Microdosing as an alternative to regular medication in ADHD

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ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder common in children and adolescents. But adults can suffer from this as well. Usually, regular medication is prescribed that can help alleviate symptoms. But long-term use can also bring many side effects. Is microdosing a legitimate alternative in ADHD? In this blog you will read what microdosing is and what the benefits can be in ADHD.

Symptoms of ADHD

ADHD is a common disorder (on average, 7% of adolescents under 18 suffer from it). But many researchers believe the percentage is much higher because by no means everyone goes to the family doctor. The condition is generally first diagnosed in children and teenagers. They stand out because of concentration problems, lack of impulse control and hyperactivity.

Symptoms of ADHD are:

  • Being constantly on the move (fidgeting and unable to sit still)
  • Unable to concentrate on tasks
  • Excessive daydreaming
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lots of talking
  • Recklessness
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Unable to organize

Because of these neurological problems, people with ADHD can sometimes experience difficulties in school, work or daily life. This, in turn, often produces symptoms ranging from low self-esteem to loneliness. And that, in turn, can cause a person with ADHD to develop mental symptoms, such as depression.

The problem of medication

There is medication that is often prescribed for ADHD. This is generally methylphenidate. The tricky part is that you have to keep taking these drugs forever, and long-term use brings side effects. This can have long-term health consequences. As a result, many people wonder if the consequences are not worse than the disease.

Some of the side effects of regular ADHD medication include nausea and a loss of appetite, sleep problems, increased heart rate and blood pressure, irritability and erratic behavior. With long-term use, these drugs can even cause psychosis-like symptoms.

One example is the case surrounding an 8-year-old boy with ADHD. He had no history of psychosis, but developed hallucinations and manic behavior after 8 months of treatment with Ritalin. Other research also suggests, that 40% of people who have ADHD combined with bipolar disorder may experience Adderall-induced mania. Consequently, many people are looking for alternatives in ADHD, such as microdosing.

Microdosing as an alternative to medication for ADHD

Microdosing is on the rise. In case you don’t yet know what it means: when you microdose, you take a very small dose of a psychoactive substance. This dose is so low that you won’t notice any of the mind-altering effects, but rather the positive effects the drug can have. There are also an increasing number of people with ADHD who are microdosing for their symptoms.

In 2019, American scientist James Fadiman released a paper titled, “Might Microdosing Psychedelics Be Safe and Beneficial? An Initial Exploration.” So in this, he raised the question of whether microdosing psychedelics is safe and can have benefits. For the study, 1,000 participants who were microdosing answered a series of questions. They took about 10 micrograms of a mind-altering drug every three days. After 18 months, they reported on their mood, energy levels and performance at work.

The paper led to a large increase in microdosers, especially in Silicon Valley. The workload there is high, and hard-working entrepreneurs use microdosing because of the positive effects on their concentration and problem-solving abilities. The ADHD community also became aware of microdosing as a possible alternative to medication. This natural remedy may possibly improve attention span and have a positive impact on mood. In addition, it can help reduce anxiety and feelings of irritation.

One of the significant advantages of microdosing over regular medication is the fact that microdosing involves virtually no side effects. If you also use the Fadiman routine, you avoid building up tolerance to the drug.

ADHD and microdosing research

Is it worth using microdosing as an alternative to regular medication for ADHD? There is research to suggest that it certainly can. Frontiers in Psychiatry published a study by the University of Maastricht on the effectiveness of microdosing in hyperactivity in 2022.

The study involved 200 adults with ADHD. After microdosing, there was a significant decrease in symptoms and a greater sense of well-being.

Another study, published in 2021, reports that psilocybin can reduce depressive feelings and is anxiety-inhibiting in patients with depression that is difficult to treat. Depression often accompanies ADHD. It was also found that psilocybin can stimulate activity in the Default Mode Network. This area is involved in self-awareness and wandering thoughts. So in this way, psilocybin can promote introspection and self-awareness, which would be a big plus in ADHD.

Why choose microdosing?

Doctors will probably prefer regular medication for ADHD, but remember that you may always choose an alternative such as microdosing. Some people prefer a natural remedy, with only mild side effects to chemical medication.

Microdosing can be done with magic mushrooms or truffles. You can opt for a pack of ready-made microdosing truffles. But shrooms are also an option. With a grow kit, you can easily grow your own mushrooms at home, then dry them and accurately weigh your doses.

You can also combine different forces from nature. Combine microdosing with natural remedies such as medicinal mushrooms. Lion’s Mane in particular(extract or capsules) is known for its regenerative powers and protective effect on nerve cells. Or choose Reishi(extract or capsules) for more inner peace and a good night’s sleep.

Hopefully now you know better whether microdosing in ADHD is for you too. Consult with your treating physician about starting this, especially if you are already on medication.

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