Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications can help you manage and relieve the symptoms of the condition. However, many patients prefer to try and manage the condition without taking medication.
There are always risks associated with taking prescription medications, and drugs affect people in different ways. Whether you or your child are experiencing negative effects from taking ADHD medication, or it’s a personal choice, you’re within your rights to abstain.
You should still approach a non-medicated path to managing ADHD responsibly, however, as your actions may affect others around you.
Here are some steps to help you better understand the effects of taking ADHD medications. Learn why some patients do not want to take it, and how you can assess the risks and benefits of not taking ADHD medication.
Concerned your symptoms may be adult-onset ADHD or ADD? Take this ADHD quiz for adults.
Why Try to Manage ADD or ADHD Without Medication?
There are a few reasons why some parents do not want to give ADD medications to their children or take it themselves. The most common reasons are below.
Side Effects and Risks Associated with Long-Term Use of ADHD Medication
The risk of side effects is one of the main reasons why people want to avoid prescription medications. You can treat one condition, and end up aggravating other health issues.
There is always also some uncertainty surrounding the long-term effects of medications. There are also concerns as to how meds affect the personality of the patient taking them.
Here are some of the known side effects and risks associated with some of the more popular ADD medications:
- Heart disease
- Abuse and addiction
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Skin discolorations
It Can Reduce Creativity
Studies have shown that some ADD medicines can reduce creativity as a side effect of helping manage the symptoms of ADHD. This brings to light some questions around the pros and cons of the medication.
Some parents do not want to stifle the creativity of their children, as it’s a vital part of developing their personalities and expressing themselves and their skills. Changes in mood and temperament are also effects that cause concern.
There Is Still a Stigma Around Add and ADHD Diagnoses
There has always been a stigma surrounding ADHD. In fact, some cultures and social circles frown upon it. ADHD behaviors still get attributed to poor parenting. However, this isn’t the case. Even so, some parents do not treat their children with medications to validate the diagnosis.
This doesn’t mean the symptoms go away on their own. Parents and adults with ADHD need to find alternative ways to manage the condition if they are not taking medications.
How to Assess Managing Add or ADHD Without Medication
If you want to assess the impact or how likely it is that you can manage ADHD without medication, run through the following steps:
List the ADHD-Related Behaviors Affecting You or Your Child
Make a note of all the behaviors related to ADHD that may cause problems. Such as:
- Practical problems
List the Situations, Events, and Activities That These Behaviors Can Affect
Make a note of the places, activities, and situations you or your child encounter on a regular basis. Such as:
- Sports activities
- Social situations
- Care of other people
Look at Both Lists to Determine the Impact of ADHD Behaviors on Activities
Now you can make a risk assessment with the health and well-being of you or your child, and others potentially affected by ADHD-related behaviors in mind.
For example, if you think your child’s current symptoms are too severe and disruptive while they are in class, you must consider the other students and not take your child off medication. Likewise, if they are on a break from school and you want to manage his or her symptoms at home, it’s fine. However, you should first speak to your physician and monitor daily.
This activity should help you better understand the need (or lack thereof) for medication. It’s possible you can start taking breaks from ADD medication if you’re already taking it and seeing how it affects you and others around you.
When deciding if medication is necessary for ADD or ADHD it’s about looking at the bigger picture. Consider how you manage the ADHD behaviors, and how it affects others around you. Learn more about safe alternatives to medications and natural health from our other articles.