We had a chat with a 23-year-old young man, who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 11.
He prefers to be kept anonymous, due to the personal information we were given. We talked about his life with ADHD, how it affected his young life in school, and how the children of today should not be ashamed of their illness.
You can see that more and more people start taking medication instead of just start going to psychiatrists. The overuse of medication is starting to cause problems, especially ADHD medicine and it is quite dangerous in the long run.
It is also one of the big overseen problem. There are so many people diagnosed, and there are actually some who need this medicine. There are some children who actually have ADHD, and they actually need the medicine, so if the inflation goes by just throwing pills all over, it will hurt those who really have a problem.
Exactly, and that’s why there are some issues about this increase seen in ADHD medicine, which is why there is a need to avoid errors in medical treatment. You said so yourself that you forgot to take your medicine in the morning because you just forgot they were there, but you have not seen change in your behaviour as result?
No, but I have not been to my ADHD doctor since 2007, it is a very long time ago. As far as I can remember, I became diagnosed and then we had a conversation about how it went a year later and then we had a conversation about how it went the following year and I think that this was the last time I was at the doctor and that may have been in 2007. I have not been seeking medical advice from my ADHD doctor since.
So, you have not seen any reason to visit your doctor?
No, not really.
But now you say you have used medicine for ADHD from the age of 11 in 2005, until 2010, where you were 16. Did you feel that it was important to keep your symptoms down in school?
Yes, to a large extent. My teacher yelled a lot at me when I went to school, so when it stopped, I was very pleased. Because it was much more enjoyable to go to school. It was much more comfortable, because when the diagnosis was made, my teachers became more careful around me, so instead of making me responsible, they made the diagnosis responsible. They thought it started getting better, so my teachers talked with my parents about how good the medicine was, and how well it affected my behaviour. Of course, there were times when it did not go so well, so I got a lot more space if you could say that way. Because I had been diagnosed.
So, your teachers simply did something for you to help in everyday life?
Definitely. Absolutely. And this was also something that was talked about at the student teacher conference.
How much medicine would you take in a day?
The first year I took a pill in the morning and a pill again a few hours later. Then after that, I switched to Ritalin, which I took every morning.
So, you’ve been up to twice a day?
Could you explain the scientific explanation of your medicine? What happened when you took the medicine?
Yes, I think I can. The idea is that Ritalin and similar medications enter and soothe restlessness, that is, the extra restlessness in ADHD patients. If you do not have ADHD, it works completely differently, so you work on overdrive, and get more hypervigilant. But if you have ADHD the amount of energy you’ve got in the body get more restless and irritated, giving the desire to talk and move all the time to do so. It’s also why it can be too dangerous to get too much of it, especially for children, it may end up completely depriving their energy pots, so be very careful.
You say that you also took a pill later in the morning. Did you attend school while taking the medicine?
Yes, I was in school.
Were you perhaps a little embarrassed about taking medicine at school?
Yes, mostly because I had been told that I should not say anything about it. My parents said I was not allowed to say what I was taking and that I had ADHD.
So how did you take the medicine if your classmates weren’t supposed to know?
My parents called the school teacher and then he declared to the whole class that they could never ask me what the pills were. So, I was ‘the cool kid’.
Do you think it’s been less embarrassing because you’ve had your Mininizer?
It was the best, because in one way, it made me more special and cooler, because there was no other who had such a pill box. I remember that I felt that all these colours and the credible look made it more special than it made it embarrassing. I felt it was almost a toy I had with me. But it was medicine, so it was serious, so you could not call that childish toy, but it was more a gadget.
It is also the plan with this box, that is, telling children that it is okay that you take your medicine, but it is still serious, but it does not have to look sick and embarrassed. It can look cool.
Yes, and that made me happy, because it was not such a care aid thing with a blue and transparent box, but it was with all the colours of the rainbow and it’s good as a child.
The orange was without a question my favourite.
So, you can say it’s been good for you to have this experience, so you did not feel sick, but it was more fun because you had this pill box.
Certainly, I think the pill box helped me in my daily routine. I was very pleased when I first got it and I felt kind of a bit special when I took it out. It has my full recommendation for parents who read this interview, who has children like me. Buy it.
Why should parents buy it for their children?
They should buy it because we essentially live in a time and society where there is nothing to be ashamed of regarding ADHD medicine or some other forms of medicine. As this box is as colourful as it is, it’s a very strong statement about what you really think about your mental state even if you have been diagnosed with ADHD.
So, to show pride in the direction of illness, both physically and mentally, and how you intend to behave with it, you do not have to hide it away. This box is really clever because it is so eye-catching so it’s not something you can hide away, it’s not something you’re trying to hide. It’s there and so is their illness.
I think It will help all the children to understand that they do not have to be ashamed of their sickness and I think they will really appreciate it. I think they want to thank their parents in the future, just as I did, to have bought this box.