President's Prescription: Adults with ADHD

President's Prescription: Adults with ADHD

A common expectation with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – or ADHD – is that it affects primarily children. However, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, symptoms will persist into adulthood for 40 to 60 percent of children diagnosed with the disorder. This week, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell tells us about the signs and treatment options for adult ADHD.

While childhood ADHD is more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls, men and women are equally likely to exhibit symptoms of the disorder. Once ADHD is diagnosed, treatment may include medication or behavior modification, depending on the problem's severity.

Many adults learn to compensate for their inability to concentrate by training themselves to become more organized. For adults with more mild symptoms, three daily steps can be helpful:

Get organized. Starting each day with a written to-do list may help you be more productive and focused. This will help you develop a routine, improve self-esteem, and ultimately lessen anxiety, another symptom of ADHD.

Prepare your environment for focused success. A common symptom of ADHD is distractibility. Adults with ADHD may be setting themselves up to fail by working with the TV on, music playing, or with other unnecessary distractions present. Choose a comfortable and quiet work environment to increase your chance of success.

Get active. Find a way to turn your extra energy into something fun and healthy. You will be more productive and able to focus.

These are just a few steps you may take to manage your adult ADHD. Having an organized routine, quiet work environment, and being active may allow adults with ADHD to manage symptoms even without medication.