Talking About ADHD

Telling My Partner I Have ADHD

How — and when — should I tell my significant other that I have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? The last boyfriend I told acted as if I had bubonic plague and ended the relationship.

Tell a person about your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) after you feel close enough to think he or she should know. As you explain the condition to your partner, give them a copy of Delivered from Distraction or another book that will tell them everything they need to know about the condition — in a positive way.

Make sure your partner understands that you are more than your ADD symptoms, that there is a person underneath the inattention and impulsivity. Explain that you are doing your best to manage those symptoms through medication and/or alternative treatments.

ADD is an integral part of who you are, and it is important for any potential long-term partner to know about it. If a person ends a relationship after you tell them, they’re probably not a good choice for you. You want to be with someone who understands the challenges you’re facing, not someone who runs away from them.