What do teenagers think about ADHD? Caitlin, a former Woodburn Pediatric patient who was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 13, wrote this letter about her experience with ADHD. The following has been shared with the permission of Caitlin and her family:

What Happens That I Don’t Like Off Of Meds and Other Things

  1. I get obnoxious, loud, rude and hurtful towards others
  2. I get really, really distracted easily
  3. I do a lot of “half projects”
  4. I get so distracted that I do a million “half projects” and never get back to them unless my mom or someone else helps me
  5. It really, really bugs me when I do that
  6. I hate it when I get mean
  7. It doesn’t help my friendships
  8. Or my family life
  9. I over-eat a lot
  10. Most of the time for comfort or “just because”
  11. And I hate it when I do that, ‘cause then I gain weight
  12. And I really hate it when that happens
  13. ‘Cause then my jeans don’t fit and are uncomfortable
  14. I get really cranky and mean
  15. And I tend to pick fights
  16. Which gets everyone around me upset and/or mad
  17. I get really hyper
  18. And shoot off my mouth
  19. Resulting in more fights
  20. And my siblings “hating” me
  21. I get really moody-ish and impulsive
  22. I don’t like how my meds are working anymore
  23. I think they’re making me sick in more than one way
  24. I seem to have really bad mood swings lately
  25. And they’re really annoying
  26. My mom says I’ve been saying “annoying” a lot lately
  27. I have been really depressed lately for some reason
  28. And a lot of things make me randomly cry
  29. Like a sad song on the radio or something
  30. My family doesn’t help with that problem though…
  31. Most of the time I get really depressed when I get yelled at
  32. And I don’t like being yelled at
  33. My mom has no patience with my moodiness or other things
  34. Resulting in getting depressed
  35. I get upset easily
  36. At stupid things too
  37. And that bugs me
  38. People at school make me so mad that I want to hurt someone sometimes
  39. But not as often as I used to
  40. Easy school work, such as math, tends to overwhelm me and that is really frustrating when you’re put into faster paced classes
  41. I don’t think I should be in them
  42. I feel and think I look really fat
  43. But I don’t think my mom complaining about herself all the time helps with that either…
  44. My mom upsets me a lot lately…
  45. And that kind bugs me too, ‘cause we used to be like best friends or something…
  46. I feel as if something is always wrong with me, and I really want that to change

I just don’t like the way I act, feel, and just am right now…I want to be better

Diagnosing and treating ADD/ADHD can be difficult for teenagers, but writing or journaling can be a positive way help process feelings and identify symptoms. Caitlin’s ADHD medication was changed shortly after she wrote this. By working closely with Catlin and her parents, the staff at Woodburn Pediatric Clinic was able to track Caitlin’s symptoms, prescribe the correct medication, and use various other methods to manage her symptoms of ADHD. Caitlin is now a college student and has been able to successfully manage her ADHD for many years.

For more information about diagnosing or treating ADHD, or to help your teenager manage their symptoms, contact Woodburn Pediatric Clinic. We will work with you to find the correct medication and additionally provide resources to help treat ADD/ADHD symptoms through proper diet, exercise, sleep, and more.