We don’t outgrow our ADHD, we adjust our behavior accordingly. For me, ADHD is perpetual refocusing; perpetual redirecting; and perpetual emotional regulation. The most challenging aspect of my ADHD is self-regulation. Depending on who you ask in the ADHD expert realm, ADHD is a “permanent” neuro-developmental/neuro-biological/neurological/neuro-behavioral disorder or chronic condition. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnosis of ADHD is recognized as a lifelong disorder. (DSM-5 Fifth Edition; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). If you do a search using the terms “lifelong” “ADHD” “disorder”, it will return numerous scholarly articles which state that ADHD is a lifelong condition. Hence, WE likely (sorry, it’s the lawyer in me) DO NOT OUT GROW OUR ADHD.
If we don’t outgrow ADHD, what should we do?
So what do we do now? We grow with our ADHD. How you might ask – by learning! We become our own advocates with regard to our diagnosis and treatment. We learn everything we can about our individual symptoms. We dissect each symptom. Categorize them. Learn which behaviors manifest each symptom and why. Track these behaviors. Learn how to self-regulate. Talk to fellow ADHDers. Attempt a variety of interventions/treatments. Talk to a doctor who specializes in ADHD. Try an ADHD coach. Listen to podcasts. Read books. Learn how to meditate. Use healing crystals.
To learn more about ADHD, start here What is ADHD blog post.
Keep learning about your ADHD
There are many options available today, some free, some not. Do a Google search. Start somewhere!! Yes, it sounds easier said than done (and scary as all heck) but ADHD is your life long roommate. It’s the very fabric of your being, whether you like it or not. The more you learn about your roommate, the better your life together will be :). Have fun with it!!
For some resources on learning about ADHD, check out our ADHD Resouces page.
And remember, if we look at our ADHD as a life-long gift, rather than a life-long curse, we will embrace it as an ability, not a disability.