Sabotaging treatment and lying about it

My 26-year-old husband has ADD and has been prescribed Adderall and Seroquel, which he has been taking on a regular basis. Or so I thought.

My husband had been complaining lately that his Seroquel wasn't helping him to fall asleep anymore, and was very upset by the way his life has been affected by his lack of sleep. He will not go to bed until 2 or 3 in the morning, and when he gets up for work in the morning, he is very tired and cranky due to his lack of sleep. I also discussed this issue with him, noting that it is hard for us to have cuddle or intimate time together when I fall asleep on the couch every night while he stays up until very very early in the morning. We both agreed to take the steps to make sure that we can have a reasonable bed-time schedule for both of us. Everynight, he would tell me that he was going to take his seroquel a little earlier in the evening, in hopes it would induce some drowsiness, and he would then go into the kitchen and I would hear the drawer opening, the pills rattling, and the water turn on. I assumed this was his taking his medication every night.

However, recently my husband was very depressed and discussing how he needs more sleep and we need more time in bed together. During this conversation, he admitted that he has been going into the kitchen and making the noises as if he was taking his pills, but he actually wasn't, because he doesn't like to go to bed anytime before midnight, and he hates having to go to sleep at night. So, he admitted that he was intentionally putting on this charade of taking his pills in order to make me believe that he was doing his best to manage his symptoms and doing his part to help us have more night-time together. When he admitted this, he asked me to follow him into the kitchen and watch him swallow his pills every night. I agreed, and did not scold or argue with him, because I didn't want him to believe that he would be punished for telling the truth. But honestly, I told him that I am so very disappointed that he sabotaged his own treatment and our time together, but also that he went out of his way to deceive me regarding his medication.

Since that conversation the other day, my husband has decided that he doesn't like any of his medications, or his doctor, anymore and he instead wants to see a new doctor, for new medications. He also wants to see a nutritionist, a personal therapist, and a psychological neurologist who can perform brain scans. I understand that some of this, such as the nutritionist and the therapist, would be good for him, but we don't have the money for all of this and I am honestly quite upset that days after he admits that he was sabotaging his own treatment, he wants a whole new treatment plan. The one he is on was working out fine when he was taking his medications as prescribed.

I'm hurt by the deception and the lies and don't know how to handle it from here. It seems like I'm just supposed to drop it now, but I am so very hurt that the lies have continued . I'm disappointed that he sabotaged the treatment that his doctor, his wife, his family, and his friends were all working so hard to support him on. He also has four calendars, all with post it notes, index cards, and labeled time slots, in the house that he has at his disposal, because he asked for them and swore it would help his organizational skills. He gets all the support he needs, but then he chooses not to utilize the tools, treatment, or support that is given to him and I don't know what to do now.  I am concerned that no matter how much help he gets, he will sabotage his treatment if it requires him to do something he doesn't like, such as fall asleep early.


What do I do now?

The question of my post  is: What should I do now?

What to do...

He has to be the one who wants to improve his ADD. Going on and off the ADD meds is also a bad for him. I did not get diagnosed until age 43 and never realized how my actions affected the ones I love. I was on a mission to make things better and was lucky to respond well to Adderall. It was still quite a roller coaster for 2+ years, but time and patience won out in the end. Being sleepy at 10pm is still difficult for me, so I stop all caffeine after 5pm, try to get my evening walks in and take a Klonopin around 9:30 to help warm-down my brain. It also helps to get off the PC (Too engaging) and get in bed by 10:30... It is still a struggle at times, but exercising REALLY helps...


Honestly, it is a very hard

Honestly, it is a very hard pill to swallow (no pun intended) but you really should put the responsibility of his getting help and taking his meds in his hands and relieve yourself of the burden. As long as you are worrying about it, monitoring it, keeping tabs, and placing your peace of mind on his actions (taking his meds) then you're taking away all of the responsibility from him. If he's capable of going through the motions, the elaborate rouse, then he is perfectly capable of taking his meds each evening.

