(disclaimer, i type really fast causing a lot of typos sometimes lol. i am also a bit upset right now so my writing may be erratic to put it lightly)
My husband was diagnosed with ADD and depression (i disagreed with the second)
I was diagnosed with ADD and social anxiety disorder
soo we both have it...
I have learned a few ways to control some of my chaotic thinking processes as I will call them, I have found the meds helpful and I take varying dosages, I do not take the full dosage ever day and I do drug holidays to make sure I do not become dependent or addicted since it is a highly addictive drug.
My husband on the other hand seen the drugs as magic lil pills that would fix everything and kept wanting a higher dosage because he said it was not meeting his expectations yet. At this point he is on 2 anti D's and adderall.
Prior to the diagnosis and drugs we were good. We had a few kinks when we were first living together etc, but we worked past all of that and were in the best spot of our marriage, happy, no fighting, balanced well. Then everything started to downslide...it almost seemed like the diagnosis made my husband think ohhhh I am sick OMG and he got worse...and worse.....
At this point. I am exhausted every day taking care of the house (he never picks up after himself and we have a toddler) taking care of her, doing full time college and trying to work online to help pay for tuition because he refuses to let me get school loans or let me use our regular money/paycheck to pay for it. For all that I do, he has gratitude for nothing. The only words out of his mouth are negative , telling me what I do wrong, what I dont do etc. He is completely unaffectionate now, shows no love, the only emotion he shows is anger or irritation. He is increasingly more on the irritated side , when he raises his voice it is scary..his tone is so heartless and he acts like a child now.He will not accept responsibility for anything, he blames it all on me...everything is my fault, if he gets mad and says something mean to me he will say it was my fault he said it, he argues everything, then tells me he wants me to be strong if i do not clearly tell him my point back BUT will tell me i want to argue and I am controlling if I tell him my point clearly (catch 22) I can do not good for him anymore, we used to have a very good sex life ......yea..I do not want to try to seduce him now because I just cant handle the rejection anymore. His sex drive went to zero but I do think that is mostly due to the meds so I do not hold it against him, but I would be lying i fi said it is not hurting us.
The only thing he wants to do is his video game, he was always a gamer but at this point....he gets excited and passionate with his game and nothing else.....no matter what I do I am never good enough fo rhim now. he is angry, frustrated, irritated or tired.
He seems to think he is the only one in the house with some issue. I used to fight depression issues, i admit as a teenager I was a cutter...I had some rough times but I learned to recognize my irrational mood swings and used cognitive therapy to stop those. I am not perfect, I know that, no one is...so sometimes something involving my ADD etc. may bug him but I try really hard to be the best woman I can be for him and our child and I apologize if I seen that I forgot something or messed something up and I express my love for him a lot, I am very affectionate, but he just...he shuts me out now. I don't know what to do, I feel like his metaphorical punching bag anymore and he is wearing me down to nothing.
i want to talk to him about all of this , i want him to recognize how much control he has lost over his temper etc etc. but i know 99% chance he will turn it around and blame me and tell me if its so bad i knwo where the door is, then he will start talking about how bad i am and the things i do or dont do and how im not a team player or i dont put myself out their...all of the things he tells me that i dont do for him are the exact things he never gives me which i find kinda odd...example he says you dont trust me. i do trust him...he flat out tells me that he doesnt trust me (he doesnt trust anyone for that matter)
he has just spiraled down in the past year and im lost. do i tell him, do i talk to the doctor about him. i will be honest in saying i blame the prescriptions for a lot of this, we had fixed any issues we had awhile ago, we worked out the odd kinks 2 add people would have without knwoing we had ADD, we were happy....and now....now im sitting here on a computer writing a very long forum post with a lot of typos(im typing really fast) with tears streaming wondering how to get my husband back feeling scared to even talk to him about this because his anger now, i just cant take being yelled at anymore, and he says things about divorce when he's angry because he knows it will shut me up, he knows it hits my heart instantly and i will leave him alone. i have turned into an enabler in some ways, i realize this, but i dont know what to do, he was not always like this
Our (very detailed) experience with SSRI Side Effects.
