Resources in Germany?

Hi.  I'm married to a 30 year old man who has been diagnosed with depression and ADD.  We live in Germany; he's a German citizen and I'm from the U.S.  We've known each other three years and been married for two, and we have a really strong relationship, though of course the ADD makes things interesting at times.

 

Because adult ADD is pretty widely recognized and treated in the U.S., I was really appalled to find out that Germany simply doesn't recognize its existence.  This means that the condition is neither diagnosed nor treated officially within the (otherwise remarkably good) state health care system.  There are a few psychologists who recognize and diagnose the condition "under the table", but there isn't much one can do with the diagnosis except try medication under the cover of some other illness (like, for instance, depression, from which my husband actually suffers.)  His psychologist (who diagnosed and believes in the condition) referred him to a psychiatrist (who seems dubious), but she did put him on 60 mg of Cymbalta (duloxetine) daily, and that has made an incredible improvement in his ability to concentrate, and in his overall happiness level over the last year.  But he still feels there's a lot more room for improvement.

 

What would be really, really helpful would be if we could find a psychiatrist in Germany (preferably in Berlin) who is involved in treatment and research about adult ADD. So I'm wondeing if anyone has any German contacts.  My husband is equally fluent in German, English and Russian, so a practitioner who operated in any of those languages would be fine.

 

My husband is extremely high-functioning, a brilliant computer programmer and project manager at work, but at home he has many of the same problems that so many people with ADD face -- inability to organize himself, inability to remember conversations even we if had them yesterday, incredibly distractibility, periodic hypersensititivity to sound and touch, moments of pahic when he can't find obvious anwers, instantaneous flip-flops between being very argumentative and very loving, low self-esteem, and so on. But we work very well as a couple and most of it is manageable.  We just both see a lot of room for growth, especially if he can find an appropriate therapist/psychiatrist.  So, any suggestions are welcome.

 

Kay

Hi Kay, only just seen your

Hi Kay, only just seen your post. I, too, am an adult with ADHD, and I will be getting back to you a.s.a.p. with some details about where to find help in Germany. I'm married and have 4 kids, two of whom are definitely ADD (one of them also with H!), and the youngest may or may not have it he's only 4, so a bit young for diagnosis).

My wife founded a support group for parents of AD(H)D children a year ago, as we live in a rural area (near Kassel, North Hesse) with virtually no specialist doctors or therapists; we can confirm your impression that Germany is still a long way behind the US and the UK (my home country) when it comes to recognising, and let alone treating, ADHD.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! 

There is a national association, ADHS Deutschland e.V., you can visit them on www.adhs-deutschland.de

If you want to get in touch with us as fellow-sufferers, our e-mail address is [email protected], which is the support goup's address.

Best regards Stephen

Re

Hi, as already mentioned "ADHS-Deutschland" is a great organization in order to receive lists of experts, books, to find support groups etc. Depending on the region or place you are living in there are various other options: #1 "ADHS-Zentren" in psychiatric hospitals like in Mannheim, Munich or Nuremberg are one option. The doctors are experts and are concious of the problems and comorbidities of thier patients - If you talk to them they might offer you certain sollutions to your problems and needs. #2 Support-groups (Selbsthilfegruppen): If you are in a public health insurance like AOK, BKK etc. you should have a look at their websites. Very often they provide you with informations e.g. about the nearest support-group etc. Private insurances like Central etc. offer the same service. #3 Coaches: Get yourself a personal coach helping you in your daily business. But be carefull because many of them are less professional and may try to spread certain ideologies etc. #4 Books: Although books about ADHD (especially in German) are often lacking of new information and strategies there are very good ones. Again have a look at the book section at "ADHS-Deutschland". Perhaps compare the comments mentionend on the website with those at Amazon etc. From my personal point of view you should invest at least 15€ in order to receive a book worth reading. Cheaper ones are mainly crap - but there might be exceptions. #5 Psychologists: Again I have to stress that Germans lack in professional skills with regard to ADHD - but there are at least 15 experts spread all over Germany that are great in their profession and knowledge. I guess I don't have to mention that it takes some time in order to get an appointment with them. But you should be patient. In Essen and Frankfurt/Main for instance there are psychologists who are specialized on ADHD and problems in relationships. There is also an expert for sexuality and relationships. So try to get a list of "real" ADHD experts in your region. #6 Forums: www.adhs-anderswelt.de is a German forum about ADHD. I personally do not like it because it is less professional, the people are somehow unfriendly and this more or less makes this forum to a kind of kiddy and hillbilly place - but it's up to you so just have a look. I hope all these information will help you to deal with ADHD. Next time you should mention your place of living. This might help you to find more specific answers... All right, have a nice day ;-) Nils from Cologne.