Meds and Transition from Child to Adult

Question:
use of medicationsAs a parent of two children one diagnosed with ADD and the other ADHD, I am curious about the continuing use of medications after high school or college.  I’ve heard claims that as these children mature and enter into jobs they find interesting, the need for meds will disappear.  I’ve also heard this theory is no longer conventional wisdom and the need for these meds persist into adulthood.  I would be interested in the views and experiences of those folks who made this transition.  I am also curious if you believe the ADD vs ADHD had any bearing on the need for continuing with meds or not.  If you no longer take meds did you stop because they were no longer needed, because of unpleasant side effects, or because they were no longer working?  If they were no longer needed, were there any clues or other indications that you could point to that led you to believe you could discontinue the meds without the return of the symptoms or did you simply stop and wait to see what happened?  Lastly, as an adult do you prefer to take your medications on a regular schedule, just when you think you may need them or do you like to mix in a holiday here and there?  Thanks to any who care to respond!

Response:
As a parent of two children one diagnosed with ADD and the other ADHD, I am curious about the continuing use of medications after high school or college. I’ve heard claims that as these children mature and enter into jobs they find interesting, the need for meds will disappear. I’ve also heard this theory is no longer conventional wisdom and the need for these meds persist into adulthood.  I would be interested in the views and experiences of those folks who made this transition.

Meds and Transition from Child to Adult

As a mom of an ADHD son who is now a young adult and college student, I can say for one thing for certain: whether or not these children choose to take medication, use an ADHD coach, take advantage of supports and accommodations offered by schools or employers, etc., is no longer within their mom’s control. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. If it’s any comfort, I will say that I see increased organizational skills and more of a willingness to use tools like a PDA, than I did when my son was in high school. His priorities now seem more mature too. OTOH, he’s still very restless, still loses things regularly, still procrastinates, is still quite impulsive. Nancy Unique, like everyone else.

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Response:
As a parent of two children one diagnosed with ADD and the other ADHD, I am curious about the continuing use of medications after high school or college.  I’ve heard claims that as these children mature and enter into jobs they find interesting, the need for meds will disappear.

That didn’t happen to me. I matured from an ADD child into an ADDult. As a young child I accidentally had some medical help with my ADD, because I was asthmatic and supposed to take ephedrine pills as required to help me breathe properly. It didn’t take me long to discover that in small amounts (about a third of a pill) they helped me to concentrate. Unfortunately I grew out of the asthma and lost my ephedrine pills in my early teens. Procrastination and appallingly bad self-organisation and time management have made a mess of every job I’ve ever had, with the exception of those very simple low-level jobs where you turn up, do simple things that people tell you to do, and then go home. I was very lucky to be clever enough that paying absolutely minimal attention in school was enough to win me prizes. But I was very unpopular because without doing any homework or revision I’d at least be near the top of the class in any subject which interested me. I only discovered I was ADD when I was in my fifties. I went through a very long struggle trying to get diagnosed and treated by a very hostile medical service, e.g. “How could you possibly imagine you have a learning disorder when you have a postgraduate degree?” “Adult ADD is an American fad diagnosis which doesn’t exist!” I’ve also heard this theory is no longer conventional wisdom and the need for these meds persist into adulthood.  I would be interested in the views and experiences of those folks who made this transition.

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asthmatic

I thought it very likely that meds would help since experimenting with similar drugs bought illegally on the street brought tears of joyful relief to my eyes when I felt how smoothly wish could translate into effective action when the brain was working properly. But I didn’t trust the quality control on black market street drugs, and I wanted to be supervised and advised by someone who knew about long term effects, etc., so I didn’t continue with the self-medication. I am also curious if you believe the ADD vs ADHD had any bearing on the need for continuing with meds or not.  If you no longer take meds did you stop because they were no longer needed, because of unpleasant side effects, or because they were no longer working?

I gave up trying to fight my way through a sceptical and hostile health service when I developed heart problems which rendered the use of anything resembling a CNS stimulant inadvisable. If they were no longer needed, were there any clues or other indications that you could point to that led you to believe you could discontinue the meds without the return of the symptoms or did you simply stop and wait to see what happened?

What happened to me without meds was that I’ve lost ridiculous amounts of money through carelessness with paying bills on time, including a few narrow squeaks just short of bankruptcy, all quite unnecessary since I always had the money, just lacked the organisation to give it to people I owed it to soon enough. I’m clever enough to get quickly promoted in any job, but ADD enough that whenever they promote me to a position which requires the timely handling of important paperwork, I’m doomed. Lastly, as an adult do you prefer to take your medications on a regular schedule.

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ADD child

It’s not a case of preference! I’d love to be able to do something on a regular schedule, but three months is about the longest I’ve ever been able to hold any regular schedule, and that takes a huge effort and a following wind. Ironically enough, while struggling to find a UK national health service professional who would admit to the possibility that *I* might possibly suffer from ADD, I was, as a university director of studies, routinely passing on students with ADD diagnoses to the university disability centre, where they’d get fixed up with the special allowances appropriate to the severity of their problems. Some ADD students would get supplied with PDAs to help them manage their timetables, homework assignments, etc.. The authorities even noticed that I seemed to be rather good at understanding these kids, and used to pass difficult ones on to me! — IPAB,  Informatics,  JCMB, King’s Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK

Response:
That didn’t happen to me. I matured from an ADD child into an ADDult.

It got worse for me.  As a child no one but me was affected by me mooning around and losing track of everything!

Response:
As a parent of two children one diagnosed with ADD and the other ADHD,

Thanks to those who responded. Your responses reminded me of the saying, “The more things change, the more things stay the same.” As I watch my children enter into adolescence, I can’t help being concerned about their future. I’m just hoping to gain some insight and be there with some helpful responses if or when they should need it. Thanks again!

Response:
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