Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly associated with children, but it can persist into adulthood, affecting various aspects of life. Managing ADHD can be challenging, especially for adult women who often face unique circumstances and responsibilities.
In this blog, Dr. Hadi Estakhri, a board-certified psychiatrist at Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health in Newport Beach, California, discusses strategies and techniques for effectively managing ADHD in adult women.
Seek a professional evaluation
If you suspect you have ADHD or have been struggling with symptoms such as difficulty focusing, impulsivity, disorganization, or restlessness, it’s important to seek a professional evaluation.
Dr. Estakhri diagnoses ADHD based on your symptoms, medical history, and assessment tools. A proper diagnosis is crucial as it helps pave the way for appropriate treatment strategies.
Additionally, a professional evaluation may be used to confirm the presence of any comorbidities, which refers to multiple conditions existing at the same time. This means, for example, that if you have ADHD and anxiety, you can get the treatment you need for both conditions.
Education and self-awareness
Learn as much as you can about ADHD in adults. Understanding the unique challenges and characteristics of ADHD in adults can help you develop self-awareness and gain insights into how it affects your daily life.
Knowledge empowers you to recognize your strengths, weaknesses, and triggers, enabling you to develop effective coping mechanisms.
Medication may be a part of your ADHD management plan, but it’s not necessarily the right path for all women. Women who are pregnant, for example, may prefer to manage ADHD with non-drug solutions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention share that while the use of methylphenidate is increasing during pregnancy, some research connects the usage to an increased risk of birth defects.
That being said, Dr. Estakhri works with you to create an ADHD treatment plan specific to your needs. If medication is right for you, it can help improve focus, reduce impulsivity, and manage symptoms effectively. Our team works closely with you to find the right medication and dosage, and makes any necessary adjustments to achieve optimal results.
Therapy and coaching
Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be highly beneficial in managing ADHD. Therapy helps you develop strategies to address specific challenges related to ADHD, such as time management, organization, and emotional regulation.
Additionally, therapy and coaching sessions can provide personalized guidance, support, and accountability to help you thrive.
Structure and routine
Creating structure and implementing routines can significantly benefit individuals with ADHD. Establishing consistent schedules and systems for daily activities, work, and home life helps reduce overwhelm, enhance focus, and improve productivity.
Break tasks into manageable chunks, set reminders and deadlines, and create organizational systems to keep track of appointments, to-do lists, and important documents.
Time management techniques
Time management skills are essential for effectively managing ADHD. Utilize strategies such as setting priorities, creating to-do lists, and breaking tasks into smaller, manageable steps.
Use tools like calendars, planners, or digital apps to track appointments, deadlines, and activities. Implement time-blocking techniques to allocate specific periods for different tasks and minimize distractions.
Create supportive environments
Make your environment ADHD-friendly by minimizing distractions and creating an organized space that promotes focus and productivity. Declutter regularly, establish a dedicated workspace, and use tools like noise-canceling headphones or focus-enhancing apps if necessary.
Communicate your needs with family, friends, and colleagues, and ask for their understanding and support.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can positively impact ADHD symptoms. Ensure you get regular exercise, eat a balanced diet, prioritize quality sleep, and practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation or mindfulness. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being supports optimal brain function and helps manage ADHD symptoms.
Connect with support networks, such as ADHD support groups for adult women or online communities where you can share experiences, gain insights, and receive encouragement from others facing similar challenges. Engaging with supportive individuals who understand your journey can be invaluable for managing ADHD effectively.
Remember, managing ADHD is a process that requires patience, self-compassion, and perseverance. Embrace your strengths, seek professional guidance, and implement strategies that work for you. With the right tools, support, and mindset, adult women with ADHD can lead productive and fulfilling lives.
If you need help managing ADHD, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Book an appointment with Dr. Estakhri today by calling us at 949-945-0927 or scheduling online.