U-M Counseling and Psychological Services

How to help yourself From Self-Help for Adult ADD/ADHD

  • Education: The more you read about ADD/ADHD and the more you talk with other adults who have the disorder, the more insight you’ll have a but your own condition and the less alone you’ll feel.
  • External structure: Even if you think of yourself as a free spirit, managing ADD/ADHD involves a lot of scheduling, routine, and discipline. The more structure you impose on your life, the more time you’ll have for the things you love to do.
  • Internal resources: It isn’t easy to bring order out of chaos. You’ll need to be strong-willed about changing not just daily habits but fundamental ways of handling many situations. You’ll also need to learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways.
  • Support: By educating family, friends, colleagues, and other people in your life about ADD/ADHD, you can enlist them as allies in helping you maintain focus and get things done.

 

How to help a friend

  • As a friend or a concerned significant other or family member of an adult with ADD/ADHD it is important to realize that managing ADD/ADHD is largely a self-help process. Keeping that in mind, it is important to:
  • Support their efforts of managing the negative tendencies of ADD/ADHD.
  • Identify concerns you might have with how their ADD/ADHD tendencies might negatively impact their life in a gentle and supportive way.
  • Educate yourself on the condition so you are better informed as to what the condition is, and how you might support your friend.
  • Ask your friend if there is any way you can support them. Sometimes, friends are asked by the individual to point out when specific ADD/ADHD tendencies start to surface so the person with ADD/ADHD can be more aware of the patterns of their condition.