Do meds work? At my wits end

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    • #140002


      Like many others, this has been a very awakening and much needed source for me this past week, trudging through all of the forum topics.
      My partner has suspected undiagnosed ADHD, however after reading many discussions on here from ADHDers and non alike, it’s very likely he has an accompanying personality disorder. We have been together for almost 3.5 years and it was after 6 months that initially thought he may have a personality disorder.

      I am experiencing verbal, mental and physical abuse, and rejection dysphoria. (I have noticed someone here referred to it by this term)
      He has taken it to a new level with outbursts every single day and the aggression is provoked by any minor issues now.
      He regularly goes between acceptance and desire for professional care, to in complete denial and if anything, accusing me of having “issues”. It is not unlikely for him to be honest with me and to explain how he cannot quieten his mind, how much he is struggling, how depressed he is or how distracted he gets.

      He has had a somewhat awakening after an incident recently, but of course that has passed. I do not know how much more it will take for A. Him to schedule a dr apt and be HONEST (we have moved and had to register with a new surgery) and B. Him to receive an appointment with a specialist as referrals can be months on end.

      We cannot afford private care although I have offered ways to stretch myself. It is truly awful to see how much pain he is in.
      However, now I am a complete shell of myself. I have anxiety, I don’t sleep, I’m walking on eggshells around him and I can almost feel an outburst brewing if we manage to have a rare, good day. My confidence has completely left me and I’m feeling a bit isolated. It’s clear my friends are keeping a distance now. I am endlessly questioning my worth and utterly confused why I am not enough and always an issue. Things like offering a cup of tea or offering to keep the heating on after bed time seem to be a problem. His family are also utterly dismissive of any emotions from anyone, and truly do give him a hard time, they cannot see he has something at play here and are relentless with him. It’s very clear his mother carries genes here in this dept. and home videos can show he DEFINITELY had ADHD as a child.

      I am a strong minded person but I’ve found myself in this situation, and desperate to help someone I care about so deeply. He is pure magic when he is not feeling the lows of his health, and we go together like two jigsaw pieces. From reading many discussions, it is best for me to leave, and to try to take care of myself. That reality is in very close proximity.

      But what I really want to know – is do meds work?
      There were many spouses on here discussing their hardships with long time diagnosed and long time medicated partners – with no means to an end with their struggles.
      Can meds help?
      I know they can work efficiently in partnership with therapy, and no one without the other in many cases. But how much can meds do? My partner is not going to find the strength or time to do therapy as he is a Masters student. I realise he has to be willing on his own accord, and be responsible for his health.
      I am curious about how successful meds can be. I am also becoming aware that his resistance to be seen by a professional is due to a fear that he cannot be helped with medication or therapy, and would therefore be completely untreatable. He ultimately sees mental health and issues surrounding that, as something that makes you less of a person. Except of course if anything it makes you so undeniably human and also a very, very strong person. I am at my wits end and have had to stay with my parents for fear of the violence that is surrounding our home.

    • #140029


      Unfortunately, I am not sure meds will help in this case. For me, medication just barely makes it so that I can work and listen to half of someone’s conversation (versus the 10% that I used to be able to listen to). I thought medication would fix a lot more, but therapy helps the most.

      Good luck to you. Someone else may have more tips or advice. Please be safe. I empathize with the abuse you are suffering from, and I don’t think anyone should have to tolerate that.

      • #141495

        Thank you both for your insight.
        Things have dramatically worsened and I’m not sure what is really going on anymore.
        It is possible he is tired of his own behaviour. He used to seem so deeply apologetic before. Nowadays he will act like nothing has happened and continue to behave this way.
        He has declared a refusal to get help until summer due to his uni course. I don’t think that’s a time frame I can deal with.


      • #141514

        I’m sorry to hear that. If he is abusing you, perhaps some time apart would give him some clarity. It does not sound like a physically or mentally safe place for you to be with him right now. I empathize with you 100%, having been there myself many years ago. I wish I had better advice for you, but I hope things work out in the end. For now, please prioritize your physical and mental safety.

    • #140050
      Penny Williams

      Medication helps approximately 80% of those with ADHD. When it helps, it can help tremendously. The key is adjusting repeatedly until you get just the right medication and dosage. Many people fall short in that phase and give up too early.

      ADHD Medications Rarely Work Perfectly on the First Try

      That’s stimulants for ADHD. If you think there’s something else at play, then that may require a different medication, like an SSRI or SNRI for depression or anxiety, for example.

