Will meds bring back the man I love?

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    • #115093

      My husband got diagnosed with ADHD 6 months ago. He says he’ll start trying medications next month (when the insurance from his new job kicks in). He has some symptoms of “secondary depression” that our therapist thinks will resolve with treatment for the ADHD. This is all after he spent 5 years as the right-hand-man to a terribly toxic boss who looked for excuses to fire anyone who wouldn’t join him for weekday binges on cocaine, strippers, and stealing.

      The thing is that all the things I fell in love with about my husband have faded since he started that job. He’s been out of it for a year now and I was hoping the kind, compassionate, optimistic, and humble man-of-integrity I dated for the 4 years prior to that job would reappear after he left it. But, instead, all I have is this distant, pessimistic, and “blank” version of him.

      I know we’ll have to try the meds and see what happens, but I can’t help wondering what I should do if the man I fell in love with never comes back. 😢

    • #115094

      I’m not sure why the therapist thought that depression would “resolve” if the ADHD is treated. That’s not really how it works. In fact it’s typical to start treatment for mood disorders first in these cases, though recent research indicates that antidepressants are much more effective if you are also treating the ADHD. Wellbutrin can be useful, as can cognitive behavioral therapy directly related to depression. Consider seeing another therapist (though not necessarily getting rid of the current one – maybe getting a couples counselor who understand ADHD and depression) and/or reading more about ADHD with comorbid mood disorders. Your husband has a dual diagnosis – treating one and hoping the other will go away on its own is not the answer.

    • #115117

      “…see another therapist…” ✔ and “…read more…” ✔

      https://www.additudemag.com/treating-depression-and-adhd/ – “Which should be addressed first? The decision is usually made by the patient based on what he thinks is the most urgent or impairing condition. Given the choice, I treat ADHD first with a stimulant. This is based on my experience that a high percentage of patients (about 50 percent) report that their mood lifts when they have achieved optimal doses of stimulant-class medication.”

    • #115363
      Penny Williams

      It sounds like his job experience was traumatic. That can have an enormous effect on a person and cause them to close down and retreat inward. The right therapist could help him find a new normal that honors the person he once was and the person he is now, after this experience.

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

    • #115676

      I am so sorry…

    • #119612

      @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.

    • #120987

      Hey that’s one thing that my ADHD book never touched on … the cocaine. My partner was a cocaine fiend in his later teenage years and he admits that it went very badly in the end and he was close to being dead and never giving it up. He mentioned the emotional toll it took on his family but now that you mention it I do believe that this hard drug may have impacted is mental capacity or rerouted things completely in a manner such that he cannot function like a regular person. What started off as a simple diagnosis in his mid teenage years may have been completely shifted on the spectrum because of this drug use. This is almost to Eureka moment and another reason why he just had to go. Never touched a drug in my life and I don’t like associating with former addicts who are still displaying the characteristic behaviors of an addict today

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