Growing up with ADHD

Story By Anonymous

I was in Year Two when I was told I was different. It was explained to me in many different ways but after all, I was 6 maybe 7, the explanations meant nothing to me. My mum told me being different made me amazing so I didn’t care what anyone else said.

In Year Three there was finally a diagnosis, ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I sort of made the choice to not share that. Obviously, my teachers knew but I didn’t want anyone at school to know. There were two boys in my year who also had ADHD and they were classed as ‘naughty’ or ‘annoying’ and no one really wanted to be friends with them. I didn’t want to be the same as them. I would hide that I had to take tablets and on many occasions, I was mean to one of the boys because he was ‘naughty’ or ‘annoying’. I didn’t look different, you don’t with mental disabilities so no one knew. I mean kids can be so kind but when told that someone is ‘different’ we could be so cruel.

I have been medicated since I was year 2 or 3. Being told that it meant I would be able to focus, get my work done and learn like everyone else. I listened until Year 10, I forgot my tablets sometimes. When I didn’t have them my best friend and I got on so well and then she would get on my nerves when I had them, I realised that these tablets were changing me. Now mental health isn’t a choice to be, naughty, distracted, sad or feel despair it is all because of a chemical in balance. Someone explained it to child me that my brain set up has some of the cords in different spots to what other people have. That’s not something that I can really decide now, is it?

I did, however, make the choice to go off my tablets to be ‘myself’. After a few years of working out who I am, going on and off tablets, through breakups, lost friends and other hiccups I faced a family tragedy. If we are faced with fight or flight, I fight even if it hurts me, I want to protect the ones I love from hurt. Little did I know it would crumble me. Without my support of tablets I broke I didn’t see it happening, others did especially my mum, but I said I was fine. I didn’t realise but I was making choices to ultimately end my pain. I made one huge mistake which ruined my life but almost ruined other lives too and I realised I was dancing with the devil we call depression.

I’m a happy person, my aim in life is to help others and make the world a beautiful place. I don’t look like or act like I have depression but it’s real. I have had to educate myself to understand what is going on in my head. Many people along the way have helped and tried to help but those who really have helped are those who have learned to understand rather than just fix the problem.

Mental health isn’t a ‘problem’ nor a choice. It’s something that just happens.

Mum always said you are only given the challenges that you can handle. Some won’t agree but those are fighting words. I don’t share my story, even now I’m not really given it’s anonymous haha! But I hope people can read this and think they can learn something, they can try to find out what’s going on not to fix what is happening but to understand it. I mean we all deep down want this world to be a better place. Even if it’s not mental health, maybe it’s poverty, the environment or animal cruelty, educate yourself on what’s going on and be apart of the change in understanding.

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