Adult ADHD- Time to Manage This

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      We had a big, emotional weekend not long ago. Both my son and my husband have ADHD. My son’s is managed with medication but my husband’s goes untreated. Since our primary focus had been on working with our son’s ADHD, I guess I either forgot about or learned to live through my husband’s.

      Now we are at a crossroads. In the past, my husband was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia, as an adult. He tried meds once or twice, but stopped for whatever reason. Now that our family is under significant emotional stress, I am starting to realize that my husband’s ADHD may play a bigger role in how he handles life than I took time to think about.

      After our family meltdown, I told my husband that something’s gotta give. I realized that his interactions at work/difficulty into moving into more professional roles (which he wants,) and how he responds as a spouse and parent my not just be personality-driven.

      My husband has struggled socially for most of his life. Since his ADHD and dyslexia were not called out until he was an adult, early intervention was out. Impulsivity and the way that he interacts with others puts people off (he tends to be inappropriately brash, loud or sarcastic when the occasion does not call for it.) As his wife, it has been embarrassing and isolating for us socially, but I also feel bad because I know he wants to move forward at work and have connections with others, but he might be getting in his own way.

      As far as the work situation is concerned, he works for a company that has no intention of developing his career growth. This plays into the “missed cues” aspect of what he is dealing with. Last spring, after he was turned down for a promotion (on the third attempt at interviewing) he decided to confront his supervisor about WHY he did not receive the promotion. Although I begged him 1.) to stop applying for this role as after he was turned down a second time (I am thinking they gave him a second interview to humor him,) and 2.) accept the denial as a sign that you either need to look elsewhere or accept that this is where they intend to keep you, he blew up on me, asking why I would not support him in doing this and confronted the supe anyway. Suffice to say, his already sealed fate got a few nails driven into his coffin as well. Thank God he did not get axed; this has happened in the past.

      I feel awful for him because the tone that his company is setting is clear, but he either ignores or doesn’t want to believe it. He has a lot of experience in his field and deserves a chance at more responsibility, but he seems to miss the fact that no matter what you do, some companies will keep you right where you are. Additionally, learning and maintaining professionalism is a MUST, regardless of what you do for work, especially if you want to move up. The impulsivity of confronting a supervisor (it was not a constructive convo) about why you did not get a promotion is professional suicide.

      Finally I said to him “you need to address and manage your ADHD.” There is no honor in “going it alone” and you are shooting yourself in the foot at work. You are taking your frustrations out on our family and we are hurting ourselves!”

      I told him that he needs to get a current diagnosis so he can be appropriately medicated. I told him that for his work industry, if he wants to stay in it and move up, he is at a point where he needs to get a degree. Since he graduated from high school awhile ago and that was a huge struggle for him, he has been avoiding having to get a higher education, even for an associates. He is now realizing that if he wants to get where he wants to be, he will have to take the step of academia. I told him that a lot has changed with education these days. With a proper diagnosis and medication management, plus the ability to get academic support services, yes it will still be hard but he will be supported through it.

      He agreed to having the testing performed and we are waiting for scheduling to contact us. He has a meeting with an academic advisor next week.

      I am doing my best to be a supportive partner, but folks I am tired. I often feel like I am always going to be the one who makes more money, makes the moves to elevate our lives.

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