Skills, Not Pills

I've been missing a couple weeks. Is it a coincidence that it's the same couple weeks I've been building up on the ADHD medication that I finally launched? 

No, no it's not. 

I don't think it's for me. In the beginning I had stomach upset and indigestion, which is apparently normal for the whole messing-with-your-brain-chemistry part of it. But then in the past week, something changed, and not for the better. I started feeling...blah. Blah started feeling more melancholic. By this weekend, I felt downright depressed. I'm tired. I'm zonked. I feel flat and gray and unhappy without a cause. 

I am very fond of balanced brain chemistry, and I feel like I was at a good place with my anxiety/depression medication. This new addition? I feel it is messing with me without any positives so far. And I'm not sure I want to wait to see if positives erupt, because it makes me feel so yucky. 

Bryce said, "you just aren't yourself. You seem sad, and disinterested. Flattened." He only said it after I offered up that I don't like it, and that I didn't feel right. I so appreciate that he waited until I shared my thoughts, because he's trying not to influence my observations. 

I'm going to go off this med. I don't think it's a loss because it was determined that I have definitive generalized anxiety disorder, but that I also have quite a lot of ADHD traits and behaviors. The psychiatric nurse practitioner said "skills AND pills," but I feel  good about trying "skills NOT pills." He did say that I've compensated for a really long time, and I am a reasonably successful human, so working on those strategies to manage my difficulties with focus, and time, and organization, and rejection sensitivity (which is also an anxiety thing) should make for positive change. Previous sessions were in my home office, but the last session was at school...which was super helpful because I could unveil the disaster that is my desk and pretty much every available surface near a computer. I think that was enlightening. 

So, I'm going to use timers, and copy people with more successful executive function, and set better routines. And get my brain chemistry back to a lovely stasis. I have learned to listen to my body, and to believe myself when I sense that something is wrong. 


  1. You seem pretty darn successful to me! I'm glad you are listening to your body, and that you believe yourself. That last paragraph is so perfect.
    Also, I'm worried about all those things you listed as difficulties. And I'm typing this on a bomb site of a desk! (The bomb debris has spilled over onto the floor.) Hmmmm.

  2. I'm glad you feel empowered enough to trust your instincts and what your body is telling you. I am of course an avoider of medications unless absolutely necessary, so I feel my own biases...but I think the important thing is that you were given the choices and information and you did what was right for you.

    I detest piles at school, but they would happen in the past anyway, and become these mountains of dread that I would have to go through anytime I did assessments. I have improved the situation by having students keep almost everything in their binders (and their binders at school). They *they* get to learn how to organize their papers and it's not in my face LOL. We also "mirror" pretty much every assignment on Google Classroom and do quick comment assessments online, that are there for students and parents to see, as well as us when we have to write a narrative report card or whatever. It works for me/my team (but then we do have a smaller program.)

  3. You're right. You know. You don't have to wait any longer to test your theory. The medication you tried isn't for you. Good to know, that's more information moving forward. I call that a success because you tried it and now you know.

    I'm sorry you were feeling flat. To me, that's true depression, when you're not feeling anything. At least when I'm sad, I still feel sad. When I'm depressed, I feel nothing. And it's awful. It's an awful way to be. Nobody needs to live like that.

    Because there are strategies! :) There are so many strategies for managing various chronic conditions. Routines can be key.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and perspective. I've had one medication that helped and one that definitely didn't. I wish more people talked about this kind of stuff.

  4. My favorite part of this update is that you have learned to listen to your body. Someone recently was singing the praises of CBT to me for some repetitive and dysfunctional self talk I sometimes have (always in the middle of the night!) so in a way, I can feel a bit of what you are saying with Skills.