ADHD Couples

Obstacles to Intimacy for ADHD Couples08 Nov

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

It’s often a challenge to maintain intimacy in relationships. Other things seem to take precedence, especially work. These days, most couples have both people working to bring in enough money. It’s a big challenge finding the time to spend on your most important relationship, which is the one you have with your partner or spouse. If one or both of those partners has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), that tosses additional stress into the mix.

One of the biggest obstacles to intimacy for ADHD couples is sensitivity to outside stimuli. When you have ADHD, you experience symptoms like inattentiveness, forgetfulness, and hyperactivity. These make it a challenge to initiate and enjoy intimacy with a partner, because you become preoccupied with distracting stimuli, such as smells and noises. The difficulty is that you can’t just decide to turn off your brain and ignore these sensory distractions. When you’re trying to focus on the act of lovemaking, it’s a real mood-killer to dwell on the smell of your kid’s dirty diaper or the sound of your next-door neighbors talking loudly.

Another issue that can make it hard to be intimate with your partner is a lack of time. Think about it: each day, most adults work from about 8 AM to maybe 6 or 7 PM. Unless you both have flexible jobs, you won’t have time to go off together in the middle of the day. That leaves just a few hours at night before bed to fit in dinner, additional work, household chores, relaxation or personal time, and finally, intimacy. With so much competing for your attention, it’s easy to see how time with your partner sometimes comes up short.


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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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