Many adults have some form of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), a common problem among children and adolescents. The disorder makes it difficult to focus and pay attention . . . and get organized. People who have hyperactivity, along with the attention problem, have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Dealing with people who have attentional problems or attention deficit disorder can be a real challenge. And it can require the patience of Job.
Relationships are a challenge for someone who has ADD or ADHD, and the disorder can significantly impact a marriage. Just think about the problems inherent in conducting a relationship with someone who has trouble sitting still, keeping his mind from wandering, and hearing what you say.
For the sake of simplicity, I will refer to the entire group of attention deficit disorders as ADD.
Adults and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Many adults have gone undiagnosed for years and others develop symptoms relatively late in life. Those who have attention deficit disorder experience problems in most areas of their lives, including their jobs and relationships, making it hard for them to pick up on non-verbal cues in conversations or to resist the many distractions that abound in most work or personal environments.
There are three basic kinds of Attention Deficit Disorder:
One involves mostly problems with attention;
The second involves mostly problems of hyperactivity;
The third involves both.
Actual symptoms of Attention Deficit include difficulty in staying focused on a task, problems paying close attention to details, not listening (mind wandering), difficulty in finishing tasks and getting organized, forgetfulness and getting distracted easily.
Symptoms of the hyperactivity side of ADD include fidgeting, leaving one's seat frequently, running about or climbing excessively, talking excessively, and interrupting. Often the person seems to be driven by a motor.
In some folks this is a very exhausting and trying condition. In others, the symptoms are less severe and don't interfere with their work and personal lives as much.
THE IMPACT OF Attention Deficit Disorder
People who suffer from ADD experience difficulty in all areas of their lives. Job performance, personal life and scholastic activities are impacted by ADD. When symptoms are severe it can be a debilitating disorder.
Those with ADD may not achieve as much in life as they are capable. Or they may stop working on a goal because it seems impossible. This may happen right when the individual comes close to finishing a difficult task. Oddly enough, right when the end is within reach, he or she may quit!
Many goals are hard to reach when you are disorganized, lousy with details and tend to avoid tasks that require sustained effort!
Those with ADD tend to avoid complicated tasks because they seem impossible or are viewed as too time consuming. The person may not believe he or she can maintain focused, unwavering attention for the length of time required.
And so they don't even try.
Persons with ADD may lack self-confidence and avoid situations in which their symptoms may be exposed, or those situations in which they are certain of feeling frustrated and overcome with hopeless details.
All in all, this is a costly disorder that has been misunderstood for years.
ADD places a strain on intimate relationships and can lead to serious marital problems. The non-ADD partner may feel like he/she is never heard or understood, and may feel that the ADD spouse just doesn't care about him/her.
The spouse with ADD symptoms may be forgetful, absent minded, intolerant of delicate social situations and downright impatient. Also, the ADD spouse often fails to hear what the other spouse says, even when it's critical that they talk, such as in times of crisis. And, impulsive remarks and behaviors can take a toll on a marriage. To be exact, many marriages fail at least in part because one or both spouses have untreated ADD.
Dealing With ADD
ADD or ADHD affects all areas of a person's life, and may create difficulties at work, school and home. The ADD-marriage or ADD-relationship requires close and constant communication. It takes more effort and ingenuity to succeed at an ADD marriage or relationship than the average one, and requires an understanding of the disorder. Successful relationships will face these problems and get necessary support.