View Full Version : BF on Vyvanse-IRRITABLE!


jende2
09-20-14, 10:44 PM
Hello all! I've haven't posted in awhile.....

Live-in boyfriend has been on Vyvanse since June 1. It helps him focus more, lose things less, is more organized, etc. All good things! But boy is he irritable and crabby in the evenings when he comes home from work. He's hyper too.

And then some OCD behaviors started to show up. We spent an entire Sunday afternoon cleaning out and organizing all of the kitchen cabinets. Not a bad thing, I guess. Just very different behavior than I have ever seen before in him. Fridge has to have all similar items put in same place - for example, all bread items MUST be on a certain shelf. One time he had a freak out when things were not in the correct spot. Another time he got angry when I emptied the dishwasher and "covered up his favorite cups" with some coffee mugs I placed in front of them.

He reported all this to his psychiatrist. Doctor recently put him on Xanax too to help with the anxiety and irritability.

He's a good guy and I love him. But - no offense to anyone here - I think things would be a heck of a lot easier if I just dated a normal brained guy. He is a different man now than the one I dated......

Thanks for "listening". Just having a tough time trying to "deal".

daveddd
09-20-14, 10:46 PM
It's not about having a " normal brain"

Your boyfriends high

Pilgrim
09-21-14, 07:26 AM
Id like to put something here. This is quite normal.

If you want to aid the guy and the medication helps can you put up with the bad stuff.
It's actually pretty ordinary when your coming down.
The OCD thing is a direct relationship to the cool down of the medication.
It must be difficult for you.

Pilgrim
09-21-14, 07:27 AM
Oh and by the way a lot of this should settle down

daveddd
09-21-14, 08:45 AM
Id like to put something here. This is quite normal.

If you want to aid the guy and the medication helps can you put up with the bad stuff.
It's actually pretty ordinary when your coming down.
The OCD thing is a direct relationship to the cool down of the medication.
It must be difficult for you.

this is not normal behavior

jende2
09-21-14, 09:13 AM
I agree - this is not normal behavior.

From what I know, people who are on AMPs often experience irritability when they come down from them - for example, in the evenings.

I saw a post where someone discussed Vyvanse exacerbating OCD tendencies that might be present. Not sure about that one.......

Anyway, not to be slow, but what do you mean "your boyfriend is high"?

daveddd
09-21-14, 09:15 AM
this is behavior exhibited by people who are high (stoned, tweaked) on amphetamines

VeryTired
09-21-14, 10:26 AM
Hi, jende--

There are a few different issues here. Your boyfriend should discuss how the medication affects him with the doctor. I'm not a doctor, but prescribing Xanax sounds like a bad move to me--it's a drug with a lot of potential dangers. Adding a new medication to alleviate the effects of the first one complicates the story. Maybe the stimulant dose is too high, or maybe it's not the best one for your boyfriend.

Drugs are extremely helpful, but they don't do all the work. Your boyfriend has to adjust to how they help him when they're working and to how he feels when they wear off. Maybe some counseling with a therapist who specializes in ADHD would help him. He needs to figure out how to manage his life comfortably and effectively all day long, regardless of when he takes his meds.

But both those things are separate from how you feel and whether your boyfriend has changed since you first met him. What you feel is what you feel, and possibly it would be best explored if you went to a therapist yourself. It can help to have a neutral space where you can sort through your feelings and needs. And there are lots of discussions here about the sometimes dramatic changes non-ADHD partners notice in their ADHD partners after the initial hyperfocus on a new romance wears off. It's different from the average now-the-honeymoon-is-over scenario, and it can be very overwhelming.

I can sympathize with your situation. For me, it's very very helpful to read on these boards and to post here often when I need help or insight. I hope you'll let us know how things go for you.

daveddd
09-21-14, 11:05 AM
Hi, jende--

There are a few different issues here. Your boyfriend should discuss how the medication affects him with the doctor. I'm not a doctor, but prescribing Xanax sounds like a bad move to me--it's a drug with a lot of potential dangers. Adding a new medication to alleviate the effects of the first one complicates the story. Maybe the stimulant dose is too high, or maybe it's not the best one for your boyfriend.

Drugs are extremely helpful, but they don't do all the work. Your boyfriend has to adjust to how they help him when they're working and to how he feels when they wear off. Maybe some counseling with a therapist who specializes in ADHD would help him. He needs to figure out how to manage his life comfortably and effectively all day long, regardless of when he takes his meds.

