While making taco meat for dinner, my husband had become distracted, left the meat cooking a bit too long, and moistened it with some extra hot sauce. Grabbing the first bottle he came across, he liberally doused the meat—not with our usual medium-hot sauce, but with a bottle of crushed peppers brought back from Jamaica by a friend.
My husband’s tendency to be easily distracted is just a fact of life in our household. He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) shortly after we were married. While this didn’t come as a big surprise to me (just try holding a conversation with him if a TV or radio is playing), for him I think it was almost a relief. He doesn’t have the symptoms of hyperactivity that most people associate with ADHD, so no one made the connection earlier. During his school years he was told repeatedly that he was lazy and a daydreamer.
There’s lots of information on how to help a child with ADHD, but not as much awareness of the condition in adults. Recent estimates put the percentage of adults with ADHD at 4.4 percent. And it is stressful for the family. A recent study analyzed the incidence of negative life events, including divorce, in adults with ADHD (I don’t even want to imagine if both people living togther have ADHD!). I have joked many times about being a single parent with three kids—the hardest kid to deal with being my husband.
Our family tries to focus on the humor of the situation instead of the frustrations. But I’m definitely hiding the hot sauce.
—Erin Gudeux, sensory senior project leader
Are you an adult with ADHD? Share your experience below.