Unique Struggles Adult Men with ADD/ADHD Face

Men with ADD

For decades, ADD/ADHD was primarily viewed as a disorder in boys who couldn’t sit still. Over time, it has become clearer that girls and women with the condition often have different symptoms and face special challenges. But what about adult men? They have to cope with unique struggles too. At Amen Clinics, we have treated thousands of men with ADD/ADHD, which brain SPECT imaging shows is typically associated with low activity in the prefrontal cortex and is also linked to low levels of the neurochemical, dopamine.

Over time, it has become clearer that girls and women with ADD/ADHD often have different symptoms and face special challenges. But what about adult men? They have to cope with unique struggles too. Click To Tweet

Here are some of the most common issues adult men with ADD/ADHD face.

1. Work Challenges Faced by Men with ADD/ADHD

For many men, work defines their identity, and any struggles in this arena can create problems. Look at Bill, for example. At age 32, he got fired from a job he loved. He knew it was his fault, but he just couldn’t organize his time to do the work that was expected.  He missed deadlines, seemed to drift off in meetings, and he was often late to work. He knew that his wife would be angry with him. This was the third job he had lost in their 3-year marriage. As a child, Bill had taken Ritalin for troubles in school, but he was taken off the medication when he was a teenager. His doctor told him that all kids outgrow the problems he was having. That was bad advice. As an adult, Bill’s work was suffering from the effects of ADD/ADHD, and it left him with a sense of shame and failure.

This is common in men with ADD/ADHD. When a supervisor or manager puts more pressure on them to perform, they often fall off in their work. The boss then interprets this decreased performance as willful misconduct and serious problems arise. One man with ADD/ADHD who came to Amen Clinics was a ship welder. He said that whenever his boss put pressure on him to do a better job, his work got worse (even though he really tried to do better). When the boss told him that he liked his work, he became more productive.

Other ADD/ADHD-related traits include distractibility, forgetfulness, impulsivity, disorganization, being late for work, and having trouble with follow-through. This makes men with the condition more vulnerable to getting fired, demoted, or not achieving the success they desire.

2. Common Relationship Problems for Men with ADD/ADHD

For many men, ADD/ADHD causes trouble in their relationships for a variety of reasons. For example, males with this condition experience difficulty expressing their emotions. This can be frustrating for their partners, who say that there is little meaningful talking in the relationship. “He seems turned off when he comes home” is a common complaint.

Relationships can also suffer due to temper outbursts, which occur in up to 70% of adults with ADD/ADHD, according to research in BMC Psychiatry. Emotional dysregulation makes those with the condition prone to irritability, frustration, and anger, and it is especially common in men.

Conflict-seeking behavior is also common as a way for those with ADD/AHD to stimulate activity in the brain. In relationships, this leads men to play a game of “Let’s have a problem,” in which they create drama to build excitement. This can be detrimental to any relationship.

3. Sexual Issues in Men with ADD/ADHD

For men, performance in the bedroom is key to self-esteem, but having ADD/ADHD can get in the way of a fulfilling love life. A lack of focus can make a man’s mind wander during sex and can make it harder to achieve orgasm, which can make him feel like a failure. The need for novelty and thrill-seeking behavior, which is common in men with this condition, can lead to bad habits, such as extramarital affairs or regular use of online pornography. These can cause major rifts in relationships. A penchant for risky behavior and the thrill of the moment is also a recipe for engaging in unprotected sex, which can have serious consequences, such as exposure to STDs and unplanned pregnancies.

4. Men with ADD/ADHD are Less Likely to Seek Treatment

In our society, men are brought up to be the “strong, silent types,” and are encouraged to “tough it out” whenever they have a problem. The stigma surrounding mental health issues makes men less likely to ask for help when they need it. This means they are more likely to suffer in silence needlessly. If they don’t seek treatment or get a brain scan, which has helped the psychiatrists at Amen Clinics identify 7 types of ADD/ADHD, they won’t know which type they have or how to target treatment to their type.

ADD/ADHD and other mental health issues can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. I dated someone with TBI/ADD and what was difficult was that he was unreliable and he couldn’t keep his word. He would promise he would do something, not do it, and not understand why I was frustrated because it was the fifth time he had let me down. I grew tired of being labeled as the “angry one” and not seeing any effort into getting treatment or working with a professional to create coping skills.

    Comment by Robin — July 13, 2021 @ 9:25 AM

  2. What about sharing on ADHD/ADD in adult woman? DO you have such resources?

    Comment by redxxchic — July 14, 2021 @ 8:38 PM

  3. Hi redxxchic. We have some blogs on Women with ADD/ADHD. Hope this helps you find the answers the that you are looking for. https://amenclinics.com/blog/10-unique-struggles-facing-women-with-add/

    Comment by Amen Clinics — July 16, 2021 @ 9:19 AM

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