As the significant other of a man with ADD and Depression, I am always trying to figure out what might be done to modify the explosiveness of the relationship.
I have the same problems many have...which include all the requisite accusations: "I wouldn't be angry if you didn't____________"; "The reason I can't get anything done is because you __________"; "If you would just give me a chance I could accomplish _____________";..... on and on and on... In reading this forum we all seem to share the same life.
Then there is the anger. The bullying behavior that is exhibited predictably at the moment he realizes he has forgotten something again, didn't finish something again, didn't even remember whatever, again. At that moment seemingly another whole person emerges that is the "boss"; "in control"; "you listen to me, I'll do the talking";...... that person is aggressive, angry, confrontational, know-it-all, pompous A$$ ..... and the whole thing is repeated in the exact same way, each and every time.
Soooo... I watch and I try to figure out how being unsuccessful in life leads to being "in control" of the conversation that is focused on the lack of success. This is in opposition to what I feel could be a more normal response that would sound something like, I'm not able to remember or complete daily living tasks, perhaps rather than be angry and bossy, maybe I should review what goes wrong all the time and figure out how to prevent it in the future."
That sort of dialogue NEVER happens.
This observation makes me feel there is some behind the scenes profit in presenting anger rather than solutions. Perhaps the profit is the intense adrenaline production all that anger and pontification creates. Adrenaline may be like amphetamine which, in someone with ADD, should be soothing. Just maybe, the anger and aggression actually makes the chemistry feel better. I think we both know it does not make the relationship feel better, but the chemistry might be like a junkie getting a fix.
Maybe the unrealized value of that far supersedes the detriment of the relationship. Maybe thats why it is so hard for them to stop that angry behavior. Maybe thats why they do it several times a day, like a boost to the "feel good" chemistry they need.
Then there's the posturing, controlling, know-it-all as a stand alone. Maybe this is how they regain a sense of controlling their environment. This behavior may feel like "instant control"; where the understanding of what they've not accomplished feels like being completely out of control. Maybe this is a twisted survival mechanism. Destructive, yes. However, I don"t think ADD has an understanding of how what they do (or don't do) is destructive.
I honestly don't think they spend much time thinking about consequence at all.
So.. I've rambled a bit maybe. A recapitulation might be:
- ADD might behave "for the moment"
- Anger creates favorable chemistry "for the moment"
- Controlling, know-it-all behavior creates a sense of being in control of *something*:
- Consequence is a by-product of specific focused thought which isn't part of any moment during the day
"You change for two reasons: You either learn enough that you want to..... Or you've been hurt enough that you have to"