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Old 06-27-18, 01:03 PM
Goldilox73 Goldilox73 is offline
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Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

Hi, all. I just found this site yesterday, and it did a world of good for me to read.

I’ve been married for 15 yrs and have 2 children. For most of this marriage, H has had a terrible time managing his anger. Outbursts, harsh words, criticism and sarcasm have chipped away at my feelings for him, created unrest in our home, and has left me feeling exhausted.

After our son was diagnosed 3 years ago with ADHD, we started to research what that can look like in adults...and whadd’ya know...it has a name. We now know that what H experiences is called “flooding” which is basically a fancy way of saying he can’t regulate or filter feelings of anger when something triggers him so he goes off like a rocket. The whole “storm” is over in about 20 min for him...but the rest of us are left shaken and livid.

Unfortunately, even after he got diagnosed, he did not follow through with treatment. He tried a couple of meds for a few weeks, and then decided he didn’t want to take them anymore. The angry outbursts, although infrequent, have continued and yesterday I told him I thought we should separate. He now says he will do anything to save our relationship. Meds, therapy, etc. He is a real DIY’er and says he is frustrated because this is the only thing he cannot watch a YouTube video for and fix on his own. I am really torn because all the great qualities that I married him for are STILL THERE. It’s the anger piece that I am not able to tolerate.

This is obviously not the first discussion I’ve had with him. There have been 4000 others. I’m just feeling so tired and I’m not sure if I should give him a shot now, or just leave. We’ve never experienced our relationship with him FULLY TREATED and us in counseling. So, I’m thinking that while he’s willing to do so now, I should pull myself up and try. But, ALOT of damage has been done and I’m not certain I can come back from it.

Others who are feeling the same?? I could really use a few friends right now. Thanks for listening.

Last edited by namazu; 06-27-18 at 01:17 PM.. Reason: just added a few line breaks for easier reading
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Old 06-27-18, 02:13 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

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Originally Posted by Goldilox73 View Post
Hi, all. I just found this site yesterday, and it did a world of good for me to read.

Iíve been married for 15 yrs and have 2 children. For most of this marriage, H has had a terrible time managing his anger. Outbursts, harsh words, criticism and sarcasm have chipped away at my feelings for him, created unrest in our home, and has left me feeling exhausted.

After our son was diagnosed 3 years ago with ADHD, we started to research what that can look like in adults...and whaddíya know...it has a name. We now know that what H experiences is called ďfloodingĒ which is basically a fancy way of saying he canít regulate or filter feelings of anger when something triggers him so he goes off like a rocket. The whole ďstormĒ is over in about 20 min for him...but the rest of us are left shaken and livid.
That kind of environment isnt good for your son. ADHD makes it hard to regulate emotions but it doesnt cause this kind of anger. It can make you prone to frustration or maybe more moody...'flooding' isnt a part of adhd.

Quote:
Unfortunately, even after he got diagnosed, he did not follow through with treatment. He tried a couple of meds for a few weeks, and then decided he didnít want to take them anymore.
The minute that happened I would have told him that meds and treatment are required if the relationship is to continue.

Quote:
The angry outbursts, although infrequent, have continued and yesterday I told him I thought we should separate. He now says he will do anything to save our relationship. Meds, therapy, etc. He is a real DIYíer and says he is frustrated because this is the only thing he cannot watch a YouTube video for and fix on his own. I am really torn because all the great qualities that I married him for are STILL THERE. Itís the anger piece that I am not able to tolerate.

This is obviously not the first discussion Iíve had with him. There have been 4000 others. Iím just feeling so tired and Iím not sure if I should give him a shot now, or just leave. Weíve never experienced our relationship with him FULLY TREATED and us in counseling. So, Iím thinking that while heís willing to do so now, I should pull myself up and try. But, ALOT of damage has been done and Iím not certain I can come back from it.

Others who are feeling the same?? I could really use a few friends right now. Thanks for listening.
My main concern is for your son. This is trauma and abusive.. it takes years to overcome those important feelings. Even if you feel like you can power through the hard stuff, your son cant and he has no power to make a different choice. I understand your urge to give it a shot but that kind of chaos, drama, and anger is terrible for kids.
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Old 06-27-18, 05:27 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

Thank you for your response. You are correct that this type of behavior is traumatic for a child (and anyone else in the home, for that matter). But I respectfully disagree that flooding isn’t a symptom of ADHD. There are many articles written about this. Melissa Orlov and Dr. Ned Hallowell (The ADHD Marriage Effect) have written extensively about it and there are several blogs reporting it online, as well. Its DEFINITELY not an excuse which is why I’m on the brink of separation. But, flooding is a very real part of this diagnosis in many ADHD’ers who have emotional dysregulation and impulsivity.
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Old 06-28-18, 09:19 AM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

