Photo Credit: Epoxydude/Getty Images
Adult ADHD Can Be Treated
The same stimulant medications used to help children focus can help adults with ADHD, too, says Dr. Quinn. They work by activating the part of the brain that tells us to stop and think before we do something. “The medication helps you pay attention, but it doesn’t teach you a new behavior,” she says.
For that, she tells her ADHD patients to hire a professional organizer and life coach who can help you set goals and give you accountability in meeting them. Regular exercise and getting outside can also help improve focus and reduce hyperactivity. Dr. Quinn also suggests making sure you’re well-rested, because sleep deprivation can make it harder to focus.
ADHD is never “cured,” though about 40 percent of patients’ symptoms are either not severe enough to cause problems or they’ve developed effective coping mechanisms, says Dr. Quinn. These coping skills are sometimes learned during behavioral therapy, but often people simply figure out ways around their disorder--hiring a secretary to keep them on schedule, or as Greenberg does, pasting notes on the wall because a visual cue helps them remember things. But if your symptoms meet the ADHD diagnostic criteria--persistent (existing since childhood), pervasive (affecting several areas of your life) and impairing your relationships or career, then treatment could really help you.
Have you ever thought your distractedness might be a symptom of adult ADHD? Chime in below!