Clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Reynolds is here to provide some practical advice to all couples dealing with ADHD in their marriage.
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Audra Lowe: A lot of times when people think of ADHD typically think about kids. But now more adults are suffering from the disorder. It can really put a strain on a marriage or other relationships at home and at work. Clinical Psychologist Dr. Robert Reynolds is here and he’s going to provide some practical advice to all couples that are dealing with in their marriage and also some ways to pick up on the symptoms, right doctor? It’s good to have you here. Dr. Robert Reynolds: Exactly right because we often think about ADHD as a childhood problem but there are many, many adults who are beginning to recognize that they had problems when they were young and are still having problems. Typically, organization is a bell ringer for adults with ADHD has tough time getting themselves organized. But when it comes to relationships they often times really struggle because they're not really paying attention. Audra Lowe: And if you don’t know what it is you can be talked up to something else like being lazy or selfish. That’s what a lot of spouses might think, right? Dr. Robert Reynolds: Exactly or they don’t care. And so a lot of tension builds up in relationships because of this misunderstanding. Audra Lowe: You have an approach that you do with thousands of patients and you have something that’s called Skills before Pills, can you tell me about that? Dr. Robert Reynolds: Yes. Well all too often the only thing that a person is offered once they are diagnosed with ADHD is medication. The vast majority of people with ADHD whether adults or children can be treated just as effectively even more so by teaching the skills that they need to manage their lives. So once they have learned that then they can take that with them of the rest of their lives. Audra Lowe: Some of the symptoms that you’ve mentioned, you know the warning signs that they are edgy, short tempered, procrastination, easily distracted, chronically late or even unaffectionate and that could also lead to major problems in a marriage if you don’t get it diagnosed and don’t have the spouse go in and figure out if you need to have it treated, right? Dr. Robert Reynolds: Yes. And that’s very important for people to look at those signs because if you begin to pick up on them you might begin to realize that what your spouse is dealing with is a neurophysiological brain-based problem not something that has anything to do with motivation or lack of caring. Audra Lowe: So what’s the first thing that you should do? Let’s say that you do suspect that your spouse might be suffering from ADHD, do you go to a regular doctor? Do you send them straight to like clinical psychologist? How do you know where to start with something like this? Dr. Robert Reynolds: You're exactly right. And this is a problem because often times when people present with this kind of problem and they are talking about being depressed, anxious, their lives aren’t working out and maybe they talk to their family doctor and if the family doctor is not trained in recognizing this then unfortunately people don’t get diagnosed in a timely fashion and this problem goes on and on and on. It’s the fortunate ones actually that end up in psychologist offices because we are the ones who are best trained to understand, recognize and hope deal with those issues. Audra Lowe: Well it’s good to have you here to at least bring the issue to the forefront at least people can start doing a little more research and get treated earlier. Thank you for being here doctor. Dr. Robert Reynolds: Thank you Audra. Audra Lowe: If you guys want to get more information on adult ADHD and some other tips on how you can help save your marriage if you are in that situation you can go to our website BetterTV.com click on the link and we’ll have more info there.