Reply To: Empath wife ADHD husband

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Does he take adderall? If so, long or short acting? I crash if I use the short acting, but the long acting (XR = extended release) seems to taper off. For me, too high a dose causes unneeded extra confidence and my opinion can come across as if it is a commandment. If that sounds familiar, he could be taking too much. It’s weight related – I weigh 180 and take 15mg.

Regarding your query: “would you mind sharing how you realized ADHD symptoms had an effect on your marriage/ spouse? And if you ever was in denial about it, what helped to realize the reality?” Yes, I am happy to openly share whatever I can if it might help. If you or others have follow up questions – I’ll do my best to answer them.

I have always been fairly successful in life and definitely had many years of denial that I had anything other than a lot of stress that I was dealing with. I also had a cycle of ‘self-medication’ that started the day with a 20-oz coffee and finished fairly often with alcohol, gambling (adrenaline rushes) and occasionally with recreational drugs. I have always been self aware, but these cycles are self-perpetuating, including their impact on diet, exercise and sleep. They are hard as hell to break free of and unsurprisingly coincided with professional issues.

My wife became a psychologist during our 16-year marriage, and as an intern she was speaking to a psychiatrist about ADD and it became clear to her that I had many of the same symptoms/behaviors. She had reached a point where she said to me, “I love you, and if you want to keep acting the way you do, I’m not going to stop you – but I won’t be a part of it anymore.” The Psychiatrist is a $500/hr doctor that offered me a free consult, which I was open to because I was tired of my own self-medicating patterns and roller coaster success; I also loved my wife. He suggested I try adderall and after a while I was able to dial in the right amount and feel ‘normal’, maybe for the first time. Again – the biggest impact was the ‘patience in a pill’ aspect, but I also found that my top priority items were no longer inconsistent and my impulsive stops at casinos or bars were not important to me. Going home and being a decent husband became the choice I made more often and it saved our marriage. My professional success also increased, so now I’m a big advocate of getting appropriate treatment.