Molly Young, a fellow contributor from This Recording and a person I'd like to know, even just through teh internets, has a really fine essay in the most recent issue of N+1 about taking Adderall in college.
Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if I was diagnosed and medicated for ADD. For some reason, I feel like it would have enabled me to recognize my potential early in high school and prevented my general apathy about schoolwork (which, I think, is to blame for being called a nerd in middle school, or just the general unhappiness I felt throughout school that made me, at fourteen, think there wasn't much point to it all) and made me at least focus on the work that I should have been doing. And maybe I would have gotten into William and Mary! And put forth some effort and graduated with honors, or something!
After reading Molly's essay, I thought to myself, "Man, I should have taken more Adderall in college." Sure, it's possible that the Attention Deficit Disorder that I self-diagnosed was possibly (and probably) just laziness, but I do think that if I was on drugs I could have at least gotten a better GPA. Like, I probably wouldn't have dropped statistics after a month because I changed my major from political science to English and didn't need the hard math class. Maybe I would have actually studied some, which would have prevented that C- in psychology, or that D in GSCI 103 (the name of the class escapes me, natch, but the course had something to do with rocks).
I was talking to Megan this morning about it, and she disagreed with me, of course.
Megan: that's a terrible way to think
Megan: ANYONE on adderall would have gotten more done
me: well, it's true
me: i was lazy and unfocused
Megan: why do you need drugs to be focused?
Megan: i don't understand that
me: of course, the one time i did take adderall, i played snood for four hours.
I agree that people rely too much on medications to fix the things about themselves that they don't like, and ADD and ADHD are both over-diagnosed and, like depression, are sometimes blown out of proportion. It's so easy these days for a patient to go to a physician and leave with a few prescriptions for psychological medications and, while it's not really a good thing, it does kind of make me feel dumb for never taking advantage of that.