I Can't stop being nasty

I have been married for 3 months, before we were married my wife and I were together for 4 years, The problem is that i can't stop being nasty to her and i feel ashamed and disgusted at myself for the things i say to her, I love her so much and don't know why i do it but if i have a bad day or something i just take it out on her and when we argue (usualy she starts an argument over something i haven't done) it always escalates into a huge fight and i say some aweful things, then afterwards i regret it and think there was no need for any of it to have happened. I am almost certain i have ADHD i have all the symptoms i have read about to a pretty extreme degree so its either that or i the biggest asshole in the world and have been since i was about 13, I am going to the doctor on thursday to try to get treatment but i'm worried they will not take it seriously and fob me off. I don't know what to do all i want is to be a normal couple and i am destorying our future together i feel at the moment that i should end things for her sake because she doesn't deserve to be treated like this.

So Nasty to Wife

I doubt that your doctor will blow you off, though he or she may provide you with a different diagnosis than you are expecting.  You have specific symptoms - difficulty controlling your impulses (in this case to hurt your wife, even when you don't want to) is a symptom...so is anger.  You also report very low self esteem.  These all fit with ADD...or might be something else (I'm not a doctor...).  In any event, if you are diagnosed with ADHD, I would urge you to consider trying some medications to help you out.  Explore different options - the stimulants are often the first line of meds tried for ADD for those who don't have heart problems, but because of your anger issues, you may also find that something like Wellbutrin might work.  Again, your doctor can review all the options.  You also need to train yourself to express yourself positively to your wife.  If you are cringing at your behavior, imagine how SHE feels being on the receiving end.  Look for patterns - do certain situations tend to trigger your berating her?  Certain times of day?  Are you taking other medications that might be affecting your behavior?

You make a comment here that I want to bring to your attention:  "We usually get into fights that she starts over something I haven't done".  I would suggest that you look at that comment more closely.  You yourself say that you have been doing something - being very, very nasty to her.  People receive that kind of behavior and their response to it (anger, frustration, hurt) gets stored up.  Like pot put on heat, eventually it comes to a boil and steam needs to be let out.  You may think that the things she is starting fights over are small or insignicant, but to her this may already feel like a fight for her life.  You berate her and are mean to her and then blame her ("over something I haven't done") for responding in a negative way.  She's not fighting over the details, she's fighting over the fact that you are hurting her.  Like a caged animal, she fights back at unexpected moments.

BEFORE you get into your next fight and get into "unable to inhibit the bad things I'm going to say" mode, sit down and talk with her.  Tell her that you understand that she is angry and hurt and that you also understand that you have hurt her.  Apologize for this.  Tell her that you love her.  Tell her that you are working to get that under control and take it seriously enough that you are going to a doctor for help.  Ask for some patience, but also allow her anger.  Her anger is valid and needs to be accepted and heard (and responded to) in order to be diffused.  Ask whether or not there is some cue the two of you can develop so that you disengage from unproductive arguments early on, and come back to the topic at hand at a later time when you aren't in the heat of things.  She may be the one who will have to disengage for a while, since you are having impulse control issues, but if the two of you have agreed ahead of time that it's not only okay, but good for her to leave the room when things heat up in order to prevent escalation of your fight, then that makes it easier for her to do it, and easier for you to accept it.  Trick to this, though, is to agree that the issue will get addressed (else this turns into a way to stifle one party's opinions, not a communication tool).  One way to make sure that the topic gets discussed in the future is to write it down, immediately, in a sentence or two.  (You may also find, by doing this, that the two of you were fighting over very different things.  You may write "I'm made because you criticized me about how I didnt' do the dishes the right way" and she may write "you never listen to what I have to say"...having a conversation about the two different interpretations may go a long way towards healing some of the rifts that are developing.)

In the meantime, exercise might also help a bit.  It has a calming effect on the body (though doesn't help with impulsiveness to the best of my knowledge).

Your job right now is to fix this.  You can do it!  Keep searching for what works for you.  Include your wife in your progress.  Ask for her feedback on what she is experiencing as you go through all of this.

Good luck with your appointment!

You can stop, but it takes effort

I think your last sentence really rang true for me, when you mention that maybe you should just end things for her sake.  My partner goes through similar issues as you, he often wants to end it because he doesn't want to hurt me or doesn't think I deserve to be treated in this manner.  The reality is it hurts more every time he tries to leave.  Rather, it feels much better when he tells me he realizes there is an issue and he wants to work on it.  We are by no means a perfect couple, but we are working on continually talking through these things.  I think you'd be surprised at the support you'll receive from her. After all, you loved each other enough to get married, through sickness and in health.  I'm sure she wants to work through the issues with you, but she needs some sign or words from you letting her know that you want to do the same.

