No insurance, is there any help out there?

I am a sixty-year-old non-ADHD female who has been married almost thirty years to an ADHD man.  This was my second marriage and his first. He was diagnosed with ADHD and Social Anxiety disorder about four years ago.  A Therapist made this diagnosis, as we were unable to see a Psychiatrist who we could afford. As a result, he has never been prescribing any medication for his ADHD or his Anxiety disorder. We have never had medical insurance during our married life because of our lack of employment opportunities. (ie.  Education!)Is there anywhere we can obtain help other than Gov. or state assistance?
  I would love to tell you “our” story but quite truthfully, I am totally exhausted just thinking about it. All I can say is “ditto” to unemployment, under-employment, forgetfulness, uncompleted chores, my feelings of resentment and the weight of all the responsibilities only shoulders….well you all know the list.  Would like some ideas if anyone has them.

We eventually solved the "no insurance" problem

Passing on some information that someone else here gave me for what it's worth.....

Most major pharmaceutical companies have some kind of patient assistance program. You will hear them at the ends of drug commercials, like "If you can't afford your medication [company name] may be able to help." I was able to find the one for the Concerta my husband takes online pretty easily and downloaded a 4-page application. (You just google the drug.)  When I talked to them on the phone, they said, based on us both being on unemployment, that he qualified to get his meds for free. We have to take the form to get one page filled out by his doctor. (We are doing that tomorrow.)

Where this may fall apart for you is that he doesn't have a prescription or a psychiatrist to prescribe meds. We were able to find assistance for my husband's depression through the county mental health agency. Visits were, I think, free, and he paid $1 each month for a prescription for an anti-depressant. They don't treat adult ADD, though, because the drugs have street value.

For ADD treatment, we went to the Psychology Clinic at our local university. Therapy is by students, but they have a real psychiatrist who meets patients one afternoon a week and writes prescriptions. They charge on a sliding-fee scale.  Family doctors will often write prescriptions for ADD meds as well, if someone competent to make the diagnosis has done so.

It sounds rather daunting, I know. I couldn't find these resources for him at first, and we ended up paying full price for a psychiatrist and his meds for a long time. I was working 2 jobs at the time but he wasn't working. I thought of it as an investment. If I spent the money on the meds he needed, he'd go back to work. That proved to be true. Unfortunately, I'm now dealing with the fallout of losing that job, but we had 3 pretty tolerable years where he had insurance. [The co-pays for the doctor and the meds caused it to still be pretty expensive.]

I have been where you are. It is so frustrating to know you need something and you can't get it. I likened it to being really hungry and looking in the bakery window at all the food you couldn't have. But there are some resources out there, depending on where you live. Good luck with it.


no insurance

Thanks Sueann!  I will look into that right away.  I have made an appointment with a county clinic in July and hope he can be ref. to a psychiatrist.  Hope we find one who will work on a sliding scale.  It's so hard without insurance.  I guess if nothing works out with the clinic we will have to go to public assist.  I hate to do that, just never thought we would every be this down and out....he held a job for 17 years and then was let go three years ago.  He's not lazy, it just so darn hard for anyone to find a job now days!  Thanks again for your info.


I know that feeling

My husband lost his job 4 weeks ago. I can't get him to seriously look for another. It is really hard for older workers to find new jobs. Everyone has to be 25 years with 10 years experience doing the exact same job.

that feeling

I'm sorry your husband lost his job Sueann.  I know it's so scary now days and like you said it harder for older folks to find employment.  It's too bad we didn't know about ADHD 40/50 years ago...maybe the outcome for our men would have been a little different! Take care.

The funny thing is he has a degree in psychology

He says now he went into psychology because he wanted to understand himself. But in the 1980s, they thought ADD was a problem of young boys and they would outgrow it. I wish!

What really sucks is that we are a couple where neither one is working. I lost my job because of age discrimination (they let all the long-time employees who had gotten raises go) and I went back to school. But I can't find a job with my new degree because I don't have any experience doing that job. Even for trainee positions, I'm competing with people with experience because they've been downsized. I can't blame them. Would you prefer to hire someone who had done the job before or would you want someone who just had "book knowledge"?

I agree with you about our ADD spouses lives being different if they had been treated when they were young. Bad habits and defensiveness would not have developed to the extent they have. They would have a track record of success and not failure.

A degree?!

I am very impressed with the education your husband has managed to get despite the ADHD!  My husband and I only graduated from HS! He tried to go to collage but dropped out his first year, I dropped out to get married to husb. #1.   Ugg, what a mistake!  He gets by with odd jobs and day work now days.  It's hard but he never has been afraid of hard labor.  It just seems such a shame to work for so little money.  At least our home is paid for and so are our vehicles.  I'm not ashamed to take credit for that!  If I hadn't put "our" noses to the grind stone it would never have been done.  I keep a close eye on finances, he has his spending money but about it. lol

I have also delt with the defensiveness and just don't have time for it anymore.  He'll pout for a while but usualy gets over it quickly.  I know I have the reputation of a snarling bear with some of his friends but I don't care.  They don't live with it and most don't understand ADHD.  Sometimes it's the only way I CAN get his attention.  Guess I'm just burned out dealing with this for so long :)  I have noticed that when he gets a wild hair to make home improvements I have to leave the house.  Just watching him fussing trying to fix or build things stresses me out to the point of being sick.  Crazy huh?  I never know what I'll come home to.  Sometimes if he can hyper focus on a project he can do a pretty good job. I really need to learn to deal with him differently I guess.  Old habits are so hard to break arn't they.  Well, hang in there Sueann!  I'll be sending good thoughts your way!

