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Apr 21

Diagnosed with ADHD as an Adult: Now what?

Diagnosed with ADHD as an Adult: Now what?

You may have received a diagnosis from a doctor, psychologist, or therapist. Or maybe your friends and family are nudging you to seek a diagnosis. Or maybe you just have a feeling that something about you is a little ADHD. Either way getting information about ADHD can be affirming and validating. And yet what do you do once you know you have ADHD?

1. Learn to Play to Your Strengths

Arriving at an ADHD diagnosis can sometimes come only after some painful moments of frustration and missed opportunities. The lack of attention to detail and the inability to maintain focus can leave people with ADHD feeling inept. However, ADHD individuals are typically more skilled than their non-ADHD peers in areas such as gross motor skills, creativity, and intuition. Let the ADHD diagnosis be the start of a journey of discovery of your strengths.

2. Process the emotions that come with living with ADHD.

Looking at a childhood where your ADHD went unnoticed can be painful and there can be conflicting feelings. Often people feel grateful for the diagnosis but at the same time find the process of integrating their past experiences brings up grief and can be painful and confusing.

3. Find the skills that you want to further develop.

Being diagnosed with ADHD doesn’t mean you are broken or that everything is wrong with you. Find areas of growth that feel important to you and to enhance the life you have. You may want to improve your organization techniques or increase your awareness of time; you can choose what you want to work on based on your life and your own goals.

4. Build up your support network.

ADHD isn’t always obvious, and people can be left feeling confused or uncertain about what to make of your actions. You have choices in who you tell and how you share your ADHD story. Often friends and family want to be helpful and learn about ways they can support you in your journey.

Sorting through your emotions, your past, and your diagnosis can be both overwhelming and liberating. Making use of a therapist is a great way to find support for learning more about yourself and guide you to further self-awareness.

About Emily Gumm

Emily is a psychotherapist based in Chicago Illinois.  Her therapeutic approach is collaborative and relaxed.  We live in a complex, contradictory and sometimes painful world. Sometimes in trying to give to everyone, you cannot give as much to the relationships that are the most important – much less to yourself! You are not broken and you are doing your best to navigate your connections and personal value.  By partnering with you, you find yourself supported in making the changes you want.  You can live a fulfilling life, with strong connections, all while taking care of you.

…. Find out more about Emily here.