ADD and paranoia

I have been reading this forum for some time now, and have diagnosed by husband with ADD. He is in denial, or if he may occasionally acknowledge it, he refuses to get help. This last week he has begun suffering from acute delusional disorder/paranoia. He believes that the everything is bugged - the house, my car, the computer; that people are listening in on our conversations, people are out to get him and bring him down. He believes all his friends are in on it as well - they are all agents. He suffered from this delusional disorder 7 years ago as well, for about 2 months. As I said, it is acute at the moment, but the mild paranoia has been there for several months, gradually getting worse. For example, if I go out with him, he thinks people are staring at him; he has told me stories of his work colleagues whispering about him and making things up about him to bring him down. In general he has always been critical of people, and has a mistrust for people, imagining the worst in them, including friends. Has anyone experienced this as part of ADD, or linked to ADD. I am thinking that it stems from chronic low self-esteem and a constant sense of failure;  he recently justified our relationship problems as being due to these people trying to bring him down. I am confused, as I thought ADD was due to a dopamine deficiency (which he definitely has, as he suffers from reward-deficiency syndrome), yet textbooks say paranoia is from too much dopamine.

Also can anyone give me suggestions on how to deal with him in this state? I can't get him to see anyone, as a) he doesn't believe he has a problem and b) he thinks all therapists are also agents.

Similar situation

I am shocked at how similar my situation is to yours, which tells me this may not be so uncommon. My husband went through a period several years ago where he was paranoid about my fidelity. I was absolutely faithful, but it broke up our marriage. We reunited and worked things out a couple of years ago and things were going ok until last year when he became very paranoid about work and people at work. He thinks they are after him--plotting to kill him. He was laid off from that job last August, but still thinks they are after him. He knows too much. And, now, everyone is a suspect. The neighbors, the handy man, people at his new job, his therapist, and I think even me. He hides the extra pillows in our closet every night so nobody will come in and smother him. He is continually worried and suspicious. It has completely overtaken his life and I don't feel like I have a husband anymore. He has told me he has ADD, which is another similarity to your situation. And, like yours, he doesn't believe he has a problem and he doesn't trust anyone--not even his therapist or me. I don't know what to do.

More than ADD

Having ADD does not exclude other issues. 

That paranoia is extreme and the fear is real to him.  It is an irrational fear, so you two can't simply talk through it to determine what threat really exists.  I wouldn't expect or wait for it to resolve on its own. 

This situation could easily worsen.  You can't love him enough to get through this, but you can tough-love to get him to get the help he needs.  You know what leverage you can apply, even if it is the ultimate act of leaving with the promise you'll return once he gets/trusts professional help. 

Good luck.

Its called Paranoid

Its called Paranoid Schizophrenia, and it will very likely get worse rather than better without professional help.


My sister suffers from this devastating problem. She is also bi-polar and only suffers from paranoia during certain phases of that cycle. As a kid she was on Ritalin, but I"m pretty sure they thought she would "outgrow it." Treating the bi-polar helps with the paranoia. Is it possible that your husband (either of you) is also bi-polar? That could explain why it seems to come and go. Bi-polar can be a co-morbid with ADHD. It might be easier for them to get treatment for bi-polar as it's a fairly common problem and known to be biochemical rather than a character flaw. It is also inheritable (we have an aunt who is also bi-polar).