The other thing to think about... I've asked all my friends that are married and they all agree the first year is the hardest in marriage no matter how many years you've been together.  It's a huge adjustment that comes with many different emotions, the issues you are facing are probably not all related to a medical reason.

Just keep talking through things, sharing every last wonderful and horrible emotion you may be experiencing, and speak to your doctor to correct any underlying issues.

I know exactly how you feel

I am a 22 yr old male who was diagnosed with add at the age of five! At the time i wasnt sure what was goin on or why i was taking these tablets, i just did what i was told. As i grew older i  became more aware that i wasnt like most other kids and i came to believe that i had to take meds to be normal, which in a way is ture but now i understand more why that is. I was taken off my meds at the age of 14/15 by myself, my mother and my doctor after long arguments with my mother about feeling like a (freak) or being different to the other kids at school because i had to take meds to be normal, this affected me to this day although im still uncertain if it was the right thing to do!

over the last 4 years i have found myself  often confused, disorganised, in my own world, i find it extremely hard to concentrate, to learn, to listen, to finish tasks,to feel happy and confident with myself, to fit in even around my best mates, to be a nice person which i know deep down who i truley am!

I have often been told by my girlfriend and my family that the whole world revolves around me which kills to hear and realise as i would put them infront of me for anything even though i rarely show it, i truley take my hat off to the ones i love for what i have put them through!

I am currently concidering going back onto my meds as i feel as though every thing i touch falls apart  but my main concern's are side affects, what are some (safe) options???

I would like to finish this on saying to those out there who deal with people with add/adhd is to be patient, it hurts those with the condition to, we know what we are doing most of the time but we cant control it. Its like my worst dream come true!! plz help

Take Meds Again?

Best to work with a doctor to find meds that won't have negative side effects (about 70-80% of people can find an ADD med without negative side effects).  The positive "side effect" might be that it becomes easier for you to address your ADD symptoms.

I suggest you also consider therapy at the same time as you try the meds.  This is because you don't need to feel like a misfit in this world just because you have ADD, but you are now so wrapped up in that feeling that you need some help getting back to "reality".  Yes, the world can revolve around those who have untreated ADD - not because they are selfish (though sometimes it seems that way to others because ADD people can be off in their own world, not paying much attention to those around them) but because it takes extra effort to be around an help a person with ADD.  If you are a non ADD person who likes to be on time, for example, it takes extra effort to get an ADD person with bad time skills out the door at the right time.  Unless the non-ADD person has specifically trained herself/himself to separate the ADD symptom from the person, it may seem that the world revolves around the ADD person.

There are three specific things you can do to get out of the "world revolves around me" syndrome.  First, get your ADD treated so you can start to pay better attention to what is going on around you, including other people.  Second, encourage your girlfriend and family to learn more about ADD so they can learn to separate you from your symptoms.  Third, schedule some specific time to focus on other people - a regular date, every-day cuddle time or something else that physically shows your girlfriend or family that you are thinking of them and love them.

Finally, talk with your doctor to determine whether or not you are also depressed.  Sounds as if you might be.

