ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER: HOW IT AFFECTS FAMILIES
Attention Deficit Disorder usually comes with a lot of frustration and blame. Often the diagnosis happens late and so, the disease–related problems are often misunderstood. This may result in serious emotional and mental scars when the family tries to deal with ADD–related issues. Thus, this disorder is difficult for the diseased child, the parents and the siblings.
The child who is suffering from ADD is clearly the first victim. Though these children have a strong desire to show normal behavior, their actions can be impulsive. This impulsive behavior often gets punished. Because of these punishments, these children often develop very low self-esteem. Many times, the parents and teachers are either not aware of or do not accept that the child has a disorder and thus don’t behave in a mature and conscious way. After the child has been scolded or punished for his impulsive actions, the child feels that he will never be up to the mark and meet others’ expectations from him.
The next victims of ADD are obviously the parents of the child. These parents start doubting their parenting and are often incredibly frustrated. Often, these parents are ridiculed by family members, teachers and other acquaintances as if lack of discipline is the cause of their child’s problem. They begin to see their rearing habits in poor light. They sometimes start blaming each other for being excessively lenient or harsh while dealing with the child. The disagreements and arguments that result from this may put considerable strain on their marriage and relationship.
Though not apparent at first glance, siblings of the child with ADD are the next victims after the child and the parents. Like the child with ADD and the parents, they also suffer from anxiety and frustration. As the child with ADD is given so much attention by everyone, even if it is negative, they develop jealousy towards the child with ADD. As the child with ADD can be aggressive, the siblings often suffer due to the impulsive actions of the child. Also, often the siblings are categorized in social environments and schools owing to the behavior of their brother/ sister. This all can have negative effect on the siblings.
After immediate family, cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents etc. of the child with ADD may also be affected. Depending on how close the family is, outbursts in the behavior and the discipline–related issues may be an important factor to be dealt with again and again. In extreme situations, ADD may cause rifts in the relationships.
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