@WarmMuddle: Thanks for sharing your concerns. I felt like “the only one” with something like this going on. I see I haven’t been alone now. Thank you so much.
I hate to ask this. I really really do. And please don’t feel you need to answer the question here, in a forum.
Was your husband doing the cocaine too? I’m asking because…that can actually have some physiological effects on the brain, and lead to issues with dopamine and reward center problems. Cocaine use remodels the brain. Literally. It changes how the reward center works. If he found himself using the cocaine to cope with the boss–or to fit in–and all that stopped abruptly, part of the downer phase could be the brain itself not sure how to cope with an unintentional self-medication that left your husband’s brain changed in some fundamental way.
For my spouse, after he was fired by his former supervisor who honestly doesn’t sound too much different than yours (minus the cocaine), the biggest issue has been the shame of being fired after being Superman at the job. I’ve been working on trying to build his self-esteem back up with him. He comes home and talks darkly about his new job some days, feeling like his best isn’t good enough. I remind him of how many people he’s helping at his help desk job. It’s been slow, but he’s having a better and better time of things. He’s even been cheerier and more optimistic, but it’s taken almost two and a half years of this.
Does your spouse have a regular physician they see for the ADHD? If so, it might be time to discuss any depression and/or former illegal substance abuse with them. There are medications which work on different pathways than Ritalin or Concerta, which maybe can help if the reward centers have been messed with.
Me, I’m still trying to get my spouse to find a forum like this for mutual support AND to go in to counseling to learn coping skills. I’m willing of course to go with, but I need it to be something he feels comfortable with and wants to do…otherwise we’ll get nowhere fast.