View Full Version : New diagnosis of ADD in husband causing problems


itskc2u
07-04-17, 04:44 PM
Hi All,

This is my first post here, and I'm hoping to get some honest opinions. Sorry for the verbose explanation.

My husband and I met and married pretty quickly, we've been together just under 3 years at this point. He's wonderful and I couldn't ask for a better partner. But, a year ago, he decided he was having symptoms of ADD, procrastinating, not being able to hold a thought, other vague symptoms of general disinterest in doing menial tasks, etc. (it should be noted that he also smokes a fair amount of pot). His cousin has been on ADD meds for a long time, and he tried them and they "helped". He made an appointment to see his cousin's doctor (in a different city about 1.5 hours from where we live, oddly), and came home with his very own prescription for Adderall, 20mg twice a day, (first he was on 70 mg Vivanse, but that was very expensive and we lost our insurance).
He sees that doctor every 3 months for a checkup, and to ascertain how the meds are working.

From the very beginning I expressed concern about this. I don't believe people should medicate for this disorder unless it is very obviously negatively effecting their lives. I told him if he wanted to get some meds for occasional use on big days, ok, but I don't see that he has a problem that necessitates daily medication. He says he doesn't take it every day, and not the full dose every day, and that may be true, but I'm pretty sure he takes it almost daily regardless. On days he doesn't take it, he naps a lot.

The problem is, I don't like who he is when he is taking the meds. On a full dose he gets manic, hyper-focused, racing around the house doing all sorts of little projects, or working at his construction business 12 hour days and not stopping for lunch.

An additional issue is that I have had problems with drug addiction in the past, and It's very hard for me to have stimulants in the house and not have a desire to take them. Sometimes I do take one of his pills when I have a lot of work to do, and it honestly makes me jealous that he gets to take prescribed speed every day (I don't mean to be crass or belittle anyone who does need these medications, I'm just being honest and feel free to correct me if you find this language inappropriate). I know that this is my issue of MY unresolved drug problem, and it's not his fault, but that doesn't make it any easier.

We had/have a great relationship and now this is eating at me every day. I'm constantly thinking about it. He was perfectly functional before, and while he's certainly more productive now, it's at the detriment of our relationship, as I find myself avoiding him when I can tell he's taken the drug. I feel like we aren't on the same team anymore.

I've talked to him about it many times, and he says the drug is benefiting his life very much and he doesn't want to stop taking it.

I just don't know what to do. I want to support him in being more productive, but I feel that drugs for this disorder are overprescribed. He tells me he thinks he's always had undiagnosed ADD, and not to judge how other people feel inside (which is a fair response). He's supportive and listens to me each and every time I express my grievances, but doesn't have any interest in stopping his trajectory.

I dont know what the compromise is. Sometimes I think Im just being selfish, but the idea of him becoming beholden to this drug drives me crazy.

Kind of an unusual situation I guess. Love to hear any insights.

-Kacey

sarahsweets
07-05-17, 06:45 AM
But, a year ago, he decided he was having symptoms of ADD, procrastinating, not being able to hold a thought, other vague symptoms of general disinterest in doing menial tasks, etc. (it should be noted that he also smokes a fair amount of pot). His cousin has been on ADD meds for a long time, and he tried them and they "helped". He made an appointment to see his cousin's doctor (in a different city about 1.5 hours from where we live, oddly), and came home with his very own prescription for Adderall, 20mg twice a day, (first he was on 70 mg Vivanse, but that was very expensive and we lost our insurance).
He sees that doctor every 3 months for a checkup, and to ascertain how the meds are working.
What do you mean he decided he was having symptoms of adhd? Adhd must have been present by age 12 and significantly impair your life in 2 or more ways and in 6 or more areas of your life to be considered adhd. Symptoms do not suddenly develop with in a year as an adult. If thats the case with him, I too would wonder.
And smoking pot will make you feel slower, less focuses and a bit too "chill" so if he is using the adderall so he can continue to smoke pot its for the wrong reasons.

