It can be tough to know if your ADHD medication is working. You may even wonder if you’re getting your money’s worth from this pill you probably wish you didn’t have to take.
The right dose of the right ADHD medication can do a bunch of stuff:
But, it can be so darn subtle. Especially, the longer-acting types of ADD/ADHD drugs I wrote about last week. How can you tell if your Vyvanse or Concerta is working? Or not.
The best way to know if your ADHD medication is doing its job is to know what job you need it to do.
How do you know what you want your ADHD medication to do? You build clarity.
Think through your days. Where does your ADHD snarl your life the most? How do you want your life to be instead? Get specific. You need details.
Those details about how you want your days to unfold are your medication targets. If you’re reaching those targets you can tell if your medication is working or not. If you need a different medication, a different dose, or to take it at a different time.
Remember, it’s not about the buzz. If you’re not paying attention or you’re paying attention to the wrong thing then your medication is not working.
10 Targets to Know if Your ADHD Medication is Working
I brainstormed some medication targets to get you started:
- Calmly leave the house on time in the morning
- Quickly tackle boring or overwhelming tasks and projects
- Avoid distractions like reading the news and social media
- Stay focused on boring stuff you have to read
- Remember that boring stuff you read
- Pay attention to conversations
- Put things away after using them
- Control your impulsive shopping
- Remember to stop at the store after work
- Reduce your brain’s chatter
- Calmly cook dinner and oversee the kids homework at the same time
- Avoid emotional roller coasters
- Get to bed with the house tidy and you ready for the next day
- Get to bed on time
(Yes, I know I wrote more than 10 targets to tell if your ADHD medication is working. I had so many good ideas I had to force myself to stop. )
These are just examples. There isn’t a right or wrong here. Everyone will have different medication targets. The bottom line: Know what targets you’re aiming for so you can know if your ADHD medication is working or not.