Chronic stress and panic attacks due to ADHD spouse and children

It is excellent advice, if and when an ADHD partner has acknowledged the havoc caused by their behaviour and sought treatment, to look at one's own behaviour and attempt to modify it to help the relationship. But my problem was that I was suffering chronic stress and panic attacks due to the daily, sometimes hourly, shocks, rages, let downs, violence, hypocritical criticism, shouting, overspending my earnings, accidents and chronic poor behaviour that I was subjected to by what turns out to be three male ADDERS in the home.

When I took the decision three years ago to get my partner out, so that I could deal with my children, I was diagnosed with chronic stress, anxiety and panic attacks, and medicated with beta blockers. These worked in mitigating the adrenalin rushes, the horrible panic attacks, the shaking hands, weeping, awful plunging, knotting sensation in the stomach etc that the constant shocks had caused me. I was on a very short fuse at the end of my tether. Three years later, I am calm. I am able to deal with the youngest, now diagnosed and on his way to treatment - even when he sounds off with '‘You just annoy me and bate me every day. You are an idiot and I don't like you" when I tell that, no, I will not buy him an 18 Xbox game as he is only 12. He is much improved by firm, consistent discipline and lots of love, instead of the crazy nitpicking and violence handed out by his father. However, in spite of removal of father, his behaviour was still illogical enough to warrant further investigation, but nothing like so appalling.

The older one has been on Ritalin for six months, and is transformed from the frightened, miserable boy who had dropped out of university, completely unable to cope, into a functioning young man. We have ways to go, but it is such a relief. Not so easy to spot in him, as he has no hyperactivity whatsoever, but does tap and fidget.

My question is, when it comes to controlling one's own anger that is part of the stress reaction, how do you do that with the maddening ADDER still in the house and furiously obdurate in their denial? Particularly with menopause symptoms that strip one's resilience bare (as does PMT) in addition, I don't think it is possible. You risk suppressing your feelings in unhelpful ways, and making yourself even more ill and miserable while you force yourself into unnatural reactions. Far better to create some space between you, I believe. It is vital that non ADHD partners look after themselves first - there is no way they can look after anyone else until they are strong and fit once more. Looking after people with this condition is shattering.


I agree that it is very shattering indeed when looking after an ADHD person putting your needs last and their needs first.I have done that for as long as I can recall.My husband was not diagnosed with ADHD but I am no doctor,yet still I read two books,went for therapy for myself after all I have been through with him,after being on this site for two plus years now,I know for sure my husband has ADHD/bipolar/some serious mental issues...I still run to him after everything I've been through and I suffer with massive anxiety disorder from family history of this sort of disorder,and i have my own problems to deal with on top of hubby problems.Over the past year or so after being with him for almost 3 yr's now i would always put my kids and myself needs first then his..sometimes i set myself back a bit only because i love him and want to help him...he is not good with household chores,never cleans up after himself,washes horribly all clothes together never separates whites,towels etc.I have been going through the worse but,I have learnt how to let go of his problems and only assist him if I can,when I can't he would complain complain but he is not going anyway until I make that final move...I was afraid that if I don't do something for him before he ask me too he would go into rage because he use to do that when we first got together,now I really could care less about fearing him for that,and because I don't do things for him when he expects,he stops expecting me to do them...It took me very long to understand him, know him because he is very different and wrong but right/right but thinks he is wrong..undecicive about things he want to do,never makes up his mind about anything,it is very frustrating,we don't live together,only on weekends we stay together during the week is work work work and I really can't have no one confusing me so we decided that we would still be together and live apart and that seems to work out not so good but great's always an up/down hill with my ADD spouse..but everyone I guess is never the same but has the same trait/trail depending on their childhood life and adult life ...I know for one that my husband is DAMAGED GOODS THAT CAN NEVER BE FIXED...I hope that you find that peace from within and realize that the only peace can come from you...