Like many kids in the 90's and with the trend sadly continuing to this day, I was diagnosed with ADD. I was pumped full of Ritalin through my teenage years. I suppose it helped me focus a little bit in high school. But did it really help in the long term?
I have always been a very hands on learner, and enjoy learning in a group format. Studying paperwork is just not my idea of fun. If I couldn't apply it to something interesting in my life, the boring paperwork had little importance and priority for me. Sorry to say that not all humans are created equally, some learn in a different manner. Perhaps it was because I was now raised on breast milk? Maybe the hormones in the cow milk I got changed me somehow... Either way I do not think this warrants being diagnosed as a disease. Sadly if you are diagnosed with it in today's world, you are added to the national list of mentally ill people, and it will make it very difficult for you to ever purchase a firearm or operate heavy machinery... ever...
Luckily I found I no longer had a need for Ritalin. Once I got out of school and into the work place, I found I learned quite well in a workplace environment. My health improved overall, and I was beginning to be a normal person. I can remember much from my days at the radio station. Going for lunches at 'Chongs' on Wednesdays. Going for walks in the ravine on nice days. Even smaller events like repairing headphones, or that one time I put together a strange CCTV cart and used it to try to figure out camera views for a new security system which never happened.
But remembering back to my teenage years, there always seems to be a cloudy haze. My childhood years I can still remember much of. But my teenage years seem to disappear in my memory banks. Only a few events really pop out. My favorite 2 classes, teaching the science teacher all about logic gates, threatening the school with legal action, and building a micromachines city in my basement (I am lucky I do still remember that because it was something my Mother didn't want to waste valuable film on at the time). I can't remember the classes I took, or the teachers names. I can't even remember how I got to school half of the time.
If you were to ask me what I did during my teenage life, that is about all I can remember. This past Mothers Day, my Mother gave me some photos she did take, from the time when I was maybe 17 or so. The scary part is, I really didn't remember doing any of the stuff in the photos. Who forgets riding in a helicopter around their town at the age of 17? Apparently I did. I also forgot a trip I took to Niagara Falls, and vaguely forgot watching a filming of the Red Green Show. Who knows how many other things I forget about my teenage years? Looking at the photos was akin to seeing somebody elses photos from their past. I was surprised that they were from my past.
I concluded that it was the Ritalin which caused this lapse of long term memory. And of course I Googled to see if anyone else had similar results. Apparently it is reported to happen in 3.07% of the cases of people who are currently taking the drug. But I wonder how many people are suffering from this who have stopped taking the drug - and maybe haven't realized it?
In conclusion, I would like to suggest that Ritalin is bad. Heck, most long term drugs are bad. Why put shit in your body to change who you are? Drugs are never cures to problems, only band aids to fool the body into overcoming the problems. In school, many of the problems people are assigned drugs to cope with, are problems which could be resolved by alternate forms of teaching. Ritalin stole my whole life away when I was a teenager. I imagine I could of turned out quite differently had I avoided it.