View Full Version : Been A While - Extreme Mood Swing Question


Mittens
10-11-15, 01:44 PM
Hi there,

My husband has been on Concerta for well over a year, and about 5 months ago he started having these cycles....

My husband always has the same cycle.. Overwhelmingly happy, to powder keg explosive and irrationally raging, to insecure and massive panic, and then to a guilt and self loathing filled depression. It is heart breaking to watch and be completely helpless to try to help him...it's incredibly hard on him (and the entire family).

My husband isn't an angry man, and this is very not typical of him....

We went to his family GP and he figures it is because of his irregular schedule of taking the Concerta (sometimes 10am, sometimes 1pm et etc). Has anyone else experienced this? We now set an alarm in the morning for him to take them...Fingers crossed that sticks :(

The anger really gets me.... he's normally a very gentle, very sweet man, and it's *bad*.... and each time seems to be escalating. The last time he broke up stained glass door he made for me, and sent my mom's blood pressure sky-rocketing to dangerous stroke levels ( she had a TIA / stroke last year, and despite doing it to defend / help me, she shouldn't have gotten involved).

I'm really hoping there are others with experience with this...

Thank you for reading,

Mittens

BellaVita
10-11-15, 05:02 PM
My advice: have him take a day off meds if the swings are becoming dangerous.

Maybe make sure you aren't around him when the mood swings occur.

Have him tell his doctor what is happening, and maybe see if he needs a medication adjustment. (Like trying out something else)

I'm so sorry you're going through this, it sounds really scary!

:grouphug:

VeryTired
10-11-15, 06:56 PM
Mittens--

Hi, it's good to hear from you.

This is worrying. Your husband's doctor may be right that regulating the timing will take care of it. But if it's as extreme as you say, I think it will probably take more than that.

My partner's doctor advised him to take two days off from his medication (Vyvanse) once a month. Those two days are awful, but when he resumes the medication, it then works much better again. (I think this is a strategy for avoiding going up in dosage. He hopes to be on this medication for the rest of his life, so stretching out the time he can stay at the present dosage is important for him.) Maybe for your husband, a smilier medicine holiday, or a change in dosage, or even in medication would be advisable.

My advice is to keep careful watch on how things are doing. If everything isn't fine as a result of fine tuning the timing, then a return visit to the doctor would be a good idea.

Let us know what happens--wishing you all the best--

daveddd
10-11-15, 07:26 PM
this is only on meds?

hopefully your doctor can figure it out, cause that sounds bad

Mittens
10-11-15, 07:53 PM
On top of everything, he caught pneumonia about 3 weeks ago and that's made everything exponentially worse as well... as a result he would miss a day of Concerta here and there because he was sick and in bed all day, etc etc.....

At first I thought it was a one-off, but I think it was only every month or 2, and then got to be once every few weeks, and this last time (I think because of being so sick) he just isn't coming out of it... he's snapping at everyone, depressed, doom and gloom, certain that everyone hates him, life is horrible, and keeps asking me what he has to do so deplorable that I will divorce him. Wth??? He is a very, very loving man normally... he's always been moody, but never like this.. I honestly believe he *is* on some level trying (like there is a bit of 'rational' par left) because he will try to do something nice for me, and then he turns around and snaps at me. It's emotionally, psychologically, and physically exhausting on me, and I'm sure that's not a fraction of how hard it is on him....

Also, from the last big blow up, him and my Mom still aren't talking a that's adding yet another element of massive stress onto the house. Ugh! I just wish I knew how I could fix it or make it better for him :(

I am playing into the anger more than I should, and fully take accountability for that k - in an ideal world I wouldn't at all, unfortunately with being so exhausted I know I am vulnerable and it's not helping things.

Here's hoping, I guess.

Mittens

Mittens
10-11-15, 08:06 PM
Mittens--

Hi, it's good to hear from you.

This is worrying. Your husband's doctor may be right that regulating the timing will take care of it. But if it's as extreme as you say, I think it will probably take more than that.

My partner's doctor advised him to take two days off from his medication (Vyvanse) once a month. Those two days are awful, but when he resumes the medication, it then works much better again. (I think this is a strategy for avoiding going up in dosage. He hopes to be on this medication for the rest of his life, so stretching out the time he can stay at the present dosage is important for him.) Maybe for your husband, a smilier medicine holiday, or a change in dosage, or even in medication would be advisable.

My advice is to keep careful watch on how things are doing. If everything isn't fine as a result of fine tuning the timing, then a return visit to the doctor would be a good idea.

Let us know what happens--wishing you all the best--

Is Vyvanse a stimulant as well?
The Concerta has been working really well so far - it's very bizarre.

Afterwards he always says he feels out of control, and he can stop himself.... that part definitely makes me nervous, but also leads me to believe it's a 'physical / chemical' problem...

Has anyone had experience with taking a secondary anti-depressants or mood stabilizer?? Honest opinion? Even just talking about them, he is scared (understandably) of becoming like a zombie /losing himself. That would obviously be the last thing I would want as well, I just want him to be okay again and not be hurting :( its so heart breaking to watch, and I feel so inadequate and helpless :(

Thank you again for reading / responding

Mittens

willow129
10-11-15, 09:05 PM
Oh my gosh!! That's scary, I really hope the doctor helps...!! There are meds that aren't stimulants, has he tried those? They might help too...
Good luck, and keep us posted....

daveddd
10-11-15, 09:45 PM
Is Vyvanse a stimulant as well?
The Concerta has been working really well so far - it's very bizarre.

Afterwards he always says he feels out of control, and he can stop himself.... that part definitely makes me nervous, but also leads me to believe it's a 'physical / chemical' problem...

Has anyone had experience with taking a secondary anti-depressants or mood stabilizer?? Honest opinion? Even just talking about them, he is scared (understandably) of becoming like a zombie /losing himself. That would obviously be the last thing I would want as well, I just want him to be okay again and not be hurting :( its so heart breaking to watch, and I feel so inadequate and helpless :(

Thank you again for reading / responding

Mittens

i would really consider taking a break from concerta if its this bad

Mittens
10-11-15, 10:36 PM
i would really consider taking a break from concerta if its this bad

The Concerta was working really well, so i'm not sure what changed.... . He hasn't had any dosage changes, except the days he missed / forgot or took late..

The stimulant seems to help him a lot, but unfortunately he hasn't been seeing his counselor since he got sick, and that hasn't helped matters for sure. He was travelling for work previous too getting sick as well, and I had surgery before that, so kind of the perfect storm of unfortunate events. Hopefully once he starts feeling better he will go back to his counselor....

Daydreamin22
10-11-15, 11:16 PM
If meds are interfering with relationships it's not worth it. A lot of des support continuing meds even when horrible side effects are happening. They are dismissed or not adequately understood at the visit. Maybe a non stimulant or nothing. He doesn't want to get dependent on something that's causing such bad effects.

Mittens
10-12-15, 02:30 AM
If meds are interfering with relationships it's not worth it. A lot of des support continuing meds even when horrible side effects are happening. They are dismissed or not adequately understood at the visit. Maybe a non stimulant or nothing. He doesn't want to get dependent on something that's causing such bad effects.

Is it normal for a med to react after such a long / uneventful time for h first 1.5 years?

VeryTired
10-12-15, 08:00 AM
Different individuals react different to medications, so many things are possible. One possibility is that the medication is ceasing to work well, and the disturbing reactions come from suddenly being effectively unmedicated, despite taking the medication that used to work. Another possibility is that suddenly the medication causes him problems rather than helping him. Third possibility: the cause for the outbursts isn't related to this medication at all.

