So, they didn’t have Vyvanse in stock at my pharmacy, so I’m not sure if I’m actually going to start on it today. Soon, though. I feel a little ethically weird about it. Essentially, this medication isn’t meant to help any part of my life except my brain, and my brain is generally fine. Is ‘not working to full potential’ something that is worthy of medicating?
It’s funny, I would have no problem with anyone else doing it, but for me, it feels a little like cheating. I think that’s the specifics of ADD, though — if I had depression or anxiety, I wouldn’t feel like it was cheating to address those issues, to let meds help. But taking a med that may let me think harder or longer or in a more focused way — considering it for my kids, if the docs end up thinking it’s a good idea — it brings up weird equity concerns.
Like, my kids and I have already been dealt a pretty good hand by life generally, esp. when it comes to ability to study and work. We live in America, are financially stable, don’t encounter much in the way of racism, are able-bodied physically, etc. The fact that we get to have health insurance that will help pay for us to address a non-critical brain-not-working-quite-right thing feels like a luxury. The fact that my kids have parents who can find the time in their work days to take them to psych appointments, OT appointments, etc. feels like a luxury too. So many kids don’t have access to that, even in my relatively wealthy American village. (Twenty percent of kids in my community are food-insecure.)
I don’t want Kavi and Anand to have a leg up at the expense of other kids — but I can’t just go out and pay for every kid in the school to have full equivalent mental health support either.
Well, if it were cancer again, I suppose I wouldn’t hesitate to get treatment just because some people can’t. When I had the toothache last week, and it turned out I needed a tooth extracted, I didn’t hesitate for that either — it wasn’t life-threatening, but the pain was definitely distracting me from my work (and from enjoying my life). I guess this falls into a similar category.
Live fully, live with as much health, mental and physical, as I can manage, live to fullest potential. The same for the kids. And then use at least some of that capability to help others access the same for themselves.
Which might mean helping out more in the community, but definitely also means voting for politicians and policies that will shift more community money towards universal health care. That would be a really good step towards actually leveling the playing field.
Nobody cheating. Everybody just playing fairly, full out.
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