My DH has had a diagnosis of ADHD for a few years now, and I've read Melissa's book and have followed here for a while, but this is my first post. I am at a point where I just feel broken and really scared, and I just can't stop going over this in my head. DH has been on a low dose of ritalin for a year or so, along with a low dose of celexa, all prescribed by our family doctor. It helps some, but we still have a lot of problems and our marriage is on the verge of being over, despite the fact that we really do love each other. The D word comes up pretty regularly, with both of us agreeing that we can't continue to live the way we are now. The issues from his ADHD and my reaction to it just seem insurmountable, there's so much hurt on both sides, and we can't afford counseling. I have been urging him to see a psychiatrist to work on getting on more effective meds and also address co-morbid disorders (depression and anxiety, at a minimum). Well, finally after months of me begging and pleading and lots of false starts on his part, he made it to an appointment with a new psychiatrist this week. After a 45 minute interview with him, she told him that she doesn't think he has ADHD, that his issues are probably coming from his depression and anxiety and are exacerbated by the ritalin, and she recommended that he work with our family doctor to get off the ritalin while she ups his dose of celexa and gives him something called hydrox to relieve his anxiety. He latched on to the "I don't think you have ADHD" part and came home to excitedly tell me that, and I started sobbing.
Please don't get me wrong, I don't want for my DH to have ADHD. If that's really not the problem, then great, let's figure out what is and move forward. But he has textbook symptoms of ADHD. When I read Melissa's book, I found myself highlighting more than I wasn't, because I could relate to SO MUCH of what she described. He has had 7 jobs in about the past 6 years, and he's on his 3rd job just since February of this year. He gets fired because he either speaks impulsively and pisses someone off, or he makes too many mistakes (he's in an industry where mistakes mean money). I handle pretty much ALL of the household responsibilities because he can't be relied on to remember what needs to be done. He leaves clutter everywhere and won't pick up obvious messes - he says he can't "see" them like I can. He gets pretty frequent speeding tickets and he's gotten 3 tickets in about the past 2 years for the exact same thing - running a red light on a right turn because he *literally* doesn't understand what it means to come to a complete stop. He's terrible with money and we've lost a house and declared chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past. He has also had addiction issues, in the past with drugs and now with video games. In fact, before we were even married, I issued an ultimatum - me or the damn video game that consumed all of his time. He still plays a game on his phone, and it takes his time and energy from what he should be focused on (esp. our kids), but it's not as bad as the computer game. I don't like to leave the kids with him (although a lot of times I have no choice) because I worry about their safety due to his lack of attention. I spend all of my time and energy trying to take care of the kids and our household, work a stable full time job so I know we have income and benefits to fall back on in case he loses his job again, and just keep things stable until he plunges us into another crisis of some sort. And now, after the progress we made in getting him to a psychiatrist to talk about meds, she just flippantly throws out an "I don't think you have ADHD and you shouldn't be on ritalin" diagnosis. I feel like we are back at square-freaking-one, and he can't understand why.
After talking with him and trying to explain my feelings (which always make him feel extremely defensive, no matter how gentle I try to be), I'm not sure I feel much better. He is pretty psyched at the idea that he may not have ADHD and that antidepressants may magically fix all these problems (problems which, of course, he failed to mention to her). He has agreed to continue on the ritalin for now. I tried to explain to him that if ritalin doesn't work for him, then my hope is that he will have the psychiatrist acknowledge/recognize the ADHD and work with him to find the right meds. I don't want him to take meds that are making his anxiety worse or hurting him, but I don't for a second believe that he doesn't have ADHD, because I've seen the incredibly terrible impact it's had on our 14-year marriage. I think all he can hear is that I want him to stay on a med that he doesn't need and may be making things worse. The psychiatrist asked him to go for some sort of neurological testing, but DH couldn't explain to me what it was. He says that she explained it to him, but he couldn't remember what she'd said. I'm going to go with him to that appointment (after he makes it, which who knows how long that will be), and he has another appointment with her next month. I have concerns that she is going to decide that I'm just pushing for an ADHD diagnosis with some sort of ulterior motive, but I honestly don't understand how any doctor knowledgeable about ADHD could decide after a 45-minute discussion with A PERSON WHO IS COMPLETELY UNABLE TO SELF EVALUATE that he doesn't have ADHD. I mean, isn't that a hallmark of ADHD? I've read people here saying over and over that their pwADD was in denial, or completely unable to see the issues they had, etc My hope is that I will be able to go and objectively describe to her the behaviors that I see, and that we can move forward from there.
This was more of a vent, really. If you got this far, thanks for "listening." Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated.