View Full Version : Difference between ADHD and Abuse


TheFitFatty
07-10-16, 02:14 AM
I've noticed from several of the relationship threads that people are passing off blatant abuse as symptoms of ADHD/ADD.

As someone who spent too much of her late teens/early twenties with an abuser who used his ADHD as an excuse for physical, emotional and financial abuse (and as someone with ADHD themselves who doesn't do these things!) I think it may be helpful to have a thread that states the differences, or a list of behaviors that is not ok in a relationship with someone who has ADHD/ADD.

First off, symptoms of ADHD/ADD: (The link gets more in-depth)
http://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/adult-adhd-attention-deficit-disorder.htm



Hyperfocus
Trouble concentrating and staying focused
Disorganization and forgetfulness
Impulsivity
Emotional difficulties
Hyperactivity or restlessness



In regards to abuse. Here's a link with US/UK/Canadian and International Hotlines: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse.htm


Some major points about abuse:

* Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love.


*Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone.



*There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partneróconstantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-upóchances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.


Probably the biggest point is that abusers will deny or blame everything and anything but themselves for their behavior. ADHD/ADD is a goldmine of excuses for abusers.



ADHD/ADD leads to impulsive behavior but that is NOT an excuse to hit someone or call them names/belittle them in private or public or blow the family finances on booze, gambling, the latest computer, etc, or cheat on your partner/sexually assault them.



ADHD/ADD can make it difficult for the person to control their temper, but it is not an excuse for abusive behavior!



ADHD/ADD is strongly associated with addictive tenancies but it isn't a free pass for people with ADHD/ADD to engage in activities and behaviors that harm themselves or others.



Just because your partner has ADHD/ADD it does not give them a green light to treat you badly.

ToneTone
07-10-16, 05:41 PM
Totally on the money.


Tone

Pilgrim
07-10-16, 05:46 PM
I agree with what your saying, but where does abuse start, if someone has an emotional outburst. ' like where's my ****in keys?' Is that abuse?

Little Missy
07-10-16, 05:51 PM
I agree with what your saying, but where does abuse start, if someone has an emotional outburst. ' like where's my ****in keys?' Is that abuse?

nah, that's just a bit of an outburst unless you have her by the throat when you ask.

stef
07-10-16, 06:15 PM
it would be abuse if you were meant to feel that it was somehow your fault

TheFitFatty
07-10-16, 11:21 PM
I agree with what your saying, but where does abuse start, if someone has an emotional outburst. ' like where's my ****in keys?' Is that abuse?

Emotional abuse can be the hardest to prove because its the hardest to explain. Of course I've lost my temper and called my husband an *******. I honestly curse like a sailor when I'm mad. But, it's not systematic, or out of the blue, or constant.

Like the quotes say, when you live in fear of your partner, of them going off, or walk on eggshells for fear of upsetting them, that's a sign of abuse.

With my ex I was told I was stupid or worthless on a daily basis, for little things. He was an expert gas lighter too: "Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_abuse) in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory), perception (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perception), and sanity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanity).<sup id="cite_ref-Oxford_Dictionary_1-0" class="reference">[1] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting#cite_note-Oxford_Dictionary-1)</sup><sup id="cite_ref-Dorpat_2-0" class="reference">[2] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting#cite_note-Dorpat-2)</sup> Instances may range from the denial (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial) by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disorientation) the victim."

Pilgrim
07-11-16, 12:51 AM
nah, that's just a bit of an outburst unless you have her by the throat when you ask.

I honestly don't know.

sarahsweets
07-17-16, 05:53 AM
Great post. i would add isolation. A lot of abusers will limit their partner's interactions with friends and family to the point where they dont have any at all.

BellaVita
07-17-16, 06:34 AM
The sense that I get is that sometimes people are in denial of being abused - and since they are so vulnerable and scared - a part of that denial is to blame it on a disorder like ADHD. Maybe that feeds their denial because ADHD can have treatment - but they can't fix an abuser.

In the past I've gotten almost offended that someone would list abusive behaviors and put that under the category of (or suggest) "ADHD" - but I try to remind myself they are probably doing that because they are desperate for help and they might be having a difficult time realizing they're in an abusive relationship.