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Generations: A Family's History With ADHD

How ADHD has affected one family across generations.

1 Comment: Generations: A Family's History With ADHD

  1. I have an 8 year old with severe combined type ADHD that was diagnosed about a year ago and I can very much relate to this article. While he still has some challenges at school and at home related to his ADHD, since we began treatment with medications and family therapy, he has been doing significantly better and our house has been a much more peaceful place. After learning more about ADHD, including adult symptoms, I came to realize that I have it as well. It explained so much about me and my life experience, especially recently when being a parent combined with a very challenging and demanding career overwhelmed the compensatory mechanisms that I have developed over the years, causing issues at home and at work. I sought medication treatment, which has been a game-changer for me. It is truly amazing what a positive impact it has had on me, especially in terms of my performance at work.

    As I continue to learn more and speak to more family members about it, I have come to realize that ADHD has been in my family for generations. My brother has it, he was the one who was diagnosed as a child. Medication treatment at the time did not work for him. I think my diagnosis was missed as a child because compared to my brother, my symptoms were much more mild, perhaps more of the inattentive type. I always seemed to fly under the radar and get by doing mediocre work that didn’t cause any significant issues. I have also learned that my mother and grandfather very likely have it, and see how it affected their life courses.

    One thing I’ve noticed about all of us who made it into being successful adults with ADHD, is that we were all “late bloomers”, and ended up successfully going back to school or into a career much later in life than the average person. All of us went through a phase in our younger years that was verging on recklessness, but thankfully made it through. Personally I had a difficult time in high school,almost didn’t graduate, had problems with the law, followed by doing dangerous outdoor/wilderness activities for many years before I actually ended up going to medical school at age 30, which surprised all of my family, including myself.

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