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July 22nd, 2010
07:35 AM ET

Lazy spouse or A.D.H.D marriage?

If you can't rely on your spouse to pay bills, pick up the kids, or do chores, then your marriage may be suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder according to mental health experts quoted in the New York Times.

Common symptoms of the disorder include distraction, disorganization, and forgetfulness, which sure can seem a lot like laziness, selfishness, and a general lack of caring.

Obviously not every lazy or inattentive spouse has A.D.H.D.- some people really just don't care whether or not the garbage is taken out. But according to the New York Times, 4% of adults are living with the disorder. As many as half of children with the disorder never grow out of all the symptoms and some adults may have never even been diagnosed.

Kyra will be talking about A.D.H.D marriages with psychotherapist and author Sari Solden during the 10AM hour of the CNN Newsroom.

Do you have any questions for Sari Solden? Has A.D.H.D. put a strain on your marriage? Please post your questions and stories below and Kyra will use some on the air.

Filed under: Anchors • CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Terry Matlen, ACSW

    Just a note to say how excited I am to see that Sari will be on CNN talking about this very important topic. She has made a huge impact in the field of ADHD! I do have a question that the NYT article prompted many readers to ask: How does a couple cope when BOTH partners have ADHD?

    Terry Matlen, ACSW

    July 22, 2010 at 8:00 am |
  2. Ann C.

    I recently began to question if I had this disorder. I will do everything I can for my children, but chores and bills are neglected. I feel overwhelmed at times. I used to be super-organized, but now I just get by. I love projects, and have always felt excited at the prospect of starting something new, but have a hard time completing anything with the same initial excitement. I look back on my childhood and young adulthood and can clearly see this same pattern. I definitely had trouble with my school work, athletics, and jobs. Never really having interest in any if those things once I started. Motherhood and marriage has brought fulfillment like nothing else and a sense of purpose. I just have tremendous trouble with daily chores, bills, etc. and throw myself into project after project to distract and barely complete one before moving to the next.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  3. blue skies

    How does the non-ADD spouse deal with the ADD spouse's inability to make decisions – this effects everything from making dinner to major decisions like where to send kids to school. Thanks.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  4. Leslie

    Do you have any tips for adults with adhd on how not to "die of boredom" or how to cope with a partner who can never seem to keep up energy wise without growing apart?

    July 22, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  5. Sarah

    I have a serious boyfriend with ADHD. He is the most wonderful thing to happen to me. He goes to therapy, and is on medication. I don't believe that just because someone has ADHD that it means it will be hard to hold a relationship with them. Of course he has his times, but they just make me love him even more. ADHD is a common disease, don't let it ruin your relationship, seek help, and stick by his side.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  6. Sheryl

    What are the criteria for diagnosing ADHD? This may seem like a basic question that anybody could look up. But could you please address it so people don't self-diagnose incorrectly? Thanks!

    July 22, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  7. Sonja

    I have been diagnosed with ADHD at the age 22, my husband shows all signs of it as well. I am on meds, my husband cannot get on them due to his job. How can we avoid to get on our nerves each day and end up fighting as we both got big problems to keep organized and on task? How can we stay a loving couple without deepening the "mother/kid" dynamic that we have going right now. It is not satifying for me to run his life for him, and it is frustrating for him too but if I just let him do as he wants nothing gets done and the house looks like a mess.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  8. Elise

    I have problems with my husband finishing things and procrastinating. I don't know what to do. I think he has had ADHD for his whole lfe and has went undiagnosed. He has had previous substance abuse issues and I believe that it all stems from ADHD. I sometimes feel like I am at my witts end! Can you help?

    July 22, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  9. Laura

    I am constantly stressed because my boyfriend of 2 years (who has not be diagnosed) is always having mood swings, and can not seem to get his life together. How can we work towards making things go in the right direction for him so our relationship is not jepordized?

