In an article I read by The Examiner Channing Tatum, the star of the movies Magic Mike and The Vow said this of ADHD medication:
“I did better at school when I was on it, but it made me a zombie. You become obsessive. Dexedrine, Adderall — it’s like any other drug. It’s like coke or crystal meth. The more you do, the less it works”
He went on to say:
“For a time, it would work well, then it worked less and my pain was more,” Tatum recalls. “I would go through wild bouts of depression, horrible comedowns. I understand why kids kill themselves. I absolutely do. You feel terrible. You feel soul-less. I’d never do it to my child.”
I do not think Tatum was meaning to give medication a bad rap or make any specific claims. I believe he was simply stating his own opinions about his own experiences, but to a lot of people, especially those who decry ADHD as a myth, will take his statements as against ADHD medication in general. Even though, he did say:
“I truly believe some people need medication; I did not,”
Some parents who read that ADHD medication is like Crystal Meth or “Coke” may become scared to death about their child’s treatment, even if it is the best option for their child.
Parents are already dealing with stigma and have understandable concerns about their children being on medication.
The reality is that everyone reacts differently to medication and dosage.
If you’re on the wrong medication and dosage for you, then you could have reactions to the medication that may not be beneficial and may even be counterproductive, such as feeling like a zombie.
If a child or adult feels like a zombie on ADHD medication then it is very important they let their doctor know so he or she can reexamine their treatment.
Of course, I am not a doctor, so I asked Dr. Charles Parker author of New ADHD Medication Rules – Brain Science & Common Sense why a person on ADHD medication might feel like a zombie and here’s his answer:
The feeling of being a Zombie has two origins, and one outcome.
The one outcome: toxicity. Zombie = toxic dosage, period. Out the top of that Therapeutic Window I frequently refer to. Too much medication regardless of careful dosing strategies based upon unseen metabolic challenges, or simple innocence regarding metabolic realities.
That Toxic Outcome can arise from two origins:
1. Wrong Med creating side effects through inadvertent accumulation:
For example: some people simply can’t metabolize certain drugs – Genetics can prevent AMP products from passing through 2D6 the specific metabolic pathway in the liver for AMPs – amphetamines.
2. Most common origin: Wrong Dosage with capricious dosing strategies.
For example: “Take this dose, it works for most people.” Missing the fact that metabolic variations occur more frequently than average, more than 50% of the time [in the literature], creates major dosing problems with more than 50% of the population.
So many miss the fact that basic dosage awareness for ADHD meds is the single main reason for ADHD treatment failure – and the problem is global, not just in the US. The many problems with dosage accuracy fall into two broad categories:
1. The pervasive challenge of ADHD Diagnostic Inaccuracy, defining targets that both patients and medical professionals can communicate about easily [beyond Hyperactive and Inattentive].
2. The routine denial of the basic, undeniable, common sense ADHD Treatment Process that ADHD meds must first pass through the body to arrive at the synaptic mind. This latter remarkable oversight either ignores metabolism and medication burn rate as the essential tool to dial meds in effectively, or misses the fact that dosage challenges can be corrected by fixing those underlying metabolic challenges. Brain science provides data points for common sense solutions. Without science, street wisdom – common sense – is impossible.
– – – Dr. Charles Parker – – –
So, the thing is even though it is obvious that Channing Tatum cares and is simply relating his experience on a broader scale, there’s usually a reason why ADHD medications are having a certain effect, but this doesn’t mean ADHD medication doesn’t work or that it is ‘bad’.
However, here’s something Tatum also said in his interview that I totally agree with:
“It kills me that there are standardized tests geared towards just one kind of child.”
For more information about ADHD medications, Dr. Charles Parker has some great resources:
About 400 articles, mostly on ADHD Meds: http://corepsych.com/
Several Playlists on ADHD Meds: http://youtube.com/drcharlesparker
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