Submitted by paperbag on
Heh, a lot of your post could have been written by me over the past few weeks. Things are getting better now, at least it feels like they are. I'm hopeful. I'll try to keep tabs on my rambling, but my Adderal is wearing off ;) and I can't stop talking when that happens, and this is the first time I've discussed this situation with anyone. I'll start off with some unrelated background, but once I start explaining what happened with his meds, maybe that will give some helpful info.
He's helping me write this, giving his point of view, as someone who was in the shoes that your husband may or may not be in. I hope his point of view helps, especially now that he has changed SSRI's and has moved past being unable to tolerate my presence. Short short story would be, SSRI's can cause side effects like you're experiencing. I lived them, even up until a few days ago. That's not to say there isn't a chance that he's just... changed. But SSRIs are intense drugs that really change your brain chemistry. If he's not noticing and telling his doctor about the changes in him, then you need to. For everyone's safety. My husband was to the point of fantasizing about not assisting me during an asthma attack, or burning down the house. Brain chemistry is a very fragile thing.... (he's better now, FYI) But... the long long (wow, way long) story would be;
My husband and I both have ADHD, mine is more severe, mostly due to being unmedicated while pregnant and nursing for 5 of the 5 years we've been married. (Poor guy!) His is also severe, and we both have impulse control issues. On top of that, I also have mild OCD, and he's a veteran with SEVERE PTSD. Now, my husband is very private with his medication. He has said before he is fond of trying to negate the Placebo Effect. (my definition: lying about mind altering medication.... His definition: "if you don't know that I'm not taking my meds and think I am, you'll see improvement where there is none. Or if you don't know I'm on a new med, or have switched doses, then it zeros out the Placebo Effect of you thinking I've gotten better because of the meds. I want you to see changes based on what you see me doing, not what you see me taking.) I can understand his reasons, but I felt that as his spouse, it made me feel that he distrusted me to be honest. Before his diagnoses, he mostly pretended to be on meds primarily to get me to stop nagging about getting medicated, he also didn't think he really needed them, or that it was fair that I didn't take my meds and instead chose to nurse our daughters. My behavior wasn't that supportive because I continued to nag about the lack of relief that meds should have brought, and I could never trust him when he said anything regarding meds. After the diagnoses of ADHD, he spent a the rest of our marriage pursuing the Placebo Effect theory about any medication he took, (lying about taking them, lying about when he started or changed meds or doses) and that lead to paranoia on my part and I (wrongly) started counting pills, or looking at dates, or looking at bottles and not confronting him with how much it hurt me when he lied. He had no real reason to not be truthful about what he was taking or not taking- I wouldn't have gotten upset. (Concerned, maybe, as self-medicating can be dangerous.) However, at one point in our counseling sessions, our Imago therapist said I needed to back off and that if he chose to lie to me about his medications, that was his choice to do, but I can't play the mother. It was hard to accept, but I made a promise never to look into or ask about anything involving medications again. I couldn't do it half way, so I just shut down that part of my mind and never thought twice about how scared the lying, manipulation and self medication made me. As far as I was concerned, I knew he was on Adderal because of the constant "My Adderal is wearing off." but aside from that, the part of our home that held his meds didn't exist in my vision.
We had some problems with his interactions with my parents and working for my dad in a business he really didn't like. Added to that my TOTALLY out of control ADHD and passive aggressive reactions to his own passive aggressive reactions. We almost never fought, and although there was not necessarily a super happy marriage, it wasn't really unhappy. We cared about each other, with 2 little ones we didn't have a super great sex life, but we still had fun with each other. We went on dates every week, we each had a "personal day" where we had a few hours in the morning to get some me time. Things needed improvement, but I had NO concern whatsoever about major issues since most of our problems were of the wait and see type. (i.e. when the little one stops breastfeeding I'll start my meds) We laughed together and spent most of our time in each other's company. We weren't the best couple, but for the moment, we were content.
