I am grateful to Ram for her many good contribution to the ADHD blog. I don’t know if you read all the comments, so I’m posting her last one here. Lots of good stuff in it.
Great post, as usual. I didn’t know the New York Times was on a campaign against certain drugs. I am well aware that there is a big problem with prescription drugs in the USA, but campaigning against drugs that don’t even really get you high is really nonsense. I’ve been on anti-depressants for a while now. When my doctor tried to wean me out, it didn’t take long for me to have a bad reaction. I think I’ll eventually be able to be off them for a while (I have been before) but I already know how I will feel when I need them again, and it’s awful. It’s like going through the motions. You can laugh, you can smile, you can work, you look normal. But you’re overly pessimistic and whenever you laugh or have fun, that “high” you get from your body’s endorphines doesn’t last longer than 5 minutes and you just feel…. nothing. 😐 Why would anyone think that living like that with no drugs is better than risking medication?
As for chrildren, the more I think about it, the more I’m in favour of medicating children for ADHD. I’m a grown woman so my perception is a lot wider than a child’s. I notice what comes easy to others and doesn’t come easy to me. Little things, like ducking under a table to retrieve something. Normal people do this without worries and are usually fine. I duck under a table to retrieve something, and my brain almost instantly forgets that I’m under a table. The chance that I’m gonna get right up and knock my head is huge. And then there it comes: “you have to be more careful”. No one is careful when ducking under a table! Don’t they even realize that they don’t need to be careful? That if someone needs to be careful about something no one else has to be careful about, maybe there’s something wrong with the wiring? With my ADHD drugs (Medikinet = Ritalin), it doesn’t come natural, but when I’m retrieving the object from under the table, my brain flashes “remember there’s a table above your head”, and I get to dodge it when getting up. A child hardly has the life experience and vocabulary to explain this – heck, some children will say they have a headache when they mean a tooth-ache.
Incidentally, my meds also help me focus better on my private time: pay more attention to people, pay more attention to my hobbies, playing the guitar, etc. Which is why I frown a bit upon the idea of children only taking ritalin when they go to school and be off the meds on the weekend. It’s like only grades and career matter from childhood on. ADHD causes more havoc that at school. I wish parents and doctors would give it a try to at least medicate the child one day of the weekend and see how it plays out. They might be surprised. But not having been medicated as a child, having children of my own or a doctor’s degree, this is just a semi-educated guess. I wonder: how do you stand on having ADD/ADHD-kids off their meds on the weekends, Doug?
Comments from doug:
The antidepressants are very useful in moderate and severe depressions, not quite as much in mild. Just as I recommend strategies, coaching and therapy along with the medication for ADHD, I highly recommend therapy and activity along with medication for depression.
There are many other similarities between the two, including having a lot of misinformation being printed in the media and posted on the net
My medication is Daytrana, Ritalin in a skin patch which avoids the side effects. The only side effect I have is insomnia if I forget to take it off in time.
I am trying a new strategy of One. Eager to write about it.
May write about John Rosemond, a well known (I think) columnist who calls himself a psychologist (does not have a PhD- is that OK?) and has a lot of nonsense about ADHD in our newspaper. He’s a denier. Arrghh!
Plan an update on the latest ADHD scientific research findings.
Now that I’ve joined the ranks of the (almost) unemployed, hoping to do better on keeping up with the blog, and to get the images fixed so they show up right on Facebook – at last.