Jump to content
Science Forums

Recommended Posts

I heard on the radio today that some students have been taking ritalen because apparently it helps them to study and aids their memory. A neuro- scientist working in the field of brain injury said thats its been proved to help people get better exam results. I personally think its a dodgy area to get in to but I wonder how much of this is going on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

it's a phase.

i'm in high school and it's on and off between different groups of people.

that stuff really REALLY gets you focusing, it's pretty amazing. although, if you take too much, you will be fascinated, on your knees, screaming at the top of your lungs at dirt, because dirt is amazing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to have that strong a reaction. I am a 33 year-old male who was finally diagnosed as ADD w/Hyperactivity last year. I was on the verge of losing my job because I was forgetting important details in my daily routine and my wife wanted to strangle me due to childish behavior and a constant desire to talk, usually about whatever passed through my head at the instant, and often a repeat from hours/days/weeks ago.

 

On Ritalin (and finally Concerta, a 12-hour extended release version of Ritalin), I am quieter, more productive at work, and less likely to leave the keys in the door when I come home at night.

 

My chief complaints about the medicine are two:

1) I hate that I only function well as a responsible adult when I am drugged with Ritalin. I resent that it has such an effect on my life; that without it I would be stuck in a series of nowhere jobs and my (second) wife would probably have left or arranged for a nasty... accident... shall we say. I thought my first wife was an unmerciful nagging hag who was never satisfied with my help around the house. Now I suspect I was a LOT less effective in my chores and she was at her wits end by the time we split.

2) I feel less creative and intuitive than I used to feel before the medicine. When I am unmedicated my mind runs on 3 or more semi-separate channels at once. Even though none of these "channels" come in perfectly clear on my mental TV, I feel the extra "bandwidth" contributes to brainstorming and mental leaps when I write or do advanced math. If my wife hadn't specifically forbidden it I would probably work my day job on Concerta from Monday-Friday and write while unmedicated on the weekends. While on the medicine I am able to polish up and refine a lot of the ideas developed over the past few years but not a lot of new material is floating in, and the drive to write itself is far less urgent (hypergraphia was a strong component of my ADHD).

 

Has anyone else felt either of these symptoms personally, or is there published material about these issues in the journals?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there is a big distinction between Nossy who suffers with hyperactivity and so needs ritalin to function normally, he or she needs this medication.

It is a very dangerous trend, if it is a trend, for students to take brain performance enhancing drugs, to achieve better exam results. It will lead them to think that they dont have to work too hard and be able to do some drug induced cramming before the exam. The next step will be, how many drugs and for how long and before they know it they will be addicted or worse cause themselves some long term damage.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ritalin is the new steroids for the brain. While unbridled drug taking has always been seen as a great crime of the "liberals," here in California, we've got all these ball players who've made millions *only* because they've taken steroids and rich team owners (including our illustrious tokin' and snortin' prez) who have looked the other way for years as long as it fills stadium seats, and we can't even get our conservative Republican Governator to come out clearly against them (he said just yesterday that he did *not* "regret" having taken them). Looks like "Just Say Maybe" is the new Republican party line....

 

Take a moment for Hunter Thompson, drug taker extrodinare and defender of the Second Amendment...

 

"Let's get.....small!"

Buffy

Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine has a brother that was put on Ritalin at aprox. age 5. He was on the drug for almost 20 years. Perhaps it helped him, but it seems to have crippled his social skills and his ability to really function well today (He has been off of the drug for the past few years). He has a tendency to just stare blankly a lot of the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
It is a very dangerous trend, if it is a trend, for students to take brain performance enhancing drugs, to achieve better exam results.

One of the interesting aspects of this discussion is the idea that using Ritalin to enhance academic performance is relatively recent. It is not. Using it for this purpose was known when I was in college, and I graduated in 1971. The assumption at the time was that it increased your ability to concentrate, and therefore study more effectively, and also improved memory. It was understood to be temporary, and that you'd likely forget what you had crammed. Never did it, but considering how successful I've been since, perhaps I should have.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am torn over the use of Ritalin. My son is textbook case of ADD. Soccer is a bit tricky for him; he gets side-tracked into a mud-puddle, or some grass, or another player, or his shoes, etc. He has a very difficult time paying attention to directions and then staying on task. While I have seen some positive results from stimulants in ADD patients, I have also seen (as per my prior post) some negative results. Anyone familiar with alternative methods, ie games or techniques that help strengthen the ability to concentrate and reduce the need for medication?

