Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes a range of symptoms, including hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, and behavioral problems. ADHD may also affect romantic relationships, feelings of self-worth, or even the ability to perform sexually.
These markers are not used to make a diagnosis, and they may be due to the disorder itself or develop as a side effect of medicines used for treatment.
Though ADHD is frequently diagnosed in childhood, it affects the lives of many adults. Some adults with ADHD report experiencing changes in their sex life.
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How does ADHD impact sexuality?
Nailing down symptoms is difficult because these changes can affect everyone differently:
A person with ADHD may have a low sex drive.
Some people with ADHD report changes in their sex drive.
Some experience hyposexuality or the loss of the desire for sex.
A person experiencing hyposexuality may have no interest in sexual activity whatsoever.
They may find sex challenging to focus on, lose interest in the middle of sexual activity, or become easily distracted.
Hyposexuality might be symptomatic of ADHD in some cases, but it is also a possible side effect of some ADHD medications or antidepressants that are often used to treat ADHD symptoms.
Inability to orgasm
Many people with ADHD experience other issues apart from their sex drive. Some people may have a healthy sex drive but have difficulties reaching orgasm, even after prolonged stimulation. This may be due to boredom, problems staying focused, or other feelings. In some cases, an inability to orgasm is a side effect of medications.
Many people with ADHD experience a physical hypersensitivity to a variety of things, including touch.
Being hypersensitive may mean that stimulation of their genitals might be uncomfortable or even painful in someone with ADHD. This sensitivity may also extend to other senses as well.
Smells or tastes associated with sex may reduce arousal or make it difficult for a person to focus on the act itself, which may lead to difficulties in staying aroused.
Hyperactivity, which is a symptom closely associated with ADHD, might also affect a person’s sex life. People with ADHD may find it difficult to relax or unwind, which could make it hard for them to become aroused. They may also feel the need to switch positions frequently or may be unable to stay focused long enough to have sex.
Adults with ADHD may also present with a range of other symptoms that may include emotional instability or symptoms of anxiety and depression. Symptoms such as these can be extremely challenging on a day-to-day basis and may also affect a person’s sex life.
These emotional issues might put stress on a romantic relationship, making a difficult situation even more difficult than before.
These feelings of anxiety and instability may also affect a person with ADHD who is not in a romantic relationship. These emotions might lead to reluctance in seeking healthful relationships with other people or worry surrounding their individual sexuality.