My child & ADHD
May is mental health awareness month and I have reached out to a few people about the different forms of mental health they or someone close to them suffers from. It is disorders that’s does not discriminate. Regardless of your social status, background, race, religious beliefs or gender, mental health affects us all. According to the Scottish government it is estimated that around 1 in 3 people is Scotland suffer from mental illness in any one year, and that is why it is pivotal that we speak up and spread awareness. I have reached out to a very brave and courages friend and mother and asked her to share a part of her story of what life is like when your beloved child suffers from a mental illness. Adhd is a form of mental illness that affects millions of adults and children alike around the world and I would like to thank this brave lady for sharing her story. This is a snippet of her and her son’s story in her own words:
“As a new born baby my son hardly slept , I know babies are notorious for not sleeping, but this was different and as a toddler . . . Well, that was fun! To the outside world looking in it was easy to judge. He was labelled as the child who is naughty all the time, on the go, boisterous and loud.
He didn’t want to play with anyone and preferred to play with certain toys, but would then get distracted by something else like a ball. This meant he never put any of his toys back in the toy box because he always needed to take just one more out. Each time he did something like this I would get the judgemental stares and looks from other people that told a thousand tales. They do not understand, but the judgement is always present and never hard to find as people would freely share unwarranted and unwanted opinions. The looks of ‘oh she’s allowing him to act like a brat or he need discipline or even it must be the parents fault’ I am greeted with frequently.
A few years ago he started nursery and when I spoke to his nursery as a concerned parent because he was always getting into trouble and was never able to sit during story time, the reaction I got was that he is simply bored and needed more to do. As his mother I didn’t believe this. I knew that something was amiss. Then at the age of five he was diagnosed with ADHD, and at the age of seven he started to loose so many friends because they couldn’t understand why he is so ‘in your face’. This broke my heart, because just like any other mother I want my child to be happy and have friends he can play and share laughs with. Now that he is older he is a quiet and more reserved boy and that is all due to the medical treatment he is receiving. He now hardly gets into trouble at school, does his work and what is expected of him, but this also means that he often gets overlooked.
To the other children he is no fun and therefore no one wants to play with him, but without his medication he is too rough and that can lead to so many other issues. We attend appointments at the ADHD clinic every 6-8 weeks and he also sees a psychologist every two weeks. Due to his medication he has no appetite and weight loss is inevitable. Together with a lack of appetite he also has sensory issues meaning that something like brushing his teeth, that other people may take for granted becomes a big struggle. Socks for example is another bone of contention as it has to have small seams and must fit a certain way. He will also only wear certain tracksuits which means I have to buy at least four at a time and when it comes to trainers I have to buy the some brand and colour. This is familiar to him and what he is most comfortable with and in a way provides him with a sense of security. The emotional side is by far the worst. Dealing with his emotions, how I feel myself having other kids to support, a full time job and a husband becomes a juggling act, but still I do it because I want him to have the best life and be the best he can be, so I get on with it. Like every parent I want my children to be happy and healthy and if I could take this away from him I would.
A typical day for us starts with a struggle to get dressed and ready for school, but the worst part for me is worrying because I know that he hates school. Dinner time can also become contentious because due to his lack of appetite he refuses to eat and all I want is for him to be able to have a nutritious meal. School homework is also a cause of immense stress and anxiety for him. His anxiety is amplified when we do homework because of his fear of getting it wrong. Later on in the evening when his medication has worn off he would eat absolutely everything in sight. During bed time he would usually wake up a few times a night and even with taking the sleeping pills his paediatrician prescribed, his sleep is broken and after waking up several times he would the finally drift off around midnight just to wake up at 6 am and the day starts again. This leads to me not getting a good nights rest either because again like any parent we want the best for our children and that includes having a proper rest. I love my all my kids dearly, but as I said before if I could take this away from him I would and I would do anything in this world for him to be free from ADHD.
This is just a tiny picture of what life can be like daily and the thought of reliving the emotional side into greater detail is just too much to bare”.
I would like to thank the very brave and courages mummy for sharing just a snippet of her and her son’s journey with me and for allowing me to share it with my readers. If you think your child or even an adult you know may suffer from ADHD you can find more information on NHS Scotland website by following this link https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/symptoms/
There are several support organisations across Scotland and further information can be found here: https://www.scottishadhdcoalition.org/adhd-in-scotland/
My child& ADHD published first on beautyofmychaoticmind.com
If you have a child with ADHD of suffer from the condition yourself I would love to hear your stories and how this has affected you.
Photograph used was taken by myself @beautyofmychaoticmind