ADHD and proud of it

My wife says I am ADHD (she is a teacher of special ed kids and should know). She thinks its problem and I don’t. I just can’t sit still and always have to be doing something. I am very impatient. quick tempered. but I get a lot of stuff done, just never seem to get enough stuff done. I wouldn’t stand in a line even for a XXXX from carmen electra.

But anyways, I think it is a blessing and just a trait of what makes me so wonderful. She thinks I need medication. Does being “hyper” something that needs to be corrected? any experience out there living with someone like me?

My daughter and I were diagnosed as ADHD. My spouse and I reviewed/read many books and diagnosis criteria and are convinced that the diagnosis is reasonable.

I tried Ritalin for a while and it did affect me (another reason for believing the diagnosis). The positive effect was that while I still couldn’t focus on a topic for extended periods of time, I could more readily return to the topic after a briefer diversion. The negative effect is that by the end of the day I was noticeably more cranky.

Since I had made it thus far in life without it, I decided that the negative effects were not worth the rather limited positive effects (I expected to be able to focus for extended periods – no such luck.) We, therefore, elected not to put my daughter on it and just deal with her as my parents dealt with me – firmly, but lovingly.

Unless ADHD is affecting your job performance and/or your general safety AND you are happy with who you are, I say tell your wife to take a chill pill.

God Bless,

This quote from Tinker…pretty much says it all. I am an adult with ADHD and I actually do take medication for it, but not the kind of medication you may thinking. I used to take Ritalin and Dexidrine. Then I started thinking why do I need these meds, I should be able to control it with out meds. Then I found a company called CELLTECH they are located at Kalamath Falls(sp?) Washington. They have been distributing Blue-Green Algae in freeze dried form for close to 20 years. I started taking that and with in a month I was feeling just like I did when I was on Ritalin. Except there were no highs and lows. but a constant feeling of balance. So I was psyched. Well thats my story. But again with tinkers point of view, if you are happy and you behavior is not affecting anyone adversely. Then Rock on and stay cool.

Don’t mean to nitpick, but since you asked, it’s Klamath Falls, and it is actually in Oregon, not Washington.

And so as not to be completely off topic, a quote I read yesterday, whose source escapes me:
“Whatever makes you happy, tickles me plum to death.”

I am actually kind of creative. I sculp wood. life size nudes and such. It takes a lot of energy. but I have plenty of that. I also play guitar (soft acoustic stuff not hard rock) so its not like I am some crazed hypernut. Its just that I have trouble helping my kids do homework.

I also have a hard time listening to people. when I get the gist of what they are trying to say then I am gone. I dont need to stand around while they drone on and on and on.

my wife is the opposite of me, she has all the patience in the world and is so slow and low keyed and low energy and neat.
If she wasn’t educated in this then I would say she needs energy pills to catch up to me but she insist I am the one that is sick.

I’m not convinced there’s anything wrong with you. If you’re able to function and get things done, where’s the evidence you have ADHD? You get bored by things? Jesus, who doesn’t?

Not to be personal, but perhaps your wife is saying this because there’s an issue between you guys - maybe she feels you aren’t listening to her. Maybe you’re not, or maybe she’s like my father-in-law and has trouble communicating succinctly (the guy takes ten minutes to describe an event that lasted five.) Who knows? But you haven’t convinced me you have ADHD.

A couple of years ago I would have argued with you but my wife has ground me down and convinced me I am sick.

Her points:
I can’t read instructions.
I do everything quick and dirty,
I dont care about details.
I cant relax by just sitting like a bump on a log.
I have to be doing 2 things at one time.
I cant listen for the entire answer to a question.
me: where is the x?
her: its in the dinning room … (i take off)
I have to grab her everytime she walks by sans clothes.
I am compulsive.

I can handle it but she can’t. the funny thing is either I am getting worse or she is getting less tolerant. it wasnt an issue as much 20years ago when we got married.

I both agree with RickJay and disagree.

