Prescription stimulants are the things that help many of us focus.
Why do they help us focus? Well, it seems that they actually make the part of our brain that functions in a … shall we say “scattered” way, work better. That means that the part of our brain that should focus our thoughts is unable to do that well, allowing our brains to wander from this to that. Stimulants seem to stimulate focus.
There also seems to be, in the ADHD brain, an increased speed of thought that isn’t regulated. When our focus is more easily controlled, that rapid firing of our brains is either also controlled, or since we are better able to focus, not relevant. The speed of our thinking doesn’t matter.
I seem to have a problem that would almost be the opposite of ADHD, except, it’s not. My ADHD mind is usually a whirl of thoughts and ideas. It’s a rare occasion when I am unable to come up with an idea for … well, for anything.
In fact, standard operating procedure for me is to have too many ideas and to little patience on the part of whoever is listening to my ideas. That’s life in the fast lane for this brain … most of the time.
On Wednesday I began a discussion on ADHD stimulant medication delivery systems. Not the nice man from the drug store who drives around town, but rather the way in which the stimulant is delivered to your system.
In that post, I discussed the old method of trying to remember to take multiple small doses through out the day. It worked, when you succeeded.
Today and Friday I’ll be discussing systems used to deliver ADHD stimulant medications. Did you know that you and your health care practitioner have a choice in how your medication is delivered?
To the best of my knowledge, there are three delivery systems for ADHD stimulant medications. They range from “chancy at best,” to “pretty damned good.”
And in between those two extremes, they make a stop off at “should work … most of the time.”
Diagnosed or not, many of us self-medicate. And we often do it with things that can be dangerous.
Marijuana comes to mind quickly whenever I talk about self-medication. But alcohol is also a common one, and of course the heavier drugs that are available don’t get left out.
And since stimulation is the thing that most of us find to be useful in combating ADHD symptoms, anything that provides that reaction will do. So dangerous behaviors or risk taking activities are big things.
Before my diagnosis, I was easily distracted. Now, I’m … easily distracted. Before my diagnosis I would sometimes say inappropriate things. I still do that.
Before my diagnosis I would get bored with long, drawn out, mind numbing presentations and slip off into my own world. I would spend long periods of time staring out the window and living in my head. I would misunderstand people who were speaking to me in my native tongue, English. I would falter and fumble when I was in social situations where I wasn’t sure of myself.
Today is Monday, December the 9th, 2013.
30 years ago today I was 24 years of age. I had a job. I was making reasonably good money. I spent some of it on gas, some of it on food, some of it on rent, and a lot of it on alcohol.
I didn’t know I had ADHD. I didn’t know I was an alcoholic. Okay, not true. I was in denial, the kind of denial you have to work hard at because you know the truth.
So, on Friday, we observed the irrefutable fact that calling something “chemical” didn’t make it evil or bad. We also noted that I’m opinionated but willing to allow others to be as well. Just don’t tell me your opinions are the only ones that matter.
Today, I want to discuss the validity of the use of stimulant meds as a way to help your mind work better. In my opinion, you should, but only if they help.
There are lots of rumours, lots of gossip going ’round regarding ADHD medication. Some of them, a few at least, are correct. Some of them are worthless and wrong. Some could be dangerous.
The one I hate is the idea that medication is intrinsically wrong. I’ve heard people say that they would never take “chemicals” just because their brain worked differently. This is often followed by a dramatic “involuntary” shudder to indicate the extent of their displeasure with that idea.
I’m a little more open minded, I guess. I like to consider that there is more to this world than just drama and opinions. I do have my own opinions, but I choose to give them as such and accept that they might not fit in with the opinions of others.
Up until I turned 49, my life seemed okay. I didn’t analyze it, I didn’t really pay it much attention, I just assumed it was okay. I thought it could be better, but whose life couldn’t, right?
It’s true, I’d had more than my share of jobs, and I couldn’t find a hobby that I liked well enough to stay with it, forsaking any others. And yes, there was room for improvement in my tax return filing skills. But I was okay.
In 2009 I became aware that I might have ADHD. Lots of research and one diagnosis later, I became a certified member of the ADHD tribe.
Shortly thereafter, in an effort to better my life, a prescription was written for stimulant medication, with my name on it.