What is it Like to Have ADHD?

December 10, 2014

“For as long as I can remember, I was never capable of sboy with ADHDitting in one place for more than a few minutes. I never, ever stayed for an entire minyan. It was impossible. But I felt guilty for running away in the middle and couldn’t understand why I was different from everyone else. I believed in Hashem, so why couldn’t I daven?”


Yitzchak Levin, Director of Achiya, learn that you can, received an anonymous phone call following a newspaper article about the Achiya ADHD Principals’ Conference that took place on November 18. The caller felt that it was important for the people at Achiya to understand what it is like to have ADHD. This is his story – in his own words.


“I was a terrible student, and used to blame myself for not studying enough, for not taking things seriously. I never had friends. I never read books. I was a social outcast. Everyone looked down on me.


“I was already older by the time I got married, and even then, I had difficulty doing a lot of things that other people take for granted. I needed help with filling out even the simplest form! Then, at age 33, a doctor suggested that I try Ritalin. I was scared to take medicine, but I promised the doctor that I’d try it out for one month.


“I took my first pill on Friday. The following morning, Shabbos morning, I sat in shul and actually davened. For the first time in my life I did not leave shul early! From that day, I started to ENJOY learning Torah.


“Have Iovercome my emotional trauma? All the years that everyone laughed at me, and I felt like a failure? Not really. But let’s not discuss that.


“Some people believe that ADHD is nothing more than a modern day invention. But I am proof that the problem existed twenty years ago. Only then, most people were not aware that it was a treatable neurological problem.”