Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

The Tale of an ADD ADHD Memoir

This is a very special tale:

It was the worst of times and the best of times

Read about the real life, first hand story of a boy who went through childhood, and most of his adult life, undiagnosed with ADD ADHD. This is a remarkable opportunity for the ADD ADHD community and society. All that we ADDers ask for is understanding, consideration and acceptance, -ADD ADHD is real, it is affecting our children, our friends, our neighbors, it is affecting you and me, it is causing distress and turmoil and sorrow, and it does not have to be that way – it really doesn’t. ADD ADHD is a different way of thinking and in many of today’s typical settings it is a significant challenge which creates detrimental consequences.

Treated and nurtured, ADD ADHD can be a wonderful and truly amazing gift.  

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Diagnosed with ADD at the age of 37, I explain in “One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir – Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD” I may have had ADHD; however, due to punishing discipline for my poor behavior, the `H’ was effectively removed at a very young age. Therefore, I cannot express enough how important early diagnosis is, to have medical options and nurturing for one’s disorder. Even so, even with diagnosis, families and schools are finding that it’s not always enough. The reason is simple and yet just as complex, the majority of the population does not understand ADD ADHD children, friends, students or most anyone with ADD ADHD. Not really, it’s a mystery, a myth that some believe may or may not exist, even despite overwhelming scientific research and evidence. The truth is: It’s real and it is not curable, but it is treatable and it can be a benefit. 2 people, that I know of, with ADD ADHD, own airlines, one of the owner’s is building commercial aircraft for space tourism. 

I was diagnosed late and nobody really understood me or could give me the proper education and nurturing a child with ADD needs. Already at a very young age I believed that I was dumb and foolish becuase I was different and could not act in the manner other kids behaved. I often watched other kids and wondered why I could not be more like them. I was often told I was lazy, irresponsible and careless and with that I felt worthless. I did not know any better, so I believed what I was told. It was “poor Bryan” without any consideration that I was not behaving to be bad and had a real problem. Now I know the truth and I want to help others avoid what I went through mentally, internally. There is nobody to blame for what I went through, it was at a time that very few knew about ADD ADHD. I want to do my part to change that and help others come out of the fog and into understanding.

My life story with ADD ADHD is about the worst of times and the best of times of a boy who grew up with ADD ADHD. Yes, there were good times too. An ADDer child goes through life with risks of serious consequences and struggles, much less getting passing grades in school, that’s an immediate problem for parents, but it might actually be the least of the worries and that is what my story is about, to help others recognize the signs and explain how I overcame such adversity and learned to cope and eventually become whole. Children are some of the world’s greatest actresses and actors. We learn survival skills and those survival skills can sometimes mask the reality of what a child is going through mentally. Due to the fear of punishment I became a very quiet child and tried to keep a very low profile, this gave the appearance to others that I was well behaved and an obedient child. My parents were often complemented for how well I behaved in public outings and because I looked like any other child, I could silently drift off to the background unnoticed and that’s how I made it through. Some believe that children with a high IQ cannot have ADD or ADHD. Trust me on this, the higher a child’s IQ, the better he or she can probably negotiate and act in ways to survive and get along. Many ADDer children have high IQ’s, consider Einstein, he is considered to have had ADD ADHD.

Having lived a very confusing life, the diagnosis of ADD was not only enlightening for me; it was also the most liberating experience I have ever had. I imagine that many who are late diagnosed, at an age in which they can understand the struggle they have lived through, find the diagnosis to be liberating, as well as extremely frustrating, – more so, the later in life diagnosis comes. Many young children who are diagnosed very young are spared not knowing what its like not to have assistance and consideration, even so, the belief by some that ADD ADHD isn’t real still puts diagnosed children in uncomfortable situations where consideration is lost. Some people, even teachers and doctors work very hard to disprove the existence of ADD ADHD, ADDer children who are in the care  of such people are in a situation that is very difficlut to cope with. Kids have enough to deal with already and do not need to be in the middle of a tug of war between beliefs–nothing less than the child’s future and mental health is at stake.

One Boy’s Struggle is emotional and disturbingly traumatic in some of the situations I lived through, and yet that is part of being an ADD ADHD child for a lot of us, many do not realize there is deep mental confusion and suffering involved, but this also makes diagnosis and overcoming struggles all the more significant. I survived and came through with a new meaning in life to help others discover the truth of ADD ADHD and express the vital importance of early diagnosis. My memory is clear and I have the value of hindsight, the hindsight of someone who lived and breathed the reality, my ADD ADHD reality. For too long people tried to tell me who I am, what I am about and the reasons behind why I was the way I was. Mostly, it had to do with being lazy and unmotivated and not caring of others, but none of that is the least bit close to the truth. Those descriptions are only the way ADD ADHD often times appears to others. It took ten years of therapy and finally the diagnosis of ADD ADHD for me to finally understand, really understand.

I have written both of the ADD ADHD child and Adult life. It is my hope and open prayer that my memoir will make its way into the school systems, the penal system and into the hands of all those who have lived through struggle and confusion, including parents, guardians and teachers. If we all come together and realize the reality and consequences of ADD ADHD, we will come so much further as a society and perhaps save a lot of children from turmoil and reckless behavior which sometimes goes so far as putting them behind bars or in juvenile delinquent centers. I read once that as many as 80% of children and adults in custody are considered to have ADD ADHD and most of them are not diagnosed. If this is true, and I can imagine that it is, then we really need to get the word out and save our children. My book, One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir, is my small part in that effort. Early diagnosis is so very important and kids with ADD ADHD are still missed, usually the inactive type, the ones who are not hyperactive. In elementary school I was considered illiterate and put into a special education class to learn to read and write, even in that class my ADD was missed. I write about that and explain why I did so well in that class and then returned to the proper grade level and never did so well again.

Let’s also not forget the millions of adults who are still confused by their often misunderstood behavior, both the diagnosed and the yet to be diagnosed. Adults with ADD ADHD deserve recognition too, as studies have proved that ADD ADHD is not likely to go away with adulthood. My book is just as much for us. Having lived most of my adult life with undiagnosed ADD, I wrote One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir with consideration of those adults who have lived and are living through the struggles, confusion and uncertainties. I have struggled with relationships, intimate communication and believe ADD has been a significant factor to a failed marriage and lost friendships and impulsive actions which have lead to many, many regrets. My therapist also considers PTSD in my case and in my story I explain how and why I went years upon years of being misdiagnosed due to comorbid disorders and disorders which are similar to ADD ADHD and regrettably also to the false belief that ADD ADHD does not exist.

It is now understood that ADD ADHD is often inherited, reading the story of an undiagnosed child and adult has thankfully helped some parents also recognize their own struggles and step out of confusion and into support. That’s what it is all about. Only a doctor can diagnose, but some people do not seek help because they think their behavior is normal and a diagnosis would just be an excuse. We have to change that perception and the negative stigma surrounding ADD ADHD.

We are in this together, we are not alone*.
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 *Anyone reading this who wants to help me get the word out about One Boy’s Struggle: A Memoir – Surviving Life with Undiagnosed ADD and into the hands of those who could use the information and insight provided in it, please feel free to contact me or email this article to friends. It’s up to you, feel free to post on your blog, webpage, myspace or any place you feel would be suitable. That really is up to you. Thank you.

~Bryan

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