Families with ADHD need all the support they can get. Research indicates that if a child has been diagnosed with ADHD there is a 55 – 70% chance that at least one parent also has the disorder. Clearly being a parent with ADHD makes caring for a child with ADHD so much harder. Therefore parents need special intervention and support.
ADHD effects the whole family not just the individual. Parents of kids with ADHD not only have to navigate a complex neurological disorder, but they also have to contend with criticism and judgment from others. Parents are often told that ADHD doesn’t exist or that their child’s disorder is their fault. Or they’re criticized for putting their kids on medication.
Not surprisingly, studies show that parents of kids with ADHD are at greater risk for anxiety, depression, relationship problems and divorce, among other issues.
That’s why focusing on ADHD’s effect on parents is critical. Without it, “we aren’t addressing ADHD fully”.
In fact, parents practicing self-care is a critical part of managing the disorder. Just consider what happens when stress takes its heavy toll on the ADHD household: maternal depression and anxiety, more than 50% of marriages fail, absent fathers, substance abuse, poor work record and even criminal activity.