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Stay-at-Home Dad: One Little Pill

A little pharmaceutical help in getting out of your own way.

 

As my kids have been at camp for more than three weeks now, and the lengthy summer list of “things to-do” keeps getting shorter and shorter, I have turned my efforts to more personal matters. I have been working on a piece of fiction for a while now and I just can’t seem to keep my focus.

For years now my wife has said that I have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and since she is usually right about such things, why should this be any different?

My oldest son was feeling bad about himself when he couldn’t read in first grade, so we had him tested, and he was diagnosed with ADHD.  It was a hard decision but we decided to medicate him and the drug of choice for treatment was Ritalin. 

After a couple of weeks of this little yellow pill, he went from not reading anything to reading Harry Potter. Not only did his ability to read improve dramatically, his I.Q. scores went through the roof as well. He soared to MENSA-level heights from the low level that he had been testing at, confirming my own suspicions that he was smart…really smart!

Taking all this into account, I decided since he is away at camp, and there is a small bottle of his pills residing in the medicine cabinet, I’ll give it a try.  

The first morning that I tried experimenting with his ADHD meds it was like someone had given me a pair of magical eyeglasses. Everything became crystal clear and my ability to focus and think became unparalleled. I made a list of some of the pressing things that needed to be taken care of and then I quickly and efficiently completed them. Although I was a little frustrated that some businesses weren’t open at 7:02 in the morning! With all my ducks in a row it was time for me to start writing my long awaited project.  

After a few lines, I couldn’t get into a rhythm and my body and brain desired something more than this drivel. So my notes and outline went back into the file and I turned to something more ambitious…a sequel to War and Peace.  But after a few hours of super human focus and writing, this too was missing something, so I began to translate it to Russian, a language that I know nothing about. 

After a few more hours when little pill started wearing off and I was restored to my plain old self, I had gained some insight into what incredible things these drugs can do for people with ADHD and ADD.

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The following weekend we had another couple over. At dinner, I mentioned about my experiment…and I was trumped.  My friend, an accomplished researcher, confessed that when he has a grant to write or an unachievable deadline, he too reaches into his own child’s ADHD medicine stash to become a super man. We joked that maybe all men have some type of attention deficit disorder and that it is just how we are wired.

As I write this in my normal, dullard mode, it may be a little tempting to pop a little pill and kick it up a notch, but I don’t want to fall into a pattern so I’ll just trudge along…Hey LOOK a squirrel!

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jnystrom July 20, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I have done a lot of homework on this topic. I found no quantitative statistics that convinced me that medication is the way to go. I feel that parents with children and persons suffering from ADHD/ADD should seek alternatives to the current medications available. I have a child with ADHD. I tried the Ritalin with little to no success. I found the drug made my child lethargic and once it wore off she would either crash or become even more hyper-active. Believe me, I tried it for a period of time to see if it would build up in her system and alleviate not only the behavior but the side effects. It did not. After doing much research I found a program that is working for my child and my family. I use Play Attention. Play Attention is a program that builds behavioral shaping. Since investing my child's mental health into this platform I have now learned that they are using this program at nuclear power plants, nascar mechanics use it, why? To focus and reach their maximum potential. Personally, I just want my child to live a normal, loving life and enjoy life to the maximum. Maybe this could help you as well Jnystrom

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