Thursday, October 15, 2015

Adding some letters to our alphabet soup

I just picked up Ryan's first prescription for ADHD meds.

Over the past year, it has become increasingly clear that the boy needs more help in school than behavioral interventions alone. Getting him to look at his spelling homework long enough to actually read the words (as opposed to guessing a random word that starts with the same letter) has become an agonizing chore. My hope is that taking this prescription stimulant will enable him to focus on schoolwork well enough that he can bring his reading skills closer to grade level.

Hopefully ADHD meds will free Ryan up to just be himself. He doesn't have the communication skills to tell me if life as he currently experiences it is stressful or overwhelming, so we're just going to have to try the meds and see what happens.

I'm strangely ambivalent about this monumental change in our lives. I have been taking antidepressants since I was 17, and I'm grateful for the miracles they have worked: antidepressants allow me to be me without suffering constant tears and social paralysis. At the same time, I've done some of my most creative work while in the depths of a depressive episode, and I've had to accept being a bit less clever as the trade-off for remaining a functioning member of society. I also hate knowing that I'm drug-dependent - taking my pills is a daily reminder that I'm broken inside.

I don't want my baby to be drug-dependent like me, but I want him to be able to concentrate on school work long enough to maybe accomplish something and graduate and grow up and become an independent adult, and if drugs are the answer, I have to accept that.