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Just Diagnosed With ADHD (Adults)

My husband just diagnosed 5 days ago...is this normal?

Five days ago my husband was finally diagnosed (after years and two misdiagnosis). And he started Ritalin the next day. He is 43 yrs old. Leaving the dr he was pretty upbeat and the next day too. But now he seems kinda withdrawn. Granted, what prompted him making the dr appointment (on his own) was because our marriage (13 yrs) had reached a breaking point and was seriously considering ending it. But after the dr visit and a long talk, I decided to try to wipe the slate clean and move forward from here. And normally he gets over things way quicker than me. But he seems to be the one having a hard time moving forward or maybe on the meds things are finally hitting him and he needs some time?? It’s just very different than what I’m used to. When I ask him how he thinks things are going, he says OK or good. He says he just wants to make sure he isn’t going to hurt me anymore…which I appreciate. I guess we’re just in uncharted territory and I’m getting nervous.

Replies

He may be grieving. Common with adults as we realize how much not knowing, not being treated, made us go through life not performing as well as we could have. Waves of emotion may go on for a while as we reevaluate our lives with this new information.

But it could also be due to the meds. A side effect perhaps or finally giving him the self control for him to try to have self control around you and appearing withdrawn is his attempt to be aware of his actions and NOT do something impulsive that may hurt you.

One generic form of Adderall made me a horrible witch. The comedown gave me jitters and irritable. Name brand was better but one other generic is ‘smoother’ for my body. Ritalin I only tried for a few days. Definite improvement in getting chores done but would make me feel flat later on the comedown yet interfere with sleep after it built up in my system over a few days.

Perhaps take notes on what you observe and ask your husband to make notes on how he feels and what it is like for him. how long the dose lasts, what the onset feels like, how long til he notices effects, how long benefits last and anything on the down side. does food, coffee, affect the meds, any muscle tension, side effects? sleep?

I noticed that my balance, reflexes and timing improved and that my oversensitivity to touch decreased. I could use my electric toothbrush and water pick without flinching! my handwriting improved and so did my notoriously bad frisbee throwing. This helped prove to me that SOMETHING good was changing inside and I truly hadn’t been at fault for bad handwriting and frisbee throwing. Taking notes on these helped me pay less attention to criticizing myself. My partner’s feedback on the one bad generic was important to getting the one that works better.

Posted by Gadfly on Aug 26, 2014 at 3:57pm

I was diagnosed at the beginning of this year.  I am 47.  I was misdiagnosis from two dr. also.  I have always been treated for depression.  The last dr said I just had anxiety.  The dr. I go to now diagnosed me with Bipolar type 2.  It took 10 times to convince her that I thought it was ADHD.  She tested me and I am ADHD, but she still treats me for bipolar type 2. 

My point is maybe he has more then ADHD.  Given the wrong med. can have the wrong affect on someone.  If he has more then ADHD then he needs to be treated for the other first.

I am not a medical person.  I have just done some research.

Posted by dmtaylor89 on Aug 26, 2014 at 7:49pm

Yes, there can be a lot of grief. It took me over a year, and I live alone, am retired, and have no family near—I had no other responsibilities, I could devote almost all my time to learning about and learning to cope with my ADHD.

Remember that the diagnosis is just the beginning. It won’t make everything all okay right away. Also, “pills don’t teach skills”—the medication can help him focus, but he might not focus on what he needs to focus on!

You *both* need to learn as much as you can, about the problems and about the strategies. You are both living with it, only in different ways. And no matter how frustrating it is for the non-ADHD spouse, ti is that and more for the ADHD spouse.

You are not responsible for managing his ADHD, but you are responsible for factoring his ADHD into your marital decisions. He needs support, sometimes he needs help, he will (eventually if not now) definitely need constructive feedback on his behavior, but he does not need a babysitter or a personal manager. If he needs a coach, help him find one.

It is a new reality for you both. Good luck.

Posted by ADD me on Aug 27, 2014 at 6:05am

I concur, it will take time for him to adjust to medication and approaching life a little differently. ADDitudeMag.com has some great advice for adults who were just diagnosed (and those who love them):

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10082.html
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/815.html

Continue to reach out here for support as needed.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 27, 2014 at 1:09pm

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