His ADD vs My Mental Health

Do any of you non-ADDers feel like your whole personality is having to change to live with your ADDer?  I have been dealing with this for over 30 years.  Not only am I on Xanax, Ambien, and Celexa, but who I am is completely different than who I used to be.  I know most of you are laughing saying IT'S THE DRUGS GOOFY!, but it isn't.  We all know that "controlling our emotions" is essential in our marriage, but I have begun to avoid my husband because I don't WANT to have to control my emotions.  I used to be extremely out-going, but lately I have become the "quiet one" in my group.  I'm finding it difficult to even have a conversation with my girlfriends.  I feel like zombie-girl.  Also, my memory is bizarre because I can totally and completely forget what I did the night before.  Having to have such a tight rein on everything that comes out of my mouth appears to be making me not want to talk at all.  My husband has moments of clarity, but for the most part he seems to walk around in a fog.  I can't tell what he is thinking or NOT thinking because he rarely says.  I am hiding out most of the time, and losing myself in the process.  When I spend time with "normal" people, I dread going home because the comparison is so depressing. 

Yes, I feel like I've become

Yes, I feel like I've become a different person, not only in the sense that I behave differently when with my husband than when I'm with other people but also in the sense that the stress of being responsible for so much of the work of the marriage and household and family has affected my emotional and physical health.  I have a genetic predisposition to anxiety and depression, I've struggled with both at times throughout my life, and they came to stay approximately five years ago.

Yep.  I'm always afraid my DH

Yep.  I'm always afraid my DH is going to do something strange when we are in a group, or laugh at inappropriate times.  We actually have two different sets of friends.  My friends don't understand why I am still with him.  His seem to feel the same way about me!  I wish there was a web-site that explained what a "normal" marriage is supposed to be like.  I have lived in this dysfunctional one for so long I don't have a clue.

Same boat.  Same age.  

Same boat.  Same age.  Although I don't take meds for anxiety.  I am fighting the anxiety without it.

Oh my gosh!  I don't know how

Oh my gosh!  I don't know how you do it without occasional meds.  If I get upset, I don't sleep.  If I don't sleep nothing is right until I do.  I'm sure I use sleep as an escape.  I can easily sleep 10 hours.  I'm impressed jennalemon.

Change is the only Constant

Hello.  I'm so sorry you've lost your sense of self and well-being.  It is exhausting to have to manage our responses day in and day out.  As well as to manage life, and households, and work, etc.  Are you also going to counseling?  Meds are rarely the only answer.  Although I am also taking a low dose of Prozac, which makes managing my responses so much easier.

In some ways I'd say my personality is a lot better than it was before I met my husband.  I used to have no social skills whatsoever.  Part of why I liked DH was because he was so chatty he'd keep up my side of social responsibilities, other than the planning of them.  Over the years I've learned from him how to be more social and be able to be an asset at a dinner party.  When I found that I was turning into a doormat in order to appease ADHD man it was time to reassess the relationship.  Now this was not a one day event mind you.  This was numerous arguments over nothing where in my head I was repeating a really negative mantra (I hate my life, I want to jump off a bridge, repeat, etc.).  Clearly this was not sustainable, but what was the alternative? 

I've spent a lot of time since trying to decide what the best parts of me are and trying to preserve them.  Trying to act consistently with what I value.  One of which is to not be a doormat.  Nor to jump off a bridge, or consume my weight in whisky or wine.  This and Prozac, and therapy, and DH's med changes and his therapy have led me to a better place.  I've also learned to be much more patient and philosophical.  It turns out I have lived with people around me having ADHD (undiagnosed) since I was 4, so that behavior seems normal to me even if it's not ok and it really made me a mental wreck for many years.  But because of it I don't really have any clear picture of what it should be so I don't know what I'm missing. 

I found therapy a good time to try to figure out what was important to me and how to make my mental health a priority.  It really is impossible to have a healthy relationship if you don't individually have good relationships with your self.  Maybe some dosage tweaking would be helpful too.  I hope you can find your way out of zombie-land!

What I dislike is the

What I dislike is the financial and decision making are taken from me mainly due to his fear of poverty and need for micromanaging. I have been second-guessing my ability to function independently, even intellectually on some level for much of the marriage. My antidepressant usage started roughly around the same time I realized my dh had undiagnosed ADHD (ADD) 5, 6 years ago.

Ironically, dh started seeking help and medication this season as I am weaning off my antidepressant use (due to a side effect). I have hope but I'm still worried for the future. I'm slowly trying to regain some of my mental fortitude back but at times it feels it's come so late (20 years) and at a cost. But I'm pushing along even if it's been at a snail's pace.

The good things to come out of my life is I have learned to be more forthright/forceful in how I relate to others. I've learned to deal with friends, family, neighbors. I don't take crap from them because I have no more patience to give out! I see people complaining about their own comparatively carefree lives and I think to myself, what a joke.

I think it's all part of the need for self preservation in aspects inside and outside of the marriage or you will be sucked dry. You compensate in other areas of your life, or at least try to.




resonate indeed

McCleskey, I believe you, and I know it isn't the medication you are taking. Stress can do incredible things to you. 

I can't speak for anyone but myself. I know my estranged spouse has more going on than ADHD and it took years before I even realized what that really meant and what ADHD and my response to his symptoms, could mean. But, four months into a separation, a few days ago, I realized how happy and lighthearted my young children (who live primarily with me) are. They have their mother back. How sad that I was kind of gone, right? But now, I feel like the old me, who laughed and wasn't anxious 24/7 and could sleep and wasn't sad and exhausted, is back for the first time in a few years. When I was there, tasks like loading up our things for school into the car in the morning seemed insurmountable. I had no energy or desire to see other people--I was too worn down. It just about finished me off there, at the end. I am grateful to be at peace and accept that I did the right thing and there was no way I could live with him, and his untreated ADHD and issues, any longer. Sad but true. I know everyone else's situations may be different, but mine was pretty extreme. 

Best to everyone here. 

Feel the Same

Yup- I know exactly how you feel. I used to be so fun and outgoing....somewhat of a free spirit. Now, after 13 years of marriage, I am a crabby, fat, worrywart. How can I be fun-loving when I have to do everything around the house, worry about money, whether Dh will keep his job, make sure the kids get places on time, etc./ Besides my personality, I have lost control of my house (even though I do all of the housework). There are plies of papers everywhere, I can't park in the garage thanks to a project he started in Nov. and abandoned, the Christmas lights are still up on our house (too high for me to reach even with a tall ladder), not to mention all of the projects started and abandoned inside. And I also can't be honest to people about my marriage. They would flip out if they knew things he has done and said. I know that no marriage is perfect and everyone has problems, but I just roll my eyes at some of my friends' complaints about their husbands.