Husband has started Vyvanse and He's out of control

Please somebody give me some advise, anyone please, any knowledge on the subject, even if you don't think it would help, tell me anyway.

I'm desperate, my husband is newly diagnosed with add, he's been an angry person, obnoxious well before the meds, fly off the handle, not much control over himself or what he says to his kids or me. Since he started Vyvanse he's been hyperfocusing on crazy stuff, driving us in sane to put it mildly. This afternoon he totally cussed out his 16 year old and my 17 year old son's over nothing. He is constantly telling them to do stuff, like he tells them to wash their hands EVERY SINGLE TIME HE SEES THEM, I just wanted to stress that, not yell it but I'm losing my mind. I can't hold everything together, What's happening? Could the Vyvanse be responsible for more anger?-HELP

Miss Behaven's picture

Some ADD meds can increase

Some ADD meds can increase irritability especially if you are at a wrong dosage (too high) or having a poor reaction to them. Document the changes in him, write them down, so that this info can be taken to the doctor. It may be that this will settle down once his body adjusts to the medication or he may need to try a different dose or a different med.

All Meds Need Monitoring

He may need a different med, more, less or some combination.  Sometimes two or three blends of symptoms are present and controlling one brings another out.  Tell the doc quickly.

My son is successful on Ritalin and Ritalin LA but we tried other stimulants with poor to bad results.  I think it was Strattera that made him anxiety prone about everything.  Adderall made him more aggressive (that one lasted only a week before we dumped it).  It has been a while so I can't remember them all.  He also has trouble in group situations and bipolar symptoms so he takes two other meds to help with that.  One had good treatment effects but made him gain 40 pounds in about one year even though they said weight gain was not a side effect.  It was an effect for him and at least three other kids we know. We got off that and went back to another med.  The key to all of them was being very observant of the results.

You have to be extremely observant, know when they are being taken and what foods and drinks are being consumed during the day.  Sometimes the food and drink interferes with the med. (Citric acid and Ritalin, for instance. No morning OJ or fruit for my son.)  It is observations that are beyond most people.  You have to get feedback from teachers and co-workers and so on and most are way too unobservant / too busy. Casual observation does not hack it here.  It is detailed info that is needed.  (Good from 8 to 10, had a donut, became irritable until noon, ate pasta for lunch, calmer until three, etc.)  What is leading up to the blow ups or what is happening just before the blow ups?  Close, detailed observations.

One teacher in particular was so observant, he used to tell us detailed accounts of behavior by the hour and allowed (insisted) our son bring a "before lunch" snack to help him improve his behavior.  He also adjusted the class schedule to get better participation from his ADD/ADHD kids.  Luckily, the principal gave him the freedom to do that.  It makes a world of difference.  Good luck on finding the right mix.

hockeymom11's picture

med question

I have a question for preferably someone with ADHD/ADD who has started their meds and remembers their past.

If the ADHD/ADD spouse is in complete denial and blaming the other for everything, once they start the meds, do they realize their past behavior, do they feel empathy/guilt for it?  Or do the meds just focus on the here and now and the past is a blur? 

I'm asking b/c I'm willing to try with my spouse if he starts medications, but right now he absolutely thinks he is doing nothing wrong and I am to blame entirely.  

I'm not an ADD sufferer, but

I'm not an ADD sufferer, but my husband is, and he has recently started meds.  I can tell you that in the past, he blamed almost all our problems on me.  Even though he admitted to having ADD, he never once admitted that the ADD was causing our problems.  Now that he is on meds, he still thinks a lot of our relationship problems are my fault, but has started to take accountability for certain things that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt are ADD related (problems with time management, completing tasks, forgetting to do things, etc).  I wouldn't say it has been a time machine that has made him regret all the things he had done to hurt me, but I think the act of seeking therapy and treatment has forced him to realize that there really was something significantly wrong with him, and maybe not everything should have been blamed on me after all.

ADD Hockey Fan on Meds

I have been taking Adderall for about a year and a half. The meds have really had a great effect for me. I am able to focus, less grumpy, more observant (especially reading faces and detecting emotions in people) I was pretty oblivious before... The downside is I have a bit more anxiety, because I used to not worry about anything unless it was blowing up in my face, now I see ALL the things that need to be done (An impossible amount of things) I also tend to look 12 chess moves down the road and worry about the inevitable outcome. I think I am still adjusting to awareness that I have only had 1.5 out of 45 years.

