question for about anxiety with ADD

This is for YYZ or anyone else who may have insight on ADDers with anxiety. My DH told me that his psychiatrist told him that he has an incredible amount of anxiety that he needs to deal with.  He, as you know, is still planning the "great Escape" for he now is saying that the anxiety may be another reason why he should not be married.  Anyway, can anyone explain to me what is in the mind of the ADDer with anxiety?  He blames me for his anxiety, he blames his parents for his anxiety, he blames "abandonment" issues on his anxiety, he blames moving to where we live on his anxiety.  How does one find the real truth regarding his own anxiety? Why can't he see that his increase in his anxiety over the past several years may be due to having an affair, which he still has not taken ownership of. I know my DH projects everything onto me, I have now learned to deflect it. I would just really like to know what he is thinking?

Another question, why cant he just say..I am really scared, I have no idea what is going on.  Can you help me?  I have told him I would give him whatever time he needed, he just had to ask.  Instead I feel he is just pushing me away with comments like " I dont think I am meant to be married.  I know longer say anything.  I just listen to what he has to say and acknowledge it.  I then do not get engaged in the battle of destructive words.  Any thoughts? 

Guilt was the core of mine...

I'll try to post more later, I'm so beat, yet having a hard time getting sleepy. My anxiety was caused by guilt and being overwhelmed, exhausted and depressed. Too many things all at once, after years of a pretty good life balancing act, but life through a bunch of curve balls the year I was diagnosed. I guess it turned out to be a good thing, because I know what I'm dealing with in ADD. I have felt Many times that I was not meant to be married. I knew that at some point I would be in the wrong situation and make the wrong choices as I always did in the past. (In my head it seemed like always)

I'm pretty sure your spouse may feel some of this, especially after an affair. I did not make  "The Great Escape", but I sure thought about it...



what you share helps me

YYZ,  what you so willingly share helps me to get a better understanding of what is going on.  I know my DH is not in a good place right now.  And I have realized some of my behaviors during this past year have not been what we have needed in order to move on.  I have come to understand it is best that I work on myself and change my behaviors.  I now see that a "battle of words" may make one feel better, but in fact, it does more destruction.  I have come understand that it takes 2 to fight, so if I do not become engaged, there is no fight. I am learning to choose my words carefully when speaking to my DH, so I do not sound like I am accusing or trying to control. Even though we are in the process of a divorce, I still hold onto hope, that there may be a small chance that he will "see the big picture" and not choose the "great escape".  My biggest realization was understanding I cannot control the situation, I can only control my behaviors.  I welcome any of you thoughts or suggestions, for I truly want to learn more about what I can do to create a healthy environment for my DH and our sons, one who also has ADD.  My DH is not in a place to let me know what is going on in his head or what he needs, I really think he is having a hard time sorting it all out. One final note, I have worked really hard to maintain a stable home life for all of us, especially our two young boys.  I always try to be kind and gracious when I interact with my DH, even when he is criticizing and blaming.  If anything, I feel good about how I am behaving.  Thanks again for taking the time to be open and honest with me. 

I'm glad to help...

It sounds like you have a good grasp on things. I stay on this site because I have not ever stopped learning about my condition and my ever modified path to the future. I try to spot ADD reactions/behaviors in my DD2 and talk through the process that gets there.

She is already getting defensive and trying to explain why something was not done. I had this conversation this morning about how she reacted to being asked if she turned off the TV and light in her room before going outside to play. This is an example that has been an on-going for a while. I approached her this morning and explained how many things I have forgotten and how bad I would feel when someone asks me if I remembered to "X"... I assured her that we are not mad when we know something has not been done and know that people don't forget "On purpose". She thought, of course, we were mad, and I explained that her best answer is "Oh... I forgot, I'm sorry... I'll go do that right now" I explained that we get upset over her explaining away, or saying she thought she did, and negotiating, denying until we do get mad about "This" part of the conversation. She really seemed to understand when I told her how I've forgotten and disappointed so many people that I would desperately try to explain why it happened because I felt So bad.

She has really taken to the fact that she is so much like me. I believe I am better at working through these types of things since they are my experience too. She is a brilliant child with Way better memory than me, a Way better student than I was and I'm hoping to trample any of her low self-esteem thoughts the second I detect them.

I stay on this sight for my family and me. I hope you become "Even Less Conflicted" soon and knowledge is power to do so.

YYZ just described 90% just described 90% of my interactions with my daughter. I know more and more each day that she's got ADD like her dad...but I don't know where to turn with it and if I should go any further than just trying to help explain better reactions to her, which is basically what I do. (or I get pissed and argue with her...trying extremely hard to get out of that). I'll ask her if she did something...anything...leave the light on, leave the door open, lock the door, let the dogs out/in, etc...just to double check NOT in a fussing manner. The reaction is often over the top, immediate defensiveness and anger. I am very interested in any and all opinions on how to react to this. She didn't speak a word to me on the way home from church this morning and I honestly have no idea what I had done to make her mad. I didn't ask because it would have gotten me nowhere. By the time we got home, she was speaking again as if nothing had happened. If I ask her a question and she mumbles and I cannot hear her answer, God forbid I ask a second time. She was upset with me over something the other day that really didn't even involve was quite confusing to me. She was angry and I said "why would you be upset with me over that? I don't understand why that would make you upset just because I don't want to ____" (one of my problems is I can't remember $h!t LOL) and I tried explaining that anger isn't the only choice. I worry, too though, that a lot of her anger mimics my own...and maybe it isn't ADHD, but just her being a mini-me...although her Daddy says that she acts just like he did at his age.


