I started taking medication because I used to think I was bad. I was in trouble in school a lot before I took my medicine. After I took my medicine, I wasn’t in trouble anymore…The first pill I took only made me like listen a little bit, and it made me skinny a little bit.
Reminders to take medicine
Mom gets my pill for me and I take it. You can’t eat it, because it’ll hurt your teeth. I swallow it for her… If someone told me I could stop taking my medicine, I would still keep taking it because when I take it I can study for my spelling tests on Fridays.
I can work harder
I can’t really concentrate when I don’t take my medicine. When I do take it, I feel like I can work harder.
Easier to concentrate
Sometimes in math, the stuff is hard, but when I take the medicine, I concentrate a little more so it’s easier. Off it, I don’t concentrate, so it’s hard.
Not my usual standard
It’s when I don’t take my medication that I notice, because I have it more often then not, so I’m not up to my usual standard. One time I was sitting in a class during 7th period and I had not noticed that I hadn’t taken my pill. I was sitting in this class and the teacher was like, “Write an allegory” and if you told me, “Answer this question, answer this question, answer this question,” okay, fine, I can do it. But you tell something as vague as write an allegory and my brain is not going to do that. If it’s really, really specific and there is only one answer, I can probably make myself do it. But if it’s really vague I can’t settle my mind down enough to concentrate.
Not as attentive
If I don’t take any medicine one day sometimes I’ll notice that I’m not as attentive as I usually am. There are other kids who have ADHD in my school and they don’t take medicine and I am much more controlled, better behaved and attentive than they are. I do better than them in school. I’m not saying that I’m smarter than them, I’m just saying that they don’t have the same treatment that I do. I don’t know what other people do so I wouldn’t know, but I know that what I am compared to without my medicine and compared to other people that don’t take medicine that I am like much better off than I would be.
Talking with my psychiatrist
Last time I was here it was to describe the problems I have been having with doing my homework and stuff. Like how I was really stressed out about that. Immediately he was like, “Well, this tends to happen with people your age.” He told me first of all that I wasn’t going crazy. Then he ran through all the possibilities of what we could do to fix it and help me out and make it better. It made me a lot less stressed out because even though I knew I still had to make up all that work I knew that it wasn’t going to keep building up on me forever. Because every time there is a problem and something needs to be fixed he immediately starts working on it.
I was more calm in school and I was able to sit and have conversations without getting antsy when I starting taking ADHD medication.
I tried to fight it
I first was told about ADHD in the 5th grade I think. My Uncle Dan (who is a child psychiatrist) told me about it and I said that I didn’t have it. I tried to fight it all the way to 7th grade, I think, and then I gave in and finally started taking Concerta. And with the medicine, my grades actually boosted from C’s and low B’s to A’s and B’s because I was doing my homework and concentrating more….My dad was probably the biggest encouragement for me to take medicine. He basically said it would help me, but I originally I wouldn’t do it. I was so headstrong that I didn’t really think it would work. My dad showed me statistics and stuff, but I still didn’t want to take it. My dad said that was fine I could wait until I was ready. And eventually I said I would try the medicine.
I think my resistance to accepting I had ADHD was a maturity thing. I thought “Oh, I’m going to be a loser because I have to take this medicine and nobody else takes it.” Then I finally figured out that there are a lot of people that actually do take stuff like that.
I definitely notice when I’m not on the medicine in terms of focus and getting work done, but I don’t have one of those extreme cases. I don’t think I really have ADHD. I just have focus problems and attention problems, I’m not hyperactive.
School year only
I don’t take medicine in the summer or on the weekends. I take it during the school year…I prefer myself off of medication because I am able to have fun in a more natural way it seems. But on it, I’m used to it.
In the zone
Well I’m a lot more easily distracted when I’m not on my medication than my friends are. But, when I am on it’s pretty much the same. It puts me in the zone. A lot of my school friends are really studious and get really good grades and they just focus, focus, focus all day. The medicine I take puts me toward their level. It would be harder for me if I didn’t take the medicine because I would be a little more spaced out with my head in the clouds.
I think ADD is over diagnosed. I think as time moves on with more and more technology and parents are plopping their kids in front of TVs they just become dependent on the media and things that will entertain them. They develop a different kind of mental set that affects them later. Medication is definitely a blessing; it has helped me a lot. It should definitely be selective about who takes it because a lot of people abuse it. A lot of people abuse it. I know that for sure. A lot of people who don’t need it will take it to focus intently for a period of time. It is definitely a drug that people abuse.
My psychiatrist prescribes what I take, so we do experiments to see what is going to work and he obviously knows a lot about it. So he can put me on what it is that will help me. He just helps. He has switched me to different things that have worked so that’s good.
I don’t blurt out stupid things
I guess the biggest thing I notice when I take my medication is that my grades are better. Also, I think about what I’m going to say before I go and blurt out something stupid and then get in a fight. I can think about what I say before I say it and can think of the results of what could happen instead of just saying “You’re blah, blah, blah,” and then get in a big ‘ole fight. Now I just think about it and I usually just walk away from anything.
I can tell
There are times where I definitely can tell if I’m not taking my medication and I’m in class and I’m kind of fidgety and I can’t really stay. Sometimes I get really anxious if I’m somewhere and I haven’t taken it. I have no patience at all, that’s one thing I know about me, I can’t stand waiting. If it’s like waiting, to go to a party, for my friends to get ready– I can’t stand it.
I started taking the medicine in first grade. Before I started taking the medicine, I didn’t notice that I acted differently from my friends. Once I started taking the meds I noticed the change, but before that I wasn’t aware of it.
Managing medicine in college
I took Adderall through high school and for some of college. My first year of college was OK; I took the medication and did feel more focused. Towards the end of my first year I wanted to try life without medication because I hadn’t been off of it for so long, so gradually I started not taking the Adderall. My next 3 years of college were fine. I could focus and pay attention better each year. This also has to do with I was finally studying what I wanted to study, so I was interested in school.
In college there is the potential to abuse Adderall and many people do it. It’s really easy to go to your primary care physician and basically just ask for it. When I started taking Adderall it was more the norm to be referred to a psychiatrist but nowadays people are able to go to their PCP and just list a few symptoms then you get a prescription. What is bad about this is it is a quick fix. The medication relieves the symptoms but you have no idea about how to handle long term effects if you have ADHD.