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Thread: JET, Japan, and AD/HD

  1. #1

    Default JET, Japan, and AD/HD

    Hello ITIL, this is my first post after half heartedly lurking the site for some time. I apologize if I'm doing it wrong, but I was wondering if anyone had some information on JET and applicants with AD/HD, or just coping with AD/HD in Japan period.
    Now, in my research on Japan, I've come to realize and accept that Japan is not too keen on stimulants, and particularly in use with treating AD/HD. I've also read they are reluctant to even prescribe adults medication for AD/HD at all.
    So I'll talk about my personal situation a little here, I was diagnosed with ADD back when I was in high school, around 15 or 16 years old. I do not have the hyperactivity, just the attention issues, and I have been on Adderall ever since to treat it. I understand that Adderall in specific is illegal in basically every country aside from the US and Canada and that obviously if I ever want to go to Japan I'd have to either change to a different drug or come off it all together. I feel as though I am far better with self treatment in my older years than I was as a teen, however I had also never thought to go off the meds before. I will admit, I'm nervous with the idea of coming off it while I am still in school since if it does go badly and my grades drop significantly, that will mean thousands of dollars I do not have down the drain in repeating classes (not to mention my degree demands a rather high GPA to stay within the program and I could risk getting kicked out.) The risk is just kind of high, even if I'm moderately confident I would be able to cope without it one way or another.

    Now, I would appreciate some feedback if any on this following plan of mine. I am set to graduate around May of 2018, I plan to apply for the 2018 JET program. I was thinking regardless of acceptance status in JET of going off the meds after I graduate anyway, because I want to see how well I can handle myself as an adult without medication. I would be working with my doctor to come off the medication during the summer of 2018. My understanding of the JET timeline is applications are done in November of the following year, so in my case, November 2017. This means I would still be on Adderall during the application process, and I don't know if this will nix my application or if I will have the ability to vocalize the fact that I do not plan on being on this medication by the time I would be placed, should I even be selected.
    So if I were being optimistic here and assuming I would be accepted, my timeline would flow like so: Apply in November > Graduate in May, and find out my acceptance status in May > Between May and July I would be coming off the medication with my doctor's supervision > Depart for Japan stimulant free in July.
    I of course have no idea if this would be acceptable or doable though, or if that is too short a time span for JET to feel comfortable with.

    Essentially, if that all is TL;DR, here's some of the key questions I've got:

    What medications, if any, are typically prescribed to adults with AD/HD that I might possibly be able to switch to? Does my foreign Doctor's diagnosis even hold much weight?
    Would being on Adderall (an illegal med in Japan) during the application process eliminate me from selection, even if I plan to be off the medication before departure?
    Personal experiences or advice about AD/HD in Japan and JET in general? Alternative treatments or coping methods?

    Thank you very much in advance for any help and advice. JET's been a dream of mine for a few years now. I'll admit I will be rather crushed if something as small as this would be what keeps me from realizing it. I'm willing to work around it and compromise as best I can.

  2. #2
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: JET, Japan, and AD/HD

    the two main ADHD drugs in Japan are atomexetine (strattera) and methylphenidate (ritalin). They arent massive on dishing out drugs and a Japanese person would first have to be recommended by a local doctor to a nearby hospitals department of psychiatry, then they will test the bejesus out of you, then they will work on psychosocial treatments for you and only after all that if you are still bouncing off the walls they may give you some drugs. They may not just give you some drugs because of your foreign doctors diagnosis but they will take it into account which may speed up the process.

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