Controversy: ADHD medication, is it necessary?

ADHD medication will always be controversial. People like to make simple topics controversial. I like a little controversy myself. As many of you know, my favorite musician was/is/will likely always be Prince. He was a fan of the controversy too. Not only was he a fan, he even wrote a song about it. The lyrics remind me so much of the conformity people try to subject people with ADHD to on the topic:

I can’t understand human curiosity
Controversy
Was it good for you,was I what you wanted me to be?
Controversy
Do you get high, does your daddy cry?
Controversy

Controversy
Controversy

Do I believe in god, do I believe in me?
Some people want to die so they can be free

As long as we have Republican vs. Democrat, Black vs. White and Hatfield vs. McCoy, we will always debate whether medication is the best way to treat a mental illness. Where do I stand on it? You can have my ADHD medication when you pry it from my cold, dead, still-protesting fingers. Why is that? Well, to put it plainly, the medication works for me. In my very first post, Diagnosis and the Conversion Experience, I detailed how I completed 2 years worth of procrastination in roughly 8 hours. What’s not to like about that?

There are various reasons why someone might not want to medicate, such as jobs ( the military and the police often do not allow those on their forces to take stimulant medication). However most of the time I find that it comes down to simple prejudice. It seems like people enjoy spreading misinformation, so let’s just clear some things up. List time: here are three myths for you about ADHD medication.

3 ADHD Medication Myths

  1. It will make you into a zombie – This simply isn’t true unless you are on the wrong medication. The truth is, the correct medication neither energizes or de-energizes you. If I had to make a metaphor for what ADHD medication does, I would compare it to driving through fog. Anybody can drive in the fog, but it is very difficult to see. Medication clears this fog away for me. With a clearer vision, I’m able to speed through tasks that otherwise would have consumed a lot more energy. That means I can use my energy for other things besides being frustrated.
  2. Medication turns you into someone other than yourself – Not at all. Medication has absolutely no affect on who I am as a person. I will say this: some people experience irritability at a high dose. Some people ( me ) find themselves to be a little crabby at the end of the day when their medication is wearing off. That said, I am a crabby person by nature. It isn’t just the medicine (lol).
  3. Medication will make you a hopeless addict, scraping at the bottom of your purse and panhandling on the side of the freeway – Umm. . . no. Just . . . no. In all fairness, the drugs have the capacity to become addictive HOWEVER if you are taking them properly under the supervision of the professional prescribing them to you, that risk will be well mitigated.

We all need tools

You know, Controversy makes for a fun song, but it sure doesn’t make for a great life if it is stopping you from trying something that would be a great help to you.Think of it this way: you can nail a nail into the wall without a hammer, but would you if the hammer was available? Could you imagine a world in which people sat around saying ” Can you believe that person is over there using a hammer? They are taking the easy way out. Other people manage without hammers, and you don’t hear them complaining.” Of course you can’t imagine it because nobody would say anything so stupid. Don’t leave the tools that can help you nail your future in someone else’s hands. Try the drugs. Or don’t. Either way, your happiness, or lack there of, should be of your own choosing.

Whatever you decide, don’t let anyone shame you for it. It is really up to you, there’s no right or wrong here. Just like Prince said in the song, some people die trying to be free, they waste away trying to be whatever other people expect them to be. Don’t live your life trying to meet other people’s expectations. THAT is the most important lesson of all. Never fear, we’ll have more on that later.

Until next time,

René

Where do I stand in the ADHD medication debate? You can have my ADHD medication when you pry it from my cold, dead, still-protesting fingers.Where do I stand in the ADHD medication debate? You can have my ADHD medication when you pry it from my cold, dead, still-protesting fingers.Where do I stand in the ADHD medication debate? You can have my ADHD medication when you pry it from my cold, dead, still-protesting fingers. 

Syringe with Blue Liquid” by Andres Rueda is licensed under CC BY

Syringe with Blue Liquid” by Andres Rueda is licensed under CC BY

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