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  • Sayanti Bhattacharya MD

So you think you have ADHD- now what?   

What you have read so far confirms your suspicion that you have ADHD. Several online quizzes and self tests are suggesting the same. What do you do with this newfound information?

 

Get a professional evaluation

Even if you are sure you have ADHD, consult a professional to get a formal diagnosis. Symptoms of ADHD have a lot in common with anxiety; depression and other disorders which mental health professionals are trained to identify.

 

Educate yourself

After a professional has confirmed the diagnosis, it is a good idea to learn more about ADHD. Read books, listen to podcasts, and use reliable websites to get information. It will help you understand how your brain works and how ADHD affects your brain.

 

Identify how ADHD affects you    

No two people with ADHD have the same challenges. It is important to understand where and how ADHD shows up in your life. Does it affect your performance at work/school? Is it hard to keep up with regular ‘life- stuff’? Are your relationships affected? Do you unexpectedly feel strong emotions? Does it affect your self-esteem?


Set goals

Think about your personal struggle with ADHD. Are certain areas of your life not meeting your expectations? What could be better? Would you like to be more efficient, manage time better, and/or improve your relationships? Get professional help to identify gaps and set reasonable goals.

 

Find tools and strategies that work

You will need a unique set of strategies and tools to help you. Work with an expert to come up with an individualized plan that works for you.

 

Learn what rewards work for you

Rewards and incentives often don’t work for people with ADHD the same way they do for others. For example- the possibility of a promotion or raise may not motivate/make you work harder. Your brain may need very different rewards and incentives to start taking action.

 

Structure, structure, structure

When you have ADHD, structure is your best friend. You will do better when the task is well defined, expectations from you are clear, deadlines are firm, and you get frequent and detailed feedback.

 

Get treated

Treatments are very effective for ADHD, especially medications and can do wonders for your life.


Accept what you cannot change

Living with ADHD is hard. The playing field is not level. Your path has more obstacles in it and you have to work harder to get to the finish line. Understanding what you are dealing with and accepting it can go a long way.


It’s not all bad news- having ADHD makes you more creative, more spontaneous, more versatile, and more empathic. Nurture your strengths and be kind to yourself.

 

Live mindfully and well,

 

Dr. Sayanti Bhattacharya MD, MS

 

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