ADD and me

A couple of commenters have asked me, via comments and email, what my particular story with respect to my ADD and medication is. Put bluntly, I don’t like pills, and generally try to stay away from them unless absolutely necessary. (I think we as a society–that is, the US–have a strong tendency to overmedicate ourselves, so I only want to be popping pills if it’s a necessity. That said, I’m not a religious zealot over this; for example, a migraine right before a talk clearly counts as a necessity. ;-) )

I tried a few medications for the ADD for a while, but didn’t really feel that sense of “Oh, wow…” that many of the other ADD/ADHD-gifted people I’d met had claimed. So I pretty much stopped trying. In fact, one working theory I’ve come up with since is that the vast amounts of Diet Coke that I drink on a daily basis is a form of self-medication, since most ADD/ADHD meds are stimulants, as is caffeine.

That said, I’ve met others who absolutely could not function without their meds, and so while I’m not opposed to meds in general, I want to try and manage it without them if I can.

Let me be clear, though: knowing you have it is a HUGE relief–to those of you who were thinking of getting tested, do it, but do it through an accredited pyschologist, preferably one who’s very familiar with the symptoms. (It’s very easy to think you have it if you find you have one or two of the symptoms, but true ADD-gifted people have ALL of them.) It can literally mean the difference in your life–for example, it almost completely changed mine, because suddenly, now I understood why I was the way I was, and more importantly, that others didn’t see the world the same way I do. That, more than anything, more than any meds I could ever take, makes the difference.