Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

An interesting article on ADD, Ritalin, questioning whether it's better

to have unmedicated kids with the full range of personality, or drugged kids that are easier to deal with but feel like they're in a fog.

Whose Prescription Is It, Anyway?

Medscape articles are available with free registration. I can relate. Fortunately, in my experience with Paxil, there's no 'over-medication' effect. I believe that the ideal drug is one that makes someone with abnormal brain chemistry normal. Period. Not zoned, not depressed, not fogged. The trick is finding the right combination, which seems to be different for each individual. They're learning all sorts of things about how differerent genetics mean a different response to psychotropic drugs. Maybe, someday, people won't have to waste time figuring out which is right, and doctors can just do a blood test.

Seems to me this young man needs some therapy to deal with the fallout of his treatment, though, and won't improve, really, until those feelings of resentment are acknowledged and he is given some control over his own life.

Didn't intend to go into a day of medication musings. Nor do I want anyone reading this (especially prospective employers) to think I'm a raging psycho. But I do find that my medication helps my ability to concentrate, allows me to have the full range of emotions without swinging one way or another, etc. Like the boy in the article, I sometimes feel that I have all these distractions all around me, and my medicine helps. I think in my case it has more to do with anxiety and OCD (where my thoughts just race inside my head, almost unknowledged, in a sort of paralysing spiral without my meds), but who's to say that ADD/OCD aren't somehow chemically similar? I was once sent for evaluation of ADD and they realised my blood sugar levels were off. Then they realised my serotonin ones were, too. (Incidentally, the two can be related, since serotonin interacts with things like hunger and the endocrine system can affect the neurotransmitters). I think one of these days we're going to realise that the things we call mental illness (certainly the Axis I) disorders are just like diabetes--controllable and physical, albeit with emotional clinical symptoms.

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