One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi

ADHD and Trust with Melissa Orlov

June 26, 2021 Amee Quiriconi Season 4 Episode 8
One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi
ADHD and Trust with Melissa Orlov
Chapters
One Broken Mom Hosted by Ameé Quiriconi
ADHD and Trust with Melissa Orlov
Jun 26, 2021 Season 4 Episode 8
Amee Quiriconi

Melissa Orlov, a marriage consultant, a top expert in how ADHD affects relationships, and an award-winning author, returns to speak with Ameé about how trust can be lost and regained in relationships where a partner has ADHD . 

In this episode, you will hear: 

  • How trust can affect friendships
  • The "trust metric" and how it is applied to repairing trust between partners
  • Why punishments won't work in correcting behaviors in people with ADHD
  • How emotional dysregulation is more common for people with ADHD and how it gets them in trouble at work
  • Why criticism is a common tender point for people with ADHD

Resources
https://www.adhdmarriage.com/
The ADHD Effect on Marriage (Available in print and audio)

Links to buy The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business

Amazon (Audio, Print, Kindle Versions): https://amzn.to/3daO7nA

Barnes and Noble- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomansGuide

Bookshop- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomanBookshop

Visit https://www.ameequiriconi.com/ for more articles about self-help, healing from trauma, leadership, business, and more!

Show Notes Transcript

Melissa Orlov, a marriage consultant, a top expert in how ADHD affects relationships, and an award-winning author, returns to speak with Ameé about how trust can be lost and regained in relationships where a partner has ADHD . 

In this episode, you will hear: 

  • How trust can affect friendships
  • The "trust metric" and how it is applied to repairing trust between partners
  • Why punishments won't work in correcting behaviors in people with ADHD
  • How emotional dysregulation is more common for people with ADHD and how it gets them in trouble at work
  • Why criticism is a common tender point for people with ADHD

Resources
https://www.adhdmarriage.com/
The ADHD Effect on Marriage (Available in print and audio)

Links to buy The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business

Amazon (Audio, Print, Kindle Versions): https://amzn.to/3daO7nA

Barnes and Noble- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomansGuide

Bookshop- https://bit.ly/FearlessWomanBookshop

Visit https://www.ameequiriconi.com/ for more articles about self-help, healing from trauma, leadership, business, and more!

Amee Quiriconi:

Hi, everybody. Welcome back, I have with me a guest that I had on last season. This is a Melissa Orlov and she's a marriage consultant and an expert in how ADHD actually affects relationships. And she's also the award winning author of a book called The ADHD effect on marriage, which was awarded the best psychology book of 2010. And she had a more recent book, The couple's guide to thriving with ADHD that she co wrote, and actually at one three Book Awards, including the best psychology book of 2014. And at the end of our last interview, you know, I cut it, we say goodbye, and it's all good, the music plays, but usually I have a conversation with my guest following it. And when I bring somebody on the show for the first time, usually, we're only able to kind of kind of skim the surface of the entire topic of this, and it's so big, and we can never really get down deep into anything. So one of the questions I always ask my experts is, do we cover everything we should? And then I asked, you know, is there a place that we think that we could deep dive in? Would you be interested in coming back and Melissa immediately said that to her if there was a deep dive in this topic, because we could go deep everywhere, it would be on the subject of what ADHD does with trust. And so that's where we're back again, she's going to be taking some time off. And so I'm very grateful that I got her in before she takes off for the summer. So you all will be listening to it while she is on vacation. So thank you, and welcome back to the show. Melissa.

Melissa Orlov:

Thank you very much. I just for that vacation think kayak or something like that. So good. So good. So I have to ask then, is it whitewater kayaking, or is it like sea kayaking? No, I am definitely not that that. fearless I'm sorry to say.

Amee Quiriconi:

Well, I do have a dream of going down to Lake Powell and through Antelope Canyon on a kayak and take a camera and just you know, I like to whitewater and I haven't whitewater kayak, I've whitewater rafted a lot. But there are many places in this country that I definitely want to get it, you know, get in a kayak and go exploring. And I like the I like the creeks and lakes better than I like to see up here in the Northwest. There's a lot of sea kayaking. And it's, you know, not my thing. I like the walls around me, I think. Yeah. Yeah. Well, um, so before we get straight to the talk about trust, I want to imagine that maybe somebody is actually listening to this episode for the first time, and that they're probably trying to explore adult ADHD, either wondering if it's something that maybe has never been diagnosed in them. And it could be something that maybe a reflection of some some challenges that they've noticed in their life, that's, you know, seemed like it could be ADHD or they're listening, because they're curious if it's something that their partner as, and you and I talked about this in the last episode, because there are actually a lot of adults that never get diagnosed as children because usually, when we talk, we think about ADHD is this hyperactive activity disorder in children and they can't sit sit in their seats and whatnot. But I had a friend that was diagnosed with ADHD in his 40s after his son was diagnosed. And so there are a lot of adults that have never gotten a diagnosis that probably should have. So it can you define what ADHD is for, for the listeners here before we jump in?

Melissa Orlov:

A couple of very quick ways to say, oh, gee, maybe we should be looking at that. And one of them is definitely if you have a kid who has been diagnosed with ADHD chances are quite good, since it's hereditary, that at least one of the parents has ADHD. So definitely ask somebody that question. Another one is, if you have an adult who really genuinely wants to do things, particularly tasks and other things around the house, and somehow never really seems to consistently be able to do them, they often forget or whatever. That's another indicator that ADHD might be present. And that's because one of the top that in fact, the number one symptom of adult ADHD is distractibility. And this isn't like a little bit of distraction. This is chronic distractibility where you have trouble completing your sentences, because you're off imagining something else. This is having trouble remembering to do things, that kind of thing. Also, impulsivity is a characteristic of ADHD if you have adult ADHD, you have had it since you were a kid, but you but as adults, our lives get much more complex, much more stressful, which makes symptoms get worse, and also many more boring tasks. So, so many people also we weren't looking for it 30 or 40 years ago in the schools like they do now. So a lot of people about 80% of adults who have ADHD are undiagnosed, so huge number. So anyway, it's distractibility, impulsivity, emotionality, people who have quick triggers might be because of ADHD, if you see quick triggers plus easily overwhelmed and lots of shame, that's that's a good indicator that ADHD might be there and And then there are things like trouble planning, difficulty with time management where you're constantly tardy, or you lose track of time, all the time, losing things, misplacing things, all those kinds of things would indicate that ADHD might be present. And it would be worth taking a look, there are a lot of people who have some characteristics, but not full blown ADHD. And, but, but also a good part, you know, 578 percent of the adult population does have ADHD,

