ADHD in Adults: Behavioral Strategies

Overview

Behavioral strategies are not meant to treat the symptoms of ADHD, such as inattention, overactivity, or impulsivity. But they can help you be more organized and have healthy interpersonal relationships. Here are some ideas you can try.

  • Get organized.

    Find a daily organizer or planner that fits your needs. Write notes in your organizer about your appointments and other things you need to remember.

  • Decrease distractions.

    Your surroundings can be an important part of being organized. Set up your work area so that there are fewer distractions. You may find using headphones or a "white noise" machine helpful. If you're a college student, try to arrange a quiet living situation, such as a single dormitory room.

  • Stop and think.

    If you are impulsive, train yourself to stop and think before you act. If you tend to blurt out statements that you later regret, train yourself to write down the statement and think about whether it should be said out loud. If you have a problem with your temper, use this same "stop and think" method. If this does not work, talk with a health professional.

  • Work on relationships.

    Social skills training can help you relate to family, friends, and coworkers. Also, marital counseling or family therapy can greatly improve your family relationships and overall family function.

  • Find substitute behaviors for hyperactivity.

    Think ahead about situations where you think you may feel restless, and plan ways to keep yourself moving without affecting others. For example, take notes during meetings instead of fidgeting.

  • Seek help.

    Learn as much as you can about ADHD and how its symptoms affect your life. Explore the internet to find organizations for helpful information about the condition. Ask a doctor about local resources or books that may be helpful.

Credits

Current as of: June 16, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics

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