Maintaining a successful or thriving relationship can be difficult in the best of circumstances. When you have to take other factors into consideration, like ADHD, it can become a lot harder.
ADHD in adults and relationships that shows up without proper analysis and preparation can cause problems.
As a relationship counselor and life coach in Dubai and online, I regularly see clients who are struggling in certain areas in their relationship with their partner and believe that there’s an underlying factor causing a rift in their connection.
It’s common to assume that disorders like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD) are diagnosed only in children.
However, there are many people who don’t get diagnosed until they reach adulthood.
How does ADHD in adults and relationships present itself?
If your partner has ADHD or ADD, or if you’re married to someone with ADHD, how can you support them? What are the signs and symptoms to look out for?
Research has shown that around 4.4 percent of adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD.
However, this number could be much higher because some of the symptoms that are present in adults with ADHD can be milder than in children who have ADHD. Therefore, they go undiagnosed.
Even if symptoms are milder in adulthood, they can still affect how well a person functions with daily tasks.
For example, they might struggle with paying attention, may act impulsively, and make rash decisions — all of which impact the way they work, how they interact with loved ones, and how they lead their lives.
What are some of the most common symptoms of ADHD in adults?
They act impulsively without consulting others.
They are really disorganized.
They have difficulty focusing on tasks.
They have poor time management skills.
They are always keeping themselves busy and feel restless if they stay still.
They are unable to multitask.
They get frustrated or angry really quickly.
They have frequent mood swings.
They struggle to follow through on decisions.
They can’t handle stress well.
They lack social constructs. (i.e. They interrupt other people’s conversation.)
They get bored very quickly.
Even though you may experience one or more of these symptoms at some point in your life, it’s the persistent symptoms that affect a person and get in the way of carrying out simple daily tasks that make it more likely to be a diagnosable condition like ADHD.
I’ve worked with many clients who come to me for breakthrough life coaching.
When we explore their beliefs and reasons for lacking time management skills or struggling to focus on work, we realize that there’s a set of limiting decisions that they made earlier on in life about themselves and their abilities that have blocked them.
There is definitely more to it than being “lazy.”
Often, it stems from a deeper core belief or fear of failure, a sense of not deserving the success, fortune, or relationship they want, and sabotage themselves time and time again.
The reason some adults might go undiagnosed is that there can be an overlap of symptoms between ADHD and other mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
In fact, it’s quite common for adults who are diagnosed with ADHD to also have a mental health diagnosis.
According to the statistics, around 5 to 47 percent of adults with ADHD present with comorbid bipolar disorder. Roughly one-fifth to one-half of adults with ADHD have a major depressive disorder or dysthymia (chronic depression).
Around 50 percent of adults with ADHD have some type of anxiety disorder and more than 50 percent of adults with ADHD have a personality disorder.
Again, you can look at this and lose hope. ADHD and dating seem almost incompatible if you only look at the obstacles.
However, in my experience, you can break free from the cycles of putting yourself down and expecting the worst, so you and your partner can live happy and positive lives.
Nicola Beer is a marriage transformation specialist and founder of the Save My Marriage Program. To book one of her free ultimate connector consultations, e-mail her or read the 7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage, get your free report, visit her website.