So, ADHD might be in the shortlist for Worst Mental Condition to live with in the 21st Century (Depression for sure takes the cake, but why settle for just one disorder when you can get Depression as a co-morbid extra with your single-serve ADHD?). However, it’s not a new disorder, and between old wisdom and new innovation, it can become incredibly manageable.

Ritalin is in its own shortlist for Drugs That Most Effectively Do the Thing They’re Meant to Do. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has done its due diligence and can boast a decent success rate; a success rate made even higher if you mix the CBT with Ritalin.

The most recent post-COVID lockdown wave of mental-health awareness is giving ADHD people tools to better understand themselves, and to better be understood by the people around them.

Neuroscience is learning faster than ever before, has cooler toys than ever before, and is speed-running the lot of us towards more helpful treatments, and away from tired myths.

Finally, the term Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is being challenged and superseded in both the ADHD community and in neuroscience research communities. Many new terms are being thrown around (and for sure none are going to stick), but many are reframing the condition to see its benefits alongside its difficulties. Read our article about The Benefits of ADHD here.

Pharmaceuticals

The classics are stimulants. Ritalin and Dexamphetamine increase the dopamine signalling in your brain, which is the juice that powers your executive function. Having the dopamine turned up allows the prefrontal cortex to squash down the limbic system (the poorly-regulated emotional and aggression hub of the ADHD brain), and that makes for better emotional regulation, better attention, and better working memory.

Strattera, not a stimulant, increases noradrenaline signalling, which can have a similar effect of amping up our prefrontal cortex over a long term.

Coffee, marijuana, nicotine, amphetamines, no-doze, micro-dosed psychedelics, and a whole host of other off-label or illegal pharmaceuticals are sometimes used to try to achieve the same results, but all are examples of double-edged swords, or completely ineffective ways to manage ADHD symptoms.

Therapy modalities

Any trained and certified psychotherapist, counsellor, or psychologist should have a clear understanding of how to treat ADHD, but some specialise in it. They can be harder to find. It’s worth doing your research because a mental health professional without a modern understanding of adult ADHD (particularly how it shows up in women, if you identify as female) can do a lot of damage to your already fragile self-esteem with techniques that may be well-intended, but are actually gaslighting you.

The mental health care professionals who really understand neurodivergence often specialise in styles of therapy (called ‘modalities’ in the community and literature) that seem to fit better with ADHD.

Of those modalities, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the one with the highest recorded win-rate, but do note that it’s also the only one that goes to the effort to record things like win-rates. It will be recommended to you first by most General Practitioners and Psychiatrists. After CBT, we like Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), EMDR, Narrative Therapy and Internal Family Systems Therapy. 

Keep in mind that the single strongest predictor for successful psychotherapy is the quality of the relationship between you and your therapist, and that their experience, their style, and their training play a supportive but secondary role.

New built-for-us resources, digital tools, and life hacks

I mean, obviously go check out our digital or printable planner -  created by an ADHD brain (our co-founder, Grace) for ADHD brains, and used by 10,000+ neurodivergents worldwide and counting. It contains 57 unique productivity, self-care and habit building tools and is based on the latest behavioural science to reduce ‘popcorn brain’ and actually help you find a system you can stick with. With 1,000+ rave reviews so far, we’re very proud to be developing rad tools that help our community find more ease and clarity in a chaotic world.

Along with that, movements like ‘Build A Second Brain’ are empowering us to adapt existing digital note-taking & planning tools to our benefits. Some people are gamifying their productivity tools, and that can be a great fit for video-game-immersed ADHDers.

The incredible list of results from a web search of ‘ADHD Life Hacks’ should speak for itself. Chances are that we will have a section here for that real soon.

Also, if you have children in your life diagnosed with ADHD (or suspected), this TEDx Talk is perhaps the best thing you’ll watch.

Relationship/workplace flexibility

We live in a culture where it’s getting more and more okay to be free to creatively negotiate the terms of workplace norms and romantic relationships. 

For those of us who just can’t do 9-5 in the same building every day for the next fifty years, working from home and working flexible hours has become a much easier conversation to have. Many ADHDers who crave novelty and stimulation also opt to freelance or side gig, and this means a more steady stream of new projects and challenges to stimulate them.

For the subset of ADHD people whose impulsivity and drive causes them problems with our monogamy-norming society, the non-monogamy community is incredibly mature and also very dense with other ADHD people. To anybody seeking to enter it, try to learn and understand their culture first.

Ad(hd)vice from online communities

Reddit has r/ADHD as a central point, and a whole host of other subreddits with memes and stories and reality-check groups.

YouTube has a thriving neurodivergent community of content creators, personalities, medical and neuroscience researchers, and memelords.

Twitter has some of the most mature and immature mental health communities, and their ADHD one is very established.

TikTok was created by the same cruel god that created ADHD itself, and, aside from cool dances, thirst traps, and pre-pubescent musicians who can absolutely shred me, the ADHD side of TikTok is incredible and aggressively relatable.

Finally, ADHD memes are on all platforms, from Boomer email chains to Facebook to Instagram.

Front edge of science

Not to open up a rabbit hole, but you know you can totally just download scientific journals, youtube search top-of-their-field researchers and experts giving keynote presentations and lectures (we started you at a cool point to come in on that link), and also download that 1.4 petabyte brain scan that we talked about in the What Is ADHD article? Science is speeding up, and so is scientific literacy and science communicators (to civilians like us - think Neil Degrasse Tyson or Robert Sapolsky).

From a standpoint of being seen, understood, and resourced, there has never been a better time to have ADHD. 


You may also like

Using the Future ADHD Planner on your Supernote A5X

Using the Future ADHD Planner on your Supernote A5X
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!