InvitroCanibal
10-13-15, 11:21 AM
I had a similar experience. It turned out I was bipolar. Id take your husband to a specialist. Adhd meds can aggravate bipolar so you can see odd switching more frequently if there is no medication for bipolar in place.

dvdnvwls
10-13-15, 02:59 PM
Getting seriously sick (such as pneumonia) can be influenced by things going badly in the person's life. Sometimes physical illness is almost more of a symptom than a disease, if that makes any sense. A signal that "business as usual" is not right, and that major changes need to be made somehow.

kilted_scotsman
10-13-15, 03:37 PM
There are a host of things that might be causing this.

Being on meds isn't a constant thing.... the brain gets used to them and compensates in all sorts of ways. This means that you're not in a static environment.....plus... as the brain reacts to the meds, other issues may become obvious that were hidden before.

Working out what's going on is an INCREDIBLY complex process.... and one that's never "solved"..... only guessed at. There may be bi-polar in the mix..... if there is, combined with ADHD it'll be certain there's psychological stuff in there too..... this is the limbic system stuff.... allied to PTSD type reactions.

The key is your partner learning to be able to talk to someone about his deeper emotional landscape. This isn't as easy as you might think..... it's taken me about 7 years to even get a handle on the grief I have been carrying. This stuff needs "safe space" in order for it to be accessed.... and also each person is different.... what works for one person doesn't work for another. Once he can actually access this landscape he can start to work out what the triggers are an learn to deal with them.

Not easy, and definitely not fun...... but well worth it.

Abi
10-13-15, 03:45 PM
Has he been evaluated for Bipolar Disorder?

Lunacie
10-13-15, 03:56 PM
Hi there,

My husband has been on Concerta for well over a year, and about 5 months ago he started having these cycles....

My husband always has the same cycle.. Overwhelmingly happy, to powder keg explosive and irrationally raging, to insecure and massive panic, and then to a guilt and self loathing filled depression. It is heart breaking to watch and be completely helpless to try to help him...it's incredibly hard on him (and the entire family).

My husband isn't an angry man, and this is very not typical of him....

We went to his family GP and he figures it is because of his irregular schedule of taking the Concerta (sometimes 10am, sometimes 1pm et etc). Has anyone else experienced this? We now set an alarm in the morning for him to take them...Fingers crossed that sticks :(

The anger really gets me.... he's normally a very gentle, very sweet man, and it's *bad*.... and each time seems to be escalating. The last time he broke up stained glass door he made for me, and sent my mom's blood pressure sky-rocketing to dangerous stroke levels ( she had a TIA / stroke last year, and despite doing it to defend / help me, she shouldn't have gotten involved).

I'm really hoping there are others with experience with this...

Thank you for reading,

Mittens

I would ask the family GP to refer your husband to a psychiatrist who has
more experience in treating adhd and prescribing stimulant meds.

Stress, illness, adding caffeine, not sleeping or eating well, can all make
a huge difference. I wouldn't think that the timing being different on some
days would make such a difference.

Yes, sometimes changing dosage is what it takes, sometimes adding another
medication balances things, sometimes changing to a different med is good.

It sounds like he needs to see a specialist/psychiatrist sooner than later.
Good luck!

daveddd
10-13-15, 06:06 PM
luckily stimulants are clear of your system in a couple days , so thats an easy fing to rule out that problem if you choose to try that


has the change in taking the meds effected his sleep schedule?

dvdnvwls
10-13-15, 06:28 PM
Oh, to answer a minor question that may not have been answered yet - yes, Vyvanse is a stimulant. It is somewhat similar to Adderall, but for some people it causes less anxiety and tension than Adderall does.

Mittens
10-15-15, 07:36 PM
Has he been evaluated for Bipolar Disorder?

I'm honestly not sure. What he discusses with his counselor/ psychologist I don't ask about - I couldn't even imagine how difficult it must be to trust and deal with what he does, and I by no means want to infringe on his privacy or make him uncomfortable / be disrespectful, if that makes sense? I'm bad at explaining things. If he wants to share with me, I try to be as supportive / sensitive as possible.

BellaVita
10-15-15, 09:47 PM
I'm honestly not sure. What he discusses with his counselor/ psychologist I don't ask about - I couldn't even imagine how difficult it must be to trust and deal with what he does, and I by no means want to infringe on his privacy or make him uncomfortable / be disrespectful, if that makes sense? I'm bad at explaining things. If he wants to share with me, I try to be as supportive / sensitive as possible.

It's good to be sensitive.

But maybe you could bring it up in a sensitive way? I mean, especially since it's not only affecting him but both of you....

If he's bipolar and unmedicated, it will only get worse from here.

VeryTired
10-16-15, 02:11 PM
Hi, Mittens--

You said:

What he discusses with his counselor/ psychologist I don't ask about - I couldn't even imagine how difficult it must be to trust and deal with what he does, and I by no means want to infringe on his privacy or make him uncomfortable / be disrespectful, if that makes sense? I'm bad at explaining things. If he wants to share with me, I try to be as supportive / sensitive as possible.

I think your sensitivity to his privacy is admirable. But is he equally sensitive to your need to know what's up with him? You don't want to infringe, and you are respectful of his needs. Great. But it is exactly as important that be be respectful of yours.

Living with someone who has serious mental health issues can be challenging. It's important for you to know what he's dealing with so that you can take care of your own needs in that situation and so that you can help him as well. Working in the dark makes everything much harder.

I think probably a gentle, supportive conversation about how whatever is up with him is affecting you both is in order. You described a pretty intense situation-it doesn't make sense if that's the case for you to have to pretend this stuff isn't happening or isn't a concern for you. Honesty is good, and talking about what this all means for both of you is important.

dvdnvwls
10-16-15, 02:54 PM
Sometimes, having a partner who "needs" to know "what's up" can be a very difficult spot to be in.

It almost made me pack up and leave.

(In the end I got dumped, so in my case it hardly mattered.)

No, VeryTired, a partner does not "need" to know what's up with his situation. Maybe he isn't so sure what's up himself. Maybe it does involve her, but in ways that are difficult for him to say and that he needs time to process. Maybe ... lots of things.

Pressuring your spouse to "spill" about what was said and done at their counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist is intrusive and wrong. Even as a spouse, it is not your business, unless and until your spouse decides that it's your business. A partner does not have any need to know, outside of situations where suicide or physical harm are already apparent.

This is most especially true in situations where there has been pressure to see the professional in the first place. Pressure to go there, plus pressure to report afterward, is simply not acceptable.

Turn the situation around.

Not "would you be willing" - of course, I know you well enough to know that you would normally be willing.

The question is, if you were under pressure to go to a doctor, and after the appointment your spouse demanded details you weren't ready to give, insisting that it was his right to know because it affects him - would you be happy with that?

Luvmybully
10-16-15, 03:11 PM
One of the first meds we tried for our daughter was Concerta. She had very similar side effects! She was young, 1st grade. She would have FITS, then cry hysterically. She would say to me, "Mommy I am so ANGRY and I don't know why!"

We stopped giving it to her immediately.

Adderall was what worked best for her. When vyvanse came out, we switched to that, and it also worked well.

VeryTired
10-16-15, 03:28 PM
dvd--

I am surprised at how you took my reply to Mittens. I didn't say anything about her pressuring her spouse. My suggestion was a "gentle, supportive conversation."

I certainly remember your previously sharing with us some of the distressing things you previously experienced with your ex wife, and I understand your concerns. I am not sure if that's what's at issue here, however.

I think that if Mittens is living with someone who may have bipolar disorder, which was one possibility suggested here, that is something she needs to know, for her own well-being and safety--and so as to be effective in her support of her husband.

Privacy is extremely important. But mental health issues typically affect families as much as individuals, and it's almost always true that knowing what you're dealing with is important to handling these difficult situations well. Everyone's marriage is different, but I think for most couples, sharing information about major health issues is understood to be important for everyone's sake.

