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How to succeed in spite of adult ADHD

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Adult ADHD symptoms range from mildly disruptive to downright oppressive, sometimes interfering with your daily life and preventing you from engaging in your surroundings the way you would otherwise like. It’s not an easy condition to manage or live with, but it is something you can get control over with the right treatments and management strategies.

How can you learn to thrive with adult ADHD?

Accept your diagnosis

One of the most important things you can do is accept your diagnosis. There isn’t a cure for ADHD, and it’s not something that ever completely goes away. However, it’s also not something that should dominate your life, nor is it something that you should feel bad about. If you’re aware of your ADHD diagnosis, as well as the impact it has on your life, you’ll be able to find more peace, and you’ll be more motivated to find successful symptom management strategies.

Work with a professional therapist

There are many viable strategies for managing adult ADHD, from talk therapy to medications and behavioral adjustments. Working with a professional therapist is one of the most important steps you can take; not only can a therapist provide you with the benefits of direct counseling, but they can also help you better understand the dynamics of your ADHD and help you discover other management strategies.

Every person is unique, and not all management strategies are equally useful for all people, so it’s incredibly helpful to have a trained professional who can help you explore all the possibilities.

Consider medications

For some people, medications are the right option. Medications include stimulant medications, which increase the availability of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, and non-stimulant medications, which function as alternative ADHD treatments for certain types of individuals. Whether or not medications are a good fit for you depends on the severity of your condition, your personal feelings on the matter, and the recommendations of trained professionals. Even if you do start taking medications, you’ll need to complement them with other strategies – so don’t count on them as a pseudo-cure.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation is a regular practice with a host of positive mental and physical benefits – and it’s a convenient tool you can use to manage some of your worst ADHD symptoms. The basic idea is to spend time focusing on the present moment, rather than the past or the future. Often combined with deep breathing or repetitive mantras, mindfulness meditation allows you to let go of your racing thoughts and anxieties so you can use your attention and expend efforts more thoughtfully. It reduces stress and gives you clarity, so you can focus more effectively.

Eliminate or reduce distractions

Distractions are annoying for everyone, but they can be downright overwhelming for people with ADHD. Do whatever you can to eliminate or reduce distractions in your life, such as disabling notifications, checking your email at regular, periodic intervals, reducing the volume or prevalence of external noise, and making your environment less stimulating.

Educate the people closest to you

Most adults can successfully manage their ADHD symptoms independently (especially with proper professional support), but it’s sometimes useful to educate the people closest to you. Talk to your partner, your family members, and your friends about your ADHD symptoms to whatever extent you feel comfortable, so they can better understand you and support you in your journey to superior ADHD management.

Break up big tasks

ADHD often makes big, complex tasks feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s helpful for people with ADHD to break up those tasks into smaller, more manageable components. Instead of looking at the entire project from the highest level, look at individual components that will eventually allow you to complete the project step by step.

Use memory aids

For people with ADHD, it’s often hard to remember and recall important information. That’s why it’s so valuable to use memory aids, including note-taking apps, physical reminders, and even good old-fashioned pen and paper. If you know your memory is a point of weakness, make sure you write down everything important so you can remember it.

Organize your home

Messiness and disorganization are common in adults with ADHD, but it’s a lot easier to stay neat and tidy when your home is organized. Try to have a place for everything, so the clutter never gets out of control, and use organizational tools like shelves, drawers, and hooks to better manage your possessions.

Living with ADHD as an adult may never be truly easy, but it can be successfully managed with the right mentality and supportive strategies. Talking to a therapist, compensating for points of weakness, and generally staying better organized are some of your best tools – but you should remain open to any possibilities that might help you in your journey. 


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