How do I manage my ADHD?
> 6/27/2005 11:05:28 PM

The main forms of managing and treating ADHD is through behavioral strategies and medication.  For some people, one or the other may be enough.  However,studies have shown that the way to manage ADHD that has been shown tohave the strongest and enduring effect is through both medication andbehavioral strategies. 

Why, if I’m taking medication, do I need behavioral strategies?

Medicationis not a “magic pill,” it works to help with the physical aspects ofADHD, such as feeling less fidgety, hyper, and “more balanced.”  Peoplewho take medication also sometimes describe the “foggy” or “veiled”feelings that they have when they attempt to focus to be less strong. 

Whilemedication can be extremely helpful in that regard, a person with ADHDhas also spent many years acting in a certain way with the ADHD,essentially developing bad work habits, and habits are not affected bythe use of medication.  This is where behavioral strategies come into play.  Behavioralstrategies target the bad work habits and concentrate on developingmore productive habits that take into account a person’s strengths andweaknesses, including the difficulties with attention and concentrationthat arise from the ADHD. 

 Then why, with behavioral strategies, is medication helpful? 

AsI said before, medication helps with the physical aspects of ADHD,which may interfere and make it more difficult to develop better habits.  Andwhile medication allows the individual the ability to better focus ondeveloping the behavioral strategies, it also helps with the “foggy” or“veiled” feelings that behavioral strategies cannot effect.

 Suchstrategies may include various forms of organizational skills, timemanagement, money management, social skills, and so forth.  Many of these strategies may seem simplistic in nature, but are often very difficult in the execution and follow through.  Some of these strategies will be discussed in greater and more complete detail in other blogs. 

 Behavior can also vary across situations.  People with ADHD often do better

1)      in unfamiliar surroundings or with new tasks, when there is still a feeling of novelty

2)      in one-to-one situations

3)      earlier in the day when there is less fatigue.

Lily Hung Ph.D.




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