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Old 07-20-16, 07:02 PM
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Medication, meditation, Buddhism....

Hello, I am at a Buddhist course (/retreat-ish) for about 6 weeks this summer. This got me paying a lot of attention to how my mind works and the effects of medication or lack thereof on my mind. I take a low dose of Dexedrine.

This is a long post with a lot of different thoughts…. I don’t expect anyone to read this, actually. It’s just a long story and rant of thoughts. But if someone does and has something to say I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I would like to share my experience about the effects of medicine on activities like meditation and/or connection to one’s “source” more generally. (Vague, I know.)

I have come to the opinion from experience/observation that “reality” is as close to access for the ADHD mind as for the neurotypical individual. Doesn’t matter how disconnected or hyper active one might be, that doesn’t diminish or reduce access to reality, which is this inner/pervasive source. The source of all power and understanding, of yourself, of other people. ADHD might change how you interact with others or the rest of the world, even when you’ve finished your path — you might be more distant or less present/connected in an upfront way, or have less “samsaric success” as it’s commonly perceived, but behind the scenes we all stand on even ground and it’s that connection behind the scenes (that the ADHD individual already naturally has) that is the kernel of value and significance. And because they have that access and yet a slightly different wiring, it can make the ADHD individual who recognizes that source in themselves quite a significant person with a great deal of power/effect on others, partly perhaps because of their differences and unique gifts.

While meditating, I have seen this effect from taking Dexedrine:

I think it could fill my mind with more conceptual flashes. More intense flashes, as if things have more flavor. I don’t think this completely disconnects me from staying in touch with the root of my mind, so to speak, but I think or wonder if it has the potential to. (This is a question I have.) I’m not sure if this intensity is better or worse (or if they are comparable) than being a little bit dazed out (no medication). What helps about being dazed out, or what could help, is that things seem calmer, it moves at a slower pace. I might have a harder time making sense of emotions or problems/anything complex, but if I detach then maybe it doesn’t matter how much of a “hold” I have. No other samsaric projects and conceptual configuring are getting me higher at this point.

The negatives of taking this medication is that… I seem to always hear everything my teacher is saying. I hear it unnecessarily, even when I am trying to get distance to see the whole picture. I get very self conscious and then think that if there was a mirror, if I could see myself, or if other people chose to look/watch me, they would be exhausted by the mental project I have running and the “on-ness” of my mind. The fact that it is always “on,” and sort of stream-lined. It needs to move. // This feeling gets so intense that I start to wonder if I should just not take medication. Then I could rest and not be neurotically aware? I would be distracted but I think back to my old self and wonder if there was some wisdom in that natural awareness — that was connected to the source but didn’t know it at the time. Now I know that I had connection even when I didn’t know it.

I already know that I spin out most of my existence following side projects and do not consistently show up in any arena. I am focused on my Buddhist practice a lot so I have my own values and focus there. So at this point, I’ve seen how I am for a long time and basically, I think medication makes it more pleasant for me to be in my head, but at this point I’m wondering if medication just makes my life less boring. My head is always with me so it feels better to take medication so that something is “happening” there. And indeed there is always something happening there and I guess I have grown accustomed to that, or see it almost as a trademark of mine. People have sometimes wondered what I am always thinking about. It’s like I’m always aware. This makes me very self conscious.

For example if my teacher is lecturing, on medication it is very hard not to listen to every word and want to carefully write it all down. In fact, not doing those things is uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable not to be thinking constantly. I have this medication that gives me false life… or maybe just provides the color/stimulation that a normal persons life has, but mine seems oddly rigid.

I get very self conscious at times because it’s like I can’t sit and do nothing. Taking medication “clears” my mind only in so far as it helps me keep the paths of thoughts distinct, but I’m wondering now if at this point, medication just heightens mental processes and causes them to be “functioning” when they should just be quiet? Is it adding to the stress?

When this happens I also get very extra sensitive. This makes me want to be off the medication. I am afraid that I can’t process normal social cues correctly because the medication overrides my innate intelligence and covers things over with a flashier mental image. Myself with out the medication might not have shared such and such an interaction with a person because I was somewhere else, but I wonder if there was wisdom in that? It’s like the timing and access to my source wasn’t there so I didn’t engage…. but on medication, those subtle cues are changed and I have access to anything, so I engage in any relation, but I’ve missed where I am connected at my source.

This got me to wondering what users who have been on medication for a long time experience/feel/think about the effects of their medication. I think that it’s possible that medication, making things in the real world more possible, distracts or takes away from the clarity necessary to keep the root of all thought in mind. I wonder if that is why later, people who have been on medication for awhile feel sort of zapped, like they’ve run out of what is meaningful in life. And i wonder if it is because these abilities that we get on medication take us away from our natural wisdom.

I examine my ADHD friend. He takes Adderall and I think I perceive this happening in him. These drugs makes what’s “out there” seemingly closer to access. But I think it could cause people to miss out on what they already have..? That source? Maybe the external distractions just took away from progress on their spiritual path? I think he is distracted by what medication makes able for him.
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