From the very beginning I expressed concern about this. I don't believe people should medicate for this disorder unless it is very obviously negatively effecting their lives. I told him if he wanted to get some meds for occasional use on big days, ok, but I don't see that he has a problem that necessitates daily medication.
Adhd is something you have all the time, everyday. How something negatively affects someone is subjective. People might say to me:" you dont work, you are a housewife, how could adhd be a problem for you?"
They wouldnt know how difficult my life is because its an invisible disorder. They might see me remembering to grocery shop and take my kids places-but never see the days where I forget to do those things, drive like a hazard or forget appointments. So trying to gauge who should take medication is better left up to a doctor. Approving of meds for occasional use IMO, is like saying your adhd is only a problem sometimes. You do not medicate things that occur occasionally imo.

He says he doesn't take it every day, and not the full dose every day, and that may be true, but I'm pretty sure he takes it almost daily regardless. On days he doesn't take it, he naps a lot.

If he abuses his meds, fatigue can be an issue when you do not take them.

The problem is, I don't like who he is when he is taking the meds. On a full dose he gets manic, hyper-focused, racing around the house doing all sorts of little projects, or working at his construction business 12 hour days and not stopping for lunch.

You should not feel manic like that on stimulants. Thats a sign that your dose is too high or you are abusing it. It sort of hums in the backroom and nudges you forward. It doesnt turn you into superman. Expecting to be superman means you want a performance enhancer, not to treat your adhd.

An additional issue is that I have had problems with drug addiction in the past, and It's very hard for me to have stimulants in the house and not have a desire to take them. Sometimes I do take one of his pills when I have a lot of work to do, and it honestly makes me jealous that he gets to take prescribed speed every day (I don't mean to be crass or belittle anyone who does need these medications, I'm just being honest and feel free to correct me if you find this language inappropriate). I know that this is my issue of MY unresolved drug problem, and it's not his fault, but that doesn't make it any easier.
Its not legal speed. Speed is synthetic and made in someone's garage and its full of household chemicals. Clinical doses of stimulants are nowhere near what speed is and this type of thinking is something we battle daily. People who want better grades or to perform better think its legal speed.
And I know you know you shouldnt take his meds so I wont harp on that one. I get it about the drugs. I am an alcoholic and I CANT HAVE alcohol in my house within my sight. My husband has an expensive bottle of scotch that he drinks OCCASIONALLY and he keeps it locked up somewhere in his shed. As long as I do not know where it is, I do not go looking for it. If he really needs adhd treatment you need to get a small lock box and give him the key so you do not take his medication.

We had/have a great relationship and now this is eating at me every day. I'm constantly thinking about it. He was perfectly functional before, and while he's certainly more productive now, it's at the detriment of our relationship, as I find myself avoiding him when I can tell he's taken the drug. I feel like we aren't on the same team anymore.

Are you constantly thinking about his medication or constantly thinking about his condition? If you are constantly thinking about his medication then it should definitely be locked up. Noticing a significant negative personality changes is a sign of the meds not working well.

I've talked to him about it many times, and he says the drug is benefiting his life very much and he doesn't want to stop taking it.
I just don't know what to do. I want to support him in being more productive, but I feel that drugs for this disorder are overprescribed. He tells me he thinks he's always had undiagnosed ADD, and not to judge how other people feel inside (which is a fair response). He's supportive and listens to me each and every time I express my grievances, but doesn't have any interest in stopping his trajectory.

I would say the drugs are abused and not overprescribed. Maybe in the 90's they were overprescribed but if you do a little reading here you will see that many people struggle with finding a doctor compentent and willing to prescribe them stimulants. If he has found a doctor that willing, with no real evaluation or follow up then he might have found an unethical doctor. That is for him to say though. What makes him think he has had undiagnosed adhd?

I dont know what the compromise is. Sometimes I think Im just being selfish, but the idea of him becoming beholden to this drug drives me crazy.

If he has adhd and the associated impairments then he will not be being 'beholden' he will be receiving the treatment he deserves. If thats the case would it still drive you crazy? or does it drive you crazy because you know the real story?

Kacy-kudos to you for coming here and sharing. I admire that. "to thine own self be true" is something I try to live by. Only he knows what he is up to. But it is fair to say that you have a right to discuss it with him if you see signs of abuse, misuse or drug seeking behavior. You say he went to the same doctor as the cousin and came home with meds? That does sound like a red flag. One important thing to remember is that how someone feels on stimulants is not indicative of whether or not they have adhd. They are abused by people all the time because of the euphoria or pep they give. The way they work for adhd people is not the same.
From one alcoholic to another addict- have him lock them up if he needs them. The widest path to relapse is looking at them everyday.

someothertime
07-05-17, 08:26 AM
i also admire you for speaking your experience.

i suppose at the end of the day.... it comes down to your everyday experience of each other......

if he is happy medicated ( without l'erb )...... and not happy without it you may ultimately be faced with a decision. to accept him as he is or to not.....

navigating the intricacies of his treatment with him is frought with peril.... but could also with some minimal input help to steer him to better efficacy..... if that's something he want's......

hoping things slow down for you both from time to time so you can share some good from each other........

when i was like him.... i probably would not be very happy with your thoughts until i fell down on my own....

kilted_scotsman
07-06-17, 06:15 AM
If he was/is on pot then lack of focus, procrastination etc cannot be thought of as symptoms of ADD until the pot is well and truly out of the system and the brain re-adjusted to the new environment, which takes a long time.

It's likely what you are seeing is seeking stimulants to combat the effects of pot, which was taken to reduce anxiety possibly caused by some deeper issue. Maybe he does have ADD, maybe he doesn't, but it sounds like neither you, nor his Dr are going to be able to have a rational discussion about it until he grows up and becomes more self-aware.

You say that you have had addiction problems in the past. If there is a risk of you relapsing, then you need to take a long hard look at the relationship.

If you don't have kids then you are in a good place where you can put the quick marriage down to experience and move on if your partner doesn't wise up.

itskc2u
07-06-17, 10:20 AM
Thanks for your thoughtful replies. Sorry, I dont know how to reply to specific quotes here, but to try to elaborate, I think his home life when he was a kid was such that nothing short of a severe problem would have been diagnosed by age 12. He says he was always getting in trouble for daydreaming in school.

We did talk again the other night, which answered some of my questions, but didnt make me any more confidant in his need for the meds. It just feels weird because as far as I could tell there were no symptoms of ADD before he started meds. He had the same symptoms of procrastination and lack of enthusiasm for boring tasks as I do, and I do not consider myself ADD, its just some things are boring, live with it. But you're right, I cant tell what's going on in his head, and maybe he's just found ways to cope up until now.

He says his doctor gave him a questionnaire that took about an hour to fill out, and then they talked for another hour and a half to come to the diagnosis. Is that normal? Also his starting dose of medication was 70 mg vivanse, which is the highest recommended dose for adults (now 40 mg adderall). I know you all probably can only speak from your own experience, but for a 6ft 160 lb guy that sounds like a lot to start out.... wouldn't you start low and increase as needed? (Come to think of it, now I'm miffed at this doctor also).

Sorry about the legal speed comment. I knew that would be ill received and it's not accurate. I just knew a lot of people in college who treated it like that.

I'm constantly thinking pretty much along the lines of what you said Sarah, that he likes the performance enhancing aspects of the drug, which makes me simultaneously jealous (my problem, not his), and kind of have less respect for him for immediately jumping at drugs as a solution. If I knew that he needed it, or couldn't function normally without it, I wouldn't feel this way.

He's awesome in most other regards, so I wouldn't think of leaving or ending the relationship. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

Thanks again for your input.

ToneTone
07-06-17, 08:03 PM
Starting with the 70mg of Vyvanse--way out of whack. Makes me wonder about the competence and judgement of the doctor.

The typical protocol is to start at a low dose ... the recommended starting dose for Vyvanse is 30mg ... Doctors want to see how the med affects us ... let our bodies get used to it ... and only go up as necessary ... while aggressively monitoring side effects.

Lots of untreated people with brain and mental illness conditions do self-medicate. In my family with multiple people with ADHD we tend to overeat, smoke, drink alcohol, drink lots of coffee.

Pot isn't good for working memory ... as I understand things ... and weak working memory is a huge component of ADHD. But your partner should get a full diagnosis ... to check for anxiety and depression and other conditions.

So I think your instincts are sound in thinking that the starting dosage was way off ...

