I don't recall if I'd mentioned this in the past, but once upon a time (about a year ago) I was evaluated for ADHD. This involved an IQ test and some other cognitive exercises, and my results weren't consistent with ADHD. My regular shrink wasn't wholly convinced, but we had other things to focus on.

Fast forward to more recently, and she brought it up again, saying that she was still convinced I had it. I certainly met a lot of the criteria: my mind wanders, I have a hard time following through with things, and I can be impulsive and disorganized. So after she brought it back up, she asked if I'd consider being medicated, which I said I would. Long story short, I was seen by a psychiatrist on Friday, who said that she definitely thinks I have it.

So I got me a prescription for methylphenidate, aka Ritalin. I took my first dose this morning, and let me tell you, this stuff is awesome.

Suddenly the inside of my head is so much quieter. It's like the best caffeine buzz you can imagine but without the restlessness or jitters. if I think about doing a chore, I can still tell that I don't really feel like it, but I don't have this voice telling me that it's too hard, will take too much energy, or won't be worth it. Suddenly it's a choice. I've been drawing off and on all day (iPad Pro + Procreate ftw; I'll write about that another day), and there is zero frustration. If something doesn't come out, I just say, "oh, I need to redo that." And that's it. I don't feel the sense of futility and aggravation. I can just do it.

I haven't left this post and come back to it, which is itself miraculous. I am still noticing a little distractability, but I'm not sure if this is just a normal level now or if we may need to adjust the dose. Side effects have been pretty mild -- I've noticed some eye fatigue and had a mild muscle-tension headache off and on for a good chunk of the morning. But both of those may actually be related to sleep deprivation and caffeine DTs.

Still not sure how caffeine will hit me, so am probably going to hold off on that until next weekend. I also have to find out about how alcohol interacts with this stuff; I've heard anything from "it makes you feel less drunk than you are" to increasing side effects. I'm taking a slow-release version, and one site said alcohol can increase the rate at which it's released, which may not be fun. So need to check in with the doctor about that one.

I have some habits of thought that I need to change, and as I said we may need to tweak the dosage, but overall, this is seriously life-changing.


Congrats! Let's hope that you'll keep on having no side effects My own experience with methylphenidate as a child was among the worst things I experienced and wouldn't wish it on anyone. The almost-appendicitis-grade abdominal pain was among the least of my problems.

Please keep some sort of a regular log if you can. I'm interested in how you will perceive the changes and improvement while medicated.

posted by johnnyFive: 346 days ago