Post # 1
I guess I’m considering this my first step in what could be a marathon. I think I know where I want to start, but I need advice on how. I’ve been really touched by how helpful this community is here, so I thought I’d come to you.
I’d like to get tested for adult attention deficit disorder. I’ve wanted to for years, but . . . having issues with focusing and following through, well, it hasn’t happened. I have my list of reasons. What it comes down to is, I need to know if this is actually a disorder that I can be treated for. What I need help with is, how to tell my husband.
I’m not 100% positive how he’ll react, but I can hear him saying “What? No. That’s silly. You’re not sick.” I’ve mentioned casually before but I didn’t get much of a reaction. How do I make him see I am serious about this and I’d like his support. I don’t think he knows how much I struggle with it daily. I think if I tried to hide it less he would understand. Is there anyone that has been diagnosed as an adult that can offer some information or experiences that could help me? Like I said, even talking about making an appointment is my first step, so anything you can share is helpful.
Post # 3
Could you say something like “I’m having a really hard time concentrating/focusing/following through at my job and I really want to get it checked out to make sure there isn’t something going on.” If I told my Fiance that, he would be all for me getting checked out. It is YOUR health and if you think you need to be checked, you should be.
Post # 4
Why do you think he’d dismiss your worries? I would just talk to him about it. Like the PP said, mention you’re having trouble focusing. If you’re worried about seeming like you jumped too far, maybe just mention your problems and don’t tell him that you suspect a disorder.
Post # 5
I was diagnosed with ADD when I was about 7, but I haven’t taken any meds for it since I was about 16.
Just getting tested for it is not a big deal. I mean, it’s a process and they do a bunch of tests, but I don’t really see the point in delivering bad news to your husband before you know there’s any bad news. The tests may very well come back negative. I normally don’t advocate going through with something first and then telling your SO later, but I do in this situation.
The reason I say this is because it seems like your husband balks at the idea that you might have adult ADD. I understand if you need support leading up to the testing process. Do you have a friend who could accompany you? One who might be a little more open-minded to the possibility?
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@VineyardBride105: Give him concrete examples of how it affects you and tell him that you want to get it checked so you can get some answers. If he says something about you not being sick, reply to him that something is wrong and you really need his support right now while you find out what is going on. I don’t know why he wouldn’t want you to at least get checked out so you stop worrying about it or you can get help/treatment.
Post # 7
@arsing89: <—- This EXACTLY!
Post # 8
I wouldn’t tell my Fiance until after I got tested for whatever (my health is none of his beeswax until I make it his beeswax!) because he has a tendancy to do the opposite… any health issue I don’t have any answers to makes him immediately nervous.
Why don’t you just take the test and find out before you tell him?
That way if it comes up negative he can’t pull a “I told you so” on you… I feel as if that would put a damper on your motivation to get help.
Post # 9
I’m sorry I can’t really help on experiences, cause I’d have the same reaction you are guessing your husband to have, probably cause of my very limited exposure to this. But what I would need is facts about ADHD. Real medical facts that show a link between it and something tangible, something that can be shown in bloodwork or scans or something, not just a feeling or behavior. Or maybe talk to others with it and who have taken medication shown to help, or even what the medication actually does. I know this doesn’t sound as supportive as you need, but I was hoping to help with how you believe your husband would react and may feel too.
In terms of testing, if you really felt the need for it, I’d jsut go do it. I’ve gone ahead with tons of testing and dianostics that I wanted to do without discussing it first. Unless money and paying for it is a big deal, you really don’t need his ok. It’s your health and body, you dont need his ok to take care of it.
Post # 10
I’ll be honest, I don’t understand why you need his approval to get tested for a medical condition. I don’t ask my fiance for his opinion on getting my annual exam and pap smear, I just tell him I’m going for my checkup. If I’m concerned about something, I tell him I’m going to the doctor and that’s the extent of the discussion. And FYI, he has adult ADD as well. When he made his appointment, all he said was ‘I need to get checked out, I have a doctors appointment this afternoon’. When he was diagnosed, he explained it, and because they prefer to keep him on the minimum effective dose, he asked me to watch for improvement and let him know what I observered. I can honestly say the meds made a HUGE difference. I can have a conversation with him and not jump topics every minute. His boss noticed that his focus was vastly improved, and he’s had multiple raises and bonuses since.
Post # 11
@arsing89: +1 perfect way to start it out.
If he reacts negatively, make sure you have research to back you up. Show him the symptoms, explain to him what you’ve been experiencing. He may not understand you because he doesn’t know what’s going on in your head, so be patient with that and explain it to him as best you can. My boyfriend has had a similar reaction to my anxiety because he can’t understand what’s going on internally when I seem fine outwardly or when my reactions seem extreme given the external circumstances. But after I explained it to him more, he has been very supportive and will do anything to help me out.