On the issue of symptoms ... you're saying he doesn't seem to have problems finishing tasks, accomplishing tasks, meeting deadlines, keeping reasonable order in his life, getting to places on time ... making and remembering appointments ... Some of us also have problems being really present in a relationship while doing the everyday business of our lives. Relationships require a lot of focus and attention control, as strange as that sounds.

Definitely talk to him about your own drug concerns. It is totally appropriate--even mandatory--that he respect your struggles and make sure the meds are out of reach from you. For sure!

Tone

CharlesH
07-08-17, 02:45 AM
He says his doctor gave him a questionnaire that took about an hour to fill out, and then they talked for another hour and a half to come to the diagnosis. Is that normal? Also his starting dose of medication was 70 mg vivanse, which is the highest recommended dose for adults (now 40 mg adderall). I know you all probably can only speak from your own experience, but for a 6ft 160 lb guy that sounds like a lot to start out.... wouldn't you start low and increase as needed? (Come to think of it, now I'm miffed at this doctor also).


I'm not a medical professional, but based on my personal experience with ADHD treatment, it normally would be pretty unusual for a doctor to start out treatment at 70 mg Vyvanse for someone who is new to stimulants. You mentioned that your husband had tried a friend's stimulants before seeking medical treatment. Did your husband mention this to the doctor?

sarahsweets
07-08-17, 07:16 AM
It is very odd he started off that high, it makes me wonder what kind of doctor he is seeing and if the doctor even cares about how he would react to stimulants.

Unmanagable
07-08-17, 10:27 AM
One of the psychiatrists I first saw started me off at the 70 mg dose of vyvanse, along with an anti-depressant and several supplements. I thought I was gonna have to scrape my a** off the ceiling the first time I took it. Then he suggested I open the capsules and divide them up myself into smaller doses. Needless to say, I ended that "therapeutic relationship".

Pilgrim
07-08-17, 02:33 PM
Dose seems pretty high.

I think the method used by the dr is fairly standard to how a diagnosis is made.

I'm a believer that people who use a lot of soft drugs are normally self medicating in some way. In regards to his behaviour I think his dose may be to high. When ever your hyperfocusing your dose is to high unless the meds are wearing off. Sometimes trying to put the pieces together of a partly unfulfilled life make you unreasonable and difficult at times. I think it's important that you find common ground in regards to his behaviour but remember nothing fixes this common problem like meds.

I'm pro meds cause they work really well. It's interesting that you covet his meds this could be a deeper issue at work.

sarahsweets
07-08-17, 04:09 PM
I completely forgot to address the issue about the pot. He is incapable of evaluating his response to medication and whether or not it works because he is operating under the influence. It doesnt matter if he says he's fine, it doesnt affect him or impair him, the facts are, if he is using weed he cant possibly gauge his response to meds appropriately.

itskc2u
07-08-17, 09:30 PM
Thanks for the follow up everyone. He doesn't smoke *that* much pot I guess. When he has it, he will smoke it several times a day, but he goes weeks without smoking it also.

This has been informative. I'll talk to him about maybe getting his dose reduced. I'm convinced that his doctor is pretty loose with the meds at this point, but I also have to think about how much of my feelings are really not wanting him to medicate, vs. me having unresolved issues with drugs in general. I'm sure all you ADD-ers know that your meds have a high potential for abuse in non-add people, and I had many many friends who used them recreationally (myself included) whenever we could get them... so I see them as something other than just therapeutic. While I dont think my husband is a drug seeker in that regard (he said he tried cocaine once in the 90's and hated it), I do think that he was very easily prescribed a high dose of meds, and now that he sees the performance enhancing aspect of it, he doesn't want to give it up. Ces't la Vie I suppose~

aeon
07-09-17, 12:08 AM
A 70mg dose of Vyvanse is certainly not typical for a starting dose, but I don't consider that a high dose by any means because of how little dextroamphetamine Vyvanse has per milligram.

That's equivalent to taking 28mg of Dexedrine.

If I took Vyvanse, I'd have to take 150mg-180mg/day to achieve the efficacy that Dexedrine provides me.

Also, consider that a move from 70mg Vyvanse to 40mg Adderall is actually a dose reduction, if a slight one, if we consider the actual active ingredient, dextroamphetamine.


