Ritalin for managing ADD / ADHD
A news article on the topic of ADD and treatment interviewed several people, including Maggie Preston who “was diagnosed with ADD at 16 and took Ritalin for four years.
“She quit over concerns about addiction after several occasions when she used her medications recreationally. Now she’s a student of photography at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.”
[In their own words, By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times Dec 18, 2006.]
Preston says, “It was just hard for me to do the [school] work, because I didn’t want to… I was pretty much of a troublesome kid. I did not like authority that much.
“It [Ritalin] was kind of like weirdly amazing… You get excited about monotonous work, honestly.
“Like, translating Spanish becomes totally fun… The thing is, it works. But why are we forcing people to be in the position that they should like something that they wouldn’t ordinarily?”
She also notes, “If I really had ADD, how could I go in the dark room and spend eight hours without looking at the clock?… When you’re trying to do things not natural to your capabilities is when it’s really apparent… But kids just aren’t going to be equally good at all [subjects], and I think Ritalin is a way of trying to get kids to be good at everything.”
[Photo: Maggie Preston and her photographs from post: Altman Siegel, SF Camerawork.]
Her site: www.maggiepreston.com
Giftedness may look like pathology in school
“If you’re in an environment like a school that says you must attend to these things, in this order, then a highly creative, a highly gifted person is going to have difficulty with that.
“And it’s so much more complex than that. Dabrowski points out that psychomotor overexcitability is one of the pieces of giftedness, so they have this incredible energy, and they’re bored out of their minds in school, and they’re expected to follow straight lines from ‘A’ to ‘B’ to ‘C’, none of which they can handle, so it looks like pathology, and they get drugged.
“It may be true that some adults really have ADD,” she adds, “but I find it so unlikely.
“If you look at the list of characteristics of ADD, and the characteristics of gifted, they are virtually the same.”
See a Facebook post for this article with multiple comments and replies, such as these from Stephanie Tolan:
“Not to argue with anyone’s way of coping with difference, but there’s a great deal of power in words, and much depends on how the words affect one. Some are liberated by a diagnosis and medication, some are given a sense of being “broken” by those. People are (all of us!) unique.
“Just wanted to let it be known that before the diagnoses (ADD & ADHD) were created, “hyperfocus” was called other things–extreme creativity was one, “flow” was another.
“Writers, poets, scientists, painters–long before there was such a thing as coding–could and often did go long hours without sleeping or eating (or noticing the passage of time) while inspiration was flowing.
“The question no one can answer now is whether in that pre-diagnosing era there really was a “disorder” that hadn’t been noticed. Nor can we answer whether medication would have made the work created during times of “hyperfocus” better or worse.
“But there was a whole lot of major work done with that intensity, singlemindedness, and concentration.” //
“But the idea of meds freeing up capacity is certainly intriguing if we were able to go back in time and try them on some of the “genius creators” of the past.”
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Related pages and articles:
Article: Gifted, Talented, Addicted
HSP or Gifted Kids & Teens with ADD or ADHD
Therapist Sharon M. Barnes works with creative, sensitive, intense, intelligent people.
She addresses this topic in an article:
AD/HD and ADD are among the most common childhood mental disorders, and some of the most rapidly growing ones in adults.
Parents can be acutely aware of the havoc that ADD can wreak in the lives of their kids and teens.
There never is a perfect time for families to get help for ADD or AD/HD.
The right time to get help is when you’re feeling the pinch that comes when attention issues interfere with school achievement, home/family or social relationships.
Often, kids, teens and adults with AD/HD feel like they don’t fit in—like Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer, in the Christmas legend.
Remember the story? Rudolph’s red nose got him banished to the Land of MisFit Toys.
Later, his nose helped him save the day for everyone.
Likewise, the differences that may cause people with ADD & AD/HD trouble can be assets in disguise.
Read more in her post “HSP or Gifted Kids & Teens with ADD” in the blog section of her site: Therapist For Sensitive And Gifted.
She has developed a home-study program based on her clinical therapy work, and explains:
“We designed the CASIGY™ (Creative, Acutely Aware, Super-Sensitive, Intense and/or Gifted You-s) Social-Emotional ACES Home Video Program™ to help you become ACES, that is, skilled experts in the Social-Emotional arena.
“You’ll learn to ride the intense waves of emotion in your life, instead of being pulled under by them.”
Learn more in my article Emotional Health Program for Creative, Gifted, Highly Sensitive People – which includes a video using the above image – Barnes notes a number of her gifted clients feel like “aliens.”
“I have always had a bit of a difficult time focusing on things that aren’t interesting to me…”
Lisa Ling added, “I get really, really anxious before taking any kind of test or having any kind of evaluation.
“As a journalist, when I’m immersed in a story, then I feel like I can laser-focus.
“But if I’m not working, my mind goes in every direction but where it’s supposed to go. I’ve been like that since I was a kid.”
In high school, Ling recalls, “I could go through an entire period and not retain a sentence if I [wasn’t] interested in the topic or the subject matter.”
While researching a story on the topic, an expert diagnosed that she had ADD.
Follow link to read more in the article.