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Because we're just a barrel of fun.


Seriously though, great relationship. I don't post asking for advice when everything's lovely. But since I got such thought-provoking advice (and good resources) the last time I asked a similar question here, thought I'd throw this out again.


Been together about a year. He started Ritalin a few weeks ago (he wanted to, I'm concerned about it). He's found that it is much easier to listen in class and remember what happened, and he said it's easier to do things he doesn't want to do (like washing dishes, homework). So that's great.


But he already had this kind of pressured-speech anxiety thing where he wouldn't notice if the other person in the conversation said "Yeah, I understand, what about..." he had to keep explaining until he was done, even if it meant saying something three or four times. If I interrupted politely, like "Can I please repeat what you said so I can make sure I understand?" he would back off and not be too frustrated by it. Now that's still present, but he gets annoyed or very frustrated if I try to say "Okay, I get what you're saying," and move on to the next step in the conversation. We both just end up angry - either I have to sit there and keep my mouth shut while he explains and explains and explains, or he gets mad because I interrupted.


I'm apparently a really blunt b**ch who interrupts, by the way, I've had this problem before with a different guy. I'm familiar with conversational techniques like mirroring, but I'm not sure what else to do.


Since he started the Ritalin he's much more aggressive (I mean, he was NOT at all before) with me, and the rule we had about "Hey, I'm getting upset, I need to take a break and stop talking about this" is no longer effective. He can't shut up, and focuses with a new intensity on being upset.


I have some post-abuse (a few years ago, someone else) PTSD, and it goes like this: if someone I am intimate with gets angry, blocks me in a room, moves too fast, I get really scared and defensive (and if they keep pushing me I try to protect myself). I've learned to recognize when my brain flicks over to fight-or-flight, and I can say "Hey, I feel like you're upset, I'm scared, I need you to back off."


Last night he couldn't. When I started saying "I feel like you're upset about this, can we try to talk about how to fix it?" He just kept being upset, and when he moved at me too fast and I flinched he decided it would be a good idea to jump at me and pretend to hit me. I flinched again, and said "That was incredibly disrespectful, I need you to leave right now." He refused to, continued yelling about how I was wrong to flinch, he never hurt me, etc. I eventually got him out by threatening to call the police, and had to lock myself (and my son) in a bedroom and pile furniture against the door to keep him from coming in.


(Clarification: He wasn't being violent, but when I'm pushed like that I get defensive, and if he had tried to force a hug or "restrain" me I would have tried to hurt him. My therapist and I totally have this safety plan that involves me saying "Hey, I need to calm down," but he just kept going).


So it took about two hours before he calmed down enough to talk. I felt like I responded rationally by recognizing that I wasn't safe and making sure I had space to calm down.


I feel like this is because of his Ritalin - he was never this upset or forceful before - he was contrite after he calmed down, he seemed shocked by his anger. I've contacted the local shelter and I intend to go there for counseling. I don't think my boyfriend is unsafe, but I'm scared about his aggression. I don't think it's smart to just stop taking the Ritalin but he can't see his doctor for a month. I don't know what to do.

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Well what he did in regards to pretending to 'hit you' is out of line. It's different if you two were joking around but obviously that wasn't the case.


There may be some communication barriers. It sounds like you do know some of your problems due to your past and completely shutting off.


As for the medication does he act this way during or when the medication is wearing off? I ask because I did take Adderall for awhile (Ritalin/Concerta too but the side effects weren't bad) and coming off of it at the end of the day was noticeably bad. Even my wife noticed the severe mood swings. Each person responds differently but I'm sure if he wasn't this way before it's very possible the drug is making the situation worse.

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Firstly, I agree with sidehop; increased aggression is typically a sign of the Ritalin wearing off rather than being fully active. It has a rather short half-life for a psychoactive drug (around 3hrs or so in adults), so these effects are not uncommon.


I'm rather concerned as to how he found himself on it in the first place. You say he wanted it; is he a psychiatrist? If not, then with the greatest of respect to him, his desire to go on it should count for very little; this is a serious medication and requires a proper diagnosis to be correctly used. It is not something you should be able to choose to go on in order to help you get the washing-up done.


Has he seen a psychiatrist, psychologist or any form of therapist? It sounds like he does have a genuine psychological issue (which doesn't sound like NPD from your description), but I'm not about to try and diagnose it over the internet. He should go and see a professional (not just his GP), and get to the bottom of this.

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@Karvala - I appreciate that a warning about Ritalin may be necessary for the general public, but I can't imagine wanting to take it just "to help you get the washing up done." I neglected to mention that he worked with five doctors at the V.A. hospital to be diagnosed ADHD and prescribed Ritalin. He was diagnosed as ADHD when he was 14 also, but they went through all of the testing again.


I'm concerned about the medication because he's not getting the follow up that I think would be useful - appointments are spaced several months apart, and there's no behavioral-therapy aspect to the treatment. But it's free and we're uninsured.


@Sidehop - I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it, but I've been coming home fairly late in the evenings, definitely around the time that it's wearing off. I've not been around him during the day when it is in effect, so maybe that's the problem.

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I understand some people feel that they need these medications to function but it's hard to say without knowing if the person have the ability to actually cope with their ADD/ADHD tendencies without resulting to use of medication.


If he's having such reaction whether he realizes or not I'd serious bring it up to him; whether he needs a different medication or quit altogether. There are others like Straterra and Adderall (the strongest) but again he'll need to contact the doctors if medication is necessary.

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