Saturday, January 08, 2005

ADD and Romance

I was reading last night at Border's about ADD and romance. It helps me understand myself and what I could have done differently in past relationships. There is a deep desire to be hyperfocused on somethings such as romance. The person with ADD constantly is seeking stimulation. When the stimulation is gone , the love sours often. At first in the impulsivity of the action you are putting all your efforts into the relationship so much so that often lovers of the ADDers are the happy receptacles of the best lovemaking and more attention than they have ever received.

It really helps when I read these books to get over my own disability and lack of focus in my life. There are many famous folks that have blossomed with their disability such as Edison, Churchill, Lincoln and Einstein. Both Churchill and Lincoln were documented to suffer from deep black depressions. I wonder how they would have been if they had tried the medication. Would they be able to tolerate or even not have these moods.

I was feeling very lethargic this morning and all that I wanted to do was watch "Troy" while I was feeling very blah and down. I decided to try a little taste of the expensive Adderall tablet breaking it open to have a small part of these time released minute beads. I immediately felt better and was not feeling so overwhelmed with the depressing thoughts that bombard me such as where my life is going. I feel that I am missing out so much in all the good things in life. Even with a small little bit of the drug, I have so much more mental energy to get out and do things and don't make as many idiotic mistakes such as wasting hours looking for keys or remotes.

I know that it's important that I don't smoke anything if I am wanting to accomplish anything. I've noticed that the cannabis sometimes just accentuates the feelings that I have at the moment. So when I am depressed it is better to just have a little "addaboy" and avoid the schwag.

A.D.D. & ROMANCE -- Finding Fulfillment in Love, Sex and RelationshipsBy Jonathan Scott Halverstadt, MS, LMFT It is amazing how far we have come over the last few years in understanding the affects of A.D.D. over the life span. Once thought to dissipate in adolescence, we now know that A.D.D. is a neurobiological disorder that for most people does not magically go away after the age of 11 or 12. In fact, the majority of people diagnosed with A.D.D. will have it throughout their lifetime. That being the case, no doubt the behavioral characteristics associated with A.D.D. will likewise be present throughout one's life. The impulsiveness and hyperactivity associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) will continue into adulthood. These two behavioral characteristics can have seriously damaging consequences on romantic relationships.
The impulsive person's spending patterns can rapidly disintegrate the family's finances.

Words - cutting words - thoughtlessly spoken in arguments can devour the love two people have for each other. Restlessness - the adult version of hyperactivity - left untreated can lead to inconsistent work performance and sometimes, infidelity if left unchecked.
(I think it was the very cutting words when the pagan girl and I had a confrontation that were the nails in the relationship coffin)

These are just a few of the problems people in romantic relationships face when the relationship is affected by A.D.D.. And there are more problems! That's the bad news. The good news is, there is hope - and lots of it! C. Evert Coop, M.D. has been seen on television over the last few years promoting a series of books about physical illnesses. He states a wonderful truth in those commercials when he says: "The best prescription is knowledge." I couldn't agree more! The hope that couples have in working things out in a relationship affected by A.D.D. is first, and foremost, knowledge. The more educated each partner is about A.D.D., the better their relationship will be. Knowledge about A.D.D. will help them be able to understand each other's experience in the relationship. This understanding has another term - empathy. Empathy is necessary for any romantic relationship to be successful. But there is something else that knowledge about A.D.D. brings to the couple. Knowledge about where and how to get help. I believe the full approach to getting help begins with a thorough assessment of the A.D.D.. We now know that there are several different types of A.D.D. and corresponding behavioral characteristics. After a thorough assessment, appropriate medical intervention can be made. Since A.D.D. is a medical disorder, it needs to be addressed with medicine. When medicated properly, the brain functions better. The A.D.D. person is able to process information better. They are better able to monitor their own behavior. They are then able to work better in the next aspect of treatment which is couple's therapy and possibly even individual therapy. In couple's therapy, both partners can work though old painful issues and discover new ways of interacting with each other that create the results they desire - a lifetime of love. Individual therapy is often useful for working through the painful scars left in the wake of growing up with A.D.D. - scars that can also affect the relationship. Finally, I often recommend 12-step work. Yes, 12-step work like in Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). Not necessarily AA, but some form of 12-step work. Now there is even a 12-step program for people with A.D.D.! A lot of healing and education can take place in 12-step work that can't be done therapy ... just as there things we can do in therapy that can't be accomplished in 12-step work. That's why I recommend both. It is possible to get off the A.D.D. roller coaster and into the tunnel of love. Yes, it will take some extra effort, but the truth is, all relationships require some work. Through utilizing the 4 part process of assessment, medication, therapy and 12-step work, it is possible to have the love you want. Jonathan Scott Halverstadt is part of the clinical staff at the Amen Clinic For Behavioral Medicine In Fairfield, California where he specializes in Attention Deficit Disorder and relationships. He speaks extensively at national and regional ADD conferences and can be found on the Internet at ADD & Romance is available through bookstores everywhere. ISBN 0-87833-209-X. The Amen Clinic For Behavioral Medicine (707) 429-7181.© 1998 Jonathan Scott Halverstadt

I see how Muffy tolerates me so much better when I don't have my head in the clouds and I can think clearly. My chess game improves. I think twice before I make a statement that might belittle a bartender.

The book was stating how people lifestyles are changed dramatically for the better when they can fit so much more in the day. They are not content to be just lethargic.

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