He had awful grades in high school

His mother had him work for a year. He was a janitor. That convinced him he needed to go to college.

When he went to college, he had to pay for it himself. Since he was so "invested" in it, he did a much better job in college than he did in high school. He had to go to community college (with his high school grades, he'd never have gotten into university) but did well there. That meant he never got lost in the 500-student "lecture" classes that universities have for freshmen. I highly recommend it for ADD students who want to advance their education. (Of course, I didn't know him then but that's what he's told me.)

I don't have ADD, completed college in 3 years and got a 3.8 GPA when I went back and got a paralegal degree recently at the age of 57. I love school, it's the real world I have a problem with.

mon's and sons

Do you know if any of your husbands family members have ADHD?  I'm almost sure my mother-in-law has ADHD along along with anxiety disorders . Never treated though.  His father drank and his two sisters both have had addiction problems.   In fact both sides of his family have had "problems" for many generations back.  Genealogly is a hobby of mine and it was interesting trying to trace all the "quirks" his family had.  And they had some doozys!  My friends would say " your husband is the only normal one out of his family".  Yeah, I used to think that too...for about year after our marriage!  But I could always justify some of the things that he did to the way he was raised and the home enviroment.  Now I know that's not the case.  I think his ADHD has gotten worse as he get older.  Yikes!  I just thank God we didn't have children together.  I have one daughter by my first marriage and she is doing great.  It was hard growing up with this ADHD spector hanging over our heads and I feel bad about that.  My husband cared about her but had a hard time showing her how much he cared.  Heck, he hardly had time for me!  Well I guess I should stop complaining and be could be worse I guess.

God help me if it gets worse!

He admits that he lost his job because of uncontrolled ADD symptoms. I said, I knew you weren't doing all you could for your ADD and I tried to find help for you but you wouldn't co-operate. I ask him what he's going to do to control it better now and he just shrugs. He's only 49, he has another 17 years to work under the current Social Security laws.

We think his dad had ADD. No way to really find out (he's dead) but he seemed to have all the symptoms. I suspect his mother as well, although she was much more professionally successful than his dad. Maybe it's just senility.

On a brighter note, I did manage to get him into a free-drug program from Johnson & Johnson (who make Concerta). At least he won't have to try to manage his symptoms without meds.



Yeah!! for the Drug plan!  I'm glad you found help.  I'm going to ck Johnson and Johnson out today.  My hubby has a job interview next Tues.  I hope he can make it through the interview.  He has an appointment to see a MD on the 26th.  Wish it was sooner but at least it's a start. He has got to get something to help because he's driving me crazy.  : )

Mine had an interview Wednesday

He felt pretty positive about it, but people with ADD are notoriously poor judges of other people's reactions. They interviewed him the day after he sent the resume, so that's encouraging.

I have one on Tuesday, too. Not a job in my field but it does sound interesting.

People's reactions

That's great news for both of you!  Wishing you luck on Tuesday.  I have noticed that my husband can't "read" people well either.  There have been so many times he has misread a person's meaning or situation and it ended up in embarrassment  (both of us).  He's excited about the interview and is already talking about buying a new truck when he gets the job.  I don't know if he understands why I'm not as enthused as he is.  I have to remind him that it won't happen until he GETS the job!  Sometimes I feel like I'm talking to a 12 year old.  Do ADDer ever grow up?

Good news...Bad news!

The good news is my hubby has got a job with limited insurance.  The bad news is his MD doesn't "believe in ADHD/ADD in adults" and won't prescribe any medication for him.  She insistes he is "only"suffering from depression and upped his Zoloft dose.  I went with him to the visit and just about fell off my chair when she said she not sure if children really have ADHA and if they do they grow out of it by adulthood.  I told her that is was much more than just depression and she just smiled and shook her head!   I want him to change Dr's!   If he had gone alone to that appt and came home and told me the result I'm sure I would have thought he had missed something in the conversation (again).  He was looking forward to trying meds.  Guess it's back to the drawing board again......I am so disapointed and so is he! I keep telling myself that Dr.'s are people too....some are caring, wonderful, smart and want to work with you.....and some are not!

That sucks!

Was this a general practitioner or a psychiatrist? She is dead wrong. How could so many of us be facing such similar problems if there is no such disorder as ADHD? It is in the DSM IV (the primary reference guide for psychologists and psychiatrists).

Is he open to going to someone else, if he is willing to try meds? Some ADDers like doing research to find information, like doctors. Some avoid it like the plague. If he's one of those, can you try to find someone for him? (Not ideal, of course, but better than not getting it done)? When I wanted to find a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, I found some I wanted him to work with but they wouldn't let me make appointments and my husband was so hyperfocused on his job he wouldn't take time during the workday to call. Now he has all the time in the world during the day but not the money to pay for it.

I can't believe there are such ignorant doctors in the 21st century.