ADHD is a neurological disorder that affects an estimated 6 million children and adults in the United States. ADHD can make it difficult to focus, pay attention, and complete tasks. It can also cause a person to be impulsive and easily distracted. If you or a loved one has ADHD, it can be a challenging diagnosis to manage. However, with the right strategies and Support, people with ADHD can learn to cope and thrive. This blog post will explore some effective strategies for dealing with ADHD.
1. Develop a Routine
One of the keys to managing ADHD is creating a routine. A consistent schedule for waking up, eating meals, and going to bed can help reduce stress and anxiety, making it easier to focus and stick to tasks. Breaking down tasks into smaller, manageable chunks can help as well. Breaking down a project into smaller parts with specific tasks allows one to focus on one thing at a time and reduce distractions.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are a big problem for people with ADHD. Recognizing what causes distractions, it makes it easier to reduce or eliminate them. For example, if you know that the TV distracts you while working, move to a quiet room without a TV. Research shows that it can take 15 to 20 minutes to re-engage in a task after a distraction. Thus, removing all possible distractions can be very helpful.
Physical activity is excellent for controlling the symptoms of ADHD. Exercise elevates dopamine levels, which regards the brain to increase focus and motivation capabilities. Exercise can be any form you enjoy, such as cycling, swimming, or jogging. Physical exercise is a great way to provide a quick burst of energy; however, there is also sustained energy later in the day.
4. Seek Support
Having Support is critical to managing ADHD. Family, friends, and colleagues should know about the diagnosis and work with you to create a supportive environment. Seeking Support and counseling is also a vital part of the process. You do not need to feel isolated and alone, and support groups or a therapist can help you learn ways to cope with ADHD effectively.
ADHD medication is an effective tool for managing ADHD. The medications help calm the person with ADHD, allowing for better focus and attention. However, medication can have different side effects; not all people respond positively. If you are considering medication for ADHD, consulting with a health professional and researching possible medication options is essential.
ADHD in Adults
ADHD is a condition that persists into adulthood for many people, and in some cases, it goes undiagnosed. The impact of symptoms can be far-reaching, causing significant difficulties in relationships, at home, and work. Recent studies suggest that around 2.8% of adults worldwide are affected by ADHD, which increases to 6.7% when undiagnosed cases from childhood are included. These findings highlight the importance of identifying ADHD in adulthood and seeking appropriate treatment to manage symptoms successfully. With the proper support, individuals with ADHD can thrive personally and professionally, positively impacting their lives and those around them.
ADHD Signs & Symptoms
The main signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults are:
- Difficulty focusing: Do you ever feel like your mind is in a daze and nothing can break the fog? Does the drive to focus on the task seem more challenging than ever? It might be that difficulty focusing has become an unwelcome companion in your everyday life. Concentrating on work or school, getting started with tasks, or just completing a routine job can all contribute to this extreme lack of productivity. Your attention cannot stay interested in any one thing, bouncing from one flurry of activity to another without reward or satisfaction. Trying to give your undivided attention over just a few minutes can seem taxing. Difficulty focusing could prevent you from achieving more in your day, and may not have the simplest solution.
- Misplacing items: How often do you misplace your daily items like keys, glasses, or phones? Without a necessary tool on hand at the right time, it can set our course of action off into chaos. We may think, “Where did I put my sunglasses?” only to find them absconded in the car’s door pockets. Everyday objects occasionally slip away from our faces into unknown places, but that doesn’t mean complete frustration and lingering annoyance have to follow suit. Breathe deeply, and by employing routine detective work within minutes, your lost object will almost certainly be located atop your bedside drawer or tucked neatly inside the kitchen junk drawer.
- Always running late: I seem to have a permanent chronic condition where I’m never quite ready when I should be. It’s an amusing joke among my friends that I’m perpetually fashionably late, with them always having to wait for me longer than expected. My car keys rattle in my pocket, and even before I’ve begun walking out the door, I know it isn’t likely that I’ll make the deadline. My second nature is to go faster because time seems so precious when you don’t have enough of it– pushing me to strive the most during these inevitable moments of waiting due to running late yet again.
