I truly believe some people need medication... I did not. I did better at school when I was on it, but it made me a zombie. You become obsessive. Dexedrine, Adderall. It’s like any other drug. It’s like coke, or crystal meth. The more you do, the less it works. For a time, it would work well. Then it worked less and my pain was more. I would go through wild bouts of depression, horrible comedowns. I understand why kids kill themselves. I absolutely do. You feel terrible. You feel soul-less. I’d never do it to my child.
The confusion between ADHD and LD is a problem because although ADHD can be treated with medication, LD cannot. While ADHD and LD sometimes co-occur, they are distinct.
Perhaps more troubling are the well-intentioned but confusing messages about medication. Channing is clearly entitled to his opinion about medication, and we admire his courage in sharing what was clearly a difficult time during his childhood living with ADHD and LD. At the same time, the medical community recognizes that medication for ADHD, if properly prescribed and monitored, should never make someone feel like a “zombie” and does not result in cycles of obsessive behavior and depression. It should diminish, not increase, the incidence of feeling out of control and should help to alleviate, not worsen, feeling of hopelessness that can lead to depression and thoughts of suicide.
In most cases, there are few if any negative side effects to the medications, and those that do occur often disappear by themselves or in response to adjustments in dosage or timing of administration. If your child is taking medication for ADHD, they should be seeing a physician regularly, and you should not hesitate to report any side effects to the doctor. For more information on ADHD medication, see “How to Treat ADHD”.
We work hard at LD.org to correct misinformation, and ironically, we just published an article titled “Top 10 Myths About Learning Disabilities—Busted!” As shown by this week’s headlines, there is still a lot of work to do. You can be a part of this important work by sharing this article and talking about it with your friends, family and school community.