“…when a belief is rooted in emotion – desire, fear, anger – you can’t reason your way around it. Put succinctly, you can’t combat irrationality with reason.”
- Philip Bump, in the Washington Post
The Power of Emotions
One of the most noticeable characteristics of adult ADHD is emotional dysregulation. Adults with ADHD are prone to feel lots of emotions, more extremely and more quickly than people who don’t have ADHD. Those emotions include anger, shame, overwhelm, irritability, and more. This adds a lack of stability to their relationships both at home and at work.
When someone is in an extreme emotional state it’s called being flooded. In a flooded state, the blood flow in the brain moves from the pre-frontal cortex (responsible for logical thinking) towards the more primitive parts of the brain responsible for ‘fight, flight or freeze.’ From a practical standpoint, this means that a person who is flooded is not likely to be able to listen or employ logical thinking – just when he or she might need it most.
The best way to deal with strong emotions is to develop a verbal or physical cue that the two of you can use immediately BEFORE the emotional escalation. The response to the cue is to immediately stop talking, and to do what’s needed to calm one’s emotions. Often this includes moving away from each other and coming back to the topic when you are both more calm.
Do you have a de-escalation technique in place in your relationship? I cover a lot on this in my live seminar.
ADHD WOMEN'S PALOOZA, MARCH 14-19, 2022 - MY PRESENTATION: Boundaries: the Key to Successful ADHD Relationships is on March 17th
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. Find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD including free: Online treatment overview; Downloadable chapters of my books; A community forum with other couples facing similar issues; A large number of blog posts on various topics; Referrals. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life!
Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. The next live session STARTS TODAY MARCH 16, 2022. Registration is now open.