Living With ADHD
July 8, 2024

Living with ADHD: Practical Advice and Resources

Living with ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, presents a unique set of challenges that demand comprehensive strategies and understanding. Recognised as a neurodevelopment disorder, ADHD affects an individual's ability to focus, control impulses, and maintain energy levels, significantly impacting daily functioning and quality of life. This article sheds light on the critical aspects of living with ADHD and underscores the necessity of actionable advice and robust support networks to navigate its complexities successfully.

The subsequent sections delve into understanding ADHD in adults, providing readers with practical tips for managing the disorder and outlining resources and support systems available. Additionally, the article will explore various coping mechanisms and therapies that can aid individuals in adapting to and overcoming the hurdles posed by ADHD. Each segment is designed to offer valuable insights and actionable recommendations, aiming to empower those affected by ADHD with the knowledge and tools required for a productive and fulfilling life.

Understanding ADHD in Adults

Defining ADHD

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is recognized as a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by a consistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness that diverges from the developmental expectations of an individual [1]. It is not merely a result of laziness or a lack of intelligence but stems from differences in brain processing of information and stimuli [1].

Common Symptoms

Adults with ADHD may exhibit a range of symptoms that can significantly affect their daily activities and relationships. These include persistent problems such as difficulty in maintaining attention, excessive activity or restlessness, and impulsive behaviour that can lead to unstable relationships and poor performance at work or school [2]. Symptoms vary widely among individuals, but common issues include disorganization, poor time management skills, trouble focusing on tasks, excessive activity, and mood swings [2] [3]. For many, hyperactivity becomes more subtle and internal with age, manifesting as a feeling of being driven by a motor [3].

Impact on Daily Life

The pervasive effects of ADHD in adults can lead to numerous challenges in everyday functioning. The inability to focus and prioritize can result in missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social plans, which often leads to frustration and lowered self-esteem [2]. Managing daily tasks can become overwhelming, and adults with ADHD may struggle with maintaining focus on work or studies, which exacerbates difficulties with executive function associated with the disorder [1]. Additionally, the symptoms of ADHD can complicate personal and professional relationships, often leading to a negative self-image and a sense of


Practical Tips for Managing ADHD

Organisational Strategies

Individuals living with ADHD can enhance their organisational skills by adopting simple yet effective strategies. Judith Kolberg highlights the importance of embracing imperfection in the organisation, noting that organisational tools and methods should adapt to life's unpredictable nature [4]. Creating a structured environment with designated spots for frequently used items, such as keys and wallets, can significantly reduce daily chaos [5]. For instance, establishing a 'launch pad' area where essentials are kept can streamline the process of leaving the house [4]. Additionally, maintaining a clutter-free workspace is crucial, as it minimises distractions and aids in focusing on tasks [6].

Time Management

Effective time management is critical for individuals with ADHD, who often struggle with executive functions related to planning and prioritizing. Setting alarms and using electronic reminders can help in managing time more effectively [4] [7]. Dr Michael Manos suggests integrating time management tools like daily planners and digital reminder systems to keep track of tasks and deadlines [8]. Moreover, breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps and scheduling them can prevent feelings of overwhelm and enhance productivity [5] [7].

Minimizing Distractions

Minimizing distractions is essential for maintaining focus, especially for those with ADHD who are easily sidetracked by environmental stimuli. Techniques such as the Pomodoro method, which involves working in focused time blocks separated by short breaks, can improve concentration and task completion [5]. Additionally, creating a distraction-free workspace by limiting unnecessary digital and environmental noise can aid in maintaining focus on the tasks at hand [9] [6]. For personal accountability, having a trusted partner to help stay on track throughout the day can be beneficial [6].

Resources and Support Systems

Support Groups

Individuals living with ADHD have access to a variety of support groups that provide community, shared experiences, and resources. For example, ADHD Foundation Australia and ADHD Foundation UK collaborate to offer psychoeducative interventions and psychological therapies, enhancing the support network available to individuals and families dealing with ADHD [10]. Similarly, ADHD Support Australia hosts monthly speaker evenings and workshops, providing ongoing education and community support [11].

ADHD Support Group Penrith Area and Melbourne ADHD Community Group are examples of local support initiatives that offer peer-to-peer support and resources tailored to the needs of those with ADHD in specific regions [11] [12].

Therapists and Coaches

For those seeking more personalised support, therapists and ADHD coaches are invaluable resources. Therapists often focus on mental health aspects and emotional challenges, which are crucial since ADHD frequently coexists with other mental health issues.

[13] [14]. ADHD coaches, on the other hand, assist individuals in developing practical strategies to manage daily challenges and improve overall life management [14]. The Divergent Edge offers a unique service by combining the benefits of ADHD coaching and counselling, tailored to the individual's needs [15].

