View Full Version : My whole family has ADHD

07-16-14, 04:12 PM
So, I was recently diagnosed with ADHD.

I learn my cousin has ADHD. Then, talking about it with my uncle, I describe my adult symptoms. He is shocked, he has all these problems.

Then, we realize my mom probably need treatment too, and my aunt (one of her daughter is diagnosed too), and my great aunt.

All on my mother's side.

My uncle does not need treatment. He has showed me all his strategies, and he has no problems.

My mom need treatment and is in denial. (She keep blaming my dad for her problems, they are divorced). And she gets very defensive. This issue has nothing to do with my dad. (After discussion with my uncle, my dad fits none of the patterns, and also the ADHD is not present to my knowledge on my dad's side of the family)

So, I would like my mom to acknowledge she has a problem. (Since it can be treated easily) I fear for her everytime she drives, I feel she could accomplish more in life, etc.

My great aunt lose her vegetables in her fridge and has a very disorderly appartment. (It is not age, my uncle told me all her patterns of forgetting her keys, glasses, not being able to cook, having trouble driving, impulsivity have been like that since she is young).

What can I do?

07-16-14, 04:21 PM
Why stress m8!!!!!!!! lifes been 1big ride for everyone earls in ur family
Just kick back an learn from ur OLDS..they no everything lol.....

07-16-14, 06:47 PM
What you can do is provide them with the best example you can of what to do about the symptoms that cause difficulty, offer you're understanding and step back.

Unless someone else's problems are directly effecting you in a negative way, I think it is best to give them the opportunity to see it for themselves, much like you're experience with your uncle.

07-16-14, 06:58 PM
Thank you for that. It was eye opening for me!

07-16-14, 07:12 PM
It seems mine does, too... at least my whole immediate family. 4/5 of us have significant symptoms (though which particular ones vary between us), and I can see possible traces of it all over my mom's side of the family (esp. with addiction and gambling problems). Even my one sibling who does not seem to have ADHD siblings has her own mental issues to contend with (mainly phobias and depression). When they say research is showing a strong familial link with ADHD and other mental disorders, I for one sure believe them!!

I agree with the others saying "lead the way." Work on yourself for you, but also to be an example of what's possible for them to achieve, given successful strategies. Just like your uncle sharing his successes with you. As they are wired similarly to you, some of the same strategies will probably work for many in your family. Best of luck!

07-16-14, 07:34 PM
I'm waiting until I get assessed and see if the wife will listen. Some of our children will need help too. I can't see my wife paying any attention to it unless she sees a change in me. She's a control freak and thinks she is the authority on everything to do with people and our family. I suspect my wife has some sort of condition too, but not ADHD. She multitasks and remembers well, but can be more stubborn than a mule, has the control issue and anger problems.
I have my own ADHD stuff but can see she has mental baggage of her own. I wish she could see it.
I'm concerned our relationship will be even harder to maintain if I end up medicated and more stable/level.

07-16-14, 08:18 PM
Sure you can show them an option, but how people live their life is up to them.

Might be better putting your energy into something else.

07-17-14, 03:43 PM
I wrote about it to my aunt (we are not blood related, she is the wife of my uncle with adhd)

She said my great aunt won't take medications (but would benefit). She said my mom might, but that I have to show her the effects and work on myself.

08-21-14, 06:03 PM
How funny, I am in the same position. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and after learning more about it I have realized that everything that my mom did that drove me nuts when I lived with her was ADHD. And my brother was diagnosed with it early in life.

So the three of us have ADHD. It took about 5 months for my mom to accept it and not shut me up every time I brought it up. She has since then ordered two books, once that I recommended was "Driving through Distraction." She agreed that she has ADHD once she read more about the disorder.


08-21-14, 07:59 PM
I think you're right--it really does seem to run in families, and often no one affected knows they have ADHD. But this can all change once one person learns about it--as you did. Of course your example will be powerful to your family. If they see you prospering and doing well through your experience of diagnosis and treatment, they may be inspired to do the same.

But maybe that's not enough. If they've been unaware all their lives, maybe just waiting for them to be inspired by your successes won't be enough. They have to make their own decisions, sure--but that doesn't mean that you can't share some good books about ADHD, send links to videos, or talk about what you are learning to help yourself. Information is the key--the experience of seeing oneself in a description or a list of symptoms can be very powerful.

Good luck to you--let us know how you're doing, and what if anything happens with your family--all good wishes--

08-22-14, 06:55 PM
First of all, you remind me of me!

Shortly after I got diagnosed I had a talk with my oldest brother in which it was clear that his symptoms are FAR worse than mine. I didn't "tell" him to get treated, but I certainly suggested he look into it.

Long story short: he didn't and his life took a terrible turn four years later, and now he needs ADHD meds badly but the doctors won't give it to him. If he had had a diagnosis, it would have helped so much. Frankly had he started treatment, he might have avoided his current condition.

Now back to you: it would be nice if entire families got treated together, but frankly, getting your own treatment calibrated to an optimal level will be hard enough. I would not say that ADHD is "easily" treated. The medications help somewhat, I would say. They don't create miracles (well maybe in a few cases they do). But for most of us, the medications do not create miracles. Some people get enormous help from medications right off the bat, but then the effect seems to wane for some people.

But let's say you do find an effective medication and dosage. There is still a lot of hard work and life learning to do. I can now plan and think about my situation a 100 times better than before, though I can easily forget my plans, even when I write them down in huge notebooks! It's an ongoing struggle and learning process.

Another reason I would say ADHD is NOT easily treatable is that by the time most adults are diagnosed, the condition has already done enormous damage and left huge psychological/emotional scars. Some of these scars are visible and obvious, others not so visible, though still painful. I feel like I have had to do an entirely new inventory and evaluation of my level of life functioning in light of my diagnosis--because there were so many ways I was lying to myself and minimizing problems I was having in order to not hate myself.

Damage to self confidence, damage to esteem, damage to relationships, higher rates of addiction, higher rates of car accidents, falls and injuries of all kinds, a repeated (varying for each person) pattern of failure. All of those problems take a serious toll when the condition is not addressed earlier in life.

The meds do not heal these old wounds; and medications are sometimes no competition for longstanding patterns. Breaking longtime patterns requires an enormous amount of work beyond simply taking medications. Some of us need therapy and medication to function at a decent level.

So you have your hands full. Quite full. Have at it. Create a beautiful, high-functioning life for yourself. But you will have to put in some serious work, which is why others need to come to a diagnosis in their own way. Because they too will have to put in serious work.

As VeryTired says, a vivid example of positive change is, by far, the most effective way of encouraging others to change. Talk ... not so much.

Good luck.