Skills not pills

I am so happy, excited and proud of myself! I did it! I created a support group in the West Island of Montreal!

Last night was our first meeting and I think that it went really well! It was so nice to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and I am so excited to learn from them and share my personal experience! 🙂

I know that this is a pretty controversial topic. To medicate or not to medicate? It’s been two months since I was officially diagnosed (I accidentally wrote medicated ahah, my ADHD brain) and to be honest I am pretty freaked out by medication. I can’t wrap my head around being on mediation for the rest of my life to help manage my brain. For that reason I have given myself some time to learn skills that I can use to help harness and use my ADHD strengths.

Anyways, the reason why I decided to write about this was because the speaker last night said:

“Skills not Pills”

I think that this is one side of the medication debate but I do agree that you need a base, a foundation. You need to have a foundation of skills to help you with everyday activities! The pills can only do so much and I have heard that it can be an extremely rocky road to finding the pills/medication, not to mention the dose that work for you! If you are on the rocky terrain (from taking the medication) and you don’t have a way of dealing with the side effects, and whatever else can come about after taking the medication, then I personally do not believe that it is healthy to start the medication in the first place.

Please note that I am not an expert, a doctor, or a psychologist/psychiatrist, I am talking about myself! Everyone has their own story, their own solutions, their own journey and this is mine.

Let me give you an example. I have comorbid anxiety and, through learning about ADHD, I am starting to suspect dyscalculia. The anxiety is what shone through and was my obvious hurdle. I would constantly be nervous and anxious in most social situations. Public speaking was a complete nightmare and I avoided it like the plague. My point is: how can I treat my ADHD with medication when my anxiety is what seems to be my biggest struggle. Yes, it can be “which came first? The chicken (for some reason I really wanted to say turtle!) or the egg?” What happens if the first medication that I try causes my anxiety to increase wildly and I cannot handle it. This thought really, really freaks me out!

side note: I have taken anxiety medication in the past (citalopram). The citalopram side effects (wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, heart beating like crazy. Basically high anxiety) were not ideal for someone already struggling with anxiety. HOWEVER, I stuck through the side effects and I noticed a few things:

1) My racing heartbeat didn’t overwhelm me anymore when I was in a situation that made me nervous.

2) I no longer blushed when I was nervous/anxious. This was huge for me!

I am no longer on citalopram, but after being on it I have a sort of confidence that I didn’t have before. I know now that I can do it, and all the crazy scenarios that I come up with in my head are never as bad as they seem!

I also think that it is important to mention, I have heard that for some people treating their ADHD may help their anxiety and other comorbid conditions subside. So treating the ADHD is their primary goal! Again, “which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

In summary, I am not a doctor, I cannot say what is truly the best thing to do. I believe that it varies per person. However, I know myself well enough and I know that I need to have stable ground to stand on before I go and dabble in the medication world of ADHD.

I would love to know your experience and thoughts on natural and medication treatments!

Originally publish on 26/01/2018

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