My problems with ADHD are similar to yours

I just turned nineteen (girl) and I just got diagnosed with not just ADHD but severe ADHD. I have had symptoms my entire life but i did not know it. I was an impulsive kid, always blurting things out and not waiting my turn. I have never been able to fully concentrate and and be organized. Things recently got really bad though and I lost control over everything. I'm in university and i have simply given up. I started the semester in September and it is now almost November--- because of my inability to focus, i have learned next to nothing in any of my classes---I'm failing miserably!!! This is not me blowing my situation out of proportion--i really have learned nothing. Just like you I never really felt normal. Although I did not know that there was something wrong with me and I was not on medication, when I noticed how my friends were compared to how I was, i new i was different in a bad way. They were always in control, they seemed to manage time well. I could sit down to do homework for three hours but out of those hours, i only studied for about thirty minutes-- my mind was always wandering. I have also always been a real jerk. People outside my family would not know it because for some reason they did not---as guilty as i feel saying it--push my buttons like my family members. I cannot explain why i get so frustrated so easily at home. I know it is wrong and I feel as if i am the worst daughter and sister my family members could have ever asked for. Why I get so angry for no reason and why I yell and say things without thinking always scares me. It has managed to give me pretty low self-esteem. Just like you, I would do anything for my family. i love my parents and siblings more than anything else in the world. Just like you I know that deep down, I am a good person. I am currently taking Concerta. I have to take four different dosages starting from lowest to highest. There are four pills for each dose. I am currently on the "dose level 2". And just like you I am freaking out about the side effects. So far it has been OK. But i have noticed and increased heart rate, and i am more anxious than normal. Also, the first day I took it, I completely lashed out at my family members. I was so frustrated, panicked and angry and I could not explain why. i was more messed up than i have been in a long time. My doctor told me that at first, the pills will make my adhd symptoms worse. I hope my fight with my family was due to that. I know it feels really bad hurting people, and what they say to me in response to my behaviour makes my cry so much. After a fight my mom, she simply says that it is my nature to be mean and that I have been that way since i was very young. I know she loves me but it hurts so much to hear her say it. I am also finding what I am going through with adhd difficult to explain and my family is having a difficult time understanding adhd. I know personally that It would help me if my family would be patient with me and more understanding. So I agree with you when you say that although living with someone with adhd is hard, people need to realize it is just as hard having it and people that have it know very well that they are not easy have relationships with. But believe me (someone who has known she has adhd for less than a month) people that have adhd really do try hard not to be this way. and it really is like you say, a "worst dream come true" ===== I have also been doing a lot of reading on adhd===== And i came across an interesting find. It is about an alternative to medication. There is a book out by a guy named Jon Bennett and it is 3 Steps to Conquering ADD-ADHD, sixth edition. You have to buy it online. The stuff in the book has been compiled after eight years of research and a lot of people have found it to be helpful. It writes about ADHD and how to deal with it without the medications. Since there is a new perspective out there on how ADHD should be treated. The stuff in the book is from the research done from ADDRI (it stands for Attention deficit disorder research institute or institution). I have not read the book yet, I only came across it today. But if you want to look into it you should. You never know what you will learn. I am planning on looking into it more. I'm grateful i came across your comment because ever since i was diagnosed with this, i feel as if you (a total stranger) are the first person i have shared my feelings with that honestly knows and understands what i am going through. THANKS

College Student with ADHD

You are carrying a heavy load and sometimes the people who are supposed to be helping you do it aren't doing as good a job as they could.  For example, your mother's comment that you are just a mean person is appalling!  Just because she is your mother does not make her right in this case.  You are a person who has been shaped in ways that you still don't understand by your ADD (and that she clearly doesn't understand, either).  That includes how you interact with people.  For example, people with ADD are often more willing than others to get into fights.  The stimulation "turns on" their brains.  This is a physical issue that manifests itself through behavior, just as lack of focus has to do with how your synapses are firing and how your brain is working.  Be very, very careful not to just accept the moral diagnoses that people are too quick to bestow - like your mother did.  You are still exploring who you are as a person vs. how the ADHD affects you.

As for college, there are some things you can do, though it may be too late in this semester.  Does your college have a resources department for people with learning disabilities?  If so, they can help you get on the right path.  You might need to drop a course, or go to pass/fail on something to lighten your load, or you might be able to get academic help from people who understand how people with ADHD think.  In addition, you might be able to get a trained ADHD coach to help you organize your workload, stick to deadlines more effectively, and figure out what to put first.  If your school doesn't have these services, you might consider transferring or starting over again with a college that does.  Or, you might also talk with your doctor about resources he/she might suggest to help you.  THough you are used to dealing with your ADD alone (since you didn't know you had it) you have not adjusted yet to the fact that there are many forms of support out there - and you SHOULD take advantage of them.  It's not cheating, it's acknowledging that your brain works differently and that there are people out there who can help you realize your potential better than you can do it by yourself.  (For example, my daughter who is about your age, gets 50% extended time for taking tests because it takes her longer to get her thoughts onto paper.  This simply levels the playing field, rather than putting her at a disadvantage.  It means that she has the opportunity to express what she has learned in a class the same as any other student rather than always being penalized.  And that's the point - to test what you've learned, not how fast you can spit it out.)

You are pretty new to this treatment stuff.  Please know that the most effective treatment for ADD includes medication AND what's called behavioral modification.  You have not learned some of the things your peers have learned (you mention organizing yourself, for example).  Organization is a learned skill.  Thus, once you find a medication that helps you, you will be able to make progress in figuring out ways that work for you to stay organized.  But since you don't know much about organization at this point, you will learn it best and fastest is someone can help you.  This doesn't mean that they impose their own organizational techniques on you.  Rather, it means that someone helps you figure out what works best for you (trust me on this, the ADHD brain does not organize like the non-ADHD brain does, even after training!  My daughter and husband both have very specific systems, but neither of them uses my system!)  There are other things that you will need to learn, too, such as conversational skills, how to not interupt others, how to take tests, how to study...etc.  These will come with time once you are into a good treatment methodology.

