Ritalin and meditation.

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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Ritalin and meditation.

Post by K.Dhamma » Fri May 24, 2013 1:39 pm

So I was dx'd when I was young and had been on ritalin, concerta, and adderall for most of my life up to about 2008 or so. I went off of it and then back on sometime last year. Finally I took up meditation and put the medication down.

*I do NOT condone this*
I decided to take ritalin yesterday in an effort to see if what meditation has done for me and whether or not the medication even helps anymore. It doesn't help. In fact it hindered me. I went from calmness to a mind that felt like things were happening moment to moment and way to fast. I tried to sit down and take advantage of the concentration in meditation. I could concentrate alright. But what you would probably expect is I also could not sit still. I took 1/4th of what the doctor prescribed me (5mg methylphenidate) and my body became sooo rigid that it made my neck hurt from being so tense.

The only benefit I truly got from this experience is I can see this polar opposite of calm focus vs. intense focus.

For me it was not a pleasant experience.
(just an FYI, this medicine is mine and I was prescribed it.)

I do want to promote one thing though:
I know there are people that greatly benefit from this medication. However alluring it is, I feel that meditation should be done before or at least in conjunct with it.

For me I realized that a lack of focus was not my hindrance. It was my anxieties ability to take a thought and push it so far up that my thinking becomes erratic and unfocused. I meditate 2 times a day for 45 minutes and the calmness gives ME a focus 10X that of the medication when I wasn't meditating. This is just my 2 cents and everyone is different, but to those interested in meditation vs medication I would say try Anapanasati.

(sorry if this is in the wrong section)
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah

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Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 5:13 am

Re: Ritalin and meditation.

Post by Zimesky » Fri May 24, 2013 8:25 pm

I have ADHD and personaly, have always learned better with physical and visual methods. I can sympathize with this. I took Ritalin when I was young until I got to high school. The concentration was rigid if it was there at all. Sometimes I would concentrate on patterns in the carpet while whole class periods breezed in and out of my ears without retaining a single word. My teachers were fairly rigid with their teaching methods, and visual learning and physical exercise were not on that itinerary. The natural concentration obtained from meditation is a life skill, the medicated concentration wears off as soon as the drug does. My meditative concentration skills are fairly low, and I' still have more long term results that Ritalin ever game me.

It's scary that were pumping brain altering chemicals into the child growth process as a fix all solution for everything ranging from Autism through ADD/ADHD. I think meditation classes in schools would be a serious step in a positive direction with the schooling problems were having these days. The benefits would extend far into the future.

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