Amee Quiriconi:

wow, that's a pretty high percentage, actually, when you think about it, you know, about how many people that would have it and may not actually know. And I know, this is one of those, you know, having having friends that have been diagnosed with it, and see, you just outlined everything that I've learned to understand about them with grace and compassion. And that's why I think that, you know, the topic is really important to cover because a lot of these behaviors are misunderstood. And they come off, as you know, you know, disrespectful, or, you know, you know, like, they don't really care about me, or whatnot, which is how you ended up really kind of evolving a book and a career out of helping people understand that, you know, behind a person who has ADHD isn't malice or uncaring. It's the opposite of it. It's just understanding the forces that are really going on in the head that are causing, you know, the distractibility, and the impulsivity and things like that.

Melissa Orlov:

Exactly. One of the, the great misconceptions about people with ADHD, because they have trouble completing things is that they're lazy, for example, and it's just not true. You know, in the vast, I mean, maybe there are a few people with ADHD who are lazy, but if they're not people I'm running into they're working really hard to get that ADHD brain to perform for them. Right, right. It's overwhelmed, right? Like it's, you know, overwhelm is common and, and frustration and, you know, all sorts of things. But in the neurology of ADHD means that these things pop up regularly, the symptoms pop up regularly. And they tend to get in the way. And, and so there are all sorts of coping strategies who, for people who are undiagnosed, and but have ADHD, they've got the symptoms, they just don't know, they don't have the full treatment stuff, because they don't know about it. And so they're doing all these coping strategies that sometimes don't work for them, actually, in the long run. Anyway, I don't want to get sidetracked here, because we're supposed to be talking about trust.

Amee Quiriconi:

You're coming back down to zero. Yeah. Because as I'm listening to you, and I'm thinking about all the coping strategies, you know, and I'm thinking about people that I that I knew that were diagnosed later in life, that, you know, their coping strategy sometimes was, you know, doing anything, and then the friends and the people around them, judging them, you know, shaming them for not being able, and, you know, it'd be to get angry or just dismissive. I mean, it's like, I don't know, I want to do differently, I don't know how to do differently. So I'm just going to allow the cards are going to fall where they fall. And that, you know, and if you're upset with me, I'm sorry, but, but I don't know what else to do.

Melissa Orlov:

Yeah. And then it's a really important point that you make. And so it's worth pursuing, which is one of the most logical and best strategies for somebody who has ADHD, who has a pattern of trying to do something and doing it in a way that's unexpected, for example, or doing it in completely or something and having negative feedback for the performance that they did. That it's very logical to say, you know, maybe I shouldn't do this thing, because I'm just gonna get myself in trouble or, or it's somebody I really care about is going to get angry at me. It's not just about they're sort of putting up their hands, they're actually responding in a very logical way to the world around them and the past experiences they've had, this is part of the power of understanding what ADHD is all about, you can look at somebody go, Well, they're not actually a jerk, or they're not actually somebody who doesn't want to get engaged, they want to get engaged more than anything, but it doesn't make sense for them to get engaged, if every time they get engaged, they get abused for it in some way, you know, so. So it really is empowering to find out if you have ADHD.

Amee Quiriconi:

Now, is there talk about some stigmas before we get into the trust because I think again, this kind of connection with trust and the stigma that I think about is you know as we as we talk a lot more so about mental health You know, there isn't a blood test we can go take or an X ray we can go that has a definitive like your bone is broke or you're you're anemic or whatever when it comes to things that are going on in the brain. And and so I you know, do people think that ADHD is an excuse for just not trying hard enough, and I'm saying that with a look on my face. This is I don't believe that statement, but yet when Talk about the symptoms, you know, there might be a lot of people, you know, scratching their head, you know, going, you know, that seems convenient, you know, and thinking that somebody could just try harder, you know what I mean?

Melissa Orlov:

And you hear you do hear that comment, particularly, you'll hear it from disgruntled partners, who are really tired of trying to get an ADHD partner to follow through on things, not realizing that the way to have that happen is to understand the ADHD is there and then put the ADHD friendly strategies in place that enable that performance that they're looking for. They think that well, if I'm just you know, if I just, you know, remind enough, I will motivate my partner, if it's uncomfortable enough, they'll get motivated. And if the partner resists, again, maybe for a logical reason, then they think the partner doesn't love them or it doesn't care or is lazy or whatever. The misinterpretations around undiagnosed, adult ADHD are horribly crippling for and I work with couples for couples, but just even for the adults, who have them, even their own misperceptions, they start to believe I can't do anything I you know, I'm in competent, I'm not I'm a failure. And all they is not the case there. They could have an amazing skill set, but they're in the wrong job. Because the job wants stuff from them that doesn't fit their, their ADHD skills, or, or they, they, you know, they're really, they're fearless, but they're an accountant. I mean, instead of a ski ski coach or something, I mean, all sorts of things that you can once you start learning about ADHD, better fit your life to to it, and that includes couples and friends and etc.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. You bringing up the the fitment to it, you know, one of the things that I do outside of, you know, podcasting about all this stuff is actually working with talent optimization. And part of that is actually being able to have a person, do an assessment of their natural behaviors and preferences and things. And then you actually see on a diagram where you plot like whether or not you can, you know, you prefer to focus on detail oriented tasks, or if you need, you know, some flexibility. And when you take that and apply it to jobs, and you look at what behaviors are required for jobs, you can actually do better alignment with people to that based on those natural tendencies, which then helps for for a person who keeps pushing themselves into fields or paths. And then you know, because I hate seeing people feel like they're failing when they're not, like you just said, they're just not the right fit, like, the wonderful brain they have is designed to do some really great things. But it may not be to do that particular job. And that doesn't mean anything about, you know, us as people. And so these conversations are so important for that for people to again, remove shame, you know, around the whole the whole topic. Now, when I said, what, where do we go, you said, trust? So why did you say that that was the topic that we really needed to bury ourselves into and focus for a bit on.