    July 22, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  10. ellen

    i struggle everyday with living with a spouse with add. while i am discussing issues that matter to me, he will pick up his cell phone to check email, reach over and turn on the radio and even walk out of the room to get his coffee. i know him so i know he doesn't mean to disregard me: he just cannot focus and often doesn't realize he has even slighted me. while i know he doesn't intentionally do any of these things, i find myself saying he could 'intentionally' focus on me: that i should be worth the extra effort. it doesn't help that he travels a lot . i am hurt that he is not 'here' even when he is. he feels attacked when i try to discuss it with him. i just end up hiding my hurt until i can no longer stand it and then we have a major confrontation, but we never resolve any of it. we just kind of wait until we forget it and move on. there has to be a better way to deal with it.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  11. Nancy

    I've been married for 32 years. I have learned to make my husband written lists, instead of telling him things that need to be done. I found early in our marriage that if I verbally told him as few as three things that I needed from a grocery store before he came home, he would remember two out of three.
    I also make sure we have eye contact during important discussions. Turn the TV off and don't have the radio on helps in keeping him from being distracted.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  12. Genevieve

    I'm so glad to finally see a report about adult ADD. My husband was diagnosed with ADD 13 years ago. Ritalin was prescribed and changed his life practically overnight. The symptoms have not completely disappeared, but now we understand what's going on. Tomorrow is our 25th wedding anniversary.

    July 22, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  13. Dan Daniels

    Being 54 years old I grew up in the times when this was a unknown condition. It wasn't until I was 40 years old that I was diagnosed. Thank God that my parents sent me to St. John's Military Academy for High School as I would have turned out much different.
    ADHD has played a important role in my life as I have just retired from teaching 32 years as a High School Emotionally Impaired teacher. Many of my students over the years were ADHD or ADD and after learning of my condition I was better able to relate to them.
    This is a real condition with real consequences as it relates to life and marriage. I was questioned by a marriage counselor as to if I would be willing to see a psychiatrist to see if this was a condition I had. Thank God I said yes.
    Finding out that this was a part of my life has changed my life. Divorce was in the works and that was fine. We didn’t work. These days I am retired, married to a wonderful woman who is a Stem Cell research scientist and use to be a MD.
    The best ADHD story I have is when we were dating. I told her of my ADHD and her first concern was that I might become addicted to the Ritalin. I told her that I take 1 week off of the meds in the summer.
    On our first weekend trip I forgot my meds. I will never forget the trip home on a Sunday night when she asked me. “Do you really have to take the week off in the summer!”.
    ADD/ADHD is real and WILL affect any marriage. The best defense is a good offence. Find good doctors and take care of yourself and your loved ones.
    Dan Daniels

    July 22, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  14. PJ

    I'm married to a guy with severe adhd. The severity of his disorder makes it very hard to deal with. I'm a psychotherapist; I understand that he can't help it that he forgets to take out the trash, or literally anything else except paying the bills and putting in a day at work. I don't understand though, when he obliterates my neatlhy organized things, refuses to take medication, and refuses to use any of the proven common-sense strategies to deal with his ADHD. I guess his cavalier attitude is a bigger handicap than his ADHD. I'm actually planning to move into my own place.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  15. Linda

    My son was recently engaged to a woman with A.D.H.D. but finally broke it off because he saw what his future would be like were he to marry her. They shared a house, and she expected him to do EVERYTHING. He works 60+ hours a week; she had been fired from her last three jobs because of on-the-job A.D.H.D.-related problems, and she's now unemployable. He cleaned the house, paid the bills, ran the errands, did the yardwork, made repairs, and entertained her young daughter whom she never managed to get to school on time. She may be an extreme example, but eventually he saw that he'd never be able to count on her to do anything and that it would never be an equally yoked partnership. He said it was like living with a child.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  16. GR

    Questions to ask the guest.

    Medication and counseling are not working. Probably due to such a late diagnosing, not a lack of desire. Does anyone know if someone specializes in late diagnosed adults?

    Although probably too late for us, is there anyone that works on relationships/marriages with both of the people involved?

