Short answer: Medication can be great for ADHD, but it’s only one part of the solution. Some people do fine without medication!
ADHD treatment uses multiple tools. Medication is one of the biggest tools in the toolbox, but it’s not the only tool, and we shouldn’t think of medication as a “standalone” treatment.
The best ADHD treatments use some combination of:
- therapy (multiple types)
Each tool supports our ADHD brains in a different way.
Few people with ADHD use all of the tools. Some of us treat ADHD with just medication and a little bit of coaching. Others treat ADHD with just self-education.
Important note: we manage ADHD by working on our INSIDES and also our OUTSIDES.
Our insides include our biochemistry and thought patterns. ADHD “treatment” mostly focuses on our insides.
Our outsides include small things like our physical environment. We use alarm clocks, sticky notes, good lighting, shelves, organizing systems, project management software, etc. to help us manage ADHD.
Our outsides also include big things like career choices and relationships. We choose careers that are well-suited for ADHD work (e.g., bartender instead of bookkeeper, entrepreneur instead of engineer). We choose relationships with people who “get us,” and who engage mostly with the things we do best!
Recap: Medication can be great for ADHD, but it’s only one part of the solution. Some people do fine without medication!
I wrote this post in reply to a question on Quora.
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