But both those things are separate from how you feel and whether your boyfriend has changed since you first met him. What you feel is what you feel, and possibly it would be best explored if you went to a therapist yourself. It can help to have a neutral space where you can sort through your feelings and needs. And there are lots of discussions here about the sometimes dramatic changes non-ADHD partners notice in their ADHD partners after the initial hyperfocus on a new romance wears off. It's different from the average now-the-honeymoon-is-over scenario, and it can be very overwhelming.

I can sympathize with your situation. For me, it's very very helpful to read on these boards and to post here often when I need help or insight. I hope you'll let us know how things go for you.

totally agree , adding a very addictive drug to counter the effects of another drug is baffling to me

i may be way off base or out of line here, jenne, but it seems when i read your posts i sense a pretty deep resentment

i know your trying to compartmentalize the adhd , but honestly at 48, he probably isn't going to change much

sorry if I'm way off, but maybe time to reevaluate

daveddd
09-21-14, 11:32 AM
and the only reason i say that is , relationship hyper focus is in reality attachment problems,

without pretty intense therapy its likely not going to change

Int J Psychoanal. 2014 Feb;95(1):43-66. doi: 10.1111/1745-8315.12081. Epub 2013 Jul 31.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): an affect-processing and thought disorder?
GŁnter M.
Author information

Abstract
In the literature on child and adolescent psychoanalysis attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is described as complex syndrome with wide-ranging psychodynamic features. Broadly speaking, the disorder is divided into three categories: 1. a disorder in early object relations leading to the development of a maniform defence organization in which object-loss anxieties and depressed affects are not worked through via symbolization but are organized in a body-near manner; 2. a triangulation disorder in which the cathexis of the paternal position is not stable; structures providing little support alternate with excessive arousal, affect regulation is restricted; 3. current emotional stress or a traumatic experience. I suggest taking a fresh look at ADHD from a psychoanalytic vantage point. With respect to the phenomenology of the disorder, the conflict-dynamic approach should be supplemented by a perspective regarding deficits in α-function as constitutive for ADHD. These deficits cause affect-processing and thought disorders compensated for (though not fully) by the symptomatology. At a secondary level, a vicious circle develops through the mutual reinforcement of defective processing of sense data and affects into potential thought content, on the one hand, and secondary, largely narcissistic defence processes on the other. These considerations have major relevance for the improved understanding of ADHD and for psychoanalytic technique.
Copyright © 2013 Institute of Psychoanalysis.
KEYWORDS:
affect processing; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); narcissistic defence; th

Flory
09-21-14, 11:35 AM
Ahhhhj why do american pdocs get so excited with the prescription pad :( I don't know if Xanax is a great idea really :(

daveddd
09-21-14, 11:41 AM
Ahhhhj why do american pdocs get so excited with the prescription pad :( I don't know if Xanax is a great idea really :(

because the bioreductionist school of thought is the laziest and easiest way to squeeze in 50 patients a day

unfortunately it often doesn't help people in the best way

Pilgrim
09-21-14, 06:07 PM
Isn't this guy coming down???

jende2
09-21-14, 09:09 PM
@daveddd - you aren't way off base. I AM reevaluating. I don't feel resentment so much as I feel complete and total frustration. I don't know how to get along with this guy.

What do you mean when you say, "I know you are trying to compartmentalize the ADHD"?

dvdnvwls
09-21-14, 10:39 PM
Is it possible that his Vyvanse dosage is way too much? Over-focus (which might look OCD-ish), irritability, and anxiety (along with a "zombie-like" disregard for whatever isn't being focused on) can result.

dvdnvwls
09-21-14, 10:46 PM
"Compartmentalizing" means "imagining that ADHD isn't really part of his personality" or maybe "pretending he's normal under there somewhere".

ADHD is permanently built into his identity. He can choose to act differently in many ways, but nothing can remove or cure ADHD.

jende2
09-21-14, 11:23 PM
He was on 60 mg. of Vyvanse and doc brought him down to 40 mg. Still added the Xanax.

I don't think *I* compartmentalize the ADHD as much as my bf does. I tried to discuss something with him this morning - something regarding his behavior, and he said to me, "take the ADHD and the meds out of the picture."

And I was like, "You can't!"

dvdnvwls
09-21-14, 11:33 PM
It's fine as some sort of different perspective, or a tool for understanding, to say "imagine for a moment that ADHD wasn't part of the picture; how would that change things?"

But to ask for it to be ignored or disregarded on an ongoing basis would be crazy.