- Risky behaviors: Taking risks can be daunting for some; it often involves stepping outside one’s comfort zone. They can present themselves in different shapes and sizes and sometimes cause unmanageable consequences. How these behaviors are seen is subjective, dependent upon an individual’s convictions, morals, or worldviews. Although they can be perceived as thrilling, they should be thought through thoroughly before acting on them. Most importantly, when engaging in risky behavior, it’s essential to realize the potential stakes involved and work consciously to minimize risk. Establish realistic limits and understand hazards from a particular activity or situation. Awareness reveals greater control over the effects of engaging in risky behavior responses.
- Lack of listening: Intentional silence often speaks volumes. It maintains ethics of impartiality and respect by allowing the other person time to process their thoughts while still paying close attention. This openness leads to greater understanding between people and a deeper appreciation for the ideas that emerge right after their statements or stories. Unfortunately, we often rush into rebuttals or critiques instead of listening fully, resulting in missed connections, thoughts skewing change, and facts misunderstood or ignored. Listening is both an art and a skill; if we don’t master it, lack of listening overtakes unseen conversations when seeking clarity with each other.
- Inability to prioritize: When there’s too much to tackle, it can be hard to know what to focus on first. This can leave us feeling paralyzed and unable to make the best decision for ourselves when faced with many competing priorities. We all know how vital prioritization is, yet our society frequently rewards those with hectic schedules and full calendars constantly overloaded with tasks – this reinforces our perceived inability to prioritize. Prioritizing correctly can streamline productivity and create a sustainable goal system that sets us up for success over the long term instead of moments of quantity over quality.
- Relationship troubles: It’s time to work on your relationship. Are you finding it difficult to rebuild the bond that was once there? What would it take for you to get back on the foundation of trust, sincerity, and love? What steps can change the dynamics in a negative relationship and create a new, positive experience for both of you? Are you willing to make the necessary changes? Opening honest conversations with an open heart can help identify some root causes and available pathways toward resolving them. Remember that relationships require effort to stay strong, consistent, and mutual. Connections don’t just happen overnight and can’t be rushed out; they must be handled carefully until all issues are resolved. Being thoughtful, supportive, and compassionate during these challenging times is necessary. Working through these troubles as partners may bring enemies closer together as Friends!
- Nervous energy: Nervous energy buzzes through my veins like an intimately familiar song. Sweat beads on my forehead as anxious feelings congeal in the palm of my hands, constricting my thoughts and tying them in cinched knots that paralyze my forward movement. Adrenaline rushes unabated throughout every inch of me, making the most commonplace tasks impossible with a rapid pulse and shaky breath. Despite my nerves engaging simultaneously in a harmonized hum throughout my body, I gain courage from this buildup. There is both beauty and fear in giving your all to something, making its presence motivating yet unforgiving. There will always be moments of trepidation filled with a whirlwind of nervous energy – moments that should be embraced instead of cowered away.
- Memory issues: Do you ever struggle to keep track of everything when it feels like too much information is coming at you all at once? Have you ever been mid-thought and lost the thought before you could even mull it over? Memory issues can cause quite a disruption in our lives – from overlooking essential tasks due to difficulty focusing and deducing clearly, to exasperation over having to redo forgotten things. It can shake our confidence, making accomplishment or progress feel insurmountable as if some walls were put in place unavoidably. With memory hardships, solutions must be tailored because people are very different in how they process and later summarize acquired knowledge. Maybe it’s organizing items into easily remembered public holders or reciting aloud with a supportive companion the materials heard best understood in auditory form – whatever may help enjoy the mental clarity so many of us strive towards!
- Easily angered: He could snap at any moment; one wrong word, One wrong gesture, and the tension in the room skyrocketed. The pressure that wasn’t there before simmered along the surface like water rolling up against a boiling creek bed. He didn’t take honest criticisms too kindly, often bristling and baring his teeth in response to even the most gentle of opinions. Almost overwhelmingly sensitive to nearly anything anyone said or did, he was an instant slow-burning fuse with whom one had acted cautiously lest a skirmish should commence. In short: they easily angered indeed.
