Do you love an adult who has ADHD? Many of us do, whether it’s a partner, friend, sibling, or adult child. If you’re in a close relationship with an adult who has ADHD, you know that it can come with ups and downs. Individuals with ADHD are often known for their energy, passion, empathy, and creativity. However, adults with ADHD can also experience a lot of difficulties in their daily life that greatly affect the people around them, such as forgetfulness, impulsivity in decision making, and ineffective time management.
Some of the ways that you may be affected by having a loved one with ADHD include greater stress (e.g., stressed about trying to support your loved one/witnessing their struggles), disruptions (e.g., sacrificing your time and energy to help them), frustration (e.g., getting fed up with your loved one for repeatedly making impulsive or reckless decisions), and guilt (e.g., parents of adults with ADHD may feel guilty for not seeking a diagnosis/treatment sooner). Although you may not be able to control or “fix” all the difficulties that your loved one experiences, there are some ways that you can support yourself as you navigate this unique relationship:
Written by Rachelle MacSorley, Registered Psychologist with Wildflowers.
Barkley, Russell A. (2017). When an adult you love has ADHD: Professional advice for parents, partners, and siblings. Washington, DC: APA LifeTools.