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Engaged to a man with TS, OCD, ADHD. Looking for education and advice

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  • Engaged to a man with TS, OCD, ADHD. Looking for education and advice

    Let me start off by saying I am a forum virgin! I have never been on a forum site before much less use one or be a part of one. So I am winging it here, please be patient with me. And if I do anything wrong, I apologize ahead of time; and please let me know if I do, as Im am learning as I go... thank you!

    Both me and my fiance of 4 years are in our mid to late 20's, and I have an 8 year old son from a previous relationship. My fiance has TS, OCD, & ADHD. He was diagnosed with TS at the very young age of 3! And the OCD, and ADHD later in life, but still was diagnosed as a child. So he is well aware and open with his condition. If fact we met on a blind date and one of the first things he says to me is, "Just so you know, I have Tourette's!" I thought that was very cool of him and that he had to be very secure with himself to be able to be that open and upfront! And as I came to find out, he was! Anyway, his TS has never been an issue in our relationship; his ticks never really bother me or cause conflict, for the most part. He is a very strong person with an immense amount of personal will and self control! (probably more than anyone I've ever met ) His tics include eye tics, shoulder tics, abdominal tics, neck/head movements, rapid leg shaking and picking his face. I try to not get on his case about his tics, if they bother me (which most dont), but when he picks his face and is causing harm to his body, i cant help but make him aware of what he is doing. Most of the time he stops the action and is fine; other times he might snap at me..... i just suck it up.

    Other things he does due to his other diagnosis' include pacing around the house, needing to have certain items in specific pockets of his pants, long winded explanations/ and reiterating, leaving the house is always challenging with him b/c he has to go through his "check list" of things he needs or to have done before we can leave which most times makes us chronically late for everything, at times i will be talking right to him and he will be looking at me but he will completely space out and not even hear a word i said, has trouble finishing a task or staying on one point for a long amount of time, he forgets simple things i just talked to him about (for example: hell ask whats for dinner, and 20 minutes later he'll ask me again, and I"m like.. "I just told you, think on it for a second") He can be easily aggravated sometimes, and when something bad happens he always takes it to a worst case scenario, when most times things are just fine! He over exaggerates the bad things, and under exaggerates the good! There are more, but I think you get the idea.....

    He has told me he has tried all the meds out there to treat TS, and wont get back on them again... we are recreational marijuana users (& that does help him).... but other than that the only med he takes is adderall for ADHD. (which he just recently started taking again) Does anyone know how adderall can affect TS symptoms? I think it has makes my fiance worse, but he completely disagrees with me? Another thing with my fiance is that he is a certified genius (and lets just say I'm far from on his level when it comes to intelligence) so with his condition and his smarts, its almost impossible for me to get through to him and its really starting to affect me and our relationship, negatively. If anybody has any advice on this, I'm all ears!

    So with all that said, I am posting today because my fiance has been increasingly more and more angry, short tempered, and stressed out. He has always lashed out at me or snapped at me time to time and im a very easy going person and generally upbeat so its fairly easy for me to let things roll of my shoulders. But lately he has started to lash out at me for things when there isnt even anything wrong (if that makes sense). Like he gets in his own head and what he is thinking is happening isnt what is really happening at all; so to sum it up I'm getting yelled at (demeaned and put down,even threats to break up and kick me out of our home) DAILY. Its getting really bad, and is hindering our relationship alot. He has even started to lash out at my son in anger and my son has started to come to me and comfort me when he hears my fiance lash out at me. I can handle getting yelled at, but when its effecting my son; I need to draw a the line. Him and I are both at our wits end with the outbursts and lashing out, and something needs to give. I do understand that he is under a considerable amount of stress, with him being the main provider for the family, and we have a huge amount of student loans and bills. He recently lost his best friend, unexpectedly! So that is an issue; and he recently took on a few side jobs that will be awesome for his resume/ career, but leave him with no free time lately. And like I said earlier I really think his adderall is hindering more than helping, since he gets less sleep, and his brain is constantly going, and it makes him easily irritable, not to mention it makes his tics come out alot more! I also know that the way I respond or react to him yelling at me probably isnt helping. But in my defense, I can hold in or take alot of crap & it takes me a long while before I reach my breaking point; but with the escalating anger towards me daily I feel backed into a corner almost and feel i need to stick up for myself or defend myself... so lately if he is yelling at me, I yell back!

