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How to deal with adult ADD (Attention deficit disorder)

Attention deficit disorder

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is not very uncommon among adults and can be chaotic and frustrating for the individual suffering from ADD and also those around him. Follow these simple tips to deal with adult ADD better.

Educate yourself and others

Before you start dealing with the ADD issue, it is important to fully understand what ADD is all about. A person may develop symptoms of ADD even if he didn’t show any signs during childhood. Therefore, the first thing to do is to consult a specialist and confirm the diagnosis especially because many of the symptoms of ADD such as depression, anxiety and so on could be attributed to other ailments as well. Reading books, surfing the internet for information on ADD, talking with other people who have ADD can also help you in understanding and learning more about this disorder. Involve your family members and close friends in this and also make them understand ADD because it will help them to understand and help you better.


People with ADD are inattentive, poor listeners, disorganized and lack proper social and emotional skills. For an outsider, an ADD person can seem flaky, defiant and disrespectful. However, this is far from true as people with ADD have a tough time controlling their thoughts, speech and emotions. You must show empathy towards ADD people and understand their limitations and challenges. Encouraging them in their day to day tasks will help them get over any embarrassing feelings, low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Show them that you care and will be there for them and assist them to remove all kinds of negativity that they have associated with ADD. Make them realize that having ADD does not make them a lesser person. Point out their strengths and encourage them to work upon them successfully.

Diet, exercise and time management

Eating food rich in a variety of nutrients is very important for ADD people. Also, their diet should be free from or at least low in sugary foods. This helps regulate and prevent major mood swings. Exercising regularly is also important as it helps burn off the excess energy which is the main cause of inattentiveness and restlessness. Channeling this energy through exercise or meditation in a positive direction calms the body and helps the ADD individual in staying focused. Setting deadlines for daily activities by using timers helps in better time management. Color-coding, writing down reminders, filing documents neatly and so on can help ADD people manage their personal and professional tasks more efficiently.

Therapy and medication

Therapy can be very helpful for ADD people in dealing with their emotional and social issues. ADD individuals experience underachievement, failure and relationship conflicts which can result in low self-esteem and feelings of shame and embarrassment. It can also create havoc in relationships with friends and family members. Talk therapy can help these people overcome their shame and fear, and counseling can help them address relationship issues. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be most successful of all therapies in treating ADD. However, therapies alone will not help cure ADD; medication is equally important. Make sure that you take medication that is prescribed by your doctor as some medicines for ADD are known to have serious side effects.

Professional coaching and support groups

In addition to medication and therapies, professional coaching is also important if you want to deal with ADD successfully. This type of coaching is different from therapy in the sense that it does not focus much on the social and emotional aspects as therapy does. Instead, it focuses on making the ADD individual capable of handling day-to-day issues. It teaches strategies for organizing thoughts and actions, prioritizing tasks, and streamlining activities. Apart from this, joining a support group will also help you in dealing with ADD. Sharing your own experiences and learning those of others places you in a better position to deal with the shortcomings associated with ADD.

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