This list is not comprehensive, but it does cover the most common signs and symptoms of ADHD in adults.
If you suspect you or someone you know may have ADHD, it’s essential to work with a professional who is well-versed in diagnosing and treating this complex condition. While a primary care physician may be able to identify some of the warning signs, it’s best to seek out a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychotherapist who has specific expertise in ADHD and related challenges. These professionals will use various methods to diagnose ADHD, such as extensive interviews, behavior and symptom rating skills, third-party observations, and obtaining a comprehensive history. So, if you think you may have ADHD, seek a knowledgeable professional who can provide you with the proper support and care.
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurological condition affecting millions worldwide. Unfortunately, despite being a widely recognized condition, no known cause or risk factor is still associated with ADHD. While this can be concerning, scientists are dedicated to uncovering new information about the disorder to understand better how to manage and reduce its symptoms. Through ongoing research and studies, they hope to identify new treatment methods that can improve the lives of those living with ADHD.
Some research has shown a strong link between genetic factors and ADHD. Scientists are also looking into other possible causes and risk factors for ADHD, including:
- Brain injuries: A brain injury can affect every aspect of life — from physical movements to communication and mental functions. Even seemingly minor impairments may disable someone for months or even years, depending on the extent and type of injury incurred. Brain injuries can range in severity from a momentary concussion to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The implications of a TBI can be devastating, as it sometimes leads to permanent damage that does not improve with treatment. Several of the long-term consequences associated with more serious traumatic brain injuries include cognitive disabilities (memory problems, difficulty carrying out thoughts#, problems forming words when speaking), sensory deficits (repeated & severe headaches, tingling sensations throughout the body), social issues (poor regulation of emotions, difficulty understanding feelings#), and motor coordination difficulties (inability to walk properly).
- Low birth weight: Low birth weight is, unfortunately, a worrying phenomenon that can mean significant threats for newborn babies. Babies born prematurely or with extra low baby weight are at higher risks for infections and breathing difficulties shortly after entering the world. In some cases, complications from this condition can cause brain damage or physical handicaps. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that preemies receive nutritional support and close monitoring during key stages in their development.
- Being born prematurely: My life began a little differently. I was born prematurely, struggling to stay alive and shaking up all expectations for me as a new baby. No one could have predicted how quickly my entrance into this world was going early, yet I defied all the odds. Born barely eligible even to meet regulations powering the extraordinary feat of taking my first breath outside the comfort of my expected nine months in the womb – when it should have meant entering while fully prepared with physical and medical stability – I began not with easeful strength but rather apparent frailty. Nonetheless, here I am today, living proof that any challenging circumstances can be pushed through, regardless of one’s tiny size at birth or other issues related to being premature, which people may otherwise think standardly spell definite failure!
- Use of alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy: Using alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy is a significant decision, one that should not be taken lightly. Several potential risks are associated with this action, such as preterm delivery, birth defects, and learning disabilities. Unfortunately, expecting mothers might find themselves tempted to indulge, either by social pressures or due to signs of withdrawal from their substance of choice. Understanding the consequences can help empower these women to make better decisions while also helping them find communication strategies to navigate this tricky situation better. With the right resources and support system in place, pregnant women who have had problems with drinking and smoking can gain hope for healthier children.
- Exposure to environmental risk factors, such as lead during pregnancy: Mothers who are expecting may be exposed to various environmental risks, including information. Left unprotected, women can inadvertently absorb lead into their systems during the precious nine months of pregnancy. This can have long-lasting impacts on the infant and mother if left unresolved. It is paramount to educate soon-to-be parents on the importance of protecting themselves from the dangers in the environment around them during this period of vulnerability. In this way, practitioners can help ensure exposure to environmental risk factors such as lead does not occur.
Managing ADHD requires a proactive, multi-dimensional approach. Incorporating these strategies into your everyday life to structure your day, reduce distractions, exercise regularly, and seek Support from others and medication can help diffuse the impact of ADHD symptoms. You can never entirely remove ADHD from your life; however, with these tactics, you can learn to decrease its impact on you.
Contact us today at 816.708.0508 or schedule your appointment online.