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ADD/ADHD News

April 15th 2008

How Music Changed Me

From Bullied Schoolgirl to Talented Rapper and DJ
One Young Persons Highly Inspiring Story

I recently received an email from a young person asking me if I would check out her promotional Rap and Video on her site which she was hoping to raise Awareness to ADHD through the medium of Rap Music.

This is a very talented young person who at just aged 21, not only writes and records her own Rap Music and accompanying videos but also does DJ-ing and rave MC-ing as well! An amazing thing to be doing considering all the things that have happened in her life up until now.

Helen (Primo XS) was diagnosed with ADHD only a year ago at the age of 20 but felt that so many things fell into place for her that she went back through a lot of the lyrics she had written and decided to start recording these as her Rap Music along with new lyrics that she was able to write to express her feelings since receiving her diagnosis and since then how she was able to look back over things and understand why a lot of things had happened to her.

She now wants to help to raise awareness to ADHD through the medium of her music and has produced a track which can be listened to along with watching the video she has produced to go with it at :-

www.myspace.com/primoxs

Link to the actual video can be found at :-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkM0pFm8hmk

She is also going on to hopefully produce an ep called 'Need 4 speed' with 5 tracks about how ADHD can affect people who have the condition.

I sent the link to her track to a couple of friends to get some other opinions to it - thing is my knowledge of Rap Music isn't too wonderful - so I hoped that some of my friends who had children and teens may be able to help me out with some comments about the track. Some of the feedback I received was as follows :-

"Well having just listened to it all and as a parent to addults, I think it's very very good and would be proud to be apart of it and try to promote it.

We need these kids to join in and try and fight the system with us now. We've got to the stage now that the kids that were dx'd as rare cases are becoming addults and we have a whole new fight on our hands. We need people like this to help our kids future!! Love T xx"


"my lads have given it the thumbs up and my son has put it on his ring tone. he loves it and thinks its quite cool. he has never had a problem telling people so hes happy this morn.

i think she needs encouraging as well the more young people raise the awarness the better."


I really hope that visitors to adders.org will take the opportunity to visit her site and listen to her music and hopefully pass this on to all their friends and people who they know to help Helen succeed both with getting her music out to many others and in her bid to help raise awareness to ADHD.

I am sure that Helen will be a major inspiration to many, many young people out there to encourage them to use the fantastic talents that they have and to work with these to achieve their own goals in their lives.

I also wish Helen huge success in her chosen career and her awareness bid and thank her very much for letting us all share in her fantastic achievements and success.

I asked Helen if she would send me a bit of background about herself and she very kindly sent me the following as a bit of a biography of herself and her life both before her diagnosis and since - this shows how she came to find how things fitted into place from her past and gave her the courage to want to stand up and go for the career she wanted to pursue and to go forward to help raise awareness to ADHD.

So in her own words Helen explains how she got into Rap and DJing and MC-ing :-



"Hi, thanks for getting back to me and thanks for the positive response. It means alot to me and is much appreciated. It was my mum that kept on getting on at me to e-mail you about the track as like most people with ADHD I dont have alot of self belief and told her people would probably think it wasn't very good!

Heres abit of background info on me for the article!

After a traumatic birth, I wasnt the easiest baby to bring up. I never slept and cried and all the time and as a toddler I was very hyperactive and always on the go but back then there wasnt much awareness of ADHD so my parents just thought it was how I was.

I was always sensed I was different from the other kids through primary and junior school, i was over sensitive and never understood why I was in trouble as I didnt do anything deliberately but somehow I got through.