VeryTired
09-21-14, 11:51 PM
jende--

Sympathy. We have this conversation a lot at my house. My partner sometimes says I am asking him not to have ADHD when I talk about things he does that are a problem for me. And sometimes he asks me to treat him as though he doesn't have ADHD, and I find that I can't un-know what I know. It's complicated.

dvdnvwls
09-22-14, 12:14 AM
I certainly (many times) accused my ex of asking me to not have ADHD. I'm not so sure I did the other one much...

It's extremely frustrating to be asked for behaviours that I know "should" be easy but are in fact very nearly impossible, or possible at a cost that the other person simply cannot fathom.

Under massive frustration with certain requests, I have at times in the past been willing to say just about anything to get the person off my back, including lying or saying things that are not strictly true, and including attempts to misdirect a conversation and get off the topic. Defence mechanism.

When a person employs a defence mechanism against you, then it means that (to him) you were aggressively attacking, whether you thought so or not. If you can find out what you unintentionally did that turned out to be an attack, then the two of you have a chance to start the conversation again in a way that hopefully works for both of you.

jende2
09-22-14, 09:14 AM
while I have seen my bf employ those defense mechanisms against me, we were actually having a calm discussion about what had occurred the previous evening - he got upset with me and lashed out with a mean and disrespectful comment. He asked me, "what do you feel precipitated the argument?" To which I replied, "Honestly? The fact that you are irritable in the evenings when your Vyvanse is wearing off."
That's when he said, "Take the ADHD and meds out of the equation".
He went on to explain that he has always been a hot-headed, impulsive, iracible type of person, and that he is trying to work on himself in that regard - to be kinder and gentler with people.

VeryTired
09-22-14, 09:34 AM
Jende--

So, what's the difference? He is irritable because of the waning meds in his system in the evening, or he is irritable because he is irritable in general. Are they so different? Maybe the fundamental irritability has something to do with a lifetime of trying to cope with the world and ADHD at the same time, and finding many situations too uncomfortable. I think the cause isn't important here, but the reality is.

He's irritable, you're having a hard time with that. If things are otherwise good and you both want to be together, that's an issue to work on in the relationship. If things aren't otherwise solid and/or either of you are ambivalent, this could easily be one straw too much for a tired camel. Only you and he can say.

jende2
09-22-14, 09:48 AM
LOL! Thanks, Very Tired. A "tired camel" is indeed what I am feeling these days. The desire to get along with him, but not knowing how. Everything bothers him, I can't do anything right, etc. etc. I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't.....

Always good to hear from you. When I read your posts, it seems like you and I are in a similar "boat", so to speak.

VeryTired
09-22-14, 10:44 AM
Hi again--

I don't mean to hog your thread here, but you are right, it seems that we have had a lot of similar experiences. And my belief is that we're not alone. Seeing how that's true has been the most helpful thing for me in coping with some of the problems my partner and I have. It takes stress off and depersonalizes it when I realize that we are just one more couple in a similar situation to many others. That's why reading and posting here helps me so much.

Anyway, I just wanted to share one thing more. Some months after the initial thrill of diagnosis and early treatment with medication, my partner reached a volatile, irritable phase that lasted a long time. The clarity he had suddenly gained about himself, the world, his history, and the disorder were all a lot to process. In that time, he did a lot of blaming me for stuff we could both realize was not at all my fault.

Recently, with very hard work and lots of (group) therapy, he has pretty much turned that around. Which is giant progress! But I have to say, if he hadn't been unemployed and without resources, I would have left him without looking back on a number of occasions during that time. And now I am not sure whether the fact that I didn't is a success story, or a confession.

So I am trying to tell you that some of this bad stuff may well get better--but that if it does, it will mostly likely be because of changes your partner makes. That's the very positive part. The less positive part is that you might end up getting more and more tired as time goes along, so how you feel when and if things get better might be unable or unwilling to keep working at this. I have always been extremely resilient, and not until the last couple years have I even begun to understand how it's possible to be worn out by a relationship, or how people who love each other aren't always able to give each other what they need. It's always good to know the truth, but this isn't a very comfortable one ...

Fuzzy12
09-22-14, 11:39 AM
I take dexamphetamine IR and my husband has recently started complaining too that I am a lot more irritable, much more short tempered and much quicker to go from irritability to full blown rage since starting dex. I disagree but that's his perception.

When I started taking medication I crashed quite badly whenever the meds started wearing off in the evening. I too got rather crabby and very tired. Maybe the tiredness contributed to me not being able to deal with my emotions well so that even little triggers could set me off.

