New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

ADHD in Boys

scared about taking medication for adhd

I was diagnosed with adhd at age 6. It has affected me all of my life. My mom never put me on medication because she thought I could manage without it. Still it’s taking its toll especially in my grades. I’m seeing a psychiatrist. I have the option of taking them. I’m just scared of the side effects it’ll have on me. I want to take them because it’s just so hard to manage life but I’m scared that the medication could make it worse and give me other disorders. This decision is so hard. Very confused.


Just like how ADHD affects each person differently, so does medication. But here are a few things that might help… My son hasn’t had any side effects. He might not feel as hungry at lunch time, but we’re not sure so obviously it isn’t significant.

Also, pretty much all ADHD medications leave your system within the 24 hours (my son’s is supposed to last 8-10 hours but I’m pretty sure his metabolism burns it off faster than that).  So even if you had a really awful sideffect, it’d be gone later that day.

What side effects are you worried about?

Why do you think medication would give you other disorders? Why do you think it would make your ADHD worse? (There’s really no evidence of this, BTW.)

Have you talked to your psychiatrist about your fears?

Posted by Rai0414 on Jun 11, 2014 at 10:55am

As a parent of a boy who was diagnosed at age 6 , it was a hard decision for me to put my son on the medication to help him focus. But after much research and talking to the doctor as well as the therapist and the teachers that were dealing with his issues we decided that AP would be better with the medication. Poor little guy could not sit still, he was all over the place, shouting out and never raising his hand. He had boundary issues, loves to give hugs and be in others space. Not intentional at all but very annoying to other kids.  I can tell you that we went through few stimulants and non stimulants to end up where we are at in the last 6 months. But We saw an improvement in his school work and attitude at school. So this is the avenue we are approaching at the time being. The school is aware of his process and has been able to accommodate him as well as a student. I do worry about the side effects but this outweighs the fact that he will be able to focus in school and get better grades. Is it for everyone? No not everyone needs medication. Therapy in group settings as well as single ones also help deal with the stress of ADHD. You have to do what is best for you. Do the research on what medication(s) they think will be beneficial to you and then go to the doctor and weigh out the benefits and non benefits of the medication. Most of the time if you are young the medication wears off after about a 8-10 hour day.  My son’s is usually out of his system by 6 or 7 each night. He at his tender age of 7 ( just had a b day) understand the need to focus in school.  The last few weeks of school for him were great the teacher said. And he is coloring in the lines with pictures. I know that may not sound like a big deal but he use to color fast like a 4 year old would at the beginning of the year. Its a long road but one that I look forward to.
I do not know how old you are but you seem like you understand. Some meds can make symptoms worse. Get the knowledge on who in your family has any disorders, if any. In our case the closest relative with any issues was our Great grandma. Everyone responds differently to the meds and there is a lot out there to use. Talk to the doctor and see what you can do to help you and ask about the side effects.  Good luck my dear. I hope you get the support and help you need to make this decision. Its not easy , I will not lie to you about this but one decision that I am thankful I chose for AP.

Posted by MommytoAP on Jun 11, 2014 at 3:30pm

I agree with the comments above. I have a 7 year old who was diagnosed at 4.  We have tried several routes but ultimately went for the medication - which is a really hard decision when he is this young, but he was rolling all over the place, had no sense of personal space and couldn’t sit still or do school work. We tried stimulants and soon realized they made him more emotional and short tempered so we took him off.  He is now doing great on non stimulant of Intuiniv. The most important thing is to find a doctor who really really knows ADHD and the medications that go along with it. Then slowly walk thru the process of finding the right one for you.  We took our son off the medication for 3 days and it was terrible. His teachers said he was bouncing off walls, so it re-enforced our decisions. Good luck.  It may be a whole new beginning for you. smile

Posted by Willingandable on Jun 11, 2014 at 4:01pm

I agree with the comments above as well. My son was diagnosed at 6 and he was the same way, very impulsive. We tried a few different medications until we found the right ones for him. We ended up at a psychiatrist and she was able to help us find the right medication for him. I was totally against medicating him until we researched and really realized that it was best. He is 12 now and we are so glad that we chose to medicate him to help him focus, along with accomodations from the school.

