PRATIE PLACE

Friday, February 04, 2005

What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin? WSJ article

There's a thought-provoking article by Jeffrey Zaslow in yesterday's Wall Street Journal called "What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin? ADHD's Impact on Creativity."

I'm particularly interested in this because my teenage son takes time-release ritalin, called concerta, to mediate cognitive processing and memory issues resulting from the radiation treatment for his brain cancer four years ago.

Here are some excerpts from the article:
In English classes, kids who once stared out the windows, concocting crazy life stories about passersby, now face the blackboard.

Ritalin and other drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have helped many children improve their focus and behavior -- to the great relief of parents and teachers. But ADHD support groups offer long lists of out-of-the-box thinkers who had classic ADHD traits such as impulsivity, a penchant for daydreaming, and disorganized lives. [Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, for instance.]

Some researchers now wonder if would-be Einsteins and Edisons will choose different career paths because their creativity and drive are dulled by ADHD drugs. They also worry that the stigma of being lageled with ADHD could lead some kids to lose confidence, and dream smaller dreams.
It's a great article.
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3 Comments:

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Jim Husen said...

Thanks for the review. I'm going to look for that article. Ever since prescribing Ritalin and diagnosing behavioral problems as rooted in ADHD became common, I have wondered whether the benefits of treatment quality of life for the patient child outweigh the potential dissipation of creative energy.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Spyder said...

This is only my take on life and the ADHD (problem?). People somehowhave no idea that we as a species are still evolving! I believe that the brain is evolving into a multitasking tool. Hence the scattered thought processes. Evolution is not perfect,so in tuning this aspect it will be detrimental to some,while enhancing others,(such as Einstein and Edison). I think that any intervention through the use of drugs to stifle this march into the future is wrong. Parents and educators today just don't want to have to spend the time to work with those who are quite possibly going to be our next step in evolution.

 
At 1:37 PM, Blogger John said...

I feel the same way about pot, and I wish people would open their minds about LSD.

Pot helps me concentrate - particularly on the TV.

LSD helps me find my more spiritual side, and ecstacy does wonders for my depression. A little crack works better for me in the morning than a cup of coffee does, for sure.

Better mental health through drugs? You betcha!

I like what I'm hearing! Keep it up!

 

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