Adult ADHD Support
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Guilt for asking for ADD medication

Hi, I'm Anna and I'm new here,

So later today, I have an appointment with my college psychiatrist to see about getting medication for my ADD. She's prescribed me Lexapro for my depression, but I don't know her that well. I need some advice on how to bring up that I want to get on ADD meds.

I'm so afraid of being judged for trying to get on ADD pills. Before I knew about ADD as a medical disorder, I only heard the things people would throw in the air about it. "Everyone has a few ADD symptoms, it's just up to you to control your thought patterns," "ADD isn't real, it's just laziness." I believed them, but only because I'd never really thought about it before or learned anything about it.

I'm in college now and my responsibilities are adding up. I've basically failed my first three semesters, and am on academic probation. I've always wanted to do better. I'm not unintelligent or lazy. I have a lot of goals and things I get involved in, but forgetfulness and procrastination have often left me feeling less-than.

Being prescribed Lexapro has changed my life. I'd suffered from depression and frequent suicidal thoughts for almost three years and the pain from that was seriously affecting my ability to properly interact with life and my responsibilities.

During one of my counseling sessions, I was discussing my struggles in school and my counselor asked me if I'd ever been diagnosed with ADD. I almost laughed. ADD was for kids right? And the bad kids at that, who were mostly loud, disruptive. But one day, as I was researching organization skills, I came across a web page for ADD.

OK, confession time: and this is where my horrible guilt comes from. I started researching ADD to try to be able to imitate the symptoms well enough to trick a psychiatrist into prescribing me pills. Pills that I'd heard would make me energized, possibly a little high, and more importantly, would make me focus and might be able to turn my life situation around. See, I knew something was wrong. I knew I needed some kind of help. But because I thought ADD wasn't real, I'd never considered I might have it.

And then I started reading people's accounts of their daily struggles with ADD and I burst into tears. I connected completely with what I was reading and felt so much empathy for those people because I knew exactly how they felt. It took me some time and re-reading symptoms online to fully accept that I actually had this disorder I'd once thought was made up. I felt shame and confusion. I began to recognize things I did that were symptomatic and might annoy others. My behaviors made sense. It was scary to realize I'd been wrestling with an invisible enemy. Things I did that I thought were unique personality traits, I felt heartbroken to learn were actually just manifestations of my overstimulated brain.

I still feel guilty though. I've been taking some of my friend's Vyvanse recently and they help me so much. I feel like I can actually plan out my day and time doesn't slip away so quickly anymore. I sit in class and suddenly realize I've been paying such close attention to the professor that I have no idea what's happening at the back of the classroom, or how loudly his computer's fan is blowing that day. I'm going in today to see if I can start the prescription process. I felt judged by the lady at the front desk when I told her I needed to make an appointment to see if I could get medication to help ADD. I'm so worried I'll do or say something that will make her think I'm faking to get study pills. I know I have this disorder and I know I need help but I'm so scared. I just want this day to be over and for things to have gone well.

Can somebody give me some advice, please?

Thanks!

10 Replies
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Hey Anna! I'm 26 and just got diagnosed yesterday. I know how you feel about the stigmitzation. I felt the same way when I went to get my prescription refilled. If I was you I would just be as honest as possible, and express your fears honestly. I would also print off my grades to take in as proof. Good luck

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Thank you for responding so kindly. I went in today and was as honest as possible. My psychiatrist sent me for bloodwork so I'm on the right track.

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Thank you for responding so kindly. I went in today and was as honest as possible. My psychiatrist sent me for bloodwork so I'm on the right track.

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What for? To check your thyroid?

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My heart I think. They want me to do an EKG.

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Why do they want that?? Current health issue?

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No, from what I understand, they need to make sure I don't have any blood pressure or heart issues because the medicine makes your heart race.

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Gotcha. They didn't do that with me! So that's good they're being cautious.

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Okay I want to respond sorry I only read the first half of what you wrote on that note I want to say have your counseling person give you a form to sign and she will fax it to the other doctor. That way your c counselor can talk to that doctor for you about what’s going on. I did that and it helped a lot because she was able to explain better than me and for that I am getting the right treatment

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Good for you for taking the steps to handle this. It can be so difficult in the beginning, as we are dealing with all kinds of feelings, guilt, shame and all that. There is nothing to feel guilty about, though I think a lot of us do because it's so easy to feel as though other people have it worse.

Getting the right medicine can be a journey, especially if you're already on medication for depression, but many people in this situation eventually find something that works for them. I'm sure you'll find lots of advice from other people on the discussion boards here. Good luck!

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