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Couples With One ADHD Partner

not sure if this is just ADD

Husband dxed with ADD and depression about 5 yrs ago. Never really had a good work record. Started adderall and Lexapro then. Was a changed person til about a yr.+ ago. Both meds seemed to stop working after he started not getting his refills on time so would be off meds for days once a month or so. Now it is worse than ever, doing irrational impulsive things, back to barely working (took him hrs to drive to his 15 min away job due to “errands” ie going to best buy to look at a tablet he doesn’t have money to buy so was 6 hrs late for his job; just basically illegally went into someone’s cell account and changed their email to mine, just off the wall stuff he would never have done in the past)  He is self employed after being laid off about a 18 months ago.  I’m starting to think his irrational behavior is more than ADD/depression.  He just started a new therapist and will be going to a new psychiatrist next week (missed the appointment he had yesterday). He is very secretive about the therapy. I have tried to be supportive for our almost 40 yrs. of marriage but this is getting to be more than I can take and seems beyond what I have read for his dx. Is this normal behavior for ADD?


That is pretty normal.  ADD doesn’t do well with medicine holidays. But like all psychological disorders where the medication works well, they begin to doubt the diagnosis and think they are just fine, but of course what is making them fine is the medication.

ADD meds work very well but to have a consistent life they have to be taken consistently.  And no doubt there is a lot of shame with adult ADD, particularly in men.  I don’t think men like to think of themselves as inherently flawed so they resist any acknowledgment of any impairment.  My husband both wants me to acknowledge that he has ADD and “understand”, primarily in moments when it is useful to him, and at the same time treat him just like a normal person who has no impairment.  You really can’t have it both ways.  It is frustrating.

Does he resist telling you what he is up to?  The question is really, what are you willing to accept.  You have to ask directly for what you want, can’t leave anything open for interpretation because they will always interpret in their favor with the least amount of work possible.  That is just ADD.

Posted by YellaRyan on Jan 18, 2014 at 8:45am

Adderall is a medication were you can take it or not and not experience any side effects.  In other words, it does not need a loading dose or time to build up in your system.  There aren’t (usually) withdrawal symptoms, although some people get cranky for a few hours when it is wearing off.

Antidepressants are another story.  They need a loading dose of usually 3-6 weeks and then you have to take it EVERY day or you start to experience withdrawal symptoms.  You CANNOT take antidepressants on again off again like you can Adderall without problems. Where your husband is not taking it consistently, that may be contributing to his irrational behavior.

Posted by Abner on Jan 18, 2014 at 5:34pm

Thanks. It dawned on me after I posted that maybe when the last Dr. said he questioned if it was ADD he could have suspected something else. At the time my husband viewed it as meaning nothing was wrong when it was obvious there was a major problem going on lol. At any rate we had a talk about this and he promised to mention it to the new psychiatrist.  He actually seems to be doing better with this male therapist who has ADD.  Maybe he will help him accept it rather than just look for pity like he has doing but not getting with the other therapists (female) which made him Mr. Noncompliant.

Posted by jann10 on Jan 23, 2014 at 12:03am

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