Until recently, ADHD was primarily viewed as a disorder affecting children, characterized by high levels of activity, difficulty maintaining focus in school, and constant fidgeting. However, it’s now understood that the condition isn’t always outgrown, as evidenced by approximately 8.7 million adults in the U.S. who continue to live with ADHD.

People with ADHD have different brain structures and neurotransmitter levels that impact executive function. Affected individuals experience challenges in maintaining focus, managing impulses, and controlling their activity levels.

If you have just been diagnosed with ADHD, you might be curious about how to manage your condition. Consider exploring medication and behavior management techniques to regain control over your life.

Just Diagnosed With Adult ADHD

Symptoms and Signs of Adult ADHD

There are three main types of ADHD – inattentive, hyperactive/impulse, and combined – and each has accompanying symptoms that are important to understand so you can manage your condition. Common signs of ADHD in adults include:

Diagnosis of Adult ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD can overlap with those of other conditions, such as thyroid disease, depression, and bipolar disorder, making it challenging to diagnose. Additionally, symptoms tend to present differently between genders, with men often displaying more external signs of aggression, while women may internalize their symptoms.

Understanding the diagnostic process can make it more manageable. During your consultation with a psychiatrist or other mental healthcare provider, you can expect the following:

I Have ADHD, Now What: Treatment Options for Adult ADHD

Treatment for adult ADHD typically involves a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. The symptoms and severity of ADHD vary from person to person, so your healthcare provider will create a custom plan to minimize the impact of your condition on your life. Standard treatment options include:

Medication Treatments

Stimulant medications are the first line of defense for ADHD. Medications like methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and amphetamines (Adderall, Vyvanse) increase the levels of brain chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine. They help maintain your attention and focus. While they are effective, you may experience some side effects, such as trouble sleeping and a reduced appetite.

If stimulant medications aren’t effective, your doctor may prescribe non-stimulants like atomoxetine (Strattera). Atomoxetine increases norepinephrine levels to improve your attention span and reduce hyperactivity. Your doctor may also prescribe other non-stimulants, such as antidepressants like bupropion (Wellbutrin).

Therapy Treatments

One of the challenges of living with ADHD as an adult is the negative thought patterns and habits that can lead to impulsivity and distractibility. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a practical, task-based therapeutic approach to treating ADHD that can help you change the way you think so you can stay on-task and improve your organization and planning skills.

One-on-one coaching and training sessions can also be beneficial to help you navigate the daily challenges that come with an ADHD diagnosis. Each session with your coach focuses on specific actions you can take to develop skills like time management or managing finances.

Your coach can also make you accountable to improve your motivation and provide a supportive, encouraging environment.

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies

Staying committed to your medication routine and regularly attending therapy sessions can help you manage ADHD. Additionally, there are various changes you can make at home to help you cope with your ADHD symptoms.

Make sure you get plenty of physical activity each day. A daily 30-minute walk around the block can increase dopamine levels in your brain to improve attention, decrease impulsivity, and reduce stress.

You can also make changes to your diet to incorporate brain-boosting omega-3-rich foods like fish and raw nuts and reduce the amount of sugar, caffeine, and processed carbohydrates you consume.

People with ADHD often experience insomnia or poor sleep quality. A lack of sleep can also exacerbate ADHD symptoms, making it harder for you to concentrate. Improve your sleep and ADHD symptoms by developing a consistent sleep routine.

Living with Adult ADHD

While medication and behavioral therapy can be highly effective for many adults with ADHD, it’s essential to complement these strategies with practical solutions. The key to effectively managing ADHD is to work with your symptoms rather than against them. Some simple ways to set yourself up for success include:

Unique ADHD Journey

Embrace Your Unique ADHD Journey

ADHD is a highly individualized condition, meaning what benefits one person may not necessarily help you. Therefore, it’s crucial to collaborate with an experienced mental health professional to create a tailored treatment plan that aligns with your specific symptoms and lifestyle.

If you’ve just been diagnosed with ADHD or suspect you may have the condition, contact the Mind Health Group for a consultation. A Mind Health Group psychiatrist can perform a thorough evaluation and create a personalized plan to help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

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