What's the Latest Development?

Freelance writer and editor Molly Oswaks first found some relief with cocaine. Instead of giving her a high, it calmed her down and helped her focus. Later, an ADD diagnosis and medication gave her more lasting clarity and attention consistency after a life mostly spent adrift. Nevertheless, she writes, "no medication will rid a person of their ADD; as treatment, the chemical effects are corrective, not curative."

What's the Big Idea?

On reading Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder From Childhood to Adulthood, by Dr. Edward Hallowell, she auto-diganosed herself. Hallowell writes, "The syndrome is not one of attention deficit, but of attention inconsistency." As he points out, people with ADD are actually capable of "hyperfocus."

"Regulating my wandering mind was necessary for that to happen," writes Oswaks. Thus, according to Oswaks, medication "didn't save me but provided the clarity I needed to find so much of myself."