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Non-ADD Partner Support This is a support forum for non-ADD partners, spouses, and significant others offering feedback from both the ADD and non-ADD perspectives

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  #1  
Old 11-23-17, 02:34 PM
NCPirate NCPirate is offline
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Help Please

Hey everyone, I just found this forum after about 6 months of dating someone with ADHD. Before my current relationship I knew very little to nothing about ADHD. My understanding of it was that it made you hyper and it made it hard for you to concentrate.

The first month or so of our relationship was great. After that we slowly started having more and more arguments. At first the arguments were mild but as time went on they became more and more severe. It seemed like there were times when I could do no right. Everything I did set her off. And I mean complete melt down. Arguing, screaming, trying to fight me.

I initially thought that she was bi-polar but recently she has revealed to me that she has ADHD. Since then I have started doing research and am completely blown away by all of the side effects.

She is also an alcoholic which I am sure complicates things even more.

Is there any hope to having a halfway normal relationship? I really love her and when things are great they are great but when things are bad they are horrible.

She shuts down a lot. Like we will have several days to a couple of weeks where everything is great then we will either have a fight or she will just shut down and need space an stop communication.

She always thinks someone else is at fault for the issues that she has in her life. She has these problems with her mom and sister as well but to other people she hides her condition very well.
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  #2  
Old 11-23-17, 03:49 PM
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Re: Help Please

Welcome to the forum!

ADHD is very misunderstood in the general public. Before I was diagnosed, like you I thought it was only about being hyper and trouble focusing. I had no idea that most of my issues all stemmed from being undiagnosed and untreated until age 45.


There is so much more to it as you discovered through your research. Kudos to you for taking the time and making the effort. She must be very special to you.

Is she currently being treated for her ADHD?
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Old 11-23-17, 03:53 PM
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Re: Help Please

She told me that she use to see a doctor several years ago and use to take Adderall. That doctor moved away and she went years without treatment. She just started seeing a new doctor and was put back on Adderall. She has only had a couple of appointments that I know of (one of them was for testing).

What kind of treatments are helpful for adults?

I would say our biggest problems in the relationship are
1. her drinking
2. her anger issues
3. she is always suspicious and thinks everyone is judging her or is out to get her
4. she cant let go of the past. she always compares me to her abusive ex and expects me to be just like him
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Old 11-23-17, 04:11 PM
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Re: Help Please

Sounds like she could also be traumatised by her ex?
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Old 11-23-17, 04:22 PM
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Re: Help Please

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Originally Posted by NCPirate View Post
She told me that she use to see a doctor several years ago and use to take Adderall. That doctor moved away and she went years without treatment. She just started seeing a new doctor and was put back on Adderall. She has only had a couple of appointments that I know of (one of them was for testing).

What kind of treatments are helpful for adults?

I would say our biggest problems in the relationship are
1. her drinking
2. her anger issues
3. she is always suspicious and thinks everyone is judging her or is out to get her
4. she cant let go of the past. she always compares me to her abusive ex and expects me to be just like him
Several things are helpful in treating adult ADHD. Medication, CBT, mindfulness along with treating other co-morbid conditions.

It sounds like she really needs help with her alcoholism. It will be difficult to determine what issues are alcohol related or induced vs ADHD until she gets sober.
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Old 11-23-17, 04:35 PM
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Re: Help Please

There are other issues from her past and childhood that play factor into all of this too. I want to stick it out with her because she is a great person and I really do love her, but at the same time I am tired of being treated the way that I am being treated too.
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Old 11-23-17, 04:36 PM
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Re: Help Please

How much does ADHD play a factor in to peoples anger and mood swings. I have read several sights that say that some people with ADHD have a hard time controlling their emotions and it can cause extreme anxiety and anger issues. Yet when I read on here a lot of people say that it doesn't. I know that ADHD effects each person differently but in general how does ADHD impact this?
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Old 11-23-17, 05:18 PM
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Re: Help Please

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Originally Posted by NCPirate View Post
How much does ADHD play a factor in to peoples anger and mood swings. I have read several sights that say that some people with ADHD have a hard time controlling their emotions and it can cause extreme anxiety and anger issues. Yet when I read on here a lot of people say that it doesn't. I know that ADHD effects each person differently but in general how does ADHD impact this?
ADHD can definitely cause great difficulty in controlling our emotions. The alcohol can also cause or contribute to emotional issues. That's what really complicates things.

