Autism and Aspergers
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To medicate or not,this is the question.

H25H25 Member Posts: 31 Connected
edited March 2017 in Autism and Aspergers
Hello so I'm 25 with aspergers syndrome. Now I took medication as a child. And by all accounts it helped me. 
But most of my adult life has been medication free. 
So are there any other adults out there with asd who use medication to help them. And what aspects of life do they make easier. 
Are there any side effects. 


Replies

  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    From a different perspective as a physically disabled person, using a drug to help you achieve something is the same as using any tool to do a job.

    I spent years having pain relief rationed by a 'normal GP' when he retired I transferred to one who was (I found out after registering) the addiction and drugs expert for the local constabulary...... he immediately increased my pain relief and improved my quality of life by ten fold. 

    If it works for you and you feel better use it. If the downside outweighs the positives don't. Only you can make the decision. It is your life and the choices are yours.

    Good luck

    Jon
  • VioletFennVioletFenn Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Hi @H25

    I think it has to depend on what the medication is for, because with something like Aspergers you can only medically treat side symptoms/issues, rather than the disorder itself. For example, I personally take meds for anxiety, because it's a massive issue for me. My 12yr old son has Prozac for the same reason (it was a very long and thought out decision after trying everything else) and it helps hugely. But he's obviously still autistic - the meds just help the symptoms.

    Can you remember what medication you took as a child and why it was prescribed? 

    Violet
    ASD advisor, Scope
  • H25H25 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Hello thanks for the reply. I was very young when I was prescribed medication. And have no memory of it. 
    The reason for being medicated was to keep my concentration at school. 
    And basically to pacify me, I could be became rather aggressive. I never felt anxious or unable to manage social interactions. I was just very volatile. 
    It's in later life that I'm struggling with the more complex social interactions and as a result feel anxious. 
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you spoken to your GP about medication options @H25
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • VioletFennVioletFenn Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    I think the best thing to do is speak to your GP. Whilst there are many very useful medications around, deciding which ones might help you obviously depends on getting some proper medical advice. GPs are generally much more understanding of ASD issues these days and should be able to help to figure out what help you need and how best to get it. Good luck, and do let us know how you get on :smile:
  • H25H25 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Thanks guys and no I haven't spoken to my gp yet. As naive as it may sound I was under the impression that they would just refer me and the whole process would be another baton passing exercise. I will make an appointment asap. I will keep you updated.
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    I don't think you are naive, I think it's all a bit confusing when it's new to you! Best of luck, you might like to read @Zec Richardson 's guest post about getting the most out of your appointment as it has lots of tips about writing questions down before, taking someone with you etc.

    Let us know how you get on!
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • VioletFennVioletFenn Member Posts: 124 Pioneering
    Not naive in the slightest, @H25! Let us know how you get on
  • H25H25 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Thanks for the support  guys I shall let you all know how it goes.
    I really appreciate your input x. 
  • mossycowmossycow Member Posts: 495 Pioneering
    Hi there @H25, just wanted to add my support.  I really like what was said above, about medication being a tool. I don't have ASD, just different issues. Medication has brought some side effects which need to be managed but my life has been improved massively. The improvements far outweigh side effects.

    I think the thing to remember with medication is that you are in control. You can get appointment with GP and hear some options...doesn't mean you have to use any of them. Testing out medication can take a while and some investment in terms of you might need to put up with side effects till you see how you get on with the medication. And even then you are in control, you can chat with GP at any time.   I find I often talk with GP to tweak my medication.

    What would you like out of medication (if that's not too personal a question)?

    I had a google and its looks like a common medication for ASD is sertraline. Sertraline is used for anxiety and I have used it when I had a few periods of high anxiety. I found side effects to be mild and that it really helped me feel calmer, more able to make decisions, clearer if that makes sense. I also experienced a little nausea, bit tired but only for the first 3 weeks then it got better. The other side effect you might want to be aware of is that it effects sex. Some folks say they don't feel like sex, though of course that could be also caused by the anxiety and depression some people take sertraline for. For me personally (I am female) I found my libido was fine but I couldn't orgasm. It was weird.... and frankly damn annoying so I was only on sertraline for about 9 months.  At the time, the medication was worth the side effects, when I became more in control, with my GP we reduced sertraline then stopped it and found a different medication. This was actually beta blockers. They do nothing for my brain but when i have an anxiety period (getting much rarer)  the beta blockers take away the heart rate, breathing, sweats part of anxiety and I have other coping techniques that help me.

    I dont know as much about ASD as you obviously, the above might not help. But just thought I could give an example of how you weigh up side effects verses positive effects and keep tweaking.

    Hope it goes well.

    "I'm trying to live like a random poem I read that ended 'to bloom where we are planted"

  • H25H25 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Wow a rather comprehensive response rite there !
    Thanks mossycow
  • H25H25 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Appointment booked soi will let you all know what the outcome is. And once again thank you all so much for your advice.
  • bendigedigbendigedig Member Posts: 254 Pioneering
    @H25

    Helo mate.

    I've just replied to your thread on ASD and Alcohol.

    From one Alconaut to another!  BE AWARE.

    Apologies in advance.  I have skimmed through the thread.  Sorry if i appear to have disregarded what ohers have said.  I havent ive just been a bit sloppy and not read it all thoroughly.  What im saying stands up well irrrespective.

    Speaking only from personal experience...... I was on a high dose of Venlafaxine for a good long while and a relatively high dose of propanalol too for quite a while.

    I found the pills were doing nothing for me (I say that with as much objective analytical reasoning that I can). My wife however says that without them I was a lot worse.  There were quite a few stressors in my life during that time though.  

    Drinking is what I really wanted to bring up.

    Just don't bother with any psychoactive medication if you are drinking.  There is little or no point.  The booze will only negatively effect the medication.  You will tell the doc. That the pills aren't working. They will up your dose.  Etc etc.

    Give sobriety a good try for a few months.  Its bloody tough but worth it.  Then if you feel you need help go to the doctor to discuss medication?

    Just dont get involved with medication if you drink regularly.
  • H25H25 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Sorry for the late response I did read your reply and it has certinatly made me think. I haven't drank since last we spoke and yes I fell better, but I'm still autistic and fighting everyday to cope.
    On the plus side I have been to a service in my local town. They deal with autism in adults. Unfortunately it took over a month to get apointement It's given me a chance to discuss my options. And will hopefully give me the chance to speak to others in my position. I feel as if medication is something that will come up in a later discussion.
    I think I just need to be honest and open with these people, try my hardest to explain what I'm feeling and if they suggest medication as as a possibility then embrace it and give myself a chance. 
    The way I see it if medication gets me through my troubles. Then that's as good a reason as any to stay well away from drink. (I rather like Sainsburys own blackcurrant high juice actually) 
    I shall keep you updated although my next appointment is 3 weeks away. 
    Once again thanks for all your support.
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Im so glad to hear you making some progress @H25 - do keep in touch!
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
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