ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community  

Go Back   ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community > SCIENTIFIC DISCUSSIONS, RESEARCH, NEWS AND EVENTS > Current ADD Events & News > ADD News
Register Blogs FAQ Chat Members List Calendar Donate Gallery Arcade Mark Forums Read

ADD News News from around the world about ADD/ADHD, other disorders, and some rather bizzarre & strange stories.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-03-05, 04:59 PM
Tara's Avatar
Tara Tara is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Middleboro, MA USA
Posts: 6,363
Thanks: 23
Thanked 494 Times in 229 Posts
Tara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to all
What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin?

What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin?

ADHD's Impact on Creativity

February 3, 2005; Page D1



In American schools these days, countless class clowns are sitting down and shutting up. In chemistry labs, students who used to mix chemicals haphazardly, out of an insatiable curiosity, now focus on their textbooks. In English classes, kids who once stared out the windows, concocting crazy life stories about passersby, now face the blackboard.

Ritalin and other drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have helped many children improve their focus and behavior -- to the great relief of parents and teachers. But ADHD support groups offer long lists of out-of-the-box thinkers who had classic ADHD traits such as impulsivity, a penchant for day-dreaming, and disorganized lives. Among those who are believed to have had the disorder: Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Winston Churchill.

The question is whether the Ritalin Revolution will sap tomorrow's work force of some of its potential genius. What will be the repercussions in corporations, comedy clubs, and research labs?

Some researchers now wonder if would-be Einsteins and Edisons will choose different career paths because their creativity and drive are dulled by ADHD drugs. They also worry that the stigma of being labeled with ADHD could lead some kids to lose confidence, and dream smaller dreams.

Albert Einstein

This concern comes as more parents are being forced to weigh the sometimes dramatic benefits of ADHD drugs against the unknown that accompanies any new generation of treatment. As many as 12% of kids today have been labeled with ADHD, and the number of kids' prescriptions for ADHD drugs, including Strattera and Adderall, rose 23% between 2000 and 2003, according to the latest figures from Medco Health Solutions Inc. ADHD drug prescriptions for pre-schoolers were up 49%.

A person who focuses better taking Ritalin can be "like a horse with blinders, plodding along. He's moving forward, getting things done, but he's less open to inspiration," says Lara Honos-Webb, a psychologist at Santa Clara University. In her new book, due out next month and titled "The Gift of ADHD," she identifies "gifts" that often accompany the disorder, including creativity, exuberance and intuition. She believes ADHD drugs temper these traits.

But others who treat ADHD argue that when children are given appropriate drug regimens, they become far more capable. "God knows what Einstein would have accomplished had he been diagnosed and treated," says Wilma Fellman, a career counselor who helps clients with ADHD.

It's too early for there to be long-term career studies about today's Ritalin generation. And certainly, many who take Ritalin say it helps; some describe it as quieting the circus in the room. Still, a lot of adults who've excelled as entrepreneurs, performers, politicians and communicators trace their successes to their ADHD.

In seventh grade in the late 1970s, Erich Muller was such a class clown that his teachers actually sentenced him to more days of detention than there were days in the school year. They had a cubicle-like enclosure built atop his desk to keep his eyes from wandering. They said he should be on Ritalin. His parents refused.

"As a kid, I'd see a thousand different things in every cloud," says Mr.

Muller. "Teachers told my parents I was 'too creative.' Too creative like who?

Picasso?" He now goes by the name "Mancow," and, based in Chicago, is one of the nation's highest-paid radio personalities.

David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue Airways, never took drugs for his ADHD, and is now an advocate for kids with the disorder. He says ADHD helps him think unconventionally, and he worries that if he took medication, he'd be like everyone else. He has found techniques to concentrate better, while hiring others to handle organizational details. He is credited with inventing the electronic airline ticket, which was in part an effort to help people with the classic ADHD trait of forgetfulness.

Too many kids, especially boys who are merely rambunctious, are being given the drugs with just cursory evaluations, says William Pollack, an assistant c linical professor at Harvard Medical School.

In his ongoing research into boyhood, Dr. Pollack has found anecdotal evidence that Ritalin renders some kids less interested in pursuing creative opportunities. One boy he studied had been active in his school's science club. After he was put on Ritalin, he felt like the spark inside him was extinguished. He lost interest in the science club and dropped out. Eventually, he stopped taking Ritalin, returned to the club, and developed a flashlight alarm system that won a major science competition.

Another subject in Dr. Pollack's research is a math whiz in his 40s who was hyperactive as a child. As an adult, the man earned several hundred million dollars developing computer technology. "His ideas come to him in a flash,"

explains Dr. Pollack. "He feels that if he had been given Ritalin as a child, he'd have just ended up as a teaching assistant in some science course."

