ADD meds dont help, struggling in life - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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ADD meds dont help, struggling in life

exrec9 profile image

Hi all, I'm writing this as I'm getting close to not knowing what else to do. I've been told I'm above average intelligence but it's not helping me at all. I've gone to multiple psychologists/psychiatrists as well as therapists and have been on just about everything out there.

I'm recently 50, have had 10 jobs in 24+ years including 2 of those jobs being responsible for 16+ years (2 companies one 7.5 years the other 9) then a slew of short stints. I'm going through a divorce which has been rough on me and my two girls as my ex is super organized and goal oriented and my girls and I all have ADD/ADHD. My older daughter is 16 and lives with me and my girlfriend and her family due to the fighting with her mom. All because of ADHD. My 11 year old struggles mightily in school due to it as well and because she lives with her mom.

I've tried just about every stimulant, minus new ones. They work for a week then my body has a stupid way of becoming immune to their effects. A recent visit to a Neurologist said he was not sure what to do as my body assimilates the meds quickly.

I am broke, although I make a very good living, because of being impulsive. Having to pay a psychologist/therapist for help is tough due to this fact.

I'm scared, and need help and have ZERO idea what to do.



11 Replies

Look into vyvanse and talk to your doctor about it

Changed my life and helped me prioritize my thoughts while dealing with anxiety.

Understand doctors visit and meds aren’t cheap but that’s when we need to look into insurance or government assistance if it comes to that point but in general, once you take care of the mental aspect of ADHD and process everything through time or talk, just take it day at a time and it will be fine try to microdose from 10mg and go from there maybe this can help your kids also

Depending on what your symptoms of adhd focus on maybe look into alternative meds like CBD as that has also helped me as a cheaper alternative although not as effective as vyvanse

Best of luck

I have to add that making sure all medication decisions should be explored with a doctor though. I have tried many a medication much like this poster and have to say stick with your doctor! Now, It took me years to find a good doctor and that's frustrating. ADDitude Magazine has a great list of resources for finding a good doctor in your area should you not be sure where to start. Also Vyvanse can be very expensive and I am not a supporter of self medication for my ADHD personally but.....

Best of luck =)

Hi exrec9,

I am so sorry to hear you are struggling.

I have been there for sure! I call it the "struggle bus" and I am no stranger to the feelings you described in your post.

You mentioned your battles with medication, I too am familiar with the ups and downs of medication therapy for ADHD and want you to know that there are lots of resources out there. Even if it feels like there aren't any. Here are a few things I have explored and a bit more about me-

I was diagnosed as an adult while in college and had never even heard of ADHD until I was in my graduate studies, this was back in 2009.

It has been an emotional roller coaster but thus far I have found there to be far more positive overall but that's taken some time (and tears and lots of coloring pages and just a lot of hard work but with that said.... you can do it too =) I later found out that I suffer from anxiety and depression in addition to my ADHD back in 2017 and knowing this has been truly life changing. Don't know if you have ever heard that "ADHD rarely travels alone.." if not they say that its a common comorbid condition meaning that it isn't uncommon for there to be more than just ADHD going on but.. that's a question for your docs not me.

Here's what I've found works for me--In Person Support Groups: I am a huge supporter of group therapy because I have a tendency to think I am all alone in my condition and/or surrounded by people who "just don't get it" at times so going and being around those who are like me has been helpful. I also am blessed that after years of not having a good doctor I now have a great psychiatrist. Don't get discouraged if you haven't found yours yet, you will find them, you just have to always be an advocate for your own healthcare! so if it works cool if not tell them that too. I also have found individual therapists helpful at times too but I know how expensive this all can get (seriously! eek!) but have found by trial and error that there's a lot of great resources out there that are cost effective. Now, is it easy? no. Is it fun? not always. Is it worth it? YES!

I am always a little (ok super duper) hesitant to join online support sites because they (at least for me) generally just have questions about meds and genuine doctor questions on them.... I am not a doctor. I do choose to use medication as a part of my overall mental health care plan but ITS SO MUCH MORE THAN MEDS YO! There isn't a one pill fixes it all for this kind of stuff. That of course is based on my personal journey and experience. I found CHADD through a podcaster that I really appreciate and admire so thought I would try this out too.

So..... You'd mentioned that finances are a struggle for you too, I can relate! My resume looks like a "series of unfortunate events" and I no longer speak to my parents or immediate siblings because I had to do what was best for my mental health.

You can do this buddy! I promise!

Start one step at a time would be my suggestion. I get overwhelmed when I am not feeling well and that can make getting help even harder for me. You can do it. You just have to keep trying till you find what works best for YOU!

