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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Are you disrupting your treatment?

On the topic of how often you should take ADHD medication and if breaks are beneficial:

It's helpful for me to think of this topic as the disruption in treatment itself being what causes problems more than the consistency of the treatment. When treatment is disrupted, even for a day, it harms any cumulative progress that's been made during treatment. I realize they're two halves of the same coin, half-full/half-empty, but for me it's an important distinction. Perspective provides semantics sometimes.

Imagine a spring, or a slinky, or a long telephone cord, all tangled up. (I apologize for any anxiety triggers with this visualization.) Treatment provides a metaphorical sheath, say made out of duct tape, that we can use to wrap around the parts of the spring that we've managed to untangle and coil up all nice-and-neat. When we stop the treatment, even for only a day or two, it's like cutting that sheath, disrupting the support for the spring, and releasing its tension; the spring bursts out of the sheathing and gets all tangled up again. The minute you start providing a new layer of sheathing, you can immediately start re-coiling the spring. However, that sheathing is only really effective if it's consistently wrapped around the spring. Even if you only wrap the sheathing around a single section of the spring, while it may help hold that single section of the spring together for a little while, eventually the force created by the rest of the tangled spring mess will mean that the little bit will basically be ineffective. Each time you start wrapping again, it's almost like having to start over from scratch.

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