So…my husband has ADHD

So for those of you who read CBG’s blog, you’ve likely read about his recent diagnosis. If you haven’t, take a minute to hop on over and take a peak.

For those of you who haven’t read it and really just don’t want to be bothered (hey, we’re busy people, right?), I’ll cut right to the chase. CBG has been diagnosed by his psychologist with ADHD.

I’ve written before about how since last fall he’s really been struggling with depression. Well, as time wore on, the thing that struck me the most was the fact that despite taking medication, and despite making greater attempts at self-care, he just didn’t seem to be getting that better. I guess what really was happening, now that I think about it, was that as the depression filter lifted, it became apparent that many of his issues and struggles were about something other than depression. We just didn’t know what the problem actually was.

I’m not sure what it was that I read, but one day I fell down the internet rabbit hole and I came across an article on ADHD in adults. As I read through the list of symptoms, I could feel my heart starting to pound. It described CBG almost perfectly. I fired the link off to him and waited to hear what he had to say about it. Not long later he responded…in agreement. He made an appointment with a psychologist and off he went.

After taking a number of tests (and even one that *I* had to fill out about him), she sat us both down last week and confirmed what I was already pretty certain of at that point:ADHD (just without the “H” part, which from what I’ve read, is often the case with adults).

The interesting thing is that after doing a lot of reading about ADHD (specifically how it affects adults in relationships), I’ve realized that this explains so much of why CBG and I clash in the ways that we do. Now, to be fair, we are for the most part a pretty low conflict couple. But the times when we do struggle…well…those times can almost all be explained because of ADHD symptoms. So many things are explained. He isn’t ignoring his share of the chores because he’s “lazy” and “inconsiderate”, he just honestly doesn’t notice the basket of laundry sitting right there in the middle of the living room. He doesn’t forget important things because he doesn’t care…he honestly doesn’t remember them. He’s not crummy with money because he’s “selfish” and “immature”…he struggles with impulse control.

It’s weird…so many things make sense now…suddenly…like a light has been shone on the situation.

The good news here is that we’ve got a diagnosis and so we know what we’re dealing with. Also, the more I read about ADHD, the more I learn how to help him, and the less frustrated I feel. There’s also the fact that there’s help out there for this. These are all really good things.

At this point, there’s honestly only one bad side I can see to all of this. I can basically no longer get pissed at him for anything anymore. After all….he has “a condition”. 😉

Now, I know that life isn’t going to magically get better now that we can put a name to what’s been at play in CBG’s life and in our relationship. But for me, this diagnosis is a positive, because this is something we can not only name, but something we can research and learn about and tame…together.

It’s just another one of those little bumps in the road of life that we all inevitably encounter.

And as I told CBG recently: We’ve got this.

14 Responses

  1. Please show this to CBG as well, Sunshine.

    My father struggled with depression for his whole life – long before “depression” was a thing that people ever got diagnosed with. My childhood was punctuated by his struggles, and like CBG, he tried medications and therapies off and on for years but it never really seemed to help.

    Eventually, he was diagnosed with adult ADD. In his case, it manifests as hyper-focusing and perfectionism, and an inability to prioritize tasks… this means that, for example, he built the home we lived in largely by himself, but it had no baseboards for fifteen years because he couldn’t convince himself that the style he’d chosen was the correct one.

    As a family, it helped us tremendously over time to realize that some of his strange behaviours – like walking out of the room quite literally while we were talking to him, because he’d thought of something that needed his attention – were not necessarily controllable. It did take time for everyone to process it, but it has made him a better husband and father to realize that this just is who he is, and that many facets of ADD can actually be strengths once understood and harnessed.

    Best of luck to both of you, going forward. Happy to chat any time, if you need it.

    • I appreciate you sharing your story, thank you. I get the feeling that the more I read about experiences from others, the more I won’t feel so weird and isolated.

      • I don’t have a very big circle and I know three people – all highly-creative men – who were diagnosed adult ADD late in life. In every case, once they got comfortable with the diagnosis, knowing how their brains function differently has helped them in their work and personal lives.

        I know this will happen for you, too.

      • Thanks, Hannah. 🙂

    • Thanks, Hannah. I feel like the more we all talk about this, the more awareness there will be for others. I feel like there are a lot of misconceptions or assumptions out there about ADHD. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had a few of my own before I started learning more. It’s good to talk about this. 🙂

    • Hummmm, thanks Hannah for posting this comment. This could be a breakthrough for me regarding someone I struggle living (and working) with. Just those few symptoms you listed is spot on!

  2. Hi there. I haven’t commented in forever, but I had to today… This is Carolyn from Leap and the Net Will Appear (remember me? It’s been while)… anyway, my new blog is all about ADHD, because I was also diagnosed when I went to nursing school after my divorce…! If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend Gina Pera’s book (which is for yo more than him)… great read… Anyway, looking forward to read how he handles this. It’s eye opening when you start to “get” what’s been going on all these years!

    • Hey! Yes! I remember you….long time no see. So glad that you decided to pop in and leave a comment. I haven’t read Gina Pera’s book, but will definitely check it out. I’m at the point right now where I’m just trying to gather as much info as I can. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • So…turns out that the book I’m currently reading *IS* the book by Gina Pera! lol I didn’t realize that. I picked it up again last night and discovered it. It’s been a very eye-opening read for me.

  3. […] I’ve been doing a lot of reading about ADHD lately, what with CBG’s diagnosis and […]

  4. […] CBG after his recent diagnosis is a big priority at the moment. It seems like this is taking up a big space in our lives right now. […]

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