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Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

A resource about ADD, ADHD, and mental health




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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

I Am a 14 Year Old Boy with ADHD

by Matt B.

My name is Matt and I have ADHD.

I am a 14-year-old boy who was diagnosed about three and a half years ago. I was put on medication and continue to take it now. Although the medication helps, it doesn’t fully solve all the issues of my ADHD. I still struggle with academics and behavioral problems, but I’m learning to overcome these struggles.

When I first learned I had ADHD, I was angry and upset and thought, “Why me?” I believed that this syndrome was a bad thing and made me different. Who wants to be different when you’re a teenager? Certainly, not me! I really wasn’t quite aware of why my behaviors and struggles in school were a result of ADHD. I had always been sort of different from other kids my age. I have such a vibrant personality and a creative mind in so many ways, from drawing, to speaking, and to just thinking of random ideas, that I just thought, ” That’s who I am.”

It has taken me three years to finally understand the whole aspect of ADHD. When I read Dr. Hallowell’s article, “WHAT’S IT LIKE TO HAVE ADHD?” it really clicked. The article made me realize that I am different, but it also taught me that it is ok to be different. I love my life, whether I have ADHD or not. It’s my life and I like it the way it is. After doing a little research, I learned that 9.5 percent of children ages 4-17, or approximately 5.4 million, battle with ADHD. This just shows that those of us with ADHD are not alone.

Although there are many of us with ADHD, each of us has to learn how to create our own strategies to control our impulsiveness and our focus on a certain subject. For example, I am a huge doodler and, to be honest, this actually helps me focus. But there are also other techniques that I use, including stress balls and also taking a walk to the bathroom when I feel out of control. And guess what? These strategies help me tremendously with my schoolwork. My grades show a huge improvement all around when I use these methods.

While most people look at ADHD like it is a dark rainstorm, I look at it as a sunny day on the beach. The reason I say that is because I have a very active, creative mind. My ADHD gives me the energy to act on my ideas and to be as creative as I can possibly be. Of course, that’s not instead of doing my schoolwork, but what I can do when my schoolwork is done. I don’t know if I would be the way I am if I did not have ADHD, but I really don’t want to know because I love my life the way it is!!!

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