Organisations like the Professional Association for ADHD Coaches (PACC) provide certifications to ADHD coaches, ensuring they have met specific training and experience requirements, which is essential for effective coaching [14].

Online Resources

The internet offers a wealth of information and support through various online resources. ADDitude magazine serves as a comprehensive online resource center that provides advice and support for adults and parents living with ADHD [10]. VeryWell Mind offers an extensive library of articles written by healthcare professionals that cover a wide range of mental health topics, including ADHD [10].

Additionally, platforms like BetterHelp and Amwell provide online therapy sessions with licensed professionals who specialize in ADHD, making mental health support accessible from the comfort of one's home [16]. These platforms also offer tools and resources to practice skills discussed in therapy sessions, which is particularly beneficial for managing ADHD symptoms [16].

Coping Mechanisms and Therapies

Medication Options

Medication remains a cornerstone of treatment for adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), offering symptomatic relief for many individuals. Stimulants are commonly prescribed and work by enhancing and balancing neurotransmitters in the brain [17]. Non-stimulants and antidepressants are alternatives for those who may experience side effects or for whom stimulants are ineffective [17]. It is important for individuals to work closely with their healthcare provider to find the most effective medication and dosage [17].

Behavioural Therapy

Behavioural therapy is an essential component of a comprehensive ADHD treatment plan. It involves techniques to improve time

management, organizational skills, and problem-solving abilities [18]. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), specifically tailored for ADHD, helps individuals manage ineffective behaviours and thought patterns, enhancing their ability to cope with everyday challenges [19][20][21]. This therapy is beneficial not only for managing core ADHD symptoms but also for addressing associated emotional and interpersonal issues [19].

Alternative Treatments

In addition to medication and behavioural therapies, several alternative treatments can support individuals with ADHD. These include dietary modifications, exercise, and mindfulness practices [22][23]. While some studies suggest benefits from omega-3 supplements and restricted diets, the evidence is mixed [22]. Exercise and mindfulness, such as yoga and meditation, have shown promise in improving focus and reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity [22][23]. Neurofeedback and cognitive training are emerging as potential tools to enhance brain function and behaviour in ADHD, although more research is needed to establish their efficacy fully [22].


Throughout this article, we've explored the multifaceted nature of living with ADHD, offering insights into its symptoms, daily life impacts, and practical management strategies, alongside highlighting the significance of support systems and resources. By delving into organizational techniques, time management, and minimizing distractions, we've laid out a roadmap to navigate the challenges posed by ADHD. Furthermore, we underscored the benefits of therapy, medication, and alternative treatments, reinforcing the idea that while ADHD presents obstacles, effective management and support can lead to a fulfilling life.

The journey of living with ADHD is personal and varied, yet the collective advice and resources provided here aim to empower individuals to take control of their lives. Emphasizing the importance of seeking support and utilizing available treatments underscores our concluding reflection: with the right strategies and support, individuals with ADHD can harness their unique strengths and thrive. As we move forward, let's continue to advocate for understanding, resources, and research to better the lives of those affected by ADHD, recognizing the value they bring to our diverse world.


What lifestyle adjustments are beneficial for adults with ADHD?

To effectively manage ADHD, it's crucial to educate yourself and your family about the condition. Staying organized is key; utilize tools like calendars, journals, or notebooks to make lists. Keep your workspace clear to minimize distractions. Additionally, joining a support group for adults with ADHD can provide valuable community and support.

How can someone with ADHD lead a normal life?

Individuals with ADHD can manage their condition by implementing organisational strategies such as making lists, using diaries, setting reminders, and allocating time for planning daily activities. Regular physical exercise is beneficial for releasing energy and maintaining focus. Techniques for relaxation, such as listening to music or practising breathing exercises, can also help manage stress.

What are the top resources available for ADHD support and information?

Several organisations offer resources and support for ADHD:

American Academy for Child and Adolescent Hereditary Psychiatry Attention Deficit Disorder Association

American Psychological Association American Psychiatric Association

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)

What are the different types of ADHD?

ADHD can manifest in various forms, each with distinct characteristics:

Type 1: Classic ADD - Includes primary symptoms of ADHD such as hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsivity.

Type 2: Inattentive ADD - Characterized by inattention without significant hyperactivity.

Type 3: Overfocused ADD - Difficulty shifting attention from one task to another. Type 4: Temporal Lobe ADD - Involves issues with memory, learning, and aggression. Type 5: Limbic ADD - Typically presents with mood instability and depression.

Type 6: Ring of Fire ADD - Describes a more severe and wide-ranging form of ADD.


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