Link to post
Share on other sites

First, for some links...

 

This site has some interesting info on Methylphenidate (aka Ritalin). Pretty straightforward info, not too obviously biased or anything.

http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofax/ritalin.html

 

This site has some interesting suggestions to dealing with those pesky ADHD/ADD kids in school. (that was a joke, as I am both married to one, and the mother of *probably* a few :Alien: ). Good suggestions though.

http://www.addinschool.com/alternative.htm

 

This one is by an MD who seems just a bit against using drugs on kids. I haven't had the time to figure out why he's so against it, if it's more than just the obvious "kids shouldn't be on drugs", or if it's a personal thing. I didn't check all of the links that go with this one, but the ones I did check were interesting.

http://www.breggin.com/ritalin.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, stepping away from the Admin role and putting on my "Mommy" hat...

 

Drugs are bad, kids. Don't do them. ( that's just in case the almost-teen starts reading over my shoulder, or logs on later...)

 

nossy482... WOW! Reading your story was like reading something my husband might have written, except that he's never been married before me, and he codes instead of writes. Most everything else was spookily familiar though. He sometimes thinks I'm nagging him when I remind him repeatedly of things. That's ok though, I keep reminding, in the hopes that he will actually remember. It IS frustrating sometimes. But then I think of him medicated, and it freezes my heart. He just wouldn't be him if his thoughts were focused, his feet didn't tap when sitting still for more than 2 minutes, and he didn't always ask me what we are doing tonight. (my new answer has been... oh wait, that almost teen may read this, so I better keep it clean, but you get the picture!)

 

As for my kids, they are VERY high energy. That's what I 'label' them, because that's what they are. I have two boys that are 150% boy. I have 4 girls that have no signs of hyperactivity, unless it's after a birthday party or a Grandma is visiting. Speaking of Grandma's... (not mine this time!)... Hubby's mom once suggested that we put our oldest boy on Ritalin, as he showed the same personality traits as hubby. Needless to say, that conversation ended with a slamming door, and a very quiet ride home to Virginia from Ohio. Hubby's parents had him diagnosed and medicated as a young one, and it 'worked' great, as long as he took his meds, or so the story goes from them. From him, he will admit that he was better able to focus, but felt the same resentment that you mention, knowing his life was only "normal" when he was drugged. So he quit. He just stopped taking them. That was not an easy decision, and he occasionally wonders if he shouldn't have stopped. But I'm glad he did.

 

How does he manage now, since it obviously didn't just disappear? Well, he manages himself pretty well. And we work on things together. And I try to remind myself of all the wonderful things his mind does instead of remembering silly tings like anniversaries. And a Palm Pilot is a MUST. He will NOT take an office with a window. Nor will he listen to music with words while working (classical is better anyway, right?). He leaves most of the 'details' of life to me, which is both very trusting, very empowering, and very frustrating sometimes. But we work it out. If he lived in a fog, I think I would miss all of the crazy things that just fall right out of his mouth. He truly is an amazing man, and his brain works in such a unique way that I'd be insane to mess with it.

 

Our children will not be medicated, unless they choose that as adults. That's something we both agree on, and I see no reason to change it. I don't understand parents, or teachers, that think it's ok to medicate kids into submission. I've heard "oh, but you don't know my kids" so many times, and you're right - I don't. I knw mine. And whatever they are, or however they behave, it's up to ME, as a responsible parent, to find ways to direct their energy in constructive ways. End of story.

 

Oh, and Fish... try ditching soccer and going for track. That's a fairly individual sport, so the rest of the team won't suffer if he spaces off. Or get him a skateboard. Just be sure to buya helmet. And finally, who cares if he's more interested in mud puddles than the soccer game. Games are boring when you're out there with nothing to do. Who cares? (not to criticize, just to suggest that maybe he's in the wrong sport. My hubby did great in drama, singing, wrestling, and football, so maybe give those a look.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, one last thing...

If you're interested in alternatives to Ritalin, you simply MUST check this link. It was an incredibly fascinating read for me, and explained quite a bit about the disorder that I was unaware of. Also, it gives a few suggestions on how to cope, including some homepathic suggestions. I don't know how you feel about homeopathy, but I thought I'd include it for you, Fish. Hope all works out well. Give that kid a hug, will ya? I'm sure you do anyhow, but give 'em another one. You can never get too many hugs as a kid, especially when you think there may be something 'wrong' with you...

 

http://www.vaxa.com/636.cfm

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...