Is my medicine working?: I have been on... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Is my medicine working?

stingray_lover profile image

I have been on Adderall for ADHD for about a year and a half, same time as I was diagnosed. I started out on 30mg extended release. I was on that dose for the majority of the time I have been medicated. A few months ago I moved up to 40mg extended release.

When I was first diagnosed it was summer of 2020. I started my senior year of high school fully online shortly after that. I am now halfway done with my freshman year of college. My senior year I was not doing nearly the amount of work that requires focus as I am now in college. So I am just now starting to realize how intense my ADHD is. When I read other people's before and after stories I notice that I do not see the benefits that the majority of people have on medication. My "after" is the same as their "before". Should I consider asking my psychiatrist to raise the dose? Or maybe start a different medication? Any advice appreciated!

6 Replies

Adderall did not work for me at all and my psychiatrist and I are still experimenting with meds/dosing; but right now I’m on 54mg Concerta every morning and 10mg of Focalin in the afternoon to get me through work. The Concerta was 1,000 times more effective for me personally and while the focalin helps, we will need to increase that soon. I hope this helps!!

Thank you for sharing your experience! I honestly have not heard of any other medication for ADHD except for the most common: Adderall and Vyvanse. I will definitely talk to my psychiatrist about other options.

Everyone is different - so everyone's experience with medication is different. What works for me may not work for you. Also - there are so many other factors that can effect how well any particular medication will work, and this can change from day-to-day. I am on Adderall (30mg immediate release), and the most important factor for me is sleep. If I do not get enough sleep (7 hours at least), then it has a direct negative impact on my focus and motivation, despite the Adderall. For me (again everyone is different) - it also helps to take a "holiday" one day a week where I skip the Adderall, because otherwise I seem to develop a tolerance, requiring an ever increasing dosage. Instead, I've been able to keep to the same dose for about 4 years now. Also - other lifestyle and mental health changes I've made have helped tremendously - especially CBT exercises I've been doing, and eating better and getting some (pretty light) exercise.

What's really helped me - is to realize that medication is but one part of the puzzle. And it really is a puzzle, because the pieces and how they fit together will be different for everyone. But you don't have to figure it out on your own - you are already reaching out to this community which is great, and hopefully your doc is someone who is approachable and knowledgeable about ADHD, and any other issues you might be dealing with.

A great video on the use of medication to treat ADHD is on Jessica McCabe's YouTube channel HowToADHD:

Also, the books by Dr. Edward Hallowell are excellent - and his latest book made me aware of several medications I was unaware of:

ADHD 2.0 (his latest)

Driven to Distraction (prior groundbreaking book)

Hope something here helps you! Take care and best wishes for your first year in college! That's an accomplishment all by itself!

I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write this reply!! Before I was diagnosed a couple years ago I had always thought my little brother had ADHD. I was basing that thought on the stereotypical version that is presented in the media of ADHD. Lo and behold I ended up the one with ADHD.

Once diagnosed I started to try and read up on it so I could better understand how the condition actually works versus what society thinks it is. I have had a hard time finding articles and videos that share symptoms of it that no one talks about. I am surprised I have not come across this YouTube channel until now.

This has definitely helped me start to have a better understanding of the actual way ADHD works and neurodivergence.

Thank you so much! Best wishes!!!

My counselor told me that if I'm getting the right dosage, I will notice it helps but I should not feel different. She told me that I should engage whether it's helping more by my wife than my experience. But maybe that's customized advice. Your mileage may vary.

I have not had a mental health professional tell me that it helps to have someone you are around a lot normally give progress observations. But I have already thought that myself, I would have my parents come to my check-ins to give their observations. It is a little hard now though with me being away at college.

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