ADHD and ADD Articles

ADHD Experts Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Manage Procrastination

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

ADHD Experts Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Manage ProcrastinationFor people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), procrastination tends to be a stubborn problem. “I don’t know anyone with ADHD where procrastination is not an issue,” said Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

That’s because this is the nature of ADHD and its neurological underpinnings. It’s difficult for the brain of someone with ADHD to get stimulated unless the activity is interesting, there are major consequences or there is a sense of urgency, he said.

“For people with ADHD, there are two time zones: Now and Not Now. If it is not happening now, the ADD-er will tend to procrastinate until it gets closer to the ‘Now’ zone.”

The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned in Managing My ADHD

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The Biggest Lesson I've Learned in Managing My ADHDADHD tends to make every aspect of life that much more challenging. Because attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) impairs the executive functions of the brain, individuals struggle with processing information, paying attention and prioritizing tasks. Naturally, this affects them at work and at home.

People with ADHD also often struggle with relationships and a sinking self-esteem. Fortunately, ADHD is treatable. And many people are able to lead fulfilling, productive lives.

In fact, most of the psychotherapists I interview for my articles on ADHD have the disorder. So in addition to helping others with ADHD succeed, these experts live with the same symptoms and types of challenges on a daily basis.

It’s why we wanted to know the biggest and most important lesson they’ve learned in managing their own ADHD. Below you’ll find their insight.

8 Ways to Help Kids with ADHD Succeed in School

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

8 Ways to Help Kids with ADHD Succeed in SchoolKids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurobiological disorder characterized by inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, tend to have a harder time in school because of the disorder.

“Research suggests that children with ADHD exhibit deficits in cognitive and achievement testing, lower grades, and an increased use of special education services in comparison with the general population,” said Jacqueline Iseman, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Potomac, Maryland.

Kids with ADHD also are more likely to need tutoring, repeat a grade or have learning difficulties, she added. So how can you help them do well in school?

The Problem with Labeling Children with a Psychiatric Disorder

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Problem with Labeling Children with a Psychiatric DisorderThe way we label children who do poorly in school has taken a dramatic turn — in many ways for the better, in some ways for the worse.

In yesteryear, kids who didn’t perform well in school would have been labeled as no-good, lazy, defiant, incorrigible, or just plain stupid. They would be disciplined by being shamed, blamed, hit, scolded, punished, ridiculed or simply written off as hopeless cases.

Progress has been made. For the most part, we have eliminated such verbal and physical abuse. But we still must question the progress that’s been made when we replace the old labels with psychiatric diagnoses that refer to kids as ‘disordered’ or ‘disabled.’

8 Strategies for Navigating Common Conversation Stumbles in ADHD

Monday, August 26th, 2013

8 Strategies for Navigating Common Conversation Stumbles in ADHDPeople with ADHD have a hard time with conversation. They might get distracted and lose track of what the other person is saying. They might ramble, and monopolize the conversation, said psychotherapist Terry Matlen, ACSW.

They might interrupt. They might stand too close to the person they’re talking to. They might monitor everything they say because of past social slipups, said Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, a psychotherapist and author of several books on ADHD, including 10 Simple Solutions to Adult ADD.

The good news is that these potential stumbles have solutions. Being able to connect with others and navigate social situations takes learning a few new tools and practicing them regularly.

8 Pointers for Preventing Procrastination for Adults with ADHD

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

8 Pointers for Preventing Procrastination for Adults with ADHDPeople with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are especially prone to procrastination.

That’s because the executive functions of the brain, which are responsible for processing and organizing information, “along with other tasks involving inhibition and self-regulation of behavior,” are impaired, noted Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, a psychotherapist and author of several books on ADHD, including 10 Simple Solutions to Adult ADD: How to Overcome Distraction & Accomplish Your Goals.

This makes it tougher to separate tasks into smaller steps. Starting projects, therefore, becomes very overwhelming, she said.

ADHD Tip: 5 Tricks to Manage Time Wasters

Friday, August 16th, 2013

ADHD Tip: 5 Tricks to Manage Time Wasters For many of us, managing time is tricky, especially thanks to the pull of technology. Everything is simply a click or keyword away. Maybe you even do what I do: You decide to be strict with yourself, and pledge to hyper-focus on your project.

