How does distraction challenge a relationship when a partner has ADHD?

Misinterpretation of patterns cause problems

Becoming aware of patterns in a relationship when a partner has ADHD can help the relationship remain healthy. Symptoms such as distraction can cause hurt feelings when not recognized and addressed by both partners. Melissa Orlov encourages partners to use the tools of good communication to address patterns caused by ADHD.

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What challenges to communication are caused by ADHD?

Distraction is a big strain

Other symptoms, such as inattention and forgetfulness, can make the partner without ADHD feel unloved. Working on symptom management together can improve communication and strengthen a relationship. Award winning author Meslissa Orlov tackles the notions of pain, confusion, and exhaustion in communication betwen partners when one has ADHD. She shares tools to understanding the patterns of the problems.

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The Long Haul

The hardest thing starting at about three was my disturbed mind banging my head on the floor, later my attention-seeking behaviour always for the wrong reasons at my frustration at school. My mother got the blame as a bad parent but she was driven so never gave up. It turned into OCD from seven then suicide attempts at twelve & still running away from school as well as from home. From eight was sent to boarding school, told was for own good; male discipline but humiliation from teachers was always a problem as I found hard to follow instructions. The option for a special school my Mum thought would hinder me? But my self-confidence/esteem could not have been lower. I could never concentrate, even topics was good at. Distractions & tense, nervous energy the norm. Diagnosed at 44, medication doesn’t work, 54 now. Catastrophic thinking hinders & masking. Treatment options day-to-day is cycling, self-help books & talking to parents of children with it. Feeling locked in my head.

Dominic Gauden

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child in car with feet on roof

Meet Sarah. She is smart, funny, strong willed, and loving beyond measure. She fills my life with the unexpected but equally fills it with the most genuine love I’ve ever known. Sarah is in Kindergarten and is learning to read. She has learned to write the word “love” and often colors pictures for me and signs them with a simple word of “love” without her name. This melts my heart.

Sarah is perceptive and emotionally charged. She struggles to regulate the happy and sad emotions and all those in between. As a parent, I’ve learned to avoid criticism and focus on positive encouragement. She also needs more physical touch than my other children seem to desire. Therefore, I support her with huge bear hugs that last for what seems like hours. With a mindful approach to her needs she is more calm, relaxed, and emotionally stabilized. I believe the key to parenting a child with an ADHD diagnosis is realizing different isn’t a bad word and each child is capable of amazing things!


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Digital Face

Digital Face

This represents how it feels being a woman with hyperactive and “unusual” tendencies from ADHD. I’ve really had to work hard to like myself again.


How effective is medication for treating ADHD?

Medication works best when properly optimized for the individual

Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD discusses types of useful medication available and the importance of clinicians and patients working together to find the “sweet spot” that allows the right medication, at the right dose, to provide the maximum benefit as part of a treatment plan.

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What lifestyle changes can improve family life?

In a couple words: Sleep and diet

Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD talks about lifestyle changes that can help improve ADHD symptoms for children. Good sleep practice has an impact on daytime executive function. And nutrition is related to weight gain problems and other physical conditions. So sharing healthy meals can also help parents address some of their children’s symptoms and make family life go a little more smoothly.

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What is the role of self-care in managing ADHD?

Personal habits address symptoms and strengthen treatment approaches

Self-care strategies can play an important role in supporting ADHD treatment and managing symptoms. Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD points to habits such as good sleep hygiene, regular exercise, stress management, ADHD coaching, therapy, and a balanced diet. These can all help a person address ADHD symptoms and strengthen treatment approaches. We are coming to a better understanding of how these self-care strategies are beneficial.

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