Husband just officially diagnosed (at 67)

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    • #117031

      Hi everyone, this is only my second time creating a topic. Thanks again to all of you who responded to my first one.
      Well we have been to the appointment and H was diagnosed definitively with ADHD, on top of his depression which we of course knew about.
      Problem is that H seems to be reeling from the diagnosis, and it’s sent him into a slump.
      The psyc wants to see us again in a few weeks to discuss treatment options, but H is rejecting every idea and I am very worried that by encouraging him to go for the diagnosis, I’ve made him feel worse than ever.
      Really, what was I thinking at 67? We cannot replay his whole life of frustration and failures at work, and his social and family relationship issues.
      I thought it might help but I guess I was very wrong.
      I am feeling very sad and stressed about this, not too much light ahead, I fear.
      Any suggestions are very welcome.
      I’m hoping that with time he will be OK to continue the process and see the upside, I am trying to be patient…
      Thank you all for reading this

    • #117034

      Dear Phillipa – Don’t be upset with yourself, you absolutely did the right thing getting H to a doctor to get a formal diagnosis. He shouldn’t have to go over all his past mistakes at all. What should happen is the doctor will prescribe medication for H’s depression and ADHD. He should also recommend that H see a counselor or psychologist/psychiatrist so he has someone to talk to who can help guide him through the transition of accepting his diagnoses and learning to live with it. He will learn to live with it. He just needs to remember that people with ADD/ADHD have nothing wrong with them – their frontal lobe just processes information differently. H just needs to learn about how his brain works, as the Executive Functions are in that area of the brain, and that encompasses his organizational skills, social skills, emotions and filter (that which stops him from just saying whatever comes into his thoughts).
      I would suggest that the two of you start researching ADHD and finding out all you can about it. Understanding more about ADHD and depression (which usually goes hand-in-hand). This will help both of you feel more in control of the situation. Knowledge is power, and both of you need to be his best advocate for what he needs. Research will show you ways to lessen symptoms through foods that he eats, supplements and depression and anxiety can be helped with meditation (to relax and be calm). Exercise, being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine are amazing ways to manage his depression.
      Basically, your husband has two choices; he can do nothing and nothing will change, or he can admit that he isn’t happy with the way he feels and do what is necessary to feel better and change his life!
      My 15 year old son has ADHD (and is in the Autism Spectrum) and has been diagnosed since kindergarten. My husband also has ADHD and was only diagnosed in the past year. So believe me when I say that I have done a ton of research through the years and gone through seminars and webcasts and countless articles on this website and others, which have a lot of information available.
      This is not a terrible thing, in fact, it’s a good thing. Now you both know what the cause is for behaviors that I’m sure have been troubling. Your husband has a chance to take back control of his life and you both will be closer working through together. You will need to learn about how his brain works and what kind of behaviors are or are not in his control. It isn’t easy for the spouse of someone with ADHD, but there are a lot of people in the same position who, through online support groups which can be found on Facebook and other social media I’m sure, and they will be helpful.
      I think I’ve said enough for now. Please get him to the Psychiatrist appointment and get the help you both need.
      Keep us posted and best wishes 🙂❤

    • #117044

      Thank you SO much for your very encouraging post!
      I also think it’s a good thing but H is very down.
      He had a big breakdown earlier and then wrote me a letter which is an easier way for him to communicate than talking when he is in this kind of a slump – it was very moving so read about his feelings and how “f****ed up” (his words) he feels.
      I have already done a ton of reading – unfortunately he is not willing to.
      The problem is that I have so much on my plate with work (practically full time) and taking care of everything around here that it’s hard to find the time (and patience…. I admit it) to carry on being supportive day in day out.
      Sometimes I feel like screaming!!
      I will keep checking in – writing and reading about others’ situations is really helpful
      Thanks a lot

