ADHD Couples

ADHD Patients Sensitive to Touch During Intimacy 204 Oct

Robert Wilford, Ph.D. and Sarah Ferman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T.

The number one reason that sensitivity to touch can ruin a great relationship is lack of communication. Patients with ADHD might be embarrassed about the problem, but in the long run, hiding it from their partners will only result in negative feelings and an erosion of trust. It’s perfectly natural for one partner to assume the other partner wants to be touched the way he or she would like to be touched, but this isn’t always the case. Assumptions like this can really harm a relationship.

Some ADHD patients feel so guilty or ashamed about their sensitivity to touch that they fake enjoyment, which is ostensibly to the benefit of their partner. However, this isn’t a healthy way to live. Pretending to enjoy intimacy because it’s embarrassing to admit that your partner isn’t doing it quite right won’t fix the problem. Instead of making assumptions or hiding one’s feelings about touch, the best thing to do is talk about what feels good. This is a delicate subject—one that can easily be misconstrued as an attack on the partner—so it’s important to approach the conversation with tact. It shouldn’t devolve into ad hominem criticisms of each other. Rather, it should be seen as a constructive exercise that will help both partners really understand each other’s needs and preferences.

In practice, if ADHD partners are feeling sensitive to a certain kind of touch, they could say something subtle during moments of intimacy: “Why are you doing that,” or “I don’t like that,” or “That doesn’t feel very good.” As long as it’s said in such a way that the partner knows it’s a loving suggestion, rather than a judgment, the discussion can be uplifting and improve the experience of both partners.

Touching, hugging, caressing, and lovemaking should be pleasurable for a couple. Don’t let a sensitivity to touch get in the way of your relationship. Figure out what makes the partner feel good and what doesn’t. Most importantly, be patient. You might not figure it out all at once, but over time, acknowledging the problem and working through it will lead you to a more satisfying, intimate relationship with your partner.

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Most medical doctors who treat ADD/ADHD do so as part of a larger practice. ADHD Specialists focuses primarily on only treating ADD and related conditions. This intense focus allows us to continually sharpen our clinical skills, attend specialized training, utilize the latest therapies, and build our process to meet the specific needs of our clients.

Often medical, testing and counseling services are all separately owned and located practices. It just does not make sense to have to travel from one location to another to treat the same condition. Besides the issue of time and travel, how cohesive and effective is care being delivered in multiple locations by multiple, unrelated providers who don’t have time to talk to each other?

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