Here is some good info on ADHD and emotional dysregulation.
https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi....2013.13070966
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Old 11-23-17, 07:24 PM
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Re: Help Please

One other thing that I forgot to mention. Most every article I read list disorganization as one of the most common side effects. The weird thing is my girlfriend is OCD over being organized. She literally organizes the spices in her kitchen in alphabetical order.
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Old 11-24-17, 06:20 AM
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Re: Help Please

The alcohol is what make me concerned. She cant deal with the adhd until she gets the alcohol under control because alcohol trumps all other disorders. Does she want to stop drinking? Its a serious question because some people are afraid to or dont really want to. Can you live with an unpredictable alcoholic? I promise you that untreated alcoholism is worse than untreated adhd.
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  #11  
Old 11-24-17, 08:26 AM
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Re: Help Please

I'm with Sarah on this.... the alcohol has to be brought under control before progress can be made on other issues that may be ADHD related.

Addictive behaviours and relational trauma (sometimes called Complex PTSD /C-PTSD) go hand in hand with ADHD, so it's not uncommon to find the cluster of behaviours you describe in ADDers.

Unfortunately the alcohol acts as a heightener for the ADHD behaviours..... and protection against past psychological pain..... so it needs a lot of strength and support to overcome.

One thing to understand is that you are almost certainly in what some psychologists call a "Game" .... a process where you are BOTH locked into a subconscious process.

This means that one thing YOU can do is go into therapy to find out WHY you are attracted to someone who is potentially so toxic to you. The person you are "in love" with is not the alcoholic aggressive, suspicious person who lives in the past....... you are actually in love with a fantasy you have of what she might be in the future.....

It's important to be able to walk away.... the trope of being in relationship with someone to change them is old and toxic..... you can support someone to change, but if you push them to change, you are trying to make them what you want..... which is abusive in a different way.

In short.... the alcohol trumps all else..... if she can get dry, it's a sign she really wants to change. Once she's off the alcohol, therapy can move on to the anger issues and suspicion that all partners are abusive.
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Old 11-24-17, 08:46 AM
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Re: Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCPirate View Post
She shuts down a lot. Like we will have several days to a couple of weeks where everything is great then we will either have a fight or she will just shut down and need space an stop communication.

She always thinks someone else is at fault for the issues that she has in her life. She has these problems with her mom and sister as well but to other people she hides her condition very well.
While this could be ADHD alone, combined with alcohol use, i somehow get the vibe that there may be another comorbid condition at play here... AD(H)D can ofcourse cause inattention and mood swings, but have you ever read about borderline personality disorder?
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Old 11-24-17, 01:16 PM
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Re: Help Please

Being an alcoholic doesn't "complicate things." It makes a relationship utterly impossible.

Condition or no condition, one should never assume a person's unhappy treatment of us in a relationship is anything other than a person's unhappy treatment of us in a relationship.

People choose partners differently after they go through recovery and get aggressively treated for their conditions. I can look back and see that my ADHD interfered with relationships with various women ... and the truth is ... after treatment of lots of therapy ... Not one of those people is someone I would choose to be with now.

When I was untreated, I unconsciously gravitated towards people who would put up with those issues, more than I gravitated towards people I really wanted to be with.

Once I got healthier, I began to want to be with people who were more confident, who really were working their own lives!

Bottom: the relationship should feel good NOW ... and you want to feel fully attended to NOW ... You NEVER want to assume that a person will change ... and two ... never assume that if there's a change, that change keeps you in the picture.

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Old 11-25-17, 07:58 AM
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Re: Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCPirate View Post
Everything I did set her off. And I mean complete melt down. Arguing, screaming, trying to fight me.
This is not good. ADHD can be a reason for some of this but wanting to fight and resorting to physical violence is not an adhd symptom.

Quote:
I initially thought that she was bi-polar but recently she has revealed to me that she has ADHD. Since then I have started doing research and am completely blown away by all of the side effects.
Does her doctor think bipolar is an option?
Quote:
She is also an alcoholic which I am sure complicates things even more.
Is she sober? what is she doing to maintain her sobriety. ADHD people are prone to substance abuse disorders.
Quote:
Is there any hope to having a halfway normal relationship? I really love her and when things are great they are great but when things are bad they are horrible.
Thats how it can be with improperly treated adhd, bipolar or alcoholism. Only she can change. you are responsible for how you react to her and how much you can put up with.



Quote:
She always thinks someone else is at fault for the issues that she has in her life. She has these problems with her mom and sister as well but to other people she hides her condition very well.
Blame is a way of avoiding looking at yourself and avoiding making changes.
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Old 11-27-17, 07:22 PM
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Re: Help Please

Welcome NCPirate, I can relate to wanting to help your SO, it would be so much easier to walk away if the relationship was all bad...but life is never black and white. You have to decide if its worth it to stay with someone who cant or wont treat you well consistently. Life it too short to be on a constant roller coaster...its mentally exhausting, makes one sick, mentally, physically and emotionally. I would rather be alone than to be treated like garbage, even it was only half of the time, or a third of the time...
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