Having a loved one with ADHD can be challenging. Some may find it emotionally draining and sometimes frustrating for both the individual with ADHD and those around them. However, with a little effort and mindful planning, those involved may be able to turn the situation into a unique, meaningful experience full of good moments.
People with ADHD may think of themselves as the person who needs help, forgetting that their loved ones could also benefit from support. In this article, we discuss three interventions, in addition to formal, medical treatment, that can make a difference in the lives of individuals, and their loved ones, coping with ADHD.
Let’s begin with self-care, which is essential to well-being. In many cases, NOT engaging in self-care activities can make matters worse.
Creating a daily schedule with built-in time to exercise, go to the beauty salon, practice meditation, or prepare healthy meals, are examples of self-care. Setting these daily rituals provides a sense of well-being, greater happiness, and sets a better tone to face the challenges of everyday life with ADHD.
Learn About ADHD
As the saying goes….“Knowledge is Power.” And the lack of knowledge about how to help one cope with ADHD can potentially lead to powerful conflicts or dysfunctional relationships, which may contribute to a cycle of stress and anxiety for those involved.
Learning about ADHD can provide much-needed answers for loved ones while creating a more understanding, kind, and supportive environment. To learn about ADHD we recommend speaking directly with your provider, particularly an ADHD specialist, or seeking information from reliable sources such as scientific journals or the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can also take free online courses or join support groups in your area.
Defining your role in the life of a loved one with ADHD
Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re constantly defining our roles in relation to others all the time. When ADHD is a factor in the relationship, it becomes even more important to know and understand each other’s roles, along with strengths, weaknesses, and areas where support is needed.
This proactive approach to understanding and defining roles in the relationship will go a long way to ensure the relationship is healthy and interactions remain positive while helping minimize the overall daily life stressors that a person coping with ADHD faces.
Defining roles and taking this proactive approach can add a much-needed layer of structure to the ADHD person’s life, paving the way for better overall functioning in other relationships, including social and workplace relationships.
Helping a family member or loved one incorporate these measures into their life will not only lead to a better overall life experience but will also help strengthen the relationship itself. Your loved ones will know that they can count on you for support as you both navigate the trials and tribulations of life with ADHD.
Rest assured that understanding and coping with ADHD is a lifelong learning process for the individual dealing with ADHD and for those around them, and the use of intervention strategies such as self-care, learning, and defining relationship roles can have a measurable and positive impact on all those involved.