I had issues with admitting fault, because I always think I make the best choice at the time, and when it turns out not to be the case, I'm embarrassed and looking for What went wrong. If I went wrong, it is another failure because of a Stupid decision. If I'm not confident, then what??? Show my weakness? This was a terrible cycle...

For me, reading about ADHD has made the real difference. Understanding that there is a reason for my faulty reasoning helps me so much. I thought I was the way I was, because of my selfish, self-centered, lazy, forgetful and sure to disappoint everyone brain. A neuro-chemical imbalance in the brain is largely responsible. I knew right/wrong, of course and many times I chose wrong...

I was elated to discover that there were meds to help my diagnosis. It takes a while to get the right med and correct dosage, so patience is required for both the ADDer and the partner.

I STILL am guilt ridden about the years of frustration and hurt I have caused my family and friends. I am trying to use my better balanced brain to do make-up behavior for my loved ones. I began with a REAL empty bucket and am not going to sit around and blame ADD, but try to improve myself and let my actions speak for me. I still have plenty of wrong moves, but I keep trying to move forward. 


Best wishes to you... (Go STARS!)


I started taking meds a

I started taking meds a couple of years ago. I found that they help in the here and now. They primarily help me to keep focused so I can finish tasks at hand. When I was able to finish things that I started and stay on task I then realized how disorganized i really was. I continue to have reminders and strategies to get things completed, but with meds it is not impossible or to overwhelming to even try.

I believe that our marriage has worked for 25 years because my husband is a type A personality and everything is very orderly, and he is what i teasingly call a  supervisor, and I know that I am disorganized so I don't argue so much when he asks me to do something and then reminds me several times.  We also do most things together such as the checkbook, the housework, and grocery shopping. We work as a team to get those chores done. I am usually the one to do things when he is ready, but it works for us.

So for me meds help to keep focused in the here and now, but do not change the past. Do you want your spouse to be aware of past behavior because you are angry or because you think it is the only way they can make changes? I didn't realize how scattered i really was until my son was diagnosed and I recognized myself in him and when i started taking meds i was able to finish what i started, and did not have to consistently get out of work late.

I hope this is helpful.

I wondered of this would work

We also do most things together such as the checkbook, the housework, and grocery shopping. We work as a team to get those chores done. I am usually the one to do things when he is ready, but it works for us.


I often wondered if working together on cleaning and shopping would help. It sounds like so much of the comments here are based on his/her lists done separately.  I'm glad it does work for you. 


In our house my husband

In our house my husband usually initiates the chore by saying something like okay today we are doing yard work, and unless i have something else planned I just go along. I know that if i say in a few minutes or tomorrow that the work won't get done. I know my flaws and appreciate the kick in the butt most of the time. Another thing that he may say is when would be a good time to start that work, and that puts the ball in my park and I have to stick to what i say.

It saddens me to read all the comments and see how frustrated those who don't have ADD and the problems it has caused. I have a teenage boy with ADD and worry about what the world has to offer him. He is the kindest child i have ever known, but I know that he will miss anniversaries, birthdays (including his own). He also will have to be reminded to the simple things that he should know about. I can only pray that his own awareness of his ADD will help him put some strategies into place. Also that whoever he gets involved with knows up front that he has ADD and can guide him through life and will love him for the person he is. 

I know that our family will always be there to remind him and help as much as we can.

hockeymom11's picture


Thanks "hockey fan" for your honest response.  Someone asked if I wanted my husband to remember because I am angry, but that's not the reason.  I just don't think he gets it.  For 14 years he has forgotten every anniversary, birthday, never planned a night out or a weekend, missed our son's championship game (which they won in the last second!).  He's never surprised me with a card, a gift, nothing.  Just sits in front of a video game and feels he is the world's greatest husband. 

No I do not want revenge, I want him to realize how his actions affect others.  I mentioned the things about the anniversaries, etc and he said "you always brushed that stuff off and never let me do anything".  I didn't say it, but was thinking "yeah, all women HATE gifts and occasional dinner's out or a home cooked meal.  yeah, we all hate that kind of stuff". 

I mean, lets get real.  Does he REALLY believe that I am to blame for everything?  I guess I can't make him get counseling and can't make him take meds.  I do feel better knowing that if he POSSIBLY takes meds he will realize what type of person he has been. 


My son also has ADHD and I worry so much that he will become his father.  I just bought him the book "The survival guide for kid's with ADD or ADHD" by John Taylor.  It seems really good (my son is 11 and it seems age appropriate as my son is rather immature).

