On September 13 I’m offering a class entitled, “Understanding ADD/ADHD for Family Members.” You may be wondering why I’d choose to do a talk for family members of people who have ADHD. After all, it’s the folks who have ADHD who are struggling, right? As the wife of a man who has ADHD, I can tell you that when there is a family member with ADHD, it’s not just the person with ADHD who struggles! The ADHD affects everyone in the family.
A family is a system. The behavior and challenges of any family member affect the equilibrium of the whole system. When a family member has ADHD and family members don’t understand the nature of the disorder and the challenges that come with it, they can unknowingly misinterpret the actions and behaviors of the person with ADHD, and act in ways that contribute to ADHD challenges and miss the opportunity to help their family member manage their ADHD symptoms.
Knowledge is power. When I was unaware that ADHD is a neurobiological disorder, in other words, it’s a physical wiring problem in the brain, one that affects awareness, consistently engaging in action and completing tasks, I couldn’t appreciate the true nature of the beast, the time management, task management, and emotional realities of the disorder.
Without that knowledge, I was quick to judge Bob for procrastinating and avoiding tasks, especially those that I really wanted done. I was impatient, irritable, resentful, and angry that I had to work so hard to compensate for his inaction in certain areas. I was unable to be my best self in our relationship, and unable to interact with him from a place of love. I became part of the problem! I was also incapable of registering Bob’s many gifts and strengths. People with ADHD have many remarkable gifts that can go out of awareness when a family member is focused on the challenging ways ADHD shows up.
When I learned that ADHD is a physical problem with the brain wiring and how ADHD typically shows up, I was able to view Bob’s behavior within the context of the disorder rather than judge it. Learning information about ADHD, its typical symptoms and challenges made it possible for me to look at his behaviors more objectively, with curiosity about how his ADHD showed up. I was then more capable of looking for ways to support Bob in the areas of challenge and help him manage his ADHD so his life, my life and our life together could be more manageable and amiable.
In this speech I intend to provide information about the executive function deficits of ADHD that lead to typical challenges of the disorder, to identify ADHD strengths, and to share what I’ve learned about how to be a supportive partner and live a peaceful life with an ADHD family member.
If you want to be part of the solution for your ADHD family member instead of part of the problem, I hope you’ll join me on September 13. Register now! http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=9lizjscab&oeidk=a07e9m5o60adc54e808