Mark’s Story

My story will be interesting to other adults that may believe they have ADHD or have been told by someone that they might have it. I am a 36 year old man who recently had my wife file for a divorce. Upon this happening I went into counseling to try and save the marriage. After about 8 weeks with the counselor (the wife refused to attend), she asked me some type of question about my childhood. To that I replied that when I was younger, I was hyperactive, and the doctors prescribed me with Ritalin. Well, the counselors’ mouth just about hit the ground! She then said “You mean you were ADHD?”, to which I replied, “No, never heard of that before. All I was as a kid was hyperactive and the Ritalin helped until about 12 year age when I stopped taking it and the symptoms appeared to go away.”

She went on to explain that the word hyperactive was now called ADHD, and that it doesn’t just disappear, it stays with you for life. She then gave me a book from her shelf that I read cover to cover that very evening. It was Dr. Hallowell’s book “Driven To Distraction. Needless to say, the next day I went to the local city library and took out about 20 different books all about Adult ADHD. There were probably twice as many books on the childhood version of the disorder! I also researched websites like this one to find more details.

Since this time I have located a specialist who runs an ADD Clinic and he gave me an official diagnosis as (still) having ADHD. I guess the point is that even having been diagnosed in childhood, back then in the early seventies, the mental health profession did not understand the lifelong implications of what was then called “Hyperactivity”, “Hyperkinetic Activity” or “Minimal Brain Disorder”(MBD). They did not realize that it lasted your entire life.

I thank God and my mother for getting me the treatment necessary when I was a child, which definitely allowed me to make it this far as well as I have. The sad part is that it took a divorce for me to realize that the symptoms were still present, just in different clothing. Most of the things that my wife is saying are problems in our marriage can be attributed to the ADHD and its affect on interpersonal relationships. If only I knew years ago what I have learned now, maybe things would be different. But now I must concentrate on the future.