Techniques for Managing ADHD Symptoms for Adults

On the one hand, adults diagnosed with ADHD may have a more difficult time coping with the symptoms they are experiencing given the increased stresses and responsibilities of adult life.  On the other hand, proper education and information regarding ADHD can go a long way in helping adults deal better with their condition – once they fully understand what they are going through, and why they need different ways of coping.  Education, understanding, and acceptance, can be some of the first steps in helping adults with ADHD manage and improve their symptoms.

While medication is also an option for adults, this section focuses instead of some alternative techniques that any adult can implement to help them in better managing their symptoms.

  • Find a supportive structure, whether among family, friends, or a support group.  It makes a difference knowing that you are not alone in the struggles and difficulties that you face.
  • Coaching can be extremely beneficial for some – by finding a coach who can encourage, remind you, and assist you as you try to implement various techniques in managing your symptoms.  A level of trust, as well as a sense of humor, can prove quite beneficial from the right coach.
  • Try to let go of negativity or guilt.  It can be quite illuminating for some adults to learn that they have been suffering from undiagnosed ADHD all along.  With this often comes a lifetime of guilt at not being able to meet social standards for relationships, work, or achievement, and even a sense that one was at fault or has done something wrong.  Accepting the fact that your condition is a very real neuropsychiatric condition, and that it wasn’t because you were lazy or less intelligent than others, can go a long way in helping you let go of a lifetime of baggage and negativity.  Eventually, you must be able to let go of these past negative associations in order to successfully move forward in managing the symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Find and experiment with various techniques that can help boost your performance at work – greater organizational skills and techniques, scheduling, color, coding, prioritizing, setting yourself goals and challenges, de-stressing and taking regular breaks, etc., will vary in their effects on people.  Find the techniques that work for you, or adapt them to your own uses.  You might be pleasantly surprised at how effectively doing these things can boost your work performance, and even improve your social relationships.
  • Learn to deal with mood swings or bad moods, and how to navigate the ups and downs of daily emotional challenges.  There will be feelings of joy and elation, just as there will also be feelings of loneliness and depression.  The important thing is not to get too carried away by these mood changes.  You might try giving yourself a time-out, spend time with friends, or even exercising regularly and vigorously may help.  Exercise has been proven to be one of the most successful natural therapies for ADHD symptoms, and this is true for both children and adults.
  • Try cultivating an interest in other people and in things outside of yourself.  It is far too easy to look inward too much and berate oneself for our perceived flaws and weaknesses.  Even when you already know that you have ADHD, the symptoms that you experience can often prove frustrating.  By taking an interest in things outside of yourself, or by paying attention to the people around you, you may be able to find a better balance in your life.  Sometimes, it isn’t just about what’s going on inside you, but also about what’s going on with the world and with the people we care about.

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