      The first step is a thorough evaluation looking at all struggles and all possible diagnoses, not just ADHD. Then you’ll have a clear picture of what treatments may help.

      Who Should Evaluate Me for Adult ADHD?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #141930

      Medication may or may not help. He needs to consult a professional. That said, his having ADHD is no excuse for verbal and emotional abuse. If you continue subjecting yourself to his behavior, you will completely lose yourself and your mind.
      Take it from someone who knows.
      I was married to a narcissistic manipulative and abusive man. We were married for 17 years.
      He did not have ADHD.
      I ended up a shadow of my former self walking on eggshells daily afraid to set him off. No way to live. And I was afraid that our children would be affected by it. He alienated me from my family, so I had no support. I would urge you to speak with someone as well. A counselor… About what you were going through. Your mental and physical well-being are important.
      I’m engaged to a man with ADHD. We have been together going on 5 years now. He’s not abusive to me in any way emotionally verbally, none of it. ADHD does not mean the person is going to be abusive. There may be something else going on here. He might have a comorbid condition.
      And because you mentioned that he will not get help until summer. I don’t think you can wait until then and I don’t think you should you need to leave. At least for now.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by AdeleS546.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by AdeleS546.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by AdeleS546.
      • #142068

        Thank you for your comment.

        I appreciate your insight and unfortunately it echoes a lot of many others’ experiences here. ADHD should not manifest or cause abusive behaviour in any format.
        My partner has recently got even worse, to the point I have had his parents involved and even “save” me from a very hostile and uncontrollable situation. They now truly see what is happening and are eyes wide open to my situation and how it has been for years.

        So indeed, you’re right, his reluctancy to get help mixed in with his behaviour getting even worse somehow – means I’ll have to find strength to leave. One of the hardest things I’ll have to do.

    • #142045

      Hi there,

      Do meds work? Not always is the nutshell answer.

      For me, meds changed my life. My wife and I have been together for over 10 years and we have two children. I was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety and MDD (major depressive disorder about 4 and a half years ago. In the beginning of our relationship, we were just finishing up college and didn’t have many worries/responsibilities so other than a couple squabbles, we were fine. Then we got married and decided to have children. I’ll be honest, things were rough when my son was born. I often forgot to do things, i would completely not think of important things that were going on, i’d get over frustrated and angry and stupid little things. It wasn’t until just before my daughter was born that my wife told me something needed to be done because I wasn’t acting like a father and husband. I was basically another child in the house my wife had to keep track of. I started looking into things on my own and realized i may have ADHD. I researched as much as i could, took online quizzes and everything was pointing to ADHD. I always thought it was a “hyper” thing (the H) but that is not always the case. I have Inattentive ADHD and at first glance, i seem fine, I in actuality had a chemcial inbalance in my brain and it was effecting my life. I talked to my doctor and he prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin) and a depression med (forgot what it was, i don’t take it anymore). For me it was like night and day. The following day i took my meds and went to work. I was so much happier, i was able to focus and got so much work done that i was falling behind on. That night after work i went home and was telling my wife how great the day was and i almost started crying. I was thinking back to all the times in my life where i was told i was being lazy or where i felt i was stupid because i didn’t do homework or didn’t do well in school. So many times in my life came rushing back at me where i realized i could have gotten through it better if only i was diagnosed when i was a child. It was a lot to take in but over the past 4 and a half years i’ve realized that i was only “depressed” because of how my ADHD was making me feel. I no longer take depression meds but i do also take anxiety meds because i tend to be a little more “angry” at stupid little things for no reason but between my ADHD meds and my anxiety meds, i feel like i can actually live my life. I am happier. I cherish every day with my wife and kids because they have been there with me through this all.

      My son was diagnosed with ADHD about a year and a half ago and because of all i went through, we tried not giving him meds because we didn’t want to push meds on our son. We went so long, struggling with him and just trying to have a conversation with him and getting no where. Finally, just before he started kindergarten we talked to his doctor about meds and she thought it was a good idea to give them a try. Our son is completely different but also still his loveable self. We can actually talk to him and he sees us and listens. Sure he is still a little “much” but it made my wife and i cry seeing the difference in him and how he can actually stay on task and he seems happier now as well. He can love things more now versus being all over the place not being able to focus.