Melissa Orlov:

Look how long it took us to get there. So So trust is a huge issue because one of the characters so if you have somebody who's highly distracted, highly impulsive, I didn't talk about the now and not now time zones, but that's also an issue has trouble with time. stuff I should describe should tell you what now and not to have time zones are so in with ADHD, there is the very, very, very present moment focus that is part of the neurology of ADHD, it has to do with executive functions and etc. I won't go into all those details. But anyway, you're very, very much in the present moment. And that includes when you're distracted, you know, suddenly you're off in a different present, but you're you know, you're following that thing. When you're not in the present moment, everything else is then not now the past, the present, you know, etc. So that's, that's one quality. It's a great way to think about ADHD nurses, you know, you're you're in the now when you have when you have a relationship. So again, I work with couples, but any relationship trust is based upon some pretty basic things that revolve around reliability. Among other things. JOHN Gottman did a lot of research in this area. And he came up with a trust equation that includes what he calls transparency, which is essentially you've got my back, you promise to do something, you end up doing it. And then what he calls positive moral ethics or something like that. I can't remember exact word. But it's about you know, that, you know, somebody has a good set of values and morals as their ethical. So the ADHD folks run into a huge problem with this first area of transparency and reliability. Because one of the qualities of ADHD is that you are inconsistent. Sometimes you're really good. Doing something and that tends to be driven by you're not neurology, you're really good when it's rewarding when it's new, when it's interesting, when it's really important to you, when it's right in front of you in the now, you know, when it's an emergency and the chemicals are running through your brain, you know, that kind of thing. Not so good when it's boring when it's in the future, or like, can't really be in the past, but when it's in the future, when you have to plan for it, when you have to complete it, in the end part, like the paperwork on the project is so boring, that kind of stuff. And so, or when it has to be done exactly at a certain time. It many people with ADHD are kind of procrastinators, and they miss deadlines, or they forget about them or whatever. So. So that leads to real problems with that, and particularly when you don't know about the ADHD. So that's why I want to talk about trust, because it has a huge impact. ADHD has a huge impact on the sort of very basic groundwork for relationships.

Amee Quiriconi:

Well, and I mean, I know you and I had gone back forth on some emails, you know about this kind of leading up and getting ourselves prepared for the conversation because the, you know, you work with couples and, and with individuals and managing and understanding and strategies for, you know, working with their ADH brain. And you know, and I work with businesses and organizations, and I try to bring a trauma informed or, you know, an informed perspective to leadership and understanding people in the real humaneness of all the people, and all of our foibles that we all bring to the table. And so when we talk about trust, I mean, I'm sitting there thinking about, you know, people that are not only dealing with the difficulties in their personal relationships, but also at work, that if the same things, because, you know, a relationship is a relationship, whether it's a co worker, or a friend or a partner, and how important it would be for somebody who may be struggling, and probably suffering all the negative consequences of that, right, not just from their spouses or partners, but even at going to work and getting called in the office or demoted or whatever it may be, because of, you know, having this difficulty and then not knowing how to get a handle on it. Right, like until there's a diagnosis.

Melissa Orlov:

Yeah, that's part of it. And and, you know, trust is in the workplace, it can be things like if you are if you are deadline driven, because the deadline gives you the adrenaline that you need to overcome the low dopamine that you have, when you have ADHD in, you know, going on. And you have other people who either have to contribute to the thing that you're creating, and you're not ready to ask for their contribution until, you know, 11pm the night before, or, or you know, you you actually don't get to the deadline, or you're supposed to go to a meeting and whatever, those things can be really hard on the people who are around you in the workplace, as well as obviously at home. Not everybody who has ADHD actually struggles in the workplace, it's pretty common, particularly when you get people who are entrepreneurs, successful entrepreneurs, or, or pretty high up, that they have enough staff around them to take care of the weaknesses, and then help keep them organized, somebody who, you know, make sure their calendar is filled in properly and reminds them of when they're supposed to be someplace, etc. And so you can be have a wildly successful adult with ADHD in the workplace, who's got really great support or in the military, and, and, or in an emergency room or something, and then still have trouble in other relationships in their lives. And so it doesn't, it's not across the board for every individual,

Amee Quiriconi:

right, which I can imagine, would if, if that's the case, further undermines the trust, especially in the personal relationship, because you have the partner, the non ADHD partner, let's say, who's sitting there seeing this person perform at their job, and then come home and you know, air quotes around the word failing at the relationship, as if they're a stout like setting a lower priority for their home life versus what they do at work, maybe not being aware that they have a support structure that's filling in the gaps around them at work and making it look like that this is choice, you know, that they're just choosing to do something that's different at home,

Melissa Orlov:

you'll hear that sometimes when you approach a successful business person, man or woman with you know, you might have ADHD, they say, and even some of the medical professionals who don't understand ADHD will say, Well, no, you can't have ADHD because you're so successful. It's like, No, no, no, no, no. That's not the way it works. So the person who's at home does feel like they're not as important or the person who has ADHD says, well, it must be your fault. Because at work, I'm so successful at home I'm not so successful. And that's because you're so mean to me or your so angry all the time or whatever, and it is not at the home stuff. It's a completely different room, different set of expectations, different set of tasks, most of which are boring, many of which are boring, not all. And so they don't light up the ADHD brain in the same way, much less reward, you're much more likely in the home environment to have a partner who says, Well, yeah, of course, you're supposed to do this thing. I shouldn't have to thank you for all the things you're doing and recognizing. And of course, all that recognition at work is one of the motivators. But not you don't get it at home as much as he should. By the way, one of the things that I work with couples on is saying, hey, acknowledge ever all of the good stuff that happens whether you know, whether you think society tells you that somebody should just do the dishes and not, you know, not have a positive experience or recognition for that, forget all that stuff, recognize each other and say positive things as much as you can. Mm hmm.

