Adhd Versus Add: Whats The Difference
The first thing I learned was what the heck ADHD even was! ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and is considered to be a neuropsychological disorder that is present from birth. Although it is sometimes categorized as a mental illness, its actually more closely related to autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities than other mental illnesses like depression and anxiety disorders.
It is a chronic condition that can cause symptoms of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, emotionality, and impulsiveness. While most people deal with bouts of these symptoms, those with ADHD have them on a constant basis and they interfere with normal day-to-day functioning.
ADHD comes in, what I like to call, three different flavors. There are two different subcategories of symptoms, the hyperactive ones and the inattentive ones. The first is ADHD- hyperactive subtype, where the individuals symptoms primarily fall into the hyperactive category.
The second is ADHD- inattentive subtype, where the individuals symptoms primarily fall into the inattentive category. The third is ADHD- combined subtype where, you guessed it!, the individuals symptoms fall into both categories. I personally have the combined subtype, in which my hyperactivity can appear as restlessness, skin picking, and fidgeting and my inattentiveness can appear as zoning out, brain fog, and inability to start tasks.
She nodded and pulled up a chair beside me.
Problems With Time Management Can Mean That The Partner With Adhd Is Often Late And Keeps Others Waiting
“No other disorder causes worse problems with time management than ADHD. They are always late, can’t stick to a schedule, fail to meet deadlines, and may not even show up,” Barkley says. This is because ADHD makes it very difficult for people to predict how long it takes to do something, which can be frustrating for their partner. Time management is a skill that people with ADHD will probably have to work on their whole lives. But the experts agree that it helps to use alarms, reminders, and … a good app for directions that accounts for traffic.
Dating Other People With Adhd
One problem which faces many people who have ADHD is feeling that theres a lack of understanding from those around them at how frustrating and sometimes limiting the condition can be.
Dating someone else who also has ADHD can seem like a fantastic solution to this issue. Being around someone who has also been in the same position and knows firsthand the challenges that ADHD can bring can be a relief.
However, two people with ADHD arent always a match made in heaven. There can be major incompatibilities if different people suffer from different types. There can also be extra stress if both parties are prone to issues such as impulsivity or a lack of organization.
As with many other areas of dating, much of the success of the relationship will come down to general compatibility and the willingness to listen and take mutual responsibility for the relationship and any negative behaviors associated with the condition.
For some people, dating another person with ADHD can be an incredible learning experience. For others, it can magnify existing issues as both parties struggle with their individual symptoms.
ADHD and Dating Positivity
While many websites and books offer sound and solid advice about ADHD and relationships, many of them are dedicated to fixing problems or to discussing if people with ADHD can have healthy relationships.
Its true that many people with ADHD do suffer from intense challenges and can feel isolated and anxious when it comes to relationships.
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Enlist A Trusted Friend
Sometimes it helps to sit down with a trusted and supportive friend or family member to help you think through this process. It is not unusual for an individual with ADD to become so consumed with a new relationship that all objective thought flies out the door.
When youre right in the middle of a situation, your own perception may get skewed. You may also miss important clues or warning signs about the relationship that an outside party, who has your best interest at heart, is better able to point out to you.
How You Can Be There For Your Teen
Teens usually arent eager to share their private lives with their parents. You likely wont be able to have much input into how your child handles the emotions that go along with falling in love. Its important to be available when your child does want to talk, however. Its also important to set house rules for dating and stick with them.
Falling in love and having good first relationships is a powerful experience for all teens. For teens with ADHD, who may struggle with social skills and feel isolated, it can make a huge difference in how they feel about themselves. So even if your teen gets swept up in emotions, its important to be supportive of the relationship and of your child.
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They Are Passionate About Everything They Do
The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all theyâve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable.
Basically, a person with ADD/ADHD has trouble controlling their impulses. They also have many awesome qualities that you will enjoy once you understand how they think and feel. Compassion, empathy and patience will carry you through the most difficult times. Itâs important to take extra care of yourself take alone time regularly, do what you enjoy, find a support group, a therapist or a compassionate wise friend, take frequent vacations, meditate, find hobbies and your own passion. Most of all, learn how to breathe.
Some of the greatest inventors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and writers had ADD/ADHD. They succeeded because they had a loved one just like you supporting them through their daily struggles. Replace your anger with compassion. Realize how they struggle to do what comes easy to you. Think of the ADD brain, as one with electrical wiring in the wrong circuits. Next time you think that they are lazy, irresponsible, disorganized, and avoiding responsibilities try to remember how hard they have to work extra hard to achieve a simple task.
This article first appeared on Lifehack.org
Adhd And Dating Sites
Online dating sites can be a great way to meet new people for someone who has ADHD. This is because, in addition to their usefulness in addressing common modern problems like time issues and knowing where to meet single people, they offer a chance to communicate in a way which can be helpful.
Being able to take time to go through dating profiles, and to fill out your own profile can help with organization and being more comfortable to mention ADHD. For those who are socially anxious, online dating platforms offer a less frightening way of introducing themselves to new people.
There can be some potential negative factors to consider though. Making sure that you dont get overwhelmed by interacting with too many people at once can be important. Dating sites can also be distracting, especially when there are lots of profiles to sift through. Setting time limits for use can help with this.
Some online dating sites cater to people with ADHD or offer the opportunity to mention that ADHD is part of your life. This can take away the stress of bringing it up when out on an initial date.
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Difficulty Expressing Emotions For Men With Adhd
We dont do a good job of teaching our boys and men how to express, and live peacefully with, their emotions. Instead, we teach them to be tough, stoic, and silent. This is exacerbated by the difficulty that men with ADHD have reading the emotional cues of others.
