My Story

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum and glad to have found a place where I am among those just like me. I am an ADHD newly diagnosed adult. I am 25 years old and have always been considered "scatterbrained" but I was very smart and had no trouble what so ever in school, college, getting my B.A., Masters degree in OT. I am a very motivated person and I am lucky that my book smart genes compensated for my ADHD. I am married now for 4.5 years and this is why I self-diagnosed myself. I was expecting my second child and was working at my first job, post OT degree. The job was very stressful and I had a lot of anxiety. Turns out I was diagnosed with GAD, peripartum onset. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression as well. These are issues that I struggle with regularly, but when I found myself a very good psychiatrist finally six months ago, I told him my concerns and he confirmed my suspicions that I have ADHD. My father was never diagnosed but definitely has it; my fifteen year old sister is on stratera now- not sure if she ever got an official diagnosis either, my whole family is very smart so many people have told us that we can't have it if we do well in school. This is not true. My oldest sister definitely has ADHD as well. We all have ADHD, inattentive type. So all of my inattention traits of ADHD have really started getting in the way of having a happy marriage. I have been in marriage counseling for two years with no luck. We actually just switched therapists and she suggested that my husband learn more about ADHD so he can understand me. I decided that maybe I should learn about ADHD more as well and see what I can do for myself. I bought four books and one of them was- The ADHD Effect on Marriage by Melissa. I am still in middle of reading it, as I am sure  you can all relate, it is hard to get myself to sit down and read it- but it brought me to this website.

I did have an ephiphany though two days ago while reading the book. The first part of the book discusses different pattterns in ADHD marriages. I read the whole chapter and noticed how many of the things were true for us. As I read though, I began to notice that I took both roles as both the ADHD spouse and the non-ADHD spouse. My husband had ADHD, hyperactive type as a child, and he has dyslexia as well. He in his mind overcame is ADHD and he thinks it is a non-issue. However, as I read the book I had an AHA moment- my husband still had ADHD as a very current and real problem. The entire management of the house, taking care of my two kids, it all falls on me. And he complains to the marriage counselor how he does everything at home, when in fact, I am the one who gets it all done. Now being that I have ADHD, it is really difficult for me, and he gets very upset and he is also a perfectionist, so nothing I ever do is good enough, but to make matters worse, he also had ADHD and does not pitch in at all with chores, does hyperfocus- with reading, "parents" me all the time and micromanages my life, shifts all blame to me, and nags me all the time. Now I am not completely innocent here, and I definitely have resentment towards him for not helping out more at home, but I also have very poor organizational and time management skills which makes taking care of the house very hard for me. So why am I writing this all in here? I want to share my story and keep everyone updated on my progress. I feel like just finding this website and learning more about ADHD and how I can best manage everything is progress already. I am going to see the marriage counselor this Thursday to tell him about my husband and his ADHD and its impact on our marriage and I will see what happens.

 

I was just wondering if I was the only one who had this problem- I kinda got the worst of both worlds. Not only do I have ADHD, but I am married to ADHD who is in denial, has distorted view of reality, and treats me like I do everything wrong...

 

Anyhow, I am glad to be on the road to recovery...

Also how long does medication take to work???

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

Welcome

Hello. You certainly have a lot going on. I'm sorry you have to deal with all of it. I am the non so can relate to much of what you've said; hypercritical, perfectionist, nothing ever being good enough, constant complaining, minimal help, etc.  Meds can help a lot but it can take years to get the mix right. Chances are the perfectionism comes from anxiety after a lifetime of criticism. Nothing being good enough is the insatiable thing or depression. Treatment is usually more than just meds so you might want to consider individual therapy as well, or a coach. These bad habits took a lifetime to develop so changing them also takes time. 

So much about a relationship's success is learning to let go of anger and resentment over behavior resulting from brain conditions. It's not personal. Feels like it is, but it's not. Also it's about eliminating the shoulds from your analysis. Unhappiness stems from unmet expectations, so we need to adjust our expectations to the realities of the brains we have. Leverage the strengths, mitigate the weaknesses, assign roles based on strengths, hire a housekeeper if possible. And remember to treat one another the way you want to be treated.

Best wishes.

Thanks!

You are completely right. I expected my husband to read my mind and know what I want and to be emotionally supportive and I spent my whole marriage in dissapointment. I am changing my expectations of what I want from him and I do find that I am happier. I can be the person who pats myself on the back, be it by buying something nice or just telling myself "YAY! You did it!" I will definitely hire more househelp, that is what is badly needed...

That comment about nothing being good enough is very true about my husband- he's the one who thinks this of me... but he very well may be depressed. I think he is narcissistic though

Hi! I'm right there with you,

Hi!

