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  #1  
Old 10-22-04, 09:19 AM
confusedwife confusedwife is offline
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Is it ADD/ADHD?

New to forums and looking for feedback. Not sure if husband is ADD or ADHD, but having sneaking suspicions. Something has always felt really wrong in relationship. Dated 7.5 years before marrying (I broke up alot over uncaring comments, etc... he'd make), now married for 17 years. Always have dealt with the following which has come to head; emotional distance (husband keeps things very shallow), very little affection, no 'love yous', etc..., impulsive and obsessive interests, sort of anal about getting things just right, freaks out easily when frustrated and overreacts, procrastinates, makes me organize/handle everything, overly critical, never pays compliments, controlling, doesn't follow through on expected paperwork/taxes (months late every year married), lack of interest in me, doesn't listen very well.

We have twin boys, both diagnosed bipolar (one probable ADHD too). I have to do everything for them. He just wants them better and is very impatient with their behaviors, then emotionally distances himself from them. He has very shallow relationship with them and they are a little fearful about what will set him off. When boys diagnosed he insists must come from my side of family. He has nephew who is ADHD/Tourette's, sister who is ADHD, mother who has (undiagnosed) Tourette's, sister who is hypochondriac, but he insists his family has nothing. From time kids were little, rather than being happy sports dad, would chastize kids about their bad performance and force extra practices to satisfy himself. Doesn't seem to be able to deal with way he thinks they 'should' be vs. way they are.

Found out recently he got woman pregnant just before we were together which they put up for adoption. He hid from me for 27 years. When I reacted with hurt he was completely un-apologetic and defensive. Couldn't understand what business it was of mine, and I was even more hurt by his lack of understanding.

Been in marriage counseling for a while over my frustrations and the baby-thing. He's fairly uncooperative. Puts down therapist as defense mechanism, never has completed 'homework' she assigned 5 months ago. He's very defensive when she points out things he may be doing wrong. I asked for divorce several months ago but he wanted to try therapy, however he's not very cooperative about it.

I have periodically suffered some mental stuff of my own in intervening years. Had to take care of twins, basically by myself, all along. I think husband found the noise/responsibility frustrating and he'd find other things to do than help me. Freaks out really easily if they'd spill something/make mess, etc, then vanish to gym for most of evening. As result I developed anxiety problems (OCD) and ended up with depression. Now his reaction to everything having to do with me is that I'm just 'depressed' or 'overly-sensitive'. Uses that as explanation for any frustrations/upsets I may have.

But, by same token he is very dependent on me. He's great with business, no problem there. Also, husband is almost surely Tourette's (when upset; throat clearing, yawning, strange gagging-like mannerism with neck. Always; rapid blinking (27 blinks to my 3). When talking and stimulated, does strange finger-waggling gesture exactly like his mother).

DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR???????
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Old 10-22-04, 09:36 AM
confusedwife confusedwife is offline
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Forgot a little

also intolerant of other's opions (his opinion is the RIGHT one).
also thinks everyone around him is an idiot
can only listen to one of my stories for about 15 seconds, then zones out
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Old 10-22-04, 10:18 AM
Red Rose Red Rose is offline
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Oh God,yes.
27yrs of living in a relationship exactly like yours.

I can relate to everything you said.

No relationship with his children
No empathy
No understanding
No affection
Overly critical
Controlling
Extremely quick tempered
Perfectionist
Very self opinionated
I could go on all day but i guess your going through the same thing so you will probably understand.

My husband too thinks that the rest of the world are idiots. Thick as pig s**t is one of his favourite sayings.
I also brought my children up on my own. He just couldn't be bothered with them. Far too demanding,noisey,messy,all the normal things that kids do drove him nuts.

Been told numerous times over the years that i am far too sensitive and i shouldn't take things he say's so personally. His reaction these day's when i get upset over another one of his callous remarks is to ask wether it's that time of the month. The problem as far as he see's it is my reaction to his remark and not what he has just said. Hope you know what i mean.
He isn't diagnosed but think after 27yrs he definately has adhd.
It took me until about 6mths ago to realise that the problems weren't me.
Thank God for the internet or i would still be going around feeling like a total failure.
I too suffer anxiety problems and panic attacks. Not surprising really when you think of the stress we live with day in and day out.