So, about 3 months ago, things changed. My husband's tolerance of mistakes and accidents dropped. It wasn't a constant bad, there were plenty of happy and content moments, but some days it felt like anything I said, anything I did, anything I didn't say, anything I didn't do.... it felt like he took them as personal insults and attacks. But he rarely said anything or reacted too much. He would just shut down. The hot summers here are difficult on him and bring the wartime anxiety to the surface. I assumed it was just a difficult year this time around. Sometimes he'd blurt things out that were totally scary and inappropriate, like telling my parents he's thought about shooting me in the head because I just won't listen to what he has to say. (We're both gun nuts, and have several weapons... so that frightened them, to say the least.)
There was about 2 months of this, and then a good friend of mine had a marriage crisis and stayed with us for a few weeks, and suddenly my husband was the patient, kind and empathetic man I loved. He helped out around her house with fix-its, played father figure to her toddler, was the shoulder to cry on when mine was busy with the kids. As days went by, his kindness seemed to only be around and directed to her. I'd constantly defend their blossoming friendship to my parents and friends, even while our own friendship was deteriorating. It started out innocent, the youngest still nursing so it was always assumed I'd watch the children (ours and hers) when someone needed to go out, and inevitably... regardless of who left the house, for some reason the other needed to go as well. Now, there was no physical affair, although there's no denying the emotional affair that took place- and still is, to some degree. They were both in a bad place, and used each other as a sounding board, but at this point I was unaware of that since he hadn't really communicated to me that there was anything wrong. As far as I was concerned, this was just a bad summer.
My husband had so much more anger and frustration without even he realizing the changes in himself.... He denied anything was wrong with him, though. Didn't want to talk to me about it. Looked at me like I was nothing. I started walking on eggshells, what did I do wrong this time? They started confiding in each other, leaving me out of the loop. I assumed it was her venting all this time, after all... we were ok... he was just having a bad summer due to PTSD. Eventually, it got to the point where he didn't talk to me at all, or even around me. They started drinking in the evenings more and more, they got closer and closer and closer.
Finally, I'd had enough. I told her that I was uncomfortable with how close she was getting to my husband. I explained what an emotional affair was, and she wasn't too upset about it. Was understanding. Went silent. Dropped a bomb and just blurted out a few of the things he'd said about me. He never trusted me. He finds me physically unattractive in every way. The thought of touching me repulses him. He wants to leave me and the kids. He wants to burn down the house. He fantasizes about my death. (not killing me... but me dying.) He was only able to stay married to me by spending the whole marriage drunk. My lack of communication skills have almost completely turned him off the thought of ever being with another woman again. He thinks I'm a manipulative... well... he said a lot of really really cruel hateful things. I was blown out of the water! How on earth could he grow to hate me SO MUCH, almost overnight! [husband interjected that the friend exaggerated his words and after adjusting meds, doesn't feel his frustration to that extreme] Well, I confronted him and he calmly, without much emotion, let me know similar things. He'd never trusted me, and didn't think he ever would.... I don't need to detail the things he said, but it was a roller coaster. We would talk a bit, get things kind of sorted out, then he'd revert back to his desires to just get out. Burn the house down, can we move away if we burn the house down.... things like that. I started talking to my friend about wondering if he isn't in fact having a nervous breakdown. I started talking to our therapist (who we'd been taking a break from a few months before) At some point, he mentioned in an offhanded comment that he'd started Celexa, didn't like it, and stopped it cold turkey. I hadn't even known he'd started it. I mentioned that to the therapist and she told me I needed to look it up on line, see the possible side effects and talk to his doctor. The stories and "discontinuation syndrome" symptoms covered so much of what had gone wrong so quickly. And it lined up to the timeline. I freaked out and looked at the pill bottles. He said he'd been on it 3 months, and off it a few weeks. Both bottles were half full, which meant he frequently missed doses. With an SSRI, sometimes a single missed dose can bring on discontinuation syndrome. It explained all of the times where, out of the blue, he was all rage, all the time... and then would be fine the next day.
