DISCLAIMER. I don’t think that health or treatment is one size fits all. I think everyone reacts differently to medication. This is purely my experience, and has nothing to do with anyone else’s.
A little background: I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a kid. I was put on every rx stimulant drug you can think of… And it helped! I stopped turning my homework in on crumpled construction paper instead of lined, I started remembering my books when I came to class, I stopped constantly having to go to detention. The meds did made me paranoid and irritable at times, and when that happened my mom would ask the doc to add a mood regulating drug to the mix. I honestly feel that all of this really impacted my memory, as I barely remember my childhood… But who knows. Fast forward to late twenties Molly. I was working at my highly competitive corporate job, I was a solid size 0 which I really enjoyed, and I had just met the man who is now my husband… Ayyeee, life was good! But it was the beginning of my realization that my ADHD medication was changing my personality in ways I wasn’t willing to accept. I found myself picking fights with Matt over nothing. This had been a pattern in my relationships, but Matt was different, and I cared about our relationship’s wellbeing and longevity. (When we would leave town and I would forget to bring my meds, he would always remark on how much more relaxed and easygoing I seemed… This was my first red flag of many.) My dentist told me I was clearly grinding my teeth and asked me if I took a stimulant drug… when I said yes, I got the impression she saw this a lot. And I started noticing that I was feeling shaky and anxious after social interactions… My doctor suggested I tweak my dose for the 100th time, but I made the hard decision to give life a go without my meds and see what happened.
So… what happened? a) I withdrew, HARD. I could truly barely keep my eyes open for about 2 weeks. b) my relationships basically ALL changed. Most for the better. I have had friends tell me that they always loved me but they used to love me despite the “aggressive” part of my personality. They say that now I’m just easier to be around and react to things completely differently. Matt and I flourished, and our whole dynamic changed for the better. c) I changed careers, as I my job was no longer a good fit for me. Getting off my meds made me less aggressive and competitive, which were key in my job to be #1. and d) I began to feel like myself. I began to feel in touch with my “soul,” as hokey as that may sound. And to be honest, I sort of mourn all of the years I spent feeling drugged and not totally myself.
This choice was not easy and has not been perfect… Not everyone has agree with it. But it was been the right one for me.
Fast forward again, to now. I’m in my thirties, married with kids, and running my small business. I have hired a manager who keeps the wheels turning, thank GOD (she handles everything from negotiations to billing), and that has saved me. But I do still find myself struggling with organization, focus, thoroughly reading my contracts and meeting deadlines, and juggling work life + kids. I rely heavily on coping mechanisms (for instance! LISTS. Lists are my lifeblood. And my DO IT NOW philosophy. I remember I need to schedule an appt? I do it now. I remember I haven’t texted a friend back. I do it now. I remember I need to film an Instagram story for a brand? I drop everything and do it now. Because if I don’t do it now, I very likely will not do it.)– and natural remedies.
Which brings me to the sponsor of this blog post: KaraMD! KaraMD is a cutting edge, vegan, physician-formulated, science-backed, natural supplement brand. They offer products that help with everything from comfort (tumeric and ginger-based; Matt loves this one!) to sleep, to heart health, and more….. AND it turns out they make a product called FOCUS 365, made with natural ingredients proven to improve mental clarity and focus:
- Green Tea Extract (200mg) – Green Tea Extract has been used as an herbal remedy for many things, although most notably to help with memory & concentration, tiredness & low energy, along with easing symptoms of stress.
- Panax Ginseng (150mg) –Panax Ginseng is thought to have beneficial effects on the central nervous system (which affects mood), the immune system, energy levels & memory functions.
- Maca Root Extract (150mg) – Often referred to as a superfood, this plant is a nutritional powerplant. People have used Maca Root for a number of things including tiredness, low energy, mood swings, as well as fragile bones.
- Acetyle L-Carnitine (200mg) – Acetyl-L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is used by your cell’s mitochondria to produce energy. Active mitochondria are important for your heart and brain to function at maximum efficiency, for healthy muscular activity, and for many other important body processes.
I have taken it for about 3 months now and I feel a noticable (albeit somewhat subtle) shift in my ability to focus for longer periods of time, and I feel improved mental clarity + ability to recall. AND no irritability, no jitters, no grinding! It is by no means a replacement for my old prescription drugs, but it is something that helps… And I need all the help, as an unmedicated ADHD’er, that I can get!
They have generously extended a discount code my readers: FASHIONVEGGIE will get you 30% off! I hope you like them as much as I do, and I hope they help you.
Thanks for letting me share a bit about my past. XOXO