Studying for finals means a lot of focusing and trying not to be distracted for many students. For some, that can be harder without the help of medications due to certain disorders.
According to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association’s website, ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a genetic brain-based syndrome that affects learning and behaviors, including paying attention and staying calm.
Hal Hollingsworth, sophomore in advertising, said he has a love-hate relationship with his ADHD medication.
“I take Adderall pretty consistently,” he said. “I don’t always like to take it, however. Sometimes I wish I could deal with school without it, because I feel like if you take Adderall all the time it’s like you aren’t actually doing the work. It’s just the medicine.”
“It also takes a big toll on me both physically and mentally,” Hollingsworth continued. “One of the side effects of Adderall is that it’s an appetite suppressant. A lot of the time I have to force myself to eat so I don’t lose too much weight. Although the negative side effects make it hard sometimes, it also really does help me concentrate on my work better. It’s also kind of nice knowing that it’s always there for me to use if I need it, like a crutch.”
Some students choose to take more of their own medication at specific times. Luke Ming, freshman in communication studies, said he mainly takes his medication when he needs it most.
“I take my Adderall more around finals time,” he said. “Since there is more information that needs to be processed, I find it easier when I’m on my medication to get it done. It helps me with my finals results.”
Experts in psychology have also noticed a trend in patients’ use of their own prescription. Michelle Micsko, a psychologist in Shawnee, Kansas, said that sometimes people do not want to use their medication unless they absolutely have to.
“Sometimes people are more willing to take their own medication for tests or during finals week because they realize that it actually does help them,” Micsko said.
Out-of-state students with ADHD sometimes have a hard time having their medication when they need it. Charlie Morrison, freshman in hospitality management from Keller, Texas, deals with this occasionally.
“Once a month my mom sends me my Adderall,” Morrison said. “There have been instances where I had a test the next day and I did not get it in time. When that happens, I just have to lock myself in a room by myself with no distractions and hope for the best. It isn’t easy.”