• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Saturday, April 18, 2009


    Attention deficit disorder is an interesting thing. Who draws the line between the daydreamer and the kid with a problem? The regular young boy and the one whose hyperactivity is pathologic?

    Med school teaches you interesting things. In Behavioral Science I learned that you must be diagnosed by age 7 to have ADD. However, from Student Affairs, I learned that many medical students are diagnosed with it when they get here.

    I guess there are exceptions to every rule.

    The reason medical students get diagnosed is because many students have ADD, but function highly, and therefore compensate through school. It isn't until the fast pace and time crunches of medical school that their compensation fails and the pathology shows.

    Of course, there are imposters too. About 8 - 10% of students in undergrad use stimulants that are for treating ADD as study aids. This off-label use is unethical and illegal, but rampant. The stresses of medical school are greater than undergrad, and so are the pressures to use these stimulants to get ahead.

    My school does not grade on a curve, yet I believe we still have at least 10% of my class using Adderall illegally.

    --- Sent with System SEVEN - the new generation of mobile messaging

    1 comment:

    Sara said...

    Well, there's also the difference between ADD and ADHD. My brother was borderline ADHD growing up. He hated taking Retalin because it made him feel weird...and I honestly can't blame him. He's one of the lucky ones who learned how to cope for the most part, even without medication. The structure of ROTC in both high school and college (aka The Corps at A&M) have taught him a lot about time management and self-discipline. It's been wonderful to see him be successful as an adult when things looked rather patchy when he was young.

    I think a lot of people ascribe a lack of interest or the inability to cope with stress as having some form of ADD. And then there's the whole issue of the self-fulfilling ADD prophecy...some people enhance the common symptoms. It's one of those gray areas of science.

    This didn't add much to the discussion, I know, but there's my two cents' worth.