My Fight: An Open Letter to an ADHD Specialist

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    This is the letter I attached to my husband’s “new patient info” to be sent to an ADHD specialist whom I’d finally gotten him an appointment to see.

    I wanted to share it because it illustrates the hopelessness that spouses feel- even when we KNOW what the problem is… even when we advocate for them. Your ADHD, if not properly treated, does truly hurt our hearts and will -eventually- break our spirits.

    To Whom it May Concern, I’m adding this note to the submission of my husband’s new patient info in hopes that Dr Brannon might be merciful on someone whom NO one else is listening to… the doctors we’ve seen in the past have all wanted to treat the “comorbid” disorders. Although well-meaning, they give him a little physical, leave the room while he fills out a 8-10 question multiple choice questionnaire (but don’t seem to notice that after 30 minutes, he’s still on the 3rd question) and prescribing a depression medication that tries to help… but doesn’t even touch the surface of his problem.

    I KNOW this man and I know that it’s getting progressively worse each and every day. I’ve researched tirelessly, for years, on what in the hell is wrong with my husband. I know what you’re thinking: no one wants to hear from a wife who “earned her non-existing medical license from the university of” but I’ve never presumed to know more than his doctors; it just helps me survive the constant misery that living with this disorder has damned me to suffer. Sometimes, its too much to bear so I do a bit of reading, looking for key words and phrases so that I don’t feel hopeless and so I can sleep at night- knowing that there is a reason for his behavior and that he really can’t help it right now. What I’ve learned strengthens my weary worn soul and enables me to, when it’s really really bad, offer him validation while simultaneously struggling to remember why in the hell I ever loved such a monster in the first place. Most importantly, though, I want to be an advocate for his health care and I’m failing him every step of the way. I am screaming at the top of my lungs for somebody- anybody- to LISTEN to me.. to WATCH him (even for 5 minutes) to hear him talk me into circles until he’s turned a simple conversation topic into an argument where someone is at fault (usually him) and he ‘just can’t even talk to me anymore’.

    In absence of a diagnosis and treatment, my marriage is falling apart and the man I love.. the father of my sweet little girl.. is just a ghost who cannot cannot feel the slightest touch of happiness or joy or laughter. The constant struggle to be the father, husband, friend, son, brother, employee, man that he wants to be is met with resounding failure EVERY single day and that has taken such a toll on him that he doesn’t even get out of bed to go to work at least once a week. I would bet my life on a diagnosis of ADHD PI type with ODD and some kind of daytime sleepiness. Throwing prozac his way does nothing at all except make him feel more hopeless than he already did.

    But again, thats why I want him to see Dr Brannon.. because she has the technology to make a diagnosis regardless of what I think.

    I don’t think he can it until January. When your office called and told me that the wait time to get an appointment was next year, I sobbed.. for days. He’s so far gone; I’m terrified of how much worse it’ll get when his hopes for help on the immediate horizon darkens once again. He’s shattered my self esteem and he has already done irreperable damage to our marriage but I’m holding on-WHITE KNUCKLED- to the hope that he’s still in there somewhere.

    ALL that he is right now is the sum of his faults. His anger and his exhaustion and his inability to recognize the distortion and see it for what it is and GENUINE absence of light or love or laughter. He’s going to lose his job because, although he’s good at what he does, he screws up A LOT and calls in sick every 3 or 4 days. We’re going to lose our home if this goes on much longer. He’s the primary breadwinner in our family. With all that I am, I love him… but each passing day finds me closer to that inevitable moment when I crumble beneath the weight and my spirit breaks… and the creeping disdain will become seething hatred AND I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COME BACK FROM THAT. No one comes back from that.

    He can no longer function in the world; not at work or at home or with family or friends. He’s angry with me every single day, all day long, because I nag him. He threatens to leave us and wishes he’d have a horrible car accident so we’d be “done with him and his sorry ass” and be “better off”. He spews this vitriol
    and our daughter bears witness to it EVERY day.. PLEASE help us before January. PLEASE. I will beg.. there is no pride left in me.. only fear and pain. I need him to be better. I truly believe this is where he needs to be seen; I’m just too tired and weary-worn to fight for the rest of the year.. Our marriage won’t survive much longer and he won’t make it on his own. He’s really sick.

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