Fridays with Ritalin. Like with Morrie but just takes less time.

Dr Google is never the answer.

If you are googling symptoms for anything, then I suggest you give Clientele a call as they have a Funeral Plan for you.

I am sitting on my couch feeling fine, sipping a very nice glass of wine, if I started to google any of the “feelings” I have – then odds are I will have something that is a cross between the Ebola Virus and Anal Leakage.

With that in mind, I am always amazed that people take their advice from Dr Google, granted it could be worse, but Dr Bing pretty much never gets asked anything.

Ritalin is the swear words of mothers everywhere.

I am almost sure when I say the word “Ritalin” to you, you are thinking “cocaine for kids….”  – well you might be, most people do.  I did.

If you are ever at a mommy and baby group, and mention you are thinking about putting your child on Ritalin – there will be a fair amount of lecturing going on, and more than likely you will be lynched and not be invited back to the mommy and baby group.

We have been through a very long and very thorough process with Georgia and she is presently on Ritalin.

The idea of putting her on Ritalin was on my list way after home schooling and changing her diet to include more lentils.

It was pretty far down.  It was clear to me that I did not want my child taking medication and more importantly there were so many scary and horrific stories on Dr Google, that clearly I wanted to be a better mom than that.

Short story is that Ritalin was the solution to the problem.  Maybe I am being a bit flippant.  It may or may not be the solution, but it is an option right now.

In the process of sitting in the evaluations, the feedback sessions, the testing, the re-testing, the having her see various specialists – it became clear to me, that as my depression and general anxiety disorder can be treated by taking the “right” medication, so could Georgia’s issue.

Giving her tofu twice a week, and organic strawberries on a Tuesday was not going to have much in the way of results.  No matter how much I wanted to sing  Kum ba yah My Lord.

We are on a four month trial, and will re-evaluate in January 2014, and may decide to make an entirely different decision then.

As I sat through all the questions, monkey puzzles and evaluation, I started to realise that much of Georgia’s “characteristics” are similiar to mine.  I have worked out a different set of coping mechanisms, and time and experience has taught me to mask it under a variety of guises.

Clever me.

The last doctor we met with – who was really going to be the guy who wrote the script – looked at me at one stage and asked whether I realised that I had the same “symptoms” as Georgia.

I smiled and explained I was medicated enough for the both of us.  Once I left his somewhat erratic office – I had an overwhelming need to pack his books so they lined up, and just tidy his desk up a bit – I gave it some thought, and I realised he was not as delusion as I had initially thought.

I have specifically avoided Dr Google on the subject of Ritalin.

The last appointment with Dr Psychiatrist (I have been with him for several years, and I trust him implicitly)  – I have a check in every 3 – 6 months – I asked what the risks were to him prescribing Ritalin for me.

I mentioned a few of the things we had realised with Georgia, and how  many of those things had resonated with me.

To cut a long blog post short, I requested we add Ritalin to my script and I see how it goes.

It took four or five weeks to find the right dosage.

I don’t want to lie to you, two weeks ago I thought I was having a fkn heart attack.

I think we have the dosage about sorted or I am on a placebo dose.  Feeling much better.  Heart rate well within the “normal” range now.

I am not sure what Ritalin does.  I know it is a stimulant, and it is usually prescribed for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

I do not have ADHD.  And I will keep telling myself that.

I used to have to mentally keep telling myself to “listen to what this person is saying” – and I would concentrate on their lips moving, or focus on a freckle just to the right of their nose as my theory was, if I kept a firm eye on them, then they would not realise that the “voices” in my head were screaming or my eye really wanted to focus on the tiny little bird I can see in the distance.

Light.  Sound.  Huge distractions.  If I saw a spelling error on something then I struggled to “hear” what someone was saying as I could not get over the “thing” that I saw or heard.

I had to will myself to stay on point when someone was talking .  Not because I was disinterested, but because my brain was usually a bit enamored by the way the light hit the glass.

Or I realised I could hear the sound of a grass mower about 300 meters down the road.

Ritalin.  For me.  Has been like a light going on.  Suddenly I can hear what people are saying without (as much) mental distraction.

My brain runs smoother and I can accomplish much more in a day.

I can read with a focus that I have lacked for several years.

I have not read the warnings on Ritalin.  I am not sure if involuntary quivering, muscle fatigue or an overwhelming need to really understand Miley Cyrus is in anyway mentioned.

But.  So far so good.

Do I think Ritalin is the answer?  Not sure.


Leave a comment


  1. I am convinced I have the same issues. Depression and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) are closely linked. I can never focus on just one thing I am always distracted but my Psychologist wants me stable on my depression meds before we start dealing with anything else. It also is generic and since my brother had huge problems. ADD, Dyslexia, and a tactile issues I’m almost certain about the family issues.

