Reply To: Unemployed ADD girlfriend


ADHD is a strange beast, and it definitely has something to do with this story, but it may come about sideways. It is true that there are jobs which an ADHD person is having a hard time doing; however, those tend to be repetitive, stationary jobs with no job independence. The jobs listed are not necessarily ADHD-unfriendly, but they are a lot of work and low paid, and you generally don’t have a breather by yourself. As an introvert, I find these jobs unappealing; as a totally spacey and novelty-seeking ADD person, they are not too bad (and I did work retail in high school). So I would suspect her dislike of these jobs doesn’t stem from ADHD directly. But at the same time it is true that if you have ADHD and there is something you dislike for any reason, you’ll have a hard time doing it.

If she is an introvert (and there are tests you both can take), she may actually not need a circle of friends, and an online social outlet can be enough. She might just be trying to reconnect emotionally with you at the end of the day. It’s worth checking out.

Are there things that she enjoys doing? If money is not an issue, could she take some classes in the direction of her interests? Does she show signs of depression, or burnout from her previous job? You might also suggest alternative ways for her to “generate” money, such as doing projects for which you would pay otherwise (taxes, yard work?).

And now to the ADHD-specific part of the equation, that may be at play here — there are three things that would trigger an ADHD person to start a project: strong interest, a challenge you can’t ignore, or sheer terror. It’s brain chemistry, sadly — sense doesn’t come into it, and neither does wanting. For more on this non-starter thing, see . She had a section specifically about initiating. An ADHD coach may also help her a lot.