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Attention deficit disorder - adults

​Attention deficit disorder begins in childhood, but may continue to adulthood.

Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is also known at attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Adults can manage the symptoms with help from a behavioral health specialist.

The Behavioral Health professionals at Marshfield Clinic provide a complete range of mental health services in a caring and confidential manner.

Treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Adults

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) starts in childhood. It may continue throughout your life. When it does, it may affect your job and even your relationships. Fortunately, with help, you can manage ADHD.

Man wearing cap and gown receiving diploma, graduating from college.
Treatment for ADHD can help you achieve your goals.

Therapy

Your therapist can help you learn healthy ways to cope with ADHD. Sometimes, your partner or family may attend your sessions with you. This helps them understand more about your disorder.

Coaching

An ADHD coach works with you to achieve your goals. You’ll learn the best ways to manage your time. You’ll also learn to avoid clutter and noise that may distract you. In time, your life will have more order and structure. And your coach will provide support and feedback on your progress.

Work

Look for jobs where you can be free and creative. Stay away from those that are dull or centered on details. You may still need to make a special effort. The following tips may help:

  • Try to work at home, at least part time.

  • Ask for a private office.

  • Use headphones to muffle noise.

  • Work on more than one project at the same time. When you get bored with one, switch to the other.

  • Work on boring tasks when you feel most alert.

  • Have a schedule for each day.

  • Ask your office assistant or secretary to help with details.

  • Use a day planner and to-do lists. Write yourself notes.

  • Reward yourself when you finish a task.

Medicines

In some cases, medicines can help control symptoms of ADHD. Your healthcare provider may prescribe a stimulant to help you stay focused. Or you may take a type of antidepressant.

It may take some time to find what works best for you. Keep in mind that medicines don’t cure ADHD. And they may cause side effects such as headaches, trouble sleeping, or stomach problems.

If you’re bothered by side effects, be sure to tell your healthcare provider. Changing the dose or type of medicine may help. Most often, you’ll use medicine along with therapy, coaching, and lifestyle changes.

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What Do You Know About ADHD?

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common mental disorder affecting millions of children. Learn more about ADHD by taking this quiz.

1. A child with ADHD may be hyperactive or inattentive, or have a combination of these.
2. ADHD often runs in families.
3. Children with ADHD may have symptoms begin at age 11.
4. The most common type of medicine used to treat ADHD is a stimulant.
5. Behavior therapy can help a child with ADHD.