ADHD – How To Tell And What To Do About It
As a professional organizer, it’s pretty common to be contacted by people who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD. Typical characteristics include disorganization, difficulty paying attention and completing tasks, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. ADHD frequently appears in childhood and is a neurological disorder that doesn’t usually cease with time, but the symptoms may change as we get older. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 30 to 70 percent of children with ADHD have symptoms as adults.
I’ve discovered that many adults I’ve worked with have never been diagnosed (or treated) for ADHD symptoms, but have struggled for years without the help or support they need to manage their lives effectively. This can have a significant impact in many aspects of their lives – relationships, careers and even personal safety.
If you think you may have ADHD, here’s a helpful Adult ADHD Symptom Checklist that can be completed, which may suggest an in-depth professional assessment is in order. If four or more marks appear in the darkly shaded boxes in Part A, these symptoms are highly consistent of adults with ADHD. If this is you, the first thing is to talk to your personal physician to eliminate other possible causes for your symptoms and difficulties. Request a referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist or other knowledgeable professional who specializes in the treatment of ADHD.
If you find that you do, in fact, have ADHD, educate yourself and others around you about how it’s affecting your life. There are many great resources out there – websites, articles, books, seminars – to learn more. Here are just a few I can recommend:
It’s very important to get the type of support that works best for you. It could be in the form of a support group or individual therapy to develop coping skills for success. Many people have found that working with a professional organizer who understands ADHD has a positive impact in helping to manage their personal and/or business lives. The important thing is to get the type of non-judgmental support needed to successfully manage your life.
Finally, some people with ADHD can benefit from medication, as it can help the brain function more normally. Medication can be a tool to help you stay focused on a task, but will never replace learning the skills needed to improve performance and success.
If you or someone you know could benefit from working with a professional organizer to provide the structure, accountability and hands-on help to accomplish realistic goals in a home environment, we hope you’ll reach out to us at Real Order Professional Organizing. We’re here to help!