ADHD: New Year, New Awareness

January 2, 2013 Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

Happy 2013! Hopefully, the new year will bring many positive things. For me, this new year will bring more awareness. 2012 taught me so much; not only about Bob's ADHD diagnosis, but also about myself.

Lessons Learned in 2012

It has been a year since my son began the ADHD medication, Concerta. I've learned about Bob's reaction to the medication, his misgivings, the benefits and side effects as well as his father's reaction to Bob's evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

Much of what I learned really was more about understanding and adjusting to Bob's ADHD. Finally, I accepted that this was our new reality and I took the steps (albeit without much support) to ensure that Bob was getting everything he needed to succeed. Not only to do well in school, but to have a better quality of life.

It was a struggle to get through the year, especially in the beginning when Bob started taking ADHD medication. He lost about six pounds right away due to the reduced appetite and had difficulty sleeping. Bob also had mixed emotions about his ADHD diagnosis. He felt sad, anxious and worried about having to take medication. I helped him as best as I could, validating his feelings while also helping him realize that ADHD didn't mean there was something wrong with him, but a condition that he has.

I also learned that I am a human being. I put so much pressure on myself to do my very best for Bob and was hard on myself when I didn't do my best. When Bob didn't sleep well or didn't eat well. Or times when I let my frustration get the best of me. I also learned to teach others (like some family members/friends/Bob's father) about ADHD and what it means.

Teaching others about ADHD also helped me to assert myself with the naysayers - the people that feel that ADHD isn't real, but is uncontrolled behavior. Now, the naysayers don't say much. Whatever thoughts they have about Bob, his diagnosis or my decisions to treat his ADHD, I don't hear them anymore. Even better, some naysayers understand. They get that Bob can't control certain behaviors, that he needs medication to help him focus and are more sensitive towards Bob. And that does my heart good.

2012 was a challenging year with many lessons learned. My hope for the new year is to gain even more awareness about Bob's diagnosis as well as to lighten up - both on myself AND Bob. Happy 2013 everyone! May you have much success, prosperity and joy this coming year.


APA Reference
Zalamar, H. (2013, January 2). ADHD: New Year, New Awareness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 12 from

Author: Heiddi Zalamar, LMHC, MA

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