Navigating a meaningful relationship can be difficult for anyone at times. When you have ADHD, however, the act of falling in love can be downright terrifying. Many troubling questions may flood your mind: Am I deserving of love? What happens if I mess this relationship up? If you fear that your ADHD (or your partner’s) might be putting a strain on your relationship, understand that not all hope is lost. With some patience, you and your partner can identify quickly what aggravates symptoms and work together to find sound solutions. To get started, keep reading to learn exactly how ADHD can affect a relationship.
Arguments happen. People annoy each other. These are basic truths even for those in the most loving of relationships. People with ADHD, though, might take even the most minor of disagreements personally. When scolded by their significant other, they internalize what is said and use it as “evidence” that they are inadequate in some way. The best way to avoid hurt feelings in such cases is to avoid accusing. Instead, try empathizing with your partner. Understand that you too have your weaknesses you want to work on and that doing so requires patience. Then forgive yourself for being imperfect. Forgive your partner for being imperfect. Accept that you both can only do your best when you have each other for support.
There is nothing worse than saying something you absolutely did not mean to say. Sometimes such things are said in a sudden flare of anger or sadness. For people with ADHD, these intense moments may happen much more often than they would like. Worst of all, those words hurt the people closest to them, and sometimes even sincere apologies seem ineffective in mending the wounds. What is important to remember is that a people with ADHD do not say such things from a place of malice; they say them because the symptoms of their illness have gone unchecked.
It is generally understood that a relationship will be healthiest if both parties cooperate with full enthusiasm. That includes always listening to what the other person has to say, even if it seems uninteresting and even if you disagree. Those with ADHD might find it difficult to listen to their partners, even if they care deeply about what they have to say. When this happens, it is understanding for feelings to get hurt. After all, who likes to speak endlessly, only to find out not a single word stuck? But again: people with ADHD do not fail to listen because they want to hurt their partners. Their struggle can be attributed to the symptoms, not to any ill-will. Instead of losing your temper when your partner drifts off, try stopping and asking politely if he understands what you are saying and if he has any questions. Do so in a way that does not sound accusing but rather inviting--you want him to be part of the dialogue, even if he struggles sometimes. Helping someone with ADHD stay on track without judgment goes a long way.
Some people are meticulous with their belongings to the point they get annoyed when anything falls out of place. Others just place things wherever and don’t think much about a little clutter. Some people with ADHD fall into the latter category--and this can be very frustrating for their partners who pine for order. Instead of getting angry with your messy partner, you might offer to help her clean up. Understand that people with ADHD tend to respond well to structure. With this in mind, why not divide chores between you and your partner and set a schedule for when each chore gets done? That way, you can hold each other accountable--but gently so.
Everyday life can be busy, and it does not help that we often feel pressured to remember: that anniversary, this birthday, and so on. ADHD often keeps the brain reeling, making remembering certain details even more challenging. If your partner has ADHD, you might feel frustrated when he forgets something that is very important to you. You might even assume that he does not care at all. Remember that most people do not set out to forget. It just happens. And a person who copes with ADHD might have to juggle mentally several details that the average person recalls without much thought. If forgetfulness is a problem for your partner, help him make a list of things he must remember: to feed the dog, to take out the trash, and so on. Again, structure tends to help people with ADHD immensely.
For more help with coping with ADHD and other mental conditions, visit Couples Clinic.
Undiagnosed ADHD is one condition that can be tricky to identify. While many people see it as a “childhood condition” that kids can grow out of, ADHD affects people of all ages and often requires lifelong management. In fact, almost 5% of American adults struggle with ADHD. That is not taking into account the estimated 20% who do not receive treatment to cope with their symptoms.
Nobody wants to see a loved one struggle with a mental disorder. Even so, when people find themselves on the receiving end of unpredictable behavior and untreated symptoms, they may experience every emotion from helplessness to anger. Understand that you are not alone. It is estimated that more than 40% of adults in the United States have ADHD severe enough to affect everyday life.
If you think your significant other may have undiagnosed ADHD, read on for some the most common symptoms in adults. Remember that it is important to use this information as a guide and not as an official diagnostic tool. A trained professional is best suited to give a proper evaluation and diagnosis.
Trouble Staying Organized
We are all guilty of being a little messy from time to time, especially when we are preoccupied with other matters. Some people with ADHD, however, find it significantly difficult keep their belongings in order. This symptom often goes beyond simply remembering where the car keys went or what happened to the remote. ADHD can also affect one’s ability to manage important tasks and complete them in a timely and satisfactory manner. This symptom might be especially troubling if it keeps your partner from staying at a fulfilling job.
