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Difficulties Getting Along With People

A pregnant woman asks:

I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 21 (I'm now 34). I no longer can make relationships function. I'm having difficulties getting along with people at work and at home. I feel that the world I've struggled to create is crashing all around me and there is nothing I can do. This is compounded with the fact I'm two months pregnant and highly emotional anyway. What suggestion can you offer?

Michele Novotni answers:

I noticed that you said that you "no longer can make relationships function," which makes me wonder if at some point in time you were able to make relationships work.

Pregnancy, alone, without AD/HD can make it difficult to get along with others (It can be worse that PMS!). Perhaps your hormones are fluctuating creating more stress than normal for you.

If this were a new problem, it would seem that this is more closely related to pregnancy than to AD/HD. I suggest that you discuss the situation with your physician regarding the best ways to manage your stress.

If however, there is a skill deficit that was present before you became pregnant, that has been impacting on your relationships at home and at work, it is important to begin with an assessment of your social strengths as well as specific areas that you need to grow in.

One such assessment is The Novotni Social Skills Checklist that is included in the back of my book What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don't? There are over 88 different social skills and therefore 88 different social errors you could be making.

You could also ask those close to you what they see as going wrong for you. Once you know your particular areas to work on, you can then develop a game plan to improve your social skills and abilities through reading, or seeking the help of a professional counselor or coach. Good luck!

Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a psychologist and coach in private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

This article is published by permission from ADDitude Magazine 2004. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Subscribe to ADDitude online or via toll-free phone 888-762-8475.

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