Adults with ADHD – 3 simple strategies can help. August 20, 2006–Although ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls, by the time folks become adults, it affects both sexes equally.
At its most basic level, ADHD has an adverse effect on an adult’s ability to be organized. He may struggle with forgetfulness, task completion and directions. This can lead to procrastination, anxiety, outbursts of anger and clashes with employers.
For some adults with ADHD, the symptoms are mild. They have learned to compensate for their inability to concentrate by training themselves to become more organized. Others, however, have difficulty overcoming the problem because their symptoms have been present since childhood, and they may not have received the education they needed to succeed as adults.
Once ADHD is diagnosed, treatment can be implemented with medication and/or behavior modification, depending on the problem’s severity. For those with more minor issues, several simple strategies can be helpful:
* Get organized. Start each day with a written list of objectives and a schedule to follow. Keep it simple, and follow through. This not only helps you develop a routine, but it also improves self-esteem, which may lessen anxiety.
* Tailor your environment for success. Remember, a hallmark of ADHD is distractibility. You set yourself up to fail by having the TV turned on, playing music or doing anything that pulls you away from the task at hand. A comfortable, quiet work environment improves your chance of success.
* Get active. Picking up active hobbies can funnel your surplus energy into something healthy.
Tedd Mitchell, M.D., president and medical director of Dallas’ Cooper Clinic, writes HealthSmart every week.