I have my own view of the drugs (prescribed and non-prescribed ones). Even though I’ve used them in many inappropriate ways as well, I always thought of them as an accessory. Something like a crutch to a broken leg. Taking drugs only if really necessary and in a dose that suits the individual most.
Everything comes with a price, goes especially well with the drugs. It’s a struggle betwen trying to be a functional independent person (not aiming to be a Superman) and side effects.
I’m currently on ADHD medication that is not a stimulant (a very underestimated one by my opinion). The most annoying side effect is me being tired all the time while having a blank space inside my head. The second part is actually a good thing (it’s called calmness), you just have to get used to it.
You can combat tiredness with a dash of coffee. But you need to be extremely careful about mixing anything with your drugs (coffee, herbs, other supplements, etc. – you know that annoying part of commercials about consulting with your doc? Go do that. Always.).
It also took way more time to it’s full effect than other drugs I’m familiar with. Being a person with severe lack of patience…
Right now being calm and tired, sounds much better than being unorganized to the point that you need reminders to remind you about the need to having the reminders. And you’d still forget to do the basic life stuff (except to eat – damn you brain) while simultaneously doing 10 things at once.
I had a back surgery a few years ago and since then I got used to exercise daily. This is something that became really hard on my current therapy. But it’s not impossible.
You just have to try way harder (if you’re a person with ADHD you don’t know any other way anyway).
And I’m never sorry, because it keeps my mood on track, not breaking down to the point of depression. And I sleep much better as well (and eat much better… this is how the story “from fit to fat” goes – back and forth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).
By side effects, I don’t only mean drugs. Psychotherapy comes with some side effects as well. I was struggling with many of them. Everything was overwhelming. This went on for months after the therapy.
But overall, I’m really glad I went through it.
So, the benefits. This is what gets me through the side effects and always did. It’s that simple. But really hard at the same time.
– European guidelines on managing adverse effects of medication for ADHD
– A Parent’s Complete Guide to ADHD Medications
– Antidepressants: Get tips to cope with side effects
– Adverse effects of psychotherapy: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis