ADHD and anger

Could anybody tell me more about it? Is it part of what ADHD is like? Or could it be something called by Ritalin?

My husband was diagnosed in 2005, tried Concerta and Adderal for 1 year, and quit. Then started on Ritalin in 2008 and has been on it ever since. His anger has really picked up since about 2009/2010. Before he was sarcastic and would storm out -- now he is furious, unreasonable and sometimes violent. 

I can't take it anymore. He seems to really truly believe that it is all my fault and will snap at everything I say or do. My life is to walk on eggshells so he won't get angry. If I do that, he is super nice, but if I am not perfect, he will be sarcastic at best, or really, really vicious. I am so very exhausted...

I began googling about anger, and ADHD was something that kept coming up. I never connected the two. Is it a common symptom? Could the Ritalin be making him worse?

We have been married 15 years and have 6 kids.

Ritalin and anger

Don't know about Ritalin, but when my ex started Adderall, he immediately became much more hostile and threatening -- to the point that it scared me because he had hit me in the past. I could tell when he was taking it even after we separated. I told him he was much more hostile, but he said he was just standing up for himself and he didn't see it at all. So I would say its a definite possibility. In addition, however, some of these meds don't help things like BPD, Aspergers, and other disorders that could be co-existing with the ADHD. Or its possible they don't even have ADHD but have another similar disorder that is not helped by those meds.


ADDer on Adderall here...

I was diagnosed about 3 years ago and Adderall was an immediately feeling much better. My personality before diagnosis was Very Laid-Back and completely non-confrontational to a fault. There were many times when I Should have reacted, but my low self-esteem kept me quiet most of the time. After Adderall, I began to see facial expressions and body language that I never noticed before. ADD made me oblivious to so many things Non-ADDer's have seen all their lives. Adderall was/is a tool for me to see things that I could not see before, but these observations are in effect a new language and I was 43 years behind. I had to learn to gage what I now saw and react accordingly. I told my DW about this immediately, because I knew that sometimes I felt like I was over-reacting, and wanted to know if she felt like I was, or not. 

Stimulant meds are a great tool for many ADDer's, but without counseling and continued study of ADD's affects, the meds can only be so effective. I believe the anger comes out when you misread things that you Never saw before and combined with low self esteem from years of ADD misunderstandings. There can be a lifetime of buried anger inside and after you learn what has affected you for so long and the treatment you received from some people (Like you are stupid, lazy or selfish) and now you know it's a brain disorder that never goes away and many people don't even believe it exists. Frustrating, to say the least, and I know I went through a grieving period for several months.

Anger outbursts vary, I believe, based on the ADDer by how they got through the ADD before they knew what it was. I know some meds can cause hostile behavior and some don't, this is why it is important to let the doctor know so the right med and dosage can be determined. I was lucky and almost hit the nail on the head with my first RX.

My ADD hubby is on Vyvanse

My ADD hubby is on Vyvanse although he doesn't take it regularly. He says that it makes him angry when he works (he's a DJ) so he doesn't take it. As far as I know, he hasn't been on it during the times he's hit the roof. He's one of those people who internalizes to the point that he just snaps. It happens every 6 months or so. You never know when he's going to blow but it's usually in reaction to an argument. He's never just spun out of control without a reason.

Like YZZ said, ADDers can have a lot of anger pent up. My hubby has a lot of residual anger (and self esteem issues) from the past. He also learned bad behaviors growing up. He would do something angry (and crazy) to diffuse arguments between his parents. So I think he does the same thing in reaction to us arguing when he isn't able to take it anymore.

With that being said, he is going to see a psychiatrist next month, and we hope to get his meds ironed out. He refuses to take them regularly, instead opting to train himself to better with his time management, etc. Personally, I think he needs something regularly though if he's going to do better about managing his money and being successful on the job. He claims that Vyvanse helps him, but he has to regulate the situation. He's tried most everything else; Strattera messed up his stomach and Adderall made him feel like a zombie. That leaves Concerta and maybe Ritalin.

I would suggest that your husband be reevaluated if his anger continues to cause a problem.