Managing Adult ADHD

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Patience is a conquering virtue. —Geoffrey Chaucer

Patience is almost a survival tool to self-preservation. In this case, the forbearance to accept one’s mental condition through love and understanding. We didn’t wake up to the truth until the pain and trauma from our denial are such that we understood if we continued down the present course meant death. It’s an instinct ingrained into human consciousness through thousands of years of evolution.

Everybody has limits. We realize the error of our ways and adjust ourselves accordingly. But what if a chronic condition in your brain makes you or a loved one easily distracted, frequently interrupting ongoing task, difficulty finishing homework, paperwork, frequent procrastination, forgetfulness, depression, mood swings, etc.? It’s an everyday battle. Inattention not only manifests in children or teenagers, it also manifests in adults, interfering with their work and social situations.

For many years, I had to learn how to manage my kids’ emotions and impulses. The mini-meltdowns occur daily even though their schedules accommodate their needs and sense of structure at home. With the help of our home-based counselors, we have implemented a reward system and daily reminders to praise their efforts.

It is not quite the same with adults suffering from ADHD. It is easy for them to get stuck even performing minor tasks at home and work. This is when patience and tolerance plays a key in trying to understand the depths these individuals go every single moment. Anything could trigger a reaction that spreads a sense of fear, foreboding, and a loss of control over events that impact moods.

Unlike children, adult ADHD is hard to manage because the moods can vary depending on the situation. A higher percent of patients are misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Depression. Society tends to be more lenient towards the younger generation, providing the necessary tools and education to understand the impulsiveness and low-frustration tolerance due to their youth. For adults, it can be conceived as someone with poor organizational skills, exasperating, and obnoxious. If we could only celebrate those outbursts of energy and excitement ADHD brings, more people would discern how hurtful the population acts to the taciturn and mystical personalities adults with ADHD have.

There are plenty of articles around adult ADHD—providing tools for organizational skills, and prioritizing issues according to the diagnosis—which is extremely important, but also,  a cause to celebrate those who navigate through the storms. They have the ability to find a new path when an encounter with obstacles arises, constantly evolving with entrepreneurial skills.

Behind the veil of every mental dysfunction from autism to depression, to eating disorders, is the quality of control the individual has over things. Every episode stemming from any conceivable mental illness is underlined by the acute perception of diminishing control. That sense of powerlessness is what fuels every downward spiral.

Adults diagnosed with ADHD think outside the box because they are filled with ideas, these individuals tend to be artistic and visionaries. While medication can serve as a platform for criticism, it helps them to be more productive because of their quick thinking. When these moments of outbursts appear, it is a good idea to keep a journal and keep a master list with the purpose of remembering any ideas or thoughts.

Humans need to feel like they’re in command of all the internal and external phenomena that determine the course of their lives in a wild, dangerous, unpredictable, and unforgiving reality.

Adjusting habits can be very hard at the beginning, but it helps to control impulses and the sense of inefficiency. Technology is a great source that can help those with ADHD. The following apps can help manage information, time, and productivity:

  1. RescueTime
    (; PC, Mac, Android; free to $9 per month, depending on the version)
  1. Focus@Will
    (; iOS, Android, Web; free 30-day trial, then $5.99/month)
  1. Anti-Social
    (; Mac and PC; $15; $20 bundled with Freedom)

Manage Information

  1. Evernote
    (; iOS, Android; free for basic version or $5–$10 for premium)
  1. Google Voice
    (; iOS, Android, Web; free)

For a complete list of helpful resources for adult ADHD visit:


Stephanie Ortez

Stephanie is a highly caffeinated mother of two wonderful boys. She is hopelessly addicted to non-fiction books and literature that moves her to tears. She is an admissions advisor for George Washington University online where she assists homeschooled students internationally. Stephanie lives with Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She is a passionate mental health advocate, member of Stigma Fighters. Her writing has been featured on The Elephant Journal, The Mighty, The Organic Coffee Haphazardly and Feminine Collective.

3 thoughts on “Managing Adult ADHD

  1. Mary Rowen

    Thank you for writing this, Stephanie. I also have adult friends with ADHD, and many of the “kids” I know with it are quickly becoming adults. This post is really helpful and informative. Great that there are so many apps to help too!

  2. doriowendoriowen

    I loved the blog, Steph, and learned so much. I have friends with Adult ADD and now I understand why they hide it. Interesting that it’s one more misdiagnosed illness. Your resources are great, I may be passing them on! xoD.

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