I was diagnosed with adhd over 20 years ago and it’s daily evolving struggle for me to deal with the symptoms and everything that comes with being an adult with adhd. I’m successful, married, and a father of 3 but I still suffer from cycles of depression/anger/frustration. Typically I start feeling depressed when things seem to not be going right, I’m less attentive, and my focus seems to be all over the place. Then sensing my wife’s increasing frustration I start to feel unloved and even more depressed and increasingly frustrated. It all seems to culminate when my wife says something to me about something impulsive I’ve done or that I’m not listening to her and I explode in anger. It’s not a healthy cycle for me or my family. Does anyone have any strategies they use to help cope with compounding frustrations from others surrounding your inattentiveness/impulsiveness?
Depression/anger/frustration - CHADD's Adult ADH...
CHADD's Adult ADHD Support
Hi there,you actually sound like you're more together than lots of people.I think it's 1 of those illnesses that so many just don't know about.This can attack anyone's life in so many ways and because of this,then the people living with that person can find us very difficult to get a consistent tune out of.I don't know about you but I hope you let your family in,to let them know the ins and outs of it.If your family know lots more about it,then they will spot the signs and know when to back off and give you the space you need.Its horrible for the family when I became so closed off,I became totally unbearable to live with but I know it was because I didn't let them know how I was actually coming apart for a long time.I hope those muddy waters become clearer and you get things back on track.
This cycle sounds just like me. May I ask what medication you are taking?
Adderall and Lexapro. I’ve adjusted my meds countless times over the years. I’ve been on adderall xr, straterra, wellbutrin, and combinations of them. I’ve found that nothing really helps me focus like adderall. Lexapro helps calm my anxiety and has really been a game changer for me.
I am currently taking Vyvanse and it seems to be working. I also take Clonidine for Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, a symptom of ADHD. Then I take Desipramine for my anxiety. My insurance doesn't cover Vyanse, I used a program that got my Vyvanse for a year, free of charge...just so you know you have options.
RSD is something that I struggled with and didn't know that it wasn't normal. It caused me to feel paranoid, self-conscious, fear of rejection, fear of conflict, etc. This led to behaviors that I adapted to so that I could avoid all the feelings associated with RSD. In other words I was lying, cutting corners, and deflecting. All this contributed to anxiety, go figure.
What I have discovered in regards to my anger outburst is that the anger is a tactic I used to deflect what I was feeling inside, almost subconsciously. The anger was a learned behavior and not a direct symptom of ADHD. So the anger was to stop the interaction because I felt trapped, almost like claustrophobia; the fight or flight scenario comes to mind. So when I began to think of the anger as a learned behavior and not a symptom, I was able to then recognize it when it appeared and therefore began to replace the bad behavior with good ones. Good behaviors would be like taking deep breaths, walking away for a brief moment to collect yourself, communicating the emotions as they arise with those your interacting with so that you are not alone in the emotion and they can give you more space/time to process before continuing the interaction. Eventually, you will find yourself in a healthier state of mind when those emotions arise and you will be able to process and override them without anyone even knowing your are handling bad emotions in your mind.
My wife is a huge support to me. Without her love and grace, then I would be divorced right now. The best thing I can do for her is to stay openly communicating my daily positives and negatives with her.
Good luck, feel free to ask me questions and message me privately.
That’s really helpful advise. What you’re talking about with RSD sounds exactly like what I’m doing. I’m definitely going to do some research on it. Besides the strategies you mentioned is there anything else you do to work on it (talk therapy/meditation/etc.)?
Check this podcast out.
The podcast explains RSD really well, around 30 minutes into the audio.
The podcast refers to only 2 medications proven to work with RSD, clonidine and Guanfacine. I tried Guanfacine first and did not feel relief. I believe Clonidine does a good job with it. However, it does not cure it but it does provide relief. For me it slows the emotional response and I am able to process the negative thought I think of without the negative emotional response affecting my thought process. This gives me clarity and I can make a better decision of how I react, act or what I say.
If your still married, that's a great step to begin. I've found out that your adhd diagnoses may be an asset. I realized that most or all of my issues were due to a lack of knowledge on the subject,fear. Once you know everything about a specific issue ,the quicker you can move to address the issue. It's a proven fact that the more you know about an issue , the more it becomes a non issue, thus less fear. Knowledge is an amazingly powerful tool in my bag of tricks.
I am learning this now as well. Being sensitive and not understanding my own feelings is frustrating. In my case actually having help to process those emotions was a must. I also need space to process what I am dealing with. There is a difference between having space and closing out people that you love and want to be with. It took me a long time to not feel selfish about actually dealing with my issues and needs. I hope this helps.
I'm on some of the medications that U R and tho they usually work somewhat, one day I couldn't find my keys to the house for 5 hours !! I felt stupid, frustrated, angry etc. Regarding your relationship with your wife, have you thought of the possibility of couples therapy with a therapist who specializes in ADHD. Has your wife read literature about ADHD. I'm not trying to put the onus on her. I just thought that if she could understand to a better extent on what you experience with various symptoms of ADHD, it would give her a greater understanding of the situation. Good luck. I'm in your corner.