Reply To: Husband just officially diagnosed (at 67)

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Love Mommiemania’s reply. Totally spot on. So well said. And totally agree also you did the right thing encouraging H to get diagnosed.

This is not a diagnosis to dread or be ashamed of. Many people with ADHD live happy and very fulfilling lives. What’s important is to recognize the strengths it brings not just focus on the downside, and you can only do this if you know what’s going on.

Looking back after diagnosis with regret will exacerbate the depression his is already feeling. But it’s important to acknowledge there is a need to grieve the fact that some opportunities were missed through lack of diagnosis and treatment/mitigation. But this is not a place to dwell in.

With ADHD it’s easy to hyper-focus (amazing ability to have) …. but you do not want to hyper-focus/ruminate on negative issues…’s way too easy to spiral down fast into depression if you do.

Hopefully, H is not rejecting the idea of going back to the Dr? If possible, I would get him back to the psychiatrist asap and get medication – could be just short term if H finds that easier to accept – for both depression and the ADHD – some meds like Wellbutrin will address both issues. Ask your doctor. Medication will help him move past the slump he is currently in – with a more positive attitude, acceptance and forward momentum will be much easier for him.

And some support, as suggested, also a great plan to get him over the initial discomfort he is feeling and into action. Make sure the professional you go to is ADHD savvy tho. You do not want someone telling him just to try harder. And he needs ADHD savvy strategies to make changes. And a professional who can tell him of the considerable upside to this syndrome. A well experienced ADHD coach would probably be his best bet. Look on ADDitude’s database of professionals. And chat to a few to decide who he feels most comfortable talking to about his issues…

If he likes reading get a copy of ADD Success Stories: A Guide to Fulfillment for Families with Attention Deficit Disorder by Thom Hartman. Thom also wrote a book with a very affirming and an interesting take on the whole issue of ADHD that suggest that ADDers are hunters in a farmer’s world…

Adult ADHD: How to Succeed as a Hunter in a Farmer’s World – get both. His curiosity might get peeked – if he engages, he will begin to see the considerable upside of his syndrome and realize he’s not alone or too old to make changes and enjoy the rest of his life…

My husband is 72. Diagnosed 12 years ago, but never did much about actively mitigating the issues it presented especially in our marriage. Some changes over the years, but fairly small, until more recently. He and I took an 8-week course for couples…run by Melissa Orlov an ADHD coach. And since then D has joined a men’s group also via Melissa Orlov’s website. (No, I am not affiliated with her) lol. He and I are communicating much better; we both had to change to make this happen. I’ve stopped being his unpaid PA. He started actively working on new strategies. And he finally understands himself better, he says. And he has the support of other blokes to talk to who are in the same boat. SO it’s never too late: )

Hang in there….cheers, Lindsay