There are many ways to treat adult ADHD. It’s not just about pills and visits to the doctor’s office. What you need to keep in mind is that the option you choose should be the most comfortable for you. You are in charge of your life, and you in collaboration with your health care provider should decide the best options for you.
Medication isn’t always the answer
Medication, although an effective treatment, is not a cure for the symptoms of ADHD. While medication is helpful, its results are variable across individuals, so the same medication may produce different results in different individuals. In addition, medication may treat the symptoms of poor concentration, distractibility and hyperactivity, but it does not treat the ancillary symptoms (e.g., poor time management, disorganization) of ADHD.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether to use medication to treat ADHD:
- it works best as a supplement to other treatments
- it should be monitored closely
- there is a possibility of negative side effects
Physical activity is a powerful treatment
Regular exercise reduces adult ADHD symptoms, plus it also improves concentration, memory, mood, and motivation. Exercising boosts dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels – all linked to focus and attention.
The great thing about exercise is it doesn’t have to be done in the gym, the following will do:
- a 30-minute walk four times a week or every day for best results
- an enjoyable activity like team sports
- a nature trip (local park, a scenic spot, hiking, or trail running)
Sleep is important
Sleep difficulty is an issue that many adult ADHD sufferers face. Lack of sleep may exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. Try the following to help improve the quality of sleep:
- avoid caffeine or at least don’t consume it later in the day
- turn of all distractions (TV, computer, smartphone, etc) an hour or two before bed
- keep the bedroom dark
- set a time for bed and follow it consistently
In case your lack of sleep is caused by medication, it’s best to talk to your doctor about possible solutions.
Eating healthy helps
The key to eating healthy is preparation. Settling for fast food chains can be avoided if meals are scheduled – snacks as well. Meals or snacks should be schedule no more than three hours apart. Also, the following should be included in the diet:
- complex carbohydrates
- omega-3 fatty acids
Therapy provides solutions
Professionals trained in ADHD therapy can teach skills needed to cope with ADHD symptoms. They can also help change habits that are causing trouble.
Adult therapy also involves finding ways to manage stress and anger and controlling impulsive behavior. This is usually carried out in individual talks but there are options for marriage and family therapy as well.
Relaxation techniques are an option
A number of the symptoms associated with ADHD can be alleviated by meditation or yoga. Meditation relaxes the mind and body while yoga combines the benefits of exercise and meditation.
There are many ways to treat ADHD, with medicine not always the answer. So explore some of the above options to see if they may suit you better.
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