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ADHD and the military service
KellySueD posted:
My son has spoken with a Navy recruiter about joining and the recruiter told him that he would need to be off his medicine for a year before he could join. He is currently taking 70mg of Vyvanse. Is there a good plan to stop taking medication? Are there any foods or vitamins that would help relieve the symptoms? He is very impulsive when not on any medication. We do have an appointment with the doctor in a couple of weeks to discuss this. Any suggestions and resources would be helpful.
Gina Pera responded:
HI Kelly,

You didn't ask if this was a good idea, your "very impulsive" son going off medication for a year so that he can join the Navy. So I won't offer my opinion on the wisdom of that.

It is assumed that diet and any helpful supplements are optimized BEFORE taking medication. But if that was not the case, the general rule is to be sure to consume protein in the morning, limit refined sugars and carbohydrates, and maximize fresh fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, healthy fats, and good protein in a balanced fashion at each meal.

To enhance brain function, it is also helpful to get exercise in the morning -- usually exercise that requires thought and coordination, just not routine stationary biking, etc.

How easy is it for "very impulsive" people to plan and follow such a regimen? Typically, not very.

Even though the stimulant medications clear the system rather quickly, it is still a good idea if he has been taking 70mg Vyvanse for a while to ease off slowly.

I wish him the best.

choo_chu responded:
I have ADHD and I served in the Army for 4 years. Believe it or not, I excelled in the military, despite my ADHD, including my impulsive tendencies. The rigid structure and mental and physical discipline were very good for me and I did much better in the military than I did in my civilian life. Now I take 60mg of Vyvanse, along with coaching and I've adapted techniques I learned in the military to my civilian life and I'm doing better than I ever have.

I wish your son the best of luck!
Boyzmomee replied to Gina Pera's response:
I agree on questioning the wisdom of "very impulsive people" with joining the military.

It is not just the question of being off of medication. The military requries the person to be able to function appropriately and responsibly without medication. During that year your son will need to show the recruiter that he can function in a school and/or work setting without medication.

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