You asked me what I would share with my partner. I certainly share with him my mental health diagnoses, and information about my physical health problems. I want the person I live with to know what meds I'm taking, what I'm taking them for, and what my situation is. I think it important for both of us. I don't tell him everything I discuss with my therapist--he certainly wouldn't listen if I tried to!--but for us, it's important to have shared information about the basic outlines of both of our mental and physical health situations.

I could have it wrong, but it sounded to me as though Mittens was in in fear and uncertainty about her husband's health, and I don't think that is good for either of them. That's what I was trying to say. But let's see what Mittens has to say--she'll probably be back soon enough and can give us her own views.

aeon
10-16-15, 03:54 PM
Sometimes, having a partner who "needs" to know "what's up" can be a very difficult spot to be in.

It almost made me pack up and leave.

(In the end I got dumped, so in my case it hardly mattered.)

No, VeryTired, a partner does not "need" to know what's up with his situation. Maybe he isn't so sure what's up himself. Maybe it does involve her, but in ways that are difficult for him to say and that he needs time to process. Maybe ... lots of things.

Pressuring your spouse to "spill" about what was said and done at their counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist is intrusive and wrong. Even as a spouse, it is not your business, unless and until your spouse decides that it's your business. A partner does not have any need to know, outside of situations where suicide or physical harm are already apparent.

This is most especially true in situations where there has been pressure to see the professional in the first place. Pressure to go there, plus pressure to report afterward, is simply not acceptable.

Turn the situation around.

Not "would you be willing" - of course, I know you well enough to know that you would normally be willing.

The question is, if you were under pressure to go to a doctor, and after the appointment your spouse demanded details you weren't ready to give, insisting that it was his right to know because it affects him - would you be happy with that?

:thankyou: :goodpost:

BellaVita
10-16-15, 04:44 PM
Sometimes, having a partner who "needs" to know "what's up" can be a very difficult spot to be in.

It almost made me pack up and leave.

(In the end I got dumped, so in my case it hardly mattered.)

No, VeryTired, a partner does not "need" to know what's up with his situation. Maybe he isn't so sure what's up himself. Maybe it does involve her, but in ways that are difficult for him to say and that he needs time to process. Maybe ... lots of things.

Pressuring your spouse to "spill" about what was said and done at their counsellor/psychologist/psychiatrist is intrusive and wrong. Even as a spouse, it is not your business, unless and until your spouse decides that it's your business. A partner does not have any need to know, outside of situations where suicide or physical harm are already apparent.

This is most especially true in situations where there has been pressure to see the professional in the first place. Pressure to go there, plus pressure to report afterward, is simply not acceptable.

Turn the situation around.

Not "would you be willing" - of course, I know you well enough to know that you would normally be willing.

The question is, if you were under pressure to go to a doctor, and after the appointment your spouse demanded details you weren't ready to give, insisting that it was his right to know because it affects him - would you be happy with that?

Thank goodness for privacy.

Growing up, I was pressured to see a psychiatrist and my parents demanded that I told them what happened "in the room."

It sucked, and it ended up with me not telling the psychiatrist my own personal things, my parents basically demanded I tell them their version of things and if I chose to tell my own private thoughts, boy was I in trouble. (This was during the times I actually convinced them to let me go in by myself...heck, they still demanded they came in with me even after I was a legal adult.)

And then sometimes when I did tell the psychiatrist something different, I had to be secretive about what I said and it was so agonizing.

I know that is far from what is happening here.

I'm just saying that yes, dvdnvwls is right, pressure (even in the form of a "gentle" conversation) can be too much.

Privacy for mental health issues is important.

I say, that trust is important here.

Trust that your partner knows what he is doing.

That they can take care of their own mental health - unless he is putting you or himself in danger, then it's time to get involved.

Sometimes psychologist/psychiatrist appointments can be all a person has for privacy, and removing that secret space can cause tension and rage to break out.

PS - I like how I totally changed my mind :cool: See, I'm not always stubborn :p Ahh...I do see where both sides are coming from.

dvdnvwls
10-16-15, 06:29 PM
There are different situations. Different situations may call for different solutions.

A person may say "If my spouse doesn't even trust me enough to tell me what's going on with their psychological issues and visits to a professional, something is wrong".

But that spouse would then be justified in saying "If my spouse doesn't trust me enough to manage my own psychological issues and visits to professionals, something is wrong".

Maybe both of my imaginary people are making a correct analysis; maybe something really is wrong in cases like that.

However, I do believe that a right to privacy trumps a desire to know, in every case except demonstrated violence. I do not think a person who has already attempted suicide can expect privacy on that matter. I do not think a person who has already committed a criminal physical assault can expect privacy on that matter. Otherwise... privacy.

dvdnvwls
10-16-15, 07:26 PM
During my failed marriage, I "bought" the idea that a spouse deserves to know, and that it was my duty to explain. (VeryTired, you should know that my ex's reasoning was similar to yours.)

In that context, at that time, the results were disastrous in the most permanent of ways. I now know that I was wrong to "buy" the line that one's spouse should know what goes on in one's psychological/psychiatric appointments.

In other words, BTDT, and (perhaps despite appearances) I do know what I'm talking about.

Lunacie
10-16-15, 07:50 PM
During my failed marriage, I "bought" the idea that a spouse deserves to know, and that it was my duty to explain. (VeryTired, you should know that my ex's reasoning was similar to yours.)

In that context, at that time, the results were disastrous in the most permanent of ways. I now know that I was wrong to "buy" the line that one's spouse should know what goes on in one's psychological/psychiatric appointments.

In other words, BTDT, and (perhaps despite appearances) I do know what I'm talking about.

I thought VT was talking about more of a middle ground. What's said between
patient and therapist should stay between them. But the relationship partners
should be able to discuss what the diagnosis is and in general what issues are
being dealt with.

aeon
10-16-15, 11:50 PM
What I discuss with my therapist is not, and never will be, a topic of discussion with anyone, save I offer it myself willingly. That is non-negotiable and inviolable, period.

When I was 16 I saw a therapist for a time. Unbeknownst to me, the therapist violated her code of ethics and shared details with my abuser.

The simple act of betrayal was bad enough, but I cannot even begin to describe the kind of psychological experience it is to have your own words, your expressed deeper vulnerable self, used against you as a weapon of shaming and coercive control. Or when other betrayal info leads to overt violence, emotional, psychological, and physical.

If you have never been beaten and held down so drugs could be forced down your throat, then you haven’t a clue as to what this issue means to me. Drugs I would have taken willingly had I been asked.

Yes, I am scarred from this. Let’s just call it “trust issues.” :D

I’d offer a wife or a beloved my heart and my head (and body and soul), and they could do as they chose with them. But any discussion of the therapeutic alliance I co-create with my therapist, or the details thereof, are off-limits, period.

Going there is willful violation of my boundaries, and I perceive that as a threat. It’s would be confusing and painful to have that come from a wife or partner. So don’t go there if you care about me at all.


Thanks,
Ian

BellaVita
10-17-15, 12:11 AM
Oh my goodness Ian :grouphug:

I see we have been through similar things.

My psychiatrist violated HIPPA laws, I didn't know it at the time, when I had become an adult but my parent insisted they go in with me. I said no. Then the snarky psychiatrist turned around and said "fine, if you don't let them in then we'll just have a meeting in the room after." (To share my personal details, and for that parent to whine and complain about me)

And for YEARS one of my psychologists was being heavily influenced by my parents. Especially my mom. And one day, I had to be in a room with her and him...they had an agenda..he forced an ultimatum on me (psychologists are NEVER supposed to do this!) involving me never seeing my mother again or liking her fiancé.

He even cussed at me, and I was just trying so hard to take all of it and I was belittled and bullied and put down.

Privacy is important.

aeon
10-17-15, 12:48 AM
Oh, yes, the tri-star of me, my therapist, and my abuser in the room together.