I feel more like his mother than his wife(i'm guessing you do too)

Keep in touch
Rose
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Old 10-22-04, 10:39 AM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
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I have only recently been diagnosed with AD/HD, but I married a man with it, and I knew he had it when we married.

He is a beautiful father.
He has empathy....far more than I could explain.
He is understanding.
Extremely affectionate.
Not critical at all.
Non controlling.
Not quick tempered.
Only a perfectionist to himself; not others.
Not self opinionated in the least.

He's also extremely intelligent and so damn funny I wouldn't trade him for anything in this world.

I think that both your husband's have 'something' wrong with them. Perhaps they are abusive people, but to place this all as ADHD behavior is so wrong. Look around this forum. Is all you see non caring people? No.

There are different types of people all over the world, and it is far too simplistic to say that AD/HD causes all these unpleasant behaviors in your husband's.

I am genuine in my empathy for both you ladies, but please be wary of "pathologizing" your husbands. That is really for a Doctor to do. I hope you both get some support and help because life with men like you both have is NOT good enough!

1+1 does not necessarily equal 2 in your cases. It probably wouldn't hurt if you both went to a Doc yourselves to deal with your anxiety; you need care as well.

I am trying to give you a sincere view of two sides of a coin. It is hard to accept it, but some people are just plain mean...I think you both deserve better.

Could your husband's have AD/HD.....yes. But the behavior is not conclusive to AD/HD by a long shot.

Take Care, both of you.....

P.S, as a side note, OCD and ADHD frequently go together as a comorbidity, ConfusedWife. Perhaps you didn't know that. OCD does not come from anxiety; it's a disorder unto itself, and depression is a part of the OCD in many people. I am sorry you have OCD. I have read much on it, and it is not pleasant.

Last edited by RhapsodyInBlue; 10-22-04 at 10:45 AM.. Reason: added post script.
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Old 10-22-04, 01:30 PM
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Wow these experiences are totally foreign to me. My ADD friend is more like RhapsodyinBlue describes. He's a total catch and I'd take a chance on him in a flash if I could.

My cousin is also of the same ilk, very very sweet. They both do have some frustrations/anger and inattention and love stimulating things, and are definitely underemployed for their level of intelligence, but wow nothing like you folks have described.

I have to say, I dont think I would stay married to them if they were like that and not dedicated to some serious therapy/counselling/program. What would be left of me?
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Old 10-23-04, 12:44 PM
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Rose & Confused Wife,
I think Viktoria & Crime Scene make good points about what can actually be blamed on ADD. However, I think that your ADDers being undiagnosed can play a significant role in their negtive personalities. They are experiencing ADD symptoms but refuse to acknowledge the disorder itself and seem angry and mean. Denial is a caustic beast. GD
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Old 10-24-04, 08:40 AM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlDriver
Rose & Confused Wife,
I think Viktoria & Crime Scene make good points about what can actually be blamed on ADD. However, I think that your ADDers being undiagnosed can play a significant role in their negtive personalities. They are experiencing ADD symptoms but refuse to acknowledge the disorder itself and seem angry and mean. Denial is a caustic beast. GD
GD, how can you be so completely sure that these men have ADHD? I know from experience that it is not a simple diagnosis based on so-called bad behaviors. Some of us exhibit no behavioral symptoms like the ladies husband's above.

I feel it wrong to make diagnosis online when we are not qualified to do so. That is what I meant about "pathologizing". I do agree that denial is a caustic beast! But I don't agree that "we" can diagnose.
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Old 10-24-04, 08:56 AM
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I'm with Viktoria on this one...show me an actual diagnosis and I will show you people who are abusive from ADHD...show me a shmuck and I will show you 80% of people in the world. What I see here, and I will be brutally honest (and that IS from ADHD), is people who are unhappy and trying to find a miracle cure for all their husband's problems. This is not wrong, but it is the wrong method.

ADHD is a disorder of attention. It is not a conduct disorder...

Now, BiPolar can cause these kinds of behaviors. ADHD is a disorder all its own. It therefore should not be diagnosed with everyone who has ADHD symptoms, especially if they are being caused by something else. Those are symptoms that I am relatively certain could be being caused by BiPolar Disorder...BUT I am not a doctor.

