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A perpetual issue in the management of adult ADHD is trying to remember to remember to use coping strategies at the time and in the places that they are needed – the point of performance. As I have noted in most of these blog posts, ADHD is not a knowledge problem but a performance problem. Even after many of the coping skills become relatively habitual, it is useful to have backup, take-away reminders that can activate skills under pressure.
“(In our work,) …perfectionism emerged as the #1 distortion in the thinking of adults with ADHD. It can play a role in the ADHD person’s sense of shame. “Everything has to be right to get started” (front end perfectionism) or else “I have to do better than others to ensure that it’s acceptable” (back end perfectionism).—J. Russell Ramsey, Ph.D., Penn Behavioral Health
Living with ADHD means you’ve got a race car brain with bicycle brakes. That’s the analogy we’ve used with our patients in our decades of clinical practice — to much success. Not only does it comprehensively sum up the realities of ADHD, but it does so in a shame-free way that restores a positive self-image. Managing ADHD symptoms, we explain, is all about strengthening those brakes – and there are a host of ways to do that.
Maintaining our sensory systems in a calm and regulated state can be challenging for anyone, and even more so for those with ADHD. Some of us process sensory input more efficiently than others, and almost all of us have some sensory quirks that are part of what makes us unique. Our senses lead us to seek out what keeps us feeling our best — clothing choices, exercise preferences, and what we eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“We started a collaborative artistic project where he had all the control. I would lie down on a huge piece of paper, and have my son pour paint over me. We would use my iPhone and Apple Watch to record the experience and take photos of the result. The benefits were threefold – I could spend more time with him, allow him much-needed independence, and subtly teach him about healthy self expression.”
“Make no mistake – ADHD symptoms in the workplace can capsize your career. If the environment isn’t right, they can make a job practically impossible. That’s why it infuriates me when people say, ‘Everybody is a little ADHD.’ Really? Do you contemplate quitting all the time? Have you actually gotten fired for your symptoms?”
Children with ADHD typically don’t respond well to delayed gratification and the promise of long-term benefits. With this in mind, it pays to introduce a little instant gratification into the reading process. Over time, these small wins can turn books and magazines into a lifelong habit.
“Let us not pretend that we have it all worked out. Let us be able to be vulnerable and realize when we need to ask for some extra help. And let us hope that help is there when we need it.”
Sleep problems are common for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But there are ways to improve your sleep.