I don't feel embarrassed when I sneeze and then tell people I forgot to take my allergy medicine. I don't feel like ashamed of telling a new doctor I take medicine for acid reflux. So why do I feel discouraged when telling people I'm prescribed Adderall?
Like any other prescription drug, I regularly take it and it's beneficial to me.
When I take my allergy medicine, my throat and nose clear up. Similarly, when I take Adderall my distractions and concentration issues subside.
My family has known I've had ADHD since I first started school. I was constantly being moved around in the seating arrangements because I couldn't stop chatting long enough to actually concentrate. But no matter what seat I was moved to, or who I was moved by, I still couldn't concentrate.
My teachers and family doctors noticed this lack of concentration and energetic behavior as well, but I was doing fine in school.
I went all throughout grade school and high school without any help of a medication.
I had learned ways to deal with my concentration issues like how taking notes with a pencil and paper allows me to concentrate my best. If I do my homework and take my exams while reading the words out loud I can concentrate better also.
However, once college started these tricks got harder to master.
College lectures contain too much information to simply write out with a pencil and paper; I was quickly forced into using my laptop to take notes in class.
Not only was the internet and computer notifications distracting, but also the act of typing itself. My mind always wandered during lectures while I was typing.
College exams and assignments weren't any easier. No one wants to take a test or sit in the library next to the girl who whispers every question aloud.
I quickly realized I was finally going to need the extra help I had been avoiding all those years.
When I went home for Thanksgiving break my freshmen year, I made a doctors appointment and took the ADHD exam needed to determine my diagnosis and need for medication.
I felt shameful for being just another college kid on Adderall because being in college and being prescribed Adderall has such a negative connotation and stigmatization nowadays.
I didn't want to be prescribed Adderall; for 15 years I tried everything I could try to combat the need for it. But the work load and fast-paced curriculum of college forced me to face reality and rely on a medication.
Despite my parents knowing my concentration issues and struggles, they weren't happy with me being prescribed such a controversial medication.
Knowing how college students illegally sell Adderall, abuse it and then become reliant on it worried them. But despite their concerns, we agreed it was necessary.
I've heard people talk about a "kick" Adderall gives them. They say that the Adderall sometimes hits them the same way alcohol does; they just feel different.
I've never felt this way. My brain on Adderall functions the way it's supposed to which allows me to focus on my work and ignore outside distractions.
For people without concentration issues, this kick of "ultra-concentration" is evident. After three years of As and Bs in college, I can finally see the impact and benefit Adderall had on me.
Taking prescription medication for concentration issues isn't something to be shameful of; it's just another normal bodily issue. Like I said, just like I need allergy medicine to protect me from allergy season, I need Adderall to protect me from distractions.
It's tragic that so many young adults and college students are illegally using this drug.
Because of this well-known illegal abuse, people who actually need it and are prescribed it are feel a sense of shame and embarrassing when taking it and admitting they take it. Sometimes we're even looked down upon and scolded.
I don't want to take Adderall and I wish I didn't have to rely on it, but I do. Don't feel bad about taking a prescription drug that's necessary for your well-being. When taken properly, Adderall is a great drug.
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