5 Ways To Manage ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterized by issues with focus, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. ADHD may make it difficult to succeed in school, work, and relationships. While it is often first diagnosed in childhood, ADHD can also affect adults. Furthermore, boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls, and it is estimated that roughly 6.1 million children in the US have ADHD. As such a widespread condition, many adults seek better ways to manage ADHD symptoms so they can thrive in everyday life.
What Causes ADHD?
The cause of ADHD and the risk factors associated with the condition are not fully understood. However, research suggests that ADHD is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
ADHD is believed to run in families, so it is not surprising that the condition has a strong genetic component. Environmental factors that may contribute to the development of ADHD include:
- Exposure to toxins, such as lead
- Prenatal exposure to alcohol or tobacco
- Brain injuries
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
What Are the Symptoms of ADHD?
The symptoms of ADHD may vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. The two primary types of symptoms associated with ADHD include:
Inattentive Type Symptoms
Inattentive symptoms are those that involve problems with concentration and focus. People with inattentive ADHD may:
- Have a short attention span
- Be easily distracted
- Appear to be daydreaming
- Have trouble with time management
- Seem to forget things often
- Have difficulty following instructions
Hyperactive and Impulsive Type Symptoms
Hyperactive and impulsive symptoms are those that involve problems with overactivity and impulsiveness. People with hyperactive and impulsive ADHD may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Frequent fidgeting
- Excessive talking
- Blurting out answers before hearing the whole question
- Interrupting others
- Being unable to stay seated in class or at work
- Consistently tapping hands or feet
ADHD can also cause problems with sleep and mood. People with ADHD may have difficulty falling asleep or wake up frequently during the night. They may also experience irritability, anxiety, or depression. Furthermore, It is also possible to have inattentive symptoms without hyperactive and impulsive symptoms and vice versa.
5 Ways To Manage ADHD Symptoms
Although there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatments that may help manage the symptoms. Lifestyle changes, such as getting enough sleep and having a healthy diet, may help in some form. Other ways to manage ADHD include:
1. Behavior Therapy for ADHD
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be an effective treatment for ADHD. CBT is a type of therapy that helps people change their thoughts and behaviors. During CBT, people with ADHD learn skills that may help them better prepare for tasks, manage their time, and complete school or work assignments.
Some of the skills that may be learned during CBT include:
- How to break down tasks into smaller goals
- How to develop a system to remember things
- How to manage time more effectively
- How to reduce impulsiveness
- How to deal with frustration in a healthy way
CBT may be conducted individually or in a group setting. It is typically provided by a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist or counselor. Behavioral therapy is most effective when it is conducted on a regular basis.
2. Develop a Routine
Having a set routine may help people with ADHD stay on track and avoid becoming overwhelmed by tasks. In addition, setting a schedule may help structure the day, making it easier to complete tasks and manage time.
In addition, by having your daily tasks scheduled out, you may avoid feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to do. Try focusing on one task at a time and taking small breaks to clear your head.
3. Stay Organized
Being unorganized may make it difficult to complete tasks and may contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress. People with ADHD may find it helpful to use organization tools, such as an agenda book, to-do lists, and reminders.
Laying out daily goals and breaking up tasks into smaller, manageable parts may also be helpful. Some people with ADHD find it beneficial to use a daily planner to keep track of their tasks. Setting reminders on your phone may also help ensure you don’t forget necessary appointments or work deadlines.
In addition, it can be helpful to establish a specific place for essential items, such as your keys, wallet, and medications. By having a designated spot for these items, you can avoid the frustration of losing them.
4. Get Plenty of Exercise
Physical activity has been shown to boost your overall well-being and has the potential to improve your mood and quality of life. Stress is a common trigger for ADHD symptoms, so managing stress levels is an integral part of treatment.
Getting plenty of exercise may assist in reducing ADHD symptoms by:
- Reducing stress
- Reducing impulsivity
- Improving focus
- Increasing attention span
- Lowering hyperactivity
When it comes to exercise, it is important to find an activity that you enjoy and that fits into your schedule. It is also essential to be consistent with your exercise routine. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day at a set time each day.
If you find it challenging to stick to an exercise routine on your own, consider joining a class or working with a personal trainer. Having someone else to hold you accountable may help you be more successful in sticking to your exercise routine.
5. Speak with a Healthcare Provider for ADHD Treatment
Mile High Psychiatry specializes in managing mental health conditions, including ADHD. By integrating medication management with behavioral therapy, our team of mental health providers can develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
If you or your child are searching for a treatment plan that emphasizes wellbeing, provider collaboration, and patient empowerment, request an appointment with Mile High Psychiatry today. We are here to help you every step of the way.
Mile High provider, Nicole Watson, MSN, RN, APRN, PMHNP-BC, was recently interviewed by Rocky Mountain PBS on how undiagnosed ADHD can impact children later in life.
Click here to read the full article where Watson touches on her experience diagnosing and treating ADHD in children.