Natural Solutions for ADHD vs Medication.
I believe in both.
Sometimes in the world of natural remedies, I feel like a fraud. I feel so strongly about natural solutions, but I am currently getting back on medication for ADHD. For some reason, I feel like it has to be one way or the other. Why do I feel this way? I seriously hate it. Ugh.
I hate it, but I just want to be the best mom that I can be for my kiddos. And for me, that means some support from medication...at least for a little bit.
You may be thinking, "Well, if you hate it so much then why are you doing it?" You guys. I feel like I am yelling at my little kiddos a lot. When I am on medication, I stay much more patient. Can any of you relate to this?
I don't just have casual ADHD, so before you tell me that changing my diet will cure me, let me share a little bit of my story. I think you will see why I need medication but also why I am so desperate for natural solutions that actually work.
Full disclosure: I have done gluten-free STRICT for 6 months. I did gluten-free and dairy-free. I saw zero difference in my ADHD. I mean, I cut out everything that I was told to cut out.
I started being tested for ADHD when I was 5-years-old. I went to kindergarten and a teacher said to my parents, "Man, something is really wrong with this kid. You really need to get her in." This was 30 years ago before everyone and their brother started to have ADHD. Following that statement from my teacher, my mom took me to A LOT of specialists.
Eventually, I was diagnosed with ADHD. When they gave the diagnosis, they went back and realized that a lot of people in my family had it--like generations back. They could tell because people had moved A LOT. They think that my great great grandpa had it. He had 13 kids and 12 of them were born in different places and the only reason why two of them were born in the same place is because they were twins! HA! Looking back and talking to my grandma she was all, "Oh my gosh. This ADHD comes through my line." So, it runs in my family and has for generations.
They also tested me for learning disabilities two or three different times but the tests came back negative. They did, however, diagnose me with a 3 minute attention span. THREE MINUTES. That is the length of my attention span before I am gone. #squirrel
I was put on medication at a young age. I took Ritalin. It took a lot of playing around with medications to see which ones worked the best for me. They would try time-release and a myriad of other things and they never really worked. So I always went back to Ritalin. I took a really high dosage of it--100 mg. I would take 20 mg every three hours. That's 5 times a day!
As a young teenager, whenever I would go to the doctor, they would come to me and say, "Oh my goodness. We need to test your kidneys and your liver!" Now...I have ADHD and I've also been blessed with anxieties. (SARCASM.) So, of course, when they said that, I started to worry! I'm only 13-years-old and you're worried about my kidneys? YIKES. I have like 70+ years left to live. These bad boys have got to last me a long time!
They tried to put me on different medications--Adderall, Concerta--they worked okay but I would burn through medicine that was supposed to last 12 hours in like 6 hours...and then I couldn't take any more even though I really needed to. I must have a fast metabolism.
For me, going on medications meant trial and error to see how it worked. Taking a medication that made me nauseous. Going back off it. Trying something else. Having my kidneys and liver tested a million times.
I actually don't like trying a new medication and wondering if what I am feeling is normal. Is it normal to feel like I couldn't safely drive my car? I hate that! I hate that feeling. I hate going to the doctor and paying $100s for all the blood work and making sure I'm not on drugs, making sure I'm not pregnant, etc. and then spending additional $100s on these medications that make you feel high.
So, I would always go back to Ritalin even though I had to take so much of it.
When I got married to Richard, we started to think about starting a family. I didn't want to be on medication while I was pregnant...for obvious reasons. But I knew I needed support so I couldn't just quit any and all treatment. I felt stuck until I started to become intrigued about natural remedies. I remember I was working for an OB when a girl brought in a book about essential oils and I copied a bunch of pages in it because I was so interested.
I was desperate for natural remedies to help me.
Over the years, I have found that certain oils are a good support. I love the oils because you avoid the side effects--feeling like your high, feeling like you're drunk, all of those negative side effects.
BUT. There are times when I need medication. I CAN do it without but I really want to be the best mom possible...and let's be honest, for the level of ADHD that I have it would be like expecting a diabetic to go without insulin and say, "You should be able to do this on your own" Do I use the oils as a tool? OH YES. 100%. I love it.
For most people natural solutions will be the way you need to go, but PLEASE, if you feel like you need medication (like I am feeling right now for my own motherhood sanity), PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go get medical assistance.
Right now I want meds to compliment the oils.