I see quite a few of the issues that you've mentioned in my own behaviour though and that isn't necessarily directly related to medication.



And then some OCD behaviors started to show up. We spent an entire Sunday afternoon cleaning out and organizing all of the kitchen cabinets. Not a bad thing, I guess. Just very different behavior than I have ever seen before in him. Fridge has to have all similar items put in same place - for example, all bread items MUST be on a certain shelf. One time he had a freak out when things were not in the correct spot. Another time he got angry when I emptied the dishwasher and "covered up his favorite cups" with some coffee mugs I placed in front of them.".

Even with medication, I struggle to function normally and be productive unless I put certain systems into place and putting up these systems is quite hard work in itself. So once I have established a system that helps me work better I'm very intolerant to anyone making changes to it because that makes things more difficult for me again. (for example, finding things, remembering things, etc.). Also, since I am the one with more severe problems I expect my husband to follow my system (since I believe that he can function anyway...). Maybe that's what happened with your boyfriend as well. For some reason, he might think that having all bread items on one shelf or having his coffee cups always in the same place, readily accessible makes his life easier so he insists on that structure.

Also, I don't often get things done but when I do, I'm quite aware of the hard work that has gone into it and very sensitive about others undoing my work or changing it in some way.

It's also possible that starting meds has given him the motivation and maybe also the confidence that he can work in a more structured, organised and ultimately productive way and he wants to keep that up by using certain systems. I'm used to looking for everything for hours but if I've spent time assigning a particular spot for an item and learning to apply and use that I do get irritated when something goes wrong because of others even if it's trivial.

Maybe he's just excited about finally being able to get things done. Maybe cut him some slack. For me, there's nothing more infuriating than successfully completing a task and then being criticised for the way I carried out the task.

Anyway, I'm not trying to say that you should put up with his irritability. At least, I think, I'm not :scratch: but maybe be a bit more tolerant of his quirks or the way he works. I don't know. I'm obviously biased and my husband and me do have similar problems. He too complains about me being too rigid about the way I do things or want things to be and I often wish that he could just be happy when I finally manage to function better and well, you know, just cut me some slack.




He's a good guy and I love him. But - no offense to anyone here - I think things would be a heck of a lot easier if I just dated a normal brained guy. He is a different man now than the one I dated......


It's definitely easier dating a normal brained person. It's also probably easier being a normal brained person at least in those areas where we are heavily impaired.

jende2
09-22-14, 01:43 PM
@Fuzzzy - thanks for your very wise words. They gave me pause and much to think about. When you explain it the way that you did, it makes a lot of sense! My boyfriend also said to me, "I wish you would just give me a break sometimes."

jende2
09-22-14, 01:49 PM
@VeryTired - my boyfriend, too, blames me for a lot of "stuff" that I really don't think belongs on me.

Your bf does the "me work". Mine does not. AT ALL. He just shows up at his psych appointments, gets his prescriptions refilled, etc. I am baffled that someone who has ADHD ( or anything else for that matter) would not do some research........

An example - The doc recently prescribed Xanax for him. Also told him not to drink for one week. (He drinks socially.) My boyfriend's response to this was, "I think Dr. So and So thinks I'm an alcoholic." I said, "Well maybe Xanax and beer don't mix, and he was just trying to warn you." Bf said, "Maybe. I don't know. I didn't ask him. Maybe I should look that up."

Do you see what I mean? There's no interest there. Just takes his pills and hopes for the best.........

dvdnvwls
09-22-14, 05:41 PM
@VeryTired - my boyfriend, too, blames me for a lot of "stuff" that I really don't think belongs on me.

Your bf does the "me work". Mine does not. AT ALL. He just shows up at his psych appointments, gets his prescriptions refilled, etc. I am baffled that someone who has ADHD ( or anything else for that matter) would not do some research........

Don't forget that VeryTired's bf took a long frustrating difficult time to get to being able to do that.


An example - The doc recently prescribed Xanax for him. Also told him not to drink for one week. (He drinks socially.) My boyfriend's response to this was, "I think Dr. So and So thinks I'm an alcoholic." I said, "Well maybe Xanax and beer don't mix, and he was just trying to warn you." Bf said, "Maybe. I don't know. I didn't ask him. Maybe I should look that up."

Do you see what I mean? There's no interest there. Just takes his pills and hopes for the best.........