  2. Alexandra

     /  October 16, 2013

    I think we may be heading in a similar direction with our daughter (still a long way to go though) and if it hadn’t been for your post about Georgia a few months ago, I doubt I would be approaching it with the small amount of equanimity that I currently am. So thank you for putting it out there.

    Interestingly my brother-in-law had the same experience when chatting to a doctor about his son’s ADHD and Ritalin prescription. He was told he had all the same symptoms and should be taking some himself. I don’t think he took it seriously though.

  3. I took Ritalin for 4 years a little while back, I only stopped because I fell pregnant and once I had Aiden all my symptoms disappeared. It didn’t give me any side effects except for the odd occasion it worked full force and i would be on cloud 9 for the day but those were pretty rad days haha.

  4. It makes me mad when mothers judge other moms about Ritalin. If thats what works for you…go for it. If my kids need it, they will get it.

    Go Georgia Go! You have a bright future ahead of you!

  5. Celebrity Baby Blogs

     /  October 12, 2013

    Learned so much from this article. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I cannot tell you how much my eyes opened reading this.i suffer from all the same afflictions and have been medicated on every psychiatric drug on the market since the age of 13. Ive just been to the doctor and theyve decided to start me on potentially life long beta blockers because my heart gallops like a herd of wild horses. it doesnt however stop my brain from feeling like it needs to absorb every single thing around me. I also suffer from hectic tactile defensiveness, so whilst im vrekking about scratchy clothing ans fabrics, im hearing that damn lawnmower soundng like im on a race track and simultaneously taking in every inch of the world as if its under a microscope and still trying to listen to whatever convo is going on. Its gotten to the point where ive stopped having long conversations because I inevitably end up LOOKING and feeling like a basket case. Perhaps I need to have a rethink.supposed to go to o.t to deal with this but I dont realistically have time and I am frustrated!!! from what I hear ritalin has side effects for people who DONT needto take it. oh and last week I had a stroke, a heart attack and was on my death bed according to Dr Google, I also could have cured myself by ordering illegal pharmaceuticals from india! He is such an ass

  7. Tania

     /  October 11, 2013

    I never took much notice of Ritalin and similar medications as my children are “normal”. I knew about it and the fact that every other child was on it and every other parent/mother was dead set against it and that was about all the information I had. Now my “normal” 12 year old son is on Concerta, he is going into month 3 now, 1st month 18mg, 2nd month 27mg p/day & just yesterday Doctor said he would now stay on 27mg for the next 6 months unless we see any drastic problems or changes. What a different child/person he has become from the child/person he was becoming the past year of his life! Positive different! Wow! No more of the so-called noises where everything and anything distracted him. He is focused, in control of his emotions and thoughts, so much more relaxed & at ease with himself and the world. I hope that he does not have to take the medication for the rest of his life but, hey!, if it makes him have a better quality of life, then I support it all the way!

  8. I would venture to say, maybe you have a touch of ADHD. I may too. Long and short, we are starting Ls journey with Ritalin next Saturday on a tiny dose, He definitely has ADHD and some other issues. I am placing a lot of hope on this little pill. BTW great side effect – the loss of appetite thing (now for us grown ups not the kids). Possibly you can be Barbie in no time too

  9. I am on Concerta, Ritalin’s lesser known cousin. I was also diagnosed AFTER my kids. It has changed my life. A friend described me as calm and content the other day, I was gobsmacked, and then I realised she was right. Concerta has done what no other meds could, it has helped me focus so all the anxiety, depression etc etc has disappeared because I am living my life, getting things done, organised enough to do homework with my kids, can remember where each one of the four is/ needs to be.

  10. A good friend has dyslexia (altho he is a math genius, not sure how that works) but he had problems at school and even tho he is successful, it wasn’t fun losing his keys a few times a month and having his bank card replaced more times than the computer could count.
    Since Ritalin, he has reported the same focus and clarity you mention.

    10 yrs ago the school wanted to put my son on it because he was too talkative and wild in class but they (teachers, doc’s) couldn’t show any learning or psychological dysfunction. We just didn’t have a man around (single parent children are diff). Needless to say, he is perfectly ok, but should they have found something conclusive or even cared to make the right diagnoses without just telling me to medicate until they’ve found the problem, I’m sure I’d have done it for him.
    10 years extra research certainly helps a lot and self experimentation is quite possibly, genius.

    Kudo’s! I hope Georgia has the chance to be the best she can be, whatever you guys decide.

    Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

    • I am also suspicious that Ritalin is indicated as the automatic “go to” drug … I think it is a good option, but I think that children or adults need to pursue all avenues of inquiry to sure that the treatment indeed suits the situation.

      And following prescription to keep monitoring —-


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