constant changing of medications anymore. There's always some stupid side effect that makes me miserable or it just doesn't help my focus. I'm starting to get really stressed about school because I NEED my grades to start going up and it doesn't help that my parents are getting upset at me about my grades. I just feel like they have no idea how severe my ADD is and they don't understand how terrible some of the side effects are - all they keep saying is "you should be able to man up and live through some headaches" or "it can't be THAT hard to focus" and it just makes me even more upset that they don't see how much I'm struggling.

What should I do? I know the medication isn't in my control and I just need I hope that something clicks really soon, but how can I deal with the frustration and how can I explain to my parents how hard it is for me?
   
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Re: My ADDillemma - April 16th 2012, 05:44 PM

Your frustration is understandable.

Some of these meds have side effects that are intolerable, some of them lose their ability to work, as well. When it comes to treating attentional issues..even agreeing on what to call them...is an inexact science.

Also, there's a limited amount of meds that work on attentional issues, you might be nearing the end. So, you have to decide which is more intolerable to you and take the best of a bad lot.

The other thing you should really consider is getting some outside, non medical help. Tutors are especially valuable with attentional issues, ask your folks or teachers or even the neurologist to help here.


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Re: My ADDillemma - April 17th 2012, 03:47 AM

Well which medications have you been taking cause Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall and so on are all stimulants. So if you have only been given stimulant ADHD meds up until now, then maybe the reactions you are having are just a result of prolonged exposure to that kind of medications and your body no longer accepting it the right away.
How ever, if you have tried Strattera (the only non stimulant I know of) then I am not sure what the deal is. BUt that being said, if you have not been given Strattera I do recommend talking to your doctor about that one because it is in it's own little class of ADHD medications being that it is the only one thats not a stimulant that treats ADHD, and since it isn't a stimulant it is also the only one that hasn't been marked as a controlled drug though that's a bit beside the fact.
Something else to look at would be to get proper accommodations in school. Most provinces/states/territories (no idea about non-North American countries though) have disability plans. SO you could just bring your documentation saying you have ADHD to the people at your school. You can get things like extra time on your exams/tests and they'll help you with study skills to learn how to study better.
You could always consider being assessed by a psychologist to find out if you have any other potential learning disabilities. Especially if you find out you have another disorder (depression for example) that might be the reason behind why you are reacting poorly to some of your meds
   
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Re: My ADDillemma - April 18th 2012, 01:37 AM

Have you tried Vyvanse? I tried Concerta and it didn't help much, but when I started Vyvanse, it helps me tons. I don't know if you've tried that already, but if you haven't, you should definitely talk to your doctor about it.


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Re: My ADDillemma - April 18th 2012, 01:57 AM

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Originally Posted by Teddy Bear View Post
Have you tried Vyvanse? I tried Concerta and it didn't help much, but when I started Vyvanse, it helps me tons. I don't know if you've tried that already, but if you haven't, you should definitely talk to your doctor about it.
Concerta was my verrry first one. Didn't work at all. Then I was on Vyvanse for 8th grade and the beginning of High School. Then Focalin and Strattera and now I am trying Intuniv. I'm probably forgetting a couple... I really tried almost everything...


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Re: My ADDillemma - April 18th 2012, 02:37 AM

I have ADD and my doctor is telling my that Intuniv will work for me, I don't know if it will work for you, but it's worth a shot. Things will get better, ADD is a pain but soon enough you simply get used to it ^_^ Good luck<3


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Re: My ADDillemma - April 18th 2012, 04:42 AM

Try Adderall. Adderall is an amphetamine (aderall is about 10 cause it's time release). It sounds as if you've only been exposed to methelaphetamine hydrochlorides (basically, what concerta is in the class of) and the non stimulant versions (straterra). I am not as familiar with Vyanse or Folacin though I have heard of them, but I don't know what name they're under.
Adderall CAN be more harmful to your liver than others, but I have been taking it for months and only at 10 mg and it's been good. I had to take 54 mg of Concerta which basically didn't help enough and was accelerating my tendency to get stressed out, so I switched.
However, have you considered not taking your medications? Like I know that I don't have the worst of all ADHD, so I'll just take my Adderall for like a week or 2 here or there, even for like a month, then just stop taking it, I know that's probably really bad, but I know the periods when I will be under more stress cause of school and take it then cause I stubble with my symptoms worse then and stuff. I mostly do it like that because I had a bit of a problem with it interfering with my sleep and with developing a tolerance and worsened anxiety issues, so yeah, I only take it during periods when I know that my symptoms will be worse. AND Adderall is defs better than Concerta.
   
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Re: My ADDillemma - April 18th 2012, 12:14 PM

I have tried going 'off the pill' but for school it just doesn't work. I'll literally space out for like 10 minutes at a time. I'll be fidgeting with my hands and feet and it was just not working. On the stimulant pills I skip on the weekends but I'm on Intuniv now which requires you to take every day.
If Intuniv doesn't work, maybe I'll ask my doctor about Aderall. I'm just sick and tired of trying and failing so I might havta go back to the least of all evils.


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Re: My ADDillemma - April 18th 2012, 03:14 PM

Why do you take so many of them though? Most people I know who take ADHD meds take 1 thing, and its usually Concerta Adderall or Ritalin or one of the other more common ones. If there are any other meds its ones to help the person sleep. I personally LOVE sleep, but some people can't sleep right with the meds.
And have you ever had an ECG done? Cause even I didn't know that was a good idea, but it's apparently it something you should do cause I guess you might have a heart problem, thyroid problem, etc, and I guess potential problems show up on an ECG, and since you have been having problems with the meds that might be a good idea if you haven't done it already.
   
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Re: My ADDillemma - April 19th 2012, 12:16 AM

I tried all them because I started having weird reactions to them... We don't even know whats going on but yes Ive had a ECG or EKG or whatever... For separate issues (Im pretty much a medical wreck )


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Re: My ADDillemma - April 19th 2012, 01:48 AM

Hmmm... Interesting... Well, honestly I am about at my limits for what I can tell you about the actual meds. What about getting some kinda counselling and going off the meds for a while (the counselling would help you cope)
   
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Re: My ADDillemma - April 19th 2012, 02:38 AM

We're working on getting a tutor - problem is, there's a LOT going on in my family right now and unfortunately, my school issues are pretty much last on the list so I've been begging my parents to let me move down a track in some classes and to get me a tutor, but they just don't have time to deal with that... Gonna sit down with my mom and convince her tonight


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Re: My ADDillemma - April 20th 2012, 02:52 AM

Well, if there are a lot of family issues and stuff going on, it's not really your fault that your struggling then. The stress is probably interfering hugely with your ADHD symptoms, seriously, I've been so stressed out I basically go home, have a panic attack and have had to just curl up and watch movies for the rest of the night cause I feel so flat and dead I can't accomplish anything. It took me a long time to get that under control. So stress management is definitely something you should look into either self-managed (read stress management pages for people with ADHD) OR with a counsellor depending what is in the budget.
   
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Re: My ADDillemma - April 22nd 2012, 04:43 AM

Yeah things are pretty crazy at home. My guidance counselor at school suggested that it could just be stress related which makes it even MORE frustrating cause then I definitely don't have control over it... I just need my grades to go back up!!!!

Still no comments on my clever title? Uch what a waste :P


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