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Question
Posted by: Woman | 2010/09/13

Adult ADHD and Aspergers

Hello CS,

I hope you''re doing well and that spring is surrounding you with joy!

Well, you know my hubby has adult ADHD, he also has Aspergers syndrome. Now, I know that all the mental conditions are interlinked and interlocked, but I want to know. How does a psychiatrist make the diagnoses of ADHD with Aspegers (where aspergers is a secondary symptom/ condition)? Because, would the medication not be a little different when it''s Aspergers with ADHD (where ADHD is a secondary symptom/ condition)?

My husband has so many of aspergers symptoms - most notably the complete lack of empathy and not being able to read or feel emotions. He struggles with his meds, he hasn''t to date found a combination of meds that doesn''t make him feel like crap. Is there any research that we can go look at re ADHD/Aspergers?

I have suggested to him that he starts CBT, are there any other therapies you can recommend to help him learn how to work with emotions and empathy?

Sorry for this difficult post!
Thanks CS!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Well, at present, the Spring seems to be surrounding me with Pollen ! Sniffff....
It's important that doctors ( and the rest of us ) remember that sometimes a person has more than one corect diagnosis ( its so nice otherwise to try to tidy all symptoms into one diagnosis ).
The situation does indeed get a bit more complicated when there are two diagnoses, as one has to consider in what ways each of the cause problems, the best treatments for each, and whether there are ways in which the treatment for one might worsen another.
This is territory in which one really needs an experienced specialist, as such matters are often not in the texbooks or routine training programs, and needs both specialized knowledge and experience.
There's nothing inherently "secondary" about Aspergers - I think speaking of it in that way probably just means that while both conditions are preswent, the Aspergers is less active or less a leading problem at present.
There's acually not as much reseach on either adult ADHD or Aspergers, I haven't come acros ANY on the combination.
Similarly, it would be worth discussing CBT with an experienced CBT practitioner, but though it might indeed help him to cope with some askects of his situation, I have not seen any papers or research on whether it is specifically useful in either of these conditions. It makes sense to me that it could be helpful, but you will be entering largely new territory ! However, I have seen some studies showing that within the more serious problems of Schizophrenia, CBT can be helpful in a situation in which this might not have been expected

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/09/13

Well, at present, the Spring seems to be surrounding me with Pollen ! Sniffff....
It's important that doctors ( and the rest of us ) remember that sometimes a person has more than one corect diagnosis ( its so nice otherwise to try to tidy all symptoms into one diagnosis ).
The situation does indeed get a bit more complicated when there are two diagnoses, as one has to consider in what ways each of the cause problems, the best treatments for each, and whether there are ways in which the treatment for one might worsen another.
This is territory in which one really needs an experienced specialist, as such matters are often not in the texbooks or routine training programs, and needs both specialized knowledge and experience.
There's nothing inherently "secondary" about Aspergers - I think speaking of it in that way probably just means that while both conditions are preswent, the Aspergers is less active or less a leading problem at present.
There's acually not as much reseach on either adult ADHD or Aspergers, I haven't come acros ANY on the combination.
Similarly, it would be worth discussing CBT with an experienced CBT practitioner, but though it might indeed help him to cope with some askects of his situation, I have not seen any papers or research on whether it is specifically useful in either of these conditions. It makes sense to me that it could be helpful, but you will be entering largely new territory ! However, I have seen some studies showing that within the more serious problems of Schizophrenia, CBT can be helpful in a situation in which this might not have been expected

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