Pre-medicated ADHD and Coping With It

My husband was just diagnosed with ADHD, although he's obviously had it his whole life. They didn't get him any RX yet, though, because he needed some blood work and an EKG. It's been a long haul to get him to even go and get evaluated, and I've been hanging on with the hope that once he gets on a treatment plan, things will start to turn around and get better. We've been married 7 years, have two young kids, and while he has slipped into disarray more and more, it wasn't until the fall that things started to get really bad. He went into some kind of depression on top of it all, and it sent us into a tailspin. He's full of anger and blame at me and goes on these long harangues about me and my behavior, and how I'm to blame for everything. And it's very hard to extricate myself from these "conversations." I've read about how fighting can be a form of self-medication, and I really think it's just that. It's like it's the only way he can engage me. But it's all irrational logic and slippery reasoning and impossible to follow, and he gets really, really angry when my only response is something like, "I'm sorry I make you feel that way." Most of it is really hard to listen to, and downright hurtful. And so I extract myself, but that makes him even angrier (threats of leaving, divorce, etc. often follow). And he often just follows me into the other room and keeps going, until I kick him out of the room. He leaves mad, and I feel awful. Will it get better once he's on something like Ritalin? He's going to do talk therapy too, but he's still got to schedule all of that, and, obviously, he's bad at that. I had to make the appointment for the evaluation (thanks, Hallowell Center...) because he stalled for weeks on doing anything himself. I think I have very unrealistic expectations of what treatment will do to help, and the timetable for any uplift that we might get. I can't take these daily scoldings though. I told him yesterday that it made me feel like he was hitting me on the nose with a rolled up newspaper like a bad dog. And today he said he really took that to heart and didn't want to make me feel like that, but then continued on and did exactly the same thing over again. And so I cut him off and went to bed, and here I am typing, trying to lighten my guilt.

Same experiences

Your post sounds like something I would have written before my husband started medication. I know how miserable you must feel. My husband responded very well to medication, but it takes a lot of time to get the correct dosage. It can take weeks or months, but I did notice a difference in him (even slight) within weeks. We are currently separated, though, and part of the reason is he was off of meds for several weeks. He has to be vigilant about seeing his doc, refilling his prescriptions, taking the meds when he's supposed to, etc. etc. I tried to back off and not help him with any of this management. I did not even remind him to take his afternoon doses if I noticed a change in him. I should have been more involved because it affects me and the kids too.

Meds helped me immediately...

Thirty minutes after my first Adderall, I knew things were going to be better. It does take some playing with the dosage to get the right amount. I believe 70% of us ADDers respond well to stimulant medications, especially combined with therapy, and study of what this unknown factor is in your life, and Exercise Really helps! I became vigilant about walking. There is hope :-) Hang in there and keep reading. This site has helped me so much in the last year. YYZ

Took first meds

So my husband finally got an RX, for Wellbutrin, because the PCP said he couldn't take any of the Ritalin type medications because of his heart. This is day three. No difference yet, except he says he's sleepy (but he doesn't sleep much, so that might be the problem there). Is Wellbutrin going to be enough to cut it on its own? I am worried about that because I take Wellbutrin (for anxiety), and it's not like a magic pill for me. It did a lot when I first took it, but just keeps me going at this point. My own therapist keeps coaching me to be more enthusiastic and supportive, and not always just turn to "What's are we supposed to do next..." But that's been hard for me. Getting started on a medication is a huge thing, but he also needs a therapist, and he's dragging his feet on that again (he dropped the first one we found after one session). I found one for him to call, but he hasn't yet, and I am not sure how much to keep pushing the issue because he snaps back that I'm not appreciating all that he's already doing. And maybe I'm not. I just feel like we're not out of this hole that we're in yet, and I want out of it desperately. He is slipping a little on doing the things that he had promised: dishes, putting the kids to bed. He is still mostly ignoring all of us. He's still always mad at me. He still is not getting much done during the day (he's freelance, which translates into working on projects endlessly that don't earn any income). I still feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities I have, and still feel like I am walking on eggshells all the time because I don't know what's going to cause the next explosion from him.

Anti-Depressants...

I was on Zoloft before my diagnosis and I felt better for about a month, but I don't think it helped my unknown ADD. I believe there are some Non-Stimulant ADD meds out there, but I am not sure of their names. Has your husband seen a Psychologist yet? My PCP was just kind of guessing on me and I was in a dark ADD place and was depressed, so the Zoloft helped a bit, but was Not the answer for me. I also had terrible insomnia which was another reason my PCP suggested the Zoloft. With ADD, I call it the "Slide Show" when I used to try to go to sleep and hundreds of thoughts flashing in my head were what awaited me. My brain did not want to turn off.

YYZ

 

Full Evaluation

Yes, he saw an ADHD specialist and was evaluated and diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and depression. But after consulting with his general practitioner, the psychiatrist nixed all the stimulants and went with Wellbutrin instead.

Maybe an easy to read book would help?

My psychiatrist suggested "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!" by Kate Kelly, Peggy Ramundo and Edward M. M.D. Hallowell

This book was easy to read (I had not read a whole book in ten years) I read this in three days with a highlighter. So many things that I thought were just my weird way of thinking were in text before my eyes. Maybe if he reads a little it could trigger similar thoughts and help him realize what has been going on for so long. It can be overwhelming opening up to a therapist for us ADDer's.

YYZ

right on!

That is the book that sent me to the doctor!  Funny thing is, I just happened to stumble on it at the library:  It was sitting on a cart full of books that were being reshelved and I thought it was a funny title.

Slippery Slope, I recommend it too!

Indeed...

It is a good hook to grab the ADDer's Attention, Not hard to do :), then the book keeps your focus because it seemed to be written about me/ the ADDer. The book made me feel good about myself. Things that I always thought were poor character qualities had some explanation. Suddenly so many things made sense about the way I felt. YYZ

good format for 'US!'

What I liked about it is that you can open the book to any page and start reading and it will be helpful.  I have little patience for reading and tend to do better in short, random bursts!

Oh, and i meant Pinestreet - sorry! But really, i recommend this book for everyone!