What Does ADHD Look Like?

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Are you living with an “in-denial” adult with ADHD? Try humor. For starters, check out this short video featuring Canadian writer/director/actor Rick Green and maybe share it with your partner. Then both of you can (I hope) have a laugh.

In case you didn’t figure it out, Rick has ADHD. And guess what? Ava Green, his wife, works with him as video story editor. And together they produced the much-acclaimed GlobalTV documentary ADD and Loving It?!, featuring Canadian actor Patrick McKenna. Here is the description from the TotallyADD website: Read the rest of this entry »

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For those new to ADHD Partner blog and unfamiliar with my other two blogs, I’d like to point you to several helpful posts. After 10 years of moderating the online ADHD Partner group (an international free online group for the partners of adults with ADHD), I know these are “hot topics” and are bound to help you slow your own personal ADHD Roller Coaster. So, fire up your  monitor and find the clues you’ve been seeking:

ADHD and Sleep:

This is a topic I’ve educated about for years, and still many people (including clinicians) are surprised to learn that many ADHD symptoms conspire to impair good sleep–for your partner with ADHD and you.  Click here to read my post on this topic, “To Sleep, Perchance to Turn Off that *&$@# Computer.” Definitely read the many validating, illuminating comments (leave one to help others, if you  like).

Look forward to an e-book I’m writing on the topic, full of helpful sleeptime strategies!

ADHD and Sex:

Who knew? A “little kid’s disorder” that makes them “fidget in the classroom” can create problems with adult sexual intimacy, and indeed any type of intimacy? Read the rest of this entry »

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argue“Too much fighting” was a top reason for leaving the relationship, according to ADHD Partner respondents who had either divorced or separated from or who had stopped dating a partner with (untreated) ADHD.  I’ll post that survey data soon, but given my recent experience at the farmer’s market (“Knowing the Facts Makes You Gaslight-Proof”) and the  partison rancor in this country, the topic of “fighting as self-medication” is on my mind.

So many factors contribute to the sometimes unrelenting arguments and conflict that happen in relationships affected by undiagnosed/untreated ADHD:

  • “Denial” of ADHD symptoms (which often has both physiological and psychological underpinnings)
  • A co-existing condition such as conduct disorder or antisocial personality disorder, autistic-spectrum disorder, or even anxiety and Obsessive-compulsive Disorder.

Mostly, though, it’s ignorance around these factors  that fuels the fighting on both sides.  Here’s an excerpt on the subject from Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder.

Chapter 7: More Mystifying Twists and Turns (on the ADHD Roller Coaster)

Conflict as “Self-Medication”

For Kimberly, here’s the hardest thing to understand about her husband. It doesn’t matter how accommodating she is, how hard she tries to avoid doing things that would make him angry; as long as he wants to be angry, he will find a reason. Moreover, he wants to get angry a lot, and he will always find a way to make his anger her fault. Then when he finally succeeds in provoking her anger and she loses her temper, she’ll suffer more accusations from him about her anger-management problem. Kimberly ends up feeling ashamed yet defensive because, she says, “Most people have no idea how determined some people with ADHD can be at provoking others.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Is your ADHD Partner overconfident about his or her ability to watch the road while texting? How about suggesting a spin behind this stimulator for some objective feedback. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maybe you’ve heard that people with ADHD are “creative” or “risk-taking” or “extroverted.” The truth is, people with ADHD are individuals. Yes, the estimated 10 to 20 million of these adults in the U.S. alone have distinct personalities, talents, backgrounds, and attitudes. And, like everyone else, they don’t fit neatly into a box.

Still, there’s one thing adults with ADHD do have in common: a syndrome that manifests very differently across the spectrum, depending on which traits predominate.

That’s why if you rely on shaky stereotypes about what Adult ADHD is or is not, you might never see the Big Picture. More likely, you’ll see only caricatures, not people with a complex condition that closely resembles the human condition— writ large. More important, you’ll miss the fact that someone you love might have it. Read the rest of this entry »

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