Self-Help for Adult ADHD
- Know Yourself
- Medical Assistance
- Control Anxiety
ADHD ( Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder) is often thought of as a childhood problem, but many of the children with ADHD grow into adults with ADHD. The disorder can disrupt a person’s ability to manage a successful career, to build relationships and to thrive personally. It is estimated that about 60 percent of children with ADHD continue the disorder into adulthood. That means about eight million adults struggle with the issue. One of the important things people with ADHD should remember is that it is a disease with symptoms, and those symptoms do not define the person. Medical intervention is one option for dealing with this disorder, but there is a lot that individuals can do to manage their lives. Here are five self-help tips for people with ADHD.
One of the things affected by ADHD is the ability of people to pick up on behavioral cues. They often do not recognize things like antagonism or fear in others, and they are similarly unaware of their own attitudes and physical needs. Most people recognize the frustration that leads children with ADHD to act out or to “implode,” and that can be true of adults as well. It is important for adults with ADHD to self-check themselves several times a day. Being dehydrated, overly tired or hungry can lead to feelings of anxiety or being overwhelmed.
To do a self-check, people with ADHD must know what is normal and comfortable for them. Some people with the disorder can concentrate better when there is a lower light level. Others are more comfortable when there is some background noise. Many people find that sensory stimulation such as rolling or squeezing a “worry ball” while reading or working helps them maintain focus.
Finding what establishes that level of comfort, adults with ADHD can manipulate their environments to help them manage ADHD symptoms.
According to an article in Psychology Today, medications help up to 80 percent of adults with ADHD. Doctors either prescribe stimulants or non-stimulants. These medications are thought to help regulate the level of dopamine in the system. Medicating ADHD, while certainly helpful, does involve side effects like dry mouth, anxiety, cardiovascular issues and others. Adults who take medications to manage the symptoms of their ADHD must take responsibility to get regular medical assessment of their progress.
ADHD causes people to have difficulty with organizational skills. This is problematic because disorder creates anxiety for them. Adults with ADHD need to access tools to help them maintain order in their lives. Daily planners are helpful. So are big calendars that can be marked on. Technological tools such as phone reminders are good too.
It is sometimes helpful to create special spaces for things that are used every day. Keys can be hung on a designated hook in a special place, a wallet can be put into a drawer, makeup can be kept in a special cabinet or in a basket. Clutter can be eliminated from the environment.
Adults who are going to be in stressful positions can and should plan ahead. They should strategize how they will deal with the anxiety or frustration caused by their ADHD. The simplest way to avoid being overwhelmed is to remove yourself from the situation, so it is a good thing to plan an “escape route.”
Exercise uses up excess energy and relieves feelings of aggression. It also is thought to affect the dopamine level in the system, so it acts like a physical “medicine” without the side effects. Exercise seems to calm and soothe the body and the mind.
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These are a few of the strategies that can be used. There are others. Dealing with adult ADHD does not have to disrupt adult life, though it certainly makes it more challenging. There are many things people with ADHD can do to manage their symptoms and thrive.