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It looks like the study was on rats and that they gave them a high dose of Ritalin — equivalent to more than what most patients need. The study’s author even stated, “Ritalin does appear to be safe when used properly, but it is still important to ask what it is doing in the brain.”
At this point, your energy is much better spent discovering how to help your son manage what he’s experiencing today.
It could be that the demands of college are too much for him to handle without ADHD treatment, which could very easily increase anxiety a great deal.
Social anxiety is somewhat common in individuals with ADHD. I have significant social anxiety myself, but not ADHD. Social anxiety is really tough to live with. It negatively limits what the individual experiences in their life. There are so many things I don’t do or don’t participate in due to social anxiety.
I would seek treatment for the anxiety (counseling or medication, or both) and help him move forward from where he is today.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism