Adult ADHD

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
Adult ADHD
8
Fri, 08-20-2010 - 4:31pm

I think I've read some posts on this board about some of you having experience w/ adult ADHD and I am looking for some information and possibly advice for DH.

DH has always complained about being "scattered brain", and not being able to concentrate, he is constantly forgetting things, needed to be reminded over and over again... asking me to actually nag him about things, telling me to nag more, then complaining I nag too much or that I don't nag/remind him enough. He is very impulsive and if the idea strikes him he needs to do it right then and there... which often results in calling me a dozen times in an hour.

Things came to a head this morning when he deposited some money into the wrong account and caused some problems with our banking. And it made me think more about the adult ADHD that I have been wondering about for a while.

I e-mailed DH this quiz this morning:
http://psychcentral.com/addquiz.htm

DH scored very high, and while the results warned it was not a medical diagnosis he should consult a doctor right away, because chances were very likely this was a problem for him (if it's not this, it is something, like I said it's to the point it is bothering him).

On Monday he does have a physical w/ his new primary DR. He hasn't seen a DR in at least 5 years, and has a number of things to discuss with him. I told him to print out a copy of the test and take it with him as a talking point. Good idea? or no?

I've done more reading on the topic today and really what I read I see in him. And I know it's not a diagnosis... but I am still wondering...

What can I do to help him (and my sanity as it is starting to wear thin) at home? What can he do? I've seen recommendations to eat better, exercise and sleep more. He sleeps terrible... horrible insomnia. Will certain foods help? Vitamins? List writing (which he has tried but can't keep up with)?

Photobucket



Daisypath Anniversary tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers


Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2005
In reply to: kdoerpholz
Mon, 08-30-2010 - 4:26pm
When he was in school he had a doctor's note to always have his walkman on playing music, in order to help him concentrate. To this day he still needs to have music playing to get any task done.

Photobucket


Photobucket


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
In reply to: kdoerpholz
Mon, 08-30-2010 - 3:11pm

That's good that he is dealing with it. Depression is actually a symptom of ADHD (and lack of attention is a symptom of depression), so it can be hard to tease out what is the primary issue.

The biggest difference is that ADHD symptoms should have been present since childhood--difficulty completing assignments, teachers complaining about daydreaming, extremely active or hyperactive, etc. If he didn't have any of those things, it very well may be depression instead.

Silly Expecting Siggy

Photobucket
pregnancy due date

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2003
In reply to: kdoerpholz
Sun, 08-29-2010 - 7:55pm
His appointment went OK, I guess. His DR doesn't diagnosis ADHD and said he would recommend him to someone if he wants. He opted not to right now because the DR gave him a depression test and it came back as depressed, so he's trying Sarafem (sp?) for that now. He goes back in a month and has decided that if he is still presenting w/ ADHD symptoms then as well he'll take the referral.

Photobucket



Daisypath Anniversary tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers


Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
In reply to: kdoerpholz
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 12:45pm

How did his appointment go, Kate?

Me and DH were both diagnosed with ADHD as adults. We both have the more inattentive type. I was diagnosed my sophomore year in college and DH was diagnosed a couple years after we got together. I saw certain things in him and I started to think he might have ADHD.

Honestly, the way I convinced him to deal with it is that I put some of my meds (when I'm not pregnant, I take a low dose of adderall--2.5 mgs once or twice a day) in his food for about three days in a row. He came home every day raving about what an awesome day he had at work, how productive he was, how focused he was, etc. After three days of this, I told him what I had done, and he was annoyed that I had deceived him but he also agreed in the effectiveness of it being a "blind experiment". The positive experience he had on meds caused him to seek a diagnosis pretty quickly.

Him and I are both very sensitive to medications and he takes even less adderall than I do--he usually splits a 5 mg pill into quarters, and takes one or two a day, so 2.5 mgs total.

In terms of your DH--I agree with others that he probably has it. There are definitely behavioral and diet changes that can help him, but honestly I think the first step would be meds. For me, being on meds helped me understand how my brain could work in a different or more effective way. A few months of taking meds was like re-training my brain. Then, even when I wasn't taking them, it's like I could "remember" how my brain worked on them and still function more efficiently. So even if he isn't interested in meds in the long run, a short run might be incrediably helpful and freeing for him.

Diet--the main things are sugar and gluten. People who have ADHD notice significant improvements from cutting out (or even cutting down) refined sugars and gluten.

Exercise--Daily cardio exercise (that gets your heart pumping) lasting over a half hour can reduce ADHD symptoms by half. Obviously the more the better.

List-Making/Forming Habits--One huge manifestation of my ADHD is that I had zero schedule. I had no wake up or go to bed schedule, no consistancy with meals or any daily routine. Since I've been pregnant and not able to be on meds, I have gotten REALLY INTO list making. I have a daily list, a weekly list, and a one-time list. The top things on my daily list are: Get up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast, drink tea (because it helps me get focused). If these things weren't on the list, it would be a chance occurrence whether they got accomplished or not--but these are all things that set me up to have a productive day, so they are important. On my evening section is: Make dinner, take a walk after dinner, clean up after dinner.

Another thing to think about is that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Your DH could focus on one behavior at a time and make sure he does it every day, and eventually it will become automatic. I did this with walking after dinner and it was EXTREMELY difficult, but no matter how crappy I felt or where I was or what was going on, I forced myself to walk every day after dinner (even if it was only for 5 mins). But now it is very easy and I think of doing it after eating instead of having to check my list and hang up a million reminders all over the house.

Anyway, I could go on but this is probably enough for now. Let us know how things are going. DH's and I's life has vastly improved since he started taking meds. I honestly believe he would have gotten laid off if he didn't start taking them and being much more efficient at work, so I'm pretty grateful.

Silly Expecting Siggy

Photobucket
pregnancy due date

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
In reply to: kdoerpholz
Thu, 08-26-2010 - 1:10am

Hi Kate, I have ADHD (inattentive) and can tell you that if your DH scored really high on that test he probably has ADHD. When I got my diagnosis from a psychiatrist, the questionaire he gave me was virtually identical. He also asked me a few questions about my childhood and school history and some other things, and basically gave me a diagnosis on the spot. It would actually be helpful if your DH had his old report cards from grade school or something, the ones with teacher comments on them as that can be pretty helpful too. Or have him ask his parents if they remember anything specific that his teachers used to be concerned about. My teachers always commented that I was constantly daydreaming, and/or constantly fidgeting in my seat, and there were other clues as well. The only reason I was never diagnosed as a child was because I got good grades. But I fit the bill in every other way.


I tried a few different meds, first Wellbutrin (which is actually an antidepressant that can be helpful in treating ADD symptoms), then Strattera (sp), which is the only non-stimulant med specifically meant to treat ADD, but neither of them helped. Then my dr put me on Concerta (which is basically a once-daily, time-released form of Ritalin) and that seemed to help somewhat. It wasn't a miracle cure but it seemed to help me organize my thoughts better and help me get through the day at work. However there were side-effects - by the end of the afternoon I felt a severe "crash" and it was all I could do just get dinner going when I got home. Despite this I still seemed to have a harder time falling asleep at night (something that was hard enough for me in the first place). It also (sorry if TMI) messed with my bowels a bit too. Created some "urgency" issues. Anyway I was probably on it for about a year before I decided that these side effects were a bit too troublesome for my liking, so I quit taking it. That was probably 3-4 years ago, I don't remember for sure.


Anyway, I've already written a book here, but there a few strategies that can help your DH stay on track with things, but nothing is a cure-all. It's all about forming new habits, which takes time and work. If he loses things, like his keys or wallet, have him create a designated space right by the door or something for these things. If he is constantly late, put a clock in every room of the house (even in the bathroom - seriously) and set them all 5 minutes fast. Allot blocks of time for each task - breakfast, shower, getting dressed, etc. Set timers if necessary. If he has a whole bunch of different projects on the go at once, make him make himself work on only one at a time, and not start anything new until all of the current ones are finished (I did this with my myriad of craft projects and actually finally learned that it felt so good to finish something that I ALWAYS only work on one thing at a time now). I could go on but I think you get the idea. There is a great book called "Driven to Distraction" that is really helpful and mcuh of the strategies covered in the book can actually be found free online.


Anyway - whew - good luck and KUP!



Powered by CGISpy.com
Lilypie Second Birthday tickers


Powered by CGISpy.com
Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
In reply to: kdoerpholz
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 3:56pm

Hi Kate!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2005
In reply to: kdoerpholz
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 9:38pm

Kate,

I am not sure if this will help at all or not, but Kevin was in the same boat your DH is in about 6 months to a year ago. Kevin had the same symptoms that your DH has and it made me think that he might have ADD. So after a while of talking to him I got him to make an apt to go to the doctor. They had him take a quiz there at the doctors which was very similar to the link that you posted. Based on the quiz and the "symptoms" that DH had they diagnosed him with ADD. They put him on medicine to see if that would help. I can't remember what meds they put him on first but it did not help at all. It took a while to get the right combination to help him. Now he is on 20 mg of Adderal 2x a day. The Adderal can make it hard to sleep sometimes so DH will take a melatonin pill to help with that, if he feels he needs to.

I think that it is a good idea for DH to take a copy of the quiz with him tomorrow when he sees the doctor. Like I said, they may have their own quiz to give him right there in the office.

As far as any other suggestions, I don't really have any. I have heard that changing your diet can help, but that wasn't something that DH was really interested in. Has your DH tried taking melatonin? I wonder if that wold help with his insomnia. Anyways, I hope his apt goes well tomorrow. KUP!

Photobucket



Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

BabyFruit Ticker




Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2008
In reply to: kdoerpholz
Sat, 08-21-2010 - 7:46pm
I think having DH talk

Photobucket