Just curious--if it's something you're willing to share--how old is your daughter?  I raised two, and they are now lovely women, but from 13 to 17 OMG!!!!!

She turned 13 a week

She turned 13 a week ago..this has been happening for about a year. It did directly coincide with 'puberty', if you know what I mean, but has gotten worse over the last year. About 5 nights out of 7 she goes to bed mad at me for something. There is no winning with her at that time of day. It has always been her worst time, but it has gotten even worse. Just grumpy because she's tired? Could be. Several months ago our counselor, who saw DD for a while, said she just felt it was typical teenaged stuff. As it gets worse, I worry. My main worries are her defensiveness over the simplest questions and her very irrational thinking. (calling me lazy for not wanting to go get HER jeans from the dryer for her).

For conflicted - Anxiety and ADHD


I have learned a couple of things about anxiety and adhd:

1. My kids see a young psychiatrist from South Africa who advised us that scientists have located the gene for adhd which includes anxiety and eczema. (I am lucky to have all of them).

2. I am a momma's boy. My mom had 3 adhd boys within 5 years. She taught us well. I life went on, our family got out of control. She continued to try to keep us together. Her attempts were based on her fear and anxiety of what was happening to our family or what could happen. As an adult, I learned my mom's fear and anxiety.  

3. With adhd, the world around me was pointing out my mistakes and faults. I grew up with the core belief "there is something wrong with me"

I was able to graduate from high school and moved to the other side of the country. I went to college and met my wife. My wife is a very dynamic, intelligent person. I admired her, I went after her and we fell in love. We married and life was simple. We were focusing on our careers. After 5 years we had our daughter and bought our first home. Life was simple and my adhd and anxiety were manageable. My son was born four years later. We, like most couples wanted everything for our children. We began to overspend and my wife and I struggled to work together on our finances. I had been dealing with mild depression. Both our careers were challenging. Demands came from every direction. My anxiety kicked in and I struggled to function. To make a long story short, I spent many years in counseling to work with my situation. Eventually, I needed medication. What I saw in our relationship was that we were both angry. She was angry because her career was demanding, family life was demanding. I was angry because of differences in child rearing, the way she communicated. From my perspective, I shut down and became withdrawn.

It sounds like you and your family are in the early stages. Your husband may be looking at all of the demands and is overwhelmed. As xyz said, he is feeling guilty, incompetent and seeks ways to avoid.

I would high recommend seeing a psychologist even if he would not go. I have learned that my actions triggers emotions in my wife. They are not related to me but are automatic responses she has. When my wife and I were in this season, I saw my wife as being confrontational, challenging me on various issues. My perception was that she was not partnering with me, just criticizing me.

We have raised our kids, both with adhd into college. My wife had not wanted to go to counseling for many years. She would not learn or was overwhelmed to learn about depression and then adhd. I continued to go working on functioning and doing what I could to be healthy emotionally. When my wife, who is type A, burnt herself out and finally what to go to counseling. We were totally rigid in our interaction. With a wise counselor who knew adhd and worked with couples, we began to reverse our relationship. Within six months, our relationship improved substantially.

I believe there is hope for your situation. My depression has resolved and my anxiety is in check. I am doing well. My relationship with my wife is healing.

If I were your husband, I would want to know what you think and feel about him. Whether he expresses it our not, what you feel about him and his abilities very important to him. When I know my wife believes in me, I feel like I can do anything. I hope this perspective helps. I will pray for your situation.  

Thank you adhd husband

Thank you adhd husband.  I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond to me.  Many of the things you said applies to my situation.  My husband is overwhelmed, he always says "he feels as if everyone is pulling on him".  I need to step back and look at it from his perspective.  We have two boys(6 &8) who are always so excited to see him, so after a day of work or returning from a trip, he needs to go sit by himself and decompress, instead he gets pulled in with the boys, mainly due to guilt of not seeing them, he does not know how to set boundaries ( he in fact hates boundaries).  Me, I just like to know what is going on, how he is, when I ask he just feels I am just "watching everything he does".  I have since pulled away and give him lots of space.  I try to support him best I can, I take care of the home, all chores, the boys and I also work.

I am seeing a psychologist, who is very familiar with ADD.  I have learned  a lot regarding my behaviors and I have made many changes in my life.  In fact, my husband made a comment that he has seen "my spots change" but does not trust me/or the change.  I had mentioned in one of my early posts, that I wrote my DH a letter and apologized for all of my bad behaviors( I listed them) that I brought into our marriage.  I explained that past is the past and cannot be changed, but it was about living for today and repairing the rest of my life.  He criticized me for the letter.  My psychologist said the letter most likely "terrified' my husband, in that one has to be grounded in order to write the letter that I did and that it also shows that I am not the same person he had married. He does not like change.

Even before I knew my husband had ADD I was his biggest fan. I realized early on in our marriage he needed a lot of positive feedback and I always told him, and I still do that I am proud of him.  Even during this hard time, when all I hear is criticism from him, I still try to say something positive to him or about him.

I am touched that you mentioned hope.  I continue to hope and pray that we can work through this and come out stronger.  My husband has been in a bad place with someone who has supported /encouraged his "not so healthy" behaviors.  I know my husband and I know he has a good heart, I just do not know where it is or what happened to it.   I know the effort to work on the marriage looks hard to him and the "great escape" is much easier.  I hope and pray he sees that his family is worth the effort. Thank you again for your encouraging words.