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What are some useful tips for adults with ADHD?

Ms. Julie A. Fast
Mental Health Specialist

I’ll answer this with a personal story—here is some background. I have bipolar disorder and was very ill for ten years. I finally found the right mix of meds and management strategies and amazingly, my depression was reduced 75 percent. 

When my depression got better, I assumed my other symptoms would get better as well. In some cases they have. Amazingly, my intense seasonal affective disorder is gone! I knew it was a part of depression, but I didn't know it was that connected.

Unfortunately, my ADD symptoms are still going strong—in some ways they are worse. Depression motivated me to get out and feel better every day. It drove me to accomplish things. That was the only way I made it through being sick all of the time. I wrote most of my books while depressed—many of them talk about managing ADD, as it is such a part of depression for most people.

But I still have the ADD and it's insidious focus symptoms. It often gets so bad I have trouble doing the most basic of tasks, such as cleaning my room. I'm 48 and I have trouble cleaning my room! Wow!

My biggest issue is the distraction of the Internet when I try to work. It's hard to get away from the Internet these days. There is wireless everywhere. When the ADD is raging, it loves the Internet much more than work. Especially my much loved cycling and soccer blogs. It’s as though the ADD has its own hand that move the mouse! It controls me.

I knew this had to change. I did find a place to work that doesn't have the internet- but guess what; I can connect to the web right through my phone! Bother.

Finally, I had a break through. I remembered that computers have a wireless chip that allows an Internet connection.

I decided to get my old computer and remove the chip. I could then do my writing work on the old computer and save the Internet work for my regular computer. I would only take one computer with me depending on my projects.

What a relief! I have been let out of Internet ADD jail! My work has improved and knowing that the Internet is not an option, my brain is more relaxed.

A question for you: What out of the norm change can you make to reduce ADD? Look at your biggest distraction and think of removing it. It’s worth it for a clear mind!

It's important for adults who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to relax. Stress will only exacerbate symptoms. People living with ADHD should pick a relaxation activity that they enjoy, such as yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or meditation. They should do this activity for a few minutes every day.

It's also very important for people living with ADHD to declutter. They should schedule 30 minutes each day to sort through old papers, junk mail, magazines and other household items that have piled up. They should get rid of what they no longer need, and stash the rest out of sight in color-coded and labeled bins, storage containers, or file folders. Twice a year, they should make a trip to Goodwill to donate unused items. To avoid losing or misplacing important items, like keys and unpaid bills, they should be put in the same highly visible place every day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.