On ADHD, Medication and Creativity

On Sunday night, Audra McDonald won her record-breaking sixth Tony award. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her parents for “disobeying the doctor’s orders and not medicating their hyperactive daughter” and directing her energies into theater instead. This has sparked some debate on the Internet (really, is there anything that doesn’t spark some debate on the Internet? Ever?) about the role of medication in treating ADHD. It also prompted a post on Psychology Today that made the following claim:

In America today, we are medicating creative kids who prefer to daydream in class instead of completing  boring worksheets. We are teaching them that focusing on the blackboard is more important than dreaming big dreams that might inspire new inventions. As a society we need to find different ways to help creative though disorganized children besides dampening their creative minds with Aderall, Ritalin, Strattera and worse.

This is a topic that hits very close to home. I have ADD — my official diagnosis is “ADHD without hyperactivity, inattentive type,” which basically means I was one of those kids who preferred to daydream in class instead of “completing boring worksheets.” Today, I’m a grown-up creative professional — and I still prefer to daydream at my desk instead of completing boring freelance writing assignments. But I also gotta eat and pay bills, so I do what I have to do to help make that happen, because daydreaming all day is not a luxury I can afford. My preference for letting my mind wander does not negate the work that has to get done. Continue reading “On ADHD, Medication and Creativity”

Six Strategies For Getting Your To Do List Done

New at Daydream Believer: Six Strategies For Getting Your To Do List Done

It’s the end of a long and satisfying day. I got everything done that I wanted to, within reason, and I didn’t even have a To Do list for the day, which is sort of the antithesis of this post; but even so, today was productive and satisfyingly balanced: I made headway on two separate client projects, spent some quality time with my mom-in-law, worked on cleaning up storm debris, and helped Matt grill some burgers on the back patio (and then ate them – mmm, chargrilled meat!), and now I’m capping the day off by spending some quality time with the blog (which also happens to kill the writing bird, so yay for that). All of that, despite taking time out to watch American Idol and Glee (Lee DeWyze was awesome! But not as awesome as NPH! Who was in turn not as awesome as the Idina/Lea duet! What can I say? It was a great night to be a fangirl).

Read more at Daydream Believer. Feel free to comment here or over there.