Adult ADHD at home
Home is where most people spend the majority of their time away from work. It is where most of our daily lives are organised and, for some, it is where we build our most important relationships. It is also supposed to be our safe haven and where we can relax. The affects of ADHD at home makes it difficult for some adults to live with.
Research shows that complaints of feeling suicidal in patients with ADHD reduce by 11% during periods of ADHD treatment.
Attention deficit symptoms
At home, the attention deficit symptoms of ADHD can mean that it is hard to keep on top of household organization. Chores can feel tedious, complex or boring, personal appointments can be missed, relaxing can be difficult and staying focused or motivated can be a problem. Some adults with ADHD say they are difficult to live with.
A person may start on essential chores but are then very easily distracted and move on to something more interesting. There may be many unfinished tasks in the home going on at the same time. For example, someone may start decorating one room and then move on to another decorating project in a different room before the first is completed.
Disorganisation can mean that there is a recurrent history of missing appointments with doctors and dentists or other personal commitments.
It can be difficult to keep up a filing, diary or organisational system, making it more likely to lose, misplace or forget things. People may spend excessive time looking for things or buying things that they already have but can’t find.
People occasionally blitz home cleaning and tidying but then find it impossible to keep on top of this, so very quickly the house becomes extremely messy again. Sometimes this overwhelms people and means that being disorganized and untidy is something that they never get on top of.
Research has shown that violent re-offending in patients with ADHD reduce by 42% during periods of treatment.
Driving may be stressful. Attention deficit symptoms can mean that it is hard to not feel overwhelmed by all the potential hazards, signs and lanes that need monitoring. Finding the way on an unfamiliar route, having passengers who may be distracting or being distracted by interesting things can make driving a challenge and potentially hazardous. There is a higher accident rate in drivers with ADHD.
Clutter and cost can mount up from buying items for new hobbies that are then not pursued as a person gets bored and moves on to another new hobby.
Some people struggle to keep up an acceptable appearance and find things like brushing teeth boring and tedious, so avoid these tasks and other aspects of personal care.
Shopping and cooking can be complex tasks. Some people with ADHD find it hard to plan ahead and struggle to buy the right ingredients needed for a meal and to eat well. They may then end up eating ready made and unhealthy food.
Some people do manage to make lists of errands or shopping that is needed but these may be lost or not used. Once in a shop, some people become easily distracted by unnecessary items and end up with lots of things they didn't originally plan to buy and only a few of the items they actually needed.
Many adults with ADHD are poor at budgeting and financial management and don't keep on top of bills that need paying. For example, fines may be acquired for not paying for parking or going over the time allowed on a parking meter. These can be forgotten and unpaid then end up doubling or worse.
Many people with ADHD are night owls and struggle to get to bed at a sensible hour, leading to inadequate sleep.
At home, the hyperactivity symptoms of ADHD can make a person appear to be erratic, unpredictable, impulsive and even out of control.
Many adults with ADHD struggle to unwind and relax when they have time to themselves.
A person may be excessively fidgety. It may be hard to remain still and this can annoy partners or family. It can be hard to sit through a meal or film without making excuses to get up. It may be hard to relax and people often describe feeling always on the go and driven.
Impulsive spending may be a problem leading to difficulties with financial management. Very often a person with ADHD, when enthusiastic about a new idea, wants to have it or start doing it NOW! and does not think about the consequences on their finances or on other people.
I was worried about not being taken seriously as an outwardly successful adult requesting an assessment for ADHD for the first time at age 37! I needn't have worried.
Extract from iwantgreatcare.org recommendation.
Some people are prone to addictive behaviour that may include excessive use of the internet, online gaming / video games and TV. Sometimes this is because of what is called ‘hyperfocus’ when a topic of interest can be all consuming sometimes for hours and hours leading to a person ‘losing track of time’.
Using cannabis or taking ‘street drugs’ is more common in ADHD as is drinking alcohol to excess. Some of this is to self medicate for the restlessness that occurs in ADHD. Some of it is because ADHD can cause someone to be a ‘thrill seeker’.
Driving may be a problem. Impulsive people may be prone to speeding, shooting red lights and generally being an impatient or aggressive driver. Being restless and easily bored can mean that there is a tendency to do other things whilst driving such as using a mobile phone. There is a higher accident rate in drivers with ADHD.
Accidents are more common in ADHD and this can occur in and out of the home. Sometimes breaking or damaging items may occur as part of an anger outburst.
Mood instability symptoms
At home, the mood instability symptoms of ADHD can make it difficult for a person and the people they share their home with to lead calm and organised lives.
People with ADHD can switch moods very fast and switch back again equally quickly, sometimes without knowing why.
We were all very apprehensive about our appointment, no more so than our son, who was very nervous. We had no need to worry.
Extract from iwantgreatcare.org recommendation.
Anger and irritability can mean that getting into arguments or being verbally or physically aggressive can be common in ADHD.
Anger can lead to doing things that are illegal and that may involve the police.
It can be hard to co-operate with partners, family and friends. This can lead to difficulty getting along with people and make it hard to enjoy time with others or take part in hobbies and activities in a group.
It can be harder for adults with ADHD to stay close to family, to make and keep friends and to get along with neighbours.
Driving may be a problem - mood instability may mean that you are prone to getting annoyed by other drivers and even to demonstrate road rage. There is a higher accident rate in drivers with ADHD.
Some people with ADHD can appear to be at times hyper-focused and overly enthusiastic about something and then rapidly switch to being disinterested or unmotivated.
The Impact of ADHD
ADHD can severely affect an individual’s education, working life, home life, relationships and social life.
Who can be affected by ADHD?
ADHD occurs in both males and females and across all ages and all levels of social status, intelligence and capability.