Community meetings are for groups to discuss major or recurring issues in our small community. In the past this year, we have talked about major issues such as drugs, alcohol, and sex, and more recurring issues such as yard and lunch tables. However, one relevant topic in C&C that is both recurring and major is ADHD, a disorder that affects a large part of the C&C student body.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common disease. It’s normally found in kids around the ages of 3-17, but it can often last until you are 20. Students all over the world have ADHD, and C&C is no different.
Living with ADHD majorly affects everything you do on a day to day basis. It makes everything much more difficult. You just can not seem to focus on what you are trying to accomplish. During class, this effect becomes amplified because you need to be focused to stay on task. That is why ADHD is mainly an issue in school. If you cannot focus on what you are doing, you will begin to fall behind your peers. Homework can also be a problem with ADHD. Disorganization is very common, and kids with ADHD will often forget homework at home or leave it at school, missing their assignments. Digital work is even more difficult. Because you have access to the internet and video games, kids will likely be distracted while doing their homework. However, there are things that students can do to help cope with their ADHD.
If you are diagnosed with ADHD, you are basically given two choices. Option one is to try and go to a therapist and learn strategies on how to get around the disorder. Option two is to get a prescription for drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, or Concerta. These use ingredients like amphetamine and methylphenidate to stimulate the brain and help students focus. These types of stimulants can help somebody with ADHD to focus, become more organized, and less impulsive, three major academic necessities.
But, these medicines can have major side effects. While on the medicine, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, dizziness, anxiety, weakness, and blurred vision are all common side effects. After the drugs have worn off, there are possibly more detrimental side effects, such as insomnia, diarrhea, constipation, hair loss, weight loss, and major loss of appetite, which are the most common of these after effects.
Nonetheless, this has not stopped the majority of kids who have ADHD from taking the stimulants. The CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that in their testing, 62% of students who have been diagnosed with ADHD take medication for it.
ADHD has become more of a relevant topic in recent years because of the demand for medication in the collegiate field. People, whether they have ADHD are not, are commonly using drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin, for an extra edge. People without prescriptions are buying drugs off of people who do, and though it is not considered to be drug dealing, it is still still highly illegal.
The problem with this is that stimulants like amphetamine and methylphenidate were prescribed in the early 20th century as antidepressants, since they made people feel naturally happier . Many people have started to use this drug, so that they can be more focused for a longer period of time. However, people may get addicted because of the sensation the drug can provide you with, which is a lighter version of a more strong stimulant such as crystal meth, which uses methamphetamine as a stimulant, which is also used in ADHD medication.
Luckily enough, we were able to get the viewpoint of a student who has had ADHD throughout his years in C&C. Skuli Baumgardner, XIIIs, was diagnosed with it at twelve years old. “At the very beginning of the XIIs, I started going to this ADHD specialist lady, who have all these tests and talked to me. After a month, she told my parents I had ADHD.”
He started taking Adderall for a couple of weeks after he was diagnosed, and he was shocked by his sudden increase in his ability to focus. “Dude, it was incredible” said Skuli. “Homework that took two hours then takes me 45 minutes now. When I go off medication on weekends, I can almost sense a difference in myself.”
After conducting lots of research and interviewing, we we have only scratched the surface on what it means to be ADHD in our school. Because of this, we have decided to shift the idea of ADHD from paper into footage, by creating our own documentary; interviewing students and faculty alike, and diving deeper into the difficult atmosphere that students with ADHD have dealt with.