ADHD Self-Help 1
Knowing from experience that ADHD is not outgrown or cured", it is true that adult ADHDers have developed skills over the years to handle those traits that are characteristic of ADHD. Also, typical ADHD characteristics presents itself differently in adulthood, than in childhood. For example, a adult will not hop around like a hyperactive child. An adult's hyperactivity will show in the never-ending energy, 101 things going, but none finished (how many unfinished books do you have on your pedestal?), "verbal diarrhoea" etc.
Let's look at some tips for improving typical ADHD traits:
First of all, realizing and admitting that you do have ADHD is always the first step in improving your abilities. Too many people don't want to believe that they might have ADHD or a specific characteristic. Rather admit it and work on a solution, than ignoring the trouble it causes you or your family. And remember, some issues are more troublesome to your families than to yourself. So for their sake, admit and work on the possibilities and positive outcomes. Realising and admitting the reality will also help in admitting one's mistakes and taking responsibility for the consequences instead of blaming others.
Also see a more recent "Self-Help" here.
- By admitting your hyperactivity, you can start working on channelling your energy in more effective ways to do what you should, in stead of the 101 things that might not necessarily be important for the specific point in time. Always ask yourself: "Is this the best thing I can do NOW?"
- Be careful, the abundant energy can frustrate you when you realize that your actually not accomplishing anything purposeful. This can lead to more destructive actions, which you don't want to pursue.
- A positive of this element is that ADHDers have enough energy to be available for social organizations and causes.
- Remember, if you'd a have a family, you can also use your energy to be there for them!
- You will need to practice to relax after work Use your energy to spend some active time with your family members. And when on vacation, remember that your family members might not have ADHD and therefore would like to "rest". Go for a early jog or game of squash to release that extra energy before the family wake up.
- If used correctly, it can be of great benefit in situations where quick decisions need to be made. The disadvantage is that consequences of decisions is not thoroughly considered. Therefore, practice to stop for a minute and ask yourself whether you've considered all the options.
- A very helpful tip I've learned recently is to test my decisions with my partner. Scripture says that the guidance of the Holy Spirit in both of us can't be divided in 2 different answers. One of you haven't heard correctly.
- And of course, medication.
- All the successful people who had ADHD, had one thing in common - ROUTINE -ROUTINE - ROUTINE. The more you keep to a very strict routine, the more you will be organized in your daily activities.
- Use technology to help you in remembering ON TIME, your tasks/ToDo lists/appointments, like PDA's, Personal Information Manager software, Outlook etc. Some ADHDers have secretaries helping them with their schedule and routine.
- Planning! Try and plan as much as possible, and make sure to leave enough time for tasks. You might be a optimistic person, thinking that you can quickly wash the dishes while waiting 5 minutes before leaving for an appointment. Don't do that to yourself. Rather wait at the appointment, than rushing because you fixed something, while waiting!
- Don't procrastinate. There is no easy way out. Just practice. Finishes.
- Have your Diary/Planner/PDA with you. There's o use of having one, filling it in meticulously but don't have it with you to remind you of your appointments/ToDo tasks.
- Add time when planning. Things do happen, tasks do take longer from time to time. Don't think you will be able to do "this" in 5 minutes when it actually takes 15 min. Rather add more time, and when you do have time free, do those things you never have time for.
- Learn to say "no". This is true for many people, but if you're ADHD, this one is for YOU.
- Externalise the "future". Instead of boarding the plane in 8 hours, thinking you've got plenty of time, work your way down
relax in lounge 16:00
driving to airport 14:30
pack-up and go 14:00
This way you might not start a report / document meeting at 13:00 thinking you still have plenty of time. The "future" is brought closer to act upon.
- Many ADHDers had their fair share of "put-downs" and negative feedback from peers. Leave alone blaming yourself of not reaching your goals and thereby feeding your self-esteem with negative thoughts.
- A very useful tip I've read was to develop a skill to a point where you know more about it than most of your peers. Soon they will realize your advanced knowledge on the particular subject and will complement you and even ask your opinion on the subject. And when invited to a social gathering, make sure you read as much as possible on a subject, like the economic affairs, or the price changes of commodities, or foreign exchange so that you can participate in discussions knowing that you know enough or even more on the subject on the particular occasion.
- It might sound superfluous, but keep a list of your successes over the years. ADHDers tend to forget the positive things that they have accomplished.
- And if you're a Christian - focus on your identity in Christ; on the purpose of your being. You were not a mistake or an accident; God had planned you in His mind and has overflowing joy of your being.
Reading & Writing skills
- If you do have a problem with this, use a computer rather than writing. ADHDers often type faster than they can write, helping them also in ordering their thoughts.
- Chunking! Break information, books, chapters into smaller units. I remember studying by learning a book's Table of contents, and then reading the book. Thereby I can't integrate the information in each chapter and have a "big picture" of the book.
- Read with highlighters. My peers accused me of "colouring" my text books. At least I knew what I read.
- Visualise what you've read. Draw pictures, or outlines.
Language & Speech
- Don't rule out professional help!