My abuser was sharp as a tack and a master manipulator as well, and had the therapist charmed. She had been turned!

Now it’s tag-team 2 on 1. I would sit there mute, saying as little as I could afford to, all the while rippling with fear.

They didn’t have HIPPA then, but still, the healthy boundaries are clear.

The reason my abuser insisted on coming in and developing a relationship with the therapist was because my abuser had a pathological need for control.

Being unable to see, hear, and know my “secrets” was intolerable and unacceptable.


Bad Times,
Ian

namazu
10-17-15, 01:00 AM
MODERATOR NOTE: Please stay on topic. Posts that do not address Mittens' concerns may be removed.
Mittens has indicated respect for Mr. Mittens' privacy in posts upthread.

dvdnvwls
10-17-15, 01:17 AM
I thought VT was talking about more of a middle ground. What's said between
patient and therapist should stay between them. But the relationship partners
should be able to discuss what the diagnosis is and in general what issues are
being dealt with.
This is not as simple as it sounds. Some partners are relentless in their drive for disclosure and can generate a lot of persuasive-sounding reasons. If I had kept my mouth shut longer, kept more of my situation to myself, and talked about things when it seemed right to me rather than on someone else's timetable, the chance for repair and reconciliation would have been much greater.

--- I think that's the "universal take-away" here; that the person in therapy (or in whatever) should be in full control, not partial control, and should have full privacy, not moderate or partial privacy. I don't think there's any middle ground to be found here, and if there is, I don't think it's the right place to be. ---

As it turns out, the fact that my particular first marriage failed turned out to be a good thing; I am now in a happy and mutually-compatible situation with someone else, and that simply would never have happened otherwise. But it would be ridiculous to recommend divorce to every person who comes along discussing relationship difficulties.

dvdnvwls
10-17-15, 02:04 AM
Mood swings themselves, in the context of ADHD, can at times be a result of emotional dysregulation - in other words, he may be simply internally unable to calm down, and crazy as the idea may seem it may be just a meaningless brain glitch. The fact that it is being taken seriously and eliciting concern might in fact be counterproductive.

namazu
10-17-15, 02:19 AM
Mood swings themselves, in the context of ADHD, can at times be a result of emotional dysregulation - in other words, he may be simply internally unable to calm down, and crazy as the idea may seem it may be just a meaningless brain glitch. The fact that it is being taken seriously and eliciting concern might in fact be counterproductive.
Except that this seems to represent a marked change in behavior/mood in just the last 5 months, it was not obviously precipitated by any action of Mittens', and Mr. Mittens himself seems to be suffering deeply -- in addition to the stress and worry Mittens is feeling from not knowing what is going on or how to help.

If this happened to me -- if I were unusually out-of-sorts, to the extent that both I was miserable and the people around me were chronically stressed-out (which has happened) -- I'd certainly hope my spouse would take it seriously and be concerned, and I would also hope my spouse would care enough about my well-being to want to know about my medical condition(s).

To each his or her (or their) own, I guess.

TangledWebs
10-17-15, 03:07 AM
Could he have Bipolar I or II, or perhaps Major Depression? Maybe he needs a mood stabilizer or an anti-depressant along with the stimulant. Lamictal and Zoloft have helped me in the past. I agree with what others have said -- he should see a psychiatrist. Comorbidity is high in individuals with ADHD. Good luck!

Mittens
10-17-15, 05:42 AM
I'm sorry, I don't know enough about bipolar 'in real life' to feel I have the right to an opinion. I have my bachelor's in psych, but text books are not quantifiable to real life.. or at least in my opinion.

I don't know what to do at this point... he is angry, and he just doesn't seem to be letting any of it go. As a result it's tearing me (and our family) apart, but he can't see it.

I love him. I love him more than anything... but we can't really 'talk'.... if I try, he gets upset and the conversation is basically over..... I don't know if its anger, or resentment, or guilt, or maybe all of it... I don't know.

Since the big blow up with my mom, he just avoids her and doesn't talk to her, so she doesn't talk to him unless necessary... I feel like I am in middle school. He honestly believes he has no reason to apologize to my mom for calling me down in front of her, and albeit yes, her stepping in on my defense was wrong, but it also escalated it to a point where my mom's blood pressure went to the 10 points less than when she was hospitalized, despite me screaming at him to stop because of my mom's blood pressure... it was messy.

Anyhow. I tried tonight to talk to him, and he said no way, he absolutely would not do anything because that's "cowing to my mom". I think he got upset and just shut off... man, that really hurts... like, really hurts :(

I don't know what to do... last time it came up he was in a bit of a mood and said he wasn't booking another appointment "because there was no reason too", and then tonight chastised me for believing something he said when he was upset, so I'm not sure if that means he will be booking another appointment? I don't know..

Thank you so much for all the responses and reading.
I appreciate more than any of you know...
I wish I had more to respond with, but unfortunately all I have is this deflated update... :( :'(

Mittens

Mittens
10-17-15, 05:45 AM
Mood swings themselves, in the context of ADHD, can at times be a result of emotional dysregulation - in other words, he may be simply internally unable to calm down, and crazy as the idea may seem it may be just a meaningless brain glitch. The fact that it is being taken seriously and eliciting concern might in fact be counterproductive.

Could you elaborate on this for me, please?

Mittens
10-17-15, 05:48 AM
Except that this seems to represent a marked change in behavior/mood in just the last 5 months, it was not obviously precipitated by any action of Mittens', and Mr. Mittens himself seems to be suffering deeply -- in addition to the stress and worry Mittens is feeling from not knowing what is going on or how to help.

If this happened to me -- if I were unusually out-of-sorts, to the extent that both I was miserable and the people around me were chronically stressed-out (which has happened) -- I'd certainly hope my spouse would take it seriously and be concerned, and I would also hope my spouse would care enough about my well-being to want to know about my medical condition(s).

To each his or her (or their) own, I guess.

How could it be brought up in a way that was sensitive and respectful? I know it's a sore spot with him and any attempt seems very counterproductive....

VeryTired
10-17-15, 08:25 AM
Mittens--

I am so sorry to hear of your difficult situations, and of your husband's distress. You have gotten some different perspectives here, and I hope what we are all telling you is helpful. I am addressing my comments now to you directly, and not primarily trying to think about what your husband needs.

To me, it sounds worrying that you and your husband can't talk about the situation. Only you can decide what's right for you, but I think you do need to consider your own needs as well as his. (If I were in your shoes, I would feel a need to share information and learn about the problems. You might feel that, too, even if it's not what your husband feels.)

Some things to remember: your needs and your husband's needs may not be identical at the moment. It may or may not be possible for you to make things right or better for yourself. Your husband may or may not be able to make things better for himself. The two of you together may or may not be able to do so for yourselves as a couple. Sometimes it takes help (like therapy, medication adjustment, support from others) to improve situations of this kind.

It may indeed be true hat your hsuband's outbursts aren't particularly meaningful in themselves as dvdnvwls suggests. I have seen that happen with my partner sometimes, and it was at first very hard for me to understand. It is one of the things that is hardest for me to tolerate, still. Maybe it's hard for you, too--or maybe it isn't. You have to ask yourself what it's OK for you to live with, and you have to take care of yourself in a difficult, scary, painful situation.

Still focussing on you, I am going to suggest that you consider whether or not you feel safe and OK right now. Is this much chaos and emotion and violence (in the case of the broken door) something that you can tolerate, or is it not? In a situation where your partner is in bad trouble and distress, it's natural that the focus is on him. But it's not good for you to live like this, and you are being affected also. What do you need to be OK in this situation?

The difficulties between your husband and your mother sound hard for all of you, but I am particularly concerned that you may be losing a necessary support network at a time when you really need it. Getting isolated when there's trouble at home can make it all much harder for you. Is there other family, or are there friends who can offer you support?

