Ritalin Still Rocks

So, have you recovered after my last pro medication post…? I know it was a long one- and bravo to anyone who made it all the way through it! So- onwards and upwards, eh!?
Let’s start today’s lesson with a question, why don’t we.
Why do ADHDer parents* NOT talk about the fact that their child is medicated for AD/HD?
Well, for one thing, public perception is that mentioning your child has AD/HD entitles everyone and their dog (as I mentioned last time) to tell you how you should be treating it and how your child just needs discipline and how your child sounds like every other teenager/ six year old/ ten year old. You can imagine that these people have a field day with me when they learn I’m a single mother to boot; ‘coz then I’m just drugging my son because I can’t cope, don’t you know. And then a lot of them give me the “…when I was his age…” speech too. And you can finish that sentence any way you like, I’ve heard every possible version there is!
Lemme get back on track before this turns into a rant.
I think it’s like with any illness. We don’t really talk about them at all. We’d rather not let anyone else in on the fact that our kidlets are not completely perfect. Illness or a disorder of any kind is not something that gets mentioned in casual conversation, and even when they are spoken about, AD/HD is often “hushed up” for fear of attaching a stigma or a detrimental label to the kids.
If the problem is a visible one- a physical disability of some kind- you get quizzed by perfect strangers as if they have the right to ask you personal questions! It’s quite incredible- and I’ve seen it with my nephew N and his short arms. It’s also a bit like being pregnant where everyone seems to think they may touch your baby-bump and ask you questions like “are you going to breastfeed?” and “when are you due?” And if you’re pushing a pram, it naturally means anyone and everyone may look into the pram and anyone and everyone may touch your baby!
Go on- tell me I’m wrong!
So lemme see if I can explain ADHDer parents thinking like this: “Damien’s doing okay now he’s on meds, so why tell anyone he has a problem!?
Does that make sense? The problem is that as a result of thinking like this, the good results of AD/HD meds are kept quiet, and all anyone ever hears about is the stuff you read in the YOU Magazine! I repeat: bad news sells.
So, what’s my strategy… first- find a doctor you like and trust and one who can make a difference for all of you. Second- find a support group of some kind, whether it’s virtual or real people doesn’t matter, find someone to talk to who knows you’re not exaggerating what you’re going through. Third- research, research and more research… read everything you can get your hands on! Fourth- talk to your family, friends and the school. Helping an ADHDer through life and through school especially is a team effort and hiding the diagnosis and treatment from everyone makes the child feel even more like an outcast than he already does.
I’ll talk about my experience with the diagnosis process next… brace yourself!

*I include myself here of course…

9 thoughts on “Ritalin Still Rocks

  1. You go girl! I have a son who takes medication for ADHD. Wise parents do what is best for their kids.

    It’s my fist time to visit your blog, I’d be back for more. In fact, I added you to my blogroll 🙂

  2. s e e quine: thank you for your input, and for the question. i’m working on a post on how to explain it to others…

  3. ` Ritalin CAN make all the difference, and I’ve had trouble not with people in general but doctors (as I mentioned in the comments on my ADD post).
    ` I was indeed having problems today in my first biology lab of the year because I forgot my Ritalin and there was a lot of talking. I couldn’t write anything down!!
    ` However, in my all-day filming adventure on the cold mountain in underwear and high heels and a cape, I took Ritalin continually and surprised myself with my determination. In fact, I was probably the only girl who did not complain! *pats self on back* (There will be a post on that soon.)

    …public perception is that mentioning your child has AD/HD entitles everyone and their dog (as I mentioned last time) to tell you how you should be treating it and how your child just needs discipline and how your child sounds like every other teenager/ six year old/ ten year old.

    ` No. For God’s sake, NO. Not at all! Not being able to complete one’s own thoughts leaves someone a bit worse than that – not able to keep up with basic hygiene, for example, or finish a simple task, or act spontaneously to do something they need to do that isn’t daily habit.
    ` Just going out to get an errand done is a struggle for me without Ritalin, a difficult mental battle. With the Ritalin it is just my nature.
    ` I’ve noticed that – when medicated I can be myself rather than having to fight all the time. Though I’m somewhat capable of doing these things anyway, it is REALLY difficult instead of just ‘think of it and I can do it’!
    ` It’s like the difference between having a toy car and having a toy remote control car – you don’t have to run all over the place to get it to move!
    ` I’ll stop ranting now. It’s just how I would explain it to someone who objected.
    ` So, how DO you explain it, anyway?

  4. hey Angel!
    Girl you know I hate when people ask invasive questions of the personal nature … OMG and touch me when I was pregnant… JUST NASTY!!!

    As for talking about kids on meds… dont get me started… my kids have been on adult over the counter meds since age 5 or 6 because kid shit didnt work… then the docs say it was because I wanted the drugs… LOL

    hell I could get what I wanted on the street… I would rather not resort to that for my child in pain… but sad to say, Ive had to.

  5. WOOHOOOO! two new visitors!!!

    david: hi david, thanx for stopping by! i’m so glad you liked my post!

    gin: thank you gin, very sweet of you! and i know your friends will benefit from your backup too!

    spear: howdy! i love new visitors! i’m so sorry you’re feeling down…
    i’ve got a link in my sidebar for ADHDers… maybe you can find something in there!

  6. Ritalin Rocks – Amen to that! My point of view is motivated differently though. I am an adult and I have add, so I can articulate what a child cannot. I posted two very negative posts on my blog today. Today I am despondent and weepy, but usually I cope well with the aid of meds. I didn’t take meds yesterday and it is only kicking in now again. Entirely my own fault and in direct conflict with my Dr’s advice. I know what you are saying about the stuff which gets published in the likes of YOU magazine. Hardly the authorotative medical journal.

    I also agree on the research, research research, for how else are you to make your own (informed decisions).

    As for labels, being the recipient as a child (undiagnosed till adult), maybe ADD would not have been as bad as lazy, scatterbrain, weird, difficult.

    I will take your advice of support group however, I feel in dire need.

  7. Though I have no real solid personal experience with ADHD (other than a few parent-friends here and there), I say ‘hoo-rah!’ for you. I love how you take a stand and the analogy about the pram-baby-bump fondelers definitely does ring true.
    Anyway, even as a nonparent, I support your fight!

  8. G’day from Australia, Angel,

    I am a father of three and this post really made sense to me.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Damien and those who make him happy.



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