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Do you and your spouse fight about the same things over and over? Dr. Phil's guests have threatened divorce and want to know if there's a solution for their constant battles. Deanna and her husband, Jason, argue often and engage in big blowouts that they say are destroying their marriage. They have a 7-year-old son who was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and Deanna wonders if her husband may also suffer from this disorder. Is this couple caught in a never-ending downward spiral, and is ADHD contributing to the problem? Dr. Ned Hallowell, psychiatrist, best-selling author and expert in the field of ADD and ADHD, weighs in. After watching a video of Jason participating in a specific task, what are the therapist's thoughts about Jason's behavior? Then, meet Kevin who has been diagnosed with ADD. His wife, Roseshel, says their marriage is like a roller-coaster ride, and he's impossible to deal with. Can this couple save their union, or is the damage already done? If you wonder whether your spouse may suffer from ADD or ADHD, tune in to find out the signs to watch out for and what you can do to bring peace to your home. Share your thoughts here.

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: mrsffcruzer on Jul 23, 2013, 9:25PM
Hi, I have been struggling with understanding and coping living wih a spouse with ADHD.  At frist I thought he was just a little compulsive but then the cheating started.  I left just before we were to be married and he freaked out and begged for me to come back. He went to counseling with me and did everything he should have done to prove himself.  So we were married.  Soon ater noticed that he would start the behaviors that scare me, hurt me and push me away.  He was mean.  Called me names, then it would heat up.  My kids would be upset because he would yell or say NO before thinking and then I would be even more upset.  Then he started to ignore me in all the ways your husband should pay attention to his wife.  I felt trapped, alone, scared, helples and hopeless.  Always questioning why???? Around his family and friends he would be so nice and he would seem to struggle to be that way, then around me he would blowup.  He told me the gifts i bought him were wrong, he said things like, "I want my wife to have a good job so i can tell people you do"! he would snap at me and the kids for almost breathing.  I began to become depressed.  I would ask him to go to the doctors to see if he could be on something that would stabilize his moods.  he gained weight, refused to get help and blamed me for everything.  He would blow money, do things whtout thinking them through first and still blame me.  I then was diagnosed with Hashimoto's and could not swallow very well.  My health was fading, i was gaining weight and i was very sick.  I thought at first it had been the stress, then i realized it was due to being Hypothroid.  I had a thyroidectomy and started to recover slowly.  We moved hoping that him being close to his family would help, but things got worse. The fighting was more frequent and with my sons and daughters recent diagnosis of having epilepsy i was hardly holding on.  Fianlly when i threatened to leave my husband he went to the doctor.  He was diagonsed with ADHD.  He was put on medication and slowly things improved.  He realized that he did have a problem.  He started feeling good about himself and was nice to the kids and I.  He would cook dinner, have more energy, lost weight and the love grew.  Then he would run out of pills or forget to take them and the mean person would come out again.  I sturggled with how I was going to keep our marriage a float with the severe mood swings and inconsistancey.  I was once again in a rut.  Then he would get the medication and things would be great.  This has gone on for five years now.  I struggle with trying to hold on but every time he has a break in medication he destroys me again.  it is a roller coaster. never consistant and always stressful.  I hold on to the goodness but that is getting tougher to do.  He allows his parents to disrespect me and never does anything to show he cares.  I have to almost take care of him like he is my child.  I have to remind him to do this and that, tell him not to spend money and wonder how his mood will be when he wakes ups.  The name calling gets so bad I  feel like I am going to explode.  Dealing with his behaviors has me so flustered I cant function.  I don't know what to do.  He is a great provider.  He is a firefghter and is very good at his job.  In fact he gets so "HYPER FOCUSED" with his work that he looks through me when i speak to him.
 
Replied By: precious986532 on May 7, 2012, 6:11AM
I was watching this show earlier today, and it broke my heart to see other people have to go though the same things I have gone through, and still go through, but just not as often.  I have been able to create a more normal way to live my life with less likeliness to forget.  The only things that have worked for me so far is using my phones alarms to remind me.  I have done things like forgetting to pick up my son from school, and then cry about it, thinking what kind of a mother forgets to pick up her own son?...but forgiveness is also something we as people with ADD need to access with in ourselves.  We already can hardly contain all the things we've got going on in our heads, why add the stress of hating yourself because of what you've done, or hating someone else because you haven't forgiven them, that is valuable brain space that is used up when you contain all that hatered.  Anyways, getting back to what I was saying before. I use my phone alarms for EVERYTHING. I use it to remind myself when the kids need to get their baths, when I need to start getting ready for an appointment, and when I enter the info for the alarm I do it right when I realize that I have an appointment and I need to make sure I leave x amount of time for getting ready and time for driving.  I also use a calendar book to put my "to do's" in and put check marks next to them when they've been done, because otherwise I don't hold myself accountable for the things I need to do because I end up getting distracted.   But once I am done with what ever the distraction is I can come back and finish the job I know I wan't to get done, and be realistic with yourself, don't put down a whole lot of things to do and then be discouraged when you realize you haven't got it all done.  The other areas of ADD are just live and learn, even though it take us to learn the art of not knocking things over and making what I call "stupid little mistakes",  time does help mellow the mistake making.  I am also taking medicine right now to help with making me more aware of things around me and also helps with my memory.  So that is also something to look into if you have the diagnosis.
 
