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ADHD Question: Do adults who had ADHD growing up and with…

ADHD Question: Do adults who...
ADHD Question: Do adults who had ADHD growing up and with continuing ADHD into adulthood have difficulty maintaining close relationships with others or appreciating the importance and value of other people in their lives? Do they give up easily in their relationships and go to extremes to avoid any potential conflict or behave in such a non-confrontational manner that they do not even attempt to work out their problems with others who they may at one time have been close to? Would ADHD have anything to do with this kind of behavior or might it be something else unrelated? What problems do ADHD sufferers commonly have in their relationships with others?
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Answered in 13 hours by:
1/16/2018
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist
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Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello, I'd like to help you with your questions.

It is very difficult to lump everyone with an ADHD diagnosis as having the same issues in their relationships. An adult may be diagnosed with ADHD, but how they react in a relationship also depends on other factors including personality, insight, severity of symptoms and support.

Overall, adults with ADHD may suffer from difficulty paying attention, emotional outbursts, impulsive behavior and forgetfulness. To what degree that person suffers from these symptoms varies. It is agreed that any relationship they have will be affected to some degree by the symptoms of ADHD. But that does not mean that everyone with ADHD has difficult maintaining a relationship. If they have good insight and support then they know they may simply have to work harder at maintaining relationships and seek out more support and help if there are problems. Some people with ADHD may struggle to understand the importance of other people in their lives, but that is true of many people without an ADHD diagnosis. Understanding how others are important to their lives is not a known symptom of ADHD and may simply be a part of the person's personality in combination with ADHD or by itself.

It is also not a common symptom that a person with ADHD gives up easily in relationships, goes to extremes to avoid conflict or behaves in a non confrontational manner to the point of avoiding working out problems with others. What you are describing may be related more to personality rather than ADHD. While ADHD symptoms can be a factor and make it more difficult for someone to see the need to work out the problems their symptoms are creating in a relationship (potential lack of insight), it is not a globally known issue for people with this diagnosis.

However, many people with ADHD suffer from symptoms that do affect their relationships in varying degrees. For example, they may have impulsive behaviors that cause them to act before thinking. So instead of asking their spouse about buying an expensive item, they may go ahead and purchase it, causing conflict with their spouse who wanted to save before buying the item. Or another person with ADHD may forget an important discussion, causing the spouse to feel ignored or unimportant. The key is insight and willingness to work on issues caused by ADHD symptoms. If the diagnosed person is willing to admit to struggling with impulsive behavior for example, then it makes it easier for their spouse to understand their motives rather than feeling they don't care.

I hope this has helped you,

MaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist
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