I Was Wrong — ADD Tip of the Day 375

I was sure that people without ADD or ADHD did not respond to ritalin (methylphenidate), but just got a little anxiety or maybe a little hyper.  My friend who is a college psychiatrist assures me that kids are taking ritalin to improve their studying and test performance, and that many parents are encouraging this.  They say that all the other kids are doing it (“Everyone else is doing it, Mom”) so that their kids are at a disadvantage without it.

I don’t know what I think about this yet, but I do believe I was wrong.  What are the pros and cons of this practice?

So of course the most disturbing thought is – if I was wrong about this, what else am I wrong about?


bonus link:

bryan on not letting ADHD or ADD hold you back    clik

ADD,ADHD,adult ADD,adult ADHD,deficit,disorder
i guess plants are never wrong? except some of our fruit trees bloom too early.


About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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8 Responses to I Was Wrong — ADD Tip of the Day 375

  1. When used for studying, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between Ritalin and energy drinks. Ritalin can be abused, but 20 years ago when I was in high school, plenty of my classmates “abused” NoDoz and Jolt to help with studying. If Ritalin were sold OTC next to 5-hour Energy, people would feel different about it.


  2. If indeed stimulants improve focus/concentration for people who do not have ADD, of course some people are going to want to use them. What is insidious is that people with ADD take stimulants to give them the focus they should have been born with, so if other people can take them, any equalizing for the ADD students is going to disappear and they are rendered impaired all over again.

    On the other hand, there are always intellectual differences, and varying degrees of academic prowess. I suppose everybody is welcome to make use of any legal and moral resources they have available to them. As I see it, since stimulants are illegal for anyone not legitimately prescribed them, the problem is one of legality and morality primarily. To me it is like using steroids in athletic competitions.

    Let the natural differences combined with hard work be responsible for differing outcomes. And let only the diagnosed have the medications. If I were running a school, I’d levy penalties on any student using stimulants who wasn’t prescribed them.


    • betsy thank you for your thoughtful comment. it is a complex thorny issue. My stubbornness leads me to still wonder, do they really help non ADDers focus, or merely to stay awake longer, or what exactly? thanks again for commenting doug

      Your Life Can Be Better, using strategies for adult ADD/ADHD blog: addadultstrategies.wordpress.com website: addadultstrategies.com book at : amazon.com or smashwords.com (e books)

      > Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 08:56:33 +0000 > To: mkpdp@live.com >


  3. Scott Marckx says:

    Someone also mentioned to me a while back about using exercise just before a big test to improve focus. In “Delivered From Distraction” Dr. Hallowell says that exercise is worth several ADD drugs combined. It seems that ADD people and non-ADD people both benefit from that one too. The difference might be more in how much each person suffers (distractibility) without the meds or the exercise. Maybe we can all learn from the issues presented by people with ADD?

    This one is pretty fascinating. Thanks for writing about it!

    All the best,


  4. Doug Puryear says:

    well, i dont believe in all niters, but –. what are balance bands?
    thank you for commenting


    • beavis,
      now I’ve had time to think about your comment instead of just blurting out a response (ADD), there’s more to it than I realized. truck drivers and the military have used the stimulants for years, to stay awake, which is not the same thing as improving focus. tho of course if you’re sleepy and nodding off your focus won’t be too good.
      so the question remains is do they help someone who doesn’t have ADD or ADHD to be “smarter”, more focused,or if they just help you stay awake.
      thanks again


  5. Beavis says:


    for students who do the all-nighter it works as an stimulant.
    And how about the placebo effect? Some people think they get a better balance with balance bands.




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