Explain the anger/temper

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Explain the anger/temper 2013-09-13T20:13:18+00:00

The Forums Forums For The Non-ADD I Married An ADDer Explain the anger/temper

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  • #121757
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    klmillscats
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    My ADD husband of 31 years, has been a fantastic husband. A gentleman, kind, intuitive, patient, he has treated me like a queen. The “dark side” I see in him is what I can best describe as a frustration temper. It surfaces when he has a project, such as perhaps changing the oil in a vehicle, and he can’t find the tool he needs, or runs into a hiccup in the process. He will get extremely angry, often yelling, blue language, and even throwing things. This is never directed at me or anyone else, but I assume it’s as expression of his frustration. How do I interpret the anger, should I respond, and if so, how should I respond?

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    #121759
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    Wgreen
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    ADD is a an “injury” of the frontal lobe of the brain. The frontal lobe helps us regulate our emotions and organize towards the future, among a few other things. ADDers often lose their tempers—sometimes over relatively trivial matters. Similarly, they can become quickly frustrated and overly emotional when confronted with stress or put on the defensive. Medications can help with emotional regulation as well as other ADD symptoms. I always appreciated somebody assuring me they understood my frustration, but reminding me that my ADD was causing me to overreact. (I’m glad to hear your husband’s outbursts don’t pose any danger—though any tantrum can cause blood pressure to skyrocket, sometimes dangerously.) My experience is that it doesn’t help to be confrontational or indignant, even though the outburst may be completely inappropriate. Just offer some brief support and retreat. But perhaps other forum members can offer other, better advice.

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    #121760
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    blackdog
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    Hi @klmillscats

    First off all, glad to hear your husbands anger is never directed at you. And that he treats you so well. Sounds like a great guy.

    My father was very much like this. Though his anger was often directed at us and he could be a little violent and abusive at times. Then afterwards he would act like nothing had happened and he hadn’t done anything wrong.

    From experience I can tell you the best thing to do is nothing. If you have to speak to him just agree with him. That is what my mother did for 51 years. I, being somewhat more hard headed, never did learn my lesson and fought with him tooth and nail continuously.

    I have a few anger issues myself, though I hate to admit it. The greatest insult anyone could ever throw at me was “You’re just like your father”. And of course I lost my temper every time someone said it.

    I am just beginning to recognize when I am lashing out because of my own frustration and starting to control it a little. At least 3 weeks out of every 4 anyway. 😉

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    #121767
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    klmillscats
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    I’ve already posted two replies, but they aren’t publishing. So for the record, I’m not being rude, just suspended in cyberspace!

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    #121770
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    blackdog
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    @klmillscats, that has happened to me many times. Some of mine never posted. I think in my case it has something to do with the fact that I’m using an iPad.  Also, the system seems to think I’m a spammer for some reason.

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    #121772
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    Geoduck
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    Here’s what I actually feel in my head when I go through that. Usually, it’s when I can’t find something, or when two or three things are happening all at once, sounds a lot like your hubby…

    It’s like a pressure builds up in my head. I can’t think. My brain gets stuck. It’s like it’s interrupted. Like a “brain fart” but more than one at once. Kind of like when I tried driving a stick shift and it would lurch forward, but not really go, just stop…lurch…stop…grind…lurch…grind…stall…SHIT!!!

    Emotionally, I get frustrated, nervous, tense, embarrassed, frustrated, scared, frustrated, more tense, angry, EXPLODE!

    So yeah, brain thing. Totally sucks. This happens much less when I’m taking medication. Turns out dopamine helps the brain think. I get this from my dad, also an ADHDer. His dad did the same thing. Hmm…gee…wonder why.

    You can distract your hubby when he’s like this. Have him take a break, even if it means you have to promise to help him find something later. It is a tactic I use with my kids, occasionally, and my hubby uses with me. It doesn’t have to be patronizing, just let him know that you want to help him, but he needs to take a break to clear his head, first.

    Usually I find the (damned) thing I’m looking for, right after I’ve had the break, and half the time, it’s in my hand or pocket. UGH!

     

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    #121776
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    klmillscats
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    @blackdog, LOL! Thanks, I don’t take it personally! And who knows, maybe my posts will eventually show up somewhere…

    @geoduck, thanks for the advise, and confirmation. I used to just let him blow it off, so to speak, but as he gets older, the self-anger seems more intense, and perhaps making a larger dent in his ego. Or maybe I’m just paying more attention. At any rate, on several recent occasions, I’ve gone to him to see if I can help with the problem, or simply to offer him a break and a glass of water. It seems to, as you describe, clear his head. It seems to help, and he can then resume his task without the crippling anger.

