View Full Version : Is ADD the right Diagnosis?


bestcoast
09-14-16, 10:23 AM
Hi all,

I've been around here for quite awhile. Over 10 years ago I thought I had ADD and used this forum to navigate around my diagnosis, which ultimately ended up being wrong. I'm now being treated for chronic depression and anxiety, and we've got all the meds straightened out. There is a light!

I'm now married, but things are not going well. He finally saw a psychiatrist last week who ran through some questions and told him he had ADD.

I'm looking for some support here...I'm not quite sure that's right. Here's what I do see in him:


Symptoms
Chronic addiction to opiates
Chronic lying even when presented with facts to his face
Cheating/Promiscuity
Reckles spending
Fraud/Forgery/Theft of checks that aren't his (criminal case pending)
Domestic violence (criminal case pending)
Extremely charming attitude with others
Gaslighting when he can't have control
Laser sharp focus on work/hobbies he loves
Intention to isolate those he becomes very attached to
Fast and furious relationships with friends / girlfriends/ wives
No boundaires / respect for the law


I don't know if those fit with ADD or something else. I am NOT trying to diagnose him, or even tell his doctor what to do. But if anyone might be able to lead me in the right direction of understanding what is or what is not (or might be) I'd be incredibly grateful. Thank you!!

Little Missy
09-14-16, 01:01 PM
Pack and run away as fast as you can.

bestcoast
09-14-16, 01:33 PM
Oh, yeah -- we are already separated and divorce is pending. I'm more concerned about the diagnosis as I'm trying to understand what the underlying issue is.

This doesn't sound like ADD to me, but that's what his doctor apparently said. I don't get it.

namazu
09-14-16, 01:59 PM
This doesn't sound like ADD to me, but that's what his doctor apparently said. I don't get it.
It's possible that ADHD is one underlying problem -- impulse control problems and chasing stimulation are frequently a part of ADHD. Reckless spending, throwing himself into new hobbies, and even perhaps throwing himself into new relationships...sure.

But in my (completely non-professional!) opinion, ADHD alone wouldn't adequately explain everything -- the controlling behavior, the violent behavior, etc., especially if there's no remorse associated with it.

ADHD is associated with an increased risk of substance abuse and addictions (of various sorts), but an opioid addiction is a serious (and too often fatal) problem in its own right.

ADHD is associated, in some cases, with conduct disorder (which, in adults, is often recognized as the analogous antisocial personality disorder (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/antisocial-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/dxc-20198978)), but the pattern of repeated lying (if not just to "save face" after messing up by accident), hurting others physically and emotionally, and violating the law is not something inherent in ADHD.

ADHD is often associated with mood disorders, anxiety, and other psychiatric problems as well. I wouldn't begin to speculate here based on the little information you've provided, but these are also issues that can contribute to overall problems with functioning and response to treatment.

Hopefully the doctor who's treating your ex is keeping some of these possibilities in mind and is prepared to address them, too.

Best wishes.

ToneTone
09-14-16, 08:33 PM
To attribute these huge character and personality problems to ADHD would be an irresponsible stretch, it seems to me.

This person may just have poor and weak character and bad morals and a lack of respect for others ... Lying and cheating ... those are more along the line of a sociopath or psychopath than anything related to ADHD.

Frankly, I think you would do well to spend your time on how you failed to stay away from this person. That's the issue and that's something that is within your control. How did you get drawn/attracted to this person and how did you miss the apparently major problems and destructive traits? ... I say that with no accusation as someone who once married someone with borderline personality disorder, which is incredibly destructive.

My getting involved deeply with such a person was not a random accident ... There were enough bad winds and bad energy that my radar could have noticed my ex was going to be a nightmare ... But I was on some kind of bad, numb, automatic pilot that blocked my ability to react in healthy ways to bad treatment. Ultimately I did a lot of work in therapy to rewire this habit I had of getting close to destructive people.

Leave his problems to researchers to figure out ... What's more important is that you learn how to avoid gravitating towards such a person again ... And BTW: I found that not only was I bad about setting boundaries with this person I married, I was bad in setting boundaries across the board ... So it's likely you have boundary issues (inability to be yourself with someone and say no to someone) as well ...

Tone

bestcoast
09-14-16, 10:38 PM
Thank you for the really honest responses. I knew at my core this was not ADHD, but needed some validation that it was bordering on a personality issue.

I actually have suspected something along the lines of borderline for a long time, but the reason I have not been able to run with it is because a marriage therapist said that was MY issue while he was present after he spent 40 minutes gaslighting me in front of her. (We never saw her again). So for the past year he uses that as any and every problem that may be occurring in our lives, even his own. I've never had any psychiatrist or therapist acknowledge this, most are even shocked that someone would say that's my underlying problem.

That said, my younger sister has been hospitalized many times for borderline and my parents have some sort of cluster B issue. I've never had a relationship problem before and otherwise thrive socially, romantically and professionally. I think I ended up pushing forward with marriage with this guy for fear of failing. Everyone else was getting married, etc. It was a bad mindset to be in, and I stayed in it for further fear of failing.