    July 22, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  17. Adam W

    I have been living with ADHD since I was a child. I grew up having pills forced down my throat and forbidden from participating in things "normal" kids always did. Because of this I have long since refused to take any pills for any reason. ADHD has taken a tole on my life and relationships through out the years in several ways. One of which is my inability to follow through with multiple instructions on a given day or longer period of time. I have found however, that my short-comings hale in comparison to the creativity, passion, and social aptitude, I experience while using marijuana. It dramatically lengthens my concentration and therefor, the effort I am able to dedicate to one particular task. Not to mention it's an infinitely safer and ultimately more benign a substance than any pill I had been previously prescribed. I am 25 now and back in college, having just now attained the confidence to do so.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  18. Stephen C.

    I am 57, recently diagnosed with AADD, and on the second day of Adderall. I notice an immediate change – Like being able to write this in one sitting.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  19. amy cavanaugh

    @adam w: you have hit the nail on the head medical marijuana is an essential component of modern medicine-for those who dont want to do it illegally – marinal is now available but you have to ask

    ADD has ruined every relationship in my life

    medication is important but cognitive therapy and lifestyle modification is also important

    July 22, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  20. HL

    Has anyone ever dealt with a spouse with ADHD and seen a pattern of making poor decisions- including having a one night stand? My husband's counselor has diagnosed my husband after we started going to counseling because he stepped out on me one time. It sounds like an excuse for poor behavior. Does anyone have any knowledge on this?

    July 22, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  21. Melissa Vatter-Miller

    I have been married for 18 years to a man with ADHD. He was diagnosed 11 years ago. I believed that he was just "anal retentive" with his organized compulsive closet and drawers. However, he is organized in all aspects of his life. Everything must be tidy and organized. This is how he adapted to his life. It keeps him on task and target. We went through a period where HE did not understand why I was not as "anal" as he was with all aspects. We realized that it was going to have to be give and take to make the relationship work. He has learned that it is okay to leave shoes in the living room when you take them off and that things do not have to be done "NOW". Things still can remain tidy and clean. I came to realize that he has off days with his ADHD and to give him space. His mind is always racing, so I know that when he has a project, let him finish and cheer him on through it. A lot of times, an ADHD individual does not want to hear more talk with all the ideas that are racing in their head, but rather just a calm presence. That is the essence of respect for each other. Give and take. Not being stubborn, but willing to trust each other. I had to teach my mate to relax, and that by the end of the day, many things will come into place without being flighty and appearing disconnected. But you must be aware of the tendencies of your ADHD mate and willing to accept and work with them.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  22. James Woodson Ph.D.

    I've spent years studying the effects of stress on behavioral performance related to attention and memory. It constantly amazes me how well the consequences of stress parallel or mimic the symptoms of ADHD. Perhaps interventions aimed at understanding and limiting such stress effects would be wise prior to the questionable diagnosis of an ADD-like disorder. Marriage is stressful, particularly in tough economic times. Add kids into the mix and it's no wonder that parents seem like they have ADD. Medicalization and drug treatment take the blame away from our high-pressure society and place the cost of drug treatment on the patient.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  23. GR

    If not the guest, can anyone answer the questions I asked above. I am so desperate right now and really need help. Although I am aware my marriage wil be over soon, I need the help to be better for myself, my daughters and future relationships. Please someone help.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  24. Harold

    Working with couples with ADHD I know how difficult it can be for a couple where one or both have ADD/ADHD without proper intervention. Sari did a wonderful job of covering this vial area! Thank you.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  25. lizahn