This man did try Ritalin recently because his wife said his hyperactivity was hurting their marriage. But he found the drug stifled his thinking. He's now trying behavioral techniques to be calmer at home.

ADHD drugs are good for patching up weaknesses, not enhancing strengths, says Dr. Honos-Webb. "If your parents want you to be a lawyer, maybe these drugs can help you do that." But she believes a child on Ritalin is less likely to be the next great dot-com pioneer or even a Robin Williams-like comic.

She wishes more parents would see their kids' futures in less-rigid terms.

"Spaciness," she insists, "is a path to inspiration."

E-mail: Jeffrey.Zaslow at wsj.com





Copyright 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

URL for this article:

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110738397416844127,00.html

__________________
Tara
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Tara For This Useful Post:
Infusion (07-17-16), Lisa_Mac (09-17-09)
  #2  
Old 02-03-05, 06:59 PM
Gregster's Avatar
Gregster Gregster is offline
Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 1,382
Thanks: 0
Thanked 62 Times in 40 Posts
Gregster has a spectacular aura aboutGregster has a spectacular aura about
Or maybe Einstein would have figured out the grand unification theory problem!
I don't feel stimulants stifle my thinking, but to each his own, I guess.
__________________
Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.
~ Delmore Schwartz
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-03-05, 07:11 PM
Tara's Avatar
Tara Tara is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Middleboro, MA USA
Posts: 6,363
Thanks: 23
Thanked 494 Times in 229 Posts
Tara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to allTara is a name known to all
I have mostly heard people being afraid that stimulants will stifle their creativity. I don't know any people have taken Ritalin and have had it stifle their creativity. If creativity is somebody's biggest worry then maybe they don't need the ADD meds in the 1st place.
__________________
Tara
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Tara For This Useful Post:
addcolin (07-18-11), Adenosine (11-22-15), hideout (09-02-09), NekoGirl (09-16-09), scarygreengiant (05-05-08), Sirrah (02-22-11)
Sponsored Links
  #4  
Old 02-04-05, 12:23 AM
Ian's Avatar
Ian Ian is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 4,698
Blog Entries: 6
Thanks: 30
Thanked 300 Times in 107 Posts
Ian has disabled reputation
I've had more thoughts worth having while on stimulants that ever before.

Although there is a niggling thought regarding a conversation I had with a Union president for corrections officers.

We had a great gab on a flight to Vancouver that's left me wondering about the meds I'm taking and the success I've been attributing to them. When I asked him if prison offered any real chance at rehabilitation he said yes.. if the man is in his forties. Before that point it's not realistic to believe the reforms are authentic. If they are in their mid forties then the chances are quite real that the reforms would stick and the guy would go straight and stay that way.

I've never been able to confirm this anywhere but it's stuck in my mind that this observation may have merit.

Anyway I'm not sure now whether my new insight and changes are as a result of the Dexedrine or my age. At the very least it was fun to think about.
Ian.
__________________
A: Yes.
>Q: Are you sure?
>>A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
>>>Q: Why is top posting frowned upon?

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-04-05, 02:33 AM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: ..........
Posts: 2,221
Thanks: 0
Thanked 28 Times in 12 Posts
RhapsodyInBlue has disabled reputation
Interesting article, but I have no idea about Ritalin and can only relate it to a study I have seen which was done in a documentary regarding Prozac, the anti-depressant.

It was trialed on highly creative persons across the spectrum. ALL of these creative types reported a "block" of some type or another.

As a creative, I can relate to this. I need the slight depression to be expressive in art forms of any medium.

If I remember correctly, stimulants were once used to treat depression, so creatives "may" have a point worth noting.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-15-05, 08:56 PM
free2bme's Avatar
free2bme free2bme is offline
ADDvanced Contributor
 

Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 594
Thanks: 0
Thanked 19 Times in 6 Posts
free2bme has disabled reputation
If Einstein had been on stimulant medication I would bet he'd have accomplished even MORE more then he did, not less. I'm both a musician and a writer and I haven't found my creativity stifled in the least. On the contrary, I now find myself able to get things done in a more efficient manner, allowing more time to BE creative in the first place. The notion that creative people thrive best under some sort of psychological strain just seems a bit too much like major stereotyping for me to buy into it. Hasn't been my experience anyway.
__________________
"I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues." Duke Ellington

"After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Huxley

"Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music." Angela Monet
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to free2bme For This Useful Post:
Adenosine (11-22-15), hideout (09-02-09), NekoGirl (09-16-09), ProcrastN8R2 (09-04-09), QuantumIguana (02-15-11)
  #7  
Old 02-28-05, 04:42 AM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: ..........
Posts: 2,221
Thanks: 0
Thanked 28 Times in 12 Posts
RhapsodyInBlue has disabled reputation
Quote:
Originally Posted by free2bme
If Einstein had been on stimulant medication I would bet he'd have accomplished even MORE more then he did, not less. I'm both a musician and a writer and I haven't found my creativity stifled in the least. On the contrary, I now find myself able to get things done in a more efficient manner, allowing more time to BE creative in the first place. The notion that creative people thrive best under some sort of psychological strain just seems a bit too much like major stereotyping for me to buy into it. Hasn't been my experience anyway.
Your post intrigues me, Free. As a musician, is it not possible that it would depend on the type of music you are making? I can relate to you saying it seems a bit too much like stereotyping, but I spoke from personal experience of "performance" more than the actual creative process which leads up to it.

In "performance" do you feel that extremely sad music, such as death scenes, could be aided by a slight depressive feeling, and closer relationship to the music to be "perfomed"?

I really need that slight "down" feeling to get into the depths, and even caffeine is something I will refrain from injesting for up to 6 hrs prior to performance. That's not just me; I know many classical singers who do the same thing. Caffeine is not our friend.

But as for the preliminary creative process of working out how I will deliver a performance, yes, caffeine is my best friend

Basically, I think I am speaking of the actual delivery of the performance; not the process beforehand.

As for writing, yes, I agree totally with you.

Last edited by RhapsodyInBlue; 02-28-05 at 04:45 AM.. Reason: spelling....
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-15-05, 09:27 PM
Garry's Avatar
Garry Garry is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Auburn, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,597
Thanks: 0
Thanked 52 Times in 32 Posts
Garry has disabled reputation
I also don't find my creativity to be stunted in any way and I find the meds allow me to carry through more thoroughly when I decide on a coarse of action.

What I feel that needs to be discussed more is the inflexability of society to see that some people just plain aren't interested in learning some things like how to spell or do a certain type of math, yet it is forced on them anyway as that is what is mandated in the school system.

Let kids learn what really interests them (after they have learned the basics or how to read and add subtract multiply and divide.)

Why force French, or spelling,and so on

my opinion for what its worth
__________________
I do not have a disease - I do not " Have ADD "

I am ------------ ADD
Addaptable, Directed, Determined

NEW Posts
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Garry For This Useful Post:
Leviathan99 (09-18-13)
  #9  
Old 02-16-05, 12:23 AM
abre los ojos abre los ojos is offline
ADDvanced Member
 

Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 191
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
abre los ojos has disabled reputation
My creativity has increased substantially since starting medication. My creativity comes in the form of taking seemingly unrelated ideas and combining them into a single, simple hypothesis. My inspiration has inceased, rather than decreased. Medication has made me more of who I already am.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to abre los ojos For This Useful Post:
hideout (09-02-09)
  #10  
Old 07-21-09, 12:09 AM
budwzr budwzr is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: LA, CA
Posts: 34
Thanks: 2
Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
budwzr is on a distinguished road
Re: What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin?

This first post is typical of how non-ADHD people judge us, by our outward behaviors. The most important thing to the masses is that we calm down and assume their "Borg" mentality.

They snide like pigs.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-21-09, 02:06 AM
Archon's Avatar
Archon Archon is offline
ADDvanced Contributor
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 738
Blog Entries: 2
Thanks: 331
Thanked 1,092 Times in 420 Posts
Archon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond reputeArchon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by budwzr View Post
This first post is typical of how non-ADHD people judge us, by our outward behaviors.
What... are they supposed to judge us by our inward behaviours?

Quote:
The most important thing to the masses is that we calm down and assume their "Borg" mentality.

They snide like pigs.
Oh please.

The link between ADHD and creativity has no merit. If you personally are creative, that's because you're a creative person. No correlation has been found suggesting ADHD might impart any benefits in and of itself.

Second of all, turn that paradigm on its head and say "How many Einsteins have we missed because we didn't develop appropriate treatments?"

Stimulants (in this case cocaine) have a long history of being used by artists and academics because it was thought to INCREASE productivity. This whole premise is based on an urban myth.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Archon For This Useful Post:
Escher (11-14-11), QuantumIguana (02-15-11)
  #12  
Old 07-21-09, 05:10 AM
psychokitty's Avatar
psychokitty psychokitty is offline
Contributor
 

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 436
Thanks: 224
Thanked 360 Times in 172 Posts
psychokitty is a glorious beacon of lightpsychokitty is a glorious beacon of lightpsychokitty is a glorious beacon of lightpsychokitty is a glorious beacon of lightpsychokitty is a glorious beacon of light
Re: What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin?

I did have an interesting experience, not long after I started taking ritalin.

