Five Lessons I Wish My Parents Learned About ADHD Medication

A Guest Post by Sandy Pace

 Medication is a very helpful tool for dealing with ADHD. The following five examples are a great way to get that healthy approach from the perspective of a child (Now an adult) whose parents denied medication and refused to acknowledge ADHD as a valid medical condition


One: Just because you see something on the internet it doesn’t mean it’s true


One thing that plays into our biases is pseudoscience and social media. Because of something psychology refers to as the prevalence induced concept theory. 


Which reinforces our biases by making us view medication and other mental health related issues a certain way. By telling us incorrect messages like Adderall is the equivalent to meth. 


And the more we see those messages. The more we believe them which is the prevalence induced concept effect


Which is why in a world full of self-proclaimed experts, health gurus and celebrity armchair psychologists! It’s important to get your information from people who are qualified to be giving you advice regarding mental health issues


Two: Medication works differently for everyone


I’m prescribed 54mg of Concerta once a day. Concerta is an extended release version of Ritalin. I’ve tried Dexidrine, Vyvansse and Adderall and they didn’t work for me.


But what works for me may be useless for someone else because we all have different body chemistry’s tolerance levels and hundreds of other factors. Which contribute to how effective a specific medication effectively works for an individual. 


Sometimes it’s a lot of trial and error to get the perfect medication and that’s okay! So remember if your youngster has issues with a specific drug talk to their doctor and they’ll find another option that will be more effective


Three: Don’t use unhelpful self-talk, as a way to talk yourself out of doing what is right for your youngster


When we tell ourselves statements such as “but it’s such a hard decision to medicate.” I have to lay a harsh truth on you from a child who’s parents did this too


It’s unhelpful and causes unnecessary psychological damage to your youngsters emotional well-being. 


It took me years of intense therapy to get a grip on the things that not being medicated caused throughout my childhood and teenage years. It also damaged our relationship in ways that will never be fixed


And when you say unhelpful self-talk statements all you are doing is making your youngsters life more complicated

So instead of saying it’s my right or but it’s sooo tough! Remember, with your youngsters health it’s about their rights and it’s your responsibility to do what is medically necessary


Four: It’s important to speak about medication in a respectful manner


How you talk about medication and mental health effects how your child talks about those issues as well. When they hear statements like “did you take your meds today” and other similar toxic things like doctors and drug companies make up fake conditions to get rich. 


It gives a negative perception of medication and our healthcare industry and they have the same beliefs. Which can stop them from taking a life changing medication or seeing a doctor or therapist


Instead, practice healthy language which doesn’t lead to pill shaming or self-stigma. So they have a healthier outlook and if they have issues instead of suffering in silence, they have confidence to seek out the support they need


Five: Don’t let others shame you or make you feel like a bad parent


In a world where stigma is so acceptable with mental illness and medication. It’s tough for that not to negativity affect a parent. 


When you’re doing everything in your power (Especially if you’re putting aside your own biases) to help your youngster not only reach their potential but surpass that potential! Do you know what that makes you?


An amazing, resilient parent and you deserve a pat on the back!So don’t let those know it alls dictate your child’s treatmentbecause who care about some ignorant opinion, I don’t and neither should you


In conclusion, having biases, fears and hesitations is normal. But, as a child who’s parents let those biases, fears and hesitations dictate my treatment. I want you to remember that the only person who suffers from this approach is your youngster


I know because I’ve been! Here is a quote about what medication did and still does for me


“Before my doctor prescribed me Ritalin; I had issues holding jobs, making healthy relationships, boundaries, school & many other areas of my life.


I would be wondering what was wrong with me. Then I started taking medication and I realized that I had a valid medical condition and all of my struggles made sense.


Not only that, but I overcame most of those struggles and excelled in areas of my life I never dreamed would be possible. Even though I struggled at first and still do, medication gives me the clarity to understand those struggles and strengthen them.


Medication is not a cure because ADHD has no cure. With the proper understanding of what is within your control and professional support, you are on the correct path. “In combination with coping strategies, and many other factors, you’re off to a good start.”

To Read Sandy’s Blog, Your Mental Health and You, Click Here