Helpful ADHD Tips: Educate Yourself – Why Learning About ADHD Is Important
So you’ve gotten an ADHD diagnosis and your doctor wrote you a prescription. Now you’re good, right? All those issues you’ve been having that landed you in the doctor’s office in the first place, they’re just going to go away now, right?
Not so fast.
While the majority of clinicians do advocate for ADHD meds as an effective treatment option, most experts agree that ADHD medication alone is not enough to completely mitigate ADHD symptoms. (And if you ask any ADHD person on meds, they’ll tell you it’s not a cure-all even on the right meds and the right dosage.) You need a strong support system also.
This might include a coach or a therapist who specializes in ADHD, educated and accepting family and friends, or an ADHD community you can connect with online or in-person. The stronger your support system is, the easier it is to cope with the difficult aspects of daily ADHD life.
And the foundation of that support system is you.
It’s important to educate yourself about your ADHD. And if you need some convincing, here’s a few short reasons why:
1. It will help you to better navigate your own ADHD
All ADHD people share similar broad symptoms, but individually they vary widely. Understanding how certain aspects of ADHD manifest in others can help you better understand how they are manifesting in your own life. Hearing what others are doing to manage and what experts have to say can equip you with the tools to manage your own symptoms as well. Most importantly, these insights can give you hope during the frustrating and confusing times.
2. It will help you to better articulate to others – including your doctor – what you’re struggling with.
Having a clear picture of your own ADHD – what’s typical and atypical – can help you articulate to your doctor and/or therapist and/or coach what is and isn’t working to help you manage your symptoms. It can also help you communicate to your family, friends, and co-workers what you need from them to succeed and why.
Being able to put your needs and struggles into words will overall lead to more productive relationships and give you the confidence to own your ADHD and all that comes with it.
3. It will help you to accept your diagnosis and understand that you’re not alone.
Undoubtedly, there will be people out there who just won’t get it. Either they don’t believe ADHD is a condition at all or they don’t understand why you can’t just “stop being that way”. Keeping yourself informed and reminded about your ADHD will be a comforting reminder that you aren’t crazy and you aren’t ADHD is a neurological disposition and not a character problem.
Where to Start?
If you’ve been formally diagnosed, your doctor can (hopefully) answer any questions you might have about your ADHD or direct you to resources that can do so. From there, you can listen to podcasts, read articles, talk to other ADHD individuals, or pick up a book at your local library (or an audio version). Most importantly, you’ll want to start taking note of your own symptoms and how they affect your life.
The biggest mistake you can make when managing your ADHD is to isolate yourself, take your pills and hope it disappears. There are experts out there who have dedicated their lives to the study and management of ADHD. Don’t discount the value of their insight! Nor the insight of other ADHD people just like you.
Here are a few resources just to get you started:
http://www.reddit.com/r/ADHD/ – My favorite place to talk to other ADHDers!
I started this blog because I understand the importance of getting together and being honest about what we’re struggling with and sharing real-life advice with one another. Help me to help others! Feel free to engage the conversation on any given post in the comments or contact me directly using the contact form!