The feelings that justinh attributes to himself (IANA Pyschiatrist!) sounds a lot like my daughter and I. The descriptions read like a list from the various books we have on hand (well, at home on hand).
However, RickJays comment “Not to be personal, but perhaps your wife is saying this because there’s an issue between you guys - maybe she feels you aren’t listening to her” seems on the mark. And as I look below and see your latest post “I can handle it but she can’t. the funny thing is either I am getting worse or she is getting less tolerant. it wasnt an issue as much 20years ago when we got married” {Emphsis Added} suggests that RickJay is correct.

As RJ said, not to be personal, but perhaps she feels you are using it as an excuse not to act “responsibly” (note the quotes). In any case, this may be the time to make some attitude adjustments. E.g., look her in the eye until she’s done answering your question whether or not you need to hear it, etc.

If this is really becoming a sore point, it may be that there are background issues and you & she should see your local pastor/counselor or some neutral 3rd party.

[sub]Oy! Whip me with a wet noodle and call me Ann Landers[/sub]

God Bless,

A couple of points:

#1) ADHD is hard to diagnose. It’s harder when you’re involved with the person being diagnosed. Your wife is not the person to diag. you under any circumstances, there’s a conflict of interest, for lack of a better phrase. I’d advise that you go to a specialist in adult ADHD and talk with him/her before doing anything. If she’s using the term “sick” with regards to ADHD, then I question her competence. If you’re using the term, you should read up on it. In any case, she should not be trying her diagnostic skills on you.

#2) AHDH has benefits but is also annoying as hell in other respects. Don’t believe either group (Those who say it’s purely a blessing and those who say it’s purely a curse). The hyperfocus is a plus, the lack of concentration and the effort it takes to regain lost concentration is a minus.

#3) IF you’re diganosed with ADD (I don’t know as much about ADHD), I’d recommend trying the meds for a while. I tried the generic Ritalin and it did nothing. The real stuff made me irritable, but it taught me how to refocus (“OH! So that’s what it’s like to return to the task!”). I was able to taper off, once I learned the mental “switch” to flip to perform those tasks.

#4) Good luck!


I suggest going to and trying some of their tests.

I’d also note that if you do seek diagnosis, the next step should be to decide whether you want to do anything about it. As Fenris said, it’s annoying, but there is an upside to having it. Think about this carefully.

I don’t want to take any medications or see any drs. I would like to be less irritable and have more patience.
I think if I had more patience then I would be less irritable.

I think the deal is that I have adjusted to it where I seem natural and the rest of the world seems slowwwwwwww.

Is that ADHD? is there different levels? can therapy help( I suggested more physical therapy but my wife declined)?

an asside: what does adult ADHD have to do with sex drive? wife says I am too frisky, is that a symptom?
I am reminded of the wolfman movies where these people get this “disease” and can’t decide whether its a blessing or a curse (until they start killing people and eating their hearts)

as far as my wife making the diagnosis. well others (in education so they are semitrained to catch it) have come up with the same thing. so I dont think its a case of my wife being a bitch.

I repeat: It’s hard to diag. I understand that you don’t want to see a doctor, but…well…that’s the only way you’re ever gonna know. It can’t be diag’d on a message board and it can’t be diag’d by someone involved with you (especially one using it as a club to get you to do/not do stuff).

And while teachers are (kind of) trained to recognize symptoms signs, they are not trained to actually diagnose anything.

I don’t have a better solution. Go to a psychologist who specializes in adult ADHD. One visit won’t cost that much, it’ll settle the issue and, if it turns out you have it, you can then make informed decisions about meds, therapy, coping methods, etc.

And if your wife is claiming that ADHD is linked to sex drive, and impatience, and, from your posts, everything else about you that annoys her, then well…yeah. She is being a bitch for using a scummy tactic (“You’re not doing what I want because you’re sick!”).


I can’t respond in terms of ADHD, but I have dealt with a manic-depressive spouse for 30 years. She made all the same arguments about her manic state – that she was creative, full of energy and vitality and excitement, and that it was a positive thing. These are the same kinds of points you are making about ADHD.

