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Couples With One ADHD Partner

doc won't prescribe stimulant

My DH has severe ADHD.  He was not properly diagnosed until he was 27 y/o.  His psych refuses to prescribe him a stimulant.  She says it is because of his past drug use. 

Between the ages of 18-24, he occasionally smoked marijuana.  He tried coke twice I believe.  Once we settled down- he quit all that.  It has been over 10 years. 

She has given him strattera, but we see no improvement.  He has a very hard time focusing on anything- even conversations.  AND he is extremely impulsive.  Job situation currently isn’t good.  I really would like to see how he would react to a normal stimulant- like focalin or what have you.  It does wonders for my son. 

Anyone else in this same boat?  I just feel like this would be worth a shot.  It is controlled- she could give him one month’s worth and just see how long it lasts.  I mean, he can’t abuse it if he doesn’t have it.  Also, doesn’t a stimulant work differently on a brain like his vs. a non ADHD person?  It seems to have the opposite affect, no?


You are right! Someone without ADHD takes a stimulant and has quite the ride.  Someone who is already impulsive and zipping through life takes a stimulant and it slows them down.  That was my experience with Ritalin.

I would compare my prediagnosed ADHD symptoms to the Tazmanian Devil from Bugs Bunny.  I just flew/plowed my way through life 24/7.  I was only on Ritalin for 15 minutes before I had an allover calmness that was amazing. It took 2 hours to feel the full effect and I will never ever forget that life changing feeling. 

I am surprised by your doctor.  Like you said you can only have a 30 day supply at a time and he can be started on a low dose of a stimulant.

I would keep trying.  The right medication will make all the difference for your partner and help to neutralize the impulsiveness. 

Good luck to you both!


Posted by Mitzi Maine on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:14am

My hubby dx just 6 years ago was taking adderall and he is an entirely different person, so accomplished and focused. The downside for him is he is up for an 18 hour stretch and he goes back to smoking…something he hates but it seems to go along with this drug. Alas he quit using aderall completely and will not try anything else. For your hubby, I would seek out a Dr who understands ADHD and current treatments.  Good luck.

Posted by Lila on Feb 25, 2014 at 5:06am

Your husband’s doctor is being way too IDK-what-a-good-word-is (conservative, paranoid, unreasonable, etc) IMO.  I would go find another doctor in a heartbeat. 

I wouldn’t even try to “bargain” with her at all.

Posted by BC on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:01am

My son’s pediatrician said that since ADHD is largely hereditary, that if one med works for someone in the family, that there is a good chance that it will work for others in the family. So, yes, if Focalin works for your son, then there is a good chance that it will work for your hubby. You may have to get another doctor.

Posted by Abner on Feb 25, 2014 at 6:24am

Look for another psychiatrist that has experience with ADHD and substance abuse. It is possible to take stimulants after an addiction problem, but it certainly takes the right physician.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:34pm

I had problems with abusing alcohol in the past and attribute a lot of it to my ADHD. I attribute a lot of my social anxiety to the fact that I had a hard time filtering what I was saying around people I didn’t know well. I was either super quiet or talking too much and blurting out things and over-sharing. I felt like a social loser until had a few drinks to loosen up.

I was diagnosed with ADHD in my late 30s after my two young daughters were diagnosed. I am now on Ritalin and helps me immensely.
I don’t feel the slightest bit “high” on it, in fact for once, I don’t feel high. I feel like the heightened sense of everything around me and the racing thoughts I had constantly were much more like a “drugged” state than the way my brain now functions on Ritalin. I’d find another doctor.

Posted by EAM on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:05pm

Thank you all so much.  Those of you who were able to give me your personal experiences also really helped me feel like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to this.  Thanks again!!

Posted by 2boys4me on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:40pm

I actually just read Mitzi’s response after I had already written mine. It sounds like we had pretty much the same experience!  I totally feel like the manic state of constantly needing stimulation to focus (or feeling super drowsy whenever I had downtime and only had boring, repetitive housework to do) was much more like being in a “drugged” state and acting hyper/emotional etc than I am on Ritalin. I remember that same calm feeling the first time I took it as well. It was like the racing thoughts all just stopped and it was silent in my head for once so that I could focus on all the boring little things I have to do every day…like constant housework!

Posted by EAM on Feb 25, 2014 at 11:30pm


That is great to hear! It is nice to hear someone else have a similar experience with Ritalin.  I am happy for you smile


Posted by Mitzi Maine on Feb 25, 2014 at 11:57pm

Smoking pot occasionally and trying coke twice does not a drug addict make….  Especially now that he is clean.

Lose this putz of a doctor forthwith…

Posted by LakeLife on Feb 26, 2014 at 1:05am


I had a similar experience with Intuniv. The calm brain the first time ever was a moment I too will never forget. It’s the other people in my life that still treat me like a psychotic sociopath no lie because of my anger and impulsivity. But I have always known I was misdiagnosed for over 22 years. Diagnosed ADD three months ago at 44. wink

Posted by Katharine Silvia on Feb 26, 2014 at 11:16am

Hi Katherine,

Congratulations! I love hearing about other people’s life changing experiences with the right meds.  Do you have relief from your anger and impulsivity, or do those symptoms still linger?


Posted by Mitzi Maine on Feb 26, 2014 at 3:38pm

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