How ADHD Affects Your Life Over Time

What is it like to live with ADD/ADHD on a daily basis? Speaking in generalities, there are differences you can expect during various phases of your life — from childhood to adolescence, and through adulthood. If your loved one is the person with ADHD, find out what you can expect. 


Living With ADD/ADHD

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Distractibility, restlessness, difficulty organizing self, tendency to act or blurt out before thinking, frustrations, forgetfulness, difficulty maintaining long-term relationships, isolation—these are just a few of the issues individuals with ADHD and their loved ones must learn to cope with and develop strategies for navigating.


Living With ADHD as a Child

In general, young children tend to be active, rambunctious, and somewhat impulsive. They often play loudly. They love to climb and run. Most children do not want to remain in their seats. They may squirm and fidget. They’d rather be up and out, exploring the world around them. This is all a normal part of being a child.

For a child with ADHD, however, these behaviors are amplified. They are disruptive, cause significant impairment of functioning at school, home, and with friends, and they are considered inappropriate for the child’s developmental level.


Living With ADHD as an Adolescent

Though many people think of ADHD as a childhood condition, symptoms can (and often does) continue into the adolescent and adult years. A teen learning to cope with all the other changes that come about with puberty and increased independence also has the added issue of living with ADHD.

As a result, teens with ADHD may be "young for their age," and are more prone than their typical peers to making impulsive decisions. Because they are older, the outcomes of these behaviors may be serious and may include teen pregnancy or drug use.


Living With ADHD as an Adult

ADD/ADHD is not just a childhood disorder. It is estimated that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD continue to exhibit symptoms into adulthood.

Often, the hyperactive behaviors common with children decrease with age, but symptoms of restlessness, distractibility, and inattention continue. These symptoms can make it hard to function effectively in some work settings.


Parenting a Child With ADHD

Someone once said that parenting was the toughest job in the world. Not only can it be tough, but parenting is also one of the most important roles in the world. It is joyful, rewarding and wonderful, but it can also be overwhelming, stressful and exhausting. Parenting a child with ADHD may triple these feelings.


When Your Spouse Has ADHD

Marriage is hard work! It requires good communication, mutual respect, compromise, empathy, and an understanding of your partner’s feelings and needs.

For individuals with ADHD, these requirements may be difficult. Relationships may easily become strained.


What's It Like for Moms With ADHD

The phone is ringing. Two of your kids are arguing and yelling. The dog is scratching at the door to go out. Your toddler is at your feet crying and wanting to be picked up. Your husband is still at work. A pot of water is boiling on the stove ready for spaghetti noodles. Dinner is late. You are exasperated, tired, overwhelmed.

Being a mother can be tough. And if you're a mom with ADD/ADHD, the difficulty increases.

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