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  • Writer's pictureJames Eves

The drugs do work

You might get the reference.

I always think of (and hear) The Verve’s song “The Drugs Don’t Work” when I talk to people about the ADHD medication I now take.

Once you have received an ADHD diagnosis, part of the next step is the option of trialling medication to see what effect this has on your symptoms and how you feel each day.

I have to admit that in the beginning I was quite adamant about not taking this option.

I’ve always been someone that wants to do as much as possible without relying on a pill if I can help it.

By the time I had reached the assessment, I was noticing my symptoms more and more.

I could have days where I would outperform any other neurotypical person and be crushing work and my to-do lists.

The next day, I would have zero interest, be completely lethargic, and not get much done at all.

When running a business, this really isn’t helpful. So, I figured it would be worth giving the medication a try. I could always say it wasn’t for me if it didn’t help.

The psychiatrist set me up with a prescription that would be for a period of what they call titration over 5 weeks.

There is a start dosage that is increased each week, and where I feed back to the psychiatrist, what my heart rate, and blood pressure have been. Plus, there is a description of any side effects, and how key ADHD symptoms have been affected.

For example, have I been more focused this week compared to last? Have I been more easily distracted? How has focusing on tasks been? Has sleep been poorer, improved or remained the same?

Based on this info, the psychiatrist then either gives the nod to increase the dosage for the next week or advises accordingly what to do.

This process is designed to see what has changed (positively or negatively) and to find the optimal dosage. In some cases, I have heard from other ADHD-ers that certain medications have not been effective for them, so they try something different.

In my case, I found a big difference from the first day.

I often liken the experience to the movie “Limitless.” This is a great movie where Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a washed out wannabe-author, whose life isn’t going anywhere, he can’t get his book moving, and his relationships fail. He is in a total funk with not much inspiration in how to change his life.

In many ways, things that ADHD-ers can relate to!

Anyway…he meets up with a guy who used to be his brother-in-law and also a drug dealer.

The dealer’s moved on from selling traditional ‘product’ and has moved up in the world with something new for him to try. A designer drug.

He takes the pill and within about 20 minutes, the fog lifted, he could ‘see’ clearly and everything made sense.

Side note: When taking my medication and it kicks in, I always hear the track “Trading Up” written by Paul Leonard-Morgan for the movie soundtrack. Here it is if you’re intrigued or remember the movie!

Eddie tidies his entire apartment, gets his book’s first chapter or two written, among many other things.

He was so amazed, that he needed more of this. So he tracks down the guy again.

I won’t spoil the story if you haven’t seen it. I recommend watching it for yourself!

His experience is very similar to how I experience the meds working for me.

Any brain fog, fatigue, mental chatter, just evaporates within an hour of taking it. I have clarity, know what I need to do and feel energised to crack on with things. Productivity and energy that is more consistent and prolonged.

Like viagra for the mind!

Some downsides have been a lack of appetite, poorer sleep, and a thirst that would rival The Tiger Who Came To Tea (if you’ve read that children’s story). There is no drinking alcohol. Even coffee can be too much and ups the heart rate or blood pressure. With time these subside I have found once the right dosage is settled on.

But overall, it has been very much a life-changing experience. I am now settled on a dosage that fits and am so excited by being able to contribute in a more meaningful way to business and life.

For everyone trialling the meds, the effects vary, and for some they do wear off during the afternoon. I have found them to continue throughout the day. So I am very fortunate.

Do give them a go if you are curious as to how these might work for you, and do support anyone going through this process.

You might just find yourself being the person you want to be more of, or you get a colleague / partner / friend that is more involved and engaged in general.

A winner for all!

So, you see, the drugs do work.

Disclaimer : For the sake of clarity, I am a Coach and (obviously) not a qualified medical professional, pharmacist or doctor. I am writing this from my own experiences and have been followed by a psychiatrist through this process. Always speak to your GP, or psychiatrist for professional advice.

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