Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Thinkstock Single Images

After yesterday's posting debacle, I'm taking it a little bit easy today. So, here's an interesting article from 2003 discussing kids with ADHD-I who use smoking as a self medication.

This brings me to an interesting thought. Medication for Josh?

To do or not to do. That is the question.

I've often wondered how I would respond to medication. There have been times when I've been very close to visiting a psychiatrist for this purpose. (My first year of grad school was one of them--I just wanted to find relief.) But the thought of it brings some interesting questions to the forefront, such as:

--would the side-effects of taking medication to pay attention prevent me from engaging in the creative activities I need to do (like writing)? Would I become robotic?
--is taking medication a kind of "giving up"? I've fought for a long time to get where I am, so would I be throwing in the towel?
--what if I love it? Will I feel that I'd squandered years of my life without it?

I realize that these thoughts might seem really lame--it's a topic that makes me a little nervous. But the fact is, I'm really toying with the idea of trying something. I'd just like to know what it feels like. And who knows? Maybe it would be awesome.



  1. Man, I can see how you are torn. Taking medication for anything always kinda freaks me out. There are so many side effects and such, and everyone reacts differently. These sorts of things always make me wonder what the heck I would do if I never joined the church. How would I ever make decisions if I didn't have the spirit as a guide? I hope you get answers.

  2. I was thinking about this the other day when I heard a story on NPR about depression treatment. It is a really tough issue. I've had many of the same thoughts as you described. I'd probably be a better engineer and employee if medication could help me stay focused on my projects instead of staring blankly at my screen for way too many hours, but I also feel like it might stifle my creative endeavors.

  3. I've been lurking on this blog since you started it (hope that's OK!)--because I see a lot of parallels between you learning to live life with ADHD-I and me learning to live life with diabetes. I mean, of course they're not the same, but I always like to get other people's perspectives who deal with stuff like this on a day to day basis, because it gives me insight on how to better live life with my chronic condition. So, in that sense, thanks for blogging!

    About the medication thing (and this might show my ignorance about this): Is it the kind of thing where you could try it, see if you like it, and then stop using it if you didn't like the side effects?

  4. Sarah was also diagnosed with ADHD, and I, after reading your posts, have decided it must have been ADHD-I. She took some medication and said her entire life changed (in a positive sense).

  5. I completely understand your dilemma. All I can tell you is that my mom and sister are both on Vyvanse and it helps them HUGELY.

  6. No offense, but aren't you being a bit dramatic about this? I mean, you know more about possible side-effects than I, but it's not like you'd be risking cancer or something. Like Erin says- you try it and you decide if the pros (if any) outweigh the cons. What's so hard about that? If it helps, great- you'll still be you, but you'll be able to focus more. If not, you're back to where you were.

    Why make it any bigger than that?

  7. Thanks for the feedback, guys. It's good to hear that some people have found relief, and seem to have positive feelings about it.

    Dan--Thanks a lot for raining on my emo parade, what with your crazy talk of "trying it" and simply "weighing pros and cons." Can't you just let a guy feel the deep pain of his false dichotomies?

    No, but seriously, you make a good point. I probably am making it a bigger deal than it needs to be. It just feels epic to me for some reason I (apparently) can't explain. But in the end, I'll never know if I never at least try.

    I'm going to go to my room and cry about that fact for a while now...

  8. As someone who is currently on medication I can completely understand why you would hesitate and really think about if you want to try it or not. After fighting and coping for so long taking medication can feel like a "scape goat" or a "way to give up". I felt like that before I got on medication but it was the right thing in my case and very necessary. So take your time and don't rush anything. Whatever you decide you have the full support and love of many people.

  9. Personally I've been thinking about this a lot recently and I've decided that if I can't get it together as far as school goes in the next couple of weeks I'm gonna give the medication a shot. Otherwise I'll be wasting A LOT of money on a masters degree that I won't get.

  10. I'm also hoping that the desire to prove to myself that I don't need the medication will give me the motivation I need. We'll see.

  11. Anonymous--Thanks for your words of advice and empathy.

    Chris--Maybe we should both give it a try and compare notes?

  12. I'm not sure how helpful it is for me to post this 4 years after the fact, but I am just now reading the blog from the start. My husband, age 67 was diagnosed with ADHD-I 2 years ago. The medication he began then, has been so helpful and there have been no side effects. We just wish he could have been diagnosed and helped at a much earlier age, but better late than never.