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Resources/Books on Adult (female) ADHD

I was recently (and finally! - phew) semi-diagnosed with ADHD by my therapist. She has referred me to a psychiatrist for proper testing and stuff. I feel partly relieved.

My husband and I are as different as 2 people can possibly be. He is super disciplined (almost military style) while Im like water, fitting wherever Im poured…No sense of time, ‘seems’ to chill around a lot, cannot focus etc — all that comes with being ADHD.
With time; our differing personalities and the unfortunate quirks of ADHD has created a HUGE rift between us and I was adviced to meet a couples therapist.

Before I go for all this expensive therapies with him (and probably medication), I want my husband to know what ADHD is. He is a ‘super-normal’ person from a wonderfully functional/normal family. People like me confuse him…

So, I was planning to buy a book called ’ The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps - by Melissa C. Orlov’. There are a lot of positive reviews, but the excerpts that I read online sounds a bit off. It addresses ADHD in men and the many reviews talk about how the writing style and content might freak out normie partners.
Esp normie men who are in a relationship with ADHD women. People with ADHD would/might feel seen and understood, but at the same time they may feel distressed and hopeless… Its a good book to understand the disease, but not very helpful ‘solution’-wise.
I know Im literally judging a book by its cover/reviews online etc. But I dont want to risk it. He might already be feeling like he is parenting a lazy, angtsy, extremely forgetful teen. I dont want the book to make him think (realise?) that marrying me was a big mistake. This fear makes me feel like Im struggling alone. It makes me want to exclude him from my healing journey…and thats so hard. I want support.

So my question is, could somebody suggest some good books on Adult ADHD? His reading/comprehension level is good so any detailed book is also fine.

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Hey Summer,

I’m glad to hear that you experienced the preliminary diagnosis as relieving. It is very understandable that you’re worried that your husband will get an inaccurate picture of how you experience life.

To be frank, I neither know about the book you mentioned nor do I have any experiences with ADHD. However, I know about the work of Gabor Maté who is a medical doctor and diagnosed with ADHD. He published Scattered Minds, a book about ADHD that helps to better understand it. I have not read this book myself, but I’m familiar enough with other books and his work to be confident in recommending to have a look at this book. On the website you’ll also find chapter previews to get an idea of what to expect.

Maybe this is of any help. Have a lovely weekend.

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Hi @s_ummer, thank you for sharing!

Firstly, I’m so glad you’re finding the answers you’ve been looking for! It’s very common for people with ADHD and similar conditions to have these burning uncertainties for their whole lives, always feeling different in a substantial and yet undefinable way, and so when they finally receive that diagnosis and get an answer it can feel like everything just clicks and makes sense. It can be such a huge relief. Like many conditions, how it is expressed and experienced by women has gone wildly overlooked and understudied. It’s ridiculous. But still, good progress has been made recently and signs seem to indicate that things will continue to get better.

Lazy, angsty and forgetful are three words that are levied at people with ADHD all the time. I hope this process is helping you to see that these words aren’t valid insults, they’re just some unique challenges that often go completely misunderstood by neurotypical people. With treatment and some time you’ll get a handle on this too.

I’m really sorry about the tension in your relationship surrounding some of these difficulties. I can definitely see how that would be scary and why it’d make you feel alone in this. No matter what, remember that your husband knew you before he married you. You haven’t changed, you’re just learning new words to help describe who you are. Seeking help with something that’s making your life harder is a great thing. It could really help you and your relationships too. I think that the more he learns about ADHD and how it affects you personally, the better it will be for you both.

It’s completely okay to keep your treatment private and personal if that’s your wish, and I also hope you’ll feel comfortable asking for the support you need to work through this when you’re ready to. Don’t panic if that’s not how it feels right now – this is new, it can be intimidating, and it’s completely okay for it to take some time for you to open up to the changes. You can both work on it together at your own pace. You’re also welcome to talk about as much of it as you want to on here. We’ll listen and understand. :heart: And just as a reminder, having ADHD doesn’t make you deficient at all. It’s a difference in your brain and that’s it. It’s nothing you and your partner can’t handle, and in fact with your psychiatrist’s assistance it is very likely it’ll get much easier for you both as you figure this out.

As for resources, I have a few ideas:
For short reading, this article (ADHD: Six Common Questions Answered) may be a good start for your husband and you too if you’d like. I especially like that it lays out the important details clearly and outlines the hyperactive and inattentive presentations of ADHD. It’s also just validating to see other people working through something that you thought you were alone in, and maybe it could help your husband to see how hard things can be too.

I’ve heard the book A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD by Sari Solden recommended a few times. The reviews are glowing. Solden is a licensed marriage therapist with over 30 years of experience working with people who have ADHD, and she has other books available too on this and related topics. You may get something out of reading some of her articles too, she has ADHD herself and has written extensively on how it tends to affect women.

If either of you are interested in technical information about ADHD I recommend looking up the link between ADHD and dopamine. The clinical consensus seems to be that that a greater density of dopamine transporters, which are responsible for the re-uptake of dopamine released in the brain, is one of the primary contributors to symptoms of ADHD. This article (Finding the Connection Between Dopamine and ADHD) is reasonably well cited and goes over the relevant brain regions and hormones associated with ADHD and how the typical symptoms emerge as a result.

I do want to mention that these resources are no alternative to speaking to your psychiatrist, of course. It’s possible these articles could provide you with some baseline information you could ask about in the future.

I hope this has been of some help! As always we’re here to listen if you want to talk more about this or anything else. I’m glad you’re on this journey! Good luck, I wish you the best! :heart:

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