ADHD Within Couples: Self-Help

Beginning with one that’s very recent, the following are self-help guides for dealing with adult ADHD within couples (and in one case, other relationships too).

I. ADHD & Us: A Couple’s Guide to Loving and Living With Adult ADHD by Anita Robertson, LCSW (November, 2020)

Louis Laves-Webb, LCSW: “Anita’s innate compassion couples with her compelling clinical wisdom to take neurodiversity partnering to the next level. She effortlessly and simply characterizes the power, uniqueness, and beauty inherent in intimacy with those with ADHD.”

Three main areas regarding ADHD within couples are emphasized:

  • The five pillars of successful relationships: praise, acknowledgment, games, growth mindset, and positive acceptance.
  • Ways for both partners to strengthen communication between them.
  • Scientifically based advice about adult  ADHD.

Additionally, helpful resources are listed on Robertson’s website.

II. The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps by Melissa Orlov (2010), updated in 2020   

Founder of the website, Orlov has also co-authored with Nancie Kohlenberger, LMFT, The Couple’s Guide to Thriving with ADHD (2014).

From the publisher:

[The ADHD Effect on Marriage]…authoritatively guides couples in troubled marriages towards an understanding and appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of a relationship affected by ADHD…Going beyond traditional marriage counseling which can often discount the influence of ADHD, this straight-forward discussion offers advice from the author’s personal experience and years of research and identifies patterns of behavior that can hurt marriages such as nagging, intimacy problems, sudden anger, and memory issues…

Whereas about five percent of adults have ADHD, Orlov says on her website that “[a]lmost 90% of adults with ADHD are currently undiagnosed. If you’re just learning about it, you are not alone!” Furthermore, “58% of relationships with at least one adult with ADHD can be classified as ‘maladjusted.’ When ADHD is well managed, and both partners are better educated about their interactions, many previously struggling adult relationships can thrive.”

Treatment resources can also be found on Orlov’s website.

III. When an Adult You Love Has ADHD: Professional Advice for Parents, Partners, and Siblings by Russell A. Barkley, PhD (2016)

A psychologist with expertise in ADHD, Barkley divides this book into two main parts: the first helps readers understand adult ADHD, while the second is “What You Can Do to Help,” which addresses such questions as the following:

  • What health risks does ADHD impose on those who have it?
  • Why am I feeling resentful toward my loved one with ADHD?
  • What can I do to help my loved one at home, at work, and in other areas of life?
  • How can I avoid wasting time and money on sham treatments?
  • What if my loved one doesn’t want help?

Not just a resource for ADHD within couples, of course, but pertinent to this post nonetheless.

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