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Originally Posted by Goldilox73 View Post
Thank you for your response. You are correct that this type of behavior is traumatic for a child (and anyone else in the home, for that matter). But I respectfully disagree that flooding isnít a symptom of ADHD. There are many articles written about this. Melissa Orlov and Dr. Ned Hallowell (The ADHD Marriage Effect) have written extensively about it and there are several blogs reporting it online, as well. Its DEFINITELY not an excuse which is why Iím on the brink of separation. But, flooding is a very real part of this diagnosis in many ADHDíers who have emotional dysregulation and impulsivity.
I stand corrected...https://www.additudemag.com/my-daugh...e-left-behind/

I apologize however it does seem to be something that is more prevalent in children and teens..when its an adult it becomes dangerous. Regardless of what its called, its still uncalled for. I am an alcoholic. When I was drinking it was nothing but combative chaos in my house. Even though it was the alcohol and not me, even though it was the disease of addiction and not who I am, the damage is the same. The wreckage is the same. They way my kids and husband felt is the same. My addiction was not an excuse for those behaviors. I still had to be accountable for them and make the proper amends when I got sober.
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Old 06-28-18, 11:15 AM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

If you give it more time to see if things improve, give that time a deadline. A short one.

Tbh, I don't really have strong hopes for someone who won't willingly get treatment without threats for consequences if he doesn't.

Especially when listening to his symptoms. I would be very surprised if meds alone help him that much. I think he needs a therapist too.

But a therapist, which already is a long shot at helping to me, becomes even less likely to help when the person is being dragged to see the therapist.

I also agree with Sarah. The outcome is the same regardless of the cause. I wouldn't hold resentment against him given his illness but at the same time I wouldn't stay with him if my life was made miserable by him.
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Old 06-28-18, 12:31 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

You makes some good points acdc01. I agree 100% he needs both meds and therapy. He has never had both. This is still relatively new as he was just diagnosed in 2017. I don’t believe in ultimatums because, as you said, if I’m dragging him to therapy then he’s only doing it because I’ve threatened separation. He’s telling me he wants to go. That I’m not dragging him and that he doesn’t want to feel like this anymore after 45+ years. Perhaps a deadline could be useful. So I will consider that.
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Old 06-28-18, 01:36 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

Definitely set a timeline ... time for you to be tough if you're gonna hang in there while he starts treatment.

He also needs therapy most likely ... because there are things he can do ... he can notice the flooding and leave the room, leave the home ... yell at the sky outside ... and then come back ... He can practice that in therapy ... because ... well ... meds rarely work 100 percent!!!! They never work 100 percent.

If there was anger in his family from growing up ... or he had adults in his life who modeled this behavior, again, that would establish some foundation for the anger ... meds don't treat that history ... so that's why therapy would be essential.

Let him get started on treatment ... you could later (I would wait until he makes some progress in therapy) ... go to couples counseling ... and you may need therapy to check to see if your anger has gone beyond the breaking point.

Medications and therapy together can work wonders ... especially if he's an aggressive and eager patient. He can't be doing this for you. He has to own his own history and habit and behavior.
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Old 06-28-18, 02:52 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

Yes, he did have ALOT of terrible modeling in childhood...from an undiagnosed mother with ADHD. Yelling and cursing were primary forms of communication. I see it with his family even today. I wonít tolerate that behavior being recreated in my home. What would a reasonable time frame be for someone who is just starting to commit to treatment?
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Old 06-29-18, 08:05 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

Wow, great question.

I think it should begin almost immediately that you see some changes ... With the right therapist ... horrible caveat ...

So if he's in therapy, then at the top of the agenda has to be managing his anger and outbursts.

I wonder if it makes sense for you to go visit his therapist at least once ... Why? ... Because there are two challenges your hubby faces (among many of course).

One, he needs to get a hold on that anger ... and perhaps dig down to uncover the core of it ... and start the process of moving in a different direction. He's got years of bad patterns here ... and this change takes time ...

But two, he needs immediate help with avoiding these outburst because ... well ... because you are sick and tired of that anger right now ... And here is where I think you attending one session would might be good ... to make visibly clear to the therapist the urgency of the situation.

Now, a good therapist can actually take on short term and long term issues at the same time. Because addressing short term will help with long term.

I would say in a few weeks with a good therapist (assuming he places his anger and outbursts front and center with the therapist) ... you should see some changes ... Him leaving the house when he gets mad ... him ... you know ... writing down what thoughts are occurring in his head when he gets mad ... and ... him repairing things (to the extent possible) better when he does have an outburst.

But to make progress in a few weeks, he's got to get that anger issue front and center with the therapist and make clear to the therapist that this is an emergency--his marriage is about to end.

