The reason why I don’t take ADHD medication

The number of adults being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is on the rise - as well as the number of adults utilizing ADHD medication. So why are some of us defying statistics and handling our symptoms without the use of stimulants or other ADHD meds?


Is it necessary to take ADHD medication? I often hear this question tossed around. I don’t believe there is a  definite ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Whether a person feels they need to take ADHD medication is individual.  But the statistics speak for themselves – 62% of kids age 5-17 diagnosed with ADHD are on medication – the older the kid the more likely they are on ADHD medication.

My experience with ADHD Medication

When I was first diagnosed with ADHD, I started taking stimulant ADHD medication. For the first couple of weeks, it was wonderful. All of the sudden I had this burst of energy where before just the thought of getting through the day left me feeling lethargic. But pretty soon I started getting annoying side effects: I started smoking (cigarettes) like a chimney, I would lose my appetite completely when I was on the medication and then eat like horse as soon as the medication wore off (late at night) – causing me to gain 14 pounds in 8 months.


What are alternative strategies for coping with ADHD Symptoms?

I am not opposed to ADHD medication. And I have only tried the stimulant variants. If I one day decide to go that route again, I will definitely consider the non-stimulant ADHD medications. As of now, being unable to cope on stimulants has forced me to try other things to alleviate my ADHD symptoms. I have read countless books on the subject and tried a billion different supplements. So how do I get through my workday? Project management, to-do list and working in intervals has helped me tremendously. As mentioned earlier, I am not saying I will never try ADHD medicine again, I just think that if I can manage without – I would much rather do that. That is my personal choice – and I realize not everyone can make that work for them. So if you feel like you need medication to function  – go for it!

There are still a lot of things I haven’t tried when it comes to managing my ADHD. Here are a few I would love to try in the future:

  • Brain Training – neurofeedback, biofeedback, and cognitive training
  • Diet & Nutrition – Eating high nutritional meals and avoiding potential ADHD food triggers
  • Exercise – daily exercise has proven time after time to alleviate ADHD symptoms
  • Meditation – can you imagine being able to calm your busy ADHD mind on command OMG
  • Vitamins & Minerals – There is a lot of ongoing research about a possible link between vitamin and mineral deficiencies and ADHD.

I have dabbled in a few remedies on the above list, but not consistently enough to draw any real conclusion as to the effectiveness. I also think that what works for me, may not work for everyone, so the only way to know is to try it out!

If you have ADHD, are you currently on medication or are you seeking alternative coping mechanisms like me?