View Full Version : Addressing undiagnosed adult ADHD


bluelou
02-08-16, 10:29 PM
hi everyone.

My partner and I have been together for almost three years. I don't want to go into our whole relationship story too much. The most important thing is that we love each other more than anything else in the world. About a bit over a year ago, our very happy and rich relationship started to turn into mostly arguments about feelings of resentment and feeling unwanted or unloved, accusations of lack of attention and interest, being messy and ignorant and not caring from my side and about feeling smothered and nagged and the feeling of never being enough from his side. It resulted in me being hurt and angry and him being irritated, confused and defensive. I started doubting our relationship.

His mum came to visit us in December and when my partner said he thinks she's got ADHD, because she's hyperactive, she just can't sit still, always does heaps of things at once and never stops talking, I started looking into it, because he is exactly the same. Whether his mum has ADHD or not, I don't know. But when I read deeper and deeper into the symptoms of (undiagnosed) adult ADHD, things started to click in my head. It all makes sense all of a sudden. I understand him so much better, it explains so many of his behavioural patterns, so many of his reactions and so many of our arguments. I have started to deal with certain situations differently, because I see it all from a different angle. But I feel unless he becomes aware of this, I am not gonna get very far with it on my own, because I am still shouldering it all myself.

I don't know how to address it. I am afraid that he will feel like I look "down on him", we will only be able to look at it as a "mental condition" and he already has a problem with and feels ashamed of being dyslexic. How will this make him feel then? He will think that I want to treat him like a child or a disabled person. He will say "there's nothing wrong with being different, why do I have to change, why do you want me to change"?
I don't want him to distance himself any more from me. I love him unconditionally and I want to make this work together with him. I would be the last person to ever judge him for anything. But people have hurt him in the past and he's got such a massive protection wall around him that just goes up instantly as soon as he thinks someone is "criticising" anything about him.

Also of course, I can't be sure that he has ADHD, but how will I ever get him to talk to a doctor about this and get diagnosed? And then treated?

I don't want to make things worse between us, and I'd hat to hurt him, but I love him too much to let this go.
How do I address this?

sarahsweets
02-09-16, 05:35 AM
hi everyone.

His mum came to visit us in December and when my partner said he thinks she's got ADHD, because she's hyperactive, she just can't sit still, always does heaps of things at once and never stops talking,
Yes those are some characteristics of adhd but the hyperactive part is generally not such an issue with adults.


I don't know how to address it. I am afraid that he will feel like I look "down on him", we will only be able to look at it as a "mental condition" and he already has a problem with and feels ashamed of being dyslexic. How will this make him feel then? He will think that I want to treat him like a child or a disabled person. He will say "there's nothing wrong with being different, why do I have to change, why do you want me to change"?
I know its tempting to read about adhd and think he has it, but what makes you think that? Telling him this is purely your own theory and it may very well upset him.

I don't want him to distance himself any more from me. I love him unconditionally and I want to make this work together with him. I would be the last person to ever judge him for anything. But people have hurt him in the past and he's got such a massive protection wall around him that just goes up instantly as soon as he thinks someone is "criticising" anything about him.
Which is why telling him you think he has a disorder would not be the best way of going about whether he needs help or not.

Also of course, I can't be sure that he has ADHD, but how will I ever get him to talk to a doctor about this and get diagnosed? And then treated?

I don't want to make things worse between us, and I'd hat to hurt him, but I love him too much to let this go.
How do I address this?
I am not sure why you want him to get diagnosed and treated. He could have a zillion other things going on. Your best bet is to talk to him and see if he notices anything in his life that he has problems with. If he doesnt say there are or doesnt agree with you there's not much more that you can do. As much as we want to help those we love, we cant make them want to help themselves, especially if they dont see any issues going on.
Would he be open to just talking about if he has any trouble in life at all? If you approach it with 'I' statements like..." I know when I try and do xyz it is hard for me because....what about you? Do you struggle with this?"
Its the only way to keep him from getting defensive and he still may get defensive.

bluelou
02-09-16, 09:21 AM
Hey sarahsweets

I feel like I might have not explained myself very well. (not an English speaker) Also I have only lately started looking into this, even though I've been thinking about this for a longer time, and my mind is still quite confused and overwhelmed by it all.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to me! Maybe approaching it all from the angle you're suggesting will help.

It was not just because of those things (hyperactivity, lots of talking) that I thought it fits. More than 90% of what I have read so far fits exactly on him. He is aware of a lot of the issues and sometimes sees them and points them out quite clearly. But he never puts it together with ADHD and just says that's how he is.
Not relating to that he has even suggested himself he might have ADHD. But maybe more as a joke, I don't know.

I can't be sure and I would never go so far and say "you have this condition", I'm obviously not qualified and even though I grew up with a child having ADHD, I know little about it in adults and am also aware that it is different from individual to individual. I would merely suggest it to him or even just try to plant a seed and give him time and space to look into it himself.
I do tend to over-analyse and I agree that it is just tempting to think that a lot of the problems we've been having all come back to this, when maybe it is down to something else. But I don't think I am taking this lightly.

I have read that often symptoms are over-interpreted as ADHD symptoms in adults and can likely just be problems anyone deals with in life. Obviously I don't want him to have ADHD, but my partner is quite extreme in all of them and they are constantly present and affecting his life and our relationship. So how do I know?

Fuzzy12
02-09-16, 01:45 PM
Does your partner see these issues as a problem? If he does, he might actually be relieved to have found a possible reason of why he acts the way he does..and he might be glad that there is a way to treat it.

I'm not sure how to approach the topic in a non-offensive way. Maybe you could just tell him what you told us..that you started looking into ADHD because of his mom and that you found some parallels with his behaviour. :scratch:

TLCisaQT
02-29-16, 12:37 AM
You could bring it up due to the visit from his mom. You could say that when he mentioned his mom having adhd and then maybe mention someone the behaviors he identified, you could bring up how it can be genetic and if he ever considered maybe he may have it as well? (And you could mention any behaviors he has said that are just him that he can't control etc). That may then spark a conversation or lead at least into a discussion?? Good luck