ADHD Personal Statement

Words: 608
Pages: 3

From an early age, I have witnessed the effects of mental illness on various levels. Specifically, personal experiences with mood disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), addiction and eating disorders have influenced my decision to pursue graduate study in clinical psychology. While my life experiences are not the sole contributors to this decision, they give me a unique insight and empathic understanding of some areas of study and challenges addressed in the field of clinical psychology and beyond.

My stepbrother, George, entered my life when I was 8 years old and he was 5. Soon thereafter, I witnessed the difficult and multifaceted nature of mental illness. Since age 4, George has been medicated with antipsychotics in an effort to quell his emotional outbursts and uncontrollable mood swings. Since I have known him, everyone has tried to figure out the best way to help him, diagnosing him first as bipolar, next as having an unidentified mood disorder, then as having severe cognitive deficits. He has undergone extensive neuropsychological assessment in an effort to discover the etiology of his
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My father has ADHD, and his symptoms are typical of the disorder: He experienced academic difficulties as a child, and exhibits impulsivity and hyperactivity. When I learned about his diagnosis, I wanted to better understand his struggles with the disorder and how they have impacted his productivity and relationships. Through observing him, I have realized that his medication does not always alleviate his symptoms, illustrating that there is not always a simple, one-step approach to mental illness treatment. Thus, my father’s experience with ADHD is a contributing factor to why I want to study clinical psychology in graduate school and to my interest in neurodevelopmental disorders, psychological assessment and clinical