    • #117065

      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

    • #117135

      Hi Lindsay, thanks for your support, reading your reply was very helpful.
      H is already on Wellbutrin, has been for many years. And he’s up and down with the depression and now I realize he has always had the ADHD so it hasn’t helped (although who knows how much worse it might be without….?)
      We have an appointment for the pysc in a couple of weeks, his regular one, who is not ADHD-savvy, so not sure how much that will help. He is treating him only for the depression and now he also has insomnia, says he cannot breathe at night (but he’s had all the physical tests around and all is fine so I am pretty sure it’s a pysc issue…).
      Then in a couple of weeks we are going back to the ADHD specialist psyc and we will see what he suggests.
      H is very “anti” about it all at the moment and I am reaching the end of my tether.
      Sometimes I really feel like giving up on him (but I won’t).
      Thanks for all the encouragement – reading and posting here really helps 🙂

    • #118840

      Hi All, I wanted to get back to you with an update. We went back to the ADHD specialist psychiatrist and this time it went quite well. The doctor is suggesting increasing H’s dose of Welbutrin from 150mg daily, maybe up to 300 daily, and in addition Omega3 in a very high dose. Apparently 2,000 EPA per day shows excellent results in both depression and ADHD. H is keener on this approach than on trying stimulants.
      We are seeing his regular psychiatrist next week (the ADHD specialist has written him a letter with his findings) and we will then see what he decides. H is also taking a “TOVA” test – I think it stands for test of variable attention, to give a baseline of his focus and attention before the dosage changes.
      I’d be very interested in others’ views.
      Things are a little calmer at the moment although I am learning not to ask him to do things that I know stress him (like spending more than minimal time with our 3 grandkids).. not sure it’s the right approach but it seems to be working for us.
      Wishing everyone a lovely weekend

    • #119201

      As I just posted over on another thread, the calmer times came to a very abrupt ending last night when H had a massive anger outburst towards our grandchild #2 (age 7). Now my daughter doesn’t want the kids to sleep over at our place, I understand her although it’s a massive loss for me.
      H really needs serious treatment – he is such a bad place.
      I opened up to both our adult kids about it, told them everything (they witnessed the scene last night) and it feels a bit better to have unburdened myself, although I feel bad for discussing H with them.
      Holding all of this secret from families and friends is so hard and makes me feel incredibly lonely.
      This site is great – thank you for reading

    • #119289

      Sorry to hear of H’s outburst and its fall out. Sad for you to not have the grandkids stay. Hopefully, it’s a temporary decision and once H gets on a more even keel it will be reversed.

      Looking at the big picture its great your daughter is so protective of her children…. good move on her part.

      Also, I think it’s great you’re being honest and sharing openly what’s going on. Secrets are toxic in my book. They feed shame, deplete self-esteem and isolate you.

      I’d be honest and tell H you intend to be transparent with the family from here on. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Better for all concerned. Covering for him will not help him to come to terms with his diagnosis or treat the issues that are tripping him up. Just prolong the inevitable.

      So, you’re going through a very rough patch, but definitely on the right track. Make sure you focus on yourself as much as you do H – de-stress and nurture your body and spirit to be resilient.

      Eat clean, healthy, less processed food and wean yourself off sugar, if you indulge; be a better diet for H also. Schedule some exercise daily (perhaps a walk after dinner with H?…or without if he isn’t keen) and make sure you get enough zzzz’s – take a daily power nap if you don’t sleep well at night.

      Do you remember what makes you laugh? ..go do that too : ) Hang in there, cheers, Lindsay

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by lindsay123.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by lindsay123.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #119423

      Hi Lindsay, thanks for your latest response, I received it via e-mail but cannot see it here….
      Anyway I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your support.

      We were at the psychiatrist this morning and have an agreed plan: increasing dosage of Wellbutrin to 300mg, adding high dose of Omega3, and he will take a mild tranquilizer whenever we are with the grandkids (I find this incredibly sad and hard to accept but it is what it is and something had to change….. yesterday he took one and was PERFECT with the kids).

      Wishing everyone calm days – Phil

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