Posted by Ry'sMom on Jun 11, 2014 at 4:20pm

If your concerned about how the medication might make you feel you can talk with your doctor about starting out on 5 mg tablets that are short acting. Then you and your doctor and figure out how much to start with in check in after a few weeks to see how you feel. Also adding fish oil twice a day as well as magnesium, and changing your diet to high protein low carb are natural ways that may help with some of the signs of ADHD.

Remember to do your own research about the medications available and find a doctor that specializes in ADHD. Also make sure that you are getting the right accommodations at school/work.

Knowing how you learn best will really help to know what accommodations might work best for you.

Posted by cheroyley on Jun 13, 2014 at 1:21am

Awe, I know what you are going through. What makes things hard is not you. It’s the people that don’t know how to support you (At school, at home maybe, too) People don’t know and understand that people who are diagnosed with this operate on a different frequency. My Son was diagnosed at age 6, too. I just wanted to know what they had to say. I don’t medicate him and never will. He is home-schooled to meet his needs. We dealt with sleep disorders, sensory issues, and impulsiveness. This is who he is and it poses no health threats, No need to medicate, In my opinion. As the years pass, some of those things are starting to seem less noticeable (Perhaps, because he is in the environment that accepts him for who he is. The sensory thing is still there, and maybe some of the impulsiveness. Medication should be researched further by parents. The FDA know the truth about these meds. Look at some youtube vids. some things will shock you. Taking these meds is like getting a lobotomy. Don’t kill your third eye (Pineal) gland. ADHD People are right brain dominated. taking these meds numb the right side of your brain,(what dominates your personality) What do you think it does to you. Turns you into a zombie, practically, because you are not naturally left brain dominated, yet you’d be forced to be, NO, NO NO to that. Look up “20 things Americans should know”  on youtube, really, do it. Don’t fall for that big money making, insurance draining med trap that way too many have fallen victim to. It’s a big money making business. You’ll be locked in and addicted. You can’t just stop taking it abruptly once you start. Good fortune to you, and keep your third eye open. Thank goodness your mom didn’t put you on it, yet, and you are old enough to do your own research to decide.

Posted by Me, Niecy on Jun 15, 2014 at 5:37am

“Medication should be researched further by parents.”

This is perhaps the only true statement you’ve made here.

“Taking these meds is like getting a lobotomy.”

Ignorant and false.

“Don’t kill your third eye (Pineal) gland. ADHD People are right brain dominated. taking these meds numb the right side of your brain,(what dominates your personality)”

Where are you getting this information?!

“Turns you into a zombie”

If you’re on the right medication and dosage ADHD medications will only make things easier. Your personality is still intact. You’re still you.  You just aren’t as frantic and unfocused. The only real difference we see in our son is a willingness to try again. He’s not angry and frustrated all the time.

This zombie type statement is old propaganda.

“Don’t fall for that big money making, insurance draining med trap that way too many have fallen victim to.”

Extremely insulting to parents like me who have read books and research, attended seminars and ADHD parenting classes, talked to specialists, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. and still decided medication was the best option for our child.

“You’ll be locked in and addicted. You can’t just stop taking it abruptly once you start.”

Untrue, unless you mean you’ll be addicted because you’ll finally feel “right” and love the ability to focus and deal with life without the impulsivity, etc. ADHD medications don’t work like other medications that build up in your system and so need to be weaned slowly. Once they’ve been in your system the amount of time they’re supposed to work for you (most are 8-12 hours), they are out of your system.

“you are old enough to do your own research to decide.”

Finally something I can agree with. Read a lot. Talk to the experts. You’ll see a lot of different opinions out there so stick to reputable sources (doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc who specialize in ADHD) and then make your decision based on what you’re seeing most often out there. And what will work best for you.

Please don’t listen to the extremists. On either side!

Posted by Rai0414 on Jun 16, 2014 at 7:00am

Ditto to all said…dont be afraid to be your own advocate.

Posted by caleffel on Aug 07, 2014 at 11:57pm

Join the New ADDitude Forums

ADDConnect is shutting down on July 31.
To continue sharing and receiving support from the ADDitude community, visit our new discussion forums.

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions