Posted on 27 Comments

Taking ADHD Medication Is A Complex Process

Taking ADHD medication is helpful to the condition, but sometimes getting the prescription feels like an uphill battle. We’re getting to be pretty good friends, so I’m going to tell you about my HUGE fail the other day.

ADHD medication is NOT so easy to acquire

If you didn’t know this already, taking ADHD medication is expensive, and getting it prescribed is a hassle. The majority of ADHD medications are classified as stimulants and stimulants are controlled substances. Unfortunately, people like to abuse stimulants. That means every time I go to the pharmacy, it is a hassle. You have to take a physical prescription to the pharmacy, so for starters, I had to get to my doctor’s office. That means scheduling an appointment, remembering the appointment exists, and making the appointment on time. Hmmm, that’s not a challenge for anyone with ADHD, right?

Taking ADHD Medication = Pharmacy Nonsense

  • Once, there was a tear in the script, and though it was legible, it was not fillable.
  • Don’t get me started on insurance issues if the doctor changes your dose.
  • The pharmacy techs look at you as though you are a junkie the whole time you are waiting.
  • If you’re annoyed by the stunning amount of time and strict protocol that getting a simple prescription takes, you’re sure to SEEM like an addict.
  • I folded the script once and that was a problem.

THIS time though, I had everything right. I went to the doctor on time (in a snowstorm), got my prescription, and showed myself up at the pharmacy, very proud of my organization. Ready for this? The pharmacy could not fill my prescription.

“Why can’t she fill it,” you ask? A Physician’s Assistant wrote it. “But wait, a Physician’s Assistant CAN prescribe,” you say – yes, yes they can. A Physician’s Assistant has written prescriptions for my meds. I have been taking ADHD medication for quite some time, yet it is still an issue.

What changed?

Here’s what happened: I changed meds from a brand to a generic prescription. On the initial prescription, a physician must write it. That means my prescription could only be filled for three days worth of the medication I use to pay attention.

After that, I must return to the doctor’s office and start this whole process again. So, I couldn’t get my medicine that day, because I had other appointments and needed to be there, not going back to the doctor’s office.

A HUGE Burden

Think about everything you know about ADHD. The dysfunctional executive function in the ADHD brain can make going through this process of getting to the doctor, picking up a physical prescription, and then hoping against hope that the pharmacy will actually fill it when you get there into a herculean task. This requires serious organization and time management!

While I understand the necessity of ensuring these medications are used safely, I often think that this places an undue burden on people who have ADHD. Taking ADHD medication just doesn’t have to be this complicated.

Because of these restrictions and complications, many people with ADHD go for weeks or months at a time without medication they desperately need.

And that’s IF they have the ability to fill their prescriptions in the first place.

Fighting The Battle

We’ve discussed how many people with ADHD are underemployed or unemployed because of their symptoms, right? Surely you don’t think we all have health insurance?

Without treatment, whether it is medication or therapies to help us cope, many of us are fighting a huge battle against ADHD. Some days we win, some days we lose.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Well, because I wanted you to know that some days you’re on top of the world. You’ve got your symptoms under control, you’re accomplishing everything you want to accomplish, and everything is perfect.

That day? That was a day when I was frustrated, and if I was keeping score, going through all of that work and walking away (somewhat) empty-handed felt like a loss. I know that taking ADHD medication makes a difference in the way I function. Every day isn’t a win.

Time to get honest

Living with ADHD is a challenge. Honesty is so crucial in learning to manage these conditions. The problem is that when you combine rollercoaster emotions, hypersensitivity, and impulsive nature, knowing your own mind can ALSO be a challenge.

We have to be certain to move and direct our lives from a place that isn’t controlled by our symptoms.

There are days that don’t win. Not every day is a win. We have become masters of illusion to a certain extent. I’m not afraid to admit, I have been extraordinarily depressed these past few months.

I’ve struggled harder to keep my life from going off the rails than I ever have. I’ve spent a month in bed. Depression is no joke. ADHD is no joke. Anxiety is no joke.

I want you, among all of the other commitments you have made, to commit to yourself first. Choose to be honest with yourself. Check-in. That is your greatest chance of arresting these conditions before they get out of hand.

Bad days will come

Above all, do not be ashamed of your bad days. Stop. What you are living with permeates every last facet of your life. You win some days, you lose others.

Take the day off, even though you may not want to. You are your most precious resource. Sometimes to reclaim our sanity we have to take extreme measures.

Once, I walked away from a job because every day I was there I had panic attacks which affected my performance and became a continual source of stress for me.

Was it hard financially? You bet your ass.

But it was the right thing for my well being at that time.

The only way you are going to come out on the other side of this unscathed is to get incredibly real. Start today. I’ll be right there with you.

Until next time,



Taking ADHD medication is helpful, but the process to fill those meds becomes complicated occasionally. Here's why taking ADHD medication is a complex process.
Taking ADHD medication is helpful, but the process to fill those meds becomes complicated occasionally. Here's why taking ADHD medication is a complex process.
Taking ADHD medication is helpful, but the process to fill those meds becomes complicated occasionally. Here's why taking ADHD medication is a complex process.
Taking ADHD medication is helpful, but the process to fill those meds becomes complicated occasionally. Here's why taking ADHD medication is a complex process.

27 thoughts on “Taking ADHD Medication Is A Complex Process

  1. This is such an empowering post! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you for coming by! I’m really glad you found the value in it!

  2. Oh my, I love this post. I just recently started a blog that is centered on my struggle with PPD & Anxiety. It has taken me a long time to learn that it is okay to take extreme measures because your health is worth it! Great post.


    1. You are absolutely right! At this point I am doing whatever it takes to get myself back into prime condition. I am thrilled to hear you started a blog about PPD, it can’t be said enough.

  3. This is so true. Really enjoying your blog. X

    1. I’m so happy you’re enjoying it. Please subscribe, bring a friend, share! I appreciate you.

  4. I can totally relate. Knowing yourself well enough to stay ahead of everything is so hard, and often times really exhausting!

    1. I couldn’t agree more. So many people don’t understand how much energy it takes to war against your brain all day long! It is really horrible!

  5. […] If you couldn’t tell, go back and read the post from Monday. […]

  6. more info

    Excellent article. I certainly appreciate this site. Stick with it!

  7. Great blog!!!! I can definitely relate.

    1. It’s hard out here, isn’t it??

  8. You are absolutely magnificent. My family does not deal with mental illness very well. I try and tell them that it is no different that the meds they are taking for diabetes and high blood pressure. My brother is 50 and he has dealt with mental illness since he was 16. I can?t get him any help
    Because he has not tried to harm others or harm himself. He is very skinny and he looks like he is homeless. He is very disheveled. He can?t look at you in the eyes either. I am pretty sure he is schizophrenic but I am not sure. Again thank you for this blog.

    1. I’m so heartbroken to hear your brother is dealing with this struggle. It is SO hard to handle watching people struggle this way. I hope he can get help for it one day.

  9. Omg- you just shared a day in my life! I almost never fill my prescriptions regularly- because I have to remember to go to the doctor – I had to quit making appointments in advance because I was being charged more for missed (forgotten) appointments than my co-pay for the actual appointment. So when I finally feel like I’m having a strong productive day.. I get shoved back down to reality with the complexities of the Pharmaceutical Cycle.. everything you’d stated above- oh and that’s IF they even have my medication in stock!! Maybe it’s because live in a college town.. maybe truly just a shortage of meds.. likely doesn’t help that I almost never go on the same day every month.. but come on gotta catch a break sometimes right? I love your stories. They speak to life with ADHD. My dad called me the “Grand illusion” one night and that stuck with me. So much of my life is just that.. being just enough on that I don’t completely let everything fall apart. And it’s hard. Really hard. So not that I am happy to see others struggling with similar things- but it’s nice to know I’m not alone. so thanks!!

    1. I am so glad that you were touched and that you feel less alone!

  10. Yes! For me I really relate to the criticism at work & panic attacks from jobs, especially when I’ve made mistakes. I’ve been getting fired from a lot of jobs lately. The jobs that I’ve been happy at/did well are always jobs when I’m not micro managed or am a manager since I could use my talents and did things from he like payroll….I’m rambling now..just wanted to says Thanks!

    1. I’m glad it was helpful! Thank you so much for reaching out!

  11. I am bawling. Thank you so much for your entire blog. This has been so healing to read, just knowing I’m not “making it up”.

    Thank you.

    1. You are definitely not making it up! I am so glad it has been helpful for you!

  12. One of my struggles in going back on stimulant meds (after a number of years trying other options) was the memory of these difficulties. When I finally raised it with my PCP, I was floored to hear that after the initial prescription, I would be able to make electronic requests for refills through the patient portal – and she could electronically transmit the prescription to my preferred pharmacy! No refill appointments, no picking up paper scripts, no multiple trips to the pharmacy, no worries about losing the script… I still have to go in for “random” UA 1-2x/year, but we’ve been able to combine “med check” appointments with other visits. It’s made stimulant meds about as much as a non-issue as I think it could be, rather than another source of ADHD stress.

    1. It has gotten much easier, hasn’t it?

  13. This all day! Living in a college town, we also deal with shortages around final exams ??‍♀️. These shortages can be as long as 3-4 weeks, during which it’s too easy for my life to fall into a shambles.
    Thanks for a great blog!

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful to you!

  14. “What you are fighting is a chronic illness that permeates every last facet of your life. You win some days, you lose others.”

    ^this got me so much. ADHD isn’t just about focus but a whole way of how my brain makes every day life a challenge.

    I’m newly on medication but I raised a son who was medicated for ADHD for years. And boy that was a bunch of drama too. People treated me like crap for medicating him, crap for trying natural things, crap for stopping all medication when he asked.

    1. Someone is always there to give us crap whether we deserve it or not. Good call for following what is best for you!

  15. There’s a reason why I refuse to get my prescriptions filled at Can’t Verify Scripts. Ever.

    Thank you, René. Today’s been one of the impossible days. Reading this helped. ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *