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DH lives in a state of unconsciousness... conditions?

(56 Posts)
Wellber Thu 12-Jul-18 09:03:19

I'm getting increasingly frustrated at DH who is completely unaware of what is going on around him most of the time. Today, I was settling the baby to sleep whilst he was in the room next to us with our 5 year old who was shouting and singing v loudly. DH had literally just been in the room where I was and commented on the fact that i was trying to settle an over-tired baby. Yet he did nothing to quieten our 5 year old when the noise started and the loudness continued for atleast 5 minutes! The thing is, I doubt he even will have noticed the noise as he often doesn't and I find it strange.
It's a common theme.
Its not just noise. He'll often not notice that his leg is shaking or that the window wipers are still going in the car although it's not raining. He doesn't notice or remember where he puts things, he can't seem to prioritise or see himself or life from an objective viewpoint. He will go to sleep at night with the curtains open when there is a street light outside the window and not even notice that he hasn't shut the curtains.

Before children, I'd thought he was just a bit too laid back, but it's more than that. Its a real insensitivity to his surroundings and I'd say the same applies with feelings too. He cant empathise at all. I also worry that he can't sense or foresee danger when he's with the DCs.

Ive heard of hypersensitivity and the relationship it has to autism, but is there a condition whereby people have the complete opposite problem? I genuinely think DH has some form of condition which is limiting his capacity to be affected by the world around him. He will even sleep under a thick duvet in summer, his body sweating profusely.
It doesn't seem quite right. I've googled and can't find anything. It's like he's just not "with it." He has been like this for a long time. Can anyone help? It's becoming increasingly difficult to live with someone like this.

ravenmum Thu 12-Jul-18 09:22:24

Possibly some kind of sensory processing disorder - where the brain has trouble processing all the information it receives? Though typically you'd then find it hard to understand what someone is saying when there were background sounds, for example, as your brain can't shut those out and concentrate on the important ones.

ravenmum Thu 12-Jul-18 09:23:39

Maybe just send him along to the doctor's?

Does he realise he is different, or have any problems because of it that he is aware of?

AveABanana Thu 12-Jul-18 09:26:45

How does he cope at work? How is he with his parents - as in, does he do this with them and have they commented on his childhood?

I had an ex like this - it was an absolute relief to finish it. He'd leave the bath running, "forget" it was overflowing. Always losing stuff, knocking stuff over.

Has he always been like this?

ravenmum Thu 12-Jul-18 09:28:16

Not much about sensory under-responsivity, but here's a short paragraph

Wellber Thu 12-Jul-18 09:29:31

He has absolutely no awareness that he is like this. He would be mortified if I even suggested that he should see a doctor about this.
He thinks that I have a problem and need to stop picking him up on things. He says I'm far too sensitive and although I am sensitive, I know a lot more people like me than like him.
A sensory processing disorder seems likely. His reaction times are also v slow in general, but he is good at tennis which doesnt quite fit with that does it?

chipsandgin Thu 12-Jul-18 09:32:23

You say ‘his leg shaking’ - do you mean jiggling all the time but he isn’t aware he is doing it? Also being unable to prioritise - is he messy, disorganised at all but can be incredibly focussed (to the exclusion of everything else) when something interests him? Is he ‘off with the fairies’/daydreams a lot? What does he do for work?

I ask as of the stuff you mention sounds very much like ADHD/ADD, might be worth looking at the checklist - very common to be undiagnosed in adulthood.

sureitsgrand Thu 12-Jul-18 09:32:44

Hmmm my DH is similar, though not with regards to physical discomfort like heat etc but he would get into bed with curtains open lights on, piles of washed clothes on the bed etc. He would leave every cupboard door open behind him, doesn't flush toilets just sort of marches about with his mind always on something else. I find it lazy and irratating to say the least but I am aware he genuinely doesn't see things or notice. I think my dh has undiagnosed adhd to be honest but he doesn't agree. He's becoming increasingly difficult to live with to be honest but he has no idea. Not really got any advice just wanted to empathise.

Branleuse Thu 12-Jul-18 09:32:58

My nephew is like this. Its like he wanders round in a daze. Im surprised hes not actually dead. Doesnt seem to have a clue about his place in the world.
He was diagnosed with adhd or it was at least assummed when he was at school, but whilst hyperactive as a small child, hes innattentive type as an adult.
I also strongly suspect hes on the spectrum somewhere

ravenmum Thu 12-Jul-18 09:34:17

You can be good in some areas and bad in others ...
Maybe find some more information and present it as "Oh, look, isn't this interesting, this is just like you!" rather than "You are faulty, this may be why"? smile

Do you have any friends or family you could discuss this with (again more as an "interesting difference"), so that he might understand that you aren't being over-sensitive?

ReturnofSaturn Thu 12-Jul-18 09:34:47

Hes not depressed is he?

Wellber Thu 12-Jul-18 09:34:51

At work, he is a tad chaotic from the banter I hear from his work colleagues. But gets by well as he will help anyone or do anything asked of him without complaint, he seems to be quite popular as he's so easy going.
He's sometimes quite over-reliant on his parents and his Df is v critical in general, so I have wondered if its a side effect of this.
MIL has aspergers traits and so does he, but again I'd always associated sensitivity and routine with aspergers. Both DH and MIL are the opposite.

ToothTrauma Thu 12-Jul-18 09:35:45

DH is like this. He’s dyspraxic.

Thebluedog Thu 12-Jul-18 09:38:59

My dd has a sensory disorder, some things she’s over sensitive about, such as hair brushing, its literally really painful for her, others she’s under sensitive, she’s always breaking things, puts too much food In her mouth otherwise she can’t taste it, constantly thrill seeking to just ‘feel’ things but has no empathy. So it’s not always a one size fits all which might explain the tennis thing.

TheHandmaidsFail Thu 12-Jul-18 09:40:04

Could be dyspraxia? I always thought of this as just being clumsy but since my son was diagnosed, I've learned that it can affect many aspects of life such as planning things, working memory etc. Sensory processing does also sound likely and it is very common to be under responsive to things.
Perhaps read up on a few of these conditions and see what fits. Then you could say "Ooh I was just reading this article about X and it seems really like you, what do you think?"
If he does suffer from something along these lines then he will need support and understanding - please don't criticise him as he will be unable to stop himself doing these things and probably feels frustrated already.

Branleuse Thu 12-Jul-18 09:40:07

Routine liking is common in aspergers but also so is total lack of executive function

Wellber Thu 12-Jul-18 09:41:21

Chipsandgin: everything you say in your first paragraph is spot on.

ADHD though? Wouldnt DH need to be hyperactive to have this? To the outside world hes laid back and easy going. Nobody would ever believe ADHD.

Hes certainly very different but not sure he realises. Our eldest child has similar traits, she just has no gage of how to behave in social situations. Her spacial awareness is zero and other children find her overbearing.

Somerville Thu 12-Jul-18 09:43:08

Hyper and hypo sensitivity often go hand in glove. I'd think spectrummy, personally.

Roomba Thu 12-Jul-18 09:44:56

My son is very much like this, utterly oblivious to the world around him often. People bump into him on the street constantly because he is unaware that there's someone right behind him, or he'll walk straight across people who are in plain view. I could get murdered in the next room and he'd not notice sometimes! What you said about your DH's sleeping rang a bell too, DS sleeps like the dead, wrapped right in a thick duvet, sweating head to foot when it's like this. He struggled on holiday abroad with only a sheet to sleep under.

DS has ADHD, dyspraxia and some sensory processing issues. He struggles with multiple noises going on at once so when he does manage to focus on one thing, he will utterly block out everything else.

That all sounds really bad, but in reality you'd probably never notice there was an issue. He's doing brilliantly at 12 and you'd just think he was a bit unthinking sometimes. He certainly never noticed an issue until diagnosed.

piscis Thu 12-Jul-18 09:45:43

Some of the things you mention seem a bit odd, but not all of them...

He will go to sleep at night with the curtains open when there is a street light outside the window and not even notice that he hasn't shut the curtains.

I can also sleep with lights around, they don't bother me at all, so if this is something that doesn't affect his sleep at all, it is not so strange that he forgets to shut them, is it?
Maybe I've got sensory under-responsivity to light too hmm

Roomba Thu 12-Jul-18 09:46:48

As an example, I once got locked in the front room when the door handle broke. DS (then 10) was in the next room. It took him over an hour to notice my banging and shouting to be let out!

Bibesia Thu 12-Jul-18 09:47:25

It sounds like he needs a referral to an occupational therapist to look at the possibility of dyspraxia and sensory problems. Make sure the therapist has qualifications and experience in sensory issues, not all of them do.

vanillasky1001 Thu 12-Jul-18 09:47:57

My brother has ADHD and dyspraxia and is like this. He’s also not hyperactive...ADHD has other symptoms.

OverTheHedgeHammy Thu 12-Jul-18 09:48:14

ADHD Inattentiveness - it's almost the opposite of hyperactive. The brain just 'tunes out'. For short intense things he can find the focus and be great at it (like tennis).

ADHD is also frequently linked with dyspraxia, so you can often have both conditions.

My DS is going through the diagnosis process for ADHD Inattentiveness and what I've read up on it seems to match what your DH has.

Juells Thu 12-Jul-18 09:49:18


Also being unable to prioritise - is he messy, disorganised at all but can be incredibly focussed (to the exclusion of everything else) when something interests him? Is he ‘off with the fairies’/daydreams a lot? What does he do for work?

None of that sounds disastrous. It's the kind of thing that's associated with dyslexia, which isn't a huge deal.

I used to need a very dark room to sleep in, but since the hot weather started I have the curtains open, and a streetlight right at my gate. Don't even notice it.

I eventually stopped my ex taking our small children anywhere on his own. Child bounced over his head and landing on her chin while playing horsey. Child ran out of changing room and jumped in deep end of swimming pool, he didn't even notice when he heard screams and whistles blowing. Walking round a deep pond in a park, heard screams behind him but took no notice until someone else pulled her out. Child on shoulders, he suddenly bent forward and catapulted her onto the rocky ground, she hit her head on a rock and spent night in hospital.

Don't leave him alone in charge of your small children, I'd say.

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