medication: the apotheosis and the corruption

i keep it no secret here that adhd is a part of my life, for better or for worse. it feels as if the wires that allow my thoughts to pass through my brain from genesis to execution have a faulty insulation. the signals leak out and go where they shouldn’t, or just stop dead in their tracks. no matter how many thoughts fire sometimes, execution may never be reached. no matter where i intend on ending up when i start, i sometimes have no idea where my thoughts will take me. and sometimes signals overlap, merge and leak in. no thought is pure and everything gets tangled.

navigating this mental landscape can be beautiful, too and i want to make that clear. as much as i’ve never been one for the “my adhd is my superpower” thing, i’m still definitely not all doom and gloom and i don’t think i would trade the ways my brain work in for anything. it’s what i know, and it’s what has shaped me and my consciousness. it is, in essence, me and i am not me without it.

however, there is a painful struggle to keep afloat in life sometimes. capitalism dictates a constant rhythm for the working class to follow in order to survive, and my brain does not lend itself well to that kind of rhythm. i manage to keep on top, scraping by, but it is tiring.

and now that’s where the idea of medication comes in. adhd medication comes, for the most part, in the form of stimulants which, amongst other effects, increase levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain via reuptake inhibition (e.g methylphenidate) or promoting release (e.g dextroamphetamine) depending on the specific chemical in question.

the effects of stimulants, at least at the medicinal threshold at which they are typically prescribed, tend to include focus enhancement, wakefulness and thought acceleration. i know that, for myself, these effects combine to act as a synthetic insulation on the wires in my brain: pushing those thoughts through to conclusion, and allowing me to simply perform tasks that i would not normally be able to make myself do so easily.

that is a powerful effect, as it comes from a powerful substance. i am already a very anxious person, thanks to comorbidities that are quite typical in people with adhd. but stimulants, especially as they reach the end of their period of effect during a day, can enhance anxiety and cause restlessness amongst other side effects.

that’s also not to speak of the various long-term effects brought on by stimulants ─ an aspect that many people don’t talk about or a large amount of the time are not even made aware of. in order to carry out their intended effects, stimulants speed up the central nervous system (“stimulating” it, as the name suggests) which puts strain on the brain and the cardiovascular system which shows up in the body after enough time.

another controversial aspect of this medicine is acquisition. my condition is undiagnosed and i am not in a situation where that can easily change. buying these through other means are then much more difficult and very costly, and i am also not in a fortunate enough position where that would be entirely feasible without any issues. so there is a lot to weigh up. i am staring the decision between a vastly improved day-to-day life with a shortened lifespan, potentially other problems to deal with and an array of financial issues just to figure out how to get my hands on them.

so, i am undecided. i cannot decide. and i will likely continue to not be able to decide for a while. it’s a difficult one to think through, but one day i may come to a conclusion, and perhaps i’ll make an update post here. or perhaps not, if i can’t make myself.


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