by Andy Hayes
I started treatment using Ritalin medication for my ADD, ADHD symptoms a few years ago. I have found this medication most valuable at the same time there has been some difficulties with using this. I remember taking my very first Ritalin tablet how impressed I was. I was trying to write letters on my computer using voice recognition software for my significant dyslexia difficulty. This is extremely hard work for me starting many letters never finishing letters and so on. Anyway after taking my first Ritalin I composed 6 letters some fairly lengthy ones to. In about 2 hours this was unbelievable for me I was so confident with these letters that I sent them off without getting anyone to check them.
However Ritalin doesn't seem to be able to maintain that degree of help for me. Normally without this Ritalin medication I would see hundreds of tasks that need to be done after taking Ritalin I only see one job to do generally the first job I come across. I then complete that task before starting another. This is much better than starting lots of tasks and never finishing any. However this to can have its difficulties because it's generally the first task I come across that gets my attention rather than the task that needs doing next. I take the view that at least it's getting tasks completed and that better than no completed tasks.
Time is an interesting factor while I'm taking Ritalin. Without Ritalin I go into my office and seem to spend half an hour and when I look at the clock it's 4 hours and haven't seem to have done any work. However the reverse is so after taking Ritalin I think I spent 4 hours in the office getting lots of jobs done then I look at the clock I've actually spent half an hour.
Memory is also interesting! I can have very good memory of past happenings in great detail. However finding that information in my memory isn't so easy. While not on Ritalin my short term memory is very bad. I keep forgetting task I'm trying to do, putting things down and then can't find them. I seem to lose everything, that's very much different while taking Ritalin. I remember much easier what I should be doing and where things are.
Looking after my son Chris is also interesting while taking Ritalin however not always helpful sometimes causes more difficulty. First I better explain that Chris also has AD/HD and takes Ritalin medication. Now where Ritalin helps! It helps me keep on task through the day enabling me to ensure Chris is also keeping on task through the day. Now for the negative part of looking after Chris while on Ritalin. When not taking Ritalin I don't mind being interrupted by Chris it doesn't seem to matter. This is very different while taking Ritalin, I don't like Chris interrupting me while I am doing tasks! I really do find this extremely difficult to handle while taking Ritalin. So there are some advantages and some disadvantages with using Ritalin while looking after my son Chris
I often think that Ritalin focuses my mind on what I'm doing! So this to can be awkward to handle sometimes. If I'm involved with something that makes me feel happy then Ritalin seems to focus my mind on being happy. However if I'm feeling sad then Ritalin focuses my mind on being sad and this seems to make me feel very sad. So I believed its very important for me to ensure I point myself in the right direction before taking Ritalin to ensure getting better support from this medication.
I also have a physical impairment C.M.T. (type of muscular dystrophy), people with this condition can get side effects from a variety of medications. I have found that I can take Ritalin for a few months and then I start feeling ill witch then out ways the benefits received from Ritalin. At these times I have no choice but to stop taking medication. I have no difficulties stopping and do not feel any withdraw symptoms. I do notice how disorganised I become and how hard it is to complete any tasks. I will try and stay of Ritalin for a long time. However when I seem to get behind with everything then I think perhaps it's time to start again.
Thinking quicker! How many times in my life I've been talking to someone and don't seem to think of those valuable things to say until well after this event. This is one area that has improved a lot while on Ritalin medication. I can seem to find things in my memory very quickly that our appropriate to the conversation that I'm involved with.
I don't feel any different while taking Ritalin! I don't have a high feeling or any other feelings that are not normal. I do get headaches sometimes towards the end of Ritalin cycle. Occasionally a little unpleasant but this doesn't cause me any concerns. I hear lots of stories of people not wanting to eat food while taking Ritalin. I don't have difficulties here! After saying that if I'm involved on a task well taking Ritalin it's easy to continue with that task and forget stopping for food. So I do have to ensure that I'm programmed to stop for food.
What you have just read is how Ritalin medication works for me. I'm sure there are many things I have left out or perhaps just forgotten. However this is a start and I hope you have found this interesting. Please remember this is just how Ritalin works with me and I'm adult. Ritalin may not work on other people like it does for me. I may well choose to add more to these notes at some time in the future.
September 2001 copyright Andy Hayes
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