That may be sort of true, but the problem is not necessarily YOU so much as the impact on others. That’s sort of come out in the response, notice Justin’s remark that either he is getting worse or his wife is getting “less tolerant.”

Justin’s OP notes on the negative side that he is impatient, quick-tempered, and never wait in line. Those are all negatives that have an immediate and direct impact on those around you (family, friends, loved ones.)

On the positive side, he notes that he can never get enough done, is always doing something. Those are things that affect YOU, and you view them as positive.

So, listen to your wife. She can perceive the effect of your disorder on OTHERS, on those you love. You primarily perceive the effect on YOURSELF.

The problem with this test, and really with the whole discussion, is the Forer Effect. The Forer Effect is the tendency to ascribe all vague or general personality descriptions to ourselves. Everything justinh has said about himself in the thread is applicable to pretty much every human being I know. Looking at the test Airblairxxx has linked, many - most, actually - questions are true of every person I’ve ever met. I mean, here are some of the telltale signs of ADHD according to the test:

Short attention span, unless very interested in something
Frequently misplace things
Trouble with intimacy
Frequently feeling tired

Those are true of everyone (I have a feeling the test is rigged to tell everyone they have ADHD so you’ll buy their products.) But if your wife’s only reason for thinking you have ADHD, Justin, is that she feels you don’t listen to her… well, I suspect she’s angry at you, not making an informed diagnosis. Maybe you’re just brushing her off a lot. Only a professional can properly diagnose you.

IANAD and IANAPsychologist, but I do have bipolar disorder. I agree with CK’s wife that having the mania was good. I had a lot of energy, did a lot of stuff and in general felt better about things than I did when I wasn’t manic. However, in retrospect, I can see that being manic wasn’t healthy at all. Yeah, I’d stay up for several nights in a row and survive on a few hours’ sleep, but eventually, I’d crash and sleep eighteen hours straight. And I’d go into deep depressions until my next manic episode. I forced my husband and friends to watch me go through this because I wasn’t willing to address this.

My bipolar is controlled by medications. I’m not thrilled by the side effects, but at least I’m not on the roller coaster anymore. And that makes it worth it.

One last word. People who work in education settings are trained to screen for problems, not to diagnose them. Diagnosis should only be attempted by a trained, licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. Going down the DSM list of symptoms as a checklist is not a good idea.


It is my opinion that ADD is a hoax. Some people are able to concentrate more readily and with greater intensity than some other people.

However, if you believe yourself to have ADD and are looking for a Ritalin alternative, I have a couple suggestions:

DMAE (2-dimethylaminoethanol)
I have been taking 300mg of DMAE per day upon waking for about 3 weeks.
About 40 minutes after ingestion I begin to notice increased clarity, brighter and more defined colors, MUCH more energy, and lessened sensitivity to pain. Something that is annoying, at least to me, is that it seems the DMAE will not allow my mind to slow down as I prepare for sleep. Normally, after 14 hours of being awake I get that hazy feeling that is telling me I should go to sleep. Now it is like my mind refuses to shut down. Like a constant caffiene buzz without the jittery effects. I combat this(effectively) with 1mg of melatonin whenever I desire that tired feeling.

I just received my order of piracetam yesterday and I immediately took what is called an ‘attack-dose’. I attempted to keep it relatively low at 4800mg, or 6 individual capsules. I have seen recommendations as high as 9000mg. I went to work and at first didn’t really notice anything besides increased energy. I have a prestigious position at the local supermarket bagging groceries, taking in shopping carts, and whatever else “they” decide to torture me with. To avoid mental atrophy I usually try to memorize license plate numbers. Normally I can recall 6 individual plate numbers along with the type of car before things start becoming garbled. Yesterday, however, I literally could not forget ANYTHING. I still remember each license plate number, everything that was said to me, and the color of every customer’s clothing that I bothered to attempt to commit to memory. By ‘not forget’, I mean that anything I put a conscious effort into remembering would not go away. It was so overwhelming that I don’t plan on taking any until I decide upon a decent dosage.
I have attempted to describe the general effects of these two drugs, now I will go on to what I assume is the main aspect of ADD, concentration…

I have not noticed any improvement in concentration due to the DMAE. I have, however, noticed that I slide into that super-concentration mode with ease. Before I had to prep myself before doing anything that would require intense concentration, now I find that it requires almost no effort.

The piracetam is a different story. I found myself OVER concentrating. I received a ‘warning’ from the administration because I ran about 10 shopping carts into a Ford Explorer. The reason for this was because I was counting the number of holes in the cart basket. This is something I do every day without ever having any problems. I would recommend the DMAE over the Piracetem if you are not interested in regulating what you concentrate on.

If anyone has any personal experience with piracetam, I would very much appreciate a suggested dosage.

Uh-huh. And of course, lack of concentration is the only symptom of ADHD.

Fenris, waiting gleefully for his good buddy TechChick to see this post.


‘Attention Deficit Disorder’ certainly seems to imply lack of concentration to me. ADD is what I was referring to. ADHD is apparently different. Please enlighten me, rather than being condescending.

ADD here. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my early 30s. I took Ritalin as a general help and had two years of therapy - the object being that while the meds may help the condition itself, the therapy was needed to unlearn 30+ years of working around the ADD unsuccessfully.

Several things: First, I agree that your wife is not the one who should be making the diagnosis. She may be trained to recognize the signs, but she may also have general issues with you that she is trying to decipher. Because she’s trained to look for ADHD, she’s gonna look for it. Even if it’s not there, she may find it, because she would like some other explanation than “he doesn’t care about my feelings about his behavior”.

Second, it’s worth going to the doctor. If you do not have it, you will then very easily eliminate that as a factor, and look for other reasons for your problems between you and your wife. I would very gently suggest that your refusal to see a doctor may be construed by your wife as an indication that you do not in fact care that she’s unhappy. If you DO have ADD/ADHD, you can then make an informed choice about therapy/meds or not.

In my own case, I didn’t have a problem with my ADD. But since everyone around me DID, I was obviously irritating them and thought it was in my own best interest to do something about it. I stopped taking the Ritalin some time ago, because like Fenris I learned how to “flip the switch” on my own after therapy. I am not necessarily more happy because of the therapy, but I am not less happy either, and everyone else is thrilled that I got some control over this. Because, truth be told, I used to be even MORE annoying than I am now.

(I know, hard to believe…)

Well, you’re gonna get half of what you want.

Every single time that ADD/ADHD comes up, EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! this is discussed, there’s always someone who comes along and says “I’ve done no research, I have no idea what I’m talking about, but it all sounds like a load of crap to me.”

And just like clockwork, here you are. Your considered opinion from all your research that we ADD/ADHD’ers are either “hoaxed” or “hoaxers” apparently comes entirely from the fact that you read the name of the syndrome? I’m tired of being gentle with people who make uninformed, offensive statements and then pull back with “Oh, I didn’t know…” or “I was unaware…” Next time, if you want a non-condescending answer, don’t start by insulting the people you want an answer from.

A ten second web-search pulled up:

This regarding your question on ADD vs ADHD,

This (from the above site) has details about the physical causes of this “hoax”

The DSM IV Definition (you did realize that ADD/ADHD has been listed in the DSM IV since 1980, right? So there are all those “hoaxed” psychologists/psychiatrists out there too. :eek: A conspiracy! :eek: ),

and dozens of other resources, including an excellent article about what it’s like to have it. One paragraph in particular explains, in part, why it’s so annoying for people who’ve done no reading on the topic to pontificate that people with ADD/ADHD are "hoax"ers:

From another site:

I’m not going to do your homework for you. If you want to make have an informed opinion, feel free to follow the links and get educated. And if you want answers or have honest questions, most ADD/ADHD people are happy to answer them (HEY! How 'bout an “Ask the ADD Guy” thread!) But don’t expect me to smile when you make off-the-cuff, insulting comments.

And I’ve got a question for you. Seriously. Why do you think it’s a “hoax”? What evidence led you to this conclusion? I’m honestly curious.