It can be overwhelming to receive a mental health diagnosis as an adult, especially one like ADHD. You’ve had to find ways to make things work in a world that’s not very suited to how your brain works, or your ADHD symptoms were attributed to anxiety or downplayed as forgetfulness or disorganization. Now that you have a diagnosis, here’s how you move forward with new information.
What Should I Know About My Adult ADHD Diagnosis?
If you suspect you have ADHD, talk to your primary care doctor or therapist and ask for an ADHD screening. There’s a lot of information out there about ADHD, how to treat it, and what the symptoms are. It’s essential to stay educated about ADHD so you understand your symptoms and challenges, and it’s equally important to get that information from a professional who understands ADHD. Talk to a medical or mental health professional for help understanding your diagnosis. A qualified therapist can help you develop coping strategies and manage other mental health conditions, so get out there and ask questions. Some questions to consider:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the different kinds of medication for ADHD?
- What are the pros and cons of ADHD medication?
- Are there non-medicated treatment options?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to help me with my ADHD?
- Do I have any co-occurring diagnoses like anxiety that may benefit from therapy?
- What other resources should I look into?
- Do you recommend any support groups or networks?
The more you know about ADHD and your treatment options, the more you can actively participate in your treatment and see relief from ADHD symptoms. Don’t hesitate to speak up and advocate for your needs, whether talking to a therapist, doctor, professor, or employer if you need their assistance in mitigating the symptoms of your ADHD.
Accommodations for Adult ADHD
If you notice your ADHD symptoms, like problems with time management, trouble remembering information, and trouble focusing, are impacting your ability to concentrate at work or school, reach out to your employer or school counselor and ask for accommodations. These are standard tools that many people use to mitigate their ADHD. Some standard ADHD accommodations are:
Academic Accommodations for ADHD:
- Written instructions from the professor
- Recorded lectures
- Extended time on assignments or tests
- Specific office hours with tutors or academic support
Workplace Accommodations for ADHD:
- Alternative work schedules
- Intermittent breaks or following a timed work-to-break ratio schedule
- A private workspace
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Permission to mute chats and emails to prevent distraction
- Extended deadlines on projects
Lifestyle Changes For ADHD
Recognize that you’ll need to start making lifestyle changes to manage your ADHD. Some lifestyle changes include:
- Establishing a healthy sleep routine and minimizing screens before bed to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Being realistic about your hours in a day. Don’t overcommit to tasks and responsibilities. If something feels overwhelming or you know you don’t have the time to help your neighbor move their couch, it’s okay to say no.
- Keeping a distraction-free and clean workspace.
- Using technology to help out, like noise-canceling headphones and website blockers to keep you focused on the task at hand and not scrolling through social media. Consider using a meditation app to help improve your attention and reduce impulsivity or a productivity app to help you stay focused and organized.
- Exercising regularly to burn off excess energy helps you stay focused and sleep better.
- If you’re taking medication to manage your ADHD, look into using medication reminder apps or set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take your medication until it becomes a regular habit.
ADHD Treatment in San Jose & Los Gatos, CA
It can be jarring to receive an adult ADHD diagnosis. Living with ADHD can make daily life frustrating and stressful, and receiving a diagnosis can be a relief just as much as it can feel like a burden. Now, you can understand your diagnosis better, its benefits, treatment options, and challenges. It’s essential to be patient with yourself as you work through this new diagnosis. If you don’t know your next steps in navigating your adult ADHD diagnosis, reach out and schedule an appointment.
If you suspect you have ADHD or have been newly diagnosed, the professional, caring team at Lumos Psychiatric is here to offer help, guidance, and support. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive mental health services. Contact us today and take your first step toward healing. We have convenient locations in San Jose, CA, and Los Gatos, CA.