Everyone has distracted moments, we lose our keys, forget our list when we go shopping or are late for an appointment from time to time. These things happen to most of us and are considered quite normal, if annoying. However, when there is a disability involved such as ADD or ADHD, that’s when things become much more serious. The feelings attached to ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactive disorder) include confusion, frustration, and sadness when you can’t move from intention to action. At home or work, your relationships might suffer due to disorganization and inconsistent behaviour. In fact, your job might be jeopardized because your work is late, incomplete, or inaccurate.

According to the Centre for ADHD/ADD Advocacy, Canada (CADDAC) the most conservative estimates indicate that ADHD affects over 1 million Canadians. Experts estimate that 80% of children diagnosed with ADHD continue to meet the criteria for diagnosis in adolescence and more than 60% of report suffering from symptoms of ADHD in adulthood. ADHD has a significant impact on our social and economic systems, and is estimated to cost the Canadian economy close to 8 million dollars each year.

ADHD often runs in families. According to research, if one person in a family had ADHD there is minimally a 25%-35% chance that another family member also has the disorder.

What if your partner’s behaviours of:

Being easily distracted
Low self-esteem
Difficulty following through on tasks
Tendency to tune out
Impulsive, either verbally or in action, such as spending money, changing plans,
changing careers
Mood swings
Often late
Chronic procrastination and need for high stimulation are all indicators of undiagnosed ADHD?

.ADHD is a complex neurobiological disorder, that affects the brain’s ability to function normally. Experts say it is likely due in part to a lack of certain neurochemicals.
ADD/HD is recognized by mental health professionals as one of the most common disorders of childhood, and was previously thought to resolve itself in adolescence. Over the past decade there has been a growing awareness that for many if not most individuals with ADD, it persists into adulthood. Effective treatment of adult ADD is a relatively new area of study

The diagnosis for this condition needs to be done by a specialist. A doctor or psychiatrist who has specialized training in this field generally does it. Proper diagnosis and medication prescribed by the doctor or psychiatrist is recommended. Cognitive therapy, behaviour modification and lifestyle changes with the help of the therapist, can go far to diminish or eliminate these issues.

The good news is that ADD/HD often affects people who are creative, intuitive and highly intelligent. Some famous people who had this are:

Leonardo Da Vinci
Thomas Edison
Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Richard Branson
Albert Einstein

Counseling is often indicated to deal not only with the symptoms, but also the resulting issues related to emotions, self-esteem, relationships, work performance, etc.
Couple counseling can go far to help the non-ADD partner understand how these behaviours are linked to ADD and not to an unwillingness or lack of care coming from the ADD partner.

Learning new ways to gain control of ADD-related problems is an important part of coping with ADD. A first step is to gain insight and understanding of how ADD impacts your life. This understanding can then be used to identify the challenges and eventually to develop new strategies and skills for dealing with your ADD symptoms, problems and relationship challenges.

Coping strategies to deal with Adult ADD/ADHD

Increase structure
make lists, use schedules, establish routines, prioritize tasks, breakdown large projects into parts and develop a step by step plan
take frequent breaks
create variety and novelty to sustain interest and motivate
keep a notepad on hand
modify your work environment
become more aware of your thoughts – train yourself to think before acting
make plans, don’t let impulses have control

What if your partner, who you feel you have to parent, nag, who is often disappointing and letting you down, who doesn’t seem to listen, is so forgetful, actually has undiagnosed ADHD? What if the reason behind his/her immaturity, impulsivity and irresponsible behaviour is not due to not caring or ignoring you, but due to this disorder?
Wouldn’t that make it a whole lot easier to forgive, understand and help give you hope that this relationship can be saved?

Something to consider!

Author's Bio: 

Rhonda Rabow, M.A.

Author's Bio Rhonda Rabow is an author and a psychotherapist living in Montreal, Quebec Canada. She has over 25 years experience counseling individuals, couples and families facing a variety of life challenges; from parenting, grief, depression, and self-esteem issues, to conflict resolution and marriage counseling. Her approach is empowerment and she accomplishes this by helping her clients find solutions to their problems and teaching them the skills and tools they need to feel back in control of their lives. She has also recently published an e-book called, "Discover the 3 secrets to living happily ever after".