Dealing With Emotional Detachment

Q:

"Is it true that people with ADD feel emotions less intensely than non-ADDers? My husband has ADD, and sometimes he seems emotionally detached."

A:

People with ADD vary in their reactions to the emotions of people around them. Some ADDers pay so much attention to others' emotions that they barely notice anything else. Other ADDers, including your husband, seem oblivious to others' emotions.

If you'd like your husband to be more attuned to your feelings, find a private time to talk things over. Using "I" statements, tell him how you feel: "When I told you the car broke down, I felt frustrated because you didn't seem concerned or offer to drop off the kids. I wish you had at least acknowledged my difficult situation." Then give him time to react. Maybe he, too, was anxious about something, or didn't know what to suggest. In any case, pointing out that he missed something will help ensure that it will be on his personal radar the next time.

Kerch McConlogue is a Baltimore-based ADD coach.

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