Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is an ever-present mental health disorder affecting relationships, classroom performance and career achievement. Lack of proper communication is one of the consequences of ADHD. If the disorder of ADHD goes undiagnosed and untreated into adulthood, the risk of the communication problems getting worse will increase
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ADHD is a mental health disorder that affects the brain of the person afflicted. According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, research has demonstrated that people with ADHD have lower activity levels in the areas of their brain controlling attention, social judgment and movement. When an ADHD diagnosis is given, it is typed into one of three classifications inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive or combined type.
Having ADHD might lead a person to develop a number of communication problems. A person with ADHD might have problems in relationships because of her inability to remember dates, times, to-do lists and financial agreements. She might display problems at work or in school due to her impulsive behaviors.
Due to the lack of listening skills that generally comes with ADHD, a person may not hear full instructions, she may stop listing before she hears the whole list of what she is asked to accomplish each day, or she may quickly forget assignments or lose important financial paperwork that she was asked to put in a safe place.
Also, people with ADHD may interrupt other people's conversations or thought processes, making it hard for communication to go smoothly. This might disrupt their performance at work or school. A person with ADHD can have problems with boundaries and impulsiveness. This might lead her to ask questions that are too personal in nature or invade another person’s space by standing too close, making the communication process uncomfortable for the other person.
To treat the communications problems associated with ADHD, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is commonly used. Medications, such as Ritalin and Adderall, will help a person remain focused and still, notes the Mayo Clinic. This will allow the person to properly listen. Psychotherapy can include social skills training, family therapy, couples therapy or behavioral therapy. These forms of psychotherapy can be focused on the individual’s need for enhanced communication skills.
A person with ADHD who has poor relationships and lack of success at work or school due to problems with communication may be at an increased risk for self-harm, suicide and/or harm of others. The lack of ability to effectively communicate may leave a person feeling unheard and frustrated. If a person appears to be at risk for harming themselves or someone else, he may display the following behaviors: aggression, talk of death, joking about harming someone, discussing a plan to harm himself or someone else, having a new improved attitude, hanging out with a new group of friends or giving important things away. If an intent to commit suicide or harm someone else is suspected, the police and mental health professional working with the person should be notified immediately.