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Treating ADHD Feels Like a Full-Time Job

April 3, 2019 Noelle Matteson

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Treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can feel like having a full-time job. In fact, I find it difficult to navigate a “regular” job while also figuring out how best to treat my ADHD. If being a parent to the child with ADHD feels like a full-time job and then some,1 it’s safe to say that having ADHD as an adult can also feel overwhelming.

Treating ADHD Feels Hard When Finding the Best Providers and Medication

Most doctors and therapists have hours that coincide with the typical workweek. Many jobs are not flexible enough to allow regular appointments with providers. When I have been able to take off time for ADHD therapy, the stress of scheduling and making up lost work hours sometimes canceled out the benefits of therapy.

In addition, finding the right therapists and doctors can feel like a treasure hunt when treating ADHD. The search involves self-trust and persistence. It also requires quite a bit of trial and error, which can be tedious and tiring. Ultimately, you have to trust your instincts and do only what you are capable of doing. For example, seeing a decent but not “perfect” therapist might be better than seeing no therapist at all.

Treating ADHD feels like trial and error when it comes to testing medications. There are so many options when it comes to ADHD medications: stimulants or nonstimulants, extended or instant release, brand or off-brand, and methylphenidate (Adderall) or dextroamphetamine (Ritalin).2 Depending on one's individual chemistry, certain ADHD drugs will wear off too early or have too many side effects, while others might work only at specific doses.

Treating ADHD Feels Boring: Self-Care and Testing ADHD Strategies

Then there are the strategies we employ on a regular basis. Many of those with ADHD need structure but find it boring. Balancing structure and freedom is a real challenge. Recently, I have been searching for ADHD strategies by reading articles, listening to podcasts, and going to groups. These resources remind me that other ADHDers have gone down similar paths and succeeded and that I do not have to do things the way everyone else does. These resources give me the strength I need to trust my own abilities to find out what works best for me.

Something else important for ADHDers is the now-popular act (or, at least, term) “self-care.” We tend to be quite reactive and emotional, but I am not always aware of my emotions--until they explode. Because of this, I am trying to take time to connect with my body and feelings, which can involve journaling, reading, and exercising, even for a few minutes. Being in a better emotional state makes treating ADHD much more manageable.

Please let me know in the comments how you find treating ADHD feels and how you juggle the many professionals, medications, and strategies that come with treating ADHD. Thank you for reading.

Sources

  1. Marner, Kay, “The ADHD Juggling Act.” ADDitude, accessed Mar. 2019.
  2. Silver, Larry, “ADHD or ADD Medications for Adults and Children.” ADDitude, accessed Apr. 2019.

APA Reference
Matteson, N. (2019, April 3). Treating ADHD Feels Like a Full-Time Job, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingwithadultadhd/2019/4/treating-adhd-feels-like-a-full-time-job



Author: Noelle Matteson

Find Noelle on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and her blog.

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