On Wednesday we talked about a cure for ADHD. There is none. You’d think that would have been a short post, wouldn’t you?
But we also discussed the possibility that if your child is diagnosed with ADHD before they are fully developed, you might consider a good diet, adequate physical activity, a balanced social life and lots of good opportunities to learn and think and grow and develop to the best of their abilities.
There’s no reason to believe this would cure ADHD, but there is no reason to believe that it wouldn’t have a positive impact on a life that may well carry its own negative impacts with it. And wouldn’t it be great to find ways to offset those?
But moving on from that
Someone diagnosed with ADHD or not, given opportunities of diet and development and education or not, at some point might end up as an adult with ADHD.
Could the ADHD have been rectified? Doubtful. Would it have helped if they’d known? It would likely have helped them to thrive and succeed.
But now they’ve arrived at adulthood and they’ve arrived with a truck full of ADHD for baggage.
What do they do?
The trifecta of treatment, as far as I’m concerned is this: psychiatric therapy, medication therapy, lifestyle therapy.
Whoa. Stop. Before you start yelling at me about drugs, hear me out.
And I’m going to start with this.
Nope, I don’t want you to lie on a couch and tell some bespectacled man with a pointy mustache why you hated your father and lusted after your mother. I want you to make an appointment with a reputable mental health practitioner and get a diagnosis and an understanding of the flavor of ADHD that you have.
Once that is done, if you feel comfortable talking with this professional, and they’re willing to see you, and you can afford to do it, by all means, continue the sessions until you feel you’ve gotten all you can from them.
But for now, the diagnosis should be the main thing.
Now comes the tricky part. In consultation with a health care professional, ascertain what medication you feel might help you with the symptoms you have. Listen to your doctor, they have at their disposal a wealth of info and if you’ve got the right health care provider they will use that info and their knowledge of you to figure out what meds to try in what order and in what dosages.
If a medication works, keep it in mind, but see if your doctor is willing to try others. Ascertain which ones help in what ways and what helps the most. Remember that something that works for a month or even a year, might develop side effects that you cannot live with, don’t be afraid to try other things with medical supervision.
Now this is important, if nothing works, be prepared to accept that and move on from there. Some of us are unable to use medication, it’s just the way it is. I’m one of those.
This is a case of saving the best for last. The way you live your life is as important as the other two kinds of therapy. Maybe even more important.
The number one thing that exacerbates ADHD symptoms is stress. You will always feel more at the mercy of your symptoms when things are getting to you.
And yes, things that stress us are hard to change. But you can change things that affect how you perceive your problems.
Make choices that make your life easier. It’s hard to choose the important thing over the fun thing, but sometimes the choice of the fun thing will make you pay even more than you think it will.
Be good to yourself
Be kind to yourself because others seeing you being hard on yourself will join in. Be your own advocate. Be your own friend.
Accepting responsibility for your actions is being mature, but passing judgement on yourself and punishing yourself perpetually will not make anything better.
And remember that the way you live is part of your treatment, and treatments are supposed to make you feel better. If the life you’re living isn’t making that happen, change your life, even if it takes a lot of time and effort.
You’re worth it.