Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly associated with children and adolescents, and that’s because the average age of diagnosis is around seven. Many of these children grow up to be adults with ADHD — around the globe, there are about 366 million adults living with ADHD, which is more than the entire population of the United States!
If you are an adult with ADHD, there are challenges, but there are also solutions. Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Goldenberg specializes in diagnosing ADHD and helping adults with ADHD better navigate their world.
Dr. Goldenberg is based in Santa Monica, California, and sees patients across California and Alaska via secure telehealth. He begins with a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation to establish a diagnosis of ADHD. Also, he evaluates each patient for any co-occurring mental health and possible substance abuse conditions, as these can cause or exacerbate symptoms of ADHD. Dr. Goldenberg also provides second opinions for those who feel their treatment is not optimized.
Here, Dr. Goldenberg outlines critical facts and best practices for adults with ADHD.
1. The right help matters
There may not be a cure for ADHD, but we have learned a lot over the decades about how to better manage the condition in both children and adults. Dr. Goldenberg stays abreast of the research and specializes in evaluating and treating adults, specifically.
Adults with ADHD often face unique challenges, stigma, and barriers to care, so it is important to have a psychiatrist who understands the unique challenges adults can face when they have ADHD. Dr. Goldenberg uses many successful strategies to help adults with ADHD manage careers, family lives, and relationships — every aspect of a high-functioning adult's daily routine.
2. Medicate or not
One of the frontline treatments for ADHD is medication, non-stimulant and stimulant options, that can help treat the symptoms of ADHD and help adults improve their focus. Dr. Goldenberg understands the risks, benefits, and differences between each medication and helps his patients to pick the best medication for their individual needs and goals. Many patients have success using extended-release stimulants, which are effective in up to 80% of ADHD patients, but not every case is “textbook.” This highlights the importance of finding an experienced psychiatrist who knows how to both evaluate and treat ADHD effectively.
If you are not keen on taking medications, other options are available, such as counseling, executive coaching, and behavioral therapies. Dr. Goldenberg provides his patients with many of these strategies and has referrals to specialists when needed.
3. Adding structure
One of the critical ways Dr. Goldenberg helps adult ADHD patients is by implementing structure and routine in their lives.
Whether you work with Dr Goldenberg or not, finding ways to stick to routines and schedules is essential. To accomplish this, you can use what is right for you, but it might include:
- Visual schedules
- To-do lists
These are all aids that can keep you accountable and on track.
4. Don't work alone
Adults with ADHD often function a lot better when they are working with someone — a practice we call body doubling. When put into practice effectively, this can add structure and accountability that you do not have if you are working in isolation. So, if you can, get into a workspace with other people. You might find it easier to stay on task if everyone works toward a common and shared goal of efficiency and fewer distractions.
5. Give yourself a break
Patients with adult ADHD are often hard on themselves. Dr. Goldenberg advocates self-compassion. Often, adults with ADHD push themselves past the point of effectiveness, which also diminishes self-esteem, mood, and confidence.
If you are reading this, it means you are likely serious about trying to manage your ADHD better, and that is a huge first step! You are trying, and that alone should boost your confidence. With a little help and patience, and some professional assistance, there is every reason to believe your ADHD does not have to continue to be the center of your existence.
If you would like to learn more about successfully managing ADHD in adulthood, you can start by scheduling a free, 10-minute phone call with Dr. Goldenberg, who evaluates and treats patients in both California and Alaska. Simply click here to set that up.