    He tells me he cant help it when he freaks out and its because of his TS and he tells me I need to let it not get to me, he says i need to do research and understand what TS is. Well I have been reading tons of forums on here and I have read that there is never a good reason/excuse to treat someone poorly. Any incite, advice, ANYTHING about this would be greatly appreciated! I really want to help my fiance and myself and our family to be better together and happier as a whole! Again any advice or ideas or anything will be very helpful! Sorry for making this so long, I just really wanted to get all the facts out there, thanks everyone!

  • #2
    Re: Engaged to a man with TS, OCD, ADHD. Looking for education and advice

    Welcome to the TSFC Forum and thank you for joining us.

    You've raised several important issues in your post and you are to be commended for your interest and understanding of your fiancé's disorder.

    You and your fiancé should be aware that Tourette symptoms, while involuntary are affected by internal and external environmental factors. Factors such as stress, fatigue and excitement are the usual things that can make symptoms worse.

    You alluded to several stressors in his life at this time which, if not managed, might well account for the eruption of his symptoms.

    I've attached a reprint of an article describing the kinds of medications used to treat TS and related symptoms for your information. Please see the part I highlighted with regard to Adderall.

    It is reported that 40 to 60% of people diagnosed with Tourette are also diagnosed with ADHD, which for some can be more disabling than tics. It is also reported that when Adderall is prescribed there is a 20% risk of worsening of tics, which seems to be dose related.

    Perhaps your fiancé might consult his prescribing physician to report his situation and ask if Adderall is right for him, if he needs a dose adjustment or perhaps even a change in compound.

    Rage reactions occur in some people with Tourette Syndrome and are usually problematic. Tourette Syndrome should never be an excuse for bad manners nor for abuse of family members.

    When symptoms adversely affect relationships, and family security where verbal or physical abuse occurs, it is up to the person with the symptoms to seek professional help to manage those symptoms. In my own case, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helped me learn strategies to manage the rage reactions adversely affected my own life.

    Your fiancé sounds like a man who understands a good deal about his disorder and from what you've written, is comfortable talking about it.

    Use that good quality in his character to persuade him to seek help to regain control of his symptoms that are adversely affecting your relationship.

    There are behavioural therapies designed for many of the issues you have described, including a behavioural therapy that deals specifically with Tourette symptoms called Comprehensive Behavioural Intervention for Tics (CBIT).

    A therapist trained in CBIT could help your fiancé understand how the stressors in his life can be managed, and thereby help with his tics. His therapist could help him with strategies to diffuse or at least minimize the effect of those rage reactions that can be so hurtful to those around him.

    If he is getting symptom relief from his ADHD medication, but possible side effects seem be adversely affecting his tics, he might discuss it with his doctor to see if any modifications in dose or medication is appropriate.

    Have a look at the following posts in our Anger Section regarding rage reactions:

    Rage Episodes, Part 1: What is a Rage Episode?

    Rage Episodes, Part 2: What Causes Rage Episodes?

    Rage Episodes, Part 3: Treatment Coping Strategies

    Any chance your fiancé might join the Forum? It would be great to have him join us. If so, he should register under his own account, as two people cannot use one User account, because of the confusion it creates.

    Do you have a wedding date planned?
    Attached Files
    TouretteLinks Forum


    • #3
      Re: Engaged to a man with TS, OCD, ADHD. Looking for education and advice

      Me to a T. Any stimulant can increase agitation and aggression when you have TS and ADHD. My team of doctors constantly work on my medicine so I will be balanced. Time and patience is the key. My doctor wants me to try strattera a non stimulant. Good luck and God bless.


      • #4
        Re: Engaged to a man with TS, OCD, ADHD. Looking for education and advice

        Something you might want to look at is his sleep habits. From my own experience, a lack of sleep (especially a chronic lack) can significantly reduce a person's control mechanisms when it comes to rage. If he's not sleeping enough, or getting quality sleep, then working on that might help as well.

        Another avenue to investigate is meditation. I know it's quite difficult when ADHD is in the mix, and I've found it can help quite a bit with overall emotional control.