I just realized I never posted on this topic. A while back when my FH was diagnosed as ADHD (after him saying that he thinks he may have it, but wasnt sure. And after forcing him to visit with a psychiatrist [he had fears of being labeled a looney....]), and doing intensive research into finding the best psychiatrist possible, and being diagnosed, his family refused to accept that. He told his family because I figured it would help to have supportive people around him. His family would be more understanding, and after all it is his family. Why not tell them. BAD MOVE. His parents and siblings were telling him that all he needs to do was go and speak to the pastor (they are christians). That psychiatrists are just about making money. That they (psychiatrist/ medical doctors) are wrong. That all he needs to do is, "try harder." That in terms of how he views his vulnerability to "always mess up. And always forget" means that he needs to forgive and love himself. They tried really hard. We then decided to cease all talk about ADHD with his family. And I am happy that we did. The difference between medication and no medication is huge!! In some of his therapy sessions he has even worked on how he perceives himself (cognitive therapy).  No amount of "learning to love ones self"could have helped him.  That implies he does not love him ( he does not HATE himself, he HATES being forgetful, and making mistakes- there is a difference). That was on a neurobiological and cognitive level.... He has learnt ways to cope with these issues. I think his family thought they would loose their to blame him for his shortcomings, of no longer having their beloved scapegoat. I am pleased that after they finished crying (yes some members of his family did cry), they realized that he is an adult, and is more than capable of making his own decisions.


It is interesting though, how someone who views life in a positive way, can still be gloomy. Or atleast I find it interesting. FH is the sweetest, I'll-take-the-shirt-off-my-back-and-give-it-to-you, understanding, empathetic person I know. Now he is not as gloomy as prior to his diagnosis. Actually using some of the techniques his dr suggested has actually helped him complete tast prior to the deadline. Baby steps though...  Hopefully one day he does not decide to stop treatment and refuse seeing his doctor.


Let's take this one step at a time...


Hi ADHDFinance,

I just wondered; you said his family are Christians, does that signify that you are not?  I am a Christian; not a religious fanatic; my family are not, and I am definitely considered an outsider.  Further, I have yet to see someone address the circumstance of someone having ADHD (me) and being a resident missionary in a foreign culture.  While there may be a Spiritual aspect to the problems a person with ADHD may have to consider, proper medical help is still vital, as it was in my case.  There are so many layers to the issues I battle against without adding in the fact of living in a culture so different than the one in which I was raised.  

I have been taking counseling and meds since my diagnosis about 4 months ago, and while we are in the USA preparing to return home to Uruguay, I have had to come to terms with the notion that some things about me may not change drastically, but they should become more manageable.  For me, the constant noise and distractions of living in a foreign country proved almost unworkable, and we had to do something, before my marriage completely imploded.  Interestingly, our ministry there was going very well.

I've noticed that many people who are diagnosed later in life (I'm 55) have put their families through hell and as my wife would tell you, we were no exception.  She apparently had less problem adapting to the new culture than I did; her struggle was dealing with me and my actions that were destructive and sabotaging.  I feel badly about the way I perceived things and reacted to them.  I often would disengage and shut down for much of the day, leaving her to have to do the hard work.  Not at all fair, I know.  

The entries on these forums appear to be from people that seem to have trouble dealing with life here in the USA, where we largely know how everything works (or is supposed to) and how to manage those that don't.  Where we live, most things don't work at all the same as they do in the USA, but we have to adapt and manage somehow, and keep going.

The Ritalin im taking seems to be working, and the counselor believes I'll be ready to return home soon.  He's agreed to do distance therapy with me over Skype, when we return home.

I'd say, the diagnosis and subsequent treatment have been the life-saver for us; at least it puts a name on my condition, and I plan to continue with them, until we reach a sustainable level of mental health.  I'm not worried about being labeled a "looney" as I've already done so many irrational things over the years, that any improvement at all will be seen as significant.  I also hate making mistakes and forgetting things, as I've been known for being a "fixer" almost all my life.

Blessings to you, and thank you for letting me share.  We are also taking it "one step at a time."