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ADHD and Risky Behavior in Adults

How to Help continued...

Being kind and understanding (rather than angry or critical) ups the odds your loved one will trust you and come to you when she’s having trouble.

Be a partner in planning. “ADHD affects the brain’s frontal lobes, which are responsible for organizing and planning ahead,” Sarkis says.

Work with her to set and stick to a routine. For example, you could create a calendar and schedule certain activities at the same time each day or day of the week.

That can reduce the chances she’ll be late and help her follow through on commitments.

Be active together. Recent research shows that exercise seems to reduce some symptoms of ADHD. One reason: Even short bursts of physical activity can raise levels of brain chemicals like dopamine. Raising those levels in healthy ways like through exercise may lower the likelihood that someone with ADHD does other risky things like alcohol abuse or speeding.

Encourage her to seek treatment and stick with it. ADHD medication helps some people. One study found that men with ADHD who stayed on their ADHD medication lowered their risk of traffic accidents by more than 50%. Consulting with a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of ADHD can help your loved one decide if medication is the right treatment.

New research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy reduces ADHD symptoms. This type of therapyfocuses on changing negative thoughts in order to change behavior.

“Medication and counseling work better together than alone, so if your loved one isn’t seeing a psychologist or therapist, you may want to recommend that she do so,” Sarkis says. “There’s no cure for ADHD, but treatment can make a big difference by improving quality of life for people with the disorder.”

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Reviewed on April 22, 2015

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