Lane Wells, 24/7 Health support team, AXA Health

ADHD in adults: tips and treatment

19 April 2024

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by difficulties in sustaining attention, impulsive behaviour, and hyperactivity1.

While symptoms typically manifest during childhood, many individuals continue to experience them into adulthood. However, ADHD symptoms may present differently in adults compared to children, often leading to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis.

Common symptoms of ADHD in adults

  1. Inattention: Adults with ADHD may struggle with maintaining focus, organising tasks, and completing projects.
  2. Impulsivity: Impulsive behaviour, such as interrupting others during conversations or making hasty decisions without considering consequences, is a hallmark of adult ADHD.
  3. Hyperactivity: While hyperactivity tends to diminish with age, restlessness, fidgeting, and a constant need for stimulation can still be present in adults with ADHD.
  4. Time management and organisation: Difficulties in managing time, meeting deadlines, and maintaining an organised environment are common challenges.

Tips for managing ADHD

  1. Seek professional diagnosis: If you suspect you have ADHD, consult a healthcare professional who specialises in adult ADHD. They can conduct a comprehensive assessment and provide an accurate diagnosis.
  2. Education and self-awareness: Learn about ADHD and how it manifests in adults. Increased self-awareness can empower people to identify their strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to develop effective coping mechanisms.
  3. Establish structure and routine: Create a structured daily routine and establish clear systems for organising tasks, appointments, and responsibilities. Utilise calendars, planners, or digital tools to help manage time effectively2.
  4. Break tasks into manageable chunks: Large projects or tasks can feel overwhelming, leading to procrastination. Break them down into smaller, more manageable steps, setting achievable goals along the way.
  5. Utilise supportive strategies: Strategies such as setting reminders, using alarms, and implementing visual cues can help adults with ADHD stay on track and remember important tasks or appointments.
  6. Exercise and healthy lifestyle: Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep can significantly impact ADHD symptoms3. Engage in physical activities that you enjoy, practice stress-reducing techniques, and maintain a healthy lifestyle overall.

Treatment options

Treatment for ADHD can help relieve the symptoms and make the condition easier to live with day-to-day4

  1. Medication: Stimulant and non-stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate and atomoxetine, can be prescribed to manage ADHD symptoms. Consult a healthcare professional to determine if medication is appropriate for you.
  2. Psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and coaching can provide valuable support by helping individuals develop effective strategies for managing symptoms, improving organisational skills, and addressing emotional and social challenges.
  3. Support groups: Joining support groups or seeking therapy in group settings can offer a sense of community, allowing people to share experiences, gain insights, and learn from others facing similar challenges.
  4. Accommodations and workplace support: For individuals experiencing difficulties in the workplace, it may be helpful to explore accommodations such as flexible schedules, clear task assignments, and ergonomic adjustments. Communicate openly with your employer or human resources department about your needs.
  5. Lifestyle modifications: Implementing healthy lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, stress-reduction techniques, and adequate sleep, can complement other treatment approaches and help manage ADHD symptoms effectively.

Many adults with ADHD thrive at life and work, having found ways to embrace their differences. More and more, these unique differences are supported and valued by employers.

It is essential to seek a professional diagnosis, gain self-awareness, and develop coping mechanisms tailored to individual needs.

By implementing practical tips and exploring available treatment options, adults with ADHD can navigate their daily lives with greater ease, finding balance and success in their personal and professional endeavours.

Remember, you are not alone on this journey, and support is available to help you thrive.


  1. ADHD Symptoms - NHS
  2. Creating a routine for adults with ADHD – PsychCentral
  3. Exercise and ADHD - WebMD
  4. Treatment - NHS

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