You may not be aware of this, but stress has a huge impact on the expression of ADHD symptoms. The more stress, the worse ADHD gets. Sleep deprivation also makes symptoms worse. In fact, increased stress impacts everyone, not just those with ADHD.
This has some implications for couples:
If at all possible, get a good ADHD treatment plan in place before having kids. Sleepless nights and the stress of learning new routines tends to make ADHD symptoms worse after the birth of a child. A good treatment plan can help you stay on top of this (NOTE: if you are a woman, don’t take ADHD meds during pregnancy!)
Let your partner know if you are under more stress than usual. It can help him or her be more empathetic to changes they may see in your mood or mindset and may encourage them to respond positively to your need for time to de-stress.
Though many with ADHD have sleep-related problems, it’s still important to create a good sleep routine. Experiment with ‘sleep hygiene’ techniques to make sure lack of sleep isn’t a factor in your relationship. Non-ADHD partners should make sleep a top priority, too – ABOVE ‘getting things done.’
Make stress-reducing activities a part of your everyday lives. Meditation, mindfulness, taking breaks, walking and all forms of aerobic exercise are all known to reduce stress.
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including: a free online treatment overview; free downloadable chapters of my books; a community forum with other couples facing similar issues; a large number of blog posts on various topics; referrals; and my very popular couples course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - Next live session starts October 13, 2016 - this eight-session phone seminar has helped many couples turn around their relationship.
Adult ADHD can have a huge impact on your relationship. ADHDmarriage.com can literally change your life!