If you recently were diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, you may be confused. You may be asking questions like, “What is ADHD?”, and, “Does this mean I am disabled?”. “How will this affect my life?” For adults with ADHD, this can be even more confusing. This is a children’s disease, right?
These 5 steps are critical to successfully living with ADHD.
#1. Know that ADHD is not the same for everyone. ADHD is a “spectrum disorder”, which is a diagnosis made by looking at a variety of symptoms. If a patient shows more than one symptom, and the symptoms affect two areas of their lives, such as work, school or home life, they will receive an ADHD diagnosis. The wide variety of symptoms means that symptoms will not be the same for everyone.
This knowledge is crucial fpr successfully coping with the symptoms of ADHD. Coping with ADHD symptoms requires a sufferer to cope with many symptoms at once. For example, many people with ADHD experience difficulties with time management, and completing tasks. However, one person may work in a factory, while the other owns their own company. The same time management strategies might not work for both ADHD sufferers. Realize ADHD is different for each person.
#2. Realize that ADHD is not a disability. When first diagnosed with ADHD, many people are afraid they are disabled. After all, ADHD is a mental disorder. Read about The Edison Gene. The Edison Gene postulates that ADHD is not a mental disorder, but rather, ADHD is a set of genetic traits needed by early hunters and gatherers. Over thousands and thousands or years, these genetic traits did not disappear, even though human society changed from primal to industrial. Modern society simply decided these traits were a mental disorder.
#3. Realize ADHD comes with as many benefits as disadvantages. Modern psychology will stress this ADHD’s disadvantages, which is necessary for DSM classification as a mental disorder. However, for every disadvantage there are also advantages. For example, those with ADHD are often highly creative, and learn very quickly. These are just two examples of ADHD’s potential advantages. Celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Ty Pennington, and Howie Mandel are harnessing ADHD’s advantages for their benefit.
#4. Find a great psychiatrist. Chances are, you received your ADHD diagnosis from a psychiatrist; but make sure you are seeing the right psychiatrist. ADHD management is long term, the psychiatric community recognizes ADHD as a lifelong condition. Periodic psychiatry appointments may be required. You need a psychiatrist that is both experienced with ADHD, and willing to listen to your unique, personal situation.
#5. Educate yourself about ADHD. Education is key to successfully mastering anything, including ADHD symptoms. Educating yourself about ADHD, prescription medications, and more importantly, alternative ADHD treatment options, as well as coping strategies, provides you with a complete set of tools. You can use these tools to help manage your own ADHD. You don’t need to become an ADHD specialist, and you don’t want to second guess your psychiatrist. You do want to gather all the knowledge necessary to find the ADHD coping strategies that will apply to your situation.