I actually wish he would get tested for ADD…he was planning on it last summer but it just never happened. When I read the symptoms it’s basically a list of his personality traits haha! Good luck with this – it’s always hard admitting aloud that there’s a problem regardless of what it is.
Post # 12
I think I’d focus on the ways that you are struggling and the ways you think a diagnosis will help you, in practical, concrete ways.
I was diagnosed with Adult ADD a few years ago and the transformation that I’ve had since starting medication has been unreal. I went from being constantly stressed, anxious, panicked and depressed all the time to being able to do a great job at work, keep up on household chores and really feeling like I had my shit together. My husband tends to think things like depression or ADD are kind of silly, but he has been able to see the positive improvements so he supports me. Would you rather have a cranky, stressed out, forgetful wife or one who comes home feeling calm, accomplished and focused?
Post # 13
hi @VineyardBride! there is a lot of bad publicity surrounding adult add/adhd because people think you just want drugs so you can work harder. i actually went to the psychiatrist for the first time about a year ago. i’d just started a very demanding job and was finding that i couldn’t keep track of my obligations no matter how hard i tried. i’d forget meetings, forget documents that i needed to bring along, the list goes on. i made lists, set cell phone alerts, put things i needed to remember in prominent places by the door–and nothing worked. i felt like my train of thought was cluttered with wisps of thought about a million things, none of them focused enough to actually snap into relief, if that makes sense. i was stressing so much about remembering things and focusing that i didn’t have energy left to actually do the things i was supposed to be focusing on.
now i take a low dose of adderall twice a day. i can’t even tell you how much positive change this has brought into my life. interestingly, most of the positive changes aren’t even related to producing better work product–i’m more efficient at work, but i don’t think any of my supervisors would note a big change. instead, i can actually spend my energy doing the things i need to do. i’ve also become a better listener in conversations (used to get distracted and interrupt) and am a better person to make plans with (used to always be late/get lost).
there was nothing “wrong” with me before. i went to college and grad school and did well. but when i found myself in a really structured environment and needed to pay a new level of attention to detail, i was totally screwed.
on the “science” note, researchers agree that there is a set of symptoms that certain people exhibit. they have grouped these symptoms together as ADD and have found some genetic links. there are sort of tests that psychiatrists can do, but you really should just think about how you think you ADD affects your life and tell your doctor. that’s mostly how diagnosis is done. another thing: if your doctor diagnoses you, gives you meds, and they don’t help, just don’t take them any more! you’re not trapped into taking meds forever just because one doctor said you could try them. this was actually my psychiatrist’s advice–he said that he would start on a super low dose (5-10mg) and see if i felt calmer and more organized or wired and more high strung. people with add typically find that the meds make them feel calmer, while people without add feel wired. you will not be immediately “hooked” and it’s unclear whether the drugs are “addictive” anyway. (they may be habit forming but there aren’t withdrawals.)
look, it’s your life. prescription meds are definitely overprescribed but obviously they also do a lot of good. if you think they would help, you should look into it.
Post # 14
@VineyardBride105: Just tell your doctor how you’ve been feeling, you’ll probably have to fill out a questionaire (like a quiz for ADD lol) and if you seem to be showing signs of ADD your doctor can recommend a psychiatrist. You’ll probably have to do a few sessions before being prescribed anything.
Post # 15
I think that if you are worried about it, you might be causing him to worry about things and get him all worked up for no reason lol!
Post # 16
@arsing89: This is great advice! I might start like this!
@MariContrary: @CakeyP: I definitely want to tell him I’m thinking about going. It’s not that I’m seeking approval, but support and to keep open communication in our relationship. I had some issues a year ago that I tried to take care of before finally coming to him. He told me what he was most hurt that I didn’t come to him right away. I decided I wouldn’t do anything that could be seen as ‘going behind his back’ again. We’re a team now. I’m glad to hear your Fiance is doing well! It gives me hope.
@pinkshoes: Don’t apologize — this was the feedback I needed. Thank you!
@juliana192: It sounds like you’ve felt similarly to me with your anxiety. So, you understand why I think he might dismiss it initially, but I think he’ll come around. I wish there wasn’t the stereotype with these kind of disorders. And yes — the symptom list sounds like my personality description too!
@KatieBklyn: Gosh, your story is how I hope mine turns out! Yes, I do hope this makes life a lot easier if it turns out this is my diagnosis.
@champagnetoast: “there was nothing “wrong” with me before. i went to college and grad school and did well. but when i found myself in a really structured environment and needed to pay a new level of attention to detail, i was totally screwed.”
You took the words right out of my mouth! I’m a very driven person. The first in my family to attend college, move away and start a career. But, I’ve been working for a few years now, and I just feel my brain wanting to shut off all day long. Details, long deadlines or emails, I just glaze over (I had to focus hard to read your paragraph about symptoms and genetics!). I know that adult ADD might not be the answer, but it also might be. How will I know until I check?