Signs that you're overmedicated for ADHD

I hope this blog provides those of you with ADHD with lessons, insights, and techniques that help you to manage your unique body rhythms and brain chemistries. For some, medication becomes part of a daily routine.

After getting diagnosed with ADHD, there seems to be one pitfall that people fall into: over medicating themselves. With any medication, it takes time, self-awareness, and experimentation to discover what brand of drug works, what the dosage should be, and how it affects your body, brain, and behavior in both positive and negative ways. For these reasons, patients often see a psychiatrist at least twice a year to monitor their responses to any medication.

Upon meeting someone post-medication, what troubles me the most is the person’s change in demeanor. Often those who take too high a dosage will seem emotionally detached. Their facial expressions flatline into mere blips of what used to be full-blown smiles. Other times, interests change because their altered chemistry is more attuned to linear thinking. Observe these shifts. While all ADHD’rs should strive to be their best selves, we should never smother our creative minds.

As I mentioned above, I hope to encourage self-awareness. Although medication helps with maintaining focus and managing destructive behaviors, it can also numb the playful spirit that frolics within each of us ADHD. Throughout this blog, I describe the many “super powers” that accompany the ADHD brain chemistry. It’s important to value these while also recognizing where you can improve your focus, decrease your distractibility and procrastination, hone your mania, and pursue your goals.

Signs that you might be over medicated for ADHD:
Feeling restless or jittery
A lack of appetite
Weight loss
Appearing “flatline” or without emotion
Increased heart rate
Blurred vision
Detachment from friends and family
Irritability & mood swings
Be open to discussing these shifts with those close to you as well as your therapist. Always remember that medication is supposed to help you tune into life, rather than detach you from your true self.

If you're in the New York area and seeking a therapist to speak to, my parents maintain private practices in Manhattan and would be happy to meet with you. For their information, see the resource page: ADHD Therapists