Medication update

My husband started medication mid-Oct (100% for work issues, our marriage was better than it had been in many years). He started on Concerta. It made him irritable and it took me forever to convince him of this. He stopped but wanted to try another, so he started Vyvanse. It had the same affect on him, it made him really hostile and short fused. He took it long enough that I honestly thought I had lost him to the medication because he refused to see what it was doing and it wasn't an easy road getting there, but he did agree to try and stop taking it to see if it would help. He had been on it for about 2 months at the point that he stopped it..cold turkey.

I cannot say for sure, but something changed when he stopped the meds, and my personal feeling is that he's coming unraveled. His ADHD is completely out of control at this point. He's coming unglued over work issues. He's lost all sense of 'follow through' with his promises to me He has spent the majority of his time isolating himself from the rest of the family for weeks, and has said over and over again "I just need a few more days to work through this" but NEVER really being able to tell me what "this" is, always just using the current crisis as 'this'...until the next one and then that one is 'this'. This is unacceptable to me. I finally suggested that maybe it was because of abruptly stopping the meds and suggested maybe he needed to call his doctor. He agreed to, now is refusing...saying he needs to learn to deal with 'this' on his own, he doesn't want this to keep being an issue, and the only way he feels he can ensure that is to deal with 'it' by facing it head on...and that apparently involves heading straight back to the den!

We have not had a marriage to speak of in 6 weeks. For those of you who know me, you know that I came here at a very positive time in my marriage when we were making so much progress and things were going well. I did not want him to start medication, but I love him, so I dug in my heels and faced it. I faced it a second time when they turned him into a hostile, mean man I didn't even recognize. I'm trying to face whatever it is he's going through now, but it seems he just lets it get more and more out of control with each passing day. I'm losing my footing. I know he needs me to be strong and supportive, I know that makes a world of difference to him, but no matter how much support I show him, he isn't making any effort to change what is making me so unhappy. (yes, I've been very honest with him about it). He says all he needs is me to get through it, but in a way I feel that is being very unfair to me to place that burden on me. I can be supportive ONLY if I see effort on his part. When I express I'm having a bad day, once in a blue moon, and his response is "me too", I just give up. Where is MY support?

He has been to counseling alone once so far and goes again next week...this was after admitting that he needed to get better control over his coping (POOR coping) skills and learn better ways to for now, that is all I have to hold onto. As much as the thoughts make me sick, I gave him several ideas about medications...maybe trying Strattera-the non-stimulant one, or maybe asking for 1/2 of the dosage of vyvanse that he was on..maybe the 40mgs was too much for such a sensitive system. (he's 6'4" and weighs 150lbs). I told him I would support anything he did, as long as he'd get help..go see his doctor. Now he refuses...and feels he's going to get it all worked out...on his own. I am afraid by the time he realizes it isn't going to happen that way, it'll be too late. We won't have a marriage to save. I won't give up easily, but I know how short life is and he swore when we reconciled that he would not stop trying and he would do what needed to be done. Seems like since we got the ADHD diagnosis, he's done nothing but deny that it is an issue and avoid even talking about what needs to be done. I'm so upset right now I would like to go throw Melissa's book at him and tell him not to come out of the den until he has read it!

Hugs, Sherri

I wish I knew something that would make this all better for you. Please know you are in our thoughts. You've had a lot of ups and downs, hopefully this will get better too.



I'm sorry that your husband is making the choice to do nothing in the absence of his previous medications.  I can tell you are working tremendously hard just as you do here to help others in the same situation.

I am not a doctor and could not tell you which medication to suggest (I have been on Wellbutrin, Strattera, Vyvanse, Ritalin, and Concerta, though not all at once, of course).  WebMD does have an area where you can look up medications by category, and each drug has overall ratings and hundreds of user recommendations (or condemnations!) which include positive gains and terrible side effects.  I also seem to recall in Dr. Hallowell's books discussions of various medication combinations, not all of which were strictly approved for ADHD, but which are considered an ancillary treatment to supplement other ADHD meds.  Perhaps he requires another medication to take the edge off the side effects he has?  A good psychiatrist will be confident in his or her ability to experiment until a patient feels the symptoms are under control.

Good luck!

reponse to my prior "meds" post

I hope my first post on this topic didn't seem too curt.  My DH and kids had just arrived home and I was trying to post this before they came upstairs.  I understand that "Good luck" may have been too casual for what you are going through and I apologize.  I truly hope your husband will eventually see that what he is both doing and not doing is toxic. 

I admire your courage, optimism, and strength!

the starting amount and time

to get accustomed to the meds is crucial. I used to curse my doc because the process was so slow but after hearing about what happens to people and watching an idiot pediatric psychiatrist prescribe 60mg vyvanse to a 13 yr old girl as a starting dose opened my eyes to just how important it is to get this right. She had hallucinations and violent outbursts. I know 40mg doesn't sound like a lot but it all depends on a persons brain, not size or even metabolic rate. I am on a higher dosage than my husband. And I know I sound like a broken record here , but John Ratey did a piece about exercise and ADHD that illustrates the benefits of a regular routine. It pumps more blood into the brain and improves function markedly and produces endorphins that balance brain chemicals and heighten mood. There is a solution out there for you and it lay in a combined and sustained approach. I am sure that with the level of commitment you demonstrate you will find it.

Hi SherriW...

I'm sorry to hear about this setback. Cold Turkey must be a factor with your husband. My doctor told me from the beginning to Not suddenly stop stimulant medications. After almost two years, I really can tell when the meds a tailing off, and REALLY know when they are gone, like when I wake up... They are not totally out of my system, but I can feel the darkness and I Don't Like It! I don't want to go back there. I cannot speak for how your husband feels, but it must be bad.

I don't know what stimulants your husband has tried, but I recently went from Generic Adderall to the Real Adderall and I can tell a BIG Difference in my "Edgy ness". I admit that I am not at all as "Laid-Back" as I used to be before the ADD diagnosis, similar to how you have described the change in your husband. I don't get hostile at all, overall I get mad less often, but I get a tad irritated at times when I feel like someone is wasting my time when there are things to do that I used to not worry about. Time awareness is still hard to adjust too.

I hope he decides he needs help, because you can't do that for him, maybe he needs to hear this from you? The ADD brain loves a No-Conflict, wait until it blows-up before dealing with it situation. My thought is that it took A Lot for him to admit to the ADD effects, Major guilt after this realization, then the meds were not 100% effective, so he could feel even more failure/guilt, so he just wants to go back to the place where things worked (In his view) for the most part. ADDer's like me Don't like to put themselves out there, have had a lifetime of disappointing people they love, and cannot communicate their feelings when it is most important.

I really hope things improve for you and your husband. I applaud how hard you try to understand this Thing and have never heard a mean thing from you out here.