Mention ADD or ADHD within a group of parents and you’re bound get some interesting discussions going. You may find people commiserating over finally having a diagnosis for what’s “wrong” with their kids or, on the other side of it, a group bemoaning the over-diagnosis of it.
There will be the parents that believe medication saved their sanity, and the ones that are so anti-medication that they never even considered trying it. Everyone has an opinion, and when it comes to our kids, we tend to be more committed to our own thoughts and feelings on any given matter.
But how do the kids with the attention deficit label feel about their diagnosis and medication or lack thereof? One teenager put together a short film based on his experience with ADHD.
Minimum Max tells the story of a teenage boy who is “destined to be a failure” because of his inability to concentrate and impulsivity. He has a heavy tutoring schedule to try to keep up academically, low standardized tests scores, and less-than-stellar grades.
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He’s been on many different types of medication, including Ritalin, Strattera, and Concerta, which apparently help him concentrate in school, but have psychologically damaging side effects.
I don’t know how else to explain them except for mental handcuffs. They take everything you like and make you hate them. And they don’t replace any of your likes with other likes, you just hate everything.
If Max takes the pills, there’s less tutoring, but he’s sad. If he doesn’t, he feels like a failure in school, but at least is happy.
It just goes to show there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when you’re dealing with ADHD. I’ve personally known a lot of people that have benefited greatly from meds. I’ve also known more than a few like Max, who say they feel like walking zombies when they’re being medicated.
My favorite part of this film is that it’s created by and about a teenage kid, and gives the viewer a good perspective of what it’s like to live with ADHD.
Do you have personal experience dealing with ADHD and the medication debate?
Image via xxIndieVisualxx/YouTube