We don't know what your husband needs, or what's wrong with him right now. Unless he is willing to get help, he's probably not going to find out, either. But he has to be wililng to do that for it to happen. You can tell him what you think he needs. You can tell him how his problems make you feel. And you could--if you wished, if you did feel this--tell him that you may not be able to continue living with him if he doesn't get help. But you can't fix things for him yourself, you can't make him fix things himself and he may not be able to fix things himself.

Let's focus on you even more. I think you really need some help right now. Your post sounds very distressed. I have experienced some similar things to what you are going through right now, and it was one of the worst times in my life. It affected my health, my peace of mind, my productivity, my relationships with friends and family. I totally concentrated on my partner's problems needs and issues and lost sight of my own. That wasn't good for me, or for him. Because I wasn't taking care of me, I had less and less energy and strength to offer him when he needed my help.

If something like that is happening to you, it's important to remember that you have to help yourself. You need to remember that you have needs and stresses too. You can gather friends and family to support you, you can remember that this is a difficult time for you as well as for your husband, and--perhaps most importantly--you can talk with a therapist about what you feel, how you are, what you need. I think taking care of you is essential right now, both for your own well-being AND so that you will have resources available to offer your husband when he needs your help.

After many periods of turmoil and difficulty, my partner and i have agreed that it is very very important for both of us that he be able to say hard things to me like "I'm not OK" "I don't know what's wrong" "I'm scared" "I made a mistake" "I need help" and "I can't do this." He doesn't like saying any of those things when they're true. It's more his instinct to get angry and rage about unrelated matters. But I can't live like that, and it's impossible for me to offer him support that he needs when he does that stuff. He's worked extremely hard to make progress with this, and the fact that we are still together is directly related to that. To get to this point, though, I had to learn how to take my own needs as seriously as I was taking his.

I found that living in a storm of someone else's rage and confusion was toxic for me. Maybe someone else wouldn't have been as bothered as I was, but I really couldn't bear it. Direct conversation and separate work in therapy (each of us with our own therapists) allowed us to understand this and recognize that for our relationship to continue, my needs had to be acknowledged equally with my partner's. Sometimes it's hard for that to happen when one person is having emergencies and the other person's role is defined as supporting and standing by the other.

I don't know if my experiences have parallels with yours, but I am telling you all this in case they do. Sometimes just hearing someone else's experiences can really make it easier to see one's own.

I'm sending you and your husband by good wishes and sympathy. Keep in touch, and try to make sure you take care of yourself as much as you can at this hard time.

Luvmybully
10-17-15, 01:15 PM
My husband has awful episodes of rage. It has gotten to the point now where it is very infrequent, but there have been many instances of broken doors, holes in walls, smashed things.

YES! it is terrifying and stressful to witness. It is SO HARD to NOT take it personally, to step back and just KNOW it is a "brain glitch" (perfect definition dvd!).

No one feels worse than my husband after one of his episodes.

What I eventually learned was to just leave him alone. He HAS TO get it out, HAS TO. He prefers to be alone. When he calms down, he cleans up his own mess. (I had to take him to the hospital recently to get his fingertips sewn back on. There are no words to describe how HE felt about himself that day.)

I totally agree that what is discussed in therapy is only willingly shared. But I do think a spouse needs to know the diagnosis. If he is having these awful side effects from meds, you should be able to talk to him about it.

How to bring it up? Just tell him, I love you and I am concerned the meds are giving you these awful side effects. There are other meds to try.

When my oldest daughter got diagnosed in grad school, WHO was going to monitor her for just these types of side effects was a big concern to me. She talked to one of her fellow students and he agreed to look out for them.

As far as your mother goes, I believe you need to stick by your husband on this one.

All 3 of you were yelling, all 3 played a part. Of course there are hurt feelings, but at this point why not just let it go and move forward?

It is different for my husband, because his emotional dysregulation is not med related. It's just one of his greatest challenges from his adhd. I know this, now. I know how to help him, which is actually to do nothing at all. But the biggest thing I can do for him, is to not chastise him afterwards, or scold him or treat him like he is a bad person. Because he isn't. His brain just glitches on him sometimes.

Lunacie
10-17-15, 01:32 PM
:goodpost:

Yes, a brain glitch. It doesn't happen as often now that I'm taking anxiety meds.
But when I get a headache I can explode in an instant.

My daughter never understood this and would always ask why I was so angry.
I didn't know. I couldn't tell her. Now that she is starting peri-menopause she
is doing it herself. Or does she just have more stress as her girls get older? It
seems to be some kind of brain glitch as she doesn't take any daily meds or
supplements.

TangledWebs
10-17-15, 02:10 PM
I can relate to your husband. There was a time in my life where I was frequently irritable and raging. I was unable to calm myself down. The anger would just take over and I would throw and punch things, then I would feel ashamed at how I behaved and I would tell myself I didn't deserve to be loved and I was a rotten person.

I found out what was happening in my life was causing my irritability and rage. I was arguing with my fiancé all the time and trying to convince him I didn't deserve his love. I hated my job and my boss. I felt like a failure. I was having problems with my own family and issues with my fiancé's family. There was just so much going on -- it was a vicious circle.

Maybe that is what is happening with your husband? What helped me the most was getting away. I moved back in with my parents and my fiancé and I took a break. There was a lot of bad blood between us and we needed space from one another.

Mittens
10-17-15, 03:54 PM
Except that this seems to represent a marked change in behavior/mood in just the last 5 months, it was not obviously precipitated by any action of Mittens', and Mr. Mittens himself seems to be suffering deeply -- in addition to the stress and worry Mittens is feeling from not knowing what is going on or how to help.

If this happened to me -- if I were unusually out-of-sorts, to the extent that both I was miserable and the people around me were chronically stressed-out (which has happened) -- I'd certainly hope my spouse would take it seriously and be concerned, and I would also hope my spouse would care enough about my well-being to want to know about my medical condition(s).

To each his or her (or their) own, I guess.

This.
My 'problem solving logical' mind says it's something new that changed... it didn't occur for years previous knowing him, but I'm not a doctor or psychiatrist to know why.

Mittens
10-17-15, 03:56 PM
I do want to emphasize that I am in no way afraid for my safety - he would never, ever do anything deliberately to hurt me or anyone else. He truly is a very gentle man, and that just isn't him....

Mittens
10-17-15, 04:10 PM
My husband has always been moody and very emotional - I am used to that, and I am okay with that, it's just part of him. This cycle is new and very different from those. The anger comes so fast, and then crashing / needing me, and then debilitating self loathing / depression that lasts 5-7 days each time... and then one day he is fine. The consistent's are the cycle, length, and that the anger has escalated each time... that part worries me. It's literally like he is so focused on doing something to hurt or affect me, he loses any control. Afterwards he says he feels out of control and couldn't stop himself.

TangledWebs
10-17-15, 05:55 PM
Do you feel the Concerta is making his mood swings worse? On the days he is fine, is he off the Concerta?

If I'm having a bout of major depression, Adderall XR will make my depression far, far worse. Adderall drastically improves my concentration, so if I'm having negative thoughts and feelings, I'm much more capable and likely to really fixate on them when I'm medicated. In contrast, when I don't take my Adderall, I'm absentminded and I lack a keen conscious awareness of my thoughts and feelings. I'm always flitting from one thing to another, and my thoughts and feelings just come and go. My actions are desultory.

With that being said, you asked, "Is it normal for a med to react after such a long/uneventful time for the first 1.5 years?"

I'm going to say yes, most definitely, for people like myself. If his life was going well for the first 1.5 years while on Concerta, then he didn't have many negative thoughts and feelings to focus on. From what you've said in your posts, there has been a large number of unfortunate events happening in his life as of late. The Concerta increases his ability to concentrate, so maybe he's becoming fixated on these unfortunate events and the negative thoughts and feelings associated with them.

namazu
10-17-15, 06:42 PM
Sorry for length!

