ADHD with or with out Meds?

Posted
by melissakay01 melissakay01 (New) New

Hi, I am a nursing student and I was just recently dx with ADHD. I am contemplating medication, but I just am not quite sure yet. Is it possible to be an RN without the medication. Are there any resources out there I can refer to?

Thanks so much for any feed back.

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,964 Posts

It depends on how severe your ADHD is, and how you work with it. Are you able to focus when you need to? Can you manage multiple competing priorities? If you can do this without medication, you are a rarity; most people with your condition need some form of help in order to function optimally in the world of work. Nursing is full of stress, and as you know stress is a trigger; it only makes a tough situation worse.

In the meantime, you can look at sites such as WebMD and Medscape for more information, and of course, you should always consult your provider (do you have a psychiatrist, or are you seeing a primary care doctor?) and get his/her advice on how to deal with your ADHD. Listen carefully, and if he/she prescribes medication, be willing to try it.

I wish you the best in your endeavors. Welcome to allnurses!

Edited by VivaLasViejas

Graduatenurse14

1 Article; 630 Posts

We can't give medical advice but can give some resources to help. addforums.com is a good resource for those with ADHD as well as parents, and teachers.

Purple_roses

Purple_roses

1,763 Posts

As a student with ADD, I can manage school very well without meds, but my home life (relationships, finances) falls apart. With meds, I've done very well in school, have thoroughly enjoyed family/friends/my SO relationship, and have done well handling my finances. Everyone is different. I've had a very good experience with my meds. That's not to say it's a magic pill--it's certainly not. But it helps me feel motivated enough and level-headed enough to make an attempt at handling everything.

Just personal experience here.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,949 Posts

I have ADHD and I vote to try behavior modification techniques first, before getting on meds. It can be done. See a therapist or psychiatrist who is well-versed in such behavior techniques. I tried the meds; they made me feel awful, and honestly I overcame better with changing certain behaviors to improve my attention. It's worked well over a 20 year career so far.

If this fails, I would definitely get a PSYCHIATRIST to prescribe the meds, not just a family doctor. These meds are not without their downsides. If this professional feels you really need meds, you can more trust this than with a family doctor who has to figure out not only what to use, but how much and when. They change your brain chemistry. ADHD can be a gift, if proper behaviors are in place. I am living proof.

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions. 4 Articles; 7,907 Posts

Hi, I am a nursing student and I was just recently dx with ADHD. I am contemplating medication, but I just am not quite sure yet. Is it possible to be an RN without the medication. Are there any resources out there I can refer to?

Thanks so much for any feed back.

AN.com can't give medical advice. And while websites, online support groups and forums can all be good resources, you and your psych PCP need to work out whether going without medication is the best option for YOU.

There are lots of nurses successfully working with psych issues, and not all of them require medication. But keep in mind that what works for Nurse X and Nurse Y might not be in your best interests. And keep in mind that it's not uncommon for people posting about their ADHD/psych conditions online not to be entirely forthcoming about what they are/aren't doing. So take whatever you read with a grain of salt. It could help...or it could hinder.

You need to evaluate how well YOU are able to manage your disorder while working in the very demanding field of nursing. You need to discuss with your psych PCP what options would be best for you. And if you two determine that you would benefit from medication, it's not the end of the world. You wouldn't be the first nurse on any form of psych medication, and you wouldn't be the last.

Best of luck.

melissakay01

melissakay01

7 Posts

Love this! Thank you so much! So true!

melissakay01

melissakay01

7 Posts

Thank you so much!

melissakay01

melissakay01

7 Posts

I am absolutely considering this route. I have ordered some books, and purchased some supplements, and have started some cardio. I am also in touch with an ADHD center here locally, and I'm going to speak to some folks there which includes speaking to a psychiatrist. Thank you!

Purple_roses

Purple_roses

1,763 Posts

I have ADHD and I vote to try behavior modification techniques first, before getting on meds. It can be done. See a therapist or psychiatrist who is well-versed in such behavior techniques. I tried the meds; they made me feel awful, and honestly I overcame better with changing certain behaviors to improve my attention. It's worked well over a 20 year career so far.

I'm intrigued. One of the downsides to my medication is that when I take it, everything is usually fine, but if I ever forget to take it, that day is absolutely miserable. I almost feel drunk/mentally impaired on the rare days I forget to take it. I usually don't take my med when I'm on vacation, and by the end of the vaca I'm not feeling that impaired stupor feeling anymore (although I do feel my normal ADD symptoms). That stupor feeling is just one of the worst feelings...it's hard to even describe.

Straight No Chaser, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute. Has 6 years experience. 1 Article; 2,144 Posts

If I don't take my meds I am dangerous and not as good of a nurse. I have a medical condition that needs treatment, no different than many other conditions that need routine medication.

Best thing to do is find a good psych. that knows about the condition and do what they say.

Best of luck