Submitted by wnkirp on 07/06/2008.
I am 55 years old and have been recently diagnosed with ADHD (and been doing a fair amount of reading as well). I have also been married for 24 years. Reading the forums has been very interesting because I can see a lot of the rocky times that my wife and I have had in the posts and replies. However, there is one thing that I didn't see mentioned. I was born and raised in the United States. My wife is ethnic Chinese and grew up in Southeast Asia. (She came to the U.S. in her early twenties.) She is very well-educated and smart and her English is fluent (and I can speak her native tongue less well) so there is no "fundamental" language problem. However, I had some problems with depresion about fifteen years ago and I discovered than that there seemed to be some cultural barriers in talking about "mental illness." It was a subject that she was very uncomfortable with and tended to talk about in a very negative way (at least the way that I heard it). I would use the "eyeglasses" analogy with her about the medication that I took for my depression and that didn't do much for her. I haven't talked to her about the ADHD diagnosis yet. My primary care physician - who has seen me for about 25 years - was the person who recommended I get evaluated. She knows about my depression and about the "cultural" communication problems with my wife. And, though I felt a little squemish, I felt comfortable going to get evaluated without telling my wife. But I am now a little worried/confused about whether I should even bring the subject up or just work on things on my own. It can get discouraging to try to communicate with her because her "negative" filters seem to be pretty strong.