I can't believe I'm sitting here writing this on NYE but after a very difficult festive period with my partner, I'm really needing some support and advice from others who know what it's like!
I have been with my partner for 3 years now. We live together and have for quite some time now been clear that we want to build a life together and make further deeper commitments such as buying a place together, getting married and hopefully having children.
When I first met my partner, he was honest about having had a difficult life so far - various different jobs; the fact that he has never managed to establish a career for himself; the fact that he feels that he has a number of "failed" relationships in his past; and that he has struggled with low self-esteem and depressive periods throughout. Part of me found this really scary and overwhelming but we connected really deeply and loved being together and so I continued in the relationship.
It soon became apparent that he felt really dissatisifed professionally and that this was having a lasting impact on his self-esteem and mood. So I supported him to figure out what he wanted to do long-term and he did an excellent training course and now has a good job which promises lots of potential for the future.
I thought this was going to be the last piece of the puzzle but I was so wrong!
He has now been in this job for a bit over a year. He enjoys it but the more he naturally has to take on the more stressed he has become. He says that this is because he can't concentrate and focus enough to get everything done and so he gets really anxious about and overwhelmed by it. The result is tht it regularly feels as though he's about to burnout. He has little to no energy to do anything outside of work, whether by himself or with me, and often spends a lot of the weekend sleeping as he says he is so exhausted from the stress and the energy expended concentrating at work and stressing about how it.
In addition - he often forgets our plans; almost never makes plans for us himself (I always suggest things and organise them); forgets to book gym classes or appointments; is constantly "sucked in" to the computer for hours - either online, games or researching work stuff he feels behind on; and struggles to commit to or start any non-work activities or projects he is interested in.
The result of all this is him feeling completely exhausted and crap about himself most of the time and me feeing powerless, sad, often lonely and lately, unsure about the future of the relationship.
My partner has sought out mental health support several times in the past. He has always been treated for anxiety and depression and this has had little effect. Fortunately, the last time he sought mental health support he was lucky enough to be under the care of a nurse who was savvy enough to refer him for an ADHD assessment. As I'm sure you've guessed by now, he was indeed diagnosed with ADHD! The psychiatrist told him that he is in "no doubt whatsoever" that my partner absolutely has ADHD, to the extent that he had almost concluded this before speaking with my partner's mother for information about his childhood (when he was diagnosed with ADHD but nothing was done about it but that's another post entirely....!)
Unfortunately, it's not been straight forward from there! First of all, between his last assessment appointment and his diagnosis appointment we moved home. As we live in the UK and he is under the care of the public NHS, this meant that the psychiatrist that diagnosed him was unable to start him on treatment as he was no longer under the care of that team due to our new geographical location. This meant that he had to wait a number of months to be transferred to a psychiatrist in our new area. When he eventually saw this new psychiatrist, he decided that he wanted to put my partner on a mood stabilizer first before introducing a stimulant, because of my partner's history with low mood.. As this is the NHS (which I love of course but obviously moves at a glacial speed compared to private healthcare), it has been 4-6 months between all of his psychiatry appointments and as such, it has taken ages to get to the point where he is close to being prescribed stimulant medication. We hope that this will happen in the next 3 months as all of the same symptoms and difficulties are still very much present.
With all that said - what I'm looking for here is maybe some hope?! Encouragement?! It's been so hard recently - not just because he feels so awful but also because his lack of stability has made both of us feel that our more long term commitments need to be put on pause until things settle - something which has been a necessary but still upsetting realisation to accept. I have been *devouring* everything on the interwebs about ADHD and I have read many things about how effective medication can be. But I'm so fearful of believing in that for fear of being let down. I know that medication isn't the whole solution and so does my partner (he has just contacted an adhd coach for a consutltation) but can anyone give me any hope about the different medication might make to his work? To giving him space to think? Enjoy life outside of work?
Thank you ether-friends, and Happy 2019 when it arrives! xx