People regularly ask me "will I have side effects from taking my ADHD meds?" My response? "I hope so!" No, I'm not hoping they will experience loss of appetite or irritability (two possible side effects from stimulants) but I AM hoping they will experience some of the positive side effects from taking medications that work for them. Here are just a few examples of these 'side effects' as relayed to me by adults with ADHD.
"I call it my 'get-it-done' medication. Meds keep me focused at work and when I need to follow through."
"Before my partner started taking his meds a week ago he described his attention as being like a water balloon. He would throw it in a direction and it would splat all over the place. Now, with the meds, he describes his attention as being like a fire hose. He aims, and fires on target! We're really excited about what's happening!"
"Having ADHD is like having 50 TV sets going in my head at once. Ritalin works by turning off forty-nine of them."
"The medications I take for ADHD calm my mind and give me a bit more time to consider before I act."
"I take Wellbutrin for my ADHD and it stops the spurts of anger that used to threaten my marriage."
"Medications help tremendously - before them I was swimming in an ocean of anxiety. Now it's only isolated incidents that trigger me."
Medication doesn't work for everyone - about 80% of adults can find a medication that helps them significantly manage ADHD symptoms without meaningful side effects - that leaves 20% who can't. And different medications work differently for different people - many must experiment with both the type of medication and the dosage before they find something that is right for them.
Finally, I must reiterate that good treatment is NOT just about meds. Please download my free treatment e-book from my home page for much more information about how to optimize treatment for adult ADHD. But isn't it great to hear what it's like when ADHD meds work? Not all 'side effects' are bad!
*NO, I have no affiliation with any pharmaceutical company and have never been paid by a pharmaceutical company.