Why learning about your ADHD is the key to living well alongside it

Every day I receive messages on my Facebook page asking for tips about living an easier life with ADHD. Whether it be work related, study related, relationship related or in general – Learning about ADHD and it’s many presentations is probably the most important thing you can do.

The more you can learn about living with ADHD and connecting with others sharing the same experience, the more easier it will be for you to articulate and notice what traits impact your life, what works and doesn’t work for you. And it also gives you key insights on being able to explain your difficulties and requesting accommodations from others.

My biggest tip regarding this is to create a mood diary of sorts. Because we don’t retain our lessons well, putting it down on paper or in digital writing will help you reinforce the learnings. It will also give you a reference point to triggers, what overstimulates you, what gives you the most mental fatigue.

Connecting with your peers through online support groups is also really useful. Every day I am amazed at the way that other people living with ADHD seem to nail it on the head and give words to symptoms I struggled to articulate, or thought I was alone in doing. It’s great to know what is or is not symptomatic of ADHD and what can just be general human things. These ideas validate and normalize our experiences in positive ways. A sense of belonging is so important for a mind that has often been made to feel very different.

Acceptance is also a big part of the process especially if diagnosis is new for you. There is always room to learn about yourself and grow alongside your ADHD. There are days where I actually forget about my ADHD, but there are many many days and nights where I am reminded about how debilitating it can be sometimes. Learning to accept this is my life has been key to me understanding why certain things keep happening to me. This enables me to address the ways I can help give myself more autonomy and safety nets for when ADHD will have it’s most impact. This also helps to improve my overall foresight to situations that I will have ongoing issues with as part of living with ADHD.

Learn to be unapologetically yourself. You cannot help that you are ADHD, it is part of your being. And it is OK. Living with mental health often shapes the way we have to be around others – sometimes knowing your flavour of ADHD will allow you to just be yourself in more situations. It’ OK to stim. It’s OK to do what you got to do to accommodate your mental health. It’s OK to laugh at some of your short comings. It also allows you to be more mindful and accept responsibility for it.

Seeking out an ADHD coach is also another way of getting help for ADHD. Whether that is in peer support or through some type of therapy. Any tools in your tool box of wellness is worth having. Seeking out Cognitive behavioural therapy, sensory modulation and similar workshops will also be beneficial. And are great alternative ways to help deal with your ADHD and anything that may be symptomatic of living with a disorder – like developed anxiety and so on.

There is many free resources online, the ADHD community is growing every day. And you’ll never know what will resonate for you and help you get out of a funk. In life we may have developed great coping mechanisms that work for us – but you never know what else is out there unless you try out some of the other ideas suggested by fellow ADHDers.


Published by Jenn has ADHD

Jenn Parker, New Zealand. ADHD Advocate and Peer. jennhasadhd.com

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