my ADD-i husband told me today he wants to go off his medicine

okay first a little  backstory.  My husband was diagnosed with ADD-i almost 2 years ago while deployed in Iraq.  When he is off his medicine and it's a "bad day" he's loud, compulsive= he say's things without thinking them through and buys things on a whim or without fore-thought,  he is a sensitive guy even more so without the help of his medicine which is  Ridalin and something else but I forget what it is...he's training with is reserve unit right now and took his medicine with him so I can't read the bottle.  But he takes the medicine for anxiety, depression, and focus.   He was about to take the garbage out one day and before he left I mentioned in passing that it's full (as in the garbage is full, our landlord lives above is in another unit so it can fill up faster then expected).  When he came back in he was very stern look, tight-lipped.. and asked "what is that supposed to mean?" not it a casual curious kinda way  but accusatory, there was a double meaning behind what I said tone.  Which I didn't have at all, no big deal, I calmly explained that when I said " the trash is full" that is all I meant...that maybe you could save the trip because it's all ready full and you can't leave trash bags outside the bin or sticking out of it.  I didn't tell him all that just that "the trash is full" means exactly that "the trash is full" no sarcasm or double meaning or coniving behind it.  His response was oh and our day continued.  Or if I bring up an issue...such as us not being intimate...which sometime we can talk about in a productive manner...though he never follows least not in the last 5 or so months.   Often if I bring this issue or anything eating at me (it feels like anything) he sometimes turns this issue on me and says it's my fault or he'll change the topic into something else about me.... such as he didn't like that I talked so loud in wal-mart because everyone can hear our business and they don't need to know - which became I don't trust him (he said this not me) - to I don't share his last name so I must not trust him - to he doesn't trust me - to being fuming mad about something unrelated to anything that was the original argument.   At home with me he randomly yells (not angry yell but yell like an exuberant feeling or I hate to say this but like a young child might act and 6 or 7).  After which he'll say "sorry, I just had to get it that out" but he may do this repeatedly all day and night (some nights he doesn't sleep).  In public he contains his exuberance but you can physically see him  trying to contain himself...leg shake, pacing, etc.   He had to drop out of school (college courses) because us social anxiety and being around people made him uncomfortable.  Hopefully, if he wants to, he can pursue college again when he's ready.

He see's my responses to his questions or comments often as conniving, "fixing his problem", sneaky, disrespectful, sarcastic, or crafty....which they are not.  I used to be very "mothery" toward him,  reminding/nagging in often.  I've learned to back off, take his small accomplishments as successes not a-job-half-done, like I was doing 6 months ago.  For example sweeping the floor but sweeping the dust into a corner but forgetting to put the broom away or leaving the dust and broom there.  Or starting the dishes but not finishing them.   He'll get to it when he does or I'll remind in a way he likes and then he'll get up and finish it or finish his whatever  he's currently doing then finish the dishes.    Small things don't get to me like they used to.  It helps that I'm going to my own therapist now as well as his own and we both go to couples counseling.

When he's on his medicine he can multi-task, accomplished his to do list, has good follow through, he focuses on conversation and listens, he's a busy-bee, sometime he doesn't eat though because he's just not hungry, I'll bring him dinner or whatever  but the meds make him lose his appettite...which without his meds can be VERY impulsive in eating.  

Anways I'm worried because he is considering going off his medicine because he feels like he does better on the meds but as time goes on he has a harder time coping off the meds - his symptoms are worse the days he doesn't take his meds.

I would also like to say that he doesn't have a schedule for taking his meds some days it twice a day each week (like he should and on weekends)...he usually skips weekends.   Somedays he sleeps in until noon or later and say's it is too late to take the meds now so he'll skip or he just won't take any meds all week because he just doesn't or he'll say he doesn't like being in a fog so goes off it then back on then off.

Going off and on it meds is where he realized without his medicine his symptoms are more noticeable and severe...his concern is that if it keeps taking his medicine that he'll never be able to stop or go off it permanentaly because he won't be able to function without meds and that is his biggest fear... he wants to be who he WAS before deployment (after which his ADD-i became severe, before it was mild to moderate) who he used to be.

