So you are an adult with ADHD - you’ve accepted that. That’s it, right? So many partners of someone with ADHD are in my office saying “My spouse has ADHD, and they throw that in my face all of the time! So what… Am I just supposed to bow down to the ADHD and let it ruin my life too?”
So many people find relief when the are diagnosed with ADHD after a lifetime of struggle and feeling like they are a failure at life. Finally! Something to help make sense of why my life doesn’t make sense, right?
PASSIVE ACCEPTANCE of ADHD or ADD
And then, so many ADHDers stop there. They finally have an explanation for their struggles, but then, what to do next is overwhelming, or they are stuck in the shame and feeling of failure and so don’t even try.
This is “passive acceptance” - and it is a start. You can’t change or treat what you don’t acknowledge.
At the same time, acceptance is only the first step. A good, first step, but NOT THE LAST STEP.
ACTIVE MANAGEMENT of ADHD in Adults
Most spouses of someone with ADHD can be very patient, loving and understanding of the foibles of their ADHD spouse - as long as they are actively working on managing their ADHD symptoms.
Active management means that the person with ADHD is taking the initiative to learn all they can about ADHD and how it is really affecting their brain.
To do this, I recommend to:
watch youtube videos about ADHD,
Active management of ADHD also means taking the initiative to find treatment options, such as talking to a doctor or psychiatrist about medication, seeking a qualified therapist who understands adults with ADHD, find a local support group for those with ADHD (Here in Kansas City it is ADHDKC - https://www.adhdkc.org), finding a group therapy treatment option that offers accountability and support for making changes in your life.
SPOUSES CAN BE VERY FORGIVING IF THEY CAN SEE THAT YOU ARE TRYING
I’ve had so may spouses in my office tell their partner that they are ok with slow progress, or steps backward, or missteps and mistakes. What they can’t stay patient for is you not taking responsibility for how your ADHD is impacting you and also them. They feel like they are drowning, and they can only take it so long. But, almost all of them have said that they can keep swimming as long as they can see that they might not have to swim forever.
PASSIVE ACCEPTANCE vs ACTIVE TREATMENT
For your sake and for your family’s sake, I ask you to please take the initiative to seek treatment. You don’t have to be perfect with this. You don’t even have to know what to do - just start reading, or watching videos, or find a support community, or contact me.
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