Craig’s Story

I am 34 and live in the UK. This last point is relevant later on in my story.

I was diagnosed with ADD about six months ago after getting a referral to a psychologist through my doctor.

I have felt different since starting at Primary School age 5. I remember standing in the playground wondering if I was from another planet, and had been sent here by aliens. I remember, in class 2 being kept behind in a classroom on my own while the teacher and class went into the next room for music. I also always seemed to be staying in during play time to write lines for not completing work. The problem was that I did not understand it (especially maths), and was too embarrassed to ask for help as I would still not get it.

In Secondary School I was always getting detentions for forgetting to do homework.

I was also bullied during my first year at secondary school by an older student. By the second year I had had enough, and fought back at any attempt to bully me…This made me a target though!

Academic wise I could achieve high grades if I was interested, but usually fell asleep in the class.

Anyway, if you are still awake, I will continue 🙂

My brother was always known as the “academic one” and me the “practical one”. This labelling annoyed me, even though this is naturally the case.

After leaving school at 16 I enrolled on an electronic servicing course. I passed year one ok, but year 2 was more in depth fault finding and maths, which I did not understand. I managed to pass most of the practical assignments through gut feeling circuit analysis rather than the proper analytical approach.

I was now realising that I my engineering career would be limited by my problems with maths and logic.

The sensible action would have been to change career, but I thought that would take to long (I am very impatient)I was 18!

In the next two years I had three jobs. Firstly an electronics assembly / testing job which I quickly got bored with. Second was a telecoms installation job which involved travelling to new and regular locations. I kept getting muddled with directions and took sometimes three times as long to reach my destination. I was also very slow at the job because I was checking everything five times before doing it to try and avoid mistakes through not paying attention.

Anyway the third job was actually the first job again (unemployment was high at the time).

From what I have written so far you would assume that I would have avoided developing my career any further in a maths direction, but no! I believed that if I practiced enough I could “mould” my brain into a maths brain, therefore I enrolled on an intensive engineering degree foundation course at the other end of the country. I only decided to actually go though on the day it started (which incidentally was the day I quit my job). This course was my worse nightmare, and I only just passed after during which time I started self harming to relive the torture of doing something that I did not want to do really.

To cut a very long story a bit longer, I managed to get a university place on yet another side of the country, and moved in two days after the course had started.

I sat through lectures in another world. I tried concentrating intently on what was been said, but could only last for 30 seconds max. Worse still I kept falling asleep in tutorials.

I graduated with a reasonable grade, and then continued to keep up the “front” to the world that I was academic and also happy with my life.

This even led me to talk my way onto a teacher training course on the start day, and then pass it. I hated this, but started having lots of relationships (sometimes simultaneously) to “balance” out the boredom of teaching with some fun.

That was in 1999.

I have drifted in and out of teaching, and mainly worked as a supply teacher because I was only in one place for a short time and could not be found out.

I had a really good job with a world class aerospace company, but that did not last, because I could not get organised.

I most recently had a job (starting jan 4th 2005) teaching full time, but I found it too exhausting trying to concentrate that intensely all week, and also plan work. That ended last friday 14th jan (yes 10 whole days!)

Still awake? 🙂

My reason for mentioning that I live in the UK at the start of this epic work, is that despite being told by the psychologist who is employed by the state (nhs) that I had ADD the psychiatrist who runs the department will not give me any medication, apart from prozac for depression, as apparently there is no medication licensed for adults with add / adhd in the uk. This is probably due to the fact that the nhs does not accept it exists (that is what I have been told anyway.

So basically I have to carry on having my rights as a human being being compromised, due to medical politics and budgets (in my opinion).

I am happier when not on prozac, but without it I am severe add, and with it I am slightly better.

Sorry if the last bit of this sounds a bit angry.

All the best

Craig