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Controlled by Medicine

by Skyler Brennan
Looking back, it feels weird remembering the fact that I’ve taking Adderall since 1st
grade. Yes, given at the time I do admit to being an impulsive tyrant, but was it really worth it?
At the age of 5, being diagnosed with ADD wasn’t the bad part. I was being forced to take
medicine, like I was some sort of disease.
As a child I was pretty impulsive, never being able to hold still or focus on one thing. In
Kindergarten I was sent to the principal’s office for not “behaving”, and I find it rather ridiculous. I
was only a child! Apparently it became a real severity in 1st grade, to which my mother took me
to my pediatrician. I was labeled with ADD and was prescribed medicine. I remember the exact
day I took it, and how strange it felt. I wanted to get up and interact, but found that I really
couldn’t. It was hard, but something I barely gave any attention. I didn’t know what was going
on. I didn’t get a say in the matter and had to trust that my mother knew what she was doing.
Growing up, I continued to not pay attention to the medicine. I willingly took it, not having
an opinion of whether it was wanted or needed. I just did it without thought. My grades were
practically perfect, I was medically driven to do my work and focus. Something about me always
felt a little.. Weird. And off. For as much as my grades were wonderful, my friendships didn’t
really turn out the same. It’d rather read and be by myself rather than make friends. Then I
would curse myself on the weekends when I actually felt the need to want to play with some
friends outside. Not saying I was completely lonely, but my friends took notice of how my
attitude constantly changed, so they themselves were unsure of what mood I’d be in: diligent
grumpy mood, or the one who wanted to play with stuffed animals.
Now, looking back, I realize how terrible of a situation it was, and still is. I can’t help but
think how cruel it is to force a 5 year old to take medicine to control who they are. I was
awkward, I felt like an outcast because I would rather be by myself than communicate with
others. Throughout the years my teachers even worried how quiet and introverted I seemed to
be. My weekends were the only time I could actually be myself, but even then I became bored
because of the lasting effects of the medicine.
ADD and ADHD is considered a disorder. I beg to differ. It is far from a disorder, it is
someone’s personality. And being forced to take medicine to control your personality just shows
me how corrupt society really is. I’m just reminded of this when I look at a letter from my first
grade teacher. She was the devil, telling my mother how badly I behaved, which in thus caused
me to go to the doctor. A week after taking the medicine, the vile women sent a letter home
praising how well I had begun to act. Everytime I see it, I scoff, and splurge out a series of…
Obscene names. How dare she comment on how I behaved? She didn’t know what the
medicine felt like, what it controlled. I felt like a wild animal chained up in a cage. The women
who used to be the devil, now became an angel to my face.
Sure, Adderall helped me in some cases, like getting my homework done and making
sure I was more focused, but my doctor didn’t consider what would happen in the long run. I am
dependent on Adderall. The only way I can get school work done is if I take it. Currently, I still
feel very different from the rest of my peers. I feel unintelligent, and lesser of a person. I can’t
talk to teachers, give presentations, or answer questions out loud without feeling like I’ll have a
panic attack.

The medicine seems to be mutating into something far worse. I get more anxiety and
nervous for unreasonable reasons, panic attacks, the like. I’ve even picked up habits that I have
to force myself to stop, like biting my nails, pulling at my eyelashes and eyebrows, and picking
at acne or scars on my body. It had even gotten so bad that I pulled out all my eyelashes in 6th
grade. Luckily, they grew back. I also find the medicine creates some health risks. I have slight
insomnia and can’t fall asleep earlier than 11, unless I crash. Also, right before I am about to
drift off my body will sometimes jolt awake, gasping for air. It’s now been occurring during the
day, and it’s the freakiest thing I experience. The worst has to be the fact I tend to be
underweight. In third grade I weighed 47 pounds, with ribs, collarbone, knee caps, and
cheekbones sickly sticking out so bad my doctor forced me to take fattening milkshakes. Just
recently, Junior year, I practically starved myself. Partially because of my fear of becoming
obese, and the fact my mind wouldn’t register that I was hungry until my stomach was growling.
I weighed 98 pounds. Any less, and I would have to fatten my diet again.
At this point in my life, all I wish for is it to stop. I can’t go on through my life living off this
medicine. It’s a pain, and it is overall scary. I wish doctors and other’s would realize the stress
Adderall causes. How terrible it feels, and how cruel it seems. I shouldn't feel inferior because I
am being forced to become the perfect student. To be unified with the rest of society. I like being
different. I love how restless I am, and how my mind will drift off to daydream or think of new
creative ideas. How impulsive I can be, not caring what situation I end up in because I can
confidently make it out of anything. To me, I am perfect without the medicine.
Feedback Guide
Name:_______________________________

Period:_________

The following guide to feedback rates the student’s demonstrated achievement for each of the standards of
the assignment. The following scale is used:
Level of Demonstrated Achievement

Descriptor

4

Excellent

3

Proficient

2

Adequate

1

Limited

0

Incomplete

Purpose (X 2.5): 4
· Conveys a significant literacy event that considers the entire rhetorical situation
Genre (X2.5): 4
· Captures the author’s moment and demonstrates the significance of this moment by containing an
explicit or implicit thesis that unifies the piece, using vivid detail, and demonstrating sophisticated
reflection
Design/Layout: 3.5

· Effectively uses columns, font/spacing/size to make the reading experience enjoyable, and includes a
title and the author’s name in the appropriate place
Audience (X2.5): 4
· Uses vocabulary appropriate for a college audience, assumes a level of intelligence and sophistication
for the audience, adheres to the rules and conventions of mechanics, spelling, usage and grammar, and
uses a style that fits with the concept of a narrative so the audience’s expectations are met
Stance(X2): 4
· Uses the narrative to offer an argument about literacy, includes a consistent tone that presents the
author’s take on the event, and takes risks in that it offers the reader some insight into the author
Summative Grade Conversion
Each 4 point scale for the rhetorical situation will totaled and averaged. The resulting score on the 4 point scale will
then be converted to a percentage using the following scale:

Scale Score

Percentage Score

4

100

3.5

95

3.0

88

2.5

80

2.0

75

1.5

67

1.0

60

Below 1.0

50