I want to tell him he should focus on who he is today, where he is today, the present... he focuses so much on the past and the negative in himself now.   I'm nervous for him to go off his meds entirely...this idea was his own and not consulted with through his doctor who prescribes these medications.

Have  another other ADDr's or non-ADDr's quit their meds cold-turkey or nown someone who has...what were the effects, your respsonse, reaction, their reaction, etc.


Thank you.

We've been dealing with something a little similar

My husband's doctor suggested since he is on the more mild side of the spectrum that he could try taking his meds "as needed"  I have a thread about my feelings about it.  He didn't go entirely off, but he is hit or miss with the meds since he can't remember all the time when he wants to take them since there is no real schedule anymore.

We had a VERY strange doctor's appt today about his meds, and he is agreed that he will go back to taking them daily.  My husband gets a lot more fuzzy headed and scatterbrained when he is off his meds, but he doesn't have a lot of impulsivity issues......I always thought those were more associated with hyperactive symptoms.

My best suggestion is to ask him to please please only go off meds under the authority of his doctor, my husband had the authority of his doctor but still sorta went 'as needed' on his own too (the doc had said to do when he felt ready but he never told anyone he felt ready and just dropped his doseage without telling anyone including me).  It was not good.  He got instantly fuzzy headed and less functional but I had no idea why and when I asked he honestly didn't realize it was meds related. 

My husband doesn't notice much difference on or off meds, so at least you guys are ahead of the curve in that he can tell a difference.  If your husband is taking his meds when he feels like it now and taking weekends and whatever off, you might try doing what my husband's coach suggested to us.  Each of you keep a journal of the things he is doing really well on and also the things he is dropping the ball badly on.....and also list how much sleep he had the night before and if he did or didn't take a pill that day.  The pattern might help his doctors decide what to do.


Best wishes to you!

ADD husband is doing relatively well without meds

My husband stopped taking Strattera half a year ago, and I don't think it made any difference. He said it made him tired. About a week ago, he went off Ritalin, and has been sleeping a lot in the day-time; he says he can't concentrate on work and gets tired. I told him, however, that he seems much less edgy and irritable than when he is on meds (very nice change for me!), and he says that this is because he is too tired to bother. He will get on his medication next week, so we will see the difference.

All I want to say is that it has not been disastrous, in soem ways it has been good; but he has ADD, not ADHD, I guess that makes a big difference. We both believe that it is good to detox from time to time; we could be wrong. I don't generally interfere with his medicine or talk to his doctors, I consider that to be his expertise, so to speak.

Courage, every one :-)


Don't go off the meds... (An ADD-i opinion)

I'm an ADDer who was diagnosed at age 43, much to my surprise. I am about 3 years post diagnosis and I would never recommend going off the meds, unless for some superseding health reason, because I require structure and a predictable schedule. Going in and out of the ADD Fog is simply not an option for me. I have a condition that is helped with medication, so why would there be days when I don't require the meds to function normally? I have never read a recommendation in any of the books I've read to use the meds as needed, quite the contrary, I've read to stay on the meds. Impulsive Eating, I TOTALLY understand...

I take Adderall (50-60mg per day) A lot of what you describe in how your DH reads more into what you say I can relate to personally. The ADD Fog I often refer to was something I lived in for 43 years. For 43 years I missed facial expressions, body language and Tone that lead to a lifetime of misunderstandings. After Adderall, I noticed all the things and it was like a New Language to me. I began to react to these new communication aids, but I would often Over-React and still sometimes Under-React to this new communication platform. It took me a solid year to begin to react better to facial expressions, body language and tone.

I have been reading and posting for a long time to help understand this process that I've been living. This process is Very Slow, but I would not have improved without the continued research of ADD.

without medicine

My husband also quit his medicine after few months of taking it. The medicine caused him insomnia and he did not feel any difference with and without them. But then he started to take fish oil supplements and he feels a little more focus and in a better mood. Also, having me coaching him, helps a lot. This works for us and is our experience. But keep in mind that every case is different. What works for someone does not necessary  works for all.   Wish you the best!