Coping With Adult ADHD
Many adults come in to our office stating that they have ADHD. Of those adults, only a handful have been diagnosed either as a child or an adult. Most have self-diagnosed themselves. If you suspect ADHD, it is important to undergo a professional assessment as you may have ADHD, but you may also have other overlapping issues, such as learning disabilities. While medication and skills learning will help you manage the ADHD, learning disabilities are a whole different arena and need a different type of attention and intervention. That being said, there are many ways to learn to manage your ADHD symptoms. A lot of management has to do with how you view and conceptualize the world, how you learn to structure your tasks and responsibilities, and even how you reinforce yourself. For example, if you tend to lose your keys and then you are chronically late because you can’t find your keys, it would be helpful to establish a place in your home for those keys. Have a place in your kitchen or bedroom that is designated for your keys, wallet, purse, and anything else that you must take with you when you leave your home. If you have to mail a package, put the package in your car the day before or leave if by the front door so you don’t forget it. Make a checklist of all the things you have to do in a day and monitor your checklist as the day progresses. If your closet looks like a bomb went off in it, have an organized friend or relative help you clean it out and set it up and coach yourself each day when you put things away.
Basically, train yourself to keep that closet reasonably organized by training yourself to develop a schema for an organized closet. A big complaint I often hear in my practice is how difficult it is to concentrate at work when required to listen to a presentation. Take notes, it will help you focus. If you are distracted by extraneous noise at work, find a way to block out that noise, even if you need to wear headphones. There are many strategies for your particular ADHD symptoms and a Licensed Psychologist or Social Worker can help you with that. If you are interested in reading about self-help strategies, you can refer to our new e-book, ADHD: A Guide for Consumers.
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