    I AM the person with ADD. As frustrating as it is for the spouse, it is just as frustrating for the person who has it. I knew I had a problem from childhood on but never could put a name to it. I was diagnosed at 50 years old and given Reitlin, which did nothing but make me super hyper. I took it for two days and threw the rest out.
    As the person with ADD, I know my problem but I'm unable to control it. It controls me. I am sometimes so frustrated I've taken the items on my desk and wiped everything off my desktop. I knew it was irrational but the fact that I could not finish the projects started on my desktop, created a need to "wipe" them away. Foolish, yes, but it was that or hit my head against a wall. I can not start a project and finish it. I can not keep track of things. I have limitations.
    I CAN multi-task. Give me a job with six things to do at once and I can do it. So, I've never been able to work for anyone but I found a way to work for myself. I found a job that multi-tasks only. It works for me. So, all is not lost. I had to find a way to deal with my "disability".
    Now, another problem of mine. I'm only comfortable if I have a "room", my office in this house, that is a mess. A total mess. It's like when life is too organized, too neat, I feel trapped. I have to go to the room that is a mess. A total mess. Then I feel more "comfortable". It makes my spouse crazy. We finally came upon an agreement that the rest of the house has to be squeaky clean and neat and my "room" can be a mess if it has to. Close the door. Lately, my spouse has been showing company my "room" and it is embarrassing so all is not perfect.
    But we've found a middle ground for 32 years. We've muddled through this problem together. We have many other positive aspects of our relationship. Many positive! Please know that this problem is difficult for BOTH parties. I wish I knew a way to change my behavior but it is beyond me. I am bright, intelligent and, by and large, happy, but ADD is my nemisis. It always has, and if I can't find a way, always will control me and limit me. Ah, but life is not perfect. But, it is GOOD!!

    July 22, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  26. Nando Vega


    call your doctor and explain how you specifically feel.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  27. heather

    Thanks for the info I am ADD, and my husband and I know if I don't take that magic pill, it is going to be a hellish day! A day full of mood swings, attitude and "you are on your own buddy, don't expect anything from me. Everything is all your fault, and I could care less because its all about me; you are not important to me."

    July 22, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  28. Dave T.

    I feel everyone's pain. I have been diagnosed with ADHD. It has taken over my life and I don't know what to do about it. I have short-term memory problems, lose focus and concentration and it has ruined my last relationship. I am on medication for it, but unfortunately, it continues to disrupt every aspect of my life.

    I used to be the most organized, hard-working, could do just about anything, but I am now having to take a disability retirement that I don't really want, but will lose my job if I don't, so I am doing it. ADHD is really a serious problem. I can't tell you how many times I "have "forgotten" things, even though I write them down or use a small tape recorder to remember thing, but to no avail. Half the time I lose one or the other and it drives me crazy that I can't find either or the other.

    I just can't understand why it hit me so hard in the last two years. I had it previously and most likely, all of my life, but the past two years has been brutal. I was diagnosed late in life and growing up they didn't call ADHD and as I grew up and was labeled "very smart but lazy" – try that in a Catholic school with nuns, in a strict Catholic Family and my Father in the military. Not a pretty picture I can assure you; corporal punishment was applied to help "motivate" me to do better, but didn't work unfortunately for me!

    If you have it, get some help. I exhausted all my options, but there is nothing I can do so far, to get my life back in order, even just a little.
    Thanks for listening/reading my story. Get help and get someone to explain it to your spouse if you can't.

    Take Care,

    Dave T.
    Atlanta, Georgia

    July 22, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  29. Brian

    I'm 68 and was just diagnosed with ADHD. Actually called ADHD-PI for Predominately Inattentive. What an eye opener! I am on my 3rd marriage and I think about my 30th job. Recording the number of jobs is my next project. In the last 2 years, I have held 5 jobs. Rarely fired, just always wanted something better. As soon as I got the slot, I wanted to be doing something else.

    Procrasination, distraction, unfinished tasks/projects by the score. I get a thought, get enthused about it, and then there is no action. No follow through. Lists help a little. Little pride in ownership. I have parts I bought years ago for my touring motorcycle that are still in the box.

    Looking back, this was always there. I am able to focus quite intently on occasion. I also suffer from Sleep Apnea(OSA) and have used the C-PAP since 1989. The doctors tell me that the 2 are often found together.

    The report hit the nail on the head and my wife is not terribly understanding. Thinks I don't care. But I do take out the garbage!! But she has gone with me to my sessions and perhaps this will lead to some lessening in the negative comments she fires at me. I become distracted in our conversations. Many of the posts in front of mine mirror my symptoms.

