Living with adult ADD can be quite a challenge. Not only is it a challenge for the actual person who has ADD but for those around him or her. Much needed understanding and support for adults with ADD has finally begun to surface. But what about the people who have chosen to love, honor and cherish adults with ADD? Where do they go for support and understanding? Who is going to help them cope with the challenges of adult ADD?
Over the past couple of years both online and local support groups have begun to form for spouses and partners of adults with ADD. The Non-ADD Partner Support groups seem like a miracle for spouses and significant others of adults with ADD. They finally have a place to be understood and supported. Well, at least that is what many Non-ADD partners expect when entering and participating in these groups.
Many of these groups do offer personal understanding and camaraderie which are essential parts of support. These same groups point their members towards vital resources about ADD which can help educate their members. Some even try to educate their members directly about ADD. Again these are all great steps in being a support group.
One may actually look at these Non-ADD Partner support groups and think that the group itself has ADD. Many of these groups fail to complete the actual task of being supportive. They tend to leave out some vital steps like offering helpful advice. There is advice given, like make sure your partner is diagnosed and put on medication, which in many circumstances can be very helpful. But, the advice seems to end there.
Many non-ADD partners enter these groups looking for day to day strategies and coping techniques. Some of their spouses and partners are already taking medication and some for their own personal reasons have opted not to take medication. Some of these support group leaders seem to push the use of medication on to the groups' participants. It has even been reported that support group leaders give advice about specific medication from their non-medical backgrounds.
Non-ADD Partner Group participants have reported that some of these groups are very negative. These participants go into the groups expecting people to share problems and have its fair share of negativity but, many leave these groups because the energy is much too negative. Some Non-ADD partners are astonished of how much bad mouthing goes on in these groups and how hateful many of the participants are towards their significant others. Quite a few non-ADD partners feel as though they don't fit into these groups because their issues don't seem as important as other members of the groups.
So where do non-ADD partners who want tips, strategies and a more positive environment turn to? There different options out there. They can start their own Non-ADD Partner Support groups and set specific ground rules. They can speak up if they are already part of a group that does not seem supportive and let the support group leader know how they feel. They can become a member of ADDA which supports Adult ADD issues including non-ADD Partners. They can also hire an ADD Coach who works with ADD couples.
Non-ADD Partners need to know that they are not alone and that there is help and support for them too. There are others out there who are sharing similar experiences as they are. There are ways to find both support and understanding too.
Tara McGillicuddy is an ADD Coach and Activist. She has been educating and supporting people with ADD through her web site http://www.livingwithadd.com for several years. She is also the director of http://www.addclasses.com. You can learn more about Tara by reading her blog at http://livingwithadd.blogs.com.