Again, thanks. It may or may not any one thing specific because we can't diagnose him, but this is really helpful.

sarahsweets
09-15-16, 01:21 AM
Domestic violence? Was that involving you?

Cyllya
09-15-16, 08:09 AM
If you want to know more about dealing with this sort of sociopathic person, you might look into Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Regardless of whether that's accurate as a diagnosis, a lot of the behavior and probably mindset are the same. There is a lot of info about divorce specifically (https://www.bing.com/search?q=divorcing+narcissist&form).

He might have ADHD too. ADHD doesn't cause you to be a huge jerk, but it's not like it make you immune to jerkiness.

bestcoast
09-15-16, 02:01 PM
Domestic violence? Was that involving you?

Yes. He told me that his psychiatrist actually said that this behavior (violent outbursts / lack of control) were a symptom. We actually filed for divorce and separated immediately after. He's either full of it or trying to legitimize it somehow.

sarahsweets
09-15-16, 04:22 PM
Yes. He told me that his psychiatrist actually said that this behavior (violent outbursts / lack of control) were a symptom. We actually filed for divorce and separated immediately after. He's either full of it or trying to legitimize it somehow.

Good. Stay separated and follow through with that divorce.

DJ Bill
09-15-16, 07:12 PM
Consider an order of protection...And good on you for getting away from him.

BellaVita
09-15-16, 07:57 PM
You don't need to be a doctor to diagnose this: an abuser who people should stay far away from!

I read some more comments and really glad you're getting a divorce.

The OP does not describe ADHD.

bestcoast
09-15-16, 11:18 PM
You don't need to be a doctor to diagnose this: an abuser who people should stay far away from!

I read some more comments and really glad you're getting a divorce.

The OP does not describe ADHD.

Thank you, it was EXTREMELY frustrating to hear him describe how he "felt like he finally had the diagnosis he needed" and how it "explained his behaviors" which I felt was BS, but I needed to make sure it was coming from the right place. Which also just underscores what he is - and isn't.

kilted_scotsman
09-16-16, 05:51 AM
From the list I'd say there's much more going on than ADHD.

There's a psychological process called "defence" which is the psyche's way of defending against perceived threat. The types of behaviour you list suggest a very strong, pathological defence mechanism.

People with a defence this strong can often look as if they are embracing change..... however more experienced clinicians will observe the continued presence of narcissistic behaviours.... the person becoming a kind of "expert" in behavioural change and seeking to teach/lead others. The alternative health/recovery sector has quite a few "charismatic" individuals like this.

If you are separating from him there's little to be gained from trying to "understand" what's going on..... just move on and work on your own stuff..... the question for you isn't about him, it's about why you ended up marrying someone with such serious issues.

There's a rather uncomfortable rule of thumb which says that where one partner in a long term relationship has some form of serious behavioural pathology the other partner is likely to have a similarly deep seated behavioural issues that they need to explore.

Often the non-problem partner focusses on the "problem" partner as a defence against having to look at their own issues.

My advice would be to have little contact and go and find a good therapist to talk through your own stuff around this relationship..... how did you get hooked in, what signs did you choose to ignore and why.

sarahsweets
09-16-16, 09:17 AM
There's a rather uncomfortable rule of thumb which says that where one partner in a long term relationship has some form of serious behavioural pathology the other partner is likely to have a similarly deep seated behavioural issues that they need to explore.

If you are talking about co-dependency or poor self esteem due to past trauma, childhoos, etc I can see how this applies but to say that the victim in the relationship somehow has deep seated behavioral issues doesnt seem right.
Of course she needs to figure out what about him attracted here. Maybe he was different in the beginning and she didnt see it coming. People like him often slowly draw the person in before their sick true colors appear.

Often the non-problem partner focusses on the "problem" partner as a defence against having to look at their own issues.

Again, this is based on your experience but I do not believe it is the norm. People with issues from the past can seek out similar negative traits in a partner, but having a sh*tty sick partner does not mean they have severe issues that they are avoiding because they choose to focus on their partner.
This guy is clearly sick, absusive, and criminal.
I doubt if her focus on him is a way to avoid dealing with here own issues, its just that his issues are the focus FOR NOW while she works on an exit plan.
And your right, understanding him doesnt do jack now.

Hermus
09-16-16, 10:15 AM
Different personality disorders have been suggested here: bpd, antisocial, narcissistic. I think it is very difficult to assess without the help of a psychiatrist which one it would be exactly. However, these are clear signs of a personality disorder and not of ADD. The symptoms of AD(H)D can be found on this website and are different from the things you describe:

http://www.helpforadd.com/2013/june.htm

It is logical that you want to understand what is wrong with your husband, but don't let it be an excuse for his behaviour and to get back to him. It is clear that being in a relationship with him will end up damaging you.