ADHD is a frustrating disorder. It wreaks havoc on a person’s ability to focus and prioritize tasks. In many cases, it can trigger hyperactivity and other physical and behavioral symptoms. It can be a major hurdle to everything from personal relationships to educational and career goals—and it can be awfully hard to understand, even to those who suffer from it. At first glance, ADHD can look like laziness, frivolity, or even disrespect. But these are myths and mistakes, and harmful ones at that.
The Truth About ADHD
The reality, of course, is that ADHD is a real mental health disorder with specific criteria for diagnosis and specific options for treatment. A person with ADHD isn’t trying to ignore important tasks; it is quite literally more difficult for them to pay attention, prioritize, schedule, and organize.
ADHD cannot be “cured” in the conventional sense, though in some instances it appears to go away on its own. (In other cases, by contrast, it may emerge in adults who did not previously appear to have it). The best way to address ADHD is to counter its symptoms and their results —and the best way to do that is to seek the help of an expert in mental health.
Mental Healthcare and Therapy
As is the case with most mental health issues, ADHD can be treated either with or without medication; in many cases, both medication and non-medication treatments are used. That can mean therapy, especially in cases when ADHD is connected to other issues (such as anxiety, depression, or both). ADHD drugs like the notorious “study drug” Adderall can also play an important role, explain experts in therapy for ADHD child.
How you approach your ADHD or your child is up to you and the mental health professional that you choose to work with. The key, of course, is that you must choose one! Just as you would turn to a doctor for help with a broken bone or an illness, so should you turn to a mental health expert when you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms related to mental health.
Organizational and Scheduling Strategies
Since ADHD’s symptoms tend to affect things like focus and time management, it becomes particularly important for people with ADHD to counter the disorder’s impulses with smart scheduling and thorough organization.
This may mean using many of the same organizational and scheduling strategies that are popular among those who do not have ADHD. But there are also strategies designed specifically for those who suffer from ADHD, including young children, high school and college students, and professionals. Working with a therapist who specializes in ADHD is a good way to discover strategies for organization, focus, and time management that cater to the specific challenges that you face.
ADHD isn’t something that can be completely conquered, but it is something that you can learn to manage consistently. Some of the most successful people in academia, the arts, and the professional world alive have suffered from ADHD, and their success is proof that ADHD does not have to limit a person’s success. Children with ADHD can go on to graduate at the top of their classes. They can study difficult subjects like medicine, electrical engineering, and advanced physics. They can write best-selling novels and create hit films and music albums. They can run for office and win. They can even win Olympic gold medals.
Those are lofty long-term goals. People with ADHD should have short-term ones, too. By setting and attaining manageable short-term goals, ADHD sufferers can create a pattern of sustained success and keep the momentum going throughout their academic and professional careers.