Willy's remarkable! ADHD & bipolar recovery story
I received some unexpected news on June 10, 2006 in regard to my fifteen-year-old son William ("Willy") Darman.
Soon after the above, I asked Willy if I could post his story on the net to help other people. His immediate response was "Absolutely". I also asked him if I should try to post his story anonymously, or should I use his name. His immediate response was "Use my name. I will be a witness".
Willy just received four awards at his ninth grade graduation.
The four awards were for Effort in Math, Effort in Global Studies, Effort in Earth Science, and the Principal's Award, which is the most prestigious award given. (Only four kids out of about 200 or so got this award, and each got a large medallion with their name inscribed on the back.)
Willy was never expected to win awards such as these. He was diagnosed at six years old as ADHD. As his father (and a man that knows bipolar disorder extremely well), the diagnosis of ADHD was a misdiagnosis. In my opinion, Willy’s clear bipolar onset was in the winter of 1997, at this same tender age of six years old.
Willy has had to battle though some pretty serious (and often severe) bipolar symptoms throughout his childhood, with all of their psychological ramifications in regard to both his relationships with other persons and his self-esteem. In addition to this, Willy was held back (failed) in third grade.
Willy was on Ritalin for about four and a half years. He actually advocated for himself with both the school and his mother without my intervention and got himself off Ritalin a little less than three years ago. He was able to do this despite still showing substantial learning impairment in regard to his ability to read.
Although Willy still has a serious reading impairment, and he still goes to a special class for this, all of his other classes are “normal”. His grade point average this year for all of his classes is 89.99, just a smidgeon shy of being on the honor roll (90 is the cut off).
[After I wrote this recovery story a few weeks ago, my son Willy did get his report card for the end of this year. Willy did make the honor roll for the first time in his entire school tenure to date. He also got and 89 and a 91 for test results on his two NYS Regents exams this year. From where Willy was academically for years, all this is rather remarkable, to say the very least.]
When Willy was about ten years old and we were taking a walk he said to me "Mom tells me to do one thing and you tell me to do another? "What should I do?" (His mother is allopathic in her medical faith and I, his father, am clearly alternative in mine. However, my ex-wife gained sole custody of our two sons in our divorce and thus I had no input in their health decisions.) I first said, "It's your body Willy, how you deal with this is really up to you"... and then I said "Willy, you are a pretty smart kid... you will figure out the truth of this situation eventually". Willy paused for a second, thinking about what I had said, then he just blurted out "I think Mom is full of s..t".
(I just could not find it in my heart to scold Willy for this swear word, in part due to the fact that he had "hit the nail right on the head" in regard to my ex-wife’s medical beliefs, and in part due to the fact his delivery was so flawless. I had to really work not to laugh, as I did not want to encourage a rift with his mother.)
Unfortunately, Willy then explained to me he was not ready to rock the boat at home yet with his mother and take my suggestions, but that he would let me know when he was. I certainly was very disappointed with this answer. I had been dying to help my son for years, but I knew that I had to let this go for now... and just continue to wait... wait until Willy was ready for what I knew from my bipolar recovery experience would greatly help him to get better.
A little less than two years ago my son made his own choice of switching to alternative medicine. Willy finally said to me "I want to do what you are doing, because I saw how much it helped you". He knew in saying this that it meant we had to sneak all of the supplements that I gave to him into the house. Willy knew upfront that he had to hide this whole thing from his mother, who was adamantly against such a program of nutritional supplementation. He also knew that I could conceivably face court action of some sort if and/or when we got caught.
Willy and I continued to sneak around my ex-wife for about five months, at which time we finally did get caught. This was inevitable, and we both knew this from the start. However, when we did get caught my ex-wife was wise enough to relent. She knew that she could not take Willy's supplements away from him at this point (December of 2004). The supplements that I had given him had just done far too much to help him by then.
Willy went from almost zero supplementation for a number of years prior (often just the tepid Flintstone multi-vitamin that my ex-wife would allow, and often not even this) to "a shotgun approach of very substantial nutritional supplementation" started almost overnight (in July 2004). I simply made up dozens of individual supplements into zip lock baggies for him to take. In addition to this, Willy took other supplements out of various bottles I gave him (or that he bought). He also learned rather quickly how to take various supplements and “make adjustments accordingly”.
This change in broad based essential nutrient intake as a result of supplementation has had an absolutely profound! positive effect on Willy in the past 23 months, both mentally and physically.
Not only has Willy begun to do so much better academically, but he behaves much better as well, both in school and at home. No more angry outbursts right out of the blue from time to time, no more pressured and rapid speech from time to time, and no more moodiness and depression (especially in the winter) as well.
