Ask the Experts

My Husband’s Symptoms Have Changed

“My husband, 41, has ADD. His short-term memory problems are getting to me. I will tell him what happened at work, and later he will ask me, ‘How was work?’ I tell him calmly that I already mentioned that, but he gets agitated with me. He has also developed severe mood swings and has become quite selfish, neither of which he exhibited before.”

Short-term memory problems are common with ADHD, but if they suddenly worsen, it would be prudent to have them checked out. If the memory problems have been the same all along, it’s important to understand that it’s not his fault. There are ways to deal with it. When you talk with him, make sure you have his full attention. Many times, poor short-term memory is due to not paying attention in the first place. Visual cues, little notes or messages, and e-mail reminders are helpful. If he’s open to working with you on this, he might want to repeat what you said to him.

His anger, though, reveals two possibilities: that there is something else going on with him, or that he is frustrated with his ADHD and may be in denial. Is he getting appropriate treatment for his ADHD? Any changes in behavior should be checked out.