Hi. I’m an ADHD adult who was first diagnosed as a teen. And I think I kind of see where he’s coming from.
We ADHDers are famously “time blind,” and it goes beyond problems with punctuality, which I manage to mostly avoid. My time blindness is largely toward the past, I recently realized, especially to things more than 2 months ago, but sometimes as little as a few days ago can feel irrelevant. If he’s gone over 10 months off meds, especially as a teen, that can feel like forever ago, even not a real part of his life. So he might not be able to (emotionally, at least) remember being helped by meds or be able to connect his current problems with his past diagnosis or future goals. (With no past, it’s hard to imagine much of a future.)
He might also be very sensitive if he feels he is being criticized for his recent behavior. We fall especially hard with that.
I’d suggest starting by asking him about his short-term and long-term future plans and hopes when he is in a good mood (because in a bad mood, I, for one, am incapable of contemplating a positive future), and to brainstorm about what he might need to get there. Maybe ask him about his favorite activities and dream job, since dedication to getting and keeping my dream job has been key to my functioning even when I thought my ADHD was a 90s fad misdiagnosis. (Past blindness again, and self-awareness limitations.) Then help him work through a plan with concrete steps to practice daily toward the goal, and daily simple progress charting – how many minutes he studied, how many things he crossed off his to-do list. Let him do most of the work so he feels like he has more control of his life – something most teens crave and often feel deprived of. Make sure he has easy access to positive information from the past, which I find essential for my own symptom management (no meds for the last 16 1/2 years but open to the possibility if I have extended problems). Maybe then he’ll be open to reconsidering meds and/or in-person school, or else find a way to hack learning online and unmedicatedñ
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by eyeonthesky.