Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I would not necessarily recommend this...

But it's funny so I'm telling you anyway.

Yesterday I knew I had some insanely boring tasks to complete at I didn't just take my Concerta, I freaking doubled the dose.

I should clarify, I have taken that amount before and been fine, it just gives me a harder focus than my usual dose. My usual dose, while not a hard-focusing mechanism, DOES take the edges off of my irritability, mood swings, and general "wtf" that I wake up with every morning. I choose the lower dose because I know that it's going to be sufficient for functioning on a day when I know I'm not going to be in a prison of data scrambling and data entry for 8 straight hours.

Mother of God, I knew this was going to be the most boring day of my life...and by golly that 36 mg of Concerta had me so focused that I couldn't even put my head phones on and listen to music like I usually do because my brain was like "GIVE ME THE SILENCE I CRAVE AND DO NOT DISTURB MY MOJO WITH THIS SILLINESS". I crunched that data like it was marshmallow fluff. For nearly 8 hours...with almost no breaks. And of course, while hardly eating a thing because Concerta superpowers do not require fuel.

I am SO glad I never tried cocaine in college.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One size does not fit all...

...I read a lame cookie-cutter article about surviving college with ADHD today. Lame because it assumes that every strategy makes sense for every person with ADHD. Click here for said globalizing article

One tip in particular, really raised my hackles: stay away from online courses.

As an undergraduate, I did not have the option of online courses. I had difficulty sitting/staying in class, I had difficulty concentrating in class, I had difficulty completing reading assignments, and I graduated with a 2.6.

As a graduate student, I discovered that online classes were PERFECT FOR ME. I "attended" them when I wanted to, I worked in the middle of the night on my "classwork", I still struggled with the reading assignments, but because I had more energy and felt more engaged by the online format, I had more patience to try strategies for attacking them (like using a highlighter as I read, and reading only the first and last line of each paragraph in long articles, so that I could get the basic gist of them instead of trying to slog through every detail for 35 pages). I graduated with a 3.73.

I would not have survived grad school without the option for online classes, if only because I absolutely cannot sit still for 4 hour classes on a regular basis, without professors who don't mind me doing other stuff during class (like flipping through People magazine...I listen better when I'm multitasking). I realize this is not the case for everyone...but writing is one of my strong points, and I find online discussions engaging, so for me, perfect. The courses are visually structured for you online so as long as you are engaged enough to check in and stay on top of things, the structure is already there for you, and it's there on your schedule, whatever your schedule may be. I understand why the article cautions against online formats for students with ADHD, and can especially see the potential pitfalls for younger students who are still learning how to organize their lives and their study habits...but for some students this is a much better option, and I hate the idea that others might read this article and not explore that option, when it might actually help them.

If they're not willing to give the article the space it needs to truly be informative, I wish they wouldn't even publish stuff like this. I can just see an editor going "yeaaaah...could you cut this 3,000-word article down to a 650-word one-size-fits-all soundbite? thanks s'much..."....