Like many adults with ADHD, I am the lucky recipient of bonus "co-morbid" conditions as well - learning disorders, depression, and just being pissed off...
by Bill Mehlman
Looking back over the posts from this month, I believe that I've tried to be informative and pleasant, perhaps even humorous on occasion. For the most part, I've succeeded, although I may overestimate the amount of chuckles I've provoked. Sadly, if this is the impression I've created, it's hardly a complete picture.
ADHD is co-morbid, a word introduced to me in a comment to a posting for which I sincerely thank the commentor, with many other dysfunctions, syndromes, glitches and crossed wires.
Depression leads the parade. I'm not going to comment on any physiological links between the two, because I can't. But introspectively, how else could it be? Everyone I know who's been diagnosed with ADHD, and with learning disabilities in general, has some sense that he's flawed.
As a child, one easily falls prey to guilt: my classmates don't behave like this, why do I? Everyone else can read, why can't I? No matter how often, or how persuasively, parents and teachers tell a victim — for that's how I see us — that it's not our fault and that they can help us, it doesn't root out the suspicion that we're different. And all too often, to a kid, different = bad.
I'm not getting into the whole hullabaloo about meds, alternative treatments and so on. Let me tell you this: kids today have options. What about my generation? Or, specifically, since I really don't care that much about you, what about me? When I was a kid, no one knew beans about LDs, especially in the middle-class suburb in which I was raised. "He’s very bright, if only he'd apply himself," is the kind of commentary that followed me through school, right up to my college commencement. "If only." Damn right if only. If only my teachers could have seen past the facade of ceaseless, glib banter. Understood that loal:/adhd/article/1973.html:"I really couldn't sit still". Comprehended that I didn't do the homework because I didn't remember that I had any.
It's not the teachers' fault, nor my parents' fault. It's no one's fault. But it was a lousy break, one that just made a mess out of my life. One that kept me from accomplishing anything close to what I could have.
Just a lousy break — I try not to feel sorry for myself. But I'll tell you one thing: I'm pissed off, and that will never go away.