For Adults with ADHD, Knowledge is Power
Dr. Janet Kramer
Within 30 minutes of posting my last blog, Marilyn wrote a very insightful comment in which she talked of her self review and the conclusions she was able to make after she learned that she had ADHD at the age of 57. Her diagnosis gave her the impetus to critically review her assets as well as her challenges at home and in the workplace and come to some conclusions regarding treatment, work environment and even her performance of tasks at home. Her knowledge about ADHD motivated her to do important introspection and to understand "who I am and how I operate in the world."
Where can a newly diagnosed adult with ADHD find information about ADHD? Let’s start at the time of diagnosis. If the diagnosis is made by a clinician, that professional many times will direct you to handouts that give a general overview of ADHD and will discuss a treatment plan with you. At this point you become your own advocate and consumer advisor and will benefit from learning as much as you can about ADHD so you are able to discuss the treatment options. However there are still limited sources of scientifically based information accessible to the many adults first diagnosedwith ADHDas an adult.
Here are some suggested resources for adults with ADHD:
The local library in your community- the librarian can direct you to publications that are available. Recently the National Medical Library Association has been training public library personnel to access mental health internet sites including the National Institutes of Mental Health information papers on ADHD and treatment options and the sites for ADDA and CHADD, the well known, reputable organizations for factual information about ADHD.
Become a member of a consumer/professional organization concerned with adult ADHD. This offers the opportunity to discuss and evaluate information with consumers and professionals in order to have informed and personal control over treatment options for ADHD. For example, ADDA membership gives you information concerning professionals and services in your area, free access to the E-News, and free access to regular teleconferences with experts in the field of adult ADHD and discounted registration fees to national and regional meetings sponsored by ADDA.
Join a support group for adults or families with ADHD in your local area. Both ADDA and CHADD have these listed on their WEB sites and generally these groups cost very little to join. Many benefit from the discussions with understanding folks also dealing with workplace and family interactions with ADHD, decreasing the challenges of ADHD and gaining a perspective on your personal growth and celebrating your achievements and strengths.
Come to a conference sponsored by local or national ADDA or CHADD organizations. This is a quick way to meet other folks who are meeting the challenge of ADHD as well as learning new information concerning ADHD and ways of coping. These are available on the ADDA and CHADD websites. The National Conference for ADDA is being held July 11-13, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and includes topics such as The Woman with ADHD, College Success for the Student with ADHD; ADHD and the Correctional System and many more! Information online at www.add.org
Please keep sending your comments in to this site. As always, it’s good to hear from you.
Janet Kramer, MD FACP
The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) provides information, resources and networking opportunities to help adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder lead better lives.