Living with ADHD: Lifestyle Adjustments and Treatment Options

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological, psychological, and psychiatric condition impacting millions of people. It can be characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, or a combination of both. It is often first diagnosed in childhood and can have a detrimental impact on one’s wellbeing if left untreated. Many people are left undiagnosed due to lack of access to care, lack of education regarding the disorder, and unfortunate stigma related to seeking treatment.

If you or a loved one are struggling with symptoms of ADHD, talking to a provider at Sacred Psychiatric may be a good place to started. ADHD treatment may be warranted depending on the impairment caused by symptoms.

What are the Common Symptoms?

As mentioned above, ADHD may be split into hyperactivity, inattention, or a combination of both. Hyperactivity is often observed in young children, while inattention is prominent in adults.

Symptoms of inattention include: Difficulty sustaining attention, frequent mistakes in tasks, forgetfulness, disorganization, misplacing things, difficulty in following instructions, and zoning out in conversations.

Symptoms of hyperactivity include: fidgeting, difficulty remaining seated, excessive talking, interrupting others, and struggling to take turns.

When left untreated, it can worsen anxiety disorders causing additional strain on one’s mental health. It is crucial that an extensive history is obtained, feedback from family members (when permitted) be considered, as well as undergoing neuropsychological testing to rule out an ADHD diagnosis versus another mental health disorder.

In today’s fast paced environments and dependence on electronic use, symptoms of ADHD may be worsened. Though studies on the effects of screen time on ADHD symptoms have been limited, excessive use of electronics has been associated with the physical and psychological adverse consequences including poor sleep, decreased social coping, and increased ADHD symptoms. It’s important to note that chronic sleep impairment or persistent anxiety symptoms can worsen one’s attention.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Living with ADHD can be very difficult. In the disorder, there is impairment in the norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitters. Lower levels of these neurotransmitters can result in low motivation, trouble with initiating or completing tasks, or distractibility which can all be mistaken for laziness or uncaring traits. This can be very frustrating for the individual with symptoms or loved ones who may not understand why the individual has such difficulty with simple day to day tasks. Along with medication management, behavioral and lifestyle modifications can significantly improve one’s daily functioning. Here are some adjustments to consider:

  • Routine and Structure: Establishing a daily routine can significantly help manage ADHD symptoms. Creating a structured schedule for work, school, and leisure activities can reduce feelings of chaos and increase productivity.
  • Organization Tools: Utilizing planners, calendars, and to-do lists can help keep track of tasks and responsibilities. Digital tools like smartphone apps can provide reminders and alerts, aiding in time management.
  • Workspace Optimization: A well-organized and clutter-free workspace can minimize distractions. Use tools like noise-canceling headphones or background music to improve focus in noisy environments.
  • Minimize Distractions: Identify and reduce sources of distraction in your environment. This might include turning off unnecessary notifications on electronic devices, setting specific times for checking emails, or creating a quiet study area.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep are crucial for managing ADHD. Physical activity can reduce hyperactivity and improve concentration, while a nutritious diet and proper rest support overall brain function.
  • If you are struggling with ADHD symptoms and feel that there has been an impairment in your functioning, it may be best to speak to a psychiatrist in San Diego to review your symptoms and discuss treatment options.


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