      Do meds work? Maybe not for everyone but they helped give me back my life and love life. I was lucky in that the first ADHD med i took is the one i still take today, because it works but sometimes it can take months of trying different things to get it right. I don’t know your partner, it could be a completely different situation but it does sound like they need some sort of help. You should not have to stretch yourself thin “dealing” with it but it is nice having someone around to have by your side. It is important that you take care of yourself first. Give them an ultimatem. Get help or I leave. If they truly want to be with you, then they should put forth the effort to make that work, mental issues or not. Everyone deserves to be happy and you have to do what you need to do to be happy.

      Sorry for the long winded reply (it happens a lot for me). Hopefully my story helps a little and feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Your friendly neighborhood ADHDude!

      • #142069

        Thanks for sharing your story. It’s interesting to learn different perspectives.

        What stands out to me, is your willingness, at least eventually, to take matters in to your own hands and your strength in finding ways to learn and progress.
        My partner is lacking in this at the moment, if anything, turning it on me and becoming extremely infuriated by me… despite refusing to actually do anything about it and agree to take time off. It makes no sense. He is very up and down. I mentioned above, he has got a lot worse recently and things become more serious – if that’s possible.
        But contrary to how you’ve handled things – he doesn’t really seem to care about what his behaviour means or how it effects those. Thanks for your insight.

    • #142050

      The thing is, is your husband loving and caring, or is he a narcissist? It might be he has bipolar, but it wasn’t clear if he is abusive or just fluctuating in his emotions and frustrated and unable to control himself, and is outbursting and being indirectly abusive. There aren’t enough details here to show if he’s like that with everyone, or what.

      It does seem like you’re at a breaking point, but you need to determine if he really loves you or just acts like he does. If he really does love you, he may not have developed an unconditional love (which sounds like his childhood didn’t help from his parents given the tidbit you shared). If he is a sweet and caring person and good hearted, then he’s probably just overwhelmed. But remember, he has to be willing to help himself. If he keeps saying he is but is lost, then he can’t focus enough or doesn’t know the habits of planning ahead to actually call to find a therapist.

      It boils down to: 1) does he care, 2) does he regret treating you badly, 3) does he want help? If he does, he may need someone to do it for him because us ADHD people aren’t taught how to organize and unless someone shows us those skills, we never learn and put things off foreever.

      Don’t worry about meds here, as they just help focus on what is in front of you. He needs therapy one way or another, but it only will work if he actually cares.

      • #142072

        I am not married to my partner and, at this point, fortunately so for both or sakes.

        Your question is something I have been asking myself ever since I originally posted this – and found others’ posts where many, many people have given their perspective of their situations, and how it has resulted in narcissism and not actually ADHD, or combined…

        He can be loving and caring, and for a while it seemed like inadvertent abuse, but it seems so deliberate now. I do not need to say anything and he can go off on one. I will do something he asks me to, gladly, and he blows up – saying I haven’t done what he asked correctly or that I have messed it up and never listen.
        He is only getting worse. He goes hot and cold very quickly. He has also hurt me deliberately, to which I ignored and tried to move away – he repeated it and said “good i hope it hurts” when I proclaimed that it was sore and to please stop…
        I failed to mention originally, he also has an alcohol addiction.
        And can become extremely violent and volatile in toxic states – I don’t even need to say anything or do anything.

        So not only can I distinguish if he loves me for real or just acts like it, I can’t distinguish whether he means half of the things he says as he may not even be sober.
        I have also found him lying about many encounters, giving false information and putting blame on me. It’s as if he sees red and just cant comprehend that I am not saying anything negative, or shouting, or yelling… It is bizarre.
        He has recently begun to tell me everything is my fault, and that it’s me and my “moods” and my “thick mind” cannot comprehend what is happening in front of us.

        I mention above, he has become much worse and his parents have become involved. He has become unrecognisable and makes me feel unsafe. It’s really difficult to provide that information – there is a lot of emotions surrounding it with fear, embarrassment and confusion. I have confided in a friend today who has directed me to a helpline to speak to, and I’ll be staying with my parents. It is finding the strength and courage to walk away.

      • #142095

        If he is reesorting to violence, then you need to get out ASAP. That’s way different. Like when I was younger in my marriage, I had my moments of neglect but it was not because I wanted to be that way. I never would dream of hitting my wife or being vengeful. This guy seems like Antisocial Personality 100%. If you fell in love really quick, and moved in say in a month, that usually a good surefire way to tell. I can’t say for sure as I don’t know the situation, but look at the signs. Based on the little I have this is abuse through and through. There is NEVER an excuse to hit a woman or kid, ever.

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