Some Tips On Living With AD/HD

If there are concerns that you or someone in your family might have AD/HD, the first crucial step is to have a proper evaluation done by a qualified health care professional. The person may be a psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, pediatrician, clinical social worker, professional counselor, or other type of professional.  The most important concern is that the person should be someone who is well informed about AD/HD and knows how to perform a comprehensive evaluation.  It is perfectly fine -- even wise -- to ask questions about the person's level of expertise and experience in working with people with AD/HD.

Second, it is important to keep in mind that AD/HD is not something that can be "cured" and usually it does not "just go away" -- think of it as something which will need to be managed and treated over time, probably for many years, and possibly over the person's entire lifetime.

Third, seek the treatment methods and support which works best for YOU.  Many (but not all) people with AD/HD can benefit greatly from medication -- but it needs to be the medication which works for THEM, at the dosage which is most effective for them.

Fourth, become very well informed about AD/HD -- read books, talk to others, join support groups, join a national organization such as ADDA or CHADD. There is an extensive reading list of books about AD/HD which is posted in the Books and Webs area of this website, along with a list of AD/HD related websites and organizations.

Fifth, find and use whatever sources of support provide you with what you need. That may involve working with a therapist on modifying behaviors and learning new coping skills, as well as dealing with emotional issues, managing stress, etc.  Many adults work with an AD/HD Coach although there is still a shortage of trained AD/HD coaches around.  CHADD sponsors a nationwide network of support groups for parents, and more recently some adult groups as well.  ADDA is developing a nationwide network of support groups for adults with AD/HD.

Sooooo, in a nutshell.....Get informed!! Get involved!! Get support!!

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(c) 1998 Peter Jaksa, Ph.D.