    I have been told I am "bright", "intelligent", "lots of potential" and no one ever looked at the underlying causes, including several psychologists during several bouts of marriage counselling. The marriage is not in trouble, but there are challenges that result from my ADHD>

    I am currently doing biofeedback and plan to start medication(as yet undetermined) next week.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  30. P G

    Im pretty sure I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a child in the 70's. I was never medicated for it. I have problems with anxiety. My marriage today is a day in day out battle with getting along. I am depressed all the time, but also the happiest person you'll ever meet. I can not focus enough on getting the bills paid, the grocery shopping, doing things with the kids, which I choose over other stuff (5 yrs and 11 months ) working a swing shift and keeping the house cleaned. I usually make a bigger mess with everything I do when I try and fix it. I feel like I can not stay focused enough on one thing and do 7 at one time and it seems to me I am doing all of it and it puts a damper on our marriage. I have asked many times for assistance doing these tasks because I do notice I start one project and never fully finish anything. I have a strong passion for many things in my life but when it comes time to study, keep up on tasks involved, I can not get myself to do it. Everything I have is usually a mess and it depresses me. I too feel everything that happens to me was intentional or done out of spite. I have a huge ability to basically do anything, either because if I did not it would not get done or just because I feel it has to be me the one to do it. I go out of my way for others and sometimes making a bigger problem for myslef. I do feel I have other issues in my marriage that need fixed, but after seeing this on Cnn, it really opened my eyes and it felt like all the other posts I read were the same things I deal with on a daily basis. I would love some advice on this matter, or a book to turn to for help.

    July 22, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  31. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Some of this lazyness could be from a bad heart some people go threw life without knowing they have cardiac problems .

    July 22, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  32. rocky s

    My wife has ADHD, herself and her family tend to forgets knows she has it but blames a lot on me with the full force of the symptoms. She wants to experience new things, she an adult but this scares. I want to save money to get her brain scanned in san Diego so she can be diagnosed. We live in phx is there a cheaper way to get scan.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  33. Dee

    While I am sure there are people who DO have an actual 'ADD' condition, IMHO many of those who cannot seem to focus, pay attention and follow up with things they are supposed to do are using ADD as an excuse!

    If not, what has seemingly increased those diagnosed with ADD so much? It seems like every other person blames all their problems with attention and obedience on ADD, instead of on willfulness.

    In the "old days" when a kid did not obey there were consequences, and thus they grew up to be functioning adults. today, if a kid will not pay attention or will not do what they are told to do they get diagnosed as having a 'disorder'> This is baloney!

    July 22, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  34. Sari Solden

    For more information about my books/writings on adult ADHD, please visit or email me with comments or questions at

    July 22, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  35. Sari Solden

    Hi Everyone, thanks for all your interest in ADHD and Marriage. If you are interested in my work you can look at my books Women with Attention Deficit and Journeys Through ADDulthood. You can also go to my website for information on how to contact me.

    July 22, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  36. Mike in Scottsdale

    The way things go in and out of style, it seems like the whole country suffers from some form of ADHD. Even the news has to keep up with our short attention span. Marriage is basically dead, people just do not want to try hard enough to keep it together when they have the attention span of a fly.

    July 22, 2010 at 12:13 pm |

    I've lost relationships over ADHD, looked like a failure to my children because of so many unfinished projects I've started through the years and to this day have issues with organization skills. That mixed with OCD and I feel at 60 I'm still a mess with much distress! Please help!

    July 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  38. cicely brown

    i think it is hard but if the two have good communication with each other and they arew working together as they they now the two become one so which me two dont just deal with one self they deal with each other

    July 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  39. Mary Kay Longwell

    Sari, I missed the airing. Is there any way I can see a replay? Thanks.

    July 22, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  40. Cheryl Sampson

    I have an adult son that recently returned to the nest and who suffers from all of these symptoms. These issues are causing problems with my marriage because my husband thinks he is just lazy, forgetful and doesnt care (which could very well be the case).
    He has recently enrolled in college and we have agreed to help by allowing him to live at home as long as he is enrolled in college. However, every day when he leaves to go to work (or wherever) he forgets to lock the door, or let the garage door back down. I am constantly telling him to pick up soda cans that he leaves sitting around or accumulating in his room; I constantly remind him to rinse out the soda cans he does bring to the kitchen. I am forever telling him this payment it due, etc. I have reminded him for months now that his car tag has expired and needs to be renewed.
    He is a very smart young man, but it seems as if I am raising a toddler again and forced to constantly remind him that certain things need to be done.
    If he does have ADHD I would at least know that he isnt just lazy or doesnt care. He seems to care and genuinely gets frustrated when you tell him he left the door unlocked AGAIN, but just doesnt seem to grasp the importance of the responsibilities of adulthood.

