Self Help

adult adhd self help

By Tammy Preston, MS

While taking drugs and attending therapy are two popular and sometimes necessary ways to cope with ADHD, some people have managed their condition themselves through the dozens of self-help methods out there.  Once someone knows that they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, they can start to compensate for its effects and manage the symptoms themselves, empowering themselves and becoming more confident along the way.

While environmental theories of why people have ADHD still persist, recent brain chemical studies have shown that the cause of ADHD lies in the biochemical processes — in the neurotransmitters in the brain, and that it has a genetic factor.  Just because ADHD is something that people have not caused themselves however, does not mean that it is something they can not have a substantial role in managing.

Doing things like educating themselves about their condition, scheduling their life with their condition in mind, and finding support amongst friends can lead someone to have a much happier and healthier relationship to their condition.  By giving themselves more time than they think to perform a task, setting themselves reminders, and just leaving a little breathing space into their schedule, some people are learning to manage their condition without the help of drugs.  Job performance and social skills can also be helped greatly through techniques of mindfullness and practice.

It may be harder for someone suffering with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to do certain things, but this does not make it impossible, and many adults with the condition are learning alot about themselves along the way.


  1. stefanie anderson says

    I just was diagnosed with adult adhd and it explains so much my whole life ive had this and I thought I was bi polar or a Manic depressed. They had me on meds antidepressants that made me try to kill myself and then when I would say they don’t work they doubled the dose. Anyway I changed dre and the help of my mom were on the right track now

  2. Congratulations Stefanie! Finding the right doctor is important and sometime difficult.

  3. Jennifer M. says

    I am seeing a Doctor today to talk to her about this. My mom has it and she said her life changed when she was diagnosed and treated for it. My father seems to have the symptoms as well. I am hopeful that my Doctor will listen and not be quick to think I am self-diagnosing. I have had issues that seem very related to this for as long as I can remember. I am hopeful that there may be a solution and I can really get my life on track in a way that I’ve been trying to do but not successfully in the last 25 years. Thank you for all your helpful information!

  4. Good luck Jennifer! Keep us posted how things go with your doctor.

  5. It was suggested during marital therapy that I had ADHD. I spoke with my psychiatrist who was less than receptive to the possibility. I was instead diagnosed with major depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Needless to say the combination of three antidepressants, Klonopin, Trazadone, and Vistaril had negative consequences all the way around. That was two years ago. Since then I’ve gotten a divorce, filed bankruptcy and had a foreclosure.

    I saw a new therapist last month and was told during be eval that all my symptoms point to ADHD. Her words were that I have one of the most classic presentations she seen in her 16 year career and she cannot imagine how it was overlooked my entire life. She told me to find a psychiatrist who treats the condition and I was as to. The doctor said the same thing and prescribed Methylin. I could tell after the first dose that I felt better. My depression wasn’t an issue. I took care of something is been putting off for a year in an hour. It felt like a huge accomplishment.

  6. My son was diagnosed ADHD before I was. It’s obvious now but I remembering wondering where my son “got it” from . Looking back, I always had to work so hard to keep tuned in to things but then other times my focus was so intense 3 or 4 hours at a time would just seem to disappear like I was abducted by aliens. I would miss important things–things I really didn’t want to miss–everyone was always mad at me for forgetting or being late when for me, even making it all meant I had to hold on to it with everything I had and swim up Niagara falls. People often take offense at things that are simply not within my power to control or are tempted to misunderstand my interrupted attention as a personal lack of interest in them or what they were saying or doing. Over the years and without knowing it I had developed some coping mechanisms to help or at least to disguise my weaknesses and failures. Although in my late 40’s I’m at least relieved to know that there is a name for what I have and that gives me a place to begin. I am lucky that in addition to all that I have endured I did not also have to battle a substance abuse problem or have to deal with the added trauma of trying to get a job with a rapsheet.

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