Replied By: samantharae23 on Jul 24, 2010, 10:09PM - In reply to shimo5
AGREED lol SERIOUSLY THIS THING AS AN ADULT SUCKS AND it hasn't been easy having it since third grade it's a pain
 
Replied By: samantharae23 on Jul 24, 2010, 10:07PM
I'm 23 can't stand what my Adhd has done to me in my life please those of you who will take the time out to read my blog PLEASE HELP ME
 
Replied By: philcpp on Apr 8, 2010, 6:00PM
I watched the show today and I am so sad.  I worked in schools for over twentyfive years and every year we were faced with horrible problem.   Not until we adopted and begin to practice the program that promoted building peace did we see a change int student behavior.  What made this program so effective is that, with the adults practicing the program, using the six principles (Praise People, Give up Put-down, Notice and Speak up about hurts I have caused, Right my wrongs, Seek wise people and help others) we lead the students in learning how to solve conflct in non-violent ways and how to handle bullies in a way that helped the bully also learn the principles of building peace.  This really did work and I am in touch with students that were in my class twenty years ago who say being a peacebuilder has been a major part of their success in life.  They say that the principles are the best life-skills they ever learned.  How I wish adults would realize that children do what we do, not what we say.  That is why live models are so crucial.  Children and young people must see behaviors that they are to learn. Parents and all adults, need to know that whatever they do to children or say to children, they will do and say to others. I am a retired educator with a passion for peace.  I'd love to talk you, Dr Phil about this concern.
 
Replied By: barliman on Oct 1, 2009, 1:25AM
Contrary to all those people who say "ADHD does not exist"- I know only too well that it does. Like all other pschiatric  labels we have to understand ADHD as a medical description of astate of suffering. The key feature of this state is a level of disorganisation and inattention so great that the sufferer simply cant find their way out. No matter what they try they become distracted.

I know. I have been there. A year ago my family's situation matched that of Deanna and Jason. Not only myself, but my daughter and son had severe attention probelms.

A combination of proper understanding of the nature of the problem, medication, good coaching advice, and the clear understanding that our children's future's depended on my determination to fight through the problem were essential in enabling our family to break free of the trap. 

I can see that as "ADHD sufferers" we seem self absorbed and careless. It helps for people who have never been in that state to realise this is not how we wish to be- we are aware of our shortcomings and fight as hard as we can to break out of our dysfunction. Sometimes our fighting just makes things worse. It is important for all  to understand that adult ADHD sufferers have such a long track record of failings caused by their ADHD that many have to develop a very thick skin  in order to survive.
Underneath it we are very sensitive people- so much so that fracturing our attention may be a subconscious way of coping with the pain we expereince every day.

It is a lot to ask for in some cases, but to remember that, and to try and couch criticisms gently so that we can emerge from our emotionally defended selves can  set the scene for real change.

I can see that some people would find their religion  a help in a crisis like this- but would also say to those who stress the value of this approach, that many of us simply do not find this approach useful.
Many of us feel personally threatened by some of the harshly judgemental attitudes struck by some of the religious.

I would observe though that learning to dedicate our recovery to others can be of great benefit. In my own case my concern for my children and my wish to cease harming people in my life were as essential as the medication.

After a year, I suspect I am coming to the end of my need for medication. Stimulants are not the whole answer- all they really do is reduce your discractability and make it easier to learn. The real challenge is learning what are the best things to learn. In my opinion those lessons are the centrality of love in human experience, and the need to formally train in mindfulness. I wish Deanna and Jason well- and would remind them that if they weather this crisis their marriage can be transformed for the better by their own determination. Above all- they should have faith in their own judgement- ADHD is a dysfunction of the sensitive.
 
Replied By: shimo5 on Jul 24, 2009, 8:40PM - In reply to michmac
This message is for Michelle M. and Dr. Phil and staff.  WE NEED A SHOW ON WOMEN WITH ADD.  We have our own unique issues.  Please, please, P L E A S E !  I have asked numerous times.  I am a stay at home mom with 3 kids.  I am not currently taking any meds because they scare me.  My doc prescribed Ritalin, but I have not taken it.  I think some tools to help us without meds would be great.  There must be some techniques.
Read the book, "Women with ADD" by Sari Solden.  Awesome read!  I learned a lot from it.  She is fabulous and she also has ADD.
D.
 
