|English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the literature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
- Be sure of the diagnosis. Make sure you're working with a professional who really understands ADD and has excluded related or similar conditions such as anxiety states, agitated depression, hyperthyroidism, manic-depressive illness, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Educate yourself. Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADD is understanding ADD in the first place. Read books. Talk with professionals. Talk with other adults who have ADD. You'll be able to design your own treatment to fit your own version of ADD.
- Coaching. It is useful for you to have a coach, for some person near you to keep after you, but always with humor. Your coach can help you get organized, stay on task, give you encouragement or remind you to get back to work. Friend, colleague, or therapist (it is possible, but risky for your coach to be your spouse), a coach is someone to stay on you to get things done, exhort you as coaches do, keep tabs on you, and in general be in your corner. A coach can be tremendously helpful in treating ADD.
- Encouragement. ADD adults need lots of encouragement. This is in part due to their having many self-doubts that have accumulated over the years. But it goes beyond that. More than the average person, the ADD adult withers without encouragement and positively lights up like a Christmas tree when given it. They will often work for another person in a way they won't work for themselves. This is not "bad", it just is. It should be recognized and taken advantage of.
- Realize what ADD is NOT, i.e., conflict with mother, etc.
- Educate and involve others. Just as it is key for you to understand ADD, it equally if not more important for those around you to understand it--family, job, school, friends. Once they get the concept they will be able to understand you much better and to help you as well.
- Give up guilt over high-stimulus-seeking behavior. Understand that you are drawn to high stimuli. Try to choose them wisely, rather than brooding over the "bad" ones.