Revisiting Medication for ADHD
I must admit to having been a little smug about managing my ADHD without medication, until I had to give up coffee. Recently, my doctor recommended eliminating caffeine after determining that I belonged to another minority besides the ADHD family—people who cannot metabolize caffeine normally. Although meditation has helped more than anything, I need medication to keep parts of my brain from obstructing the other parts, and to maintain my routine of daily meditation practice! One effective solution does not negate the other.
I had no idea how effectively caffeine had been treating my ADHD until I discontinued it. I had been increasing my coffee intake in recent months, as the desired effects of it seemed to be diminishing. One cup in the morning was not keeping me alert. Then a bolt of lightening hit me! I had an episode of atrial fibrillation, the first in 12 years. I had not had a single episode since correcting the problem with an ablation surgery.
When I abandoned my Kurig and Starbucks, I began to lose and misplace all sorts of items: two jackets, new eyeglasses, my phone log, ear buds. I was having difficulty activating on tedious tasks, and I was jumping from one task to another without completing all of them.
Whatever aversion you may have to medication for ADHD, you’re not alone, but I recommend not ruling it out until you have given it a run. And don’t give up if you cannot tolerate the first one you try. One size does not fit all. The best medicine and right dosage that works for you will likely be different from what works for me. As for giving it a try, consider what one prominent ADHD expert once said to me: “It’s a quality of life issue.”
There is much to do, and I need to prioritize my work, get started, keep my wheels on the tracks, stop allowing interruptions, and quit spending so many hours a day looking for things I’ve misplaced.