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Dr Hallowell ADHD and mental and cognitive health

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Click to watch Dr. Hallowell and his wife Sue discuss how ADHD affects marriage on the Dr. Oz Show.

Marriages where one or both members of the couple have ADD can be plagued by misunderstandings, anger and frustration. These problems often arise from the misinterpretation of undiagnosed ADHD symptoms or, if the ADHD has been diagnosed, from both partners being unsure of what to do about it. The good news is that by understanding the role that ADHD plays in your relationship – by correctly interpreting what is happening to you and learning ways to make the interactions more positive – couples can not only improve their marriages, but thrive.

Dr. Hallowell offers a number of ways to learn how to thrive in relationships affected by ADHD. First, all of the Hallowell Centers offer counseling for couples interested in taming the ADHD interactions and misunderstandings in their relationship. Counseling may include treatment of ADHD, depression, anxiety and other issues, as well as therapy centered on developing strategies for improving the interactions between partners.

Dr. Hallowell and his wife Sue co-authored “Married to Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage”, which deals with how to keep distraction from hurting your marriage. Dr. Hallowell and Melissa Orlov also write a blog and manage a forum on how ADHD affects marriage, which can be found at www.adhdmarriage.com

Dr. Hallowell and Sue share their insight, tips and advice in this heartwarming conversation about his own ADHD and their marriage. Sue doesn’t hold back and gives listeners a clear picture of what it’s like to be the only one in their house without ADHD. Listen to the entire program at Distraction Podcast 29 and watch behind the scenes on Youtube.

Dr. Hallowell also recommends reading The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Understand and Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps and enrolling in the ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples’ Seminar – This highly acclaimed, eight-session phone seminar has helped many couples turn their relationships around. 

Feeling Lonely?

If you are married to a person with ADHD and are feeling lonely your loneliness may well be the result of the ADHD symptom “distraction”.  Most likely, your spouse loves you but is too distracted to pay the attention to you that you need so that you “feel” his or her love.  In this case, rather than feel disappointed or angry or convincing yourself that your spouse “no longer cares”, a good response would be to talk with your spouse, acknowledge the spouse’s ADHD symptom “distraction”, and express your need for more focused time together.  Express that you understand that the action (ignoring you) does not correspond with his/her feelings (love) but that in order to feel loved you need more time together.  Then overtly schedule some fun time, such as date nights or trips, which can make the two of you feel more connected again.

Next Steps

1) Keep learning about ADD/ADHD! Some good places to start:

2) If you believe that you or your child or spouse may have ADD/ADHD, get a professional diagnosis:

3) You are not alone! There is a tremendous community to support and help you. A few places to look, depending on your needs:

4) Enroll in the ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples’ 8 week Seminar

Recommended Blogs

ADHD and Marriage Blog   Tips on Learning to Thrive in Your Relationship from Melissa Orlov and Dr. Hallowell


Psychology Today – Developing Deep Attention: The Key to True Intimacy


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