"So you can make allowances for our son with his ADHD but not for me?"
My son and husband both have ADHD, both recently diagnosed. But with one big difference. My husband was diagnosed at age 39.
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When he asked me that question, I didn’t answer. In fact, I didn’t even pause to consider it.
I was irritated that he seemed oblivious for the millionth time to all the mayhem with the kids when I needed some help. I was annoyed and snapped at him something about his hyper fixation driving me mad again.
But in the days that followed, I thought so much about how I see my son’s ADHD so differently from my husband’s.
When your child and husband both have ADHD, it might seem to some that these similarities can be handled in the same way. The truth is though, how it plays out within the home could not be more different.
I met my husband when he was in his early twenties. All the traits he displayed, which we now know to be dead ringers for ADHD, were present but in the context of our early 20s these quirks made him exciting, passionate, adventurous, brave and incredibly humorous in my eyes. I thought he was amazing.
We built a life together and became ‘proper’ adults.
As our lives changed and the inevitability of reality set in with raising children, financial responsibilities and settling down to a daily and even yearly routine, my husband really started to struggle.
He was constantly unhappy with life in general, nothing was ever enough and he always felt he had to keep chasing more.
He had big dreams but struggled to implement the plans to follow through with them in a timely manner which frustrated him further.
And he really struggled with raising a child who not only mirrored his immense energy but who actually challenged his wafer-thin patience all day, every day.
So when our son was diagnosed with ADHD, all the boxes we ticked for our son set alarm bells off for my husband.
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At the advice of the pediatrician and occupational therapist, he sought a diagnosis. After all, ADHD is often a hereditary condition.