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Posts Tagged ‘Adderall’

My doctor and I are already tinkering with the ADD meds.  The Adderall makes me feel like a rocket is attached to my heart, so she deemed it a fail.  Perhaps I’m more sensitive than the average bear.  We’re looking at some newer meds and I just made the call to the insurance company.  Looks like Vyvanse might be the winner at $35/month and fewer side effects.  But here’s the thing, I’m all for trying the medication (so long as I stop feeling like a mad dog), but I really want to find an ADD coach.  That’s right, I said coach.  The widely-read ADD magazine ADDitude recommends it, the authors of You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Crazy or Stupid recommend it, most ADD researchers recommend some form of behavioral therapy, but I’m having trouble locating said coach.

Hopefully not my ADD coach

When I told my doc that I have two friends willing to help me with organization, she thought that was nice, but told me I need a medical professional who is trained to help adults with ADD.  Looks like I’m emailing my friend’s husband, the psychologist who read over my evaluation.  He’s the local guru on things ADD.  An ADD coach will help me schedule and prioritize.  I’m not sure why it needs to be a medical professional.  Maybe my psychologist husband can answer that one.  Or maybe you can.  Can you?  Have any of you ever used an ADD coach?

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One of the last things my family physician said to me on her way out of the exam room door was, “Your appetite will be suppressed and you may lose weight, but we wouldn’t prescribe it for that because that would be abuse.” She was talking about the side-effects of Adderall, the ADD medication that I just began taking this morning. I’m on a super low dose (10 mg.), so who knows how severe the side-effects will be. But, it got me thinking: what is the difference between Adderall and diet pills? Just a little research online uncovered the fact that Adderall used to be prescribed and used as a diet pill when it was first on the market in the 1960s and 70s and that many Hollywood celebs and college students use it – abuse it – to keep the weight off.

I’ve always been of two minds about ADD medication: on the one hand, I think children and adults both are over-medicated and am always interested in holistic solutions like diet and exercise; however, I’ve seen first-hand the difference that medication can make. When I was doing one-on-one literacy work, one of my first students was a nine-year-old with significant ADHD. He was on Ritalin and at the time, I was highly suspicious of the drug. The student, let’s call him Fred, presented as neat and polite and generally cooperative. One day, his mom forgot to give him his medication and a Dr. Hyde bounded into the clinic that day. Fred’s hair, normally combed and parted to the side was standing on end, he joked around so much we couldn’t accomplish any of the tasks we normally did, and he had a mischievous look in his eyes that made me nervous for my safety! After that day with Fred, I re-examined my prejudices against ADD medication, never realizing that one day I would be on a similar drug.

So far, an hour and a half after taking the small, blue pill I notice an increase in heart rate – a tug in my chest that is slightly annoying and worrisome – and what I can only describe as a cool breeze in my head. The cobwebs are pushed to the side and I feel like I’ve had a pot of coffee, minus the jitters. Basically, I have had a pot of coffee in pill form. Jury is still out. I know that besides the weight loss (which is not a negative as far as I’m concerned), that long-term use of Adderall can affect my heart and liver. I’m a skeptic by nature, so I’ll be constantly judging if this is right for me and I’ll check in with my doctor in two weeks.

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