Is Paranoia a symptom?

My partner was diagnosis with ADHD.  The Dr has said he is off the charts and we are working to get him meds. My question is "is paranoia a symptom?" He has this feeling that I am cheating on him? We have been a relationship for over 4 years and he has NO reason to even feel this way?  It's almost crazy talk, he picks out little details about stuff and makes them into me cheating on him?  Like when I have to work late?  or if I don't pick up my cell phone during my lunch break?  There are even times were he has said some things that are very demeaning about me or to me? like items I am wearing to work or my undergarments?  I am not sure how this fits in to the ADHD diagnosis - does it?


I was diagnosed with ADD about a year and a half ago and was in my 40's. I think the answer to your question can be yes, based on how most of us ADDer's don't read people well when it comes to visual cues that most take for granted. Jealousy/Suspicion is a beast that could develop from lack of information from both ADDer's and NonADDer's. My experience was the opposite with jealousy, as I trust my wife and show no jealousy, which makes her mad. I definitely could be paranoid at work before my diagnosis, but again it's because I did not read people well in the past. I would think everything was fine, then blammo... Not see it coming, where anyone else would not be surprised.

The meds, continuous search for knowledge about ADD and a bit of therapy have made a huge difference in my life. If your husband is seeking help, that is a big step forward.


Good luck...

Thank you for your insight. 

Thank you for your insight.  It is funny that you make reference to the "visual cues" because he will tell me that I smiled or made a face which makes him feel I am "up to something"??  I have not idea what he is talking about...  He is completely wrong, our road for the last 4 years has not been easy but I am sticking with him! and only him! 

Yes.. he just started on Adderall about 4 days ago and we are seeing someone that we both really trust so I am sure we will be on the road to recovery soon!  At least I hope so! 


I could have written your

I could have written your post myself. In my situation (husband has ADHD and is the 'paranoid' one) I feel it stems from two things...lack of self esteem/self confidence due to a very poor 'support' system in his life until he met me and secondly his own guilt from the things he has done and possibly thinks. Maybe partially the constant feeling of never being I'm always hearing comments eluding to me "finding someone better than" him.  

I won't go into the gorey details, but at one point he went so far beyond what was the reality of a completely innocent situation that I sought counseling for myself for the sole purpose of having someone to lean on when I divorced him. He almost lost his job and made me feel like I was a horrible person for weeks over it. I went to lunch with a friend of mine. She had to run by another friend's house to pick up his husband had agreed to work on it for him...and he literally acted as if I had committed the ultimate act of betrayal. Yes, honest to God it was THAT innocent...and I am not exaggerating about his reaction. One a much smaller scale, he has always been jealous and insecure. I've gotten comments like 'why did you wear that bra today?' or God forbid I not answer my cell. Honestly, I've never given him reason to mistrust me, from the bottom of my heart I don't have it in me to cheat on him (Lord knows there have been times when I've felt like hurting him that bad), and when he insinuates or hints otherwise, it is very hurtful. I understand.

I feel it is part of the ADHD web. He has a little better control over this these days, but I am not certain if he's just internalized it all or what. I know it must be miserable for him to be so paranoid about it all of the time, so i'm hopeful this is one more thing we can help him with in therapy.  

Thank you Thank you! someone

Thank you Thank you! someone does understand! this is my issue! Your two thoughts about what this stems from is a great thought because my guy, had a poor support system and did things in his past that he is not happy about - like being a cheater!  You story about picking up the computer has happen to me a million times!  I am so glad I found this site!  We have an appointment on Tuesday and I can't wait to speak to our therapist about it.  Thanks again! 

Ive been in his shoes to some degree....

Try to be patient and don't let his words and actions cause you to get emotional....He is hurting...I have been there. I want go into to many details, but I will just say that we all accumulate baggage that we don't see in this life...And it can be hard to get healing for it....My first wife of thirty years was my high school sweet heart and we had a peaceful trust that was so special that if she had of cheated on me I would of been in shock and disbelief if you told me...But after she passed away I married my present wife who was 46 never married, has add, and the most independent and controlling person I had ever been around...When she would just not show up at home for three hours after work, not because she was cheating, just because, she had lived that way all here life...she had no convictions what so ever that I might be wondering where she was at supper time...anyway you get the picture...I was a basket case for a while...thank the lord we have gotten through it...Or I have...Anyway just be patient, expect it to some degree....And use this answer for all the off the wall comments....just listen, when he gets through...Just smile, say I love you...and go on about your business...Let him own it...the less emotion you attach to it, the faster he will learn its unfounded and he needs to get over it.... 

I feel your pain...because I have the same issues...

