ADHD & a Low Sex Drive

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According to WebMD, 8 million adults in the United States suffer from a condition called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, which is characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity and the inability to focus. More than half of all people diagnosed with ADHD as children will struggle with its symptoms into adulthood, and one of the most troubling aspects of the disorder is what happens, or doesn’t happen, in the bedroom.

ADHD Causes

Studies conducted by Dr. Joseph Biederman at Massachusetts General Hospital found that heredity is the most common cause of ADHD. When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, there is a 25 percent chance either a parent or sibling also has the disorder. Fetal exposure to toxic substances, such as alcohol, nicotine and lead, while in the womb, also increase your chances of developing ADHD. Trauma to the brain, brain tumors, disease or stroke also make you more susceptible to the disorder. Contrary to popular belief, however, what you eat appears to have no affect on an ADHD diagnosis. ADHD also is not the result of poor parenting as a child, or watching too much television.

ADHD Symptoms

Living with ADHD can be frustrating for both you and the people in your life. You probably have trouble concentrating on and completing tasks at work or home. You might feel restless much of the time, or be disorganized and impulsive. You might even be quick to anger and suffer from mood swings. As a result, the constant nagging and negative feedback from family, friends and co-workers can strain your relationship with them.

ADHD and Sex

Many ADHD patients and their partners complain about their level of sex and intimacy. With ADHD, the thought of sex might be appealing and exciting, but the reality of it is not. For some ADHD sufferers, sex is boring. If hyperstimulation is a problem, being rubbed and tickled in sensitive spots can actually be painful. Sometimes, the motivation to engage in sex is lacking or the desire just isn’t there. ADHD-related troubles in the bedroom can be embarrassing for couples, lead to feelings of rejection or ineptitude and can drive a wedge between partners.

Living With ADHD

Being aware that ADHD can have a negative impact on your love life and impair your sex drive is the first step to overcoming this relationship hurdle. Make time for romance by scheduling pre-agreed upon date nights, and limit distractions beforehand. Also, keep your home-life running as smoothly as possible. Gina Pera, author of “Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD” says, “increased good will and cooperation outside the bedroom often translates into better intimacy–and vice-versa.”

ADHD Treatments

According to MedicineNet, approximately two-thirds of ADHD patients prescribed stimulant medication to manage the symptoms of their disorder report significant improvement. Popular stimulants include Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta and Dexedrine. However, stimulant medications aren’t without drawbacks. ADHD patients are typically at a greater risk of substance abuse. Because stimulant medications are controlled substances, the risk of ADHD patients becoming dependent on them is greater than for people without the disorder. A combination of medication and behavior therapy/modification treatments works best.

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