I'm right there with you, very similar to your situation. I have 4 kids, working on my BA (just 3 more quarters!) and both my husband and I have ADHD. He's definitely inattentive type, though, I'm the hyperactive one. My hyperactivity manifests as cognitive anxiety though, i can't ever stop thinking or stop doing 100 things at once.

I wasn't diagnosed until a few years ago because, like you, I always did pretty good in school. I'm smart enough that I could do tests/etc easily without studying, and I could always bust out a project in the wee hours of the night and get it finished. I was diagnosed with anxiety, though, in 7th grade (which looking back now I realize was really an overactive mind, as I never had the physical symptoms of anxiety), and was put on Effexor my whole adolescence. I think it helped enough to mask some of the other symptoms of ADHD. My younger brother has severe ADHD and my mom was also diagnosed in the last 10 years as well, so after that I got evaluated and confirmed it, though I pretty much already knew after living with my ADHD husband and having read enough about it to realize why I'd struggled with things for so long and in the areas I have issues in. 

I think for women the ADHD stuff can really become apparent when it comes to being a mom and running a household. My husband comes from a VERY traditional home, his mom did all the cooking/cleaning/etc and kept a spotless house. I don't think even without 4 kids and ADHD that I would keep a perfect house, it's just not in my nature to be fussy about that stuff, but throw in keeping track of 4 kids and having no concept of time management/organizational skills, it's almost a lost cause. I manage to keep things together by sheer determination at times, because it's worth it to me to TRY and keep a semi-organized home for my kids, even though I fail at times.

Like your husband, mine doesn't help out much at home. He works full time (thankfully), and seems to think that he really doesn't need to do much else. He will SAY that he will help or thinks he probably should pitch in, but it never really happens. 

Are you on medication? I have been on Vyvanse for going on 2 years now, I've found that it helped tremendously with the organization and stemming of the overwhelm feeling that I get when I try to approach cleaning or getting things in the house done. When I try to do any of that without having taken my meds it's 10x harder.

Anyway, just wanted to say welcome, I just joined here as well, so hopefully we can support eachother since we have such similar situations! 

Thanks for the support :)

Wow! I am awed! a mom of 4! I am so overwhelmed by my two but I am glad to know that other ADDers can do it too! Your comment was VERY helpful. I am currently on Adderall XR 20 MG, plus I take a 5mg regular tab at 3PM and I also started taking 2.5 MG tab regular in the AM. Not working at all so far- just side effects, loss of appetite, which I don't mind because I never did lose my baby weight, dry mouth, bitter taste in my mouth, and the past week I have terrible insomnia which I had for a while with my anxiety but it got resolved pretty much once I was put on zoloft and lamictal for my mood stuff.

My doctor did initially reccomend Vyvanse, and I think we were going to try it but it was very expensive as there is no generic. I initally thought that I had marriage problems, and by the way, I have ADHD. I realize now that most of my marriage problems are because of my ADHD so I don't care how much it costs, I want a drug that will help... I have an appointment with my psychiatrist next week and will definitely discuss vyvanse again.

Also, my husband came from the same type of home- his mom does everything at home... I also am not fussy about having a perfectly neat home, but he has such high expectations which I having to learn to ignore, try my best, and radically accept that this is what I am capable of right now, and everything I can not do myself I am trying to get outside help for. I have two hours of cleaning help so far and I am trying to get myself some more.

Thanks again :)

Yeah, the Vyvanse isn't

Yeah, the Vyvanse isn't cheap. I have found that it is a lot smoother than the XR or IR Adderall, though. you don't have the intense up/down. I Take 60mg total, 30 in the morning, and 30 in the afternoon. I've never had any sleep problems with it, I actually feel like I sleep BETTER now.  If you're not getting a good result with the XR you might want to try going up on the dosage, though, 20 is pretty low for the whole day, so you might want to try that before going to the Vyvanse. My husband works a state job, so we have good pharmacy benefits.. there's no way we could afford our medications otherwise.

Good for you for getting some cleaning help! We had someone coming every 2 weeks for awhile, but when I quit working we really couldn't afford it. We're in the middle of buying a new house, but I told my husband that when we move I want to hire someone again. It was so much easier and less stressful. I can manage the day to day pickup, but I never manage to get around to the cleaning/deep cleaning part.

Congrats on getting your MA, by the way. I want to continue on and get mine eventually. I'm worried about the transition from undergraduate to graduate school, though. I have a hard enough time now finding time to do school work, I'm worried that going up a level to a Masters may be too much. With school did you struggle a lot on the organization of projects? That seems to be my biggest problem. I can write till my fingers fall off.. if my brain gets going I can hardly type fast enough.. but looking at big projects paralyze me. My capstone for my BA is coming up and I'm terrified about how to organize that and put all the pieces together. What did you do for big projects/research stuff?