Pat’s Story

My son is now 28 years old. He is a handsome, blonde haired blue eyed man who is miserable. He started showing signs of ADD when he was 18 months old, only no one had a name for it then. By the time he was 7 we had a diagnosis and he was started on Ritalin. I fear a lot of damage had already been done, by teachers and peers. He has always had problems with spelling and memory. He was actually ADHD, but has seemed to have outgrown most of the hyperactivity, most of the time. Elementary school was a painful succession of parent/teacher conferences, with his behavior always being the topic of conversation. He was too touchy with other kids, he disrupted the class, he talked too much, he didn’t turn homework in on time, or forgot it altogether, etc. The Ritalin helped for a while, then there was a big scare about giving it to kids and his new doctor, when he was in Jr. High, gave him Cylert instead.

In his senior year, his English teacher ( who was less than tactful or helpful) insisted that he have an I.Q. test because she thought he must be retarded. I told them that they would find that he was ADHD and hearing impaired(he wears double hearing aids), and that’s what they found! He hated school for obvious reasons, and when he graduated he never wanted to go again; Until recently when he started saying that he should have gone to college and that maybe he would check it out. He now feels that he needs to take control of his life. He took himself off of his meds when he turned 18 and except for a brief period, right after his divorce, when a psychiatrist put him on wellbutrin and it made him violent, he has been med free.

His job experiences have been non productive. He is a jack of many trades but the master of none. He has a lot of good ideas, but they never seem to come to fruition. His desires have always run toward high risk jobs (fireman, policeman, fighter pilot)which he was unable to qualify for due to his ADHD and his hearing loss.

This month he is going to see his GP in hopes of getting medication. I pray that there have been advances in the treatment since his last go round. He is a very emotional person, who feels everything very deeply. He falls madly in love and is devastated when it doesn’t work out. At 28, he feels that his life is over. He is depressed and angry and hurt by life and the people in his life. We, as his family have tried to be supportive, but it grows thin. His younger brother is ADD, but his symptoms are not as severe, nor did he have as much negative feed back in school, since his diagnosis was 10 years behind his brother’s and more was known about ADD by the time he needed help.

He has so much to offer life! I pray that this time he’ll get the help he needs and deserves. His ex-wife is bi-polar, so their child may have many of the same problems as her parents. He needs to be healthy and productive for her sake and his own.