Coping with adult ADHD

adult woman tying to focus with Adult ADHD in Pennsylvania

Impulsivity, a core symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can make life miserable for adults trying to cope with the disorder. In an increasingly demanding world in which multiple sources vie for our attention and push us toward impulsive acts, we can have trouble sorting the “necessary” from the “appealing.” After all, that is exactly what advertising is all about.

Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. (Original article here: suggests that each ADHD sufferer experiences his or her symptoms differently so it is important to really understand your specific manifestation of impulsivity. She goes on to suggest that people with ADHD engage in the following three practices:

Practice being mindful.
This can help you respond rather than react. Mindfulness helps center and keep you grounded. If you are paying attention your level of arousal or excitedness you can monitor your reactions. Impulsivity in many ways is the opposite of mindfulness in that when we are mindful our minds are calm while impulsivity requires that the mind act without reflection.

Challenge negative thoughts, and take action.
Ask yourself why you became impulsive. What feelings or thoughts came right before the impulsive acting out? Can you challenge those thoughts or feelings and learn to tolerate them rather than flee them?

Make it harder to act impulsively.
Tartakovsky asks “does your impulsivity lead to pricey shopping sprees? If so, “leave your credit card and checkbook at home. Put the items you’ve chosen on hold for 24 hours, so you can decide if you really do need or want them.”

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