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Why I Benefited from Not Being Able to Take ADHD Meds
And how you can too
Time to read: 2 mins & 6 seconds — 421 words. Written by Joseph Pack.
If you take meds, how often do you question what they’re actually doing for you?
The recent medication shortage in the UK is going to be very difficult for many people. But not all hope is lost.
What if this is an opportunity to learn, adapt, and even succeed without meds?
Why I can’t take meds
One year before I got diagnosed ADHD, I had five massive seizures.
A consequence of drinking ten coffees a day—a reckless experiment in self-medication for my then-undiagnosed brain. Research shows that people who have one seizure are 43% more likely to have another.
As a result, I must do what I can to avoid more seizures.
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Medical Constraints: A Blessing in Disguise?
Dr. Stefan Schumacher, my neurologist, strictly advised against ADHD medication.
His caution was because these meds (Ritalin, Elvanse, Concerta, etc) are stimulants—far stronger than caffeine. Caffeine that’s in the coffee that put me in the hospital.
I should have listened to him, but curiosity got the better of me.
I tried medication for a week. I experienced immediate focus, but at a cost.
Anxiety levels exploded. And a more unsettling realisation: it robbed me of a part of myself. The part that thrives on seeing the big picture, solving complex problems—the very things that made me successful.
Other people experience meds very differently. Which is why it’s utter madness that they blanket prescribe meds to every diagnosed person with ADHD.
The Drug Free ADHD Method: An Unconventional Route to Managing ADHD
Under doctor's orders, I explored alternative approaches.
From breathwork and meditation to cold exposure, diet changes, and exercise—changed my life, and they all come together in the Drug-Free ADHD Method.
Why It Might Be the Best Thing That Happened to Me
I stumbled upon this LinkedIn post by Ed Taylor discussing his medication-free journey:
The moment he stopped taking meds, all his problems came back.
His experience serves as a stark reminder: without implementing the lifestyle changes outlined in The Drug-Free ADHD Method, dependency on medication becomes a likely outcome. And once the medication is either unavailable or loses its effectiveness, we'll find ourselves back where we started before taking the meds.
ADHD Treatment Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All
As Ryan Holiday says, “the obstacle in the path becomes the path.”
Lifestyle changes have had a profound impact. Some days, I question whether I'd still meet the criteria for an ADHD diagnosis.
The Road Ahead: A More Sustainable, Empowering Approach
So, if you're panicking that the ADHD medication supply has run dry or they're not having the intended effects, all is not lost. I propose a path I believe to be more sustainable, empowering, and—with the right precautions—safer.
The Drug Free ADHD Method — you can read about it here.
🚨 New podcast out now
I relaunched my podcast. It’s now called Drug Free ADHD Podcast.
My first guest is Tim Perreira — a coach from San Diego who’s helping people avoid burnout.
Give it a listen by clicking here.
🔈 I’m speaking in Liverpool on 12th October.
The Drug Free ADHD Method
How self-experimented my way to creating it
We’ll do some breathwork
A little ADHD-friendly meditation
And I’ll answer any questions at the end
If you’re interested, you can buy tickets here.