I am here to chat if you need.


Your fellow passenger.

Hi! Is the podcast about ADHD? If so please share, I'd love to listen sometime.

You may have already done this but have you researched or discussed with your doctor diet, lifestyle, exercise and supplement regimes to add to your treatment plan? A full blood panel work up was needed to establish where I was before a plan was developed but it was worth every dime. My thyroid was also checked and I was low. Limiting screen time also helps me. I believe certain foods have a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of my RX.

I’m 58 and those four things turned it all around for me. Any deviation from my established routine of these things have a dramatic effect on my AADD.

It was hard being open and honest with my doctor about the effects on my career and life however he was very responsive to suggesting, recommending and monitoring me until we got it right.

I work two jobs; one full time and one part time and seven days a week to pay for care and treatment my crummy insurance doesn’t cover! For me; it’s worth it.

I would recommend this book:

> They work for a week then my body has a stupid way of becoming immune to their effects.

I've tried all drugs too and eventually they all bring side effects, which are not tolerable

so i went down the supplement route and I've had good results so far. Actually my research started here, where there is a chap called @Eclecticentric77 who's done alot of the hard work interms of finding out what works & what doesnt. i'd check out the links on his bio

Have you or your daughters tried Concerta?

Hi exrec9,

I’m currently experiencing the same thing. Relatively new diagnosis at 38 years old & the meds that work quickly lose efficacy over a period of 3-4 days. Day 5 is usually a lost cause if I’m on the same medication.

I have 3 points to make.

Point 1: ADHD is a chronic condition. Tackling it will require a multi-pronged approach. Because I’m forgetful, I used to keep a work to-do list but found myself never completing all of the items & the list kept on growing until I scrapped it all & did a reset.

After finding a decent psychologist (and w/ the help of meds), and trying out different methods of productivity strategies I’ve found online, bullet journaling has been an effective method of keeping track of time, tasks & remembering what happened when. I notice that I’m digressing, so if you’re interested in this, I can share more at another time.

Point 2: Work with your prescriber to maybe have a combination of meds. I’ve been told they don’t like to do as it’s not medically advised in the field. Although, I’ve read about how some kids need a booster pill after school for help with homework completion.

What’s been working (imperfectly) for me so far are 2 variations of the same drug. Adderall & Vyvanse. Although similar, they have different effects on me, and by switching between the 2 I’m able to increase efficacy to 4-6 days.

Point 3: The medicine efficacy ranges I mentioned seem wide. I’m learning that this may have to do with external factors, such as whether I take the med before or after a meal, how much sleep I’ve been getting. Both an overabundance or a lack of sleep aren’t helpful. My sweet spot has been between 5-6 hours.

With Adderall, I can’t have my daily coffee because it increases my anxiety uncomfortably (which is unproductive), but with Vyvanse, coffee is helpful at thwarting off any drowsiness related to my sleep patterns.

Anyway, I guess my overall message is, pills aren’t magic and undoing a lifetime of bad habits takes time. I hope you’re able to find my response helpful and please don’t lose hope. We’re all here to support one another.

Good luck & hang in there!

Sorry to hear about your struggle with ADD.

Here is a list of highly effective meds to treat ADD. Check if you have tried all that are listed in it.

Not all meds are created equal. My whole life involves ADHD and I speak this from experience. Both my kids have it and I was diagnosed after them. Funny thing is, I've been teaching kids with ADHD for years and never realized I was part of the club. Long story. Anyway, one of my kids went through 4 meds before we found the one that works. Miraculously, it works for me too but we're on different doses. My other kid is on a different med but she also has a lot of executive functioning disorders which hinder school/job performance as well. She really benefitted from having a counselor too but is still struggling in college (due to some other health related things that have happened). I heard that you can get this genetic test to find out what meds help you best. Also, you can get an executive function coach to help you with deadlines, etc.. What I have found out is that my self-esteem was floundering before meds and the med actually helps. I'm on Vyvanse which is a miracle for me. With both my kids (who are now adults), I found that you may need to change the dosage sometimes or you may need to change the med. Vyvanse isn't a stimulant, it works differently than the other meds like Adderall. But you have to take it daily. Blowing it off on the weekend messes you up (trust me I've tried). And here's the kicker, it takes three solid weeks for that stuff to start working well in a person. Stopping a med cold turkey will screw up things for a while too, even to the point of feeling hopeless and possibly suicidal. Another thing is, if the doctor is unwilling to work with you or only wants to try one med, get a new doctor. They aren't helping. I learned that one from my kids' doctors too.

Take care.

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