Devin: Coping & ADHD
Devin, age 18, was a high school senior who was having a hard time staying focused in school. Devin came from a family where everyone had a mental health illness. Both of his parents had anxiety. His brother had depression and ADHD, and his sister had depression and anxiety.
Everyone in his family did okay, but sometimes things would get hard and kind of hectic. It seemed like there were times when everyone's anxiety, depression, and ADHD all got bad at the same time! When this happened, Devin had an even harder time at school and felt like he couldn't escape! During these hectic times, Devin's coping skill was to skateboard with his friends as much as he could. Devin felt better when he did this, but he knew that it distracted him from school and hurt his grades.
Devin was pretty smart so he could get by in school without studying much. Still, he knew he could do a lot better if he could focus and pay attention in class. Devin's doctors always told him that he had ADHD. They said he would do better with counseling and medication.
Devin avoided treatment because he was scared of what people would think. He thought that people may think differently about him if they learned he had a mental health illness. This is called stigma.
Devin heard bad things about mental health medications from friends. But he wasn't sure if what they said was true. Devin wished he had someone he could talk to who could give him truthful information about ADHD. Devin could've talked to his school social worker or counselor, but he didn't know that he could. Social workers and counselors can teach people how to handle mental health illnesses. They can even help people learn how to handle their family's mental health illnesses.
Devin's Spanish teacher noticed that he was having a tough time. He really liked her and trusted her. When she recommended he talk to a school social worker to improve his study skills, he gave in and said okay.
After talking to the social worker, Devin was relieved. He learned that people with ADHD aren't any less smart than those without it. After getting therapy and ADHD medication, Devin started to do better. He learned tricks to improve his study skills. He also learned how to deal with his hectic family without ditching his homework. He even was able to focus better during class! After treatment, Devin's grades improved, and he even got into the college that he had applied to!