He could get lucky on the meds ... depends ... most of us have to try different meds and different dosages before we find the optimal medication ... He should also be checked for bipolar, depression and anxiety.

On the practical level:

Has he publicly apologized to you and the children?

And publicly committed to the project of eliminating the angry outburts?

Has he publicly committed to repairing other issues in the relationship? You're probably mad at him for more than just his outbursts ... and it would be good for him to commit to addressing those issues as well.

I think such public commitments are needed to buy time (legitly buy time) with the spouse.

But bottom line: I think you will feel it ... if and when you sense he is serious about changing ... and that the therapy is working ... I mean "feel" quite precisely ... If he doesn't "feel" any different to you after two months ... If you're not impressed with his changes and effort in two months, then I would worry ...
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Old 06-30-18, 05:53 AM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

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Yes, he did have ALOT of terrible modeling in childhood...from an undiagnosed mother with ADHD. Yelling and cursing were primary forms of communication. I see it with his family even today. I wonít tolerate that behavior being recreated in my home. What would a reasonable time frame be for someone who is just starting to commit to treatment?
I wish I could tell you but my gut its asap. He has already demonstrated his lack of commitment when it comes to actually taking part in his own treatment and now that he as agreed to it it must start fast.
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Old 06-30-18, 02:59 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

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What would a reasonable time frame be for someone who is just starting to commit to treatment?
Can you ask his therapist in private? It'd be nice if the therapist supported your timeframe and helped in getting your husband to understand the need for it as well and agree with the time length.

I think the timeframe shouldn't just be about his needs though. You must have a limit on time that you can stand as well.

Personally, I wouldn't go over 6 months if not even less than that. This way, you're not wasting your entire life.

Relapse is the biggest problem imo. My sister's husband would do well with anger management for a time but then slip back to his old ways once he felt like the pressure of divorce was off. Relapse should happen within 6 months I would think.
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Old 07-03-18, 04:35 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

These are great comments. Thank you all. So, he doesnít have a therapist yet. Our primary goal right now is getting him on the right med, and having him commit to it. I donít believe his current psychiatrist is doing the right things. He does not want spousal input and he has not considered using an SSRI (like Wellbutrin) which, per my research, can be VERY effective for anger mgmt. There may even be underlying depression or anxiety (H has major sleep issues), so an SSRI would help that, too. The Vyvanse and Adderall hhelp with focus...but not with mood.

Yes, he has apologized to me. And he always apologizes to the kids when he lashes out. Thereís a whole lot of ďI couldíve handled that better.Ē But, not a lot of ďIím gonna DO something to prevent that from happening again.Ē I am skeptical of his ability to sustain treatment.

The biggest fear I have is that what if he does commit to treatment, he stays on meds, he goes to therapy, but then I feel like itís too late for me because of all the past hurt?? Iím not sure how to move forward and let go of whatís already happened.
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Old 07-04-18, 06:20 AM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

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Originally Posted by Goldilox73 View Post
These are great comments. Thank you all. So, he doesnít have a therapist yet. Our primary goal right now is getting him on the right med, and having him commit to it. I donít believe his current psychiatrist is doing the right things. He does not want spousal input and he has not considered using an SSRI (like Wellbutrin) which, per my research, can be VERY effective for anger mgmt. There may even be underlying depression or anxiety (H has major sleep issues), so an SSRI would help that, too. The Vyvanse and Adderall hhelp with focus...but not with mood.
In a way this isnt so awful, unless he fools the doctor. Assuming he is serious, he needs privacy..but if he is just going through the motions then I dont see why the doctor wouldnt include you in at least one session.
Quote:
Yes, he has apologized to me. And he always apologizes to the kids when he lashes out. Thereís a whole lot of ďI couldíve handled that better.Ē But, not a lot of ďIím gonna DO something to prevent that from happening again.Ē I am skeptical of his ability to sustain treatment.
You know they say actions speak louder than words. Sorry doesnt cut it at this point because if he was, he would have worked on this long ago. And sorry doesnt erase the fear your kids experienced.

Quote:
The biggest fear I have is that what if he does commit to treatment, he stays on meds, he goes to therapy, but then I feel like itís too late for me because of all the past hurt?? Iím not sure how to move forward and let go of whatís already happened.
That is something I thought of.... you may be too hurt to move forward even if he throws himself into getting better. Which is why you absolutely need your own therapy- not couples counseling but therapy for you. These kinds of outbursts like bad hurricanes are traumatizing and can actually cause PTSD- no joke. You need to work out if you are done with things or if you are willing to wait. Personally, I do not think he is going to change much because the way he has been acting has been working for him. You are still there and have put up with the rage and not left. You have not kept him from his kids and he really has no motivation to change. Sure he says he is afraid you will leave him but is he just saying that. As hard as it is, if it were me I would call it quits-but Its much easier for me to tell you this when I am in an awesome marriage than it is for you to do it.
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Old 07-04-18, 11:40 AM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

