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Adult ADHD and Your Relationships

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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.

If you have a spouse or partner, it’s often important for them to be involved in designing and assessing your treatment plan, since they often have a better perspective on which therapies are, or aren’t, working. This can be especially important for gauging whether any ADHD medications you’ve been prescribed, such as Adderall or Concerta, are working.

“It’s a good scenario if someone does have a supportive partner, so they can work together in a positive way to address the disorder,” Safren tells WebMD. “They can make informed decisions about medications and how to work with each other around managing this illness.”

Pera agrees. 

“When you think about it, you have a condition whose characteristics are inattention, poor working memory, and not knowing what’s important. The person with ADHD might think everything is fine, so when they go to therapist there needs to be third-party feedback,” she says.

When it comes to therapy, many experts stress the importance of skills training or coaching to help people with adult ADHD achieve their relationship goals. This might include help developing time management and organizational skills that allow you to manage your obligations and improve your relationships.

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