The Anatomy of ADHD and Relationships
“Ask me about my attention deficit disorder, or pie, or my cat. A dog. I have a bike, do you like TV? I saw a rock. Hi!” – Author Unknown
“How could you forget to pay that bill?”
“I can’t seem to count on you when I need you!”
“Can you ever be on time?”
“Why do I have to continue to repeat myself with you?”
“You are so messy! For the last time, please clean up!”
Have you ever heard any of the above or something similar? I’ve heard it and much more throughout all my life. It wasn’t until my early 40’s I found out a major part of my issue was adult ADHD. As I looked back over my life, I was able to better understand the chaos, which resulted from untreated ADHD.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. People dealing with ADHD struggle with inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, or a combination of these. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that, “about 60 percent of children with ADHD in the United States become adults with ADHD; that’s about 4 percent of the adult population, or 8 million adults. Additionally, less than 20 percent of adults with ADHD have been diagnosed or treated, and only about one-quarter of those adults seek help.”
According to Webmd.com the top 10 signs that could mean Adult ADHD are as follows:
- Trouble getting organized
- Reckless driving and traffic accidents
- Marital trouble
- Extremely distractible
- Poor listening skills
- Restlessness, trouble relaxing
- Trouble starting a task
- Angry outbursts
- Prioritizing issues
Webmd.com concludes, “often, people with adult ADHD mis-prioritize, failing to meet big obligations, like a deadline at work, while spending countless hours on something insignificant.”
By looking at this list, many can say these are normal traits of any person at one time or another. However, what we neglect to recognize are the effects when these, and other symptoms of ADHD, are not diagnosed in one’s lifetime.
When you are married or even in a close relationship, your shortcomings are exposed and magnified. It takes constant communication, compromise, patience, and understanding to work together. I have struggled a lot with communicating with others in my life. This has negatively impacted relationships with my parents, teachers, employers, spouse, and even my children. It affected every aspect of life. The breaking point was the eventual separation from my wife and family… and only then did I decide to get tested. My diagnosis was a blessing in disguise. Not only was I able to reunite with my family, but I learned more about myself and how to manage my ADHD. It is a day-to-day process, which my wife and I handle together.
If reading this article makes you take pause because you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned earlier in this article, then speak to your partner and loved ones. Consider getting yourself tested for ADHD. It was very difficult for me to go for testing, but my quality of life has only gotten better since I was diagnosed. If you have experienced similar lifelong hardships, then consider getting evaluated for ADHD. Understanding the problem gave me the tools to regain my happiness and that of my loved ones. Knowing the cause provided me with the keys to the solution. My life is better for it and yours can be, too.