Partner using alcohol to self medicate

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  kjsargent 4 months ago.

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  • #164430


    Hi all,
    My 43 year old partner has recently been diagnosed with adhd and possible autism spectrum disorder. We’ve been together 5 years and we generally manage quite well but in certain social stituation he tends to drink too much and at a certain point he just looses the ability to see that he is far more drunk than everyone in the room, yet it’s impossible to communicate this to him at the time. If I do try to point out he needs to slow down or stop he becomes annoyed and genuinely confused as to why I’m concerned.

    Now I understand more about how alcohol affects adhd I can understand why he wants to drink to dull his symptoms. I also understand how the alcohol lowers his already low impulse control, but some of these situations are so upsetting and embarrassing and even though we’ve had frank conversations when he’s sober the situations keep happening. Yesterday he used really offensive curse words at a lunch with my family and younger sister. I was so mortified but my being upset seemed to make him worse and drink more. While he is drunk he makes rash statements like we should break up, sell our house etc if I cant accept him. I’m trying so hard to support him and understand his condition. I love him and we have a good life.He feels he is being victimised in the moment Yet I know today when he wakes up he will be full of self loathing.

    Just to be clear he does not drink everyday and it’s not every social situation it happens, but it’s happened enough it makes me so anxious before an event that he will get out of hand.

    Has anyone else experienced this, he’s not medicated, would that help? I wondered about couples therapy? I don’t want this to be the thing that ends our relationship.

  • #164738


    Hi jane84,

    Sorry you’re about your anxiety. I was involved with someone who’s the same. I do not know if he’s medicated at the moment, I know he was when he was younger. I did not read much about ADD until after we stopped talking. Our interactions weren’t as deeply involved so I’m not the best person to give an opinion but I’m wondering if you have resources you can share about alcohol and adhd…. thanks!

    • #168251


      I do the exact same things, although I have not been diagnosed with ADHD but am diagnosed as bipolar with anxiety, my son’s doctor thinks I may actually be ADHD. If you find an answer to your problem, please, please post. I often feel awful the next day after something like this happens and have even called friends to apologize, till finally they have stopped asking me to go out with them.

    • #168566


      FYI- I just began looking at this website today. I would read the Articles about Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD), in particular, I would read Rejection Sensitivity ADHD Marriage/.

      I would ask him to read this and maybe some of the articles to see if they say what he has trouble articulating. I would present this request as being about your need to understand. These articles may be a way to help him communicate.

      One of the symptoms of ADHD, that I had read somewhere, is the depression caused by the feeling of “failing to reach their potential”.

      The more he knows about himself, the better armed he is. He has to accept who he is before you can accept who he is.

      The real truth appears to be, from what you describe, that he is an alcoholic. And I may be wrong, but I’m sure he is way beyond a social drinker. His ADHD may have contributed to his drinking, but this would have been something that began a long time ago. He is clearly asking you to accept him as he is, an alcoholic, who makes you anxious whenever you are with other people, and says things which make you upset.

      If he can’t control his drinking, then things can only get worse. Treating the ADHD, without getting sober, doesn’t sound too promising to me, but others may feel differently.

  • #165534


    If you think couple therapy can save your relationship then go for it, it is also available online for convenience…
    salute to all the women who’s patience and love beyond measure.

  • #166004

    Penny Williams

    Accepting his condition(s) and getting treatment always helps.

    ADHD Treatment: Medication, Diet, Therapy & More Options

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

  • #168165


    Just always help him to get back on his feet. Just always encourage him stop drinking because it won’t help him.

  • #168219


    I’m afraid I don’t have any good advice for you. Mine self-medicates with Marijuana.

    he often uses it for back pain but most of the time it’s because he wants to destress and he likes being stoned. His doctor told him he shouldn’t be smoking anymore because he had a heart attack but he’s not listening. All I can do is be there for him, and hope he doesn’t have any more problems with his heart

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  AdeleS546.

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