Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Is It Just Me? My husband doesn't believe me

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  • Anonymous
    #89299 |

    My 8 year old daughter was diagnosed three years ago with moderate to severe AD/HD, the combined type. Since then, I’ve been thinking that I have it too. All my life, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s “wrong” with me and I’ve done a lot of self-diagnosis. My husband has seen me do this time and again. There was a time when I was convinced I was OCD. I’ve also had issues with anxiety and depression. I’m on Wellbutrin and Paxil, and these have helped a lot.

    I’ve never been officially diagnosed, and my husband thinks that I’m just buying into the “disease du jour” with AD/HD. He thinks it would be a waste of time to get a diagnosis because he sees it as me just wanting to put another label on myself. Also, he thinks I’m just making this about me instead of our daughter. However, I’ve worked very hard with our daughter and managed to get her an IEP, medication, and strategies to help her daily. My condition in no way detracts from her.

    I’m feeling really invalidated by his attitude. I need his understanding and I’ve talked to him at length about how I feel. Has anyone had this response by their loved ones?


    I find it hard to believe that your husband accepts ADHD in your child but not in you. Does he not know it is believed to be hereditary? Where does he think your daughter inherited it from? Does he not know that children with ADHD grow into adults with ADHD?

    Even though I was not diagnosed until last year I now know I’ve had it all my life. Focusing on homework and during tests was difficult and the harder I tried the worse it got. I was alternately labeled as “lazy” and told to just try harder. But it’s just so difficult to keep track of things and so easy to be distracted by new thoughts and ideas.

    I am fortunate that it was my wife who suggested that my constant bouts with depression might be something else. Even then, it took a long time to get the right diagnosis.

    I’ll leave you with one last anecdote about getting the right diagnosis. When I was in my 30’s I developed a terrible rash – I was itching all over and I couldn’t sleep because of it. I went to see my doctor who told me I was having an allergic reaction and gave me some medication which did NOTHING. I went to see him again and he referred me to a dermatologist who instantly saw that I had chicken pox! Yes, I was going around for several days as an adult with untreated chicken pox, infecting who knows how many people.

    So yes, getting the proper diagnosis is vital.


    Maybe instead of self diagnosing it is time that you talked to a doctor about a actual diagnosis. This may also help you get further along in your treatment. As a few of the other posts say ADHD is often a co-morbid of other diagnosis and until you talk to a medical professional and nail down what you do and don’t have then you are doing yourself and your family a disservice. If you have watched the “ADD and Loving it” you will find that they say that a much larger proportion of the population actually believe that they are ADD and are not. There are forms on this site that you can fill out and have a co-worker or family member fill out before you take it to your doctor and open the discussion. If one or both of your parents are still alive and willing they should also fill this out because they remember more about your childhood then you do.

    In the meantime you can work on some of the strategies that are available for you and of course keep advocating for your daughter. There are always going to be doubters and when you know what you are dealing with you will be more confident in the belief that you can and will be the best you that you can be. Your spouse will also be more confident when you quit self diagnosing and let a medical professional do it.


    I’m no psychologist, so I can’t say what is going on. I can comment on what happened in my house. At first my wife was ready to tear her hair out in frustration with me not remembering details, conversations, yet at the same time I am able to beat almost anyone in the “Cash Cab”. I would have to have the most mundane things explained to me over and over, while I can understand and teach Calculus and differential equations and apply them to problems in Physics.

    This frustration has built up over the last 25 years of marriage. So, when we finally decided to get me looked at, she didn’t believe the diagnosis. Why? It’s because ADHD is a childhood disease like chicken pox or mumps. It is something “those” kids have… you know the odd ones.

    It is taking us both some time to get over the prejudices we grew up with and the huge amount of misinformation out there. Even after watching the PBS special on ADD, she and I both are coming to grips with this.

    Have you gone to be tested and diagnosed? This is an important step. The rest will take time. Remember… and I say this with humor: Normals don’t think as fast as we do. It takes them a while to process this stuff. Give him time to catch up.


    KO, this sounds very similar to my situation!……My daughter is 12 and is in an IEP program at school. I am having her tested for ADHD. I have felt for years that I had it as a child as well but my mother never even knew it existed probably. I went to my family phys. several years ago and in a round about way he told me that not many doctors believe in the adult version and that diagnosing is very complex and involves a phych……….I was very discouraged after that apt. and never followed through with it anymore after that. I am currently going to a phych. for some family issues and have been thinking about asking her if I could be assessed for the disorder.

    My husband is very hard to talk too. He feels the same as yours, as if I’m trying to self diagnose all the time. I can’t even talk to him about this sort of stuff. I too suffer from anxiety but I also think there is more to it than just anxiety. I’m hoping to get some answers at my apt. this Wed……..I hope you get the answers you want as well :)


    I just graduated university last May, magna cum laude, as an English major with a minor in secondary education. I also learned a great deal about myself through the process. Like KO, I felt like something was “wrong” with me, too, from an early age and my distractability interfered with work performance and relationships in all areas of my life. I am grateful to be getting some help now, but I have chosen not to be medicated yet, focusing instead to work on behavior modification. I have had some unpleasant experiences with medications in the past, so I am planning to wait until this summer to give meds a go.

