Mr. H., now 49, was first diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 40, when he was evaluated at the suggestion of an old friend, a psychologist who had known him in grade school.
“I was a poster child for ADHD, but it took me a while to accept that ADHD was a real disease. Over time, it helped me see much more deeply into the problems I had as a kid, but being first diagnosed as an adult, it felt too late to relieve the guilt and shame of continually acting contrary to my desires, and so frequently failing.” He was first treated with Ritalin. “For the first time in my life, I noticed that there was a brief gap between impulse and action, and I could add my intention, my personality to my actions, instead of just reacting.” Unfortunately, the benefits of Ritalin waned over time, as did the effects of other medications. Mr. H. has come to recognize the importance of structure in managing his ADHD – “but I still have trouble setting it up for myself.” He also points to some positive elements of ADHD: “I’m very present with children, and with other people who have ADHD. I don’t have to edit myself – we interrupt each other and nobody minds. I feel like we have access to a different kind of creativity.”