Therefore, my suggestion is to go to the same doctor or therapist who diagnosed the BiPolar disorder, and discuss it with them. Also, perhaps look at Tourette's Disorder... Tourette's Syndrome is far too rare to be expected...it's genetic and exceptionally rare, and he would most certainly have been diagnosed in childhood.

To summarize: I do not appreciate being identified as a person who is problematic because of my disorder. To paraphrase Sigmund Freud, "Sometimes an ***hole is just an ***hole."
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Old 10-24-04, 11:57 AM
confusedwife confusedwife is offline
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WOW - When I chose to post a comment, looking for information and support, I sure didn't anticipate offending anyone or having my intentions questioned.

I have a couple comments to make;

1) As this area of the forums is for those non AD/HD partners to share their experiences I wonder if it's productive for those with the disorder to try to empathize. It would stand to reason that those with the disorder themselves might not recognize the behaviors in the same manner as those without it, who live around it. While I very well could be wrong in assuming this is partially responsible for behaviors in my husband, I wonder if those experiencing the disorder themselves are not partially blinded to how it affects others.

2) Regardless of whether my husband has it, or not, it is not my intention to trash anyone, including him. It's not my intent to put anyone on the defensive. If I am wrong in my analysis of his behaviors, that is fine. I am simply looking for a possible explanation for recurrent behaviors.

3) In past reading, I am under the impression that ADD and ADHD differ in the way they present themselves. ADDrs tend to be more sensitive and insecure, while ADHDrs tend to be more impulsive and aggressive. Those are perhaps wrong adjectives to use, but please refer to
www.ldpride.net/addsub-types.htm

4) I know quite a bit about bipolar. It is possible husband is bipolar, but he doesn't suffer from depression. While his worker bee projects could be construed as mania, I doubt it.

5) Professional diagnosis are absolutely necessary, I agree. I am not trying to trivialize their importance. That is part of reason I am here - trying to gain knowledge. However, in regards to Tourette's, as such a visually obvious disorder, I think I am fairly certain. It has a high comorbidity rate with AD/HD and others around my husband have noticed these tics for years. As it does not get in way of his life or bother me, there's been no reason to deal with it.

6) OCD - "What is O.C.D.? by Steven Phillipson, Ph.D.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder, first and foremost. It is not a thought disorder. " (from www.ocdonline.com)

7) From viewing many of the other posts in the Non-ADD Partner Support section, I can see that there are many spouses/partners out there who are feeling overwhelmed; common comments are about insensitivity, hurtful comments, feeling overwhelmed at having to do so much.

Finally - it may very well be that I am completely off base. If so, so be it. I have to say though, that I'd expected a little more warm fuzzies from a forum designed to be a support. Sorry to all I may have offended.
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Old 10-24-04, 12:35 PM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
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WOW - When I chose to post a comment, looking for information and support, I sure didn't anticipate offending anyone or having my intentions questioned.

Confused Wife, I don't think any one here feels offended. I don't. Neither am I questioning your intentions. I said clearly in my post that I empathized with your situation, but I did make it clear that your Husband has no clear diagnosis of ADHD, therefore it is presumptious of "us" to attempt to make a diagnosis when we are not qualified.

I have a couple comments to make;

1) As this area of the forums is for those non AD/HD partners to share their experiences I wonder if it's productive for those with the disorder to try to empathize. It would stand to reason that those with the disorder themselves might not recognize the behaviors in the same manner as those without it, who live around it. While I very well could be wrong in assuming this is partially responsible for behaviors in my husband, I wonder if those experiencing the disorder themselves are not partially blinded to how it affects others.

I have a question here; maybe more. Do you think that we with the disorder cannot empathize? If so, you are very wrong. I had no idea I had ADHD, but my husband guessed I did by my dreamy like state of mind, and procrastinative behaviors. He did NOT tell me. That is empathy!
Do you think we are immune from experiencing a lack of empathy? What about those of us who lost family [parents] because we have this disorder? Was that empathy on the part of the Non ADHD'ers? No. So do you suggest that we are incapable of feeling empathetic, or feeling those that are unempathetic towards us? I doubt it. I am sad that you think we are in some way defficient of the ability to be impartial. I think that we with the disorder are more likely to know all about a lack of empathy, and we 'can' understand what you are feeling. All we have really said is that we do not place all these behaviors on ADHD.


