ADHD and Limited Resources

– Anonymous

This week’s feature article is a letter that was forwarded to CHADD by someone with limited resources who is concerned that his situation is all too common. The writer is corresponding with an AD/HD doctors’ office. In order to maintain the anonymity and privacy of the writer, we have edited the letter.

“I just received your letter outlining your office’s services. When I got the letter I was so excited, but my excitement turned to sadness and disappointment when I got to the part where fees are involved. I’ve been in this same exact spot time and time again where it seems that only those individuals in our society that have money can afford to get the help they need. Those that don’t have money can only hope and hold on for a miracle. I have no money right now, but this is nothing new for me. I have been broke, going from one financial crisis to another my whole entire adult life.””I truly believe ADD has caused most, if not all, of my troubles. I cannot hold a job. I am unable to manage my money. I withdraw and isolate because I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. Some of the words employers have used to describe me are: Disruptive, confrontational, overly talkative, hostile, inappropriate behavior, etc. It’s not that I’m not smart enough, or responsible enough, or that I don’t try hard enough, because I give every ounce of effort and strength that I can find within me to keep a job. I lose jobs because I can’t control my emotions, my conversations or my anger. Ultimately, employers begin to fear for the safety and harmonious relationships with their clients and co-workers, and I am asked to leave.”

“My IQ is probably relatively high. I am outgoing, articulate, friendly, engaging, insightful, intuitive person, and I am generally enjoyable to be around. Most of the time, that is. Since I lose jobs on a regular basis, I am unable to make any plans for my life.”

“A doctor diagnosed me with ADD back in 1994. I did not continue with the treatment at that time, since my life was in a shambles and I did not know which direction to take. Since that time I have continued with the VA, receiving my meds for depression and more or less just trying to hang on. Little has changed until the present time.”

“I have spent 8 years or so in and around AA for an alcohol & drug problem I used to have. I have been in dozens of churches, self-help groups, multi-level marketing companies, different diets, and on and on. I have borrowed money from every member of my family during crises, which tend to happen on a regular basis. I have repeatedly borrowed money from friends, but never the same ones, and sold everything I owned to pay rent and survive. I have built it all back up several times only to lose it all again and again. I don’t know for sure what has kept me from killing myself all these years.”

“About a month ago a friend suggested I look into ADD, so I got on the internet and found a veritable treasure trove of invaluable information. The symptoms and case studies I’ve read are like reading about my life. It’s as if these writers and contributors knew me, but of course they do not. I need help desperately, but I cannot at this point afford it. It seems both ironic and sad to me that in order to get help for ADD, I need to be able to stay employed long enough to save up the money for treatment. And yet without the treatment, I cannot hold a job. If this isn’t a classic case of a ‘Catch 22’ I don’t know what is.”

“To sum it all up, I don’t know what my next step is going to be. I have already joined CHADD and plan to get involved in meetings and online discussion groups in the interim.”

“If you know of any professionals in this field of study and treatment that might be able to work with me for little or no money, please let me know. I have no doubt in my mind that with the right doctor, treatment plan, etc., I can and will someday be a valuable, contributing member of society with a life that anyone could be proud of.”

Editor: We have a place on our web page for low fee or free services for ADHD and we are constantly trying to expand it. If you know of any resources that might be helpful for others in financial stress, please send them to us at [email protected]


Here’s a letter we received from one of our readers in response to this feature article in the May 12, 2001 newsletter.

Dear CHADD Friends,Just a reply to the letter from the person in need. I have a ten year old son with ADHD. The letter was very helpful to me because I sometimes lose patience with him. It helps me as a parent to be more patient when I read what it feels like to be on the other side and have trouble keeping on task and “fitting in”.

Robin Davidson