me, but do you mind if someone with specific expertise joins this
debate? I am not a doctor or a psychologist. I am one who has actually taken
methylphenidate (Ritalin) to treat attention deficit disorder.
Dr. David Keirsey is so wrong that I don't know where to start.
First of all I am NOT a zombie with my meds or without. Ritalin does not
change my personality or intelligence. It is not a "chemical
straitjacket." I am as free to act
at my own discretion with Ritalin as I am without it. It does not
impair my natural creativity in any way. I am not addicted, but free
to take it or not depending on projected need for that day. It does
not change the way I think, feel, or act.
has ONE major effect. It allows me to concentrate my attention. I
have had many opportunities to compare my attention level with
Ritalin to that without it. For most tasks, I am able to concentrate
much better if I have taken Ritalin.
grade school, I was too immature and inexperienced to detect the
difference. In high school, however, I
found out how much difference it really made. Without
Ritalin algebra was next to impossible. I become distracted and
forgot what I was doing. I lost track of where I was in the problem
and would have to start over. With Ritalin, algebra was a fun game
with numbers and symbols. I am now a computer science major in
college, but I would never have been able to reach this point without
the help of Ritalin.
will notice that there is no 'disparity of interests' involved in the
example. I find mathematics to be a beautiful and fascinating subject
whether I take Ritalin or not. It is just that some forms of math
are just too hard to follow if I can't pay attention to them.
do not doubt that the DSM-IV is vague and confusing on the subject of
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is because we really
don't know much about it's cause or its mechanisms. This does not
mean it is not a real problem.
is a negative concept. Inability to pay attention is not. It is not
that I don't pay attention when I do not take my medication and I
must pay attention when I do. It would be more correct to say that
without Ritalin, I CANNOT pay attention (whether I want to or not)
and with the Ritalin I CAN pay attention.
do not doubt that Ritalin is over prescribed. Doctors seem almost
casual about handing it out. I believe this arose because, while the
doctors are the one who prescribe the medication, it is usually the
parents or teachers who recognize and 'diagnose' the problem. This is
a situation that can be fixed. It is now possible for a
Neuro-psychologist to reliably diagnose ADHD and differentiate it
from other causes of inattentiveness.
with all the publicity around Ritalin, some students came to believe
that it was a wonder drug to make you smarter. They wanted to try
it. So they bought it from the students to whom it had been
legitimately prescribed. They took massive doses, they used it
improperly, they even crushed it and snorted it like cocaine! Some
became addicted so they paid for more. The sellers do not sell
because they hate the medicine, they sell because the buyers pay good
to your list of long term side effects, let us take them one at a
I have never heard of this one before. Please cite an journal article
so I can make a more informed response. In the meantime, I have been
taking it since the 3rd grade. I have an IQ of 145, an SAT
score of 1420, an ACT score of 32, and a GPA of 3.0. Make your own
loss of motor control:
I have never heard of this and have seen no evidence. Granted, I
have never been and probably never will be an athletic achiever.
That, however, is due to personal preference. My younger brother
has been taking Ritalin for almost as long as I have and he does
quite well in the local little league baseball team.
I have been taking Ritalin sense the 3rd grade. I am over
6 feet tall and taller then both my parents.
I have indeed had this symptom! Before I took Ritalin, I thought I
must be stupid, sense I could not do work that was easy for other
students. Now, I am simply aware that I had better take my Ritalin
before class, and my self-esteem is normal.