Hi everyone and welcome new members

Recently I started seeing more and more couples with more extreme challenges than the usual litany of problems. I noticed that for some, communication issues were just the tip of the iceberg of the list of frustrations and resentments expressed by some couples. After seeing so many couples with these complaints, I started to suspect that there may be something else causing these behaviours, over and above the usual issues. I came to realize that several of the couples who scored so high for risk of separation, actually had a partner that met the criteria for Adult ADHD. They just were never officially diagnosed. Once I realized this, I was able to make some changes in the strategies and tools I used, and several relaltionships were saved and even improved. Because of this, I feel it is important to bring this to your attention so you can investigate if these challenges may be affecting yourself or your partner . Please be aware that the characteristics of Adult ADHD can be quite different that those observed in children. It is also important to know that research shows that adults with ADHD have a significant higher rate of divorce than those who don't have this disorder. There is also a higher degree of addictive behaviours, a higher incidence of anxiety and depression as well as more frequent diagnosis of bipolar disorder among adults with ADHD.

The good news is that there are tools, skills and medication, if necessary, that can improve and diminish the undesirable behaviours and actions.

Whether you are already in a relationship presently or are considering entering into one, it may be a significant benefit to realize and understand the added challenges your partner may be bringing to the table just by virtue of his genetic makeup.

The article today is about recognizing an adult who may have undiagnosed ADHD traits. This article will describe the many challenges he/she faces as well as offer some positive insights.

Do you know someone who is?

- Frequently distracted
- Forgetful
- Low self-esteem
- Procrastinates
- Chronic lateness
- Employment problems
- Difficulty controlling anger
- Substance abuse or addictions
- Mood swings
- Anxiety
- Depression
- Low frustration tolerance
- Disorganized
- Overwhelmed
- Relationship problems
- Spacing out
- Too much clutter
- Not paying bills on time,

The truth of the matter is, many of us have been guilty of some of these behaviors at some time. We have all been distracted, forgetful and disorganized or procrastinated at different times in our lives. However, it is the frequency and the degree of these issues that determines whether it is a momentary lapse in judgment or disorganization or it has become a chronic and continual way of life.

If you have not been diagnosed with ADHD, but you recognize that you or a signficant other may have many of the traits, it can be helpful to know that it is possible it is undiagnosed ADHD. There is a genetic reason for this problem. It is not your fault and you are not broken or a failure. You were born wired this way, and likely faced many challenges, like feeling like a square peg trying to fit in a round society. The good news is that there are skills and techniques that can help you manage and overcome many of these challenges.

While some of you may find this label insulting or offensive, know that all we are doing is placing the name on the challenges you have had for most of your life. This “label” is to help you to understand that it is not your fault, you were born with it, and knowing this can diminish or eliminate a lot of the self-blame and feelings of shame or guilt that many people have, as a result of destructive impulsive behaviors.

Now for the good news! Here is a list of attributes that many ADHD adults possess:

Average or above average intelligence:
Very creative
Thinking outside the box
Constant flow of original ideas

Sense of humour

Famous people with this diagnosis are:

Bill Gates
Will Smith
Jim Carey
Tom Cruise
Robin Williams
Albert Einstein
Eleanor Roosevelt
John Lennon
Benjamin Franklin and about another 100 or more famous people

It is also important to recognize how "being different" can affect the self-esteem and confidence of the individual. Many who don't understand their impulses or compulsions, end up self-medicating using drugs, alcohol and being attracted to dangerous, risk-taking behaviours. This also, does not only affect you, but also can have disastrous affects for your partner, your children and your working environment.

The purpose of this article is to help you to understand the reasons behind some of your negative behaviours or that of your partner or child. Once you understand where it comes from, you can choose to get help to deal with your impulses, your self-sabotage and negative self-talk . This will enable you to start feeling proud of your progress rather than ashamed or guilty for disappointing your loved ones as well as yourself.

Feeling empowered lowers anxiety and diminishes feelings of depression. It also increases self-esteem and confidence. Yes, it will be work and it is a challenge. You need to be willing to ask for and accept help for this to work. The ADHD personality finds it difficult to follow through and focus. It goes against the grain and takes a lot of energy to become organized, prompt and actually do the homework. But it can be done, you have risen to the challenge before and can do it again. Just imagine what the rewards will feel like and how these positive changes will improve your relationships. In some cases, it has actually saved marriages.

You don’t need an official diagnosis to get started. You just need to recognize that
these characteristics could be you. If you’re not sure, ask a friend, your doctor or family member to look over the list for you and give you the feedback.

Remember this is not about being labeled a loser, failure, or odd. This is to free you from the judgments you have said about yourself for most of your life and now it is freeing you to understand how it was never your fault. It can also explain to your partner many of the reasons for your forgetfulness and disorganization. It is not your fault but how you were wired at birth. Now, without the guilt and self-loathing, you can help yourself take back control over your life and start making better habits and decisions that will make you feel proud, accomplished and empowered.
Empowerment Quote

Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. Chinese proverb

Have a great week!

Author's Bio: 

Montreal licensed psychotherapist, Rhonda Rabow M.A., has been involved in couple, individual and family counselling in the Montreal area for over twenty years. One of her specialties is offering short-term counselling with long-term results. She offers counselling in a warm and welcoming environment.