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Your ADHD and You: A Letter To My 9 Year Old Self

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Dear 9 Old Me:

Right now, you're about to take your first dose of Concerta. You're staring at the small tan pill, not knowing that it's about to change your life forever. It's just another pill, one you think you'll have to take for the rest of your life. You don't want to admit it, but you're a little scared. You take it, swallowing it with orange juice. That day, for the first time ever, you feel normal. You feel like a normal kid. You can focus, you can see clearly what you'd been missing.


You don't know.  You don't know that your brain is having a tough time processing those chemicals. You don't know that you have other options. You don't know what anxiety is, or that you'll develop it in middle school. You don't know that your meds will be changed, sometimes once a month over 6 months. You don't know that these pills will stop working. You don't know that you'll probably have withdrawal migraines for the rest of your life. You don't know that you'll develop hand tremors. You don't know what a panic attack is, or that you'll have one a week from 8th grade to 9th grade. All you know is that you're finally normal.


9 year old me, there are other options.  Ask about them. When Dr.Zaner asks if you think anything else is going on in a few years, tell her about your panic attacks. Tell her about your dysphoria. Tell her everything. You are too young to be put on stimulants. 


You'll learn how to cope. You'll learn that being off the meds was better than being on them. Your GPA will never be good, but you'll cope.

Not quite sure where I'm going, but I'm going somewhere, that's for sure.

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