You close Twitter and email on your computer. Maybe you use a program that blocks the Internet in hopes of getting at least 30 minutes of work done, distraction-free.

But then your mind starts to wander, and so does your hand. Before you know it, you’re checking said Twitter and email on your smartphone. Somehow Instagram and Feedly get checked, as well.

9 Tips to Boost Work Performance for Adults with ADHD

Monday, August 12th, 2013

9 Tips to Boost Work Performance for Adults with ADHD“The world of work can be especially frustrating for adults with ADHD,” according to Abigail Levrini, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and co-author of the book Succeeding with Adult ADHD with Frances Prevatt, Ph.D.

That’s because the symptoms of ADHD can make many tasks at work that much more difficult. For instance, inattention can lead to careless mistakes, incomplete projects, late arrivals and misplaced paperwork, she said.

Impulsivity can strain relationships with colleagues or supervisors and feed a short fuse. In fact, adults with ADHD tend to “report more conflict with supervisors and are more likely to receive disciplinary actions,” Levrini said. Adults also might impulsively say yes to projects they can’t accomplish, she said.

Successfully Starting the College Semester When You Have ADHD

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Successfully Starting the College Semester When You Have ADHDThe first week of a new school year is exciting and busy: moving in, adjusting to a new schedule, and making new friends or connecting with old.

Even the start of the second semester has its excitement with a new schedule, new classes, and new expectations.

In the midst of it all, it’s important to make sure you are ready to get off to a solid start academically.

If you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), here are some tips in four key areas to help you get ready, get set, and go into a great semester!

Access to Treatment is the Best Way to Fight Stigma

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Access to Treatment is the Best Way to Fight StigmaToday, I was slapped in the face by a stranger and made to feel less than human. Today, I was marginalized and discriminated against. Today, I felt the weight of an extremist opinion. Although it was just one ignorant person, I know there are more of the same out there, and something must be done.

On Twitter (@unsuicide), I share suicide prevention resources and ways to find help. Recently I’ve also been sharing the National Association of Broadcasters‘ newly launched anti-stigma mental health awareness campaign, OK2Talk.

It’s a series of PSAs and a web site aimed at youth, encouraging them to open up about issues. I thought I was preaching to the choir a bit with my followers, people who are mostly either mental health consumers or professionals, or who have an interest in mental health promotion and suicide prevention.

Imagine my shock, then, when someone replied to say there should be a law to segregate people who have been unstable from the rest of the population.

People like me.

Stretch Your Child’s Brain: Summer Fun with Executive Functioning

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Stretch Your Child's Brain: Summer Fun with Executive Functioning“Our doctor just told me that my son has ‘executive functioning’ disorder,” a mother recently commented. “What is it? What can I do?”

Executive function disorder is an unofficial diagnosis characterized by challenges in following directions, difficulties with planning, organization, and goal-setting, and poor follow-through. Executive functioning challenges are common among people with ADHD, and some experts, including Thomas E. Brown, author of Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults now think that ADHD is, in fact, primarily a disorder of executive functions.

Helping a child with executive functioning challenges works best when expectations are clear and tasks are taught gradually in a step-by-step fashion. The Smart but Scattered books by Dawson and Guare are an excellent guide to this process.

But building executive functioning skills in your child with ADD is not all hard work. Hey, it’s summer! Let’s explore how building executive functioning skills can also be lots of fun!

ADHD in Adults: 5 Tips for Taming Impulsivity

Monday, July 8th, 2013

ADHD in Adults: 5 Tips for Taming ImpulsivityIn people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), being impulsive is often one of the more challenging symptoms.

“[I]mpulsivity is one of the core symptoms of ADHD,” according to Terry Matlen, ACSW, a psychotherapist and author of Survival Tips for Women with AD/HD.

It’s also “one of the more challenging aspects to treat and manage,” said Carol Perlman, Ph.D, a psychologist who specializes in ADHD and developed a cognitive behavioral therapy for adult ADHD.

Impulsivity can manifest in many different ways in adults with ADHD. In fact, it can range from seemingly benign to more dangerous behaviors.

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