I want to mention a book that is full of fascinating information related to our modern world and attention; a treatment for ADHD that most people haven't heard of; and 3 centers that offer the best, most comprehensive treatment for ADHD (because I designed them!).
The book is called DISTRACTED: THE EROSION OF ATTENTION AND THE COMING DARK AGE. The author is journalist Maggie Jackson. The book was published in 2008 by Prometheus Books. While it is not about ADHD per se, it is most definitely chock full of information any person who cares about ADHD and attention will eat up!
The treatment I want to mention is called Integrated Listening System, or iLs for short. You can Google it to learn more. It is based on the work done decades ago in France by Alfred Tomatis. An American company picked up on the system and made it more practical. It combines listening to filtered music through headphones (the music sounds like classical music but it is filtered in special ways to promote brain changes and increased attention) and also doing physical exercises that stimulate the cerebellum, exercises like standing on a wobble board or juggling. If you listen to the music for a half hour or so 3 or 4 times per week, you can reap impressive benefits. The program needs more research before it can make stronger claims, but I have seen impressive enough results to become a consultant for the company and to endorse the product, something I do not do easily. I am always looking out for alternative, non-medication treatments for ADHD, and I believe this is one of the best.
The offices I want to mention are my centers in Sudbury and Needham, MA and in New York City. Should you want to book an appointment, for Sudbury call 978-287-0810; for Needham, call 781-726-6698; and for New York (we're on west 72nd St. between Columbus and Amsterdam) call 212-799-7777. You can see me personally either in Sudbury or New York. I am in Sudbury usually on Tuesdays and in the New York office Wed., Thurs., and Fri. We take a strength-based approach. We perform diagnostics on children and adults, and offer a full array of treatments including medication, psychotherapy, coaching, and various alternative or complementary treatments.
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The Long Haul
Submitted by gm1148 on
Hello Ned: My husband was finally diagnosed in 2008 at age 56 with severe adhd. He is now taking 106 mgs a day of Concerta. This virtually saved our relationship. After 21 years of living with someone who often appeared rude, abrasive, uncaring, memory-impaired, impatient and self-centered I gave him an ultimatum. We learned he not only has a very high level of adhd but his immediate family history of autism (brother) and Asperger's (sister) nailed it. Since then, we have searched out the best medical and psychological support we can find in our area but the options are sadly quite slim. It is obvious this condition is only just beginning to be understood and properly diagnosed/treated by physicians. There is a huge spectrum and diversity of experience for people with add/adhd. We have ended up doing a lot of our own talk therapy because counselors/psychologists often do not understand how to deal with all the marriage issues this condition affects. My background and education plus my determination to help salvage the marriage is what has brought us this far but acting as our own therapists has not always been healthy. Surprisingly, my husband has been able to face many difficult things from the past and own up to how his actions damaged our relationship. He is a changed person now and we are much happier than before...as long as he takes his medication. One area however that has not changed is with our sexual interactions. He finds it almost impossible to discuss this problem area. He seems to not know how to integrate sexuality into a relationship. He is continually engaged in other interests, activities and thoughts, and he never gives any indication he feels a void. Once in awhile he might suggest we need "close time" but that's as far as it goes. I'm to the point of feeling so exhausted from this journey, sex is less and less important although, intuitively, I know it really is a fundamental glue in a relationship. I am in my early 60's now so the drive is pretty much gone but the emotional "urge to merge" is still there! There just is no sexual personality there for me to tap into. Is this something inherent in the adhd personality? Did he miss out on some sexual development stages? He still has frequent epiphanies and I sure don't want to rain on his parade. As I said, we are much happier together now so should I just be grateful for what is and let go of what may not be fixable? Is the occasional so-so sexual encounter the price for huge success in practically all other areas? Would love your thoughts on this.
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
Sex drive in adults with ADHD runs the complete gamut from "sex all the time" to "no interest". There is some research that suggests that a higher than normal proportion of adults with ADHD report being less interested in sex, but each individual is different.
