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ADHD Q&A with Dr. Hallowell & Dr. Ratey plus tips on Managing ADHD

 ADHD experts Dr. Hallowell and John Ratey,  team up again in the DISTRACTION Podcast Episode #17 airing Tuesday, July 12, 2016  to answer listener questions on the subject of ADHD: How to tell if I have ADHD? What medications are best for me? How can I best manage anxiety, focus and more.

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12 Tips on Managing Adult ADHD

  1. Educate yourself. Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADHD is understanding ADD in the first place. Read books. Talk with professionals. Talk with other adults who have ADD. You’ll be able to design your own treatment to fit your own version of ADD.
  2. Realize what ADD is and is NOT, i.e., conflict with mother, etc.
  3. Make deadlines – Prioritize. Avoid procrastination. When things get busy, the adult ADD person loses perspective: paying an unpaid parking ticket can feel as pressing as putting out the fire that just got started in the wastebasket. Prioritize. Take a deep breath. Put first things first. Then go on to the second and the third task.
  4. Be sure of the diagnosis. Make sure you’re working with a professional who really understands ADD and has excluded related or similar conditions such as anxiety states, agitated depression, hyperthyroidism, manic-depressive illness, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  5. Try to get rid of the negativity that may have infested your system if you have lived without knowing that what you had was ADHD. A good psychotherapist may help in this regard.
  6. Get well enough organized to achieve your goals. The key here is “well   ”  That doesn’t mean you have to be very well organized at all — just well enough organized to achieve your goals.
  7. Do what you are good at, instead of spending all your time trying to get good at what you’re bad at.
  8. Understand mood changes and ways to manage these.
  9. Choose “good” helpful addictions, such as exercise. Many adults with ADHD have an addictive or compulsive personality such that they are always hooked on something. Try to make this something positive.
  10. Learn how to advocate for yourself. Adults with ADD are so used to being criticized that they are often unnecessarily defensive in putting their own case forward.
  11. Learn to joke with yourself and others about your various systems. If you can learn to be relaxed enough about the whole syndrome to be able to joke about it, others will forgive you much more easily.
  12. Coaching. It is useful for you to have a coach, for some person near you to keep after you, but always with humor. Your coach can help you get organized, stay on task, give you encouragement or remind you to get back to work. Friend, colleague, or therapist (it is possible, but risky for your coach to be your spouse), a coach is someone to stay on you to get things done, exhort you as coaches do, keep tabs on you, and in general be in your corner. A coach can be tremendously helpful in treating ADD.

*Adapted from Delivered from Distraction, Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., John J. Ratey, M.D., Ballantine, 2005

Have more questions about ADHD? Learn more here!

Need a diagnosis? Click here to learn what The Hallowell Centers can do for you.

For another great source of information on ADHD, please visit ADDitude magazine

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