keep your options open...Only you can decide if it will do her more harm to go without the meds. To what depth is the ADD really affecting her life, both academically and socially? I agree that you need a much better assessment than the 10 minute GP visit.
Our oldest was born 3 months premature and had some hemmorhaging in her brain. Perhaps that's the cause of her ADD, or perhaps she inherited it from her Mama (Ritalin made me a zombie too--my parents took me off it after 2 weeks. Strattera as an adult messed me up.) but in any case...she's seriously ADD.
After years of failed attempts at behavior modification, we finally brought our eight year old daughter to have a comprehensive physical, social, psychological, and academic evaluation. We rolled our eyes when they said she had ADD and we might want to consider meds. I wasn't aware of the natural alternatives out there, and may have tried them first, but we did start doing lots of ADD research. We got her into behavioral therapy. When she worsened we broke down and asked the Dr. about Adderall.
We were, and continued to be, floored at how it has helped her. She's no longer scoffed at and looked at with ridicule by other children because she acts like an 8 year old, and not like a 4-5 year old. She no longer rubs her hands all over people she goes up to. She can read non-verbal cues, and has the presence of mind to control herself when the situation requires it. It kicks in early, and by bedtime it's out of her system and you can clearly tell she's "off" it, but by that time who cares? We're about to re-integrate her into social activities, because we think she won't be a disruption anymore. And she's no zombie, either. She's the person she wanted to be before, but it's easier for her to do it, now. Her grades were already good, but her attitude towards school has greatly improved. Her frustration is at an all-time low, and her self esteem is the best its been in years.
As a parent of 5 children under 9 years old, I can say my house is a nicer place to be. My 6 year old no longer has my 8 year old feeding into her bad behavior, so her behavior is improving as an extra bonus. Mom isn't mentally/emotionally worn out by noon and has more to give to the others. That makes a big difference, especially when Mom is dealing with ADD/slight depression herself.
If your lifestyle permits, and you're willing, I think dietary changes and natural alternatives are highly worth a try. Eliminating MSG, if you haven't already, would work wonders. Dr. Daniel Amen in his book Healing ADD gives great advice for natural supplements that I have been using on myself. I don't think all ADD children need meds, as the anecdotes in this thread clearly show, but when you've run out of options and your child is miserable and frustrated, meds are worth a shot. As I told my reluctant dh, if it doesn't work, we pull her off it. If it does work, she may actually have a chance at a good childhood (i.e. friends and social activities) and we cannot deny her that.