2) Regardless of whether my husband has it, or not, it is not my intention to trash anyone, including him. It's not my intent to put anyone on the defensive. If I am wrong in my analysis of his behaviors, that is fine. I am simply looking for a possible explanation for recurrent behaviors.

It isn't impossible that your husband has ADHD, but his behavior is not suggestive of it in the primary sense of the disorder.

3) In past reading, I am under the impression that ADD and ADHD differ in the way they present themselves. ADDrs tend to be more sensitive and insecure, while ADHDrs tend to be more impulsive and aggressive. Those are perhaps wrong adjectives to use, but please refer to
www.ldpride.net/addsub-types.htm

I am not qualified to comment on this as I have inattentive type ADHD. But I know hyeractive ADHD'ers that are not aggressive. Impulsive? Yes. Sometimes, but who isn't? Haven't you ever bought something on impulse?


4) I know quite a bit about bipolar. It is possible husband is bipolar, but he doesn't suffer from depression. While his worker bee projects could be construed as mania, I doubt it.

I tend to agree. But again, I am not qualified to diagnose.

5) Professional diagnosis are absolutely necessary, I agree. I am not trying to trivialize their importance. That is part of reason I am here - trying to gain knowledge. However, in regards to Tourette's, as such a visually obvious disorder, I think I am fairly certain. It has a high comorbidity rate with AD/HD and others around my husband have noticed these tics for years. As it does not get in way of his life or bother me, there's been no reason to deal with it.

Tourettes and ADHD can be comorbid. So can OCD and ADHD.

6) OCD - "What is O.C.D.? by Steven Phillipson, Ph.D.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder, first and foremost. It is not a thought disorder. " (from www.ocdonline.com)

That is a good site. But I prefer the OCD Foundation where it does back up what you say, but also states that OCD is part of the brain not communicating with another part. I cannot remember which parts [ADD] But just go to the OCD Foundation and you will find it is as much a disorder as ADHD. It is not caused by stress, and can wreak havoc on family life as much as ADHD can.


7) From viewing many of the other posts in the Non-ADD Partner Support section, I can see that there are many spouses/partners out there who are feeling overwhelmed; common comments are about insensitivity, hurtful comments, feeling overwhelmed at having to do so much.

There are also many ADHD'ers who are overwhelmed by the opposite, so this is where we have to learn to be empathetic to ADHD'ers and Non ADHD'ers alike. There are two sides to this coin.

Finally - it may very well be that I am completely off base. If so, so be it. I have to say though, that I'd expected a little more warm fuzzies from a forum designed to be a support. Sorry to all I may have offended.

I think you are on to "something", but it may not be ADHD. You have not offended, so no need for apologies. There is a private forum where we that have ADHD cannot access, and perhaps in there you will receive more of what I think you are looking for.
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Old 10-24-04, 03:35 PM
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Unhappy Denial & Alienating Loved Ones

Hi Rhapsody,

I've not asserted certitude that the spouses of Rose & Confused Wife have AD/HD, that "we" should diagnose them, or that AD/HD it is a simple dx. These women suspect that AD/HD may play a role in their spouse's behavior; I suggest that denial of an underlying cause might also.

Whether their spouses have AD/HD or anything else at all, the thrust of my comment concerns the gravity of denial itself, especially concerning chronic behavior or health issues. So long as either issue is present and not addressed or diagnosed, the risk of denial usurping therapeutic improvement exists. It my experience, denial and therapeutic improvement are virtually exclusive of each other.

Denial requires an enormous amount of energy and personal vesting. Some people defend it to their own peril, destroying relationships & alienating loved ones rather than admit the underlying problem.
GD~
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Old 10-24-04, 04:12 PM
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Confused Wife~~KEEP Posting!

Confused Wife,
I want to support your efforts in learning about the things that plague your husband. I'm confident that your questions & comment are all to that end:-)

Please do not stop posting & responding bc we are all apt to learn something from one another. Even if we disagree around here, we generally share the goal of learning more about AD/HD. Forum posts can leave something to be desired bc the medium is flat, and sometimes our communication suffers in transmission. You may be more comfortable posting in the private Non-ADD spouse forum.

Everyone has to start somewhere in the knowledge quest. The more knowledge you have about AD/HD (bipolar, whatever) when you/your hubby seeks help, the greater the chances for an accurate dx. Many professionals prefer the spouse's input when making the dx. All the information you gain may actually assist in ruling out AD/HD or something else! You just never know.
Very Best to You, GD

,
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedwife
WOW - When I chose to post a comment, looking for information and support, I sure didn't anticipate offending anyone or having my intentions questioned.

