Archives for Medication
The Olympics have just ended. Did you watch them? Maybe you were one of the ones who attended? Maybe you even participated, some athletes have ADHD. I find the concept to be amazing. The Olympics are that collection of games that have set rules and regulations calculated to level the playing field for the athletes. This is done so that only the skill and the results of their training impact the athlete's standing at the end of each competition.
I'm serious. I'm thinking about this. I'm thinking this is something I could do that would be positive. And yes, I mean back on medication. Yes, I've been on medication. And yes, it did help. So now you're asking why I'm not currently medicated, right? Okay, some of you are asking that, and some of you may just be saying, “Who cares?” And some of you may even be screaming at your screens saying, “DON'T DO IT!!! Where to start ... lets start at the beginning. When I was first diagnosed, my diagnosis came with a recommendation that I be given a prescription for Methylphenidate. You'd know it by its more common name of
I just had a dental appointment. Apparently I should be receiving a medal for that. And yet, it was no big deal. I made the appointment, I put it in my calendar, my phone reminded me, my dentist's office reminded me, I got there with nearly four minutes to spare. It was all very laid back, very calm and uneventful. So why is it that people with ADHD have such poor oral health? In fact who says that people with ADHD have poor oral health?
I'm in a little bit of a bind. My oral health (teeth and gums), isn't the best, they aren't in the best of shape. A quick search online gives that situation the patina of truth and commonality for people with ADHD. And I currently have an issue with a tooth that is rather important to me. I'm not vain, well not terribly vain, but this tooth is part of my smile. And my smile is part of my stage presence. Lets just say the loss of this tooth could possibly jeopardize my stage work. ... okay, there's a fair bit of vanity involved also. I'm human. Now the thing is, people with ADHD have oral health problems. Speaking personally, I don't have an aversion to brushing my teeth, but if I head to the sink to do that, there's a good chance that I'll be sidetracked, distracted. And the risk grows exponentially with any increase in distance from where I am to that sink when I get the idea to go brush my teeth.
The wardrobe led to Narnia. And the rabbit hole led to Wonderland. And books led me into worlds that completely engrossed me. Now that's pretty normal for a reader, especially one whose appetite for the written word was as huge as mine. And since I often would go wandering in my mind into stories of my own creation, I never thought anything was unusual about the times I would suddenly realize that some period of time had passed and I had fallen behind again. But it wasn't always daydreaming or reading that caused the time loss. In fact, I can't really say even now with six years of life with a diagnosis behind me what it is that causes that. There are days when I start out contemplating my agenda and the next thing I know
I read a lot about ADHD. And I don't limit my reading to the scientific studies, although that is certainly some of what I read. I also read blogs like mine from people who experience ADHD first hand. Additionally I read posts from clinicians and mental health care providers. Most of these people know what they're talking about. Good thing too, they're who many of us lean on for help. But I also read things from people who like to pretend that they are presenting a well thought out and equally supported alternate theory or two about ADHD.
I think we can agree that addiction is not a good thing, yes? Good. So it nearly goes without saying that we do not want to invest in a treatment that increases the risk of addiction. And one of the more, shall we say, “popular” groups of addictive substances is stimulants. And as luck would have it, stimulants are what are used to treat ADHD.
You've heard that brain chemistry is a big part of ADHD. And you've heard that brain development also plays a role. The role that development plays is most likely related to the chemistry. The parts of the brain that do not develop adequately are most likely those parts involved with the dopamine and norepinephrine functions. Those functions would be production and use of these chemicals. The ADHD brain is developed well enough to have some production and some use of these two chemicals. And it does not take long for the affected brain to discover how to compensate for the missing functions.
How long has it been since we talked about medication? That long, eh? Well, that won't do. Lets have a chat, shall we? Many of you may remember that I am not pro medication, but that I'm also not against it. I happen to know that ADHD medication has been around for a long time. I know that the established medications have been tested and that the newer ones are being tested. Rigorously tested. I know that there are some people for whom the medications may not work. I know that there are some people for whom the medications will cause side effects.
There are benefits to getting a diagnosis. For one thing, a diagnosis opens up your options for treatment. Without a diagnosis, you might read books about ADHD and avail yourself of certain behavioural tricks and hacks. Without that diagnosis, you also might read this blog and blogs written by others and then make use of suggestions found therein. Those would include ways you might keep your focus or means by which you might remember important things or even advice on apps, computer programs and hardware that will make your life less ... you know, scattered and scrambled.