When my husband started Concerta about 5-6 weeks ago, I was concerned. Mainly because he took it many years ago (although only officially being diagnosed this past summer...his PCP prescribed it for him because I suppose he always knew something was wrong with his racing mind) and when he took it he became combative and irritable. At only rare times in our marriage was he 'mean' like this. He's much more of a passive/agressive ADDer.
First the meds made him feel horrible physically (18mgs of Concerta XR). Within a couple of weeks he was leveling off and doing well. Went back in for a follow up and for reasons unknown to me, his doctor increased him to 27mgs. I'm not sure if it was something my husband told him or what, the only explaination I got was that he started him out low and was slowly increasing him, but felt that 27mgs is where they would stay. Within two weeks he was not wanting to get out of bed, had ZERO energy, but claimed he was 'coming down with something'. He had been claming this for .. oh...TWO WEEKS?? He even took almost an entire week off of work, went back to the doctor, got anti-biotics (from something he heard in his chest...he smokes 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day!!) and he also asked him to lower his dosage back to 18mgs. I was told by our counselor and my husband both that my input was crucial and I've tried to remain unbiased and give him a chance to adjust and see how things go, but I was honest with him...I think it was kicking his butt no only physically, but he had become EXTREMELY sensitive and defensive and was snapping at me.
Friday, he forgot to take his meds. He had band night that night (he plays with a group of friends) and he had 'a few beers'. Yesterday...he was someone I hadn't seen in MONTHS. I'm still somewhat in shock and not sure what to think or feel or how to handle it. He is very insecure and I am coming to realize he is 'bothered' by me being here. I had started discussing some things with him, I won't do that anymore. Ever. He will never see me on this site again...but I'm not ready to give up my only support line at this point. He hasn't asked...he would die before he would do that. Anyway, me talking about something here yesterday is what put his mood in the ditch...I suspect. We got on the subject of overspending. He gave me his debit card last spring. For years and years I was 100% in charge of handling the money, he had a debit card and NEVER EVER EVER asked me if we had the money in the bank, he would just use it as he saw fit. I literally would not pay bills knowing if I did, he would overdraw our account...so bills went unpaid or were late so I could keep a cushion in the bank. I felt it was the lesser of two evils. When my father died I got $40K in life insurance...last Jan. By June it was gone. He was literally going to the bank and getting out $300-$500/wk and had NOTHING to show for it. (for about a month he was buying nerve pills-immeidately after he quit drinking) All of this was resolved, for the most part, when he gave up his debit card. On many occasions he has admitted he has a problem spending too much money, buying things he does not need. He has even admitted it in counseling. He has a $1000 guitar that he has promised to sell (and then says he's not...and then says he is) because it was purely an impulse buy and he knows he does not need it. (he has about 7? 8? guitars..amps...pedals...etc) No amount of talking can convince him that it isn't about the money to me, it is about being able to survive..pay bills...and the constant worry of when he'll stop..or WILL HE stop?
Yesterday he said he didn't give me his debit card because HE has a problem with money, he gave it to me because "I" have a problem with money. I was shocked. I worry about money..a LOT. I admit I have a problem being a worrier. We barely make ends meet..and sometimes they don't. It isn't that we don't have enough to pay the bills, I'm just not a very good planner...and since we have very little 'extra' I end up going over and the bills are always a little behind. I am doing Dave Ramsey's program praying it will help me. He also went on to say that he didn't have any worries or cares in the world about his spending...never bothered him in the least he said. He only gave up his card because of me. "I thought I was doing a good thing, since it was such a problem for you". How can he admit something for months and take full responsibility, then turn around and act like he never said it???!! Not only that, he did eventually admit that he was NOT going to admit it (that he has a problem with impulse control) simply because I wanted him to. This is in STARK contrast to what he has been like for months..responsible for his ADD impulse problems, openly admitting them. He went right back to "you're just trying to control me..make me believe what you believe". I heard that for six years...even if it was true, it isn't now and I won't be treated that way.
All I could say was "please don't do this...why are you doing this?" I finally just told him "you have to go get off of those meds. It has changed you into someone who his ugly and mean and I don't even recognize this person". Of course he responded with "yeah, it's all the meds!" (sarcasm). I said "I was told by our counselor that it was important for me to observe and report what was happening to you...and I am telling you, you have to get off of them and try something else...and my worst fear is that you're going to be in denial about what they're doing and refuse to quit taking them" I just sobbed. I didn't know what else to do. I couldnt' stop myself...I sobbed the entire way home. An hour later he wanted to pretend nothing had ever happened. No apology, nothing. (this usually comes hours later..or even a day or two later). Later he wanted to go to the grocery store...and I told him we had a very limited amount to spend...we had to get just what we would need. He put some snack cakes in the buggy...fine. He then wants another box and asked if we could get them..and I told asked if one box could be enough, for now..until he gets paid. He got furious, put both boxes back, and when we got in the car he told me he wasn't going to church with me today. Just like that? His relationship with God is done...because he is mad at me? I know he is just trying to hurt me...and it worked.
Is it the meds? Is it that he missed his meds the one day? Is it not the meds for him? Was it the addition of the alcohol? He RARELY drinks...but still does on occasion. Until this point I have had no reason to worry about it, but I'm wondering if now that he's on the meds it isn't having a negative impact on his moods. He was HORRIBLE and MEAN and CRUEL when he drank before. If I mention anything at this point, meds..booze...whatever..he'll see it as me blaming him. I told him yesterday that I feel he needs to stop the meds...what they were doing to him...and I am praying he heard me.
He has even started saying "I am furious right now!!" like he has to announce to me to that I have gone and messed up by making him mad. ???? We went through a drive thru for lunch one day recently (after starting meds) and the guy at the window was nice/friendly to me...he sat in the seat STEWING...and said "that conversation just made me furious" but denied it had anything to do with being jealous, just said our voices made him furious. HE is out of control of himself and his emotions...I can't explain it any other way. :-(