You said that the treatment plan he was on was working fine...but it would seem to me that it wasn't working or he wouldn't have intentionally stopped it. Many people with ADHD describe feeling so much better with their meds that they wouldn't dream of not taking them. My husband is just like yours...takes it if he wants, doesn't if he doesn't want to, and quite frankly I am tired of putting all of my eggs in his basket. I admit to being very disappointed because he was recently given meds and gave up on taking them after just one day...saying he didn't like how they made him feel...but I said nothing and I won't say anything to him about it. I cannot force him to get treatment. He has to want it. He has to want to get help and follow his treatment plan laid out for him. If I (or you) force it, it isn't coming from the heart, and it won't be successful. I think the main difference between those here who are successfully managing their ADHD and those who aren't is the dedication to treatment and following doctor's orders.

I did help him find a psychiatrist in our network...and I am going with him to his appt because he asked me to. Otherwise, I'm putting this on his his hands...and will make it clear (again..already have several times) that if he remains untreated, our marriage isn't going to survive.

I know you feel like he won't follow through with his treatment if you don't make him...and you do have a right to be upset about his lying to you about it...but you truly must put this on him 100%. It is his decision, either way, and you making it for him is ensuring his failure. He HAS to want it enough for himself that he wouldn't dream of not taking his meds.

My thanks and my response

Thank you for your input, I agree that if he is able to put on the charade of the medication ,then he is perfectly capable of actually taking it. To clarify, I only mention that his meds were working fine because of his expression of such.  The meds he is taking (or not taking) aren't newly prescribed, he suggested that he was happy with the dosage of both the Adderall and the Seroquel, which is why I can't understand why he wouldn't take it as prescribed.

Thank you for your advice, it's good to hear that I should, in fact, ask that he take responsibility for his treatment. I have been trying to explain this to him with the metaphor that I can be a cheerleader, but not a coach, in his treatment plans. But I don't know if that's an appropriate metaphor. Thanks again!


Ok... understandable that you would be disappointed, angry about the lying.  But admitting the lying, I think for him is a 'cry for help' of sorts.  This medication is intense and tricky.  If you don't have the right dose, or the right meds, it's not going to work.  or it could change your personality in a bad way.  Try not to make him feel bad about it... yes, it was dumb, selfish etc.... but Adderall is powerful $#!t.  After all, it is messing with the BRAIN.  It's not like taking a vitamin.  It's not like antibiotics, that start to work immediately and have the desired effect/cure within 10 days.  Give him a chance to get the meds/dosage right.  Not all of us have the miraculous 'Aha!!" immediate positive effects that YYZ did....

What is seroquel?  Is it a sleeping pill?  Does it conk him out?  if so... that wouldn't be very good 'together' time...  I am an ADHD woman, and I'm taking Adderall.  At first I really didn't like it and it took me a while to get used to it.  (like a couple months really)  I learned that I needed a PLAN for the day- otherwise the adderall would help me focus - but not on what i needed to be doing.  This may be happening to your husband at night.  if he is naturally a 'night owl' and he's still got the adderall going and he gets started on something interesting... well... going to sleep would not be appealing.  Yet, he KNOWS it's a dumb idea to stay up til 2-3 am, so he confesses to you what he's been doing in the hopes that you'll help him stop.  now - we all know that you can't go there:  it has to come from him and he needs to talk to his shrink or doctor and find out if maybe he needs to switch to some other drug or a different combo.

My heart sank reading the part of your post about the calendars....  "he asked for them and swore it would help his organizational skills. He gets all the support he needs, but then he chooses not to utilize the tools, treatment, or support that is given to him..."  Please understand:  He really did not 'choose' not to use them.

I have so been there.  My husband would shake his head at all the 'organizing' crap I would buy.  I would start off using them, then get confused and feel like I was bashing my head against a wall until my nose bled.  Then just looking at these 'tools' filled me with shame, embarrassment and a profound sense of failure, so i just COULDN'T use them anymore.  Sound stupid?  yeah.  I know...  I'd give anything to be in a normal person's brain for just a day....

