Chris’ Story

My name is Chris , and I live in Washington. I am almost 18, and am going to be a senior in high school. As a person with ADD i have always struggled in school, with people, and with attention span. Wow, there are just so many things that I feel that I struggle with as a result of ADD, but I will just talk about some of the main things. I was diagnosed when I was in first grade. Even as a child in pre-school, I fought, argued, and even bit people. In grade school, I was in the principals office at least twice every week for something- fighting, acting out in class and pushing people around. I, to this day, am not sure why I have acted like this. When in grade school, I had few friends, and those who did befriend me soon left. I was always the class clown, and like attention a lot. I was considered a very smart student, usually scoring high on tests and assignments. But my socal interactions were always very poor.

I couldent sit still, I couldent focus on lessons, and my mind was always running around itself. I was never conciencious of the fact that this was seen as abnormal, it was the only thing I knew. I tended to be creative. I like to draw and was very good at it. I was the best in my class in grade school. Even as a very young child I drew and was creative. But I was inconsistant in my thinking and my work. My mind wandered, intellengently, but it wandered. I still struggle with this. I can wander very far sometimes, but intelectually. In grade school I was always picked on, there was a fellow who loved to make me miserable. He would pick on me every day. ANY little flaw he detected, he would exploit this to the fullest.He turned many people against me, and they made fun of me too. This only heated my already high level of aggression. That guy and those people made me miserable. My creativity he stifeled with his hurtfull comments (and put down with HIS own BETTER creativity which made me fell all the worse). This was pritty much the end of my expressful artwork. I am not sure why. Any how, in Jr. High, I started to get a little better grasp on things and was learing how to pay better attention to things.

Still learning greatly about socal interaction. I began to smoke weed in my eight grade summer and I think this might have hindered my attention growth a bit. I quit in 10th grade. I drank throughout Jr High, and quit as of my 10th grade year. I beieve that all that has had a large effect on my attention disorder. I was on ritilin from second grade to sixth, and dexidrine from my 9th grade year till now. I think this has helped me a lot. It has helped me slow down and be able to analize information more and think better, insted of driving so fast that I cannot even see the sceanery around me. In my ninth grade year I began to pick myself up quite a bit. I was greatly like my teachers and peers by the end of the year. It was aroud this time that i began to adopt many stratageys of seeming normal around my 9th grade year. Little things that make a big difference. Like one might be that lets say i am in class or talking to a person, you know when your mind starts to drift off (even when you are making eye contact and nodding your head saying “yeah, uh huh, oh, right”)? I just make myself excited about the person or subject. I do whatever it takes. “Yeah, this info could help me do…” or “this will help me if i just listen”. Stuff like that, it works for me, sometimes. Ya know what I really hate? I like to read, i really do, but I get so! pissed at myself when I’m reading, my mind starts to drift “oh, that TV show was sure cool” or whatever, and I zoink back in and Ive accutally just read a whole page of text! I remember reading little bits and pieces of the paper, but I dont remember what it was about, just that i read it while thinking about so-and-so.

My tenth grade year was yet another giant stepping stone for me. I was finaly learing HOW to think annalitically (not that i couldent before, just now i could stop, take those thoughts, and work with them formulating an idea, able to express it intelligently). My parents began to become impressed my progress acedemically and socally and in other little ways. I became responsable (as much as you could really expect from a kid of 15 or 16). My Jr. year was another stepping stone. I now feel like a somewhat normal peroson, but still i had problems keeping my mind on track. When i could focus, i did it very well, i was charming, witty, thoughful and intelligent. When i was all spacey, i was joe space cadet who seemed stressed for brain cells. Now i still struggle with my strong emotions, and am very very sensitive. I still have the same attention problems sometimes, but they are diminished a lot. My largest problem now is my lack of motivation. It takes so much energy to hold my mental structure together ( holding my anxiety down, keeping my compulsivness under wraps, and forcing my mind to pay lock onto the information being percieved and process it)that i just dont want to do anything. Sitting at my computer spacing is better a lot of the time, no stress. Socal interaction is now rewarding, but it takes a LOT of mental effort to keep focused and be a cool guy named Chris.

Man, i just wish my mind would automatically pay attention, that way i could devote that other energy elsewhere and be more creative and productive. My biggest fear is that when I get off my medication, will i be able to pay attention???? Will i still be Chris? I now have many many friends. At my high school, i am in the “center ! crowd” i hang with all the jocks and with the “popular” people. My fear is when i come off my medication, will these people still like me? Will i change for the worst? Oh i am scared. I just wish that i never had this problem, i truely wish it gone. I hate it. I has been the plague of my existance for nearly 18 years. I hope that this has been helpfull for anybody and I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM ANYBODY out there about any experiences, problems, solutions, anything. I wish everyone out there good luck with this thing and God Bless.