You've made a dangerous assumption there. If he was "normal", you'd have a better chance of being right - but that's not the case. Lack of action on urgent or important tasks is the main symptom of ADHD. It doesn't indicate lack of interest at all.

Having a condition where not being able to do what you need to do is the primary symptom, and then being judged or criticized by loved ones for not doing what needs to be done, is an excruciatingly painful situation, one that leads to either apathy or retaliation - or both. Criticizing your bf's symptoms is something I'm sure you would never even think of doing if he had anything else instead of ADHD.

jende2
09-22-14, 06:40 PM
Okay dvd, you've made an excellent point. But I thought that the Vyvanse was supposed to help with all that - the not being able to do important/urgent tasks that need to be done.

He does things for the business that he owns - sends out the invoices, answers emails, calls customers, etc. He spends oodles of time refurbishing his motorcycle. But not the same attention is given to his health.

Maybe it's me? Maybe I'm expecting too much.

dvdnvwls
09-22-14, 06:48 PM
His health is more important, and he gets more instruction about it and more worry from others about it. That's exactly ADHD - that's why he's not able to do it - unimportant and low-stress things are rarely if ever a problem. Just when it really matters, that's when we can't do it... ADHD in a nutshell.

Fuzzy12
09-23-14, 08:49 AM
Okay dvd, you've made an excellent point. But I thought that the Vyvanse was supposed to help with all that - the not being able to do important/urgent tasks that need to be done.

He does things for the business that he owns - sends out the invoices, answers emails, calls customers, etc. He spends oodles of time refurbishing his motorcycle. But not the same attention is given to his health.

Maybe it's me? Maybe I'm expecting too much.

It's not you but I think you might be expecting too much.

I've tried dex IR, Methyl phenidate IR (Ritalin) and Modafinil and none of them have helped me with all that. For me, the meds allow me to focus once I start working on a task but they do absolutely nothing to increase my motivation. I can still happily spend days doing absolutely nothing productive irrespective of if I've taken the meds or not.

Also, it took me quite a while to realise this but the meds on their own don't suddenly make me a normally functioning person. I still need a lot of tools and strategies to be able to function somewhat. It's a bit as if the meds give me the ability to use these tools better but the tools are still required to do the job. And more of than not I don't do the job but I'm still working on that.

At any given point in time I can only focus on a very, very, VERY limited number of things, much to my husband's chagrin. It seems like I only have a very small amount of focus (and motivation) available and it all gets spent on whatever is my priority at that. I'm happy if I function well at work, but for me functioning well at work is always at the cost of absolutely everything else.

My husband also complained that the meds seem to help me do my job better but I'm still neglecting all the other things he'd like me to work on (and that includes my health). When I do start focussing on my health it's at the cost of everything else.

We just got a budgie to look after so all I'm doing now is taking care of her. I'm not spending all my time on her but I'm not doing anything else productive.

Anyway, you get the picture. I don't switch easily between tasks and the few tasks I do exhaust me (mentally).

it might help if you could start slowly introducing very gradually one task at a time. Also, "Researching your health" is quite a vague, general suggestion. Maybe you could print some papers or get some books and suggest to him reading every day one page or something like that (ideally, read it with him). It sounds like a kindergarten approach (or a lil budgie approach) but for me that usually works better.

By the way, I'm sorry, if I sound very critical. I really do understand, I think, how difficult it must be to live with someone like me and I think, it's amazing that you are trying so hard to understand and make your relationship work!!! :grouphug:

jende2
09-23-14, 09:57 AM
Fuzzy - I don't think that you critical at all! I really appreciate that you take the time to post. It helps me ALOT to hear about ADHD from a first-hand perspective. Gives me some sense of understanding of what it must be like. So thank you! Your posts are really helping me! :)

You taking care of your budgie sounds a lot like my BF who just finished rehabbing a vintage motorcycle. It was ALL he did for two weekends in a row. Everything else fell by the wayside. But that's him and his hyperfocusing on something he loves to do, so I was understanding about it.

His psych recommended a book for him to read, written by Charles Barkley. I purchased it for him. He read a few pages and now it's on the floor in his office.:rolleyes:

And thank you for the compliment! I AM trying, but sometimes it's difficult for me and wears on my patience......

sarahsweets
09-30-14, 03:55 AM
It doesn't seem like he has the kind of anxiety that one would need xanax for. Using it for irritability or ocd seems like a cop out from the doctor. I'm not saying he doesn't need it but it does seem like its been prescribed in sort of a crap shoot kind of way.