I am an ESL teacher, and some of my most interesting and fun lessons have stemmed from me following the subjects and tangents that came up in the free conversation time in the first fifteen minutes of the class. I could take anything, and run with it....and make up a lesson on the spot.

After I started taking ritalin I was doing a class.....and was suprised when no flashes of brilliance came.....I had to look back at my lesson plan (which unusually I had completed) and actually follow the lesson plan
I`d lost my ability to creatively go off on a tangent
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-04-09, 11:46 PM
ProcrastN8R2's Avatar
ProcrastN8R2 ProcrastN8R2 is offline
ADDvanced Contributor
 

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 568
Thanks: 56
Thanked 48 Times in 36 Posts
ProcrastN8R2 is just really niceProcrastN8R2 is just really niceProcrastN8R2 is just really niceProcrastN8R2 is just really nice
Re: What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychokitty View Post
I did have an interesting experience, not long after I started taking ritalin.

I am an ESL teacher, and some of my most interesting and fun lessons have stemmed from me following the subjects and tangents that came up in the free conversation time in the first fifteen minutes of the class. I could take anything, and run with it....and make up a lesson on the spot.

After I started taking ritalin I was doing a class.....and was suprised when no flashes of brilliance came.....I had to look back at my lesson plan (which unusually I had completed) and actually follow the lesson plan
I`d lost my ability to creatively go off on a tangent
Perhaps what was interesting and fun to you making it up on the spot was not really as great for your students as you thought. Perhaps following a lesson plan you planned in advance is actually better for your students. Perhaps your creativity was actually expressed better in the lesson plan you prepared ahead of time rather than in the tangent you ran off with on the spur of the moment.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ProcrastN8R2 For This Useful Post:
scarygreengiant (12-18-09)
  #14  
Old 09-06-09, 01:40 AM
Brikka's Avatar
Brikka Brikka is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: West Coast
Posts: 31
Thanks: 8
Thanked 33 Times in 13 Posts
Brikka is on a distinguished road
Re: What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin?

KMiller - I am going to have to respectfully disagree with you. Just because you don't believe that someone who has ADHD could be a physics genius, does not mean that it isn't so.

"Einstein was creative, yes. He was also a physicist. He was creative within the realm of physics. He knew physics. Someone who can't sit still in class? Can't learn physics."

You sound like the psychiatrist that I went to see before he officially diagnosed me with severe ADHD.

A little background on myself. I learn foreign languages very easily, so easily that in high school I was sent to a local college because the teachers didn't want to waste my time doing the AP classes. I was told that I was a genius in learning foreign languages.

My psychiatrist was about to diagnose with me major depressive disorder (which is a misdiagnosis for me) on the basis that someone with ADHD could never be good at foreign language because it takes high concentration.

I left that appointment in tears because I knew that I had ADHD and that my issues with concentration had affected my life in a very extreme way.

i went home and made a two page list of every single symptom since the age of 4.

went back and after a couple more appointments i was diagnosed with ADHD.

i just definitely would not make such a rash statement, that Einstein did not have ADHD, on the basis that a person who can't sit still in class can't learn physics.

---------------------

sorry i wrote so much! i do wholeheartedly agree with you about people glorifying disorders because of the art/genius they created. it does make me kind of sick to think about it because regardless of their wonderful/beautiful creation, the amount of pain that they must have suffered, must have been very difficult to live with. And for that one person who creates art/something that changes the world, there must be a million people who have been incapacitated by it.
__________________
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Brikka For This Useful Post:
NoReally (12-31-09), scarygreengiant (12-18-09)
  #15  
Old 09-06-09, 01:48 AM
Brikka's Avatar
Brikka Brikka is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: West Coast
Posts: 31
Thanks: 8
Thanked 33 Times in 13 Posts
Brikka is on a distinguished road
Re: What If Einstein Had Taken Ritalin?

I am actually more interested to know if Einstein would have wasted all of his time watching videos on youtube or playing XBOX
__________________
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Brikka For This Useful Post:
mctavish23 (09-07-09), scarygreengiant (12-18-09)
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ritalin May Slow Growth in Some Andrew ADD News 2 10-22-17 01:17 PM
How to curb this side-effect while on Ritalin... youngChelovek Ritalin 13 02-05-10 01:55 PM
Review of Prior Studies Suggests Clear Assoc. bet. Ritalin Use and Height Retardation Andrew ADD News 1 08-09-05 08:38 PM
The devastating effects of the drug Ritalin-A Huge Article! MillenniumMan Ritalin 24 06-20-05 06:42 PM
Does Ritalin Increase Cancer Risk in Children? Chadwick Ritalin 0 03-04-05 05:02 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(c) 2003 - 2015 ADD Forums