Importance of Conversations with your Psychiatrist on ADD/ADHD Medications
Importance of Conversations with ADD/ADHD Medication Prescriber
Medications can be very helpful for treating ADD/ADHD for many people, however, they also have serious risks and side effects that must be weighed and strategized against in an ongoing way, ranging from anxiety, irritability, and abuse which can each cause problems sometimes worse than those initially being addressed.
Many psychiatrists are very busy and if one is not intentional about the time spent with them, they can miss out on important conversations about medication. Finding a medication and dosage that minimizes side effects and improves your symptoms can take time, and it is your prescribers job to work with you to fine-tune your medication. Many clients I have worked with have experienced being given a dose that made them feel very unpleasant or anxious, and stopped because of this. Many have not heard that there are both stimulant and non-stimulant options for ADD/ADHD. While some take such medications without serious side effects or problems, others have taken medication and have developed tolerance, addiction, or other unwanted side effects. Taking time to note specifics about how you feel when taking the medication with your prescriber can help to identify the correct dose and type of medication.
The DSM V finds that the differentiation between certain mental health disorders such as ADD/ADHD and other mental health disorders of depression or anxiety are less strict than previously thought. It appears that if you experience one of these conditions it is more likely (in comparison with someone without any of the conditions) that you might experience symptoms associated with one of the other conditions. Furthermore, ADD/ADHD alone is well-known for impacting not only attention or physical activation, but possibly also the emotional regulation of an individual. When a powerful stimulant or other medication is added to the mix, there is a potential for an significant bad side effects that have to be managed. Tracking your anxiety and mood through a log or journal has been critical in many persons with ADHD to finding a better balance with medications.
There are many non-pharmacological ways to help manage some of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD including therapy, coaching, biofeedback and neurofeedback and mindfulness meditations. Call now for a free consultation to learn more about these modalities and if they might be a fit for your situation.