    July 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  41. GR

    Jusrt in case anyone wonders, I am going to see someone for my ADHD, the appointment happens to be tomorrow even though it was a month agoI called when I was informed of the wifes intentions. Also, although hurting, upset and not wanting this condition or failed marriage, I have way too good of an upbringing to do anything to myself, my children or (soon to be ex-) wife. It is not all me but I have to work on me for myself, my family and wonderful daughters. I will succeed this test and live, love and experience life and all it has to offfer. As a couple of lines from two different songs from grate band.... "doesn't alwasys turn out as it does in the song" and "I will get by".

    July 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  42. Cynthia

    I have ADD and I definitely think that it contributed to the end of my marriage. My spouse always said that I was lazy and selfish and everything else. But that simply was not and is not true. And I did do a lot and a lot of unselfish things in my marriage. But I am perceived that way by some in my family. I struggle very hard to keep up with the daily things of living. I now use a computer program that pops up reminders for me so that I will remember things that I need to do. That has helped me a lot. And I work hard at trying to keep a schedule. I really appreciated your interview with Sari Solden this morning. It was a comfort to me and gave me hope.

    July 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  43. Jane

    After 25 yrs of marriage, I can say it's exhausting. I can never let my guard down, because I have to pay attention for both of us. He misplaces things. Me: "Where's the dog?" Husband: Panicky look followed by, "I must have left him tied up outside the hardware store!"
    He loses money. Me: "The bank is cancelling our debit card. You left it in the ATM for the fifth time this month. The next customer was honest to return the $200 you left." He asks the same questions again and again. "Is Christmas always on Thursday or the same date each year?" Then you bear children who inherit ADHD. Me: "Son, where did you leave your jacket/bike/sister?"

    July 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
  44. Alexander

    First, some one with ADHD isn't selfish, every person I know that has ADHD will go out of their way to help anyone because that is what they want to do. Yes, ADHD is frustrating to every one that is surrounded by the situation but you cannot blame a disease, for lack of better word, on not being able to pay the bills or to not pick up your kids. Those things are just characteristics of those who are lazy not of those who have ADHD. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, it stinks to live with, especially going through school. I feel that some people who this as an excuse for not getting things done. Not saying any of the commentors are... however, I have seen it, and I hate that some people are just too lazy to take action and it is too easy for them to blame it on something else.

    July 23, 2010 at 7:46 am |
  45. Shay

    I think that is horrible and pretty desperate for the teacher to lie about the brain tumor just to get time off work. She must have been pretty stressed out and that is when it is time to ask your employer for a personal leave...even a family medical leave if u are overwhelmed. I have used some pretty drastic excuses my self to get some time off. I have told my employer I have a heart condition...I get really bad migraines and can't stand up...all type of things to get time off. It's all pretty bad and we should just be real with our employers and ask for personal time!!

    July 23, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  46. Dennis

    I am a 63 yr "Old Fart" dialogist with ADHD several months ago. Is there any medications you would recommend? My Doctor has me on Wilburton. Thanks, Dennis

    July 23, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  47. Susanne

    Diagnosed with ADHD in 2000 when my son was in the second grade, I found reading "Women with ADD" as if Ms Solden wrote about me. At the same time, she taught me the gifts those with ADHD have and should be harnessed. Since then, I read whatever Ms Solden puts in print. Living near Ann Arbor, MI, I have wanted to meet her...just to thank her for teaching me that having this disorder doesn't mean I'm disabled.
    My hope is, Ms Solden will continue her work by addressing the workplace, bosses, our talents, our accommodation requests, & not being discriminated....which I was and currently fighting. This invisible disorder makes asking for accommodations questionable and in my case, answered with a No.
    Thank you Ms Solden and I can't wait for your next book.
    Western Oakland county, MI

    July 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  48. Louise Just

    I read Ann C.'s comments and I feel the same way. I have started to think about this myself, and often wondered how to go about proper diagnosis. Sometimes doctors are all to happy to jump to medicine. I'm not opposed to medicine, it's just that I need a proper diagnosis and find out what would work. The smallest amount of any medicine I take for anything is usually always too much for my body to handle.

