Can Focus Pills Help Your Cognitive Ability?
Focus pills are substances that are used to boost mental focus and cognition. Some are in the form of supplements while others are prescription medications. Supplements are sold over the counter while medications are to be prescribed and their use supervised by medical professionals.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Medications
Drugs that are used to manage the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are some of the most abused drugs.
In most countries, access to these drugs is restricted as they are classified as prescription-only. However, far too many people access these drugs without a prescription especially students who want to party all night then be alert enough to sit through exams.
In countries such as USA and Canada, there are many young people who regularly use these drugs for recreational or off-label purposes. Many are at risk of using dosages that are higher than what is recommended by the manufacturer and medical practitioners.
Medications that are used for the management of ADHD such as Adderall and Adderall alternatives are central nervous system stimulants. They produce effects such as stimulation, uplifted mood, euphoria, great sociability, increased motivation and cognitive enhancement. They are used to help people concentrate and get through tasks, especially those that are not enjoyable such as exams.
These drugs are commonly known as wonder drugs, study drugs or concentration drugs. Most students know about them, and many have considered using them.
Approximately 5 percent of school children are diagnosed with ADHD and put on medication. At least half of them will continue to have symptoms in adulthood, while others seem to outgrow the symptoms. ADHD is more common in boys than in girls.
Medications for managing ADHD do help students with symptoms such as inattentiveness and hyperactivity to concentrate and get better results in school. However, medication is not the only way to manage ADHD symptoms.
The negative effects and possible risks of using Adderall and Adderall alternatives are usually overlooked yet they could be hazardous especially if dosages higher than what the manufacturer recommends are used over a prolonged period of time.
Negative effects include irregular heartbeat or palpitations, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, loss of appetite, insomnia, paranoia and anxiety. This sometimes leads to the introduction of other medications to manage the side effects, and the cycle could get out of control with time.
Adderall and Adderall alternatives are addictive, and withdrawal can be uncomfortable. These include fatigue, a significant lack of energy, lack of motivation, increased appetite and mood disturbances such as mood swings, anxiety, and depressive symptoms.
There are people who have horror stories of what they went through when they tried to quit the habit after years of regular use. These medications are not recommended for people who have addictive tendencies.
Lifestyle change is effective in alleviating ADHD symptoms. Some of the lifestyle changes that have been proven to work include:
- Eating healthy. This means cutting out processed foods as the excess sugar, food additives and food colors do worsen hyperactivity. Wholesome meals provide the brain with the nutrients it needs for optimal performance.
- Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. Physical activity improves circulation, leading to a rush of oxygen into the brain. This releases the feel-good neurotransmitters without necessarily using medications such as Adderall and Adderall alternatives to achieve the same results.
- Exercising discipline. This means training oneself to stay with a task until it is completed whether one feels like doing it or not. Breaking down a task into manageable steps, use of daily-to-do-lists and a system of reward and punishment is helpful in this sort of training.
- Accepting that not everyone will excel in academics. Some children will do well in extra-curricular activities such as sports, music or art. They will be able to live productive lives even though they will probably not perform too well in academics.
It is not necessary to medicate children in order to make them excel at stuff they are completely bored with. The downside of using stimulants is that it leads to learned helplessness. There is no longer the will to push oneself or to invest in learning coping mechanisms since all that one needs to do is to pop a pill and the motivation to accomplish that boring task kicks in.
There is a lot that can be done to train children to manage themselves without resulting to drugs.
Medications have potential risks, and they should not be taken for recreational purposes. They should be taken with caution and under medical supervision.