Poor Boundaries and ADHD

When a stranger stands too close, what do you do? You step away. Instinct. Boundaries are the rules you set for yourself and for others. But, that means others will have rules, too. Fear not—in this post,  we discuss why keeping boundaries is necessary for healthy living, why ADHDers are prone to poor boundaries, and what to do.

Where are boundaries?

Everywhere. They can be physical, mental, emotional or time-based, but good boundaries are needed for our emotional and mental health.

Since ADHD is a self-regulation disorder, it’s no wonder ADDers struggle with boundaries. Between impulsivity and failing to self-regulate, ADHDers are in trouble. The mood of the ADHDer may fluctuate. They may become irritated, or easily annoyed. Impatient. Moody. That’s one example.

Other examples of poor boundaries include revealing too much in a work conversation, behaving impulsively, failing to get motivated, failing to see the other person’s perspective or the big picture or acting on feelings of anger or frustration such as quitting a job on impulse.

Healthy Boundaries require balance

ADHDers may energizer bunnies, but even bunnies require balance.  According to Dr. Dale Archer, author of The ADHD Advantage, entrepreneurs often have ADHD, and problems managing their work-life boundaries.

One such entrepreneur is Kelly Dooley, whose brilliant ADHD mind is credited with the success of her BodyRock Sport fitness apparel line. Building on a family’s inheritance, Kelly built a 10 million dollar company while juggling unpredictable work days, while still getting dinner on the table on time for her husband. Kelly loves the “running around” but regrets not having enough “me” time.  If she had “it’ to do all over again,  she said, she would have delegated more duties,  and brought in a CFO.

Poor Boundaries and ADHD

Poor boundaries cause us to suffer with guilt, shame, resentment, and can harm relationships.  They may keep us feeling trapped and overwhelmed, or feeling anxious or depressed. Healthy boundaries bring us self-confidence and self-respect, leading to higher productivity, more energy, and overall happiness.

George Sachs, PsyD is a clinical psychologist in Manhattan and founder of the Sachs Center. He specializes in the testing and treatment of ADHD and Autism in children and adults. He uses a holistic approach for treatment, which includes therapy, diet, exercise, medication if needed and neurofeedback training. Dr. Sachs has appeared on NBC, CBS, and Vice TV. Sachs is also the author of three books, including his most recent Helping Your Husband with ADHD and the Adult ADD Solution.