If you are an adult who has finally been accurately diagnosed with ADHD after a lifetime of struggles, frustration, and self-doubt, the ADHD diagnosis can be the first step in initiating the healing process. Often a great burden is lifted as things finally begin to make more sense. As you learn more about ADHD, you can reframe issues with more clarity. You are not lazy and unmotivated. You are not slow or unintelligent. You are not weak, flawed, or damaged.

What Is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurobiological condition that impairs an individual’s ability to modulate attention and control impulses and behaviors. ADHD can significantly impede daily functioning and may result in difficulties focusing, maintaining and shifting attention, planning, prioritizing, organizing and managing time. It may lead to chronic forgetfulness, problems managing finances and paperwork, low tolerance for frustration, feelings of restlessness, impulsive reactions, anger management issues, low self-esteem, problems with decision making, chronic procrastination, sleep difficulties, work stressors, and broken or hurt relationships.

Start Readjusting Your Negative Thoughts

Obviously, these struggles can take their toll. Now that you are learning more about ADHD, you can begin to look at your life in a different light. Take some time to readjust the negative messages you have been internalizing. Correct them in your head. Use self-talk to turn these damaging misperceptions into corrected positive messages about yourself. Rebuild your self-confidence one step at a time. You will have setbacks. Expect this. It is so easy to fall back into the negative self-talk when things begin to feel overwhelming and stressed. Make a conscious effort to catch yourself if this occurs.

Actively Engage in Treatment

Partner with your health care provider to develop an effective treatment plan. Actively engage in treatment. Your plan may include a multitude of approaches to help you manage the symptoms of ADHD — continued education about ADHD and the way it impacts your life, organizational strategies, restructuring your environment, medication, developing healthy sleep and diet habits, improving self-care, ADHD coaching to help implement and reinforce new strategies, counseling to help address any feelings of depression, anxiety, etc.

Be Hopeful

You can regain control over your life. Be hopeful. This hope can help you to turn your life around. As you become more and more knowledgeable about ADHD and its impact on your life, educate your loved ones, too so they can better understand. Communicate with them. They can be a support to you as you make these positive changes. Life will feel better soon. You have already taken the first step by following through with the ​ADHD evaluation to determine what had been causing the problems in your life. Give yourself a pat on the back for this major accomplishment and now begin to look forward with optimism.

By Keath Low

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