Getting Support from Family and Friends Around ADHD Issues

Being in an ADHD-impacted relationship can feel lonely, so sharing information and getting support from loved ones and close friends can really help the healing process.  But how to broach the subject?

I regularly get questions from couples - particularly from non-ADHD partners - about whether or not to share information about ADHD with family members.  The genesis for these questions is typically that the partner feels lonely, and would like loving support.  But in addition, partners often wish their families and close friends would have a better understanding of what they are facing.

We are healthiest when we are connected to others, so I am a big proponent of developing a support network that works for you.  Your network might include a therapist who understands ADHD, a great friend whom you know will support you without badmouthing your partner, and family members.  Broaching the topic of adult ADHD in your relationship might be as easy as an explanatory conversation.  Some people like the somewhat removed approach of providing reading material, instead.  I've had a number of couples say that they have given their parents and in-laws a copy of my first book, saying "We've learned a lot about our own situation from reading this book and thought you might also be interested in it."  (This is also a useful tactic if you think some of these parents might also be struggling with ADHD issues!)  For a less-lengthy, but well-balanced introduction to ADHD in relationships, I've just written an overview article about thriving with ADHD for ExpertBeacon which you can find at this link.

If you find that the person you approach tries to convince you that ADHD is not real, or that "everyone has ADHD" then send them to my blog post on this subject at PsychologyToday.com.  If they persist in holding this opinion, my advice would be to find someone else for support.  It shouldn't be your job to convince someone ADHD is "real," particularly when you're the one who is looking for support!

As you move forward to improve your life and your relationship it's important to focus on what you need to be healthy - and creating a good support network is a vey important part of that.