Replied By: goingnowhere on Jul 17, 2009, 4:28PM - In reply to missyinmn
I waited too long to separate; my only child is beautiful, responsible, the top in her class and is off to college this fall.  She has never had a boyfriend--she fears her life would end up like mine.  I'm praying she'll be able to let down her defenses to meet a nice boy at college.  It was selfish of me to put my husband first--if I could go back and change it, I would have left him with my daughter in tow.  The best way to make a decision is if it is more painful to stay together than separate, you kind of know that it's time to get your life back.  I have found Daystar TV very helpful in helping me decide and how to feel good about myself.  I hope this advice works for you.  Thank you.
 
Replied By: goingnowhere on Jul 17, 2009, 4:08PM - In reply to vanessacoonce
I am curious if you have gotten any results with your husband.  I just posted the "Had Enough" message after being inspired by you kind people.  I am 48 years old and have done everything in my power to make my marriage work every one of those 21 years.  But, my husband will not change and doesn't seem to care if he puts me in tears day after day or for himself that he gets beat up at work, had several car accidents and speeding tickets--I could go on and on.  I wish you all the luck in the world.  I had only wished my husband wanted me bad enough to try to help himself.  But, it is clear that he doesn't, therefore, it is time to try to live again instead of just existing.  I hope Dr. Phil does do more shows on this.  Thank you.
 
Replied By: goingnowhere on Jul 17, 2009, 3:27PM - In reply to moflan3
My husband was diagnosed with ADHD and depression 3 years ago.  He was on different medications, but decided they weren't working for him and just stopped taking them without telling anyone.  He also has been to 4 personal therapists, and we have been attending marriage counseling together for 3 years.  I caught my husband cheating on me with prostitutes 3 years ago and forgave him.  I insisted that we get counseling and had him sign a legal contract (it cost me $750 to have this done) that he would remain faithful and get the help he needs.  I never felt like he supported me--I do everything (he can't even make a check out correctly).  He works in construction and gets layed off (a lot recently).  He is hyper-manic and irresponsible.  Things were getting better after the first year of "treatment" and counseling".

I decided that I would re-invest totally in my marriage and we renewed our wedding vows.  Well, that was the wrong thing to do because I basically gave him permission to stop trying.  If you say you are sorry and that you are going to change, there should be a change in behavior, but not for my husband.  The emotional and verbal abuse were getting out of control so much that it was more painful to be with him than to be without him.  Our day consisted of him going to work, coming home, showering, eating dinner and his retreating down to the basement family room to watch TV and would be asleep within 1/2 hour.  I would wake him up to come to bed when I went to bed so he wouldn't wake me up at 2:00 a.m. which is when he could wake up from the couch and come to bed.  If I tried to talk to him, he would be annoyed that I was taking up his time and 95% of conversations would end up as him yelling at me, and my crying and leaving the room.

We have been married 21 years and dated for 5 years.  I went to discuss my marriage with my new minister (we joined a new church).  After I poured my heart out, he basically told me my husband does not love me and has been using me.  He prayed with me that I would be able to acknowledge this.  Well, it didn't take long, that evening my husband yelled at me again, and I ended up kicking him out.  I was through and ready to end this life of misery.  I went to a new lawyer (been there, done that before--but I always backed down saying to myself, "I really want my marriage to work because I loved him") and filed for divorce.  My only child just graduated high school and will be off to college at the end of August.

My husband never changed because he couldn't acknowledge that he had problems, he would pretend that he wanted to make it work (I mean, really, 3 years of marriage counseling once a week to no avail).  He never did the assignments and our doctor told us after the first 6 months of counseling that "It was not me and that my husband would have done this to anyone that he married".  I wish I had listened back then and saved myself 3 years of abuse, abandonment, stress, feeling worthless, used and betrayed.  It was never going to change--why should it when I was letting him have his cake and eat it too.  I know that he has been cheating on me again and my  not wanting to get another STD had a great role in my decision.  The biggest thing to make me see this reality was the minister saying "He doesn't love you".  How humililating--I felt lower than dirt.  It took me 48 hours to start to get out of that hell.  Trust me, the theater of my mind was not a positive place to be during those hours.

Bottom line, ladies, you cannot change what you can't acknowledge and they will never change.  I'm grateful I have God behind me to give me this strength--this is the hardest thing I've ever done and would not wish it on my worse enemy.  Thank you for listening to my pathetic story. 
 
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