Musings About ADHD Medication

by | Jun 28, 2011 | General | 2 comments

ADHD MedicationI don’t spend much time writing about ADHD medication. It’s a sure way to bring on a flaming argument.

You see, I’m a lousy arguer; at least at the time of the argument. Two hours later, I’m there with a great comeback, but mostly I avoid arguments. Rule number one in living successfully with ADHD is to avoid your weaknesses.

Today I’m risking an argument by wading in and talking about treating ADD / ADHD with medication, as I see it through the lens of my ADD coaching clients.

Attention Deficit is a REAL Medical Condition.

ADHD is caused by basic chemistry; not by poor parenting or lack of willpower. People with ADHD don’t have sufficient neurotransmitters available to their brain to be able to pay attention, get organized and follow through enough to succeed in today’s world.

Scientific research shows ADHD medication is the fastest, surefire way to provide enough of the missing neurotransmitters to the brain to control ADHD symptoms. Self-care; diet, exercise, supplements and sleep do help but are much slower to take effect.

Why All The Fuss About ADHD Medication?

I find it interesting how the popular press makes a huge deal over people faking an ADHD diagnosis just to get their hands on some Ritalin or Adderall – the two most well-known ADHD medications.

If the ADD diagnosis is simply a stimulant grab, than why do many of my ADD coaching clients deeply desire more natural treatments for ADD / ADHD? And most of those who do take ADD medication do so reluctantly?

I’m a well-trained, highly experienced ADD coach. I’ve read the research; I understand the science. Medication is the medically recognized treatment for Attention Deficit.

Frankly, my job is easier when a client has a properly titrated dose of ADD medication on board. Medicated clients take to the coaching more quickly. They follow through and learn to manage their time and get organized with much less hassle.

But as an ADD adult who has fought my own battles with managing inattentive ADD, I get the not wanting to take medication feeling.

I don’t like to take ADHD medications either.

These days I don’t take ADD medication because I find good self-care and solid systems of support are enough to keep me focused and following-through.

However, I did take Adderall when our daughter was young. Managing a very willful toddler, a busy household and my ADD coaching business was more than I could handle. I had to take the Adderall to keep from being totally overwhelmed.

Believe me, there are still somedays I’d love to have my little blue friend on hand to kick my brain quickly into gear.

An ADD Coach’s Job

My job as an ADD coach is to give my clients the facts and support them in whatever decision they choose to make. It’s rare I work with a client whose ADHD is so severe I can’t coach them if they don’t take medication.

My bottom-line? I personally prefer a more natural approach to treating ADD just like most of my ADD coaching clients do.


  1. BB

    What about ADD and ADHD differences? I have ADD, but find the medication makes it worse. I am not hyperactive, I am hyperfocussed. Taking medication that makes it easier for me to focus only made me work harder (and forget time more). I have read some recent research that concludes that ADD and ADHD are two different conditions and medication works for ADHD, but not for ADD. This fit with my experience.

    • danarayburn

      Interesting. Could you please point me to the research you’ve seen? From my training, experience, and what the expert ADD / ADHD MDs I know tell me it’s a matter of trying the different meds to see which works no matter if it’s ADD or ADHD.


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