Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Next Step...Squirrel...for my ADHD Hubby

This is an update from the post, "Loving an Adult with A.D.D", back in April. About a month or so ago my husband was officially "tested" for ADD/ADHD. We learned that he has moderate ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Initially the "hyper" part came as a surprise because I would not necessarily describe his physical behavior as hyper. But apparently "hyper" is not always physical, but internal, with how their thoughts are processed and that makes a lot of sense for Adam. His number one complaint is how overwhelmed he feels with all of the thoughts he has running through his mind and he doesn't know what to do with them.

Knowledge feels like power as we slowly begin to understand the impact ADHD has had on my husband's life and in our marriage. It has opened a door for us, for me, to have genuine understanding of how differently we think and process things. It's not been easy and I feel as though we are still only scratching the surface.

So what now? After his "diagnosis" he was given several options. We have put off making a quick decision about the path to take, but it seems the longer we wait the more I see how overwhelmed he can get and how stressful that is for him. Although initially medication was not something he was interested in, if it will help him to focus better and add stability to his emotions then I think he is willing to give it a try.

He has an appointment with our family doctor in October to discuss some options. At that time we will know better who will handle his medical care (GP, neurologist, or psychiatrist) and what medicine(s) he will try.

I am amazed at how adults who live with ADD/ADHD have learned to overcompensate for their ADD "weaknesses". Depending on what they struggle with because of ADD they often have other areas that they are very strong in, as well. These strong areas often "make up for" the areas that are harder for them.

This past summer Adam changed jobs. There were many reasons for the change, but one benefit was definitely a less stressful environment. He previously was in charge of running multiple projects at different locations. Having to keep track of all the details was very stressful for him. Now that his work environment is better we are seeing how stressful home life can be for him. He has said that at work he only has to focus on work, but at home he has to wear multiple hats (Dad, husband, maintenance, etc.) which means different responsibilities to different people. We are still trying to find ways of making this a little easier. I'm not sure we have figured that part out yet.

I'll be sure to share what happens after we visit with the doctor. I'm sure there are many ADD/ADHD adults out there trying to navigate this same path and we hope what we share might help you. Your feedback and experiences can help us, as well, so feel free to comment or send me an email.

(The "squirrel" is a reference to a scene in the movie "Up" when the dog has an apparent ADD moment. It's all in fun!)

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