3 Steps to Start Managing ADHD

People who are just starting to learn about ADHD often contact me to ask 'how should I proceed?'  Here are my suggestions for how to get going.  You don't have to do these things in order (people with ADHD do like to skip around, I know!) but do as many as you can...the more the better*.

Get a solid diagnosis

There is a list of therapists at this link whom I know understand adult ADHD.  If you aren't near any of them, go to CHADD or ADDA or PsychologyToday.com for listings of professionals.  Note - particularly in the PsychologyToday database, people may claim more knowledge of ADHD than they actually have.  Ask them what proportion of their practice is dedicated to evaluating and treating adults with ADHD before signing on to work with them.  I also counsel couples, though I do not do evaluations.

Then get educated about ADHD - here's how

Get good solid information about treatment strategies and options in my free treatment e-book, downloadable from my home page

Go to my treatment area and start to explore.  There are resources there to help you track your progress in managing ADHD, identify your most important symptoms (i.e. your 'target symptoms'), and more.  In addition, check out the sections on sleep, non-medicinal options, and behavioral treatments.  I curate this area to make sure the information it contains is reliable and helpful.

Explore my blog posts (see the main menu) - there is a lot of information about how ADHD manifests in relationship that will help both partners.  If you're new to the site, start with 'start here' and 'Melissa's favorite posts.' 

For information about how ADHD impacts your relationship, read or listen to The ADHD Effect on Marriage and/or The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD.  Readers love them, find them practical and informative, and regularly ask "how do you know this stuff?  Have you been sitting in our living room?"  Audiobook versions are available on my site or, in the case of The ADHD Effect on Marriage, at Audible.  If you wish further reading about adult ADHD in general, or specific elements of dealing with ADHD such as staying organized, go to my recommended reading list.  You can also find videos of interest on my site.

Find the help you need

Once you have a good sense of what you are dealing with and have identified your more important symptoms, you will be ready to get the professional help that you need.  To be clear, you don't have to use professional assistance, and this site is set up to provide you with a broad range of resources whether or not you use a professional.  But generally speaking, if it were easy you would have already done it on your own.  Using a professional helps you move forward more quickly and, usually, with greater success.

Depending upon your specific situation, your professional support might include an ADHD coach, individual therapist, couples counselor, or support group.  You will find all of these resources here at this site, which has been developed to provide adults with ADHD and their partners the resources they need.  In addition, you may decide to add more exercise, meditation, or improve your sleep patterns, based upon your specific target symptoms and treatment plan.

One of the best resources for couples who are struggling in their relationship is my 8-week couples seminar, given live by phone three times a year, or in a self-study version.  (I'm not trying to sell you something here...just to alert you to the fact that this program is very effective at getting couples unstuck, and is a uniquely helpful resource.  There is nothing else like it.)

Finally, feel free to contact me with questions - I am here to help you.


*Research done by Ari Tuckman suggests that the larger number of treatment categories adults with ADHD use to manage their ADHD, the happier they are with their outcome...and the happier their partner is, as well.