Convincing My Husband That ADHD Exists


Taking ADD medication helps me get organized at home. My husband doesn’t believe there is such a thing as ADHD, and thinks I should stop taking the medication because it might hurt my health. How do I balance his needs with my own?

Melissa Orlov, a frequent ADDitude contributor with Dr. Ned Hallowell, writes about ADHD and marriage and offers relationship advice to adults with ADD.

You, not your husband, should decide what goes into your body. He may not understand attention deficit disorder (ADHD), but you do — and you know that medication reduces your symptoms.

Reassure him that common ADD medications, like methylphenidate (Ritalin), have been around since the 1930s. The side effects are well known and, according to many doctors, after years of research, less harmful than those of aspirin.

Remind your husband that there is a side effect to not taking medication — unrelieved ADD symptoms that interfere with your life. Help educate your husband about your condition by buying him a copy of Driven to Distraction, by Ned Hallowell. You should also have him meet with your doctor, who can talk with him about living with untreated ADHD.

Melissa Orlov is a marriage consultant, specializing in helping ADHD-affected couples rebalance their relationships. She is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College and the author of the award-winning books: The ADHD Effect on Marriage and The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD. She blogs for and Psychology Today and has been interviewed by The New York Times, CNN, Today, US News and World Report, and CBS, among many others.
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