    July 24, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  49. Douglas

    As an Education major, I was diagnosed with ADD. The medication made me sick so the doctor gave me drugs for that, but I still felt ill all the time. I often forgot to eat since I never got hungry (another drug side-affect). Right away, I noticed that I could (and had no choice but) stay awake for 18-20 hours a day. After about 2 months I began having urinary issues which my doctor attributed to another side affect of the drugs. I felt dizzy and disconnected all the time – like I was living in some realm invisible to the rest of the world. Really, I felt intoxicated . . . I broke out into sweaty hot-flashes and dry-mouth.

    My grades had gone from 2.0 to 4.0, chores around the house that seemed so hard to get to were disappearing with ease, my wife seemed happier, in many ways, I was happier. By about six months on the medication, the side affects were unbearable; I discontinued them and it took nearly a year to mostly “recover.” The capsules sit on a shelf tempting me like something out of Lord of the Rings – they offer such power . . . at such a price.

    I often find my wife secretly weeping from frustration and exhaustion. She feels as though she has to check-up on everything I do (or don't do). Did I REALLY lock the doors? Did I put the ice cream back in the freezer, or the fridge, or the cupboard? Why did I not tell her about that important phone call? Where did I put the mail? Where is the TV remote now?

    July 26, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  50. Carolyn

    I have many of the symptoms mentioned, but they overlap with those of Bipolar Disorder (which I have), a brain disease of the neurotransmitters, characterized by "highs"( Mania) and "lows" (Depression). I wasn't diagnosed properly until I was 36. I had been diagnosed with major depression, but my hypomanic events are relatively rare, so it wasn't until I had a "significant" one, that the correct diagnosis was made. Many of the depressive symptoms are similar also. NONE of these slips, forgetfulness, etc. are passive-aggressive or deliberate in these patients. It was good to begin to figure out what was going on, but you still can't predict what your status will be at any given time and it is a lifelong disease that can be treated but not cured. And the medications (it takes a "cocktail" of drugs) have to be tweaked a s needed. It is complicated and spouses should learn all they can about it and participate in "talk" therapy as well to help deal with frustration.

    July 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  51. RealGinger

    A couples therapist five years ago suggested that my wife might have ADHD. My wife's first move: Fire the therapist. She would never stay with a couples therapist who suggested she might have something to do with her habit of constantly picking fights, with me, with our children, with the children's teachers.

    Everything was someone else's fault. It couldn't be her, because she fancied herself "gifted." After all, gifted people have lots of "creativity", right" Which for her meant starting lots of crafts and finishing none, but cluttering the house to the point where none of us could move.

    Finally, I found an article on "how ADHD Affects relationships" and joined an online support group (ADHD Partner yahoogruop). It took a few months of group support and education about aDHD - and frankly, some antidepressants - for me to come out of the deep depression I'd fallen into over the years from the stress, from constantly being the buffer between my wife and our children, and my wife acting like a spoiled child.

    Once I was stronger and more resolved that our family life could not continue that way, I approached my wife with a request to see an Adult ADHD specialist for couples counseling. After stalling for months, she finally agreed.

    All is not perfect, but with medication and both of us attending counseling, we are still together and our family life is more harmonious.

    A book that I highly recommend was written by the support-group leader, Gina Pera. It's called Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD? And it is a guide to understanding Adult ADHD and how couples can pursue treatment strategies as a team. After initial resistance, my wife read it and I had to buy my own copy because she had highlighted so much through it.

    Good luck, everyone. There is hope and optimism, with the right treatment and education, for BOTH partners.

    July 27, 2010 at 1:03 am |