Cheers,
Ian

anonymouslyadd
07-09-17, 01:29 AM
I just don't know what to do. I want to support him in being more productive, but I feel that drugs for this disorder are overprescribed. He tells me he thinks he's always had undiagnosed ADD, and not to judge how other people feel inside (which is a fair response). He's supportive and listens to me each and every time I express my grievances, but doesn't have any interest in stopping his trajectory.

I dont know what the compromise is. Sometimes I think Im just being selfish, but the idea of him becoming beholden to this drug drives me crazy.

Kind of an unusual situation I guess. Love to hear any insights.

-Kacey
This is a little more complex than I first thought.

I think you're probably an enlightened person, and I feel like you being here shows your good intentions.

I think that there are three parts to this issue and understanding them is necessary in order to get a better handle of this situation. I've turned those parts into three questions below:


How much of this is your belief that drugs are overprescribed for ADD?
How much of this has to do with the change of his behavior?
How much of this has to do with your past addiction with drugs?


This is a very difficult situation for you and may be hard to sort out. The more open you are to understanding and accepting how you feel, the better off you'll be.

With ADD, you spend a good deal of your life feeling unproductive, lazy, etc. Working those 12 hour days may make him feel good. That will be a difficult thing for him to deny himself.

JennEats
08-28-17, 12:56 AM
One of the psychiatrists I first saw started me off at the 70 mg dose of vyvanse, along with an anti-depressant and several supplements. I thought I was gonna have to scrape my a** off the ceiling the first time I took it. Then he suggested I open the capsules and divide them up myself into smaller doses. Needless to say, I ended that "therapeutic relationship".

Huh. My husbands doc tells him to open his capsules and change up his dose as needed. We've had many uncomfortable conversations about the little balls of adderrall (which is insanely expensive here and not covered) I find in the vehicles, laundry, counters. My gut said this is not ok, but he's new to all this (one year) and I didn't want to be too unsupportive.

sarahsweets
08-29-17, 04:24 AM
Huh. My husbands doc tells him to open his capsules and change up his dose as needed. We've had many uncomfortable conversations about the little balls of adderrall (which is insanely expensive here and not covered) I find in the vehicles, laundry, counters. My gut said this is not ok, but he's new to all this (one year) and I didn't want to be too unsupportive.

Opening up the capsule and dividing up a dose is against manufacturer guidelines. Unless you are a chemist you do not know how much you would be getting and which beads did what.

itskc2u
08-29-17, 09:20 AM
Huh. My husbands doc tells him to open his capsules and change up his dose as needed. We've had many uncomfortable conversations about the little balls of adderrall (which is insanely expensive here and not covered) I find in the vehicles, laundry, counters. My gut said this is not ok, but he's new to all this (one year) and I didn't want to be too unsupportive.

My husband's doctor told him that too (or at least he was doing that for a while), now hes on 40mg adderall, but he usually breaks those up and doesn't take quite the whole dose, and his doctor is fine with that.

Also, just to update this thread, I've been told by another friend that this is my problem, and I should figure out my own relationship with drugs and not worry about what my husband is taking. Behaviorally he seems to have stabilized, gotten used to the meds I guess, so that is helpful.

I still hate that he takes it, but I've decided to keep my mouth shut for the time being.

ToneTone
08-30-17, 01:54 PM
I disagree a bit with your friend. A spouse's medical treatment (especially if there is controlled medication involved) is something their partner would do well to keep an eye on ... or at least to not completely blind themselves to.

Doesn't sound like you've crossed the line and gone too far. You have asked questions and expressed your concerns. That's fine.

Tone

sarahsweets
08-31-17, 05:05 AM
Is this other friend your friend, your husband's friend or both you and your husband's friend? It makes a difference when you know where the other person is coming from.

itskc2u
09-01-17, 10:51 AM
It's my friend, but he knows my husband also. We have been friends for 15 years, he knows me pretty well, and I trust him as much as anyone. He's been after me to go to meetings or therapy for ages. I've always poo-pooed it, but maybe he's right...

sarahsweets
09-02-17, 06:34 AM
The reason I asked was because sometimes the friend of a spouse will be more likely to give advice that falls more on the spouses "side". It is your business though.