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Adult ADHD and Your Relationships


Is Adult ADHD Straining Your Relationship? 5 Warning Signs continued...

3. ''You never do what you say you’re going to do.''

You meant it when you said you’d get to your son’s basketball game by 4:30 p.m. You really did. But then you got distracted at work, and your cell phone rang, and then you realized you needed to pick up the dry cleaning. And, before you knew it, the game was over -- and you were in the dog house.

''People with ADHD very much intend to do something when they say it; it’s not like some problems where people lie or are deceitful,'' says Steven Safren, PhD, director of behavioral medicine in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. ''But, sometimes in a relationship, it comes across as lying.''

4. ''How could you forget a-g-a-i-n?''

Do you feel like you’re always getting blamed for forgetting things, when you know no one actually ever told you about them?

Maybe you need to step back and reassess. Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often causes people to forget things they’re told, resulting in major problems in social relationships. If people have been telling you for years that you’re forgetful, it might be time to listen and find out if they’re right.

5. ''I can’t believe you bought that -- you know we can’t afford it!''

Fights over finances are one of the most common problems for people with adult ADHD.

And one of the most common symptoms of adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is impulsivity. This often manifests itself as reckless spending habits, or an inability to save money, even for your child’s college fund or your retirement.

Adult ADHD Treatment: Getting Started

If you or someone you care about suspects adult ADHD, the first thing you should do is educate yourself about the disorder and how it’s diagnosed.

There are books written by ADHD experts and free online resources available from reputable organizations like Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). These and other resources can help you find local and online support groups where you can share information with other people struggling with similar issues.

“Be sure that you know what should be done in an appropriate ADHD evaluation,” Robin tells WebMD, suggesting that people contact a local physician, a local CHADD chapter, or a university psychology department to obtain referrals to qualified professionals.

Adult ADHD Treatment and Your Relationships

If you’re diagnosed with adult ADHD, you’ll want to work with your health professional to address the specific problems you deal with day-to-day. When it comes to treatment, adult ADHD is often treated with a combination of medications, skills coaching, and psychotherapy, including couples counseling and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

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