With enthusiastic permission of the client, I am posting a letter written to me regarding the change that has taken place in this individual’s life as a result of being adequately treated for a lifelong history of ADHD. This client was recently diagnosed as an adult (in his 40s). His comments are dramatic but also very typical of my clients who have sought help for ADHD. Feel free to share it with people you know.
“Ever since I was a young boy, I had a feeling of emptiness, like I was missing something inside of me. I always felt like everything I did was wrong or not good enough. I would always get in trouble in school and at home. I couldn’t control my behaviors, my happiness, and my mouth. I felt less-than and unable to make anyone or myself happy. I was so bad that I hated myself and also thought the world would be a better place without me, almost to the point of not wanting to live. I used drugs later on to mask my feelings so I didn’t have to feel the way I did. As I’ve lived this way, my whole life and just accepted that was how life is. My father also made me believe that men are supposed to be strong and be able to handle things and that medication is for the weak. After coming to treatment this time I’ve had a chance to see my life for what it is and to see that some of my beliefs are not true. I was so desperate to have a better life that I decided try medicine for my problem, which was Ritalin. After taking the Ritalin for two weeks, my life has already changed so much. It has mellowed me out. I can absorb information and concentrate on things so much better. To explain it the best way is to tell it like this:
When you look into a mirror you see yourself and the place you’re in in the background. Taking Ritalin is like walking through to the other side of the mirror. [Things look the same] but life is so much different. I’m in the same place and body but my thoughts and world have changed. I am now in a world that is bright and shiny with options and choices. I feel as if I matter and I can do things in my life that I never thought was possible. My life feels positive and different but most of all, I don’t’ fee like I’m missing something or that I am empty. The greatest feeling ever is that I finally feel whole, not the empty person I was before. It has created a whole new world for me that feels full. For this I am grateful and intrigued to be the best I can be in life and fulfill my goals and dreams.”