Which brings me to something else that I find a bit confusing - your doctor's comment about the ADD symptoms getting worse when you first try medication.  Know that I am not a doctor, but I've never heard any doctor say that before.  I've heard that you might feel different, and also that you might have negative side effects, but never that your symptoms should worsen.  Perhaps it's semantics and that what your doctor is saying is that you might have side effects, but please know that the whole point of taking ADD meds is to decrease symptoms without bad side effects.  Anxiety is a bad side effect, as is anger, etc.  If these things continue you should move to a different medication.  Also, if you are uncomfortable with the dose you are taking of one stimulant, you can try others or even try non-stimulants.  All under the care of your doctor.  Make sure that your doctor knows lots about ADD (a specialist is often good, not just your pediatrician) and make sure he is recommending the FULL treatment of both meds and behavioral learning.  If not, you might seek out an ADD specialist.

Many, many people who have ADD also suffer from feelings of shame.  I suspect that you do, too, from your note.  Know that you didn't have control over your ADD, since you didn't know that you had it.  You did the best that you could and should not be ashamed of that effort, even if it was imperfect (we are all imperfect in some way!)  Now that you know about your ADD you have an opportunity for a fresh start.  You will learn more and more about its effects, and you'll learn over time how to manage those symptoms that are most disruptive.  Your life will change (for the better) and your relationship with your family will change, too.  It's important that your family also learn about ADHD so that they can both support you and, most likely, understand other family members that have ADD as well.  (Chance are high that one of your biological parents has ADD as it's very hereditary.)  I suggest reading "Delivered from Distraction" as well as sharing it with your parents.  Among other things, it has a whole chapter on how many kids with ADD fail in their first try at college, and why.  Your parents will be able to see (I hope!) that it's not just you being "lazy" or "irresponsible".

Please stay in touch, and thank you for sharing your ideas with us.  It's really great to get the point of view of those who are just starting out on this journey.


Thank You for replying to my

Thank You for replying to my comment. I feel really bad though because of what I wrote about my mom and our fights. You see I wrote the comment at around two in the morning and what I wrote was not very clear. I know this now because I actually read my comment again. I have always gotten angry without an apparent reason. It is like an impulse. I never told anyone that I could not control what I was doing and that I realized that the things I was saying were wrong even when I was saying them. My parents did not understand why I behaved in this way either (this was before we knew that i had ADHD and before my parents even knew it existed). This explains my moms comment. Also, our fights were nasty so even she said things she did not mean (this is normal in fights). I knew that but it still hurt. But then again I knew, that I could not control what I was saying and regardless, it was still really hurting my mom. I can't imagine what it must have been like for my mom to hear me say the things I said about her. However, I have now told my parents everything from how my impulsive behaviour - including getting frustrated - is due to my adhd. We have also talked about some of my other symptoms. My parents feel a lot better now because now they know what has always been behind some of my behaviour. They too, just like me, are trying hard to fully understand everything. Thank You for mentioning going to my school for resources available to help me. My school has a centre for students with disabilities that I went to today AND they CAN help!!!!! I was feeling so alone and sad about everything when I wrote my comment the other day. Now I feel much better, not only because I read so many comments from people going through the same thing my family members and I are going through, and because I got an amazing reply to my own comment (thank You), but because I now know that my family is willing to go through the treatment with me. ADHD is not like other health problems where medication can simply do the trick, it involves a lot of effort from everyone in my life. My family has always supported me in school (the MAJOR reason for why i did not drop out in high school) and now I know I have its support with ADHD. I am going to read the book you recommended to me and pass on everything i read to my family. I have only been diagnosed with ADHD for about three weeks now but what i do know is that family support is essential. After everything that has happened, I know that my parents love me like crazy and they know I love them like crazy too. At the end of the day, it is very important for people in a relationship (any relationship) where ADHD is involved to know that they are loved. This is important especially if fights, impulsiveness and anger are involved. Thanks Again

Parental Support Important

I am SO happy that you have talked with your parents about your ADHD diagnosis and that they are fully behind you.  YAY!  Their support will help you tremendously as you discover more and more about who you are.  Also, so glad the college can help you, too.  Good job following up on my suggestion (not everyone does that, you know!)

As you move forward into romantic relationships, it will be important for you to find someone who really loves you for who you are.  Your inclination may be to find someone who can help "improve" you - please resist this temptation as it might lead to a very difficult relationship down the road (only YOU can improve you, which is true for all of us).  Plus, you have lots of wonderful characteristics, and your parents, now that they know about ADHD, may be able to help you identify them more closely and focus on them.  (Sometimes it's too easy to focus on all the hard things that ADD brings, like having trouble in school, while not focusing on the positives of who you are.)  One of the "tricks" about living a full life with ADD is figuring out what you're good at and creating a career in that area, and letting go of some of the areas that you are bad at.  This is a different philosophy than trying to get good at everything (which is what some educational systems would have you do).

Best of luck to you.