Help! My husband and I BOTH have ADD!

I've just recently come to terms with the fact that I have ADD.  My oldest son was diagnosed with it a few years ago and ever since then, i knew I had it too.  I never had those thoughts confirmed until I started seeing a therapist to deal with my depression.  I had seen a therapist before who diagnosed me with chronic depression and generalized anxiety disorder and I started taking Celexa.  That ended up being changed to Lexapro.  Anyway, after seeing my new therapist for a while, she said I had ADD and we determined the Lexapro wasn't working so had my medicine changed to Wellbutrin because that is proven to work for ADD symptoms. It was a good move, but certainly not a cure all!  I am still in therapy trying to deal with the constant feeling of being overwhelmed.  Somewhere in this time, I realized that my husband has it along with my middle son.  It seems my youngest is the only one not affected, however I am so worried he's just going to learn to live the life of an ADDer.  The problem I'm facing right know is that I'm the only one who seems to be concerned about any of this.  My husband does not help at all!  Even though I try to tell him he has a problem, he just shrugs it off or laughs and makes a joke about it.  He also uses it as an excuse for his behavior citing "his disease" as he puts it.  I can't get him to come to therapy with me, I can't seem to convince him that there has been major problems in our marriage for so long.  I can't seem to convince him that we need help!  I just recently have been reading Dr. Hallowell's book "Delivered from Distraction" and I feel like he has written a story about my life!  In the chapter Living Through The Pain of ADD He posts an email that was sent to him from a desperate woman.  That email is just like me!  The only difference is I am not in an abusive marraige (just a frustrating one)  I don't know how to convince him that this is a serious issue.  I'm not quite sure even if anyone can help me with this.  It's just a relief to actually put this down in writing and send it people  who understand!  Thanks for your time.......

Help! My husband and me both have ADD!

I understand your frustration because I have been there too. Your story is so similar to mine. My husband and I have ADHD, I have been diagnosed and take daily medication. He presently has an appointment to get diagnosed. We have three children, two have ADHD. In fact, we attended a conference, yet again, with my oldest son's middle school teachers this morning. My son has had a rough time this year and was near failing this grade. It was this that helped to get my husband "on board", so to speak.

In the past it was me that pushed to get my oldest son tested and medicated. Which allowed my second son's symptoms to be prevelent enough to have him put on medication. I was the one who brought them to occupational therapy and tried to come up with new and different behavioral modifications. I did all the research and passed it on to my husband. He would either dismiss it or say they are just being lazy.

So as I saw his and my sypmtoms all matching with the boys I began my personal journey to better health maintance. Which has given my a better sense of my strengths and how to not be so overwhelmed. Wellbutrin XL has been a tremendous help for me. Just a side note here, I had maxed out the dosage of it and was begining to slide back into that dark hole depression brings me to. I switched to a new doctor who added a small dose of Lithium to my Wellbutrin XL. Apparently, this has been found to give the boost needed for someone with depression that is no longer responding to antidepressants. What a difference it has made. The negative self talk I let rule me has ceased to exist. When it does come up I can be rational enough to see what reality is and is not.

About a month ago when we thought our son could possible fail this school year my husband's mind opened up. With this new development I did something different. I told my husband that I would do whatever he wanted me to do, anything necessary to help our son. The one stipulation was he, my husband, had to seek out the information and come up with the game plan.

He finally stepped up to the plate! He did some research, is making a spreadsheet chart for behavior modificaton, and came to meetings with the school counselor and teachers. I let him take charge of this. He wants our son to succede just as much as I do. So his motivation came from me giving him a turn. I think it has allowed him ownership in parenting a child(ren) with ADHD.

The fact he has a doctor's appointment came from a little negotiation the two of us had. He wanted something from me and I wanted something from him. I gave him exactly what he wanted with a kind attitude and he made the appointment which is what I wanted. We are both on board and I feel a huge weight lifted.

I wish you and your husband luck and patience with each other. I do know that our marriage and our parenting will continue to be challenged. The best thing we can give each other is a kind understanding attitude when addressing each other about the other's infringing issues upon ourself and others. A little laughter can be beneficial.


Thank you so much for your response! Your situation does sound a lot like mine!  It's nice to hear from someone who has the same challenges.  My husband has actually been "'trying" to take an active interest in the kids latey and I have not reacted positively - I don't know why, maybe I am being resentful of him for just "starting" to get on board now or maybe I am afraid that this interest is going to be very short llived.  this is typical of him.  However, I am going to try what you did and have him take a little control of things. He hasn't come to one of my kids conferences since elementary school.  I just stopped asking him to come when he always seemed to have something better to do - he works from home (which is another HUGE issue)  2 ADD people together all the time is NOT good! 

Anyway, I just got done with an IEP meeting for one son and an "action plan"' for my second son so I don't think there will be any meetings coming up but I am going to try to think of some ways to get him more involved, maybe it might shed some more light on himself!  Thanks

ADD Family

I to was diagnosed later in life (46) and that after my son was diagnosed. I'm currently seeking treatment, but it took me three years from the original diagnosis till today for me to actually go get that help. I had spent my entire life with coping mechanisms and they worked quite well However over time their availability started to wane and eventually disappear at which point anxiety starts to set in and I did seek help. As a man, I know that we don't see the medical world the same way women do. You started regular visits to a Gyno at 12 or 13, Men rarely get an annual checkup before the age of 40 unless they have a specific condition. We grow up being told Act like a Man, Suck it up, and most of us do. And as long as we can muddle our way through, compensate, or cope, we will not go looking for help. Our brains are just not wired for it. However, one of the symptoms of ADD in adults is in the bedroom. If your husband has any troubles there, even minor ones, they are often caused from the fact that as soon as the task gets repetitive (like it or not, some of that task is a very repetitive step!) we can get distracted and loose pleasure. If he ever complains of just loosing it, or being close but not able to "finish" these may well be symptoms. Now the fact is it takes quite a bit of problems for a man to go to the doc seeking help for these afflictions, HOWEVER if he knew that by treating the ADD, he might at the same time fix that problem, maybe it would make him go see the doc. Call it some demented psychology, but if it works, go for it. I know that in my case I had to take the ceiling fan out of the bedroom because the breeze on my back would be enough for me to forget totally what I was doing and wonder if the breeze was coming from the fan or an open window... If the window, then we had to be quiet in case someone heard us climax, and then maybe someone can see us.... and it doesnt take long for those thoughts to kill a mood! Good luck to you and don't get frustrated. He just understands the world in a different way than you do. If you can see it his way, you can start leading him anywhere! :-) RB