Alex is having his first session with a counselor and is recounting his life history:
I’ve just turned 20. I’ve finished high school two years, and I have been lost since then. I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when I was five, and it has been a struggle since then. My mother stayed home to take care of me full time. Through her effort, I thrived. I was in the gifted program from the first grade to high school. I started taking ADHD medications when I was eleven. I quit taking them after I graduated high school. I suffered from severe depression to the point that I attempted to hurt myself three times. The only reason for me living is my mom. She loved me unconditionally, no matter what. I had jobs here and there, but I ended up getting fired. I now live independently, sort of, with my friends. Most of the time, my mom pays for the rent. I have a girlfriend who I get along with, and I think we are pretty solid. I am applying for a job, but I hate being with people. I hate being in school; I think it is a colossal waste of money.
My sister is a nurse. She is my mom’s star kid- accomplished and successful. My only accomplishment is my car- I love working with my car, although it is older than me and it cost a lot of money to fix. I love driving it. I feel free when I am going. I love playing video games. It is a community that never leaves. I feel a great sense of belongingness. There I can be myself when I am playing with my friends. It’s an escape for me -an emotional vacation.
However, I am turning twenty-one soon. The pressure is too high for me to be financially independent. I do not know what to do, where to start, and how to start.
It is the reason why I am here.
- Why might Alex be finding it particularly difficult to find a job?
- Alex regards himself as a lost person. Do you agree? If so, what factors have contributed to this?
- Is there anything in Alex’s story that reminds you of your own experience in your adolescence or emerging adulthood years?
- How do general theories of human growth and development relate to a young person like Alex?
- What effect might Alex’s ADHD have on his development?
- What concepts of human growth and development are relevant here?