I sure do know as his parent that there were times Willy just could not shut up, the same problem that I had from time to time as a rampant bipolar in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. (I am cured of this, just as Willy is.) I remember taking Willy to Syracuse, NY (about an hour by car) a number of times when he was a child, and despite three or four other people often being in the car, none of us could hardly get a word in edgewise the entire hour. Willy would talk the whole time. He had a great sense of humor and would often make us laugh, but most of the people in the car couldn’t get out fast enough when we got to our destination. All of this kind of ADHD/bipolar type behavior is completely in the past. Willy is normal now.
In regard to his physical health, Willy was a sickly child all through his childhood. He had spontaneous nose bleeding for many of his childhood years, and “easy bruising” as well. When the dentist had to put a filling in one of Willy’s teeth at about 11 years old, his comment was “I don’t know if this filling will take (stick) due to the fact that Willy has very soft teeth”. Twenty-three months ago, at age 13, Willy could hardly bench press 60 lbs. His physique was slim, not to mention he was much shorter than he is now.
Today, as a fifteen year old (16 in Sept.) that is about 5” 6” and weighs 151 lbs., Willy can bench press 250 lbs. (He just broke his old record of 240 lbs.) He also runs for 30 to 45 minutes on a treadmill regularly, and does a host of other exercises as well. Willy has a degree of physical strength that exceeds that of most grown men... he's clearly a lot stronger than I vs. a lot weaker only two years ago. And he is not yet 16, and he has yet to hardly shave.
Incidentally, Willy's physical workouts do not seem that difficult for him. The supplements that he took really helped to give him the energy and the willingness to work out, and his substantial results simply motivated him to continue to do so.
Shotgun nutritional supplementation across the entire essential nutrient range (vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and free form amino acids), along with a number of helpful cofactors, some dietary changes (the few that we could do given the fact that I am a non-custodial parent), some probiotics, digestive enzyme intervention, etc. were one half of Willy's amazing metamorphosis, and his own self discipline was the other half.
Willy is a worker. You don't need to push him to do what has to be done... or push him to help either himself or other persons ever. He does his best at all times. Willy is also caring, considerate, compassionate, polite, respectful, and a good listener. Despite his amazing achievements over these past two years he has no "big head" or "big ego” at all. His is simply one good human being, with an aura of wellness that really shows. (I cannot help but be so proud of him.)
How many children in the U.S., with years of serious behavioral and attention problems in elementary school, a history of almost five years of Ritalin use, failure in school (3rd grade), and the diagnosis of ADHD (which is really bipolar in Willy) can say that they have gotten off all medication, and moved on to win the Principal's Award in ninth grade, won three other academic awards, and made the honor roll as well? (And the school that Willy attends is ranked one of the better school systems in the U.S.)Also, how many kids go from being one of the smaller children in their class with no muscular physique to speak of to almost the strongest child in their class within two years? God, I wish I had pictures.
(Willy tells me that only one other child is stronger than he is with weights in his class, and this kid is over six foot in height and much heavier than my son.)
In addition to this, how many kids go from having serious mood instability and hyperactivity for years, to looking "rock solid well", as Willy does. He has an aura of health and inner contentment that is rather obvious.
And all this simply from a very logical nutritional supplementation regime that seems like only common sense, and a little effort on my son’s part.
The story of my son's change as a result of a proper conceptual approach to ADHD/bipolar is absolutely huge, or so I think. I will be expanding this story and reposting it across the net when I get the chance.
My son is CURED! This is a cure that will only get better and improve over time. But for all ostensible purposes, bipolar disorder and ADHD are all over for him! He knows this, I know this, and the school that Willy goes to knows that something very, very remarkable happened here as well.
This is the power of what I have been trying to tell the world without success for years. I have known for quite some time that I, as an abject layman just fumbling around in the dark, may have found answers that could help millions of persons some day. Based on my experiences in attempting to be heard over the past six years or so, I don’t know whether these answers are going to be heard in my lifetime or not. But don't worry... I will never give up trying... until the day that God says to me that it is over... and that it is time for me to rest and to struggle no more.
Thank You William Darman, for trusting your father when I told you a baggie loaded with about a few dozen individual ingredients, and totaling about sixty capsules or tablets, was "OK" to take all at once two years ago when we first started this stuff...
And Thank You for continuing to listen to my guidance since...
And Thank You for having the work ethic to have made something solid out of the sacrifices that I made to keep you supplied with supplements when I could, and for helping out by chipping in hundreds of dollars of your own hard earned money willingly without any thought of recompense whatsoever when my dough came up a little short...
Son, I sure thank you from the bottom of my heart. Perhaps some day the world may find the wisdom to thank you too... for the amazing recovery from bipolar disorder/ADHD that you worked so steadily at for almost two solid years to achieve in yourself.
Congratulations Willy! You really did what you set out to do two years ago! You cured yourself! And I feel deeply honored to have been a little help.