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Originally Posted by Goldilox73 View Post
The biggest fear I have is that what if he does commit to treatment, he stays on meds, he goes to therapy, but then I feel like itís too late for me because of all the past hurt?? Iím not sure how to move forward and let go of whatís already happened.
This was my sister's fear too. Set a time limit not just for him but for yourself too. Whatever you do, don't let things drag out so the next thing you know, it's been years more that you have been miserable (and your kids have had to listen to a tremendous amount of yelling). And I agree with Sarahsweets, you need a therapist too.

May I ask why it is this is your worst fear? Is it cause you would feel guilty leaving your husband after he tries so hard to improve?

That was my sister's fear. There was a fundamental difference between my sister and her husband. Deep inside, she is not a selfish person. So she cared about the hurt she would cause despite the fact that he had hurt her over and over and over again.

So let me ask you this. Why do you think it is that your husband could hurt you and your kids over and over again without taking any effort to try to do anything about it?


Is it because deep inside, he is just selfish and if so, could you really respect and forgive someone like that? I'm not judging by the way. If you can forgive selfishness as a weakness in someone since everyone has weaknesses, then that's up to you. I myself could never respect someone that selfish so could never make it work.

Is it cause he did try many times but then failed every time so he gave up? This I myself could probably forgive.. It's really hard to figure out the solution to stopping actions when you have a mental illness cause the solution is often so different from the solution a regular person would take you might not think of it without professional or support group help. Although if he has a long history of failures in multiple areas and has adopted a pattern of quitting, it becomes very difficult to overcome.

It sounds like you do believe his actions are caused by his mental illness. If your husband had a physical illness like not being able to walk, would you hate on him for not being able to stand up? So I could forgive him for yelling cause he really couldn't control it (but I would still ask if it was for selfish reasons he did not try things like a therapist and meds, walking out of the room, etc to stop hurting you).

Anyway, just a different perspective so that maybe one of these perspectives might help you look at things differently in a way which you can forgive him if you choose to give him a chance.

It sucks your psychiatrist doesn't want to try Wellbutrin. Not sure you can do anything at this point as I assume your husband won't want to switch psychiatrists. Maybe you can convince your husband to try Wellbutrin if other meds fail. It's really hard to find good mental illness help unfortunately. I'd really check out the therapists before you hire them to make sure they are good. Also, don't wait too long before hiring the therapists. I would be astounded if meds alone helped your husband. It really sounds to me like he's got psychological issues and meds only help the biological reasons for his actions.
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Old 07-09-18, 02:33 PM
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Re: Newbie hereó ADHD/anger mgmt

I'll be blunt: it could be that you're sick of hubby ... and even if he changes, you won't feel that you want to stay with him.

That's fine.

Here's the thing: these changes are good for HIM! ... No way, these behaviors haven't impaired and disrupted his friendships, his work relationships, his work, his own esteem.

This work is good and necessary for his own wellbeing. You may be thinking that he's the kind of person who ... let's say he makes real changes ... and you decide to leave ... he's gonna go around and play martyr ... and talk about all his work and effort and how his wife "dumped" him anyway.

Sure ... he might have some of that at the start (we all play a bit of the martyr when we're dumped--even when we're dumped for good reason) ...

But if he doesn't quickly come to see how much better and more enjoyable his life is without the angry outbursts ... how much better a father he is, for example ... how much better an example he's setting for the children ...then he's a petty person ... not really worth being married to in the first place.

And this may sound really tough ... but it's not your job to reassure him that you're gonna stay with him if he gets help.

Again for treatment to work, he's gotta own it ... see it as a good in itself, for him ... and just plus to keep and please you.

Just for the record, Wellbutrin (which I take) is not an SSRI. It's an NDRI. You can give this guy a bit of a chance ... then switch psychiatrists ... there are some good psychiatric nurse practitioners out there ... you have to google to find them. Psychiatric NPs can prescribe ... and they usually take insurance ... and charge less than psychiatrists. There is a shortage in my area of psychiatrists who take insurance, but I found a fantastic psychiatric nurse practitioner whom I love ... She's as sharp as any of the psychiatrists I've seen.

I will say: some psychiatrists have their own plodding methods ... they have an order of medications they like to try ... and some want to use one med at a time to better assess the effects.

Why no therapy so far? Therapy is essential for him to learn new "skills" of handling his anger.
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Newbie hopetalk New Member Introductions 4 09-11-04 01:08 PM
NEWBIE: Need advice on son w/ADHD kwilliams General ADD Talk 3 09-07-04 11:12 AM


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