On a rocket powered wheelchair

ADD is a common topic in todays world, as are the drugs that are prescribed to counter it. Like several other people I wonder how many kids actually need treatment, and how many just need some better guidance. Mind you I don't just want to talk about ADD, there are a bunch of other things that can effect learning! Brain chemistry is remarkably complex, and often people refuse to acknowledge that we are so much a machine as to be manipulated by a little pill.

My experience with ADD is somewhat firsthand. I was diagnosed and treated with something, a learning disability ("retardation" is the English word for that, FYI), I don't remember what it was exactly, I was young and did not make it a habit to record my medical history. I remember I took Citalopram, which apparently is used to treat depression and anxiety.

Growing up in the US' education system there were a lot of ways to get ahead. I remember in middle school I had a special plan, or status in the schools records that permitted me to take longer on stuff, or dictate assignments that would be written, and a myriad of other considerations designed to help me perform better in school. It was quite nice of them.

The story for both... is the same, and oddly grounded in a realization I had in World of Warcraft. Yes, the MMORPG.

Lets start with a simple saying, probably from the Media. I suppose I should also tell you that everything I say gets echoed in my head several times, and often several times under my breath.

"Drugs are bad, drugs make you someone you are not, they make you someone else."

Playing World of Warcraft (WOW) I was a priest, a healer, and I had the ability to make a wide variety of potions that would boost my abilities. One day I was dueling someone and I used my self made potions, and won. After the fight the other person said I cheated and that using potions in a duel was akin to steroids in sports. Then it hit me, this is exactly how I felt in reality.

Years before, in middle school I had looked at my special plan and seen a set of roller blades, that I got to wear in the footrace because I was slow. Regardless of what it was in reality, that is how I felt, so it was real to me, using the plan made me feel dirty, it made me look at the special education class and thing "that is where I really belong, I am retarded." So, I did not use it, I got rid of it, and it cost me.

Years before that, in elementary school I got prescribed Citalopram, I used it for awhile. I was probably too young to notice the effects on myself, and my mother noticed this. She noticed a difference in my skin sensitivity and demonstrated that when off the drug i was so sensitive to stimuli that I could feel a single hair on my forearm, and that when off the drug I was less sensitive to stimuli, and therefore less prone to distraction. But in my mind the thoughts I had internalized rang clear.

"Drugs are bad, drugs make you someone you are not, they make you someone else."

I was young, I was determined to be independent, to be strong, to be myself, and these drugs made me someone else, someone more. If I could not succeed as myself, what was the point? Everyone else does these things, I am not inferior to them... I am a genius! I am strong, I can do this, I can beat them, by myself, the way I was meant to be! I will, work, harder!

So I poured my pills down the sink,
and it cost me.

It cost me school, and in my mind at the time it cost me a wonderful girlfriend, so it was real to me...

Eventually I dropped out and joined the army, which honestly was a good decision (I say as I enjoy free college at the age of 22), but I feel like I could have done better at life as a whole. My time in the army was good, but the whole time felt like a deployment. I never "settled in" to the military life, never made it completely my own. No matter where I was, I was waiting to go back home to see my friends. I was so eager to see all my friends that I planned and scheduled out every hour of my leave, it felt more like work than my work at a military hospital. I digress...

Talking about "performance enhancing drugs" for studying... I was dumb when I was a child, and I still don't like to take drugs. Ill be in quite amount of pain before I even think of ibuprofen for my hip, but maybe it is time to rethink my personal policy. I am not talking about drug abuse, I am talking about doing whatever the rules of life let you do to win. I am talking about entering into that race, the race of life, on a rocket powered wheelchair.

No comments:

Post a Comment