Amee Quiriconi:

So when we've talked a bit, we've mentioned this back and forth, and I want to make sure that I don't lose anybody who doesn't study stuff as much as you do here. And we're talking about dopamine. So we have these chemicals that the body produces. And dopamine is the reward chemical. It's the jolt that we get and I had a conversation just before with another interview talking about resilience. And, you know, I, I've gone through the self assessment, cuz I've wondered, you know, like many people do, like, do I have ADHD, because I do keep a lot of things going. And I, I do fill back up through dopamine, like, I realize that like, my resilience, maybe because I like to win, and I like to go get rewarded. And so of course, I you know, the only way I get to the finish line is if I'm willing to pick myself back up and keep going. And, and so I thought it was interesting when I read about this, because I wouldn't have thought of, you know, seeking rewards as having low dopamine. To me, it's like the opposite of like, it means you have high levels of it, you need to keep it replenished. But with ADHD, it's, it's so low that you actually are looking forward and looking for the exciting experiences. So is that is that pretty universal? That the for the people that are looking Okay, so for the people that are always looking for that next adventure, that next cool thing, you know, the competitiveness are is because the lower levels of dopamine being produced, and so we're looking for ways to be able to, to, to jack it up,

Melissa Orlov:

right? It's not, and it's dopamine and serotonin. But yes, that's exactly what's going on. JOHN ratey, who's one of the top like brain experts in the country and knows a lot about ADHD. He says, you could call ADHD, a reward Deficiency Syndrome, if you wanted to name it, make it really ugly. But that's the concept, you seek things that give you a sense of reward and give you squirts of dopamine, literally, like we do in a video game. One of the things that does it give you squirts of dopamine in your brain, it's set up to do that to be rewarding to keep you involved. So that's like, you know, really great if you have ADHD.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah. Um, and so I think that that's interesting, because then it leads to that, like you said, the impulsivity because, you know, I, I think we talked about this in the last episode, you know, My son was concerned that maybe he had ADHD, and we did the assessment. And he actually didn't have all the markers for it. And I had wondered when I knew because I knew the same thing that you had said that if your child is looked at and may have it then can fall back on a parent. And looking between him and his dad, it was definitely me if there was going to be one of us that had it. It was it was falling on my shoulders because of who I am. But we cleared it. But yeah, that doesn't change the fact that I'm a dopamine seeking person who gets a you know, a reward system, high fiving, myself and all of that. But it did frame the, you know, kind of the experience a little bit. And here I am my own brain just like where am I going with this question? I know I

Melissa Orlov:

know a little bit more, which is it's dope. It's, it's not just reward, it's also the attention system. And the impulsivity also has to do with essentially what Ned Halliwell likes to call a poor breaks. So, you know, we have a lot we have lots of emotions in our that happen for us as people. And for example, if you if you are neurotypical and you have some anger comes up, you have the ability to step back for a second and say, Do I need to put the brakes on this? Should I say this thing that I'm thinking about? And stop yourself? Those are the brakes, the brains brakes, people with ADHD have very weak brakes. They have really fast brains and really weak brakes. And so the thing that you might normally stop yourself on just comes out, and that's the impulsivity whether it's an action or it's verbal or whatever. So it's more complicated than just opening but it but dopamine plays a huge role and it is low Okay, so let's go on to trust. Okay,

Unknown:

let's keep going.

Melissa Orlov:

Just saying,

Unknown:

I have so much to say on trust, I know Go

Melissa Orlov:

Go for it. Well, I so I was thinking about this question of trust and friendships and thinking about it from the perspective of, if you have a friend who has ADHD or a partner who has ADHD, the kinds of things that you would see that would be confusing, right, because one of the things that's really important, when you know about ADHD, or suspected is, is really correct interpretation. So I was thinking about things like, the now and not now, right. So you're you have a now and not now person, which means that if you're in front of them, and you're talking to them, and you have their full attention, which you might not, so then you're really there with them. And they can go back and forth with you and you know, the whole bit. But if you're in the Not now, you're not like you're not even if you're their partner. And so from a friendship, it's really confusing. Like I've had a 20 somethings with ADHD say to me, I have real trouble maintaining my friendships, because I don't remember to text my friends or to stay in touch with them. And I've observed this with a lot of adults with ADHD. And of course, it's the same thing with a partner. Like you're at the office, you've promised to pick up the kids, you forget what time it is. And suddenly, yeah, something happens you, I'm 20 minutes late, and you just eat they were in the knot now. Yeah. So that can be very confusing along the lines of reliability or not, but also, are they even interested in me. And that's an aspect of trust and friendship, that ADHD impacts, that's one of them. And then I was thinking about some other things like timeliness, you know, a lot of these things. If you don't know about ADHD, communicate something along the lines of I don't love you, I don't care about you, I'm not thinking about you, or whatever, I'm rude. The and that's a moral diagnosis, which I totally disagree with. And 99% of cases occasionally, don't. But um, but for example, somebody who has, so an ADHD person's relationship with time is very fluid. So, very poor time, estimators typically can get into hyper focus on something that they're very interested in. And when you are in hyper focus, it's really hard to get out of it, but you don't have control over when you're in hyper focus, it just happens. because something is very interesting. So again, it's unpredictable. But if you're, if somebody is really in hyper focus, like at work, and they forget to pick up the kids, or whatever it is, the result is the same, which is less, like, they're not paying attention. And then you have people who are like, always late, yeah, the person who's supposed to leave the house at six, and then six o'clock comes around, their alarm goes off, they go, okay. And then they do a 45 transit, 45 minute transition routine, that includes taking a shower, changing their clothes, walking the dog, and, and, and their partner sitting downstairs going, ah, you know. And, and so again, people start to say, You're not trustworthy. Um, and, you know, if you think about that language, like trust, worthy, I would say, the person, the core person is worthy of trust, unless they've done something really horrendous, which takes them into a sidelined category. But typically, they're worthy of trust. But they have these behaviors that are symptomatic behaviors, that are keeping them from behaving in a way that fulfills that promise. And so when I talk with people about how to rebuild trust, you have to take the ADHD into account. But the ADHD person also has to take responsibility for becoming as reliable as possible in this situation, and I'll hand it over to you at that. Well,