Some questions of my own before I address your question:

1. Does your mom live with you?

2. Have you been able to identify any particular triggers for Mr. Mittens' blow-ups? That is, even if they do seem to take on a life of their own once they start, do they seem to start in response to some frustration, or some topic of discussion, or do they come out of the blue?

3. Do you have any children who live with you?

4. Do you happen to have the old medication bottles? Canada has had a generic version of "Concerta" since early 2010, and it uses a different release mechanism from the brand-name stuff (per a blog post by Kenny Handelman, a Canadian MD -- you can find more info by searching his name).

In the US, a similar generic "Concerta" was introduced more recently. It was ultimately found not to be equivalent to the brand-name stuff (in terms of rate of release of medication -- and there were many reports of lack of efficacy). It's still available in the US, but pharmacists no longer automatically substitute it for the brand-name version like they did for a while.

If possible (either by checking old medicine bottles, or possibly by contacting the pharmacy), it would be worth checking to see if the manufacturer of your husband's medication changed (e.g. Teva-Methylphenidate ER-C instead of brand-name Concerta, or other substitutions) around 5 months ago. A change in drug manufacturer may or may not have anything to do with your husband's situation, but if it does, it would be really useful to know (and if so, to report to HealthCanada as an adverse drug reaction).

How could it be brought up in a way that was sensitive and respectful? I know it's a sore spot with him and any attempt seems very counterproductive....

Re: open discussions

Excellent question, and not knowing your husband or the particulars of the situation, it's a really tough one to answer.

Although I disagree with dvdnvwls on the basic point of whether it's reasonable to expect your husband to keep you in the loop about sensitive medical diagnoses, I do agree with him that forcing the issue when Mr. Mittens is already upset or shuts down when asked is unlikely to yield good results.

Luvmybully gave a good basic template above --
Just tell him, I love you and I am concerned the meds are giving you these awful side effects. There are other meds to try.
I think approaching it this way -- "I love you, it pains me to see you hurting, this whole situation really stinks, and I am committed to supporting you through this..." (in whatever words make the most sense or feel most natural and genuine to you) is likely to be much more effective than "Something's wrong [with you] and we need to discuss it." or "I love you, but you're really stressing me out."

Yes, that focuses on his needs more than yours, but think of that as an opener. I think there is also room in there for you to communicate to him the depth of your worry as well, and the idea that it's really hard for you to know he's hurting and to feel like you lack the knowledge or power to do anything about it. (But again, it would probably be good to emphasize that you are committed to getting both of you through this intact, being there for him, etc.)

I would wait on this until he's more on the upswing; otherwise, the mere mention of your stresses might provoke the "I'm ruining your life -- why don't you divorce me" type responses. (I've gone through periods like that, too. It's futile to try to reason with someone who's not being reasonable, and it may just lead to more worry and feelings of powerlessness.)

------------------------
Re: your mom

If you live with her, this is all trickier, because there's just no avoiding interaction. If you don't live with your mom, but you're very close with her, it's still not easy. It's really awful, on a lot of levels, to be caught in the middle of two warring factions, both of whom you love very much.

I would not press Mr. Mittens to apologize to your mom now, nor even to admit that he may have been wrong. Hopefully, with time and some resolution to the mood swing issue, he'll be able to see in retrospect that he said/did hurtful things, and he'll apologize of his own accord. But right now, I'd drop it in the interest of the big picture.

I don't know what your mom knows about Mr. Mittens, his mental health or treatment history. Perhaps more than Mr. Mittens believes she should?

Although I'm generally a fan of openness, and I do feel spouses should be privy to such important information as medical conditions and treatments, I don't believe this necessarily extends to others (without his explicit permission). The cat may be out of the bag at this point, especially if your mom's the person you turn to when you need support and she's heard the play-by-play, but I would suggest keeping a lid on the specifics in the future, unless Mr. Mittens gives the OK to share.

If your mom's expecting an apology, or expects you to get him to give one, you may need to tell her that while you disagree with what he did, your focus right now is on improving the underlying situation. Hopefully she'll be able to understand that. They can reconcile when the dust settles; meanwhile, you need to take care of yourself, support your husband, and keep some distance between Mr. Mittens and your mom, even though you love them both very much and want them to get along and it pains you that they aren't right now.

------------------------
Re: support for you

I agree strongly with VeryTired that it sounds like you're desperately in need of some support yourself. Maybe some of that you can find here, but I agree that it could be very helpful for you to find someone to talk to in person.

If you work outside the home, is there an Employee Assistance Program available to you? Or some kind of individual counseling you could find that would be covered by health insurance that could just provide a safe space for you to vent, to cry, to think out loud, etc., without further involving people who are already intimately involved in the situation? Maybe a support group for family and friends of people dealing with ADHD or mental illness in general?

You're dealing with a lot right now, and you don't have to shoulder the burden alone.

------------------------
Re: bipolar disorder

It can be triggered by stimulants. More common for stimulants to trigger mania than depression, but once the beast is set in motion, it can take on a life of its own.

I don't know enough about the pattern or degree of mood swings or your husband's history to make an armchair diagnosis. I do think it's worth considering, especially given the regularity of the pattern you've described.

For some people whose mood episodes are triggered by meds, stopping the meds or changing them may take care of it substantially. For others, adding a mood stabilizer is necessary (especially if continued stimulant treatment is needed for the ADHD).

Your husband's fears about more medications aren't irrational; some meds do have really unpleasant mental and physical side effects. However, given that it sounds like he's "losing himself" as it is, without additional meds, and that some mood disorders can be more effectively mitigated if treated early in the course of their development, then there may be less left to lose when it comes to trying them, should he and his doctor consider that option.

I don't think you should press this issue or insist that he ask about the possibility, but I do think it would be more than worthwhile to follow up to be sure that next appointment with the doctor and/or counselor get booked. (Gently.)
-----------------------------------

So, hang in there.

In the words of the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, sometimes "it gets darker before it gets lighter". It sounds like things are looking pretty dark right now, both in terms of not having a complete picture of what's going on with your husband, his mood, your worry, and the tension within your family.

It sounds from everything you've written like you and your husband love and care about each other very much. That counts for an awful lot, and can sustain you through some really dark times.

Make sure to take care of yourself, for your own sake as well as your husband's. If the emotional support you need right now is not something that you can get from your husband, and if the issues between him and your mom make it awkward/risky to lean on her, reach out to professionals or support groups.

Take care!

:grouphug:

Daydreamin22
10-19-15, 12:57 PM
Is it normal for a med to react after such a long / uneventful time for h first 1.5 years?

I would say that it is not anything wrong with him other than the meds. Meds can induce bad side effects and psychological conditions on there own. Amphetamines are powerful. In my experience it's best to name them as the problem, not the negative things occurring in life when on them.

Mittens
11-01-15, 07:26 PM
Sorry for length!

Some questions of my own before I address your question:

1. Does your mom live with you?
Yes she does

2. Have you been able to identify any particular triggers for Mr. Mittens' blow-ups? That is, even if they do seem to take on a life of their own once they start, do they seem to start in response to some frustration, or some topic of discussion, or do they come out of the blue?
There doesn't seem to have any kind of pattern or specific trigger. It is always something different and sometimes can be something insignificant (just to clarify, meaning that whatever upsets him would probably not be a big deal, not meaning to say that his feelings are insignificant or wrong). It's like an explosion - it happens so quickly and so intensely, it's just... a very unsettling experience to be involved in.

3. Do you have any children who live with you?
His oldest (who will be 17 next month) full time, and his youngest (11) we have every other weekend and holidays.