I have a couple comments to make;

1) As this area of the forums is for those non AD/HD partners to share their experiences I wonder if it's productive for those with the disorder to try to empathize. It would stand to reason that those with the disorder themselves might not recognize the behaviors in the same manner as those without it, who live around it. While I very well could be wrong in assuming this is partially responsible for behaviors in my husband, I wonder if those experiencing the disorder themselves are not partially blinded to how it affects others.

2) Regardless of whether my husband has it, or not, it is not my intention to trash anyone, including him. It's not my intent to put anyone on the defensive. If I am wrong in my analysis of his behaviors, that is fine. I am simply looking for a possible explanation for recurrent behaviors.

3) In past reading, I am under the impression that ADD and ADHD differ in the way they present themselves. ADDrs tend to be more sensitive and insecure, while ADHDrs tend to be more impulsive and aggressive. Those are perhaps wrong adjectives to use, but please refer to
www.ldpride.net/addsub-types.htm

4) I know quite a bit about bipolar. It is possible husband is bipolar, but he doesn't suffer from depression. While his worker bee projects could be construed as mania, I doubt it.

5) Professional diagnosis are absolutely necessary, I agree. I am not trying to trivialize their importance. That is part of reason I am here - trying to gain knowledge. However, in regards to Tourette's, as such a visually obvious disorder, I think I am fairly certain. It has a high comorbidity rate with AD/HD and others around my husband have noticed these tics for years. As it does not get in way of his life or bother me, there's been no reason to deal with it.

6) OCD - "What is O.C.D.? by Steven Phillipson, Ph.D.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder, first and foremost. It is not a thought disorder. " (from www.ocdonline.com)

7) From viewing many of the other posts in the Non-ADD Partner Support section, I can see that there are many spouses/partners out there who are feeling overwhelmed; common comments are about insensitivity, hurtful comments, feeling overwhelmed at having to do so much.

Finally - it may very well be that I am completely off base. If so, so be it. I have to say though, that I'd expected a little more warm fuzzies from a forum designed to be a support. Sorry to all I may have offended.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:35 PM
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Lightbulb

Just have to comment here my X of 18 years has all the horrible symptoms both Rose and CW write BUT he is definitely NOT ADD.

Now controlling, self-centered...don't get me started, but NOT ADD/HD.


I am totally the opposite of my X and have been dx'd bi-polar and ADD inattentive, go figure-- I was the one abused, I was the one who just sat here nodding to every single negative symptom you related about your hubby's, I felt like a doormat by the time I worked up the courage -for my children's sake- to end the abuse.

Take care both of you; don't get to the end of your ropes before you get help for YOU! You can only change yourselves and the future for your children.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:55 PM
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Charlie . . .ADDers Getting Picked On

Charlie,
Your experience is interesting to me. It reminds me of the things I have read/observed about AD/HD kids being frequently picked on.
Do you think there is a connection?
I have also read that "high maintenance" babies and children are more frequently abused by their parents.
Do you think there is a connection?
GD






Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie
Just have to comment here my X of 18 years has all the horrible symptoms both Rose and CW write BUT he is definitely NOT ADD.





Now controlling, self-centered...don't get me started, but NOT ADD/HD.


I am totally the opposite of my X and have been dx'd bi-polar and ADD inattentive, go figure-- I was the one abused, I was the one who just sat here nodding to every single negative symptom you related about your hubby's, I felt like a doormat by the time I worked up the courage -for my children's sake- to end the abuse.




Take care both of you; don't get to the end of your ropes before you get help for YOU! You can only change yourselves and the future for your children.
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Old 10-24-04, 05:28 PM
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Red face

Hey GD,
don't know it was too long ago

Don't feel that I was picked on for anything other than always being the tallest in the class, all through grade school.

High maintenance baby not sure if I could be catagorized as that either. Grandma pretty much raised me until age 3 when I moved back with my mom and step-dad (abuser).

I felt like a pretty mellow, stable person until 18 yr relationship with X broke me.

My ADHD brother, very hyper grew up without being picked on also.

So guessing that what you post may be correct just not in our particular cases.
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