Amee Quiriconi:

I was so thinking about that, because I mean, that's with a lot of our own growth, right, so you get a diagnosis. But that's not even 50% of the way there, that's just a label now in a direction to go. There's still a journey that has to be taken, if it matters to be able to have a better outcome or to see some changes in there. And I think that goes back to a little bit of the comment that I made earlier is that you know that being diagnosed with ADHD just opens up the door and gives you an opportunity. It doesn't give you an excuse to continue because it can be very harmful for our connections in our relationships, you know, just from a, you know, a human to human perspective, but then also professional implications will take us back to Work that, you know, if you have a job to do, and it requires that you hit your deadlines, it you know, your labels great, and maybe some accommodations can be made for you. But you know, again, it there's there could be, you know, other impacts or negative impacts to it. So me having a willingness, just like any of us that are trying to overcome hurdles of any sort, you know, or depression, anxiety, things that we can change or understand and, and apply this knowledge to our life is on us ultimately, to be able to do that. Now, when we talk about the trust factor it made, it makes me think of you wrote an article about this. And I know, we touched on this in the last conversation, which is, you know, the beginning of a relationship, the ADHD unless the partner knows, and they have the diagnosis to say, hey, just by the way I am, and I've had friends that have come out and said, You know, I was diagnosed with ADHD. And when I know that great, and then when I don't know it, then I'm wondering what's going on. But if you don't know it, and you don't see it early on, that's normal, that maybe this hyper focus courtship, whether it's the friendship or the relationship masks it, and then it starts to show up as the you know, you're out of the the reward part of the honeymoon phase of the relationship. And then you've got a partner or a friendship, that's a friend that starts to grieve a relationship that never existed or believes that they were going down, you know, or getting into a relationship with the person that was totally different. And that can feel like a break of trust, right there that somehow you showed up differently. And I got bait and switched, you know, into this different person. And I think it's important to acknowledge that for you to kind of talk about that through for people and how they handle that because that, you know, that can be heartbreaking for some people, depending on the circumstances.

Melissa Orlov:

Well, at a minimum, I think it's often heartbreaking. But at a minimum, it's confusing. Because here's this person you've never met before, right? That hyper focus starts as soon as the interest is triggered, and it lasts for a couple years, typically. And it's, by the way, not just people who have ADHD, we all get this, we all have the extra, it's extra dopamine, amazingly, we all get this lot of extra dopamine to connect us. And then when people who are neurotypical lose it, they go back to a sort of steady state and people who have ADHD lose it and they go back to the low dopamine state. And that brings out all these surprise surprises. Me, I remember this time in my own relationship, because my husband has ADHD, and I do not. And it was intensely confusing, and also really sad. Because suddenly he was completely distracted. He wasn't paying any attention to me, I would go to him and I say, what's wrong? You know, don't you love me anymore? What's going on? And he say, What are you talking about? Of course, I love you. And I mean, it was really good. Because that wasn't the way it seemed like he was acting, he wasn't paying any attention to me. So. So if I had known it was ADHD, which we did not, then I could have said, Oh, he's just distracted, you know, or Atlanta, let's go do something together. So we can focus on each other, and it would have been fine. And that's, you know, that's that's the power of it. You know, but, but we didn't. And so we ran into all of the problems. And I think there there is an element of grieving. So the hyper focus courtship is intense, extremely intense, like, much more intense than any other relationship you've ever had. Because the ADHD people really go all out when they get all that extra dopamine. And they pay so much attention to you. And you think, Oh, my gosh, this is what I've been looking for forever. And then it's gone, like, poof, it's gone. If it's like this, it's like, there's a day like the switch turns off, and then that's gone. And so you thought you were getting one relationship, you ended up with something else. And they're like, not at all the same. And there's a lot of grief and it's very healthy to acknowledge that grief. And and, again, if you've had this experience with this hyperfocus courtship, and then the switch flips off, and you see any of the other symptoms of ADHD, you should go see, get an evaluation and see because you'll save yourself years of pain. If in fact, this is what it is. Because the things that you get into as you say, Wait, you're not, you know, you're not reliable enough. You're not paying enough attention to me what's wrong with you, you should just do this. All those questions, just poison the relationship and and again, the basis of trust.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah, and I think about, you know, this conversation that this other person came to mind, that didn't happen in the first one. But now is we're talking about the, you know, I would say probably the part of the impulsivity but the focusing on different things and, and staying there instead of doing what they should be doing. You know, and I think about it from a work perspective. And there's one memory popped up on where I could I stood on the sidelines, and I'm like, why are you doing that task right now? Like, you got very specific instructions from the person who hired you to do a B and C by 9am. You know, and there was this one incident He ended up doing his own thing his own way. And then sure enough, the client was upset because he did not. And I was just like, how could you not even see that this like I could see like the, you know, the train wreck down the road coming, you know, and and so now I'm sitting here going, man, I wonder, you know, even with this other person, like how often this was it, you know, yeah, this was a factor.