We have been married 6 years.  My husband is is 39 years old and undiagnosed ADHD - although he has an appointment to finally see a doctor.  I am 110% confident of his diagnoses. The first year of our marriage was okay.  We had dated for two years, and I knew him pretty well.  He was a little high-strung and I knew he couldn't just relax (without a couple of beers), but I didn't know he had ADHD.  During the first year of our marriage, he had a pretty good job, (albeit a job he didn't like - middle school teacher),  and we didn't have any children.  There was very little stress in our lives - except that he didn't like his job and he wanted to move into high school teaching.  Then, I got pregnant, and he lost his job, thanks to education cut backs, and then our son was his stress level went through the roof.  Since then, he's gone back to school to get his master's in special educaiton (which he didn't finish), and he studied to work in water treatment, and he worked as a temp in the factory where I work, and he's started farming land that he's rented form my family (which has been his occupation for the last 3-4 years).  During this time, I have paid the bills, and kept us going.  Please understand, I am not demeaning his work ethic at all.  My husband is a very hard worker, and very smart...he just has ADHD... So, it's taken me three years of not knowing what was wrong, just that something DEFINITELY wrong, and another two years of convincing him, but I think he's finally ready to seek help.   I sometimes feel like I am at the end of my rope.  Things that I have no control over are often my fault.  Every time something bad happens or something goes wrong, someone did it TO HIM.  He has constantly accused me of looking at other men when we are in public together.  It has gotten so bad that I refuse to look in the general direction of another man, and I won't even dare to make eye contact - not even with our waiter if he's male.  Another example of his paranoia: a few weeks ago, he had order checks from the bank, and they accidentally got delivered to a house on a street nearby - same house number, different street name.  Well, the nice old man who accidentally received them left a note in our mailbox to come get them - he didn't want to leave them because he accidentally opened the package.  When I told my husband about the note - after I had gone to pick up the checks.  He was upset.  He said the man might have stolen a check - so my husband became hyper-focused on this and went through each of the check books, examining each check to make sure they were sequential...that none were missing.  The nice man was about 80 years old, and from the way his home and vehicle(s) looked, he wouldn't have needed to steal anything from us...he was obviously wealthy.   If we argue, and he gets violent (not physically towards me - but definitely aggressive) he claims that I am trying to provoke him to be violent towards me.  That I am purposefully trying to ... amplify the argument, so I will have a reason to leave.   If he makes up his mind that something happened or that something is a certain way, there is absolutely no way to change his mind.  Even with rock hard evidence.  The other day he got mad at me for letting our son climb onto and play in the boat in the garage (he's not allowed to be on it while it's in the garage).  He immediately punished our son and jumped down my throat for letting him blatantly disobey a rule.  Well, the truth is, my son was playing with a small bouncy ball in the garage.  It accidentally bounced up onto the boat.  I didn't want to climb up and get it, so I told my son to go get the bouncy ball.  When my husband walked in, I was standing there, watching my son with the bouncy ball coming to climb back down from the boat.  When I tried to interject, he wouldn't hear what I had to say.  he accused me of making up excuses for our son's bad behavior and told me that I should never expect him to follow any rules if I didn't enforce them.  As I said, the situation was NOT what he thought, but the reality didn't matter - only what he perceived the reality to be - even though he was wrong.  He never would admit that things could have been any way other than what he thought.  ...


About "I feel your pain"

Krazy Krysi,

In reading your comment here, your statement, If we argue, and he gets violent (not physically towards me - but definitely aggressive), raises a red flag for me.  As does the level of his mistrust regarding the check incident. These are not just ADHD issues.  They speak of something a bit more serious.  As does his quick move to punish your son without waiting for an explanation.  

There may be a safety issue here that you should be aware of.  When someone is violent, it is not a huge leap for them to become physically abusive. You may want to have a plan in place for where you would go and what you would do, just in case.  His extreme jealousy is not a good sign either.

I am glad for your sake that he is going for a diagnosis, but I also suggest that if this kind of behavior continues, you seek the help of a professional counselor.

Ms. Kohlenberger

Thank you for your reply.  For the record, I do have a plan in place...I always have.  I was raised in a home where my mother was financially dependent on my father, and he was not always a nice person, but she never had the option to leave.  I won't go into any more detail than that - just to say that I learned from her mistakes.  I can support myself, my son and whomever else comes along, and I have a safe place to go, if ever needed.  I did leave, towards the end of last year.  After a particularly bad argument.  He threw the TV remote, shattering it into a million pieces, and he got in my face...called me terrible names.  Of course, I can't tell you what the argument started over - it was something insignificant that I wouldn't have batted an eye about...but somehow he turned it into an argument of WWIII proportions.  So, the next day, I sent our son to my husband's parents house to spend the night (I know that might seem odd, but his mother knows everything about the situation and she is 100% supportive of me and she has helped me encourage him to get the help he needs).  I came home from work, packed as much as I could into my car, and I left.  He knew I was leaving before I left... he called that night, begged me to come home.  He said all the right things, made all the right promises...and for the next 5 months, he was a different least towards me.   But moving on... 

A few days after the incident with the checks, he admitted to me that he had been ridiculous.  He also told me that he had found out some very bad news related to work earlier the day of the check incident.  Of course, part of me knows that is just an excuse, but...there is always an excuse or a trigger for his outbursts.  Usually it has to do with some type of stressor.  He is never really angry about the thing that sets him off - it's always an  underlying issue which is usually something worth getting upset about, but he keeps that bottled up, until he explodes over something minor.  

The jealousy comes from his past - he got married very young, worked while she got her degree, then he lost his job and she left him - after having multiple affairs.  Also, I can confidently say that the jealousy is not always there - only when he's...stressed.  

I realize there is a strong possibility that there are some other issues that need to be addressed besides ADHD, but I feel like...any other issues can't be addressed until the ADHD is addressed first.  Then, I can see what issues remain.  


I support you

Krazy Krysi,

I am glad to hear that you are very capable of taking care of yourself and your son when your husband's anger escalates, and that you have a place to go.  I also understand that these situations happen most often when the individual is under stress.  Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to determine when that stress button is going to get pushed, and what the level of the reaction is going to be.

I also hear what you are saying about getting help for the ADHD.  I just have the sense that there is a co-occurring disorder here that also is in need of treatment.  It would be valuable for you to speak with a professional, along with your husband, in order for the whole picture to be fleshed out, so that the appropriate treatment can be obtained.  I hope you have access to someone who is familiar with ADHD, along with bi-polar disorder, and a variety of personality disorders, in case there is more than one thing going on here.

I truly wish you the best.


I feel it is a co-morbid

I feel it is a co-morbid symptom in people who have personality disorders (in particular Cluster B). My narcissistic parent exhibits paranoia and extreme jealousy towards my mother. Letters are opened without permission and he holds grudges for perceived insults for decades. He does not have AD/HD but he is certainly over-focused.