I am currently married but separated from my husband who has ADD, has had it since he was a teen, but I jjust found out about this diagnosis after we were married and experiencing serious paranoia problems, control issues, and domestic violence with severe emotional abuse and physical intimidation. My husband thoughts are constantly paranoid about me cheating on him for no cause at all, he is two different people but I see less and less of the good person, he is rageful, threatened to kill himself, and the list goes on and on. Our last marriage therapist told me to leave and that I was in serious danger, she was concerned for my safety. We had 2 marriage therapists say they felt he had a personality disorder with antisocial tendencies. I have read books about antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders and ADD. They seem to all desribe him to a T. My husband is in his mid 30′s and in special forces active duty in the US Military. He is on his fourth medication……from paxil to provigile to aderal now to cymbalta and none have made a dent in his compulsiveness or paranoid behaviors or ragefulness. How do I know if he has ADD or a personality disorder? I am struggling with the decision to divorce because I don’t know what end is up or down.

A: Please ask yourself if it really matters what label/diagnosis is assigned to your husband’s behavior. You describe emotional abuse and domestic violence. A therapist who knows you is worried for your safety. In spite of treatment, your husband continues to be rageful. That’s enough to make me concerned for you.

Perhaps you need to take the input from your helpers more seriously. If your husband loves you, he doesn’t want to hurt you. Perhaps the two of you should consider whether a separation until he has a positive response to treatment is advisable. Separation might protect you from being hurt and him from hurting someone he loves. If you want to stay married, couples therapy while you are separated can help. He needs to recognize when he is getting angry and how to control it. You could learn more about what you need to do to support his treatment and, at the same time, take care of yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Jan 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). How do I know if he has ADD or a personality disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/01/23/how-do-i-know-if-he-has-add-or-a-personality-disorder/