Melissa Orlov:

There could be other things distractibility is not hyper focus, hyper focus is sort of one of the things that happens. It's it's not specifically a symptom that's diagnostic for ADHD. But it does happen to be a characteristic of ADHD for sure. So yeah, one of the things about the now and not now, time zones, is not very good ability for some people to anticipate the future to envision what the future might look like. And if they, if they stay focused in on this thing that they're really intrigued by, right, right at that moment. What the consequences might be. If you have a kid with ADHD, the way to work with that kid is through rewards and reinforcement, rather than punishment and consequences, because among other things, because of this now, not now time, timezone thing, they tend to forget about the consequences, and just move on and live in the very present moment. And the same thing comes up and they do the same thing again, and their parents are completely mystified, and so are, by the way, their partners if it's the partner or you know, their work, their work buddies.

Amee Quiriconi:

And I think that is a bit it makes sense, though, because you're talking about a dopamine reward, like there's no dopamine gathered from punishment. Right? Yeah, you know, you're right. But if you if you frame it like this, that it is a dopamine seeking brain. And so to be able to guide the, you know, guide choices, behaviors, or at least and reward it, then I mean, it's like, that seems like a no brainer now is the approach.

Melissa Orlov:

But what do you think about how people often think about, you know, we'll teach Joey a lesson? Yeah. So you do something to Joey that's supposed to be a mean consequences or whatever, and Joey's like, doing his own thing. And he's like, Yeah, fine, I'll sit in the corner, whatever. And totally, essentially, not at all learning the lesson. You think the lesson they're learning is like, Yeah, no, I guess I, you know, I'll go hide that, again. It's completely different way of dealing with, with these kids, I don't want to talk about kids. But you think today I have ADHD, but I don't actually keep coming back around. You're talking about work, and you're talking about deadlines and stuff. And I actually wanna say the research on work with ADHD suggests that actually, one of the areas that is the hardest is the emotional dysregulation part of ADHD. And the research which suggests that people with ADHD are much more likely to be represented reprimanded or be asked to leave based upon not getting along with other people or having emotional dysregulation issues. So I just want to put that in there. Because it's not just about deadlines, or other things then and, and the recent, like, last 1010 years of study and adult ADHD, there's been a lot of study around the emotional dysregulation, and it does hit back at this trust topic as well, which is you can't trust that your partner is going to be calm or rational or reasonable with you. And, and by the time these relationships, the marriage relationships break down, that's actually in both directions, both partners are easily triggered, both partners are quite angry and frustrated, and, but they come from a slightly different source.

Amee Quiriconi:

No, and that makes sense. I've you know, in in the emotional regulation, to be honest with you, I never would have associated because, like I said, we're talking about focus and, and tasks and things like that, and so that the idea that the and I have seen it, you know, with, with one friend in particular that, you know, a switch could flip very quickly from being okay to uneasy fast, like, almost, and he, you know, would even admitted that it doesn't, like he knows that he can actually switch, you know, really pretty quickly. And we tend to when we talk about aggressive behaviors, we're always again, as a culture and society app to punish a person for that emotional dysregulation and not kind of look at it holistically. You know, sometimes behaviors are, you know, they shouldn't happen, you know, abuse and violence and things like that, that we are all human and prone to, you know, either, you know, retreat or fight back or whatever it is if we feel stressed and triggered. And so it sounds like what you're saying is like with ADHD, there may be a shorter distance to get to that button than what we would all assume everybody else's distance to get to that button in a meeting or a comment or criticism or something like that, right?

Melissa Orlov:

Yeah, absolutely. So there are a number of different factors. One is because the brain because of how the brain functions, and there's a faster move to overwhelm, which can send you that's that's one of the most That is dysregulated. So and of course, if you are feeling genuinely overwhelmed, you might shut down, or you might lash out or something like that. So that's that's one aspect or you know, sort of pull up. Another is towards anger or frustration, again, strong emotions, poor brakes, you might say things that aren't very well considered in a business situation, because of that quick trigger, and at home, very quick escalation for things that don't seem to warrant it at all. And in also in the workplace, but where are you just your people are literally shocked at what you escalate over. And lots of times, it's because they're looking at the specific incident, a single incident, when in fact, the escalation is about an emotion. It's about something like you think I'm a failure, or feelings of shame, or being embarrassed that you didn't follow through yet again, and somebody is pointing it out to you. So you know, you lash out in response. So usually, it's not if if the, if the fast response is surprising. I always say look below the fact that you're talking about the trash and look below it and see what the emotion is underneath it that that is actually what the trigger is. Yeah, and you know, that can that applies? I think, everybody I mean, we all can get pushed, right? Yeah, it just happens a lot faster. For those with ADHD, particularly along the lines of criticism, criticism is a very tender spot for adults with ADHD. Because and they tend to be, you know, really triggered by it. In part, because as they're growing up, they have lots of people who were critiquing the way they were doing things, or that they weren't doing things, or they weren't finishing them, or they weren't good enough. And lots of times, these come from parents, and coaches and teachers and peers, people that they really care about. And so they've become really hyper sensitized to anything that even has a sniff of critique to it.

Amee Quiriconi:

And I have seen that before. And it's sad, you know, I've seen, because, you know, the first of all, there's this, you know, your own sense of belief system is, you know, is whittled away when you hear criticism from somebody, but then the consequences either are in an erosion of your relationships or an erosion at work, you know, you're an uncoachable and teachable, you know, non teamwork oriented type of a person, that you can't say anything to them ever, because they'll, you know, be too upset about it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And it's, I think, it seems like at the root of tensions and conflict between the symptoms of ADHD and our and our around with expectations, and right, so you have symptoms that people learn to respond to. And then there's these expectations of what the responsibilities a person should be doing, or their tasks or whatever it may be. And so we come in, and we say, I want you or I believed you, were going to do these things. And then the other person has these symptoms that make it very difficult to do, again, breaking down that trust and then causing that tension in the in those relationships. And so what are some of the strategies that you actually help people with individuals or couples with understanding that that rebuilding that trust in understanding easing those tensions that come up from this?

