The relationship between ADHD and sex is well-studied. There seem to be some common points when it comes to sexual behavior among those with ADHD. Specific ADHD symptoms like impulse control issues, hyperactivity, and inattention can cause problems. Inattentive, impulsive or low on control, ADHD patients can face a lot of problems during sex.
How ADHD Impacts Sex
ADHD symptoms can affect your sexuality. As individuals try to compensate for the symptoms, there can be underlying issues. A person can use routine and discipline to manage symptoms to work hard and keep his or her life together. Difficulties with social skills and reading another person’s advances may result. Sexual failures can impact sexual confidence.
Treatment for ADHD should, therefore, involve lifestyle and behavioral management. ADHD patients also need medication, counseling, coaching, educational support, or understanding. By treating the symptoms themselves, you stand a good chance of normal sexual relations. Rather than being at the whim of randomness and distractions that culminate in undesirable sexual outcomes, work for a positive impact by organizing your life.
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Categories of Sexual Issues Due to ADHD
ADHD is a medical and mental health condition. It leads to a variety of symptoms. These symptoms range from impulsive behavior to difficulty paying attention/ hyperactivity. The disease itself can impact adult life a lot. For instance, individuals with ADHD can have poor self-image and problem, maintaining a stable job. They may lack the confidence to have intimate relations.
The effect of this disorder on sexuality can be hard to measure. This is on account of the factor that sexual symptoms differ in each individual. Specific sexual symptoms can trigger sexual problems, leading to plenty of stress in the relationship. Studying how ADHD impacts sexuality can help couples step up to relationship stressors and cope effectively.
Symptoms of ADHD(1) commonly found in most patients range from anxiety to depression. Patients also report a lack of emotional stability. These conditions can impact sex drive negatively. For instance, it can be tough for ADHD patients to maintain a sense of order and organization. They may even lack the will or energy levels to engage in intercourse.
Reported ADHD sexual symptoms, therefore, fall into two categories: hyposexuality and hypersexuality. For an ADHD patient-facing sexual symptoms, the diagnosis can place them in either of the two groups. Further, sexual manifestations are not recognized as a diagnostic criterion for ADHD according to the American Psychiatric Association.
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Hypersexuality indicates there is an unusually high sex drive. Sexual feelings cause the release of endorphins and mobilize the neurotransmitters in the brain. Too much focus on sex results. In such cases, cheating on your partner or excessive use of pornography can be a relationship conflict for individuals. These are not considered part of the ADHD diagnostic criteria.
Specific individuals with ADHD engage in risky sexual practices due to impulse control issues. Individuals with ADHD are at risk for substance-abuse disorders. This can impact decision making and sexual risk-taking adversely.
The opposite impact on an individual’s sexuality can take place due to ADHD. The sex drive hits a low, and all interest in sexual activity is lost. This is on account of ADHD itself. It can be the result of medication such as antidepressants. Such medicines are given to individuals facing ADHD. Sex is yet another activity that poses a challenge for ADHD patients.
They can be suffering from low energy levels. ADHD can create problems such as trouble concentrating during intercourse, loss of interest in sex, or a sense of distraction. Women with ADHD have a problem reaching orgasmic states. Some women may have rapid orgasms or not reach orgasms at all, despite prolonged stimulation.
Individuals with ADHD can be extra sensitive. They can feel irritated or uncomfortable during sex. This is so even if the partner feels good during intercourse. Smell, touch, and taste accompanying intercourse can be distressing for ADHD patients. Hyperactivity(2) comes in the way of intimacy for ADHD partners. Sex becomes an issue due to low libido and falling energy levels.
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How to Overcome Issues Linked to ADHD and Sex
For lowering boredom in the bedroom or loss of interest in sex, ADHD patients need to try new positions, techniques. They should opt for sex at new locations to banish a lack of desire. Discuss ways to revive your sex life with your partner and ensure both of you are comfortable in the relationship.
1. Communicate More, Compromise at Times
Discussing how ADHD can impact sexual expression and intimacy is essential. Be considerate of the needs if you have a partner who is diagnosed with ADHD. Turn off lights and avoid using strong perfumes or lotions.
Some ADHD patients have a sensitivity to light or strong smells. Seek additional counseling, therapy, and help from a qualified sex therapist. Most individuals and couples facing challenges due to ADHD can benefit from sex therapy and couples counseling.
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2. Prioritize Intimacy
It is essential to work on being in the moment. Avoid distractions and try to relax during sex. Use techniques like yoga and meditation to calm yourself before a date. Do breathing exercises before a potential sexual activity. Make dates for sex with your couple or partner and making sex a priority can ensure you don’t get sidetracked.
ADHD can be complicated to overcome. It harms interpersonal effectiveness and sexual intimacy in partners and couples facing this mental health issue. For averting the problem, you need to ensure that ADHD partners do not succumb to hyper or hypo sexuality.
Make an effort to resolve the issues using therapy and treatment actively. Couples counseling can be very beneficial for individuals looking to overcome intimacy issues associated with ADHD and hyper or hypo sexuality.