I hope with early intervention, structure, medication, love and patience my son can grow up to be the wonderful loving person that he is. 


Thank you for all of your responses, I finally feel that I am not alone in this battle anymore. 

I must add:  GO SABRES!!  (sorry hockey fan!)

arwen's picture

understanding ADHD memory

hockeymom, I don't have ADHD but my spouse does, and maybe it will help you to hear what I've learned about ADHD memory.

ADHD involves synaptic irregularities in the brain.  Because the synapses don't function normally, it's often very difficult for people with ADHD to *form* memories, to *store* memories in any kind of *organized* way, and to *retrieve* memories.

There will be some things from your spouse's pre-meds days that his memory formation problems back then will make impossible to remember now -- the memories just simply aren't there.  However, ADHDers have a tendency to cope with their memory gaps by filling them in with (what seem to them) plausible "alternative "memories", i.e. a convenient explanation for the memory gap.  If they tell themselves the same "alternative memories" in the same kinds of situations often enough, they sometimes eventually come to believe that these memories are real.  Only very hard evidence is going to shake that kind of belief.

There will be some things from your spouse's pre-meds days that his memory storage and organization problems back then will make difficult, but not impossible, to remember now.  These memories *are* there, somewhere -- the trick is to find the magic key, the memory trigger, that will release them.  Sometimes reminding the ADHDer of odd details from past events will trigger the recollection -- the things that got *their* attention aren't necessarily  the things that *you* paid the most attention to.

There will be some things from your spouse's pre-meds days that his memory retrieval problems  (which still probably persist today to some lesser degree) will make difficult.  Here, at least, the meds can be helpful.  If the memories are there, and stored in a reasonable manner, the meds will help him remember more easily and completely.

Bear in mind that even with meds, there can be difficulties.  My husband has more trouble with memory formation and storage when he's tired at the end of the day and his meds are wearing off and it's not yet time for the next dose.  His memory is also less functional if he has anything alcoholic to drink.  He also has problems with his memory when he gets out of his standard routines (more distractible, more unfamiliar stuff to have to concentrate on).

My husband only learned to acknowledge his past problems because once on the meds he could see that he did have the problems I'd been pointing out.  But that definitely didn't happen voluntarily, I had to figuratively beat him over the head with it, for years.  Some of it I just let go, it wasn't worth the arguments.  Some of the really important stuff I just had to be determined about getting him to recognize in both the present and the past.

Hope this helps -- good luck!!


"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."  Albus Dumbledore

Past Memories?

As Arwen mentions, memories are not a strong suit.  The memories you seem to wonder about (past hurts, past impacts to others, etc.) are more guilt based.  Sorry to break it to you but the meds don't bring guilt on.  I have seen my son develop some guilt about things the longer he is on meds (10 years now). But, it is only for immediate past events and I have had to bring it on to him with some really heavy sessions of responsibility bearing talk. After about thirty minutes he finally he breaks down and feels bad.  I found it is easier to get him to feel bad if it is a subject he cares about (hurting his little sister, hurting his future on a sports team, hurting his chances to do something, etc).  He still feels bad for himself first, then some for others, but still himself first.  He can walk away from an injured person if he has a bruise and they are bleeding.  His pain is most important.  (I am learning that can be a sign of ADHD.  How they respond to hurts when in a group of victims.)

I strongly doubt your spouse even knows about the past twenty years.  I imagine he can't even remember last month accurately.  I think ADD/ADHD sufferers have no idea other persons can remember huge amounts of past events and cannot grasp the memory concept.  They have to be educated about memories.

humble awareness


As I read your post I thought this woman has humbly accepted that she has some shortcomings.  She is willing to take personal responsibility to respond to her husband to do things that she'd rather not do, but is mature enough to accept that it is part of her role in the marriage. 

This one single example is so powerful and could change the direction of most marriages that suffer because of ADD.  If you are another adder reading what Lori says, take it to heart. 

Lori, the most powerful thing you can do for your son you are doing--you are showing by example and he will remember how you responded.  He will come to you for advice someday.


my children

i am so scared that my 2 young children will have adhd or will grow up so angry and frustrasted because they  watch mom and dads interactions everyday. my husband was diagnosed and at first i saw it as such a "cop-out" and then i noticed it in myself i guess i had just developed ways of dealing with it in childhood.  Even if they dont have adhd, what they are seeing everyday must effect them. the adderall makes us both so snappy but without it, nothing gets done in this house. im really considering not taking it anymore and asking him to do the same.