Melissa Orlov:

Well, I mean, so the very, very first thing is making sure that there's a complete understanding of what ADHD is, and and to move people to be less judgmental about what's going on. Once you understand it, it isn't like, oh, that person is lazy. It's like, oh, that person is really struggling to accomplish this thing. And I can understand the logic between behind, maybe not wanting to jump up and try again and get smacked down again. So that's the first thing is the education. That I mean, I think the second thing is getting the ADHD partner or person to really understand that there is a huge benefit to deciding to manage to engaging with managing ADHD, this is not about changing who you are, or making you less creative or anything else. This is about unleashing your potential. The ADHD symptoms get in the way of you being able to reach your potential if you take that business meeting where you blurt out something stupid, because you're not thinking about it or you get angered really fast or whatever, that hurts your potential at that company. And if you have the control to not do that, even think at all you want to but if you have the control to use those breaks, you're in a much better position. So is and and really literally life changing things and the statistics are such that you The vast majority of adults who have ADHD can learn how to manage it very effectively, they're never going to be non ADHD. That's not the way they're wired. But they can get it out of their way. And it's life changing. So, so that's the second thing to communicate. And then the third area is really just working on the individual strategies that that particular person's version of ADHD suggests that they need and I and I asked people to assess their situation. And again, in my case, it's with their partner, figure out what a couple of key target symptoms are, where do they get the most leverage in meet for immediate change that's positive in their life and in their relationship and focus on those first, and then get an expert, if possible, to help you figure out all of the strategies that are already known don't have to reinvent the wheel, just get somebody to help you figure out how to get your life aligned along target symptoms. And as you go forward, then, eventually the reliability improves, the understanding improves, relationships improved dramatically, because both partners are tuned in. You also work with the other partner on whatever the issues are, that they've developed, there's pain and hurt, there's frustration, there's anger, there's probably parenting where they're taking on too many responsibilities, because they've been compensating for the ADHD partner for a while. They're all things that they have to work on to but

Amee Quiriconi:

but things can get so much better. Mm hmm. Yeah, well, I mean, in your evidence of it, you were able to do it in your own relationship, which inspired you to write the book there. So I you know, your proof that, you know, two people that love each other can find ways to make it work. And especially when you have the knowledge of what you're working with, right, you have the doors open, and you know, everything that's out in front of you and available to you. So, you know, reestablishing trust, you know, like you said is the transparency, the owning it, and then what's the other parts of it so that a couple can get that back in their relationship.

Melissa Orlov:

The third part of it for people impacted by ADHD specifically, is understanding ADHD, being empathetic towards and understanding ADHD and really delving in so if you, if you understand ADHD, you're much more likely when your partner says, I didn't follow through on this thing I was gonna follow through on I apologize for that. I'm trying, I'm working with my coach right now to set something up. To improve on that, you're much less likely to say, that's just an excuse, you always tell me that way. And then, and then just things break back down again. So so there's the ownership to doing the best the best you can, to your ability, right, the best of your ability, and that's different from always completing. Oh, and, and that's a really important distinction for when ADHD is present. Because it doesn't mean just going along and doing ADHD stuff, and it doesn't matter. It means you take treatment seriously, you work as hard as you can to manage your ADHD, you really you know, and that for me that has a very specific meaning which we don't have time to go into. And, and you get results. Like you measure, like, okay, now I really am eight out of 10 times I'm, I'm following through as promised, and I'm in contact with you and owning it when I don't follow through. And that's good. That would that's trustworthy. In my mind. That's, that's trustworthy, even though it's not consistent. So that's the distinction between the general public what it means to be trustworthy and ADHD, what it means.

Amee Quiriconi:

And the results are possible. It Like you said, their strategies are there for somebody to go from having no trust at all, and having that inconsistency to applying something. And I like what you said there that it's not about, it's not that you don't earn the trust by being 100%. Perfect. But by showing marked success and improvement to the best of the ability that you're able, and that's going to be different for people depending on you know, how severe it is and right and what not so

Melissa Orlov:

and so. So one of these coping strategies, which is really important to understand is lying and covering up and this comes from shame and embarrassment. It's one of those you know, there are emotions underneath things. And once you get into a situation where the trust equation has that actually the trust is built back up again. You don't need to lie anymore, because it's okay to fail. As long as you're acknowledging that That was there, it's okay not to follow through and call it fail that sounds worse than it is. Sometimes it's Yeah, but it's okay. As long as the

Unknown:

that the

Melissa Orlov:

action, the follow through the acknowledgement, that the making it better in some way that might be an apology, it might be a new strategy that you try out, it might be a conversation with your partner about how to improve a sequence of events, whatever that is, but you're doing the best to the best of your ability.

Amee Quiriconi:

And then with the last factor, I just wanted to repeat this is that the other partners obligation to earning trust, because it's two ways it's not just all on the ADHD partner to do all the work that the other partner has to understand and, and have that, that space and that compassion because they understand what ADHD is, even if they're, you know, even if we don't have it doesn't mean we can't be obligated to know it. And trust that when our partner tells us that they've done something or didn't do whatever, that we were not judging, you know, we're taken out that allows that person then like you just said, to know that they're safe.

Melissa Orlov:

Excuse me.

Amee Quiriconi:

Okay, that's okay, it's podcast, we don't have any rules do to know that you're creating a safe container for them to stop lying or feeling like they have to be shameful in hiding all of that. And so yeah, it's a

Melissa Orlov:

and it's an understanding that, that your person that you love is neurologically wired differently. And so it's not ill will, that keeps them from doing this stuff. It is, it is how they're wired. And so having compassion for that, I mean, we're none of us are perfect. The non ADHD partner needs to be emotionally open and ready. And it's really important to learn to believe, when the what the non ADHD with the ADHD partner says, because your ADHD partner might say, I didn't think I could do that, or that was really hard for me. And that might not feel comfortable for the non ADHD partner, because it wouldn't, it wouldn't be hard for them, or it wouldn't. Yeah, whatever. And so they have to just believe it, like not rather than, say, in an invalidating way. Oh, of course, you can do that. That's, that's how all that shame got there in the first place. Because all those coaches and parents ever going, Oh, yeah, of course, you can do that, and not listening to what the kid was saying. Right? It was in adulthood as well.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah. Right. And then it made me think, too, that you know, the near opportunity is the non ADHD partner is that reward, really, which is, again, what we had talked about, which is this dopamine seeking brain reward system brain that when your partner does do something to remember to, you know, to wow them for that

