David’s Story

The heightened emotions, anxiety, lack of concentration and incredible creativity are things that applied to me in youth to this day. Below is an account of my life long problems.

As a child I remember my parents breaking up in divorce with an emotional fight, while I hid under a table watching it unfold… I was 5. Growing up I had incredible problems concentrating in school. I would often daydream to no end. My father thought that maybe I was affected by the divorce. I was held back in the 4th grade because my teachers felt I was not paying attention or grasping the material. I can’t tell you how embarrassing that whole experience was. In middle school students ridiculed me. Many were scared to confront me to my face, because I was unpredictable. They would tease me as a group. I do remember one bully who was not afraid and would torment me to no end. He was much bigger and apparently enjoyed it.

In High School I immediately fell into isolation. I did have a couple of acquaintances, however they changed from semester to semester. I was not teased in High School, I was more of an unknown. If I were to go to a reunion no one would most likely know me. My sophomore year I was diagnosed with ADD and put on Ritalin. It seemed to help but it did not last long as I moved to California to live with my Mom.

The medication stopped.

I continued to struggle junior and senior year, barely getting through high school. I went to a Jr. College and after receiving my A.A degree in education, I joined the Marines.

Why you ask?? Good question. At that time in my life I was very mad at the world. Little did I know the reasons. I wanted a challenge and I was not disappointed. It was the hardest training I ever went through. To me I had been living an A.D.D. life with possible mild depression, so I was already in a world of sh*t (to quote the movie Full Metal Jacket.) I was in the reserves, so after my training I found my way to San Francisco State University. While I was there I had no idea what I wanted to do. I managed to graduate with a B.A. in basic education. During this time I experimented with drugs and alcohol. I was a mess to say the least. The drugs gave me a false sense of power and hope, and worked well with my ability to Hyperfocus on things. I created a whole collection of computer music. I was passionate about my music, and tried to get into the music business. Unfortunately the Music Business is ruthless and almost impossible to enter. I gave up out of frustration and dec! ided to follow my next calling, which was computers. I did very well and graduated from the tech school with a 4.0. The reason is simple. I really enjoyed the classes!! It was a challenge on some of the tests, but the hands on approach to computers complimented my A.D.D.

Whew! Long story you are probably saying by now. So I will fast forward to now. I am married with a child on the way. We are living the typical suburban dream, which is what I want. My commute to work is substantial (about 1 hr ½ per way. And no I don’t like it!) and I began to think I was depressed. I went to a doctor and after about 2 visits I was diagnosed with A.D.D again! At first I was skeptical because I thought that faded long ago, but after investigating A.D.D on websites I began to realize in horror that this dysfunction was responsible for much of my pain in school. I always felt like I could do better, and the emotional scars from the teasing at an early age had done much damage to my self-esteem and self worth. To this day!!

For those who might think they have A.D.D at any early age. my advice is to seek professional help at once! Do not let this linger in your life. Even though I have accomplished a great deal in my short life and am proud of my accomplishments, I can’t help but wonder what if I had the cognitive ability to concentrate on a much larger level, after all my dad was a straight A student throughout College in both undergraduate work and graduate work. I am really feeling ‘ripped off’ by this whole experience, and I will keep you posted after I attempt medication to see if this helps.

No one is perfect; we can find problems in all of us. My problem is a big one, but by no means cannot be treated. My sporadic histories at jobs and emotional outbursts have hurt me in the past. By learning more about A.D.D and trying medication I hope to learn more about myself and live a life that does not involve perceived torture and pain.