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.

5 comments:

Girl van die Suburbs said...

Sjoe ek weet nie of ek liewer depressief wil wees met tye van doodse stilte of ek eerder 'n buzzzz gevoel wil he nie....

angel said...

Dude, this is awesome. I love the idea of not being on meds compared to full blast earphones. Thank you Spear, your ADHD posts are always wonderful.

Spear said...

GVDS, Jaaa jong so het ons almal maar ons ding. Ek dink ek sal depressie dalk nog kan hanteer, maar ek weet weer nie of ek die energie het vir 'n bipolere versteuring nie.

Soms oor naweke drink en nie Ritalin nie, dis lekker om myself te wees, maar ander mense cope nie mooi daarmee nie - of so het ek agter gekom. ps. Ek wens ook ek kan sing en ek is ook mal oor tamaties.

Hey Angel! I do not know if these posts makes sense to someone who does not live with an ADD'er - but this is one of the main reasons for the blog - to help people close to ADD'ers understand better.

Tamara said...

Wow - that last paragraph is a powerful analogy. Very helpful.

Thanks ;-)

momcat said...

Jeez if my younger son has music going off in his ears all day its no wonder he can't hear his teacher! Very distracting though. Good description of the distraction. My older son literally is so bored with his job that he works with his earphones in playing music from his phone!