Melissa Orlov:

positive. And the other side of it is there's a huge reward for the non ADHD partner, right? when this gets straightened out what the non ADHD partner gets is a trustworthy, basically reliable partner, not 100% reliable, but if I'm honest with myself, I'm not 100% reliable either. So I've asked like, you know, I changed my mind, that's my version of not being reliable. And my husband's going like, oh, when did that happen? So and, and a much smoother relationship, because this is so foundational to the relationship that when this gets straightened out, so much more is then able you start to you trust your partner, not only in this venue, but also as him will be able to talk things out will be you know, etc. There's all sorts of things that build on this.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yeah. Well, we didn't talk about it. But, you know, I know for one of my friends, the diagnosis came with an opportunity to blend strategies with medication, and the medication had a huge impact in a positive way for him. And there were so many out there, there isn't just a one size fits all for it. Like it's a vast and I think you and I even touched on it in the last conversation. There's so many different choices and options, depending on a person's you know, neurobiology, and you know, what's happening in their life and how it's actually happening. That he noticed, like almost instantly, just the combination of just taking the right medication made a huge difference.

Melissa Orlov:

Yeah, some people that's what happens that they There are over 25 different medications for ADHD and they come in all sorts of flavors depending upon what you need, and are looking for and about 20 to 30% who want to take a medication for ADHD don't find one that works for them. But that means there are an awful lot 70 to 80% who do and it makes a big difference. And it is i mean i i've seen over and over and over and over again where suddenly their brain has calmed down. They there isn't there is not so noisy in there, they can actually start to think through things without feeling panicked or anxious. There's also sometimes anxiety or depression that goes along with ADHD, among other things, possibly. But when things start to calm down, and you're, you know, you're the people around, you also start to count Calm down, if you're not just firing off and 85 different directions. And it doesn't change. I mean, it doesn't change whether you're creative or whatever, if it does, you have the choice to not take it. And people think of medication, like I have to decide whether I'm going to take medication. And no, that's not true, you actually have to just decide whether you're going to try medication, which is totally different. If you don't like it, don't keep taking it, you know, but that usually the process is you experiment with, they start you at a very low dose, and then you go to a dose that has an impact, but isn't too high, and, or maybe a different medication or whatever. So the most effective combination is a medication, but also where the dose is carefully calibrated to make sure it's the right one, and they can't figure that out ahead of time. So Right,

Amee Quiriconi:

right, it's an experiment in process to come to that and everything. Well, you provide coaching and counseling services and in I think you also had like a program for couples to join and stuff like that. So can you talk relay here a bit about what you do and how so anybody listening wants to reach out and follow up with you? How would they you know, I'll have links but let's talk about what you do well, so

Melissa Orlov:

I have a big website with a lot of information we want to get information. Calm Yeah, ADHD, marriage calm is a ton of information about ADHD in couples, adult ADHD. And I do offer I think, my I think, personally, I think my best program is, I have a eight week seminar for couples, it's pretty intense, which is good, because we're trying, I'm trying to move people pretty far along the path and eight weeks. And so that I give that live three times a year. And then I also have a self study recorded version that people can access in between if they want to. I also give support groups for non ADHD partners, and I'm probably going to start some for ADHD partners. I have some follow up courses for people who have ADHD that in the realm of executive function, some stuff on emotions and triggers different so a lot of different things, obviously, my books, people can contact me through the website, I, I'm not that good at getting right away to the email, but I answer it all, but maybe not the same day. Too much of it for that. But anyway, so there, I'm always I'm eager to help people understand this and then be able to move forward because it's it really changes the life of the whole family.

Amee Quiriconi:

Oh, I agree. I agree. Absolutely. And I think that, you know, with this being such a misunderstood condition for so many people that, you know, I mean, in your book, I read your book on the ADHD effect on marriage. And I know, for other people that have read that book, it just it again, it just opens up your eyes to see and understand everything so much differently and compassionately you know, and I think that that's what's you know, missing because I have seen the devastating effects of, of ADHD are really on the self esteem of the person with the diagnosis of having to, you know, walk through the world, you know, with a condition that just, you know, despite intention, still having that difficulty of knowing how to achieve or get or, you know, follow up, like we talked about on the, you know, here on this program, like follow up and make those make a promise and know that they can keep it and when you can't, and you've had just a world constantly telling you that it's because you know, you're no good at this, or whatever those words are, I mean, it just, I mean, it's weathers your self esteem. So when we can spread this awareness to more people, you know, hopefully that helps turn the corner for a lot of people and improve, you know, a lot of people's relationships.

Melissa Orlov:

It is heartbreaking when you hear somebody who is incredibly successful. I have an example in the book that you read up a doctor who says, you know, what, a four year old can be taught to put their socks in the laundry, and I can't I mean, just this huge, self critical part of a lot of people who have ADHD, you that are big escapism, for some reason, it's really hard to not know whether when you try really hard you're actually going to succeed or no, maybe you won't succeed because the symptoms are getting away or you'll get distracted or whatever. And

Unknown:

that's just horrible. So it is yeah, and well meaning people saying well, just try harder. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Or try my way, right. That's another one.

Melissa Orlov:

Just do it this way. You should just do it this way. It'll be okay. Just you know, it's like, no, their brain doesn't work that way.

Amee Quiriconi:

Yep. Yep. Well, Melissa, again, I appreciate your time that you've taken to talk with me about this. And so hopefully, again, yeah, the last episode that we did has been hugely popular. So I think that this is something that a lot of people really are trying to understand and grasp and are looking for. As many resources that they can get to be able to, you know, understand the impact of ADHD on their lives. And And so again, having this talk with you is is going to be so helpful for a lot of people, I'm sure of it. So thank you. Well, thanks for inviting me and I always enjoy talking to you. Awesome.