Friday, 29 May 2009
The Ritalin Song
Ever wondered what it feels like to take Ritalin when you have ADD? I’ll do my very best. I have a song I associate with Ritalin. It is ‘Remember Me’ by Blue Boy. The song has only one line – “Remember me, I’m the one who had your babies.” It also includes a scat refrain going “ging-gi-gi-ging-ging-ging”. The one line and scat gets repeated over and over during the song. Remember Me was a dance hit in 1997. The song starts with a bzzz sound – reminiscent of a machine being switched on. Then there is a sound which can only be described as electronic bubbles before the lyrics start. There is also a very strong beat which gets repeated without variation throughout the song. So, about 10 minutes after I take my first Ritalin at 7 in the morning, a bzzz feeling starts and gets stronger till the methylphenidate hydrochloride (active ingredient in Ritalin & Concerta) kicks in good and proper, just as the bzzz in the song starts very soft and become louder. When I feel the electronic bubbles, I know we are at full strength now. For the next 4 hours I am on a sustained repetitive beat, same as the beat in the song. The lyrics and the scat are immaterial, but their repetitiveness and upbeatness (I know there is no such word) is the only way in which I can describe how it feels to be on Ritalin. If I take my 11 o’ clock and 3pm Ritalin, I will be on this beat till 7pm, after which I will come off. I will usually be tired then. Concerta is a slow release version, and works very good for many people, but I don’t like it. Because of the monotonous repetition of the lyrics, beat and scat, I feel with-it and I can concentrate on things. If I don’t take Ritalin, it is like having headphones on with two different songs playing in each ear. (Come on Eileen in the one ear and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture in the other.) In both pieces the rhythm and cadence keeps on changing drastically. It is huge fun, but it makes it near impossible to concentrate on anything else.