What Does It Take to Find Success with ADHD Medication?

April 8, 2020 Tonie Ansah

After years of my voicemails going unanswered, high co-pays, and failed medications—I'm finally at a place in my life where I'm getting quality mental health care. I'm finding success with my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications. But I want to caution you: this didn't come without great persistence. I've spent 15 minutes on hold with my insurance only to discover my behavior health care coverage wasn't through them. And I've called many offices just to be out of network. Because I've had my fair share of crappy experiences, doctors, and ADHD medication, I came up with a list of six tools and mindset shifts that helped me reach success with ADHD medication that I hope can benefit you.

So let's jump in.  

6 Tools for Success with ADHD Medication

1. A Good Doctor

Have you ever felt a sense of unease after leaving a doctor's office? Or have you left feeling disappointed? Pay attention to that. I contribute a significant part of my success with ADHD medication to having a caring doctor.

Was your doctor rushing when they spoke? Did they address all your concerns? And more importantly, did you feel heard? If you nodded to any of these, consider (if possible) if you and your doctor are a good fit.

2. An Open Mind

Finding success with ADHD medication is a collaboration between you and your doctor, so there might be a lot of trial and error. Accepting that you might not get your medication or dosage correct the first or even the second time around helps when you get discouraged. Unfortunately, you won't always know what works until you see what doesn't.

3. Trust

Having an open mind is easier to do when trust is first established. Because I trusted my psychiatrist, I was willing to give medications that came with intense side effects a shot. I trusted his judgment, but he also trusted me when I couldn't handle the nausea or migraines—so we tried something different. 

4. Honesty

In the past, I would lie about how I took my medicine out of embarrassment for not following through (silly, I know). When prescribed to take something daily, I may comply three out of the seven days. But if I wanted to get better, I had to be honest about when I was and wasn't taking my medicine.

5. Consistency

I have a habit of taking medication any time I remember it—which makes it hard to gauge what's working. Being consistent is the hardest thing for me, so I set several reminders on my phone so that I won't forget. I also began meditating for ADHD every morning and avoiding electronics for an hour, which has been unexpectedly helpful. 

6. Patience

Finding success with ADHD medication has been both frustrating and discouraging. The side effects sometimes sucked so much I would rather have gone unmedicated. But my body adjusted, and I was able to get past the migraines after much trial and error and consistency. Above all else, patience allowed me to keep trying different therapies. 

I hope breaking down what benefited me, helps you develop clear expectations for success with ADHD medication. However you choose to manged your ADHD symptoms, may these tips remind you that each failure in your journey will bring you closer to that "thing" that works.

APA Reference
Ansah, T. (2020, April 8). What Does It Take to Find Success with ADHD Medication?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Tonie Ansah

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