People with ADHD sometimes act impulsively. For instance, they might speak out of turn during a lecture. Moreover, they often find it difficult to consider the consequences of the actions and as a result might make decisions they will later regret. This might entail anything from making a crude joke in a less-than-ideal situation, to making strings of unnecessary compulsive purchases.
Sometimes ADHD makes people want to do everything at once, to the point they have trouble deciding what to do first. Other times, they can hardly muster the drive to get anything done at all. For instance, your partner might frequently fail to meet deadlines on projects at work.
People with ADHD may seem as though they always have to be doing something. Therefore, it might be only natural to assume that their minds are always reeling. Indeed, people with ADHD often also exhibit heightened anxiety. This in turn leads to a sense of being able to rest when needed, which only perpetuates the anxiety. This symptom might manifest itself as a pacing or toe tapping habit. Maybe your partner has trouble sitting for long periods of time and frequently dismisses himself from the dinner table to let off some steam.
No matter how intense a person’s ADHD symptoms may seem, they eventually will likely run out of steam. When this happens, they risk falling hard. Suddenly, they can hardly keep their eyes open, after displaying seemingly bottomless energy just moments earlier. This fatigue can also come from insomnia, another condition with which many people with ADHD must cope due to their perpetually restless minds.
Whether they have been formally diagnosed or not, people with ADHD are usually accustomed to being scolded for doing something “wrong” such as not paying attention or sitting still. As a result, they internalize these perceived failures and let them shroud their identities. You might notice this trait in your partner if she seems overly hard on herself and has trouble accepting genuine praise.
For more help with coping with ADHD and other common conditions, visit Couples Clinic.
Jealousy, anger, frustration, and sadness are all negative feelings that everyone experiences. Now, you may be asking, “if everyone else is experiencing these feelings, why am I the only one who seems unhappy?” What you, and many other people don’t realize is that the feelings themselves are not the issue keeping you down. If you can learn to deal with your emotions in a healthy way, you will find that your bad feelings dissipate; you are capable of seeing the world in a new light. If you would like to learn some healthy ways of dealing with your negative feelings, read on!
One of the most useful suggestions for many people simply take some time to write down your emotions. This will help you keep track of your triggers and promote rational thinking. Oftentimes, when we experience negative emotions, our lives begin to feel out of control and the problems seem exaggerated. By getting your thoughts out of your head and onto a page, it is much easier to get to the root of the problem at hand. Facing your negativity head on will take care of it much more quickly than keeping it bottled up inside.
Breathing and Yoga Exercises
Breathing exercises as well as yoga poses are another healthy, yet simple way to deal with negative emotions. Practicing yoga poses will serve as a type of distraction and help you to center your mind. When you begin to focus on your physical technique, you will be able to release your negative energy.
This same release of negativity occurs in breathing exercises. Try downloading on of the many Mindfulness apps available. These apps offer guided meditation and breathing exercises that teach you to calm down and focus on yourself. By focusing on yourself, your negative, unhealthy emotions will begin to disappear. If you try technique in this article, make sure it’s this one. Practicing Mindfulness can take as little as 10 minutes of your day, and will go a long way to improve your mental health.
Hit the Gym
Exercise plays a pretty important role in helping to regulate your emotions. In the short term, it can trigger the brain to release endorphins, which help you feel happier and more engaged. In the long term, exercise also be a positive habit that adds a sense of accomplishment and stability to your life. Our main goal here is to create a constructive outlet that you can use to release your negative feelings. Bottling emotions is just as unhealthy as angrily releasing them through misplaced anger. If we can create a healthy distraction, you can use that as fuel for motivation. Take this time to power through an intense workout. If you’re dealing with anger issues, you can even take a kickboxing class to take out your anger on the mat instead of against a person.
Catch Some Z’s
Excessive desire to sleep can sometimes be a sign of depression, which is a good reason to visit a psychologist. However, if you are simply feeling overworked, or under-rested, a nap can work wonders. . Sleeping can also help you manage one of the key causes of unhealthy emotions, stress. A large amount of the populations are placed under an extreme amount of stress. Whether it stems from your school, work, or family life, stress is often the underlying cause of negativity. Because sleep is a natural stress reliever, you may find that taking time to rejuvenate will allow you to wake up feeling much better off than you felt pre-nap.
Regardless of what negative emotions you may be experiencing, the good news is that you are clearly taking a proactive approach to addressing them. (After all, you’re here reading this article, right?) Here at Oakville Wellness Center, we are ready to help you take control of your emotions and your life through insightful and compassionate talk therapy. Get in touch with us today to schedule your first appointment!