Imagine that it’s 4:59 p.m., only one minute before your deadline. You swore you’d never put yourself in this position again, and yet you have. This isn’t your best work, and you’ll be lucky just to turn anything in. What would you do differently if you could turn back the clock?
Living with ADHD can feel like this on a daily basis, but it doesn’t have to.
For millions of adults throughout the world, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, best known as ADHD, is a persistent disorder that begins in childhood and is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, or a combination thereof. Complicating the diagnosis is that ADHD often co-occurs with, and is sometimes mistaken for, other health conditions like anxiety or substance abuse.
Because of the steady stream of negative feedback people with ADHD receive about their productivity, organizational skills and time management, some people with the disorder may have low self-esteem or feel inadequate. But rather than an intrinsic personal defect, ADHD is a treatable condition. Research shows that behavioral strategies, along with medication when necessary, can help people improve their focus and ease of functioning in daily life.
As a psychologist and an assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, I lead an adult therapy group that focuses on skills to manage ADHD. From that work, I’ve compiled numerous strategies to help anyone who has trouble harnessing their attention, whether or not they’ve received a formal ADHD diagnosis.
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