4. Do you happen to have the old medication bottles? Canada has had a generic version of "Concerta" since early 2010, and it uses a different release mechanism from the brand-name stuff (per a blog post by Kenny Handelman, a Canadian MD -- you can find more info by searching his name).
Crap. I totally forgot to ask, but I will try tonight. I'm not sure if he'll have any old bottles around, but I'll check.

In the US, a similar generic "Concerta" was introduced more recently. It was ultimately found not to be equivalent to the brand-name stuff (in terms of rate of release of medication -- and there were many reports of lack of efficacy). It's still available in the US, but pharmacists no longer automatically substitute it for the brand-name version like they did for a while.

If possible (either by checking old medicine bottles, or possibly by contacting the pharmacy), it would be worth checking to see if the manufacturer of your husband's medication changed (e.g. Teva-Methylphenidate ER-C instead of brand-name Concerta, or other substitutions) around 5 months ago. A change in drug manufacturer may or may not have anything to do with your husband's situation, but if it does, it would be really useful to know (and if so, to report to HealthCanada as an adverse drug reaction).



Re: open discussions

Excellent question, and not knowing your husband or the particulars of the situation, it's a really tough one to answer.

Although I disagree with dvdnvwls on the basic point of whether it's reasonable to expect your husband to keep you in the loop about sensitive medical diagnoses, I do agree with him that forcing the issue when Mr. Mittens is already upset or shuts down when asked is unlikely to yield good results.

Luvmybully gave a good basic template above --

I think approaching it this way -- "I love you, it pains me to see you hurting, this whole situation really stinks, and I am committed to supporting you through this..." (in whatever words make the most sense or feel most natural and genuine to you) is likely to be much more effective than "Something's wrong [with you] and we need to discuss it." or "I love you, but you're really stressing me out."

Yes, that focuses on his needs more than yours, but think of that as an opener. I think there is also room in there for you to communicate to him the depth of your worry as well, and the idea that it's really hard for you to know he's hurting and to feel like you lack the knowledge or power to do anything about it. (But again, it would probably be good to emphasize that you are committed to getting both of you through this intact, being there for him, etc.)

I would wait on this until he's more on the upswing; otherwise, the mere mention of your stresses might provoke the "I'm ruining your life -- why don't you divorce me" type responses. (I've gone through periods like that, too. It's futile to try to reason with someone who's not being reasonable, and it may just lead to more worry and feelings of powerlessness.)
Thank you. I think this is very valuable advice, and I definitely want to save this response - I think it will be very positive to reference. It breaks my heart when he gets in that 'funk' (I'm ruining your life, divorce me and leave, etc ec)... I can't make it better, but anything I can do to try to make it at all easier for him, I would just at the chance.

------------------------
Re: your mom

If you live with her, this is all trickier, because there's just no avoiding interaction. If you don't live with your mom, but you're very close with her, it's still not easy. It's really awful, on a lot of levels, to be caught in the middle of two warring factions, both of whom you love very much.

I would not press Mr. Mittens to apologize to your mom now, nor even to admit that he may have been wrong. Hopefully, with time and some resolution to the mood swing issue, he'll be able to see in retrospect that he said/did hurtful things, and he'll apologize of his own accord. But right now, I'd drop it in the interest of the big picture.

I don't know what your mom knows about Mr. Mittens, his mental health or treatment history. Perhaps more than Mr. Mittens believes she should?
My mom and I are very close and she is aware that he has ADD, but struggles sometimes to equate some of the emotionally aspects. It's a work in process... she does understand quite a bit, but she struggles with things like the wicked mood swings and his temper. Since the big blow up I've been stepping back and I have not mentioned really anything in relation to my husband and I... it's just.... I don't know. I'm open with him as to what I share with my mom, and I do try to be very conscious of respecting him.

Although I'm generally a fan of openness, and I do feel spouses should be privy to such important information as medical conditions and treatments, I don't believe this necessarily extends to others (without his explicit permission). The cat may be out of the bag at this point, especially if your mom's the person you turn to when you need support and she's heard the play-by-play, but I would suggest keeping a lid on the specifics in the future, unless Mr. Mittens gives the OK to share.

If your mom's expecting an apology, or expects you to get him to give one, you may need to tell her that while you disagree with what he did, your focus right now is on improving the underlying situation. Hopefully she'll be able to understand that. They can reconcile when the dust settles; meanwhile, you need to take care of yourself, support your husband, and keep some distance between Mr. Mittens and your mom, even though you love them both very much and want them to get along and it pains you that they aren't right now.

------------------------
Re: support for you

I agree strongly with VeryTired that it sounds like you're desperately in need of some support yourself. Maybe some of that you can find here, but I agree that it could be very helpful for you to find someone to talk to in person.

If you work outside the home, is there an Employee Assistance Program available to you? Or some kind of individual counseling you could find that would be covered by health insurance that could just provide a safe space for you to vent, to cry, to think out loud, etc., without further involving people who are already intimately involved in the situation? Maybe a support group for family and friends of people dealing with ADHD or mental illness in general?

You're dealing with a lot right now, and you don't have to shoulder the burden alone.

------------------------
Re: bipolar disorder

It can be triggered by stimulants. More common for stimulants to trigger mania than depression, but once the beast is set in motion, it can take on a life of its own.

I don't know enough about the pattern or degree of mood swings or your husband's history to make an armchair diagnosis. I do think it's worth considering, especially given the regularity of the pattern you've described.

For some people whose mood episodes are triggered by meds, stopping the meds or changing them may take care of it substantially. For others, adding a mood stabilizer is necessary (especially if continued stimulant treatment is needed for the ADHD).

Your husband's fears about more medications aren't irrational; some meds do have really unpleasant mental and physical side effects. However, given that it sounds like he's "losing himself" as it is, without additional meds, and that some mood disorders can be more effectively mitigated if treated early in the course of their development, then there may be less left to lose when it comes to trying them, should he and his doctor consider that option.

I don't think you should press this issue or insist that he ask about the possibility, but I do think it would be more than worthwhile to follow up to be sure that next appointment with the doctor and/or counselor get booked. (Gently.)
-----------------------------------

So, hang in there.

In the words of the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, sometimes "it gets darker before it gets lighter". It sounds like things are looking pretty dark right now, both in terms of not having a complete picture of what's going on with your husband, his mood, your worry, and the tension within your family.

It sounds from everything you've written like you and your husband love and care about each other very much. That counts for an awful lot, and can sustain you through some really dark times.

Make sure to take care of yourself, for your own sake as well as your husband's. If the emotional support you need right now is not something that you can get from your husband, and if the issues between him and your mom make it awkward/risky to lean on her, reach out to professionals or support groups.

Take care!

:grouphug:

I am very worried that he still hasn't made another counseling appointment... he has fallen into the 'fall sense of security' trap before, so if he hasn't had a bad blowup or major mood swing in a bit, he sees it as 'done' and nothing more to be done. It really scares me (not in a 'physical danger way, he would *never* hurt me and I am in no way worried about that aspect) and makes my heart hurt that he hasn't made another appt... It's very tough. Him not being proactive is like my feelings don't matter and are insignificant. I'm not saying he by any means deliberately hurts my feelings, but despite me telling him, I'm not sure he realizes how major of an issue it is. He was supposed to also be working on learning skills to help him be successful in daily life with ADD, but he didn't even make it that far with his appt's (meaning that he didn't have enough appt's to cover that knowledge because they were discussing other things). I think tonight I will try to talk to him again, and hopefully maybe figure out a way to communicate my feelings in a way that makes sense...

Thank you again for reading and responding, and I am very sorry it took me so long to respond. Life sort of blew up the last couple weeks health wise and schedule wise.....

Mittens
11-01-15, 07:30 PM
I would say that it is not anything wrong with him other than the meds. Meds can induce bad side effects and psychological conditions on there own. Amphetamines are powerful. In my experience it's best to name them as the problem, not the negative things occurring in life when on them.