Learning how to communicate ones emotions takes practice and, for many, courage. So part of good therapy for men is to practice recognizing, and then expressing, their feelings. In my seminars, I provide a list of I-focused emotion words that adults can use during emotional conversations. These prompt more nuanced communication about feelings. I encourage practicing this in less stressful moments, too.
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Learn Everything You Can About Your So ‘s Condition
“It’s important to understand what ADD is and what your partner’s limitations are,” McGinnis says. Talking to your partner is a great place to startthey can fill you in on how they’re experiencing the relationshipbut it can help to do your own research beyond the conversations you have with them. “Read up on it. Get outside opinions on it,” McGinnis says. By doing so, you may find it easier to grasp what your partner experiences, and you’ll be better able to put yourself in their shoes, McGinnis explains.
How Adhd Manifests In A Relationship
ADHD is different for everyone. Your partner may not have a diagnosis but can exhibit clear signs of the condition. They may have a diagnosis but not be in treatment at the moment, or they may be in treatment but still experience symptoms.
While there are different types of ADHD, these are some common signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Chaotic lifestyle
In a relationship, these symptoms can become problematic at times. Your partner may struggle to listen to you when theyre mentally focused on something else. Your partner may set a goal for themselves that they fail to accomplish. Your partner may promise to run an errand but forget all about it.
Keep in mind, there are also many positive traits associated with ADHD that can make your relationship stronger, such as adventurousness, self-acceptance, divergent thinking, and sublimation. Learning more about your partner and their ADHD is important to building a relationship that lasts.
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Retreat As A Coping Strategy For Men With Adhd
Research suggests that men have greater difficulty recovering from conflict than women do. Their blood pressure remains elevated after conflict, and they have more trouble calming themselves. Conflict feels physically uncomfortable, so men tend to avoid it.
Men with ADHD may feel bombarded with constant critiques of their underperformance at home and at work. The struggle to become reliable in the face of distraction and planning problems causes many men to retreat from conflict. This may lead to cover-up behavior, like lying, and being emotionally distant.
Some see retreat as benign and necessary. One man told me he covers up mistakes because it is easier to silently commit myself to take actions that will make up for them than to be in constant conflict with his wife. Enduring relationships rely on connection and trust, so understanding male avoidance can counteract this problem.
What’s The Most Important To Know
There are a few things that will help you navigate your relationship smoothly.
Remember this everyone has flaws. No one is perfect. Neither person in the relationship is without flaws.
Both parties will also have many positive attributes to bring to the table as well.
- Find the good. There are good and bad sides to all traits. Look for the ways their ADHD brings happiness and benefit to your life.
- Not every little thing deserves to turn into an argument. Like my mom always said, dont sweat the small stuff!
- Join forces and work together. Where one person has a weakness, the other may have strength. Support one another and find the balance that will make you unstoppable as a team.
- Be supportive. People with ADHD need support and understanding. This does not mean you have to be the caretaker with all burden of the relationship on your shoulders, but we sure do appreciate some support and encouragement along the way.
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Things To Remember If You Love A Person With Add/adhd
Itâs a fact a person with ADD is hard to love. You never know what to say. Itâs like walking through a minefield. You tiptoe around unsure which step will be the one that sets off an explosion of emotion. Itâs something you try to avoid.
People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning.
From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that itâs hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.
True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether itâs your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.
They Cant Remember Simple Tasks
Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD canât remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. Thatâs why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop.
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Delegate Tasks And Ask For Help
If your partner has ADHD, you may find that you end up doing the lion’s share of tasks like cleaning and organizing, because, as mentioned, people with ADHD often have trouble completing tasks. That’s why McGinnis says it can be beneficial to outsource chores and household duties. That could look like hiring a housekeeper so that you don’t feel like you’re the one always cleaning, or utilizing a grocery delivery service so it doesn’t always fall to you to make sure your fridge is stocked. “You don’t want things to feel unbalanced,” McGinnis says. That’s when frustration and resentment sets in.
Can Adhd Make You Abusive
No. Abuse in a relationship is typically due to a personal history of abuse.
Emotion dysregulation or emotional flooding is a component of ADHD, but this doesnt mean ADHD equals abuse.
Those with ADHD can learn to regulate and respond to their emotional experience using mindfulness and self-compassion.
Neurotypicals can also get emotionally dysregulated. They can learn to respond compassionately to their emotional experience, too.
When it comes to ADHD and relationships, one dynamic that couples run into is the parent/child dynamic.
The non-ADHD partner takes on the parent role where they feel they are constantly reminding the ADHD partner of what they said they would do, feeling frustrated by slow or no change. They start to over-function in the relationship while the ADHD partner is under-functioning.
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Sometimes Partners Might Develop A Parent
“What happens is over time, the parter without ADHD can feel more like a parent or a caretaker because they’re constantly picking up the slack, reminding their partner to do things, or planning things for them,” Barkley says. It can feel very burdensome to “parent” a partner, and the person with ADHD can end up feeling controlled or nagged. This dynamic can also lead to an unhealthy codependency situation. “It’s not empowering for the partner with ADHD at all,” says Barkley. It can also cause them to feel ashamed or reinforce feelings of inadequacy.
It’s important that the person with ADHD take responsibility for the symptoms that they can change, and that their partner is supportive without being too involved. “Every committed relationship should have an equal division of labor where each person is taking over the tasks they do best for the partner with ADHD, that may mean the non time-sensitive things,” Ramsay says. However a couple decides to split up tasks or chores, each partner should still be pulling their equal share so one person doesnt assume a parenting role.