Seven years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In other words, I had a chronic problem paying attention. As a form of treatment for ADHD, I was put on a controversial drug called Ritalin. Now being at the age of sixteen, it was not really my choice whether I wanted to take a doctor's prescription or not. Now that I have grown up a bit and understand things better, I am questioning the benefits of prescribing Ritalin to treat ADD.
My personal experience with Ritalin is mixed. I use it when I am in school and at work and it allows me to concentrate and focus on what I need to do. I use to be a troubled student. Things never came easy to me and far too often they never came at all. Ritalin was like putting on a pair of glasses. Suddenly everything became focused and organized. My schoolwork went for a category I will refer to as second-rate to a straight A student. I was no longer battling with myself to comprehend something. People who knew me as a child would never believe me as to what I have accomplished. That came at a price though, when I am taking Ritalin I drop about fifteen pounds and have constant nausea. I also feel it changes my personality making me a very bland person to talk to. Last year I found myself in the hospital with what can be described as a mild heart attack because of Ritalin. Most of these side effects I have been able to coupe with because the benefits have been so high. I do question if I could have gotten this far without it and if it was really worth it.
I never really took the time to learn about ADHD or Ritalin. Similar to a majority of people with ADHD, I was diagnosed as a child. So I was not the one making the decisions on how it was going to be treated. My doctor recommended Ritalin because of its high success rate. Without much investigation on other forms of treatment, my parents agreed to the Ritalin prescription. Since it did help me, that was end of it. Only now...
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