I am sending positive energy to you and your husband in the hopes that he can find the right solution & start getting better soon!!

Lucky me... YYZ :)

I was lucky in several ways regarding ADD. I had two close friends that I worked with who are both ADD and had 10+ years of dealing with it. They really helped coach when when I was diagnosed. The Adderall did have immediate positive effects on me but one of it's side affects caused some issues too. I think all the new awareness lead to jumping to conclusions and some paranoia. After all being aware after 43 years of being oblivious takes some major getting used to... Somehow a long time ago when Electronic calendars like Outlook came out that would sync to a mobile device my Tech Geek hyper-focused on this technology and I discovered just how much it helped. People had tried for years buying me books about organization that were never read, but Tech got my geeky attention and being an early adopter of this gave me advantages over my paper calendar, sticky note contemporaries. He needs to do this himself or feel like he is doing most of the new techniques or he may feel like he is setup to fail attempting someone else's solution.

Ellamenno... What exactly IS a Normal Brain? I used to always tell my wife she needed a day or two with my brain so she could not worry about EVERYTHING for a change.

Funny, huh :)


Great points...if the

Great points...if the calendars weren't so vital to someone with ADHD, they wouldn't need them in the first place....and the lovely twist is that the ADHD really makes implementing them into daily life very, very challenging.

I, too, felt his coming clean about the meds was an attempt to get some control..maybe he felt like asking her to mother him (watch him take it) would help (short term) him feel more in control. Or maybe he realizes she's unhappy with him and feels like if he just forces himself (by being accountable to her) to take the meds so he will have no choice but to go to sleep when she wants, then maybe it would appease her. Maybe on his own he doesn't have the control/desire to take them/go to bed earlier. We all know this will end up in a bad I would just try and give him more control over his own bedtime/medication choices. Yes, there needs to be a happy medium, and if he needs meds (if they help him) then I agree he should try and take them consistently but it just seems he's avoiding taking these sleeping pills for some reason and that reason needs to be given consideration...everyone's feelings need to be given consideration. This situation needs to be discussed and a compromise that everyone can be happy about, in my opinion. (because it is a sleeping pill and not specifically an ADHD medication...and I know that these types of meds make a LOT of people feel HORRIBLE)




Thank You :)

Thank you for your reply.

To clarify, Seroquel, as it was described to me, is an anti-psychotic medication that he takes for his mild-bipolar and mood swings, which are separate but intertwined with his ADHD. It;s not a sleeping pill, but he was prescribed to take it at night before bedtime because of the marked drowsiness it creates. It doesn't necessarily knock him out, I have observed that when it is taken as prescribed, it takes him approximately an hour to feel drowsy enough to fall asleep quickly. I hope that helps to clarfiy :)

Thank you for your positive energy!

Ahhhhh...gotcha. Somehow I

Ahhhhh...gotcha. Somehow I was thinking it was a sleeping pill..something I apparently misinterpreted from the original post.

It is important that he take the mood stabilizer regularly...even if he takes it at midnight and goes to bed at 2 a.m. I understand your concern better now. Ironically my husband was prescribed something similar (symbyax) recently. He took it one night and said he didn't like the way it made him feel. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of my sails, but I said nothing to him about it. About a week later, out of the blue, he started taking it again. I haven't asked, but I'm pretty sure that lasted all of about a week and he has stopped taking it again. He goes to see a psychiatrist next week. The meds were prescribed by his medical doctor because he was afraid to leave him completely unmedicated while my husband waited on his appt with the psych. ADHD meds (stimulants) didn't work for him.

You (and I) have every right to expect them to care about and implement the treatment plans their doctors prescribe them...and to help minimize the effects of their afflictions on the marriage and family. Sadly, the most we can do is hope they take their treatment seriously and encourage them to continue treatment. I fight a desire to 'make' him do a lot of things (that I think would help) often. It has to come from within him or it won't matter...and it won't last. :(