As I mentioned in Part 1, living with untreated ADD is hard on not just you but others close to you as well.
I was telling you of my friend who attended a clinic in Washington State and was diagnosed with ADHD. It was suggested that he seek counseling to assist him in rehabilitating himself.
Back home, he went to a counselor every two weeks for a couple of years. Then the counselor took four months off. My friend was nearly beside myself; what would he do now?
Eventually, my friend saw another counselor and he began by giving advice how to fix himself. Well, we all know how well anybody listens to advice, even if we need it or ask for it or buy another self-help book.
It almost seemed like a lesson in how to continue with co-dependency (yes, he was aware of the symptoms of that, too). The counselor suggested buying an anxiety and phobia workbook, which he did.
My friend soon found that anxiety and phobias were not the problem and reading about it didn’t work; it was just another source of advice. He was trying to get better, not to remain in his problem and reliving his life over and over trying to figure out how his past made him the way he was.
So, he found another counselor and tried to explain the problems and how he had been diagnosed as having ADHD. After a couple of sessions and she persisted, the problem was not ADD but alcoholism even though he hadn’t been much of a drinker over the prior thirty years. The counselor was able to convince him that addiction was the primary problem, but it took eight months. The counselor helped him recall his first big drinking experience at sixteen when he drank sixteen beers. The next big drinking experience followed eleven years later upon the loss of a son to crib death when my friend was twenty-seven years of age and away on a military exercise: he drank heavily with sedation for a couple of weeks and stopped but why argue?
After counseling for a couple years and working the AA Program, he sort of set aside the ADHD idea but continued taking the supplements which had given him some relief. Through counseling and another horrible workbook, he remembered several things that had happened to him and which were extremely unpleasant and created anger and resentments towards those that had victimized him.
My friend then experienced more depression and anxiety because he now had a vivid recollection of the past. This wasn’t really what he had in mind when he undertook this journey but apparently – so he was told – that was the path he would have to follow.
He had memories of being beaten up from six years to about nine years. This wasn’t about a little pushing and shoving, this was about repeated punching and being repeatedly banged on the head with a lunch pail day after day. He was unable to fight back much because his abuser was four years older and much bigger. There were other incidents of physical abuse from about three and a half but ADD was dealt with differently back then because ADD was not really acknowledged and my friend was punished when his ADD symptoms – not paying attention or not calming down – were present.
I think you get the message of how troubled a young boy would be when he didn’t understand why he was constantly in trouble. Oh, yeah – he was also abused by an older boy when he was eleven who again was older and much bigger.
Later, a couple of unpleasant memories came to light as a result of counseling. He wasn’t getting any better but was gaining some serious resentments – even hatred – toward the counselor who was supposed to be helping him. He began to resent the counselor who sometimes gave advice.
He did this for a couple of years but believed he wasn’t getting any better. Then he spoke with a friend George, who he met at AA. I am unsure why George went to AA as he appeared more normal than anyone I ever met. Anyway, he helped my friend to find another path which dealt with stopping the counseling and getting help in treating his old companion: ADHD. It was easier to correct the thinking, behaving and feeling problems by learning how to operate differently than it was to stir up all the old painful memories.
My friend learned he didn’t have to relive past hurts or have to deal with the mood issues because we can teach our brain to develop strategies for changing outcomes from bad or unhealthy incidents in life or other strategies for dealing with depression, resentment anger, etc.
Richard Bandler, the founder of Neuro Linguistic Programming, whose approach we follow, believes that forcing people to relive painful memories is nonsense. Our unconscious mind protects us from some of the hurt by burying the memories of them so deep we don’t remember them nor the problems associated to them. We don’t have to be continually tormented by horrible, damaging memories. However, some people relive the pain continually and it is sometimes enough to make them crazy.
You neither have to relive the past nor allow it to control your present and future.
My friend learned how to change his moods from being miserable – bitchy, angry, road raging, depressed, etc. – to immediately attaining a relaxed state. This required practice. He began to appreciate what he has in his life as opposed being unhappy for what he didn’t have.
It turns out he had been missing out on happiness because, for most of his life, he had not told or showed anyone what his life was like. Mostly, my friend had lived a hidden life but he soon found that freedom was being able to live the life he really wanted and not having to carry that old baggage from his past anymore.
He now looks on ADHD as a blessing in his life, He may not have the intelligence of a genius but he has a quick brain that is capable of learning anything, adapting to situations, finding many solutions for solving problems, or being able to think fast if needed. He can do as well as a very smart or intelligent person on an IQ Test because he can answer many more questions and get some wrong while they may get all right and still have the same score.
My friend’s ADHD has helped him succeed in many careers he has pursued and he is now in a new career, providing life-coaching services to help people find many ways to help themselves; when something doesn’t work he will try something else. He once helped a young man who struggled with eliminating a strong attachment to his ex-wife through six different exercises until the man was able to get past it (the young man suffered from PTSD from other past issues). This man was able to accept that he behaves and thinks and feels based on his own experiences and can, therefore react in ways different from those ways that did not work for him.
Some might say, this person might sound like me, but I would tell you, we might have had similar lives, but I always thought I was more normal than he.
Unfortunately ADD and ADHD if left untreated can lead to chemical addiction as that is the only relief from the depression, anxiety, etc. By chemical addiction, I mean alcohol, recreational drugs (for self-medicating) and even prescription drugs available for treating ADD, ADHD, PTSD, etc. Unfortunately, drugs of pretty well any kind cause our brains to cease working effectively through chemical damage and the brain then will atrophy from lack of use.
We can help you unlock your brain so as to help you solve your own problems. This what we do. Call us and find out for yourself.