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    #121778
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    blackdog
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    @geoduck, thanks for the explanation. You describe it very well. That is exactly how it happens to me. I am not overly explosive, probably because I hated it when my dad did it so much, and when people told me I was like him, so I learned to control it more at an early age.

    @klmillscats, another way to help your husband would be to help him try to find some relaxation techniques that work for him. Sometimes just a few deep breaths will do it for me, but it sounds like your husband has a more serious problem so it may take more than that.

    It could be he’s getting worse now because of added stress in his life, if there has been anything causing you stress lately, like financial issues or just changes of any kind that are disrupting your life. Or it could be because as we get older we all get more forgetful and start to slow down and find things we used to do with ease getting harder, with or without ADHD. So it may be causing more anxiety than it did before.

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    #121783
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    klmillscats
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    @blackdog, I think you may have nailed it with possible added stress. We’ve no doubt that his mother had undiagnosed ADD, and she later developed dementia. His father died of complications from Parkinson’s. Both of these being brain disorders, and I’m sure he’s wondering what the future holds for him. It should also be noted that his parents didn’t exercise proactive or preventative healthcare, and made some extreme choices in their lives that included  massive doses of vitamins, supplements, and even colloidal silver. Does anyone know if there’s any research connecting ADD to other brain disorders?

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    #121784
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    Wgreen
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    Well, thyroid disease can present ADD-like symptoms. And of course there are several common ADD comorbidities: anxiety, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), Bipolar Disorder, depression, etc. You can look it up.

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    #121796
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    sdwa
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    I do that, too. And hate that about myself. Usually what happens is I feel overwhelmed and scared, can’t figure something out, or feel depressed and bad about myself for some other unrelated reason. Then when someone intrudes on my mental space, I will fly off the handle. I always regret. Never have been able to quit doing that.

    My take: It has nothing to do with you. If you can let it roll off, and forget about it, or make light of it, or introduce some humor into the situation, chances are your husband will lighten up, too, and forget all about it.

    Nothing like prolonging the focus on a problem with ADHDers to make it worse. Or draw it out a lot longer than it needs to go.

    Like a tornado, it blows through fast and disappears.

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    #121799
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    blackdog
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    @klmillscats– I don’t believe there is any connection between ADHD and dementia or Parkinson’s. But I don’t know for sure.

    There is no point in worrying about what the future may hold. But that doesn’t stop any of us from doing it, does it? And people with ADD are more susceptible to depression and anxiety, and people who are depressed and anxious are more likely to worry.

    Every time my parents would get diagnosed with something I would say to them “oh great, something else I have to look forward to.” Diabetes is my number one danger right now. There is also heart and kidney disease, cancer, Parkinson’s and dementia in the family tree, just to name a few. I somehow ended up with good eyesight and so far only have minimal hearing loss.

    The best thing you can do is live in the moment and enjoy what you’ve got right now. Because none of us know when it all might change. Of course living in the moment is easier said than done.

    @sdwa, that is also an excellent explanation. The invasion of mental space is exactly what sets me off. Especially when I am doing something that requires my full attention or something that I have carefully planned out step by step. Or if certain nerves are touched, things that have always been a source of stress for me, like being late or losing/forgetting things. And don’t ever treat me like I’m stupid. Unless you really want to have your head ripped off.

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    #121809
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    sdwa
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    @ blackdog

    Losing train of thought,

    I look stupid and feel bad.

    but see things they don’t.

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    #121810
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    blackdog
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    @sdwa, That is very true. I have wondered my whole life why other people don’t see the same things I do. Now I understand why.

    I am learning not to feel stupid or inferior for being who I am. It’s beginning to look like embarrassment may not be a fatal disease for me after all. 🙂

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    #121811
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    klmillscats
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    @blackdog, you sound much like my ADD husband. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard him talk about how his perspective is often different from other people. He’s learned to bide his time and chose the moment. I’ve often served with him on church committee meetings for example, and have watched him. He will be silent while all the usual opinions and static are brought to the table, then he picks his moment and prefaces it by something like, “Maybe we should consider….” So what could have been something deemed stupid at the beginning of the meeting, he instead times it so that he comes off looking like the “wise old sage”. If they only knew….. 😉

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