Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stimulant Medication and the ADDer

Many adult AD(H)Ders come to my office to learn strategies to help them with poor time management, social impulsivity, lack of organizational skills and other behaviors associated with ADD. Some are taking stimulant medication, some are not, but are considering it. Most taking medication say it’s helpful for alertness and focusing; others find it not particularly useful. I find, that in general, expectations are very high for medication users, but they come to see me for coaching because the medication can not produce gains in all problem areas.

My AD(H) D son is a young adult who did not try stimulants when he was young because they were just starting to be used, and possible negative side effects on a child’s brain were being seriously considered. Now that I work with ADD adults I wonder if I had to do it over again, would I have him take Ritalin or analogues when he was a school age child.? As a school age youngster, he was very hyperactive and impulsive, and got into a lot of trouble. hyperactive and impulsive. As an adult he tried Ritalin and stopped taking it because it altered his cognitive style which led him to overfocus on one task or activity and lose his ability to integrate information from other sources in his environment. After all being a good “radar screener is a great asset for an ADDer.

As it turns out, his positive attributes have far outweighed the negative aspects of ADHD. Without medication, he has shown great creativity, spontaneity, and very importantly, incredibly impressive entrepreneurial abilities.

Have you found stimulant medication to be very helpful.? Are there areas in which you still need help. For those of you who have not used medication, what resources or strategies have you used to aid you in trying to accomplish your goals?

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