ADHD and Relationships: Yes, Distraction Guilt is Real

A father sits on their phone in a theater next to their child. This could represent the distractions that folks with ADHD experience. Learn tips on addressing ADHD and relationships by seaching for an ADHD therapist for adults near me. Search for ADHD therapy in Columbus, OH to learn more.

“Put the phone down, dad.” Joe’s heart sank. He hadn’t realized he was texting his boss when he was supposed to be playing with his son…again. Ever since being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Joe has been more surprised at just how often he’s distracted. The more complicated life has become, the more Joe gets easily off task. When he’s with his family, he’s worried about work. And when he’s at work, he’s feeling guilty about all the time he spent worrying about work when he was with his family. Suddenly he wondered about the ability to have ADHD and relationships that feel less guilt-ridden and more connected. Here’s why this keeps happening to Joe and how he can start improving his relationships.

The ADHD Brain and Distractions

Response InhibitionA father works on a laptop while their kids and wife play together nearby. This could represent the struggles of ADHD and relationships when distracted. Learn how online therapy in Columbus, OH can offer support by searching for an ADHD therapist in Columbus, OH today.

ADHD impulses cause you to struggle to stop and think before you act. So, if a big emotion comes along as well––say worries about work––it’s all too easy to take action without thinking about the consequences of getting off task at the moment.

Sustained Attention

ADHD individuals also get off task when the situation is routine. For example, if someone is in a routine with family, they are prone to getting off task. However, it gets more complicated when this also happens at work. Once the ADHDer gets home, they might be consumed with what they didn’t complete at work. And that will likely then lead to them feeling guilty at work because they didn’t engage with the family the way they planned. And the cycle continues.

Working Memory

Working memory is how our brain holds thoughts in our minds. It allows people to keep track of multiple pieces of information that can then be carried out into an action. For ADHD people, the working memory system isn’t working in the same way as a neurotypical brain. It struggles to keep things in mind and is prone to forgetfulness. For the ADHD adult, this means they might worry they’ll forget something and rush to react in the moment. However, this often then takes them off task.

A young family of three plays with their dog. Learn how to address ADHD and relationships by contacting an ADHD therapist in Columbus, OH. They can offer support via online therapy in Columbus, OH and other services. Overstimulation

Because the ADHD brain struggles to filter our distractions, extreme feelings of overwhelm and being out of control come along when there is too much noise. In an effort to regulate, many ADHD individuals might find themselves “checking out” to find a place of calm.

ADHD and Emotional Regulation: Guilt Spirals

Because distraction isn’t intentional, many ADHDers spiral into guilt. Once guilt takes over, it’s hard to manage. Why? Emotional regulation is another executive function impacted by ADHD.

How to Limit Distractions

Set Boundaries

Sometimes, distractions are more about boundaries than anything else. However, to set them, you first need to know what’s OK and what is not OK with you. You also need to know the consequences of setting boundaries. Sometimes a boundary could lead to a mistake. However, a lot of the time, boundaries just lead to someone else being frustrated, which is a normal response to any person not getting what they want (rather than a judgment on the boundary setter).

Set Physical BoundariesA woman smiles while enjoying breakfast with their partner in the kitchen. Learn how to improve ADHD and relationships by contacting an ADHD therapist in Columbus, OH. They can offer online therapy in Columbus, OH and other services.

Sometimes to not be on your phone, you need to be not near your phone. The only way to avoid an impulse is to take away the trigger. For example, anyone is less likely to eat potato chips if they are at the store, rather than in the kitchen cabinet.

Understand the Bigger Picture

Over time, Joe began to realize that something as simple as being on his phone too much was a sign that something in his life wasn’t working. Perhaps he wasn’t happy with his new job. Maybe he was unhappy with the fact that he was answering his boss’s emails too late at night. Or perhaps he was spending too much time taking on others’ work in an effort to make up for his past mistakes. Joe realized he had hit an ADHD tipping point, and it was time for him to start living the life he wanted.

Begin Adult ADHD Treatment in Columbus, Ohio

Looking for more individualized support? You don’t have to feel unfocused and disconnected forever. ADHD-focused therapy that centers around managing life in a way that works for you can help you feel good about yourself and your actions. Our counseling practice in Columbus, Ohio has caring therapists who specialize in ADHD testing and ADHD treatment. To start your counseling journey, follow these simple steps:

  • Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.
  • Meet with one of our caring therapists.
  • Stop feeling guilty. Start showing up as your best self.

Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling

Adult ADHD treatment is not the only service we offer at our Columbus, OH counseling practice. At Focused Mind ADHD Counseling, we offer a variety of mental health services, including ADHD testing. As an adult with ADHD, we know you may also benefit from anxiety treatment for ADHD, counseling for men with ADHD, or depression counseling for ADHD. You can also view our blog for more resources and helpful info!