The Psychological and Social Impact of ADHD in Adults

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What are some of the Psychological and Social Issues facing Adults with AD/HD?

The Psychological and Social Impact of ADHD in Adults

Many adults who have ADHD today were undiagnosed as children. That doesn't mean that children who have ADHD won't outgrow it. The way that ADHD manifests itself in anyone may vary greatly. The only way that adults who have ADHD can learn to live with it and do so successfully is by getting a proper diagnosis. That usually requires undergoing a lengthy process of psychological testing by a psychologist who specializes in this type of testing. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, then you can figure out how to proceed.

ADHD isn't a one size fits all disorder, so those who have the diagnosis don't always have the same symptoms, so naturally, they won't face the same issues. Some adults who suffer from ADHD may have co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses, so working with a psychiatrist and/or psychologist who is experienced at treating adults with ADHD is essential. If medication is the right thing for you, be patient and let the medication take effect, and be sure you're well aware of all of the warnings associated with the drug regarding the use of other substances and operating machinery or driving.

Learn to Be Well Organized

Make lists, check them numerous times. Use post it notes, whiteboards or anything else to remind yourself of things you need to remember. Your smartphone can also remind you of things like the date on which to pay bills, the date and time of appointments, dates with friends and more. Learning to use lists to your advantage, especially to do lists, will help you learn to better organize your time.


If you're like most adults with ADHD, you're easily distracted, so doing all of your housework on one day may not work well for you. That's okay. Schedule your chores on different days so you aren't overwhelmed by the magnitude of what you've got to do. Doing fewer things, doing them well and completing them is much more important than trying to get things done too quickly.

Think Before Acting or Speaking

Impulsivity is one of the predominant characteristics of ADHD, both in men and women. Train yourself to think about things you're doing whenever those impulsive urges come on. If you've got the urge to buy something, think about whether or not it's really necessary, whether or not you can afford it, and whether you've paid all of your other bills for the month. If you work to avoid acting impulsively, you'll also find that you're not as bad at managing money as you thought. Keep track of what you spend and what you spend it on. If you have to account to yourself for every purchase you make, you'll be more thoughtful about all of the purchases you make .

Don't Lash Out at People

Frustration is a constant reality for adults who have ADHD. Lashing out at people will not get the desired results, and you may hurt someone badly - unintentionally. Learn to communicate about what's going on. Tell people when you're frustrated and talk about it. Instead of reacting without thinking, take the time to step back.

There's no reason that adults who have ADHD can't live fulfilling lives, complete with meaningful relationships with partners, friends, spouses and other family members. Coping with ADHD as an adult is all about learning, and each person has to figure out what works best for them. Don't discount the benefits of therapy, because it can really help you acquire better coping skills.



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