The hard part was secondary school, by 12 I was still unaware I had any kind of disorder and just thought I was a freak. I saw other kids my age and just didnt feel ready to grow up, I just wanted to run about and be silly but suddenly everyone seemed really mature except me. This lead to bullying, I was easy to wind up and would always react no matter how much everyone told me to ignore it. Sometimes I would even get the blame by the teachers as the other children would turn it on me. The bullying got really bad, I was hit, spat at, called bitchy names by the girls and even the 'geeks' would make comments. I found it really hard making and maintaining friendships and this was when I got into music when I was 12/13. I had friends but there were fallouts most weeks and usually I was at the centre of it, I just couldnt see I was annoying anyone so didnt know when to stop. I carried on doing my music but never really told anyone about it till I was 15 when I started DJ-ing as well. Unfortuneatly this stirred the bullies up even more as back then I was probably the only one at school who was a DJ. The bullying never stopped all the way through school but in the last year or so it didnt get to me as much as I'd gained confidence through music.

However my moods were always up and down, I was angry with everyone, walls would get punched and I gave my parents a hard time but didnt know why so ended up getting more upset and the only way I could express my pain was in my lyrics.

I carried on DJ-ing and got my name around quite a few bars and small clubs in Nottingham, then at about 17 I started concentrating more on my rapping. Looking at lyrics I'd wrote through school and putting them to the beats I made. I never wanted to be a rapper to be 'gangsta' or anything, just saying all my feelings out loud to a slightly aggressive form of music allowed me to let all my pent up anger and frustation out so I carried on doing it, writing whatever was going on in my life or however I was feeling. Sadly not everybody that raps is into the emotional side of and that got me into trouble in my area as word got out about my quickly growing skill.

At 18 I was violently attacked twice. Once by 3 girls I went to school with and I ended up with a broken nose and a broken cheek bone and then 2 months later in a racial attack by 5 girls in another part of Nottingham which is predominately black. I ended up having my head smashed into a fence and suffered a broken nose again aswell as 2 black eyes, a split lip and cuts and bruises everywhere. I was told I was lucky to be alive after all the blows I took to my head and both attacks were because of my music.

I was already on anti depressants before the attacks as I had been suicidal and constantly down in the time following up to what happened so understandably this got worse and I was put onto diazapham but nothing would help and after living with bullying and then being beaten up like that I was just getting worse.

I didnt stop doing my music though and I was recording and doing gigs whenever I could as I just saw it in the way that it gave me more to write about.

I knew something was wrong though and as undiagnosed ADHD often does I could see I was getting worse and maybe abit off the rails. I couldnt keep a job down for longer than a month and was asked to leave college before my course even started. I was getting no help from the doctor and started to think if they dont care why should I. I was getting angry and upset and having blow ups regularly and was signed off work.

I couldnt see any hope and whenever I thought I trusted someone or things were looking up I'd be let down, it was a vicious circle. After losing it several times in pubs and clubs and the venues calling up the police or an ambulance or both I was taken to casualty and referred to the psychiatric department were a month later I was seen and diagnosed with severe ADHD. It didnt come as a surprise as we'd always suspected it and it answered alot. That was a year ago when I was 20, I'm 21 now and on 72mg of Concerta, 10mg of Ritalin, 160mg of Propranolol, sleeping tablets and medication for a recently discovered over active thyroid with the possibility of going back on anti depressants too. I start CBT soon and although I still have a long way to go and alot of issues to deal with, I'm definatley more stable than I was this time last year. Friends and family have commented how much easier to talk to I am now I'm on medication and I've even noticed myself stopping to think before I speak or do something sometimes!

Music has helped me the whole time and I wanted to use my ability to maybe help other people who struggle everyday with the condition.

Thats about it really! Sorry its so long, I go on abit sometimes! My music can be heard at www.myspace.com/primoxs if you want to mention that and theres more info on there as me as an artist and pictures so feel free to use anything if needed. I also do rave MC-ing where I'm known as MC Primo www.myspace.com/mcprimohardcore it might not be to everyones taste but being able to rap that fast has got to be down to my ADHD, plus I'm trying to promote that side of my music abit more too if you could mention that link please!

Thanks again for all the positive feedback, hope I've mentioned everything you might need to know, anything else just ask and i'll be happy to help!

Hope to hear from you soon

Helen"


So I really want to thank Helen for sharing so openly with us all and to wish her huge success in everything she does from this time on.

Sarah-Jayne Bass for adders.org

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