    As we focused on learning disabilities, I felt as though I was studying my own behaviors. I applied the strategies I learned for helping children cope with LDs into my own life and found them very helpful, particularly breaking a large project into “chunks,” consistently using an academic planner and timers. These things cut down my stress quite a bit. The university has a disability support services dept. that worked with my doctor to get me extended time for exams. Nothing like losing my train of thought during calculus exams to shake my confidence, but having as long as I needed allowed me to earn some B’s for once in a math subject. I think that math has actually helped me to work through and solve other problems, line by line, in other areas of my life as well.

    Re: relationships–I have been late for everything my entire life and my family compensated by inviting me to attend 30 minutes before everyone else. We can laugh about it now, but it kind of hurts a little to be treated as if I am completely incompetent. My husband still doesn’t believe I have adult ADD, but he did wonder why I had so many calendars–one for school, one for church and one for family/social functions. The calendar system I had was stressful, but it was the only way I could compartmentalize commitments. Losing one of my calendars during my student teaching internship was distracting and devastating as I tried to figure out where I needed to be and when. I am now down to one two-month at a glance wall calendar and a master calendar for longer-term commitments.

    My husband still questions why I buy more Drano or weed killer or anything else when we already have multiples stored in the garage. If I stick to my shopping list, I think I can resist the impulse to buy something I don’t need, I think this will help cut down on “inventory.” If your family members don’t believe you have ADD and they refuse to be educated about it in order to support you, I would suggest that you educate yourself so that you can be your own best advocate, find others you can talk to about ADD, and get some literature or a reading list from your doctor that you can pass on to your family/friends when they are ready.

    The upside of all of this is that now I can accept myself for who I am, try to figure out systems to help me to be successful, and perhaps inspire my students (when I can find a teaching job) to learn that we all have challenges in life, but it’s how we respond to the challenges that really can make a difference. If we choose to think of ourselves as “differently abled” and not “disabled,” we can use the strengths that we possess to make a difference in others’ lives. This fantastic website is just what so many of us have needed. I think that “normal” is just a word in the dictionary. Blessings to all of you!


    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of your posts. I’m relieved to know I’m not alone.

    I did take a standard AD/HD quiz/test through my PCP about two years ago. He commented that I had problems with distraction and depression and that is why he prescribed Wellbutrin.

    I’m going to find out if the test I took is an official diagnosis. If it isn’t, I will pursue getting one.

    Has anyone taken the interactive test on this site? I scored 8/9 on the Distraction traits and 4/9 on the Hyper traits. I saved the test results to my profile, and the website said that I’m probably NOT AD/HD. It’s weird, because I thought if you score more than 6 on any of the traits, it’s an indicator.

    In addition to all of the reasons people listed for getting a diagnosis, I have found that knowing (if) I have AD/HD I’m better able to empathize with my daughter. I have been operating on the assumption that I do have it. I look at her and I see myself. I have been sharing with her things I’ve done over the years to focus and listen in school. I feel that I understand her so well, and I know there is value in that.


    KO – I think it’s important that you see a SPECIALIST in Adult ADD/ADHD. I am pretty much the POSTER CHILD for ADD symptoms, and my diagnosis went pretty smoothly. Find yourself a specialist, and buckle down for the assessment period. Doctors can be wrong, but you can too. Go in with an open mind, and just -talk-.

    That was the hardest part for me… was not playing up my symptoms to SHOW the doctor what I thought I had. So I went in and tried to just be me… and he was pretty skillful at navigating around my stress/nerves/whatever. Best of luck, and keep us posted.


    Why would anyone want this disorder . i don’t see how when people that know you would not see that this fits . the problem is they are to lazy to do there home work. people like this will see a improvement this takes time , just be pa cent after time they will come around. i leave books and the totaly add vidio around. they do start to see a change.


    I understand exactly how you feel. For years my husband thought it was all behavioral, and I just needed to “get over it” whenever I lost something, didn’t finish a task, or just plain got overwhelmed with daily activities. A few years ago, I learned about adult ADD through another website, linked to children’s ADD and Asperger’s. I ordered a book about it, and found that many of the things listed were me to a T. He still didn’t believe me. About a month ago, he watched the ADD special on PBS, without me in the room, and I came into the room and he said “this describes you, I understand now, how can I help.” When I asked him why he couldn’t believe it before, he said “I just had to see the information, this way, at this time, like being tuned to a radio station. I heard the same thing you’d told me in a different way, and I got it.” Can’t tell you how relieved I am, we are working through it slowly, and I hope your husband has the same kind of breakthrough, as well, with something that helps it all come together.

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