I can't stress enough how big and good of a heart he has. He has always had an ugly temper, but nothing compared to whatever 'this' is. It came out of nowhere, and just the pattern of it really seems that it's something external as the cause (like the medication) because it is just so out of character and so not him.

He is a very sweet and loving man, and his first priority is our family. Everything he does is for the family, and that is absolutely and totally his motivation.

daveddd
11-01-15, 07:41 PM
I can't stress enough how big and good of a heart he has. He has always had an ugly temper, but nothing compared to whatever 'this' is. It came out of nowhere, and just the pattern of it really seems that it's something external as the cause (like the medication) because it is just so out of character and so not him.

He is a very sweet and loving man, and his first priority is our family. Everything he does is for the family, and that is absolutely and totally his motivation.

stiull taking the meds , on a new schedule?

Mittens
11-01-15, 08:50 PM
stiull taking the meds , on a new schedule?
He's been setting his alarm for 8am and keeping his medication on his bedside table so he can take it consistently at the same time. He almost always goes back to sleep afterwards, so it seems to be working out well so far.

He still struggles with making sure to eat regularly, and his doctor mentioned that's very important for how the body metabolizes the medication.

One step at a time.

daveddd
11-02-15, 06:40 PM
He's been setting his alarm for 8am and keeping his medication on his bedside table so he can take it consistently at the same time. He almost always goes back to sleep afterwards, so it seems to be working out well so far.

He still struggles with making sure to eat regularly, and his doctor mentioned that's very important for how the body metabolizes the medication.

One step at a time.

thats a tough, and staying hydrated, since stimulants are a diaretic

that stuff, sleep, could all effect things, probably more likely than he is presenting with a new disorder

but you never know

VeryTired
11-02-15, 07:54 PM
Mittens--

Nice to hear from you again!

My partner tells me that his meds always work much better, and he is much better in general if he stays hydrated, which is hard to do. When he gets upset at something nowadays, he tends to put himself a pitcher of water and drink it before responding further, and it seems to make a big (and positive) difference.

Mittens
11-18-15, 01:56 AM
Well, he is still on his regular dose of Concerta, but the setting an alarm (so far) has been making a tremendous difference. He has been back to the amazing and wonderful man I married <3

It blows my mind that something as simple as the timing of medication can have such an incredibly adverse effect.... Yes, he still has anger issues, and I am putting my trust in him that he is treating that as well. He sees a psychologist who specializes in ADD, and makes appt's when he can. Unfortunately it's not very often, but fingers crossed... He really likes him, and I think that's so incredibly important when it comes to a counselor.

Here's hoping :)

Thank you all so much for always giving me such good advice and taking the time to read and respond to my posts. I don't know what I would do without you guys <3

TLCisaQT
11-22-15, 03:53 AM
Glad to hear things are better Mittens :) who would have thought that just being consistent with time would make so much difference!

dvdnvwls
11-22-15, 04:46 AM
Because my executive functions are messed up, anything I need to do that I can turn (willingly and without causing excessive stress) into a habit means I will have much greater success at it. Having to go through a decision process about something - even a simple thing - gives me far more opportunities to get stuck or sidetracked than you might imagine.

Unfortunately, telling me "Just turn [X] into a habit" is not going to get you very far, unless your aim is to make both of us feel bad. :(

Lunacie
11-22-15, 10:56 AM
Bad habits are hard to break. Good habits are hard to develop.

That is true for every human, and more so for those with ADHD.

But when you are motivated and medicated, developing those good habits is a bit easier.

Mittens
12-01-15, 09:51 PM
Ugh.
Bit of a fall off the wagon - hard..
He started with forgetting his medication until the afternoon, and then forgetting it all together without eating, etc etc.....

This might sound crazy, but it's almost like he self-sabotages? Man.... it is so painful to see him go through this :(

Each time he gets more angry, more hurtful, and more nasty... on the drop of a dime.

It hurts my heart :(

Back to the "I hate you, you're evil, have a nice life, b1tch - don't leave me" cycle :(

Ugh....

I so wish I could wave a magic wand and take his anger and hurt away :(

Sorry, nothing much productive in this post... mostly just venting feelings. I'm very sorry.

Thank you to everyone for reading, responding, and always helping with great words of wisdom and advice.

Lunacie
12-02-15, 12:29 AM
All I can tell you is that I do great at remembering to take all my meds first thing in the morning for oh ... sometimes a month, sometimes a week.

Then I get all confused about what day of the week it is because there are meds in the Tuesday compartment but isn't this Wednesday? Oops.

Our memory function is unreliable, but all our lives we've been blamed for not remembering, so we are angry with ourselves, angry with those who blame us, angry because the meds didn't get into our system and just ... angry.

BellaVita
12-02-15, 01:31 AM
I'm sorry that things have gone bad again. :(

I agree with Lunacie though, our memory function is unreliable.

I know this might sound like too much, but could you be the one to give him his medication in the morning? That way he wouldn't have to remember.

But you'd have to be very careful to not turn it into a parent/child situation.

I think it can be done though taken the right approach.

"Each time he gets more angry, more hurtful, and more nasty... on the drop of a dime.

Back to the "I hate you, you're evil, have a nice life, b1tch - don't leave me" cycle "

This doesn't sound too good. Even with ADHD it sounds like maybe there could be something else going on there.

I'm no doctor but sometimes anger can actually be anxiety. Or maybe some underlying mood disorder.

I find it interesting that he has opposites such as "I hate you/don't leave me."

Has this cycle always happened, even pre-medication?

That must be very tough to go through.

I had an experience like that, the guy(an ex) would get angry in a split-second and he would have these rages...he would do the "I hate you! Don't leave me!" thing. He would idealize me and then devalue me. But he had BPD.

I'm just saying - be careful for your own emotional safety. He needs to get help. He can't keep treating you like this.

Take care. :grouphug:

TygerSan
12-02-15, 08:56 AM
Just a thought that occurred to me: it's winter and you live quite far north. The days are getting really short and sunlight is disappearing. The way he's slipping into old self-sabotaging patterns, any chance he's sinking into seasonal depression? Depression isn't always passive sadness. Sometimes it's mean.

kilted_scotsman
12-02-15, 09:12 AM
Ah..... self-sabotage.... that often points to a deep subconscious "scripted" psychological process.

What can happen is that the person exhibits behaviours that are designed to reinforce a particular negative belief, eg being unlovable, impossible to be with, unemployable, etc.

Things go OK, then "something happens" that can seem random, but over time it's seen as part of a pattern.... "he always shoots himself in the foot" type of thing. Can be subtle, can be a highly visible meltdown.

Dealing with this kind of script belief takes skill, firstly to find the script, work out how it operates and then neutralise it. Not something that a partner can undertake....as unfortunately the partner is often someone the person has selected to play a part in the script reinforcement process.

I feel that scripts are very common in people with a diagnosis of ADHD..... living with ADHD and the issues it causes in families seem to be a perfect storm for the creation of problematic relational scripting that manifests in all sorts of toxic patterns.

TLCisaQT
12-06-15, 01:15 AM
Well Mittens, I feel like your husband and mine are similar. Abilify (mood stabilizer) helped but I know that now he will say he doesn't feel like it helps as much as it used to except makes him feel hungry a lot. But, he doesn't get as angry as he used to. I wish I had answers however I only have support in that I know how heartbreaking it can be, especially when you love someone and know how great they are; however the roller coaster is emotionally very difficult on your own emotional and mental coping. At least it seems like he is open to continue seeing his psychiatrist and therapist regularly to work on it? That is a good sign right? If he is open to you helping with meds, that would be awesome - maybe like "meds (breakfast) in bed?" �� Either way, good luck!