Raised on Ritalin: A Personal Story of ADHD, Medication, and Modern Psychiatry
By Tyler Page
At age 8 in 1985, Tyler was among the first generation of kids diagnosed with ADD and prescribed Ritalin. He would go on to take it almost every day for 8 years until it seemed like he had outgrown his ADD. He didn't give it much thought until many years later when he started having trouble again, and more importantly, started a family. What happens if his kids have the same problems at school he did? Would he give them medication like his parents had given him? Would it help? Did it help him? 'Raised on Ritalin' uses Tyler's firsthand experience of growing up with ADD and being treated with Ritalin (including his own medical records) to look at the disorder and the world surrounding it from many angles (personal, historical, scientific).
It is also the story of ADD/ADHD itself - the origins and development of the diagnosis and its treatments including drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, as well as its biological and sociological underpinnings, and even the history of modern psychiatry in general.
Raised on Ritalin had it's beginnings when Tyler found his old medical records at his parents' house.
"It was bizarre but enlightening to read through my doctor's comments. It was like a book about my life from a totally different perspective. I learned a lot about myself and my family. I knew the records would be useful for something some day. When I started a family and began to worry my kids might have the same problems I had, I knew I needed to learn everything about ADHD I could. Would I give them medication like my parents had given me?"
The factual information this graphic novel contains is already out there in countless other books and academic journal articles but none of them have all of it in one place, integrated with actual personal experience. (They also tend to be very dry, boring, and hard to understand.)
This is a chance for readers to experience what it is like to be diagnosed and treated for ADD and all of the questions and issues that can raise.
The 6"x9" book is 400 pages in black-and-white, (with a color cover).
"Page intersperses his ongoing search for treatment with biology lessons, history, and criticisms of the pharmaceutical industry. [Page] dives in with curiosity and an open mind, encouraging readers to make their own choices... As a chronicle of mental illness... it provides an exhaustive, personal look at the little-understood world of ADHD." --Publisher's Weekly
"There are a ton of graphic memoirs, fewer graphic guides, and yet fewer still research based graphic novels. This is a combination of the three - and that makes it special." - Matthew Noe, Library Fellow at the Lamar Soutter Library, UMass Medical School, and Graphic Medicine Specialist, NER