It is extremely common that couples who have struggled for a while have a dissatisfying sex life. This is for a lot of reasons - they can bring anger, frustration or anxiety to bed; ADHD are often distracted during sex which makes it less enjoyable for them because their mind is racing and they have trouble focusing on the sex; they simply get out of the habit of being intimate, and more. Here are some specific ideas that might help you:
The way you describe him, it sounds as if his distraction is the big sex issue. He's just "in another place" rather than intimately with you (which takes a lot of focus). Please don't take it personally, but do make sure to ask for what you need in a nice way. The "I would like it if you give me this "gift" approach" is a good one, I think, particularly if it's paired with scheduled sex or dates that include sex.
On last hint - don't make this a chore. Try to keep it light and have fun with it a bit, even as you're doing something as mundane as setting aside 9-10pm on Friday night. Then, if he is distracted at 9pm, don't get discouraged, but just remember that distraction is part of who he is...and gentle tugs towards the bedroom will work better than angry words about how he missed your date.
Best of luck with it.
Submitted by Hoping4More on
As unromantic as it sounds, my wife and I have started scheduling sex. We are both extremely busy. I am usually tired at the end of the day, and/or my wife doesn't always come to bed when I do. We are a same sex couple who each prefers the other initiates. We've had lots of struggles lately that have made it more difficult for me to be "in the mood." Etc. Etc. So, last Sunday night we scheduled sex for Wednesday night after choir practice. We looked forward to it all week and each day my wife said something like "know what tomorrow is?" or "Know what tonight is?" Not only that, we have been more affectionate and loving towards each other. It worked so well we scheduled again for tonight after choir practice. And again, we have both been looking forward to it. Thanks for the advice!
Another sex issue
Submitted by Sueann on
I hit menopause the month after we got married. I can still function sexually but it takes a lot to get me "in the mood." I find that he needs to just turn over and I'm there and ready, no foreplay. With post-menopausal women that just doesn't work. He gets turned off or distracted by having to work to "turn me on" and lately, he's given up trying. .. (sigh!)
I've tried to work on it from my end. I can't take hormones for medical reasons. He's too tired at night and I can't think about anything in the morning beyond what we need to do that day. I miss our sex life. I'm sure it would be a problem even without the ADD but it does make it worse because if I say anything (or the dog whines, or whatever) when he wants to make love, we end up just talking.
Submitted by brendab on
For your part, get instructions online or from your doctor for pelvic floor exercises. It is good for the muscles and can enhance desire.
Submitted by Nettie on
I'd look into Asperger's more, especially since it's believed to be genetic, and you wrote there is a family connection. From what I've recently read, some aspies prefer being nonsexual. Some want direct communication. Depends on the person.
I read "Asperger's from the Inside Out," and I'm now reading "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome." I've also read that "Alone Together" is helpful for non-AS partners; it's next on my list. GRASP.org is another resource.
Submitted by MelissaOrlov on
Consider scheduling some time for the weekends so you don't end up in the beginning of the day and end of day issues you both have. Also, what can you do to him that would also turn you on? Though few always want to be "in control" (more fun to take turns) if you keep him busy, the sex will likely last longer, which will help you. Also, use lubricants that many need after menopause as one sort of sex toy.
Try playing music (calms the mind of some with ADHD).
If he gets distracted by the dog, playfully distract him back to you (you can make a joke out of ADHD distraction in the bedroom as long as you are both comfortable with that, and it can add humor/fun to what you are doing).
If you schedule sex for a weekend day, one option is to spend some time getting yourself aroused before the two of you are together. That might be reading a sexy novel, touching yourself, daydreaming erotic dreams, etc. That way you've already started, and you both can take advantage of that. While this might sound strange or unnatural to you, the outcome is better than one in which he feels he can't easily satisfy you and loses interest in sex (I suspect, from what I know from working with couples, that there is some of this going on, even though you don't mention it.)