Navigating ‘Overfunctioning’ in ADHD Relationships – SheKnows

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It’s the third year of the pandemic, Monkey Pox is upon us, and polio has just resurfaced. If that wasn’t enough, it’s August, so the new school year begins and fall is upon us. In the last two years, mental health has seen an increase in ADHD diagnoses in adults. We as a society are struggling to focus and function. This means two things. One: Many adults have a hard time concentrating, completing tasks, identifying emotional needs, and being present with people they care about. And two: The partners of all those adults with ADHD (newly diagnosed or previously known) are probably overworking.

Signs of over-functioning include: taking responsibility for someone else’s life responsibilities (making their doctor’s appointments, waking them up, buying gifts for them to give), giving unsolicited advice because you think it will help, and feeling overwhelmed and even resentment. Overworked people tend to need tasks to be completed in a certain way and in a specific amount of time. This satisfies a sense of accomplishment, helps organize life and relationship practices, and comes with a strong side of anxiety. Overworked people often have the motto “I’ll do it myself” and often complete tasks by themselves. The gag is that for every person who works too much in a relationship, there’s usually one person who works poorly. And overfunctioning tendencies typically allow the other person in the relationship to underfunction. This separation can also be a point of conflict between lovers. The over- or under-functioning relationship can be difficult, and when one partner has ADHD, the relationship can feel almost insurmountable because it is riddled with conflict.

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is characterized by restlessness, impulsiveness, irritability, distractibility, difficulty concentrating, problems paying attention, anxiety, mood swings, and even aggression. Now, a person with ADHD isn’t automatically the one who doesn’t function well in a relationship. Sometimes poor functioning is a manifestation of ADHD symptoms. It does not have a purpose nor is it done out of laziness, it is a mental health disease that manifests itself in real life. It can still be frustrating and affect the intimacy of the relationship. In a relationship, these symptoms can show up in housework, the ability to take care of oneself, the ability to take care of children, and the frustration of trying to show up in a specific way to appease the one who is overrunning or feeling like a boss. fail when you can’t. live up to the expectations that either of you have in the relationship. Both low functioning and ADHD can go hand in hand. A successful relationship with an over-functioning person and someone with ADHD takes some practice on the part of both people.

Overfunctioning people must manage their anxiety to stop overfunctioning. This means that an overworker needs to learn to delegate a task, set it and forget it. For example, cleaning the toilet. Let’s say cleaning the bathroom is your least favorite chore and your partner doesn’t mind doing it. So now that task is theirs, which means you, as the overworker, have to put it down and forget about it. Sometimes it’s hard for an overworker to relinquish responsibility, and task mastery over a delegated responsibility helps control his anxiety. What I mean by sitting back and letting it go is that this task is no longer up to the overachiever; therefore, the excess worker is not responsible for recording when that task is performed, how that task is performed, and whether that task is performed “correctly.” Now, I know that everyone likes to fight, so I’m not saying you have to sit down and pee because your partner didn’t clean the toilet. What I’m saying is that you can’t dictate when or how the toilet is cleaned outside of a long-term limit.

This looks like, “At the end of the week, can you make sure you clean the toilet?”

If the toilet isn’t cleaned by the end of the week, then it’s time to get back to that conversation, but if it’s cleaned somehow, shape, and form, then there’s no need to do it again.

It’s helpful, as an overworker, to give up only low-risk tasks. Tasks that are immediate, literally life-or-death (read giving an elderly man insulin), or that depend specifically on how the over-functioning completes them, should not be delegated, at least not initially. This is an exercise in patience that will be difficult for an overworked person to complete. It is also necessary for the overfunctioning person to relinquish aspects of control in order to minimize her anxiety and potential resentment toward his mistress.

For those who have ADHD and feel like they’re in a relationship with someone who’s over-functioning, it’s wise to find your solution. As a person with ADHD symptoms, you may find it difficult to complete household chores or even manage personal care. As a lover in a love relationship, you also see the cost to your lover and your relationship (or maybe not and reading this article is helping you see what your lover is going through). For a person with ADHD, finding the solution for a delegated task or for wanting to appear different will be difficult. Take the example of cleaning the toilet, it can be hard to get started, so start by gathering your supplies in one place.

By separating the task (gathering supplies, cleaning the toilet, and putting items back), you can work toward goals in a staggered and less overwhelming (and less likely to forget) way. Other solutions for your ADHD might mean cleaning up with a song, talking to your partner about your job and finding out what you can do, setting timers, keeping conversations short and focused (even taking notes!), or using your strengths as an asset. to take responsibility. Whatever solutions you implement, know that they help sustain the relationship and ultimately increase the intimacy in your relationship, as your lover can give up some anxiety and work while still feeling fulfilled and appreciated.

Loving relationships in which one person is over-functioning and the other has ADHD can be successful and flourish. And with the current state of the world, the rise in ADHD diagnoses and anxiety, it’s more important than ever to learn how to work together to achieve harmony in relationships.

Before you go, check out the apps we love to help you prioritize your mental health:


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