ADHD Medication Experience

I wanted to document some more of my “ ADHD journey” incase it helps those going through similar. I have mentioned the diagnosis process below and this blog is about beginning to trial ADHD medication. 

I recently read that 1 in 4 prisoners in the UK have ADHD, diagnosed or undiagnosed, which is much higher than in the general population where the prevalence is around 2-4%. Campaigners are asking for prisoners to be screened and treated for ADHD as part of the intake process (which supposedly already happens) but this highlights- not that there is a current epidemic of ADHD diagnoses (which I have heard some people state- “everyone is getting diagnosed these days…” ) but that many people are missed being diagnosed as children and adolescents and we are now more aware and able to identify traits which can be managed through coaching and /or medication. 

In me- I’m still not sure which stuff is the ADHD; which stuff is the autistic part of my nature; which stuff is masking/coping strategies I’ve developed and which stuff is just… me.  So although I know in theory “ADHD  is very treatable” I have yet to experience this and to experientially know what this means for me. Because this is very new for me I wanted to talk about my own current process- I’m 15 days into the first round of medication which means I will titrate up to the next dose tomorrow, (which is + half what I’m taking now).


I had a lot of questions about medication before I started taking it- I probably most wanted to know: 

Is it the magic cure? 

Will I be somehow amazing after taking it? 

Will I be able to finish that song/book/ email/ laundry pile finally? 

How does it make you different? 

Is it better? 

Are you still you? 

Is it bad to take medication? 

Why do we need medication if we’ve survived til now? 

Will I die of a heart attack? 

*I don’t have the answers to these questions btw- I’m very much feeling my way through through as I go- I’m just sharing these as I’m sure they are similar to questions you may have. 

I am in the UK and as such I am trying a first line treatment stimulant called methylphenidate- (Ritalin but the long release 12 hour version) I’m on the starting dose which is 18mg- which my psychiatrist warned me would probably not do anything at all. He was right. After two weeks on it I can honestly say I don’t feel noticeably different as yet. I was worried I’d stay up all night or feel sick or wired and anxious unable to do anything. That might come with the next dose up but right now, nothing has really changed….However when I look at what I’ve achieved over the last couple of weeks, it’s quite a lot and possibly the medication has helped in some way- I’ve lost my dog- (see below post), I’ve prepared for and performed my first electronic gig even though I did not know what I was doing, I’ve carried on working and have been dealing with some quite complex jobs: Essentially, I’ve not fallen apart when I may have done in the past. That might be down to better self management and better self awareness but maybe the medication is helping me push through at times. 

The common dose for this drug is 36mg so I’m currently on half of it. I shall update you when I have tried the next dose up and see how that feels. I wanted point out that I am not super into being medicated, I actually don’t take any drugs except pain relief when necessary, it’s not really part of our culture here in the UK. I have read stuff about how prevalent "addy" is in the US and it's not something I relate to or have any experience of. I’ve struggled with the idea that medication can “fix” you when you didn’t even know you were broken (ok you didn’t work perfectly and you knew other people didn’t struggle like you but you found your way of coping…) but I suppose like a lot of people who may be struggling with neurological difference or mental health issues, I wonder what it would be like to feel “normal”. And I also worry about it. Will it make me unable to create? Less creative? More robotic? More weird? More normal? Do I want that? …So, I’m testing it out and reporting back for you, folk. 

  I would never think that medication is the complete answer to anything, even pain relief. I know that even if medication helped me in some ways it’s not going to make me know how to progress through a marketing campaign, make me magically tidy, know how to finish a track or be suddenly accountable and brilliant at answering emails. I need to work out how to get better at these tasks and put checks in place for myself so that I’m acknowledging these things are hard for me and therefore I need more support and structure and accountability around them. With that in mind I have been working on building more structure, deadlines and accountability in my life-  I have some co-working sessions set up, both with music production buddies and with people I don’t know through websites like “focusmates” I have been using the pomodoro technique to focus for periods of time. We got a cleaner (which is really helping me to bundle in my own cleaning jobs at the same time and therefore remember when they last happened- eg. ah ok I last changed the hand towels a week ago). I have also had a couple of ADHD Business coaching sessions with some expert coaches and I’m just trying to work out the best coaching solution moving forward to keep me on track (and that I can afford!). 

So please follow along with me if you’re interested in this journey. I write this blog about all sorts of things but it’s nice to have a place to document this new phase of my life. Join me on instagram or fb and say hi if you’ve hopped across, I am friendly! Or join my mailing list even! I am planning on sending out a newsletter soon. 

Dillah Tanty 



Leave a comment