One thing I have learned in life is that no one escapes battles in their life whether it is your health, either emotional or physical, financial, relationships or something that just happens. For some of us in life, we get a magnitude of issues and as I always say someone else has it far worse so I try to be thankful for what I am dealing with versus what I am not! My worst trait has been I am not a very optimistic person I am teaching myself how to change that. I do believe these traits are genetic as well as environmental and learned behavior when we are young. Let me say first and foremost I am not a psychologist, I do not have a degree in psychology. I did take a semester of psychology courses for medical assisting that gave me some insight on some conditions that deal with mental health, however, that’s insight some knowledge, not a degree. With that said, I can, however, speak as a mother who has been battling a condition hand in hand with my son who has been in this fight for the last eight years. This fight we are fighting is the green-eyed monster of ADHD. This condition can happen to anyone it has no preference it does not matter if your rich, poor, it is diverse and demanding here is our battle and one we still struggle with daily.
When my son was in the fourth grade I noticed him struggling daily in school and at home. I attributed this to the fact that I was going through a divorce with his father who I spent twenty years with. There was also the fact that we were moving to a new place and that the kids were as nervous as I was with starting over alone just them and me. While there was some excitement, to be honest we had many ideas and plans the kids and I, however, there was also stress and fear. Their dad and I had been together since we where young adults and part of me could not wait to see life through a different lens, however, we make choices and I thought my son’s hyperactivity was the result. After all these years I finally do not have to take the blame for what I thought was my fault or a result of my decision it was the green-eyed monster displaying it’s ugly head at the same time we were going through these changes. ADHD!
My son struggled daily. There were emotional outbursts that no one could control, not even him. No matter how hard he would try he would just scream and become so angry so difficult I can not describe the intense rollercoaster we were about to ride. There are many disorders that go hand in hand with ADHD, these are some and not limited to but they are ODD aka as oppositional defiant disorder, bipolar depression, depression, anxiety disorders, and learning disabilities. My son has a few of these as well. Daily for the last eight years, there has been uncontrollable outbursts that have nearly caused so much destruction in our all of our lives that I thought our lives where over. My son would go on a rant for hours, six hours to say the least breaking things, screaming, so out of control, there were times I needed assistance. This was as he got older and the years went on and he became a teen. It just got so bad the older he had gotten. At least when he was younger the screaming, the hitting, and the breaking things where smaller as he got bigger so did his behaviors. At first, when he was younger I did a form of therapy known as play therapy. I saw the therapist regularly with him thinking this was stress related I also sought help through his pediatrician. After trying to handle him, raise two other kids and hold a job as a single mother is was at that point they actually diagnosed him via a test that is called the Conners scale. This is an assessment test for ADHD which is given to the teacher and the parent as well as the physician to answer questions honestly on a scale about your child by analyzing your responses they can determine if your child does have ADHD. Needless to say my son not only had ADHD but the most severe form of ADHD. However, this was just the start of a long road ahead.
I did not believe in medication, immediately I was scared to put my son on stimulants. To someone that may sound counterintuitive, why give a stimulant to someone who is hyper? Well, it has the opposite effect if you do indeed have ADHD. The medication works by improving the way certain parts of the brain communicate with each other. To someone who does not have ADHD, well that medication is dangerous to say the least for cardiac reasons, addictions and others. You will realize that these medications do manage the condition however, it is not a cure. Needless to say, after countless years I learned this medication would save his life, the rest of the family, my second marriage, and any hope of a normal life for any of us. It took me years to realize this, and it took may psychologists, many programs year after year, and still present till this day he is still in therapy. Sometimes I get angry at myself for waiting so long to medicate. I learned that medication has its time and value, and after what we had been through we could have had some relief earlier. Keep in mind medication is not everything, he needs therapy to handle his behaviors and emotions, and I do therapy with him along with his stepfather and sister to manage the ups and downs of this condition and how it affects us all. We also are there to support him as he is my son, my heart, and my life. It is a road that he may be on forever. That we will all be on forever. it does not make or break you if you realize what steps you need to take and that you will have up’s and downs and if I can give one bit of advice seek help immediately ADHD is in no ones control you are at its mercy. We were!
In case you think you or someone you know may have this condition please seek help if you notice any of these signs go to your doctor, and adults are no exception. Some signs to look for: Forgetfulness, Disorganization, Fidgeting, Hyperactivity, Frequent Talking, Low tolerance to frustration, Interrupting, Decreased motivation, Mood swings, Restlessness, Intrusiveness, Impulsivity, and Avoidance of activities involving sustained focus. These are some not all of the signs and you may have some of these and it does not mean you have ADHD however if I can help someone reach even one person and share in this awareness I will sustain my goal. Please feel free to comment or ask me any questions. Thank you for taking the time to read about my life, and I hope this helps someone who is going through a similar situation!