We went back and forth, it took a dozen discussions before I felt brave enough to bring it up. I told him I don't want to minimize what you're feeling or imply that what you feel isn't real. I know it is, but I feel you've changed in a more extreme way than someone would do, all on their own. I showed him what I'd found online, he said it might be possible, but explained to me that he really did feel all that way. I told him that a 20mg dose of Prozac would help with the withdrawal, if that's what it is... and it would make no difference, if that's how he truly feels. He agreed, and we went to the appointment. The doctor switched him to Prozac and wrote up a prescription. By the next morning, I noticed a difference. He could talk to me without shutting down, he could look at me without... poorly hidden disgust... all over his face. It's only been a few days... I talked to him about it, and on a scale to 10, he was at a 9, and he's at a 6, which isn't too far from the 3-4-5 he lives at. We're talking about our relationship with hope again, instead of wondering if it's going to make it, we're discussing how it's going to make it. He's still pretty irritable, but he says it's slowly getting better. He finds it irritating to talk about all this, and our relationship, but that it needs to be done. So much progress, and I have hope again.
My husband's viewpoint in his own words:
Aggression, irritation, frustration... are all possible side effects of stimulants, (i.e.. Ritalin Adderal), and some SSRIs. Also, the effect of the stimulants wearing off causes me to want to sleep like I'd hadn't slept for days. I have been taking adderal for almost 2 years. in that time, I have needed one increase in dose, from 30 to 40mg per day, about 9 months after moving from Strattera to adderal. There had been a slight increase in my aggressive tendencies after starting and then after the increase, usually no more than a week or two in duration. Aside from that adjustment period I had no real problems with side effects of that nature. and then came Celexa...
About 3 months ago I requested my doctor start me on an SSRI, due to some family issues that were... um,... bad. I had been on some other SSRI's before, and the only one that worked for me enough that I and my wife could both tell the difference, while still being able to "perform," and no other irritating side effects was Lexapro. Unfortunately, there is not yet a generic for Lexapro, so I asked if there was one similar that was in generic. Celexa was the one we had agreed on, and I began taking it. as soon as I began taking it, I couldn't make anything work long enough to keep a subscription to playboy. Can you say ego killer? Can you say it again? Yeah. That bad. Aside from the "its broken" feeling, almost overnight I went from playful puppy to pissed off doberman. My work suffered, my home life suffered, all within days of starting this new medication. It seriously changed my view of reality, without me realizing it. People that previously irritated me were on my 'frag on sight' list. I no longer had any interest in playing with the kids, and I lost any interest in staying married. I had a job that was barely tolerable, and within a couple of weeks I had no more employment. my last couple of days, it was the hardest thing to not tell everyone how I really felt. That was never anything I would have ever thought about before.
I couldn't stand how impossible it was to... um,... "inflate my own 'ego'" so, I called my doctor, left a message, (it was a Thursday night, and Friday was a holiday) and discontinued my meds, just like is suggested in the paper you get from the pharmacy. By Monday, everything was worse, except a now inflatable "ego." by Tuesday night, I was ready to pack everything into my car and go. I had a complete change of view of reality, twice as bad as when I took the meds.
From both of us.... Honestly, you are not alone, many have had similar experiences, and they can be overcome. Counseling is in order, and you need to call his doctor. It's a breach of trust to do so, and it would probably upset him. But if he's not aware of the damage his extreme behavior can cause your family, not just your marriage... then it's time to treat the tantrum-throwing child like a tantrum-throwing child and call his doctor. Either way, if it's gotten to the point where you're at, then something needs to be done. Either you need to take your kid and leave, or you need to snitch. My wife called, and it's really irritating that it happened, but it needed to be done. And if it isn't his meds, then you both need to take stock. In some ways you need to ask yourself, can you love him and stay with him, without bringing emotional harm to you and your daughter, if he decides he has no desire to get better?
I don't have much time..just
Submitted by SherriW13 on
I don't have much time..just wanted to add...anti depressants (SSRIs) made my ADHD husband a MONSTER. As did ADHD meds. I'm wondering if he isn't either bi-polar instead of ADHD or both ADHD and bipolar. His horrible experience with meds would make one wonder.
He might be depressed because of the ADHD and once it is treated (with ADHD meds) the depression could be better. I know they work OK for some, but they made my husband even more emotional (negatively...angry, hostile) and very prone to sudden verbal attacks.