Raised on Ritalin

Tyler Page. Dementian, $20 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-9720801-6-3
Like many Gen X kids, Page took Ritalin to control attention problems and hyperactive behavior. As an adult, he notices his old symptoms returning and goes back on medication, but this time he starts to ask questions. The result is a thick graphic novel that explores ADHD, Ritalin, and psychiatric medication from every possible angle. Page intersperses his ongoing search for treatment with biology lessons, history, and criticisms of the pharmaceutical industry. He’s not a doctor and latches onto some deeply suspect ideas (e.g., that depression can be cured by exercise), but he dives in with curiosity and an open mind, encouraging readers to make their own choices. A longtime indie cartoonist, Page draws in a simple and accessible if unremarkable style, sometimes stretching too hard for gags instead of letting the material speak for itself. As a chronicle of mental illness, it doesn’t reach the heights of its clear predecessor, Ellen Forney’s remarkable Marbles, but it provides an exhaustive, personal look at the little-understood world of ADHD. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
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