View Full Version : spouse of 16 uses adderall XR...and has become a different man...help


bro1025
12-11-13, 02:22 PM
I have been married for 16 years. My spouse was prescribed adderall about 4 years ago to help him concentrate at work. (BTW-I have never thought he was ADHD, but doc's get big kickbacks the more meds they prescribe) He drinks about 4-6 beers every evening after his workday. We, by no means had a perfect marriage, but since he has been on adderall, he is different man. He is very short tempered, constantly angry at me. I can't say anything without setting him off.. He is irrational in regards to the smallest issues. He is paranoid anytime I walk out the door. Questions like..Where u going, what are you doing, who will you be with.... We have 2 children, 12 and 5, that see this behavior from their father. If I criticize the medications side effects, he says I am the crazy B**ch who is hard to live with. He takes 2-30mg pills per day. He can't sleep at night so he takes Ambien also or he takes over the counter sleep aids like crazy. The beer every night apparently helps him wind down. He is constantly on the commode and his bowel movements are like liquid. We are both in our late 30's and I feel I am losing my spouse. I cannot live in a home being on pins and needles all the time.. It is not healthy for my children to see parents fight all the time, but I don't know what to do.. I know its the meds but I am not a brilliant doctor that knows when to prescribe this stuff (insert sarcasm). Is there anyone else that has experienced behavior changes in their spouse or significant other that would be willing to share their story? I don't know what to do... I finally reached my breaking point when he had a confrontation with my father, who has been a loving, giving, father in law to my husband all of the years we have been married, which led to my husband wanting to fight him. I have read that noises appear louder than they really are when a person is on adderall and I think that this was the case. Everything that he hears is like yelling to him, when in actuality, its a normal voice. I don't want to give up on him and our marriage... He needs help I think. But I don't think he wants it.. Or realizes the hurt he is causing me and himself. Please any advise, feedback, etcc...

sarahsweets
12-12-13, 11:10 AM
It honestly sounds like either his dose is to high or he is abusing the medication. Does his doctor know about this? Is there some way to tell the doctor this even if he wont? Based on the other substances that he "needs" it sounds like he as an addictive personality.

agirlandherdogs
12-12-13, 01:00 PM
I read the first red flag was the number of beers he drinks while taking the adderall. That can cause paranoia.
I'd address the alcohol issue with him or the doctor? Is he getting any counseling? I think a couples session would be beneficial. Where you each talk with the counselor alone then together.

http://www.alcoholic.org/research/what-are-the-effects-of-mixing-adderall-and-alcohol/

Twiggy
12-12-13, 02:19 PM
You should call his Doctor right away and discuss this together next time he has to go get his prescription.
Ritalin could be a better choice, it lasts a shorter time.

The way your husbands acting with Adderall is making life worse for both you and himself.
Medication should help life and not destroy it.

MarathonEngineer
12-12-13, 10:44 PM
I read the first red flag was the number of beers he drinks while taking the adderall. That can cause paranoia.
I'd address the alcohol issue with him or the doctor? Is he getting any counseling? I think a couples session would be beneficial. Where you each talk with the counselor alone then together.

http://www.alcoholic.org/research/what-are-the-effects-of-mixing-adderall-and-alcohol/


Wait.. Legit question here, Booze + Adderall can cause paranoia? I've been on Adderall since June (First med and official DX), and turned 21 in September so I haven't needed to discuss this with my pdoc. Any info? I know they say to avoid acohol cause you can easily over drink cause the stims counter-act the downers (rather inhibit the warning signs you've had to much), but I wasn't aware that it can cause other mental complications.

Possum
12-12-13, 11:37 PM
I have been married for 16 years. My spouse was prescribed adderall about 4 years ago to help him concentrate at work. (BTW-I have never thought he was ADHD, but doc's get big kickbacks the more meds they prescribe) He drinks about 4-6 beers every evening after his workday. We, by no means had a perfect marriage, but since he has been on adderall, he is different man. He is very short tempered, constantly angry at me. I can't say anything without setting him off.. He is irrational in regards to the smallest issues. He is paranoid anytime I walk out the door. Questions like..Where u going, what are you doing, who will you be with.... We have 2 children, 12 and 5, that see this behavior from their father. If I criticize the medications side effects, he says I am the crazy B**ch who is hard to live with. He takes 2-30mg pills per day. He can't sleep at night so he takes Ambien also or he takes over the counter sleep aids like crazy. The beer every night apparently helps him wind down. He is constantly on the commode and his bowel movements are like liquid. We are both in our late 30's and I feel I am losing my spouse. I cannot live in a home being on pins and needles all the time.. It is not healthy for my children to see parents fight all the time, but I don't know what to do.. I know its the meds but I am not a brilliant doctor that knows when to prescribe this stuff (insert sarcasm). Is there anyone else that has experienced behavior changes in their spouse or significant other that would be willing to share their story? I don't know what to do... I finally reached my breaking point when he had a confrontation with my father, who has been a loving, giving, father in law to my husband all of the years we have been married, which led to my husband wanting to fight him. I have read that noises appear louder than they really are when a person is on adderall and I think that this was the case. Everything that he hears is like yelling to him, when in actuality, its a normal voice. I don't want to give up on him and our marriage... He needs help I think. But I don't think he wants it.. Or realizes the hurt he is causing me and himself. Please any advise, feedback, etcc...

It sounds like your husband has substance abuse issues and adderall is only one of several that he may be abusing. I am a recovering alcoholic and much of what you describe sounds like the effect too much alcohol can have on a drinker's body and emotions - liquid bowels, unreasoning jealousy, and even insomnia are all symptoms of heavy alcohol use. I'm sure the adderall doesn't help much either. Your husband needs to be evaluated by a competant doctor and most likely spend some time in rehab coming down from all that junk and getting clean.

He probably is not going to be thrilled if you try to get him to do this. Like you said, he gets angry if you even suggest something is amiss with him. Look up the local alanon meetings in your area. Alanon is not just for the SO's of alcoholics. It can be very helpful to those whose loved one has any sort of alcohol or chemical dependence problem. I'm sorry that you and your children (and your Dad) must go through this. Call Alanon. You'll be glad you did, and best of luck.

- Possum

ana futura
12-13-13, 02:21 AM
Wait.. Legit question here, Booze + Adderall can cause paranoia? I've been on Adderall since June (First med and official DX), and turned 21 in September so I haven't needed to discuss this with my pdoc. Any info? I know they say to avoid acohol cause you can easily over drink cause the stims counter-act the downers (rather inhibit the warning signs you've had to much), but I wasn't aware that it can cause other mental complications.

There should not be any problem at all. I prefer to drink on medication because I can hold my liquor like a normal person.

Unmedicated I lose my judgement very quickly and after two drinks I become crazy- and then from there I'll just keep drinking. Medicated I have a lot more self control- so I drink less. It does take more to "get drunk", but as long as you don't drink to get drunk that shouldn't be a problem. I don't like being drunk, but I do like to drink socially. So for me, being on medication while drinking is a good thing.

Not sure what I would have been like when I was younger, when I admittedly did drink to get drunk, but I suspect the same thing would have happened- meds would have given me better judgement, leading me to drink less. I had a big problem with binge drinking in my twenties (pre- diagnosis) because I just did not know when to stop.

Anyway, figure it out for yourself. The reason people say not to drink on adderall is because there are people who abuse adderall solely for the purpose of upping their tolerance. That may not apply to you. If you truly have ADHD, it might wind up being just the opposite.

And in order to experience paranoia, you would have to be abusing either the alcohol or the meds. As long as you drink and take your meds like a responsible person (hard, I know) you won't have an issue.

Drinking doesn't have to be about getting trashed. You can still have a lot of fun and not get wasted. In fact it's far more fun when you don't get wasted. Hangovers suck. I wish someone would have told me when I was 21 that drinking didn't have to equal getting sick.

Daydreamin22
12-13-13, 02:23 AM
Maybe it’s drug induced Bipolar? (Mania or Hypomania?) I’d look up the symptoms and call the dr. Maybe he’s on too high a dose.

ana futura
12-13-13, 02:27 AM
We, by no means had a perfect marriage, but since he has been on adderall, he is different man. He is very short tempered, constantly angry at me. I can't say anything without setting him off.. He is irrational in regards to the smallest issues. He is paranoid anytime I walk out the door...
Just to echo what everyone else has said- this is not right. Something is very wrong here.

On medication I am a much nicer person, I'm far less angry and short tempered. My partner can tell when I haven't been taking my meds because I get snippy, and then she tells me I should take them.

If his diagnosis is correct, and the med and dosage is correct, he should be less angry and more easy going.

Either his dose is way too high, or he shouldn't be on the meds at all.

dvdnvwls
12-13-13, 03:27 AM
Agreed that there's a big problem hiding here somewhere. It could be that the medication is far too much, and the alcohol totally secondary. It could be that the alcohol is the only problem. It could be some of both - OR the real problem could be another different thing that you don't know about yet.

@ MarathonEngineer: About drinking and medication - Waiting till your meds wear off for the day is better. The potential difficulties are two kinds: first, and most important, even when you think your meds have worn off there is still some in your system having some effect. The more ADHD medication you contain, the less you will notice yourself getting drunk. Medication can make you feel not drunk when you are in fact extremely drunk, hugely increasing your potential for misjudging the situation. The solution for this is to sharply limit how many drinks you have, regardless of how you're feeling. (In other words, you can drink moderately, but it sucks anyway so it's hardly worth it.)

The second issue is some added potential for dangerous health problems on combining the side effects of the two substances, or extra side effects from the ways they might interact. It sounds to me as if this is mostly a concern for people who drink often or a lot, but I could be mistaken about that.

dvdnvwls
12-13-13, 03:59 AM
Just for reference: the side effects of a reasonable but slightly-too-high dose of Adderall are being nervous, jittery, over-focused, and anxious, probably also with increased heart rate. In other words, more or less like someone who has had too much coffee. Becoming irrational and sort of paranoid requires doses that are much much too large.

By the way - does your husband drink a lot of coffee or other caffeine? In some people, that makes side effects of Adderall worse.

someothertime
12-13-13, 04:51 AM
Think a little more about the timeline here... has this been the whole 4 years?

Also, how involved have you been with his treatment to date?

This is quite possibly a combination of factors... The only way to get to the bottom of this and minimise fallout is with the right doc/psychcologist combo.

dvdnvwls
12-13-13, 04:54 AM
Think a little more about the timeline here... has this been the whole 4 years?

Also, how involved have you been with his treatment to date?

Both excellent questions/points.

Kunga Dorji
12-13-13, 06:28 AM
Wait.. Legit question here, Booze + Adderall can cause paranoia? I've been on Adderall since June (First med and official DX), and turned 21 in September so I haven't needed to discuss this with my pdoc. Any info? I know they say to avoid acohol cause you can easily over drink cause the stims counter-act the downers (rather inhibit the warning signs you've had to much), but I wasn't aware that it can cause other mental complications.

Stimulants can drive a sympathetic stress response (which is why they are called "sympathomimetic amines").
That will push anyone towards anxiety/paranoia if you are already a bit wound up.
Also- yes- overfocus/hyperfocus.
Alcohol will destabilise the emotional self regulation and can also increase the stress response at any but a low dose.
Not a good combination.

kilted_scotsman
12-13-13, 11:02 AM
It's a tough place to be as a partner.... because the afflicted spouse rarely comprehends the situation....

Often the person will "externalise" things....

I get mad because...... a b c

I need my beers because....... x y z

So the issues are seen as having external causes... therefore things won't change until the external trigger is changed.... and that won't work because a new trigger will replace the old.

Only when the person understands that they have a choice and it is their own issues that lie at the heart of their suffering will real change occur. It's important to understand that someone just accepting that change is needed is enough to initiate change.....

So getting them to say/believe "Things need to change" is an important step......

After that they can experiment with how change might be.... and ask for help in supporting and monitoring.

With so many psycho-active compounds entering his body it's unlikely that your partner knows who he really is any more.... add to that the inevitable strains of work and family life and things get difficult to untangle.

However.... reducing the alcohol/caffeine/stimulant/depressive chemical intake is a start.... probably not all at once though.... gentle reductions over time.... remembering that it takes several weeks for the differences to become apparent... this may mean a loss of focus.... but it is important to get clean before assessing what he is like NOW as opposed to what he was like when he was diagnosed/began taking ADDerall.

kilted

Kunga Dorji
12-13-13, 04:58 PM
It's a tough place to be as a partner.... because the afflicted spouse rarely comprehends the situation....

Often the person will "externalise" things....

I get mad because...... a b c

I need my beers because....... x y z

So the issues are seen as having external causes... therefore things won't change until the external trigger is changed.... and that won't work because a new trigger will replace the old.

kilted

Learning to combat the externalisation is one of the key targets of mindfulness practice.
Usually the x y z, are just the last stimuli that upsets an already overloaded system.