Is being self centered an ADHD trait?

Tonight, I had a mild anxiety attack about having a second child.  (TTC) 

I love kids. It just that two years ago today I was being cut open in an emergency C section after a difficult and traumatic preterm labor, pre-ceeded by a bout of preeclampsia.

The anniversary of my grandfather's death was this week. (The grief of which sent me into my first ever major depressive episode).

I was in a minor car accident tonight.

So some big triggers, right?  At least in combination.

Tried to talk my ADHD spouse about it. 

First he complained that I was bothering him.  He was tired.

Then he started arguing with me about things that were bothering me. 

I got upset because he missed the point--I need emotional support, not a f****** debate.   So I went to the sofa and turned out the lights and started crying because I feel so utterly alone.

So, he comes out to supposedly apologize.

Then he told me that I was approaching it all wrong.  I shouldn't say what was bothering me. I should just ask to be held, or something.  (I am forever being told about how "wrong" I am in the way I say things).

Then he told me that while he understood why I would feel down around the anniversary of my father's death, he shared that he didn't think having any feelings about my grandfather's death had any merit or validity. At least not enough to warrant his attention or concern. 

I told him to F*** off. Then he stormed away.  Comes back a minute later and says, "That was very horrible of me to say."

But at this point...I'm done.  So I said something equally horrible back.

I am so sick of always being let down whenever I need emotional support. 

This is the same person who two years ago decided that he would turn into a total jerk after my C section.  Anytime I needed help, he would roll his eyes and act annoyed at my request. 

Why?  He was resentful of some long past arguments we'd had months before.

Basically, it is all about him.  

You know how feeling sad about a grandfather whose been dead for a number of years has no point to my spouse?

Every fall, my DH goes through this huge sad episode where he feels bad about how he screwed up college because of his ADHD.  I am reminded of how hard that time of year is for him, how fall is a big trigger....etc. etc. etc.  He has anxiety attacks and bad dreams...

In other words, I am supposed to be understanding, compassionate, and lovingly supportive when he is dealing with emotional triggers that might bring about anxiety attacks.  

I can totally understand why that would be a trigger.

But he doesn't seem to see why I might need emotional support. Or he doesn't think I am worthy of it. 

I just feel so let down and alone all the time.   If we weren't married with a baby, I probably would leave him.   I mean....what the hell am I getting out of this?  

If this is just a symptom of ADHD...can it be treated? Or is this just the sign of a jerk?

Self Centered DH

Dear flutterbybutterfly8

I can tell by your name you're a wonderful mother. 

I'm sorry for the hard day you recently had and the indifference you were given rather than comfort.

You can be certain the self centered characteristic is alive and well in the ADHD husband, boyfriend, father.  I know you will gain alot of perspective and comfort from this website as I already have (just joined today).  When you start to feel you have a family of 'I can relate to that!' that you can count on for support, it will help put your heart and mind at ease.  I found a website  for an Academy that specializes in ADHD coach training today.  I thought if I could learn how to communicate and respond, it may make all the difference!  Then I found this website, and wow, I thought before I take the hasty action of ' fixing him or leaving him', I can gain alot from just talking to other women, and mothers, about their situation and what they're going through.  The making friends should be fun in the process of 'learning to deal'!

Again, I hope your days are better, and I'll say a little prayer for you and you're Grandfather.  Maybe he guided me to your post, because I felt very moved by your situation.  My Grandmother died last year on May 24th (she was 99).  Even at 99 she would call and ask me how I was doing and leave messages.  She brought tremendous  love, and I believe she's still doing what she does best; love me and give good advice.

Stay Strong and give that baby a kiss and nice long hug! I'll watch for your posts, but I'm not at a computer everyday.  

fuzzylogic72's picture

to Butterfly

Butterfly, I feel for both you and your husband. Reading your recount of that terrible night reminded me of the many similar arguments I've been involved in. Although I am the adhd one, I have been on your side of such exchanges too. People can be jerks or whatever, with or without adhd. It sounds to me like both of you have a lot of pent up anger/frustration, which is understandable, and like I said I've been on both sides of arguments like these. I'm not one to say who was right or wrong (the truth of that question is rarely black or white), but I can say that when he came out to try to talk about it, that is a BIG, BIG step for any adhder. A few years back I would never have done that; not a chance (pride, fear, insecurity, communication paralysis etc.). I'd bet he really felt like he was on uncertain ground when he tried to come to you, and was hyper aware of the tension of the moment. In spite of this, he came to you and tried; maybe not in the perfect manner with the perfect words, but he tried. I can tell you for sure that no adhder that I know, or could imagine, would have been willing and/or able to conquer their own weaknesses enough to be able to do that, unless they truly and deeply loved and cared for their partner. I can't imagine doing that, and being met with a "**** off".  That would have been quite a knife to the heart.

In terms of being "certain the self centered characteristic is alive and well in the ADHD husband, boyfriend, father"... wow. This site has really been trying to work on expressing ourselves fully, yet respectfully and accurately, and Melissa has been working hard at trying to minimize expressions of blanket-generalizations. Those comments (I know they weren`t your words) are not only inaccurate, they are hurtful and disheartening to all husbands, boyfriends and fathers who are doing their best to improve themselves in the face of this really crappy condition.  I would caution you not to take such prejudicial statements to heart, it will only make you bitter.

I hope you and your partner learn to work things out and communicate respectfully to one another, béc without that there is no chance. Sherri gave me a great idea about a communication journal; it has really helped for me and my partner.



no intention of blanket prejudice

Hi fuzzylogic,

No blanket prejudice.  I was referring to my own father, husband (legally separated years ago) and boyfriend.  (Two with ADD one with ADHD).  I've never been on a forum board before, and I'm still understanding how it all works.  But thanks for the  heads up.  It is CERTAIN it will be taken into consideration.  I certainly don't want to leave anyone with a sense of bitterness.

fuzzylogic72's picture

thank you

Hi Christine,

Thank you clarifying that for me; I have come to really value the sense of belonging and `family`that this site can have when we are all on one team regardless of who has the diagnosis. If you see some of my OLD posts and exchanges, you`ll see it has been quite a growth process for a lot of people. I know how important it is for the nons to have the empathy and understanding of other nons, and I wish everyone knew how important it was for us adhders who have committed ourselves to change to have the support and understanding of the nons. I know that this can be a difficult step especially at first for members who are in or were recently in a mutually destructive relationship, but it can be so worth it for both. Thanks for your response, I wish you the best, and I look forward to sharing ideas and insights with you.

Yours in the struggle,


So, flutterbybutterfly...


Are you pregnant with your second child or are you and your husband contemplating having a second?  I have a seven and nine year old (two different fathers) and was wondering if part of your anxiety is not only from these important anniversaries but also because you're having another baby, or if you feel it's 'time' for another child to keep the siblings close in age, or your husband would like you to have another baby.  I was just hoping to get some clarity because I had been in a depressed state when I made a decision regarding a pregnancy, and if I had this site to refer to and speak with others regarding my circumstance, I may have made a different and more optimal choice for the personality I have. (If that makes sense)