Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Untapped Potential

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.


Yeti said...

Adderall is the 'academic steroids' of our generation. It's completely unfair. I too function on a higher level with Adderall but have only been able to successfully get them on the black market.

lkbom said...

I wrote the best paper of my life on an Adderall that my roommate gave me...

Mary Stewart Masterson said...

If you went to W&M you would have never met me....the love of your LIFE!

Lindsey said...

Ha! I do believe that GSCI 103 was Geology. It was incredibly boring and if I recall correctly, I got a D too. Oops. Then I tried to re-take it over the summer and instead just gave up and dropped it out of fear of receiving an even worse grade. To this day, I have a recurring nightmare where I wake up one morning toward the end of a semester and realize that there's some science class that I've been enrolled in but have completely forgotten to attend.
No amount of Adderall could have saved me...

meg said...

Notice I left my own, completely pointless and noneducational drug use out of my argument?