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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: ADHD in Adults

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Psychosocial Behavior Management Strategies

Adults with ADHD can also benefit from some basic organizational concepts and behavior management strategies to help manage the condition. Here are ways to train yourself to overcome problems related to ADHD and make them more manageable:

  • Take medications as directed. If you are taking any medications for ADHD or any other condition, be sure to take them exactly as prescribed. Missing a dose or taking two doses at once to catch up on missed doses can have negative consequences for you and others. If you are noticing side effects or other problems, speak to your health care provider as soon as possible.
  • Organize yourself. Train yourself to become more organized. Make lists of daily tasks (be reasonable!) and strive to complete them. Use a daily planner, leave notes for yourself, and set your alarm clock when you need to remember an appointment or other activity.
  • Control impulsive behavior. If you have a tendency to do things you later regret, such as interrupting or getting angry at others, manage the impulse by counting to 10 while breathing slowly instead of acting out. Usually the impulse will pass as quickly as it appeared.
  • Minimize distractions. Find ways to reduce the distractions throughout the day. If you find yourself being distracted by loud music or the television, turn it off or use earplugs. Move yourself to a quieter location, or ask others to help reduce distractions.
  • Find constructive outlets for excess energy. People with ADHD sometimes seem to have more nervous energy than others, and this hyperactivity needs to have an outlet of some sort. A hobby or other pastime can be helpful.
  • Ask for help. We all need help from time to time and it is important to not be afraid to ask for it. If you are having disruptive thoughts or behaviors, ask a counselor if they have any techniques that might help control them.

Living with Adult ADHD

Although most people don't outgrow ADHD, they do learn to adapt. If the difficulties associated with ADHD are managed appropriately throughout their lives, adults with ADHD can learn to develop personal strengths and be productive and successful.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Patricia Quinn, MD on January 30, 2013
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