How To Support Someone with ADHD

Supporting Someone with ADHD

 Sometimes, even the heaviest of the ADHD struggles become lighter when you have people who love and support you through thick and thin. Learn more about Supporting Someone with ADHD here.

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Here's What You Can Do to Support Your ADHD Friend

When you genuinely want to make a person feel better, you may become willing to go over and beyond for them. 

I admire people who constantly ask for advice regarding their friends with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and are concerned about their well-being and mental health. I praise you guys who keep looking out for a friend who needs support 👏.

One of the greatest feelings for me when dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is when I don't need to explain myself - be it what I do or how I manifest my ADHD symptoms. It's like seeing a person with a freckled cheek and saying nothing about it because they cannot do anything about the freckles, but we can learn to accept the characteristics that are already a part of their lives.

There's a life tip that I have read somewhere, stating, "If you notice something on a person and it can't be easily fixed within minutes, chances are, that person is already aware of what you noticed and has probably been overthinking about it, too." 

So there's no point stating something that can be obvious because the other person might not take it well. The same goes for many people with ADHD and other mental health conditions: they may already be aware of their symptoms and how it impacts their daily lives, but that doesn't mean they are comfortable talking about it or admitting it.

If you are someone with ADHD and, by chance, you came across this blog, here's what you can do: Accept yourself and your neurodivergent brain, as it is a part of you 🤗. That doesn’t mean, though, that you are powerless. With determination and support, you can manage your ADHD symptoms well, leading you to experience fewer struggles. You can also send a copy of this article to your friends, so that they can be more aware of your efforts, and they'll have an idea of how to support someone with ADHD.

The ADHD Environment Matters in Having Positive Reinforcement

We all have different ways of coping with the changes happening in our lives. Some people may be able to shake things off and quickly move on with their lives.  But for others, it can take a little longer to process and cope

It's tough when we have to deal with significant changes or something that we've never had to deal with before, like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. There are moments when everything seems so overwhelming, and we just need someone to have our backs and understand everything we are going through. 

One of the best support systems we can have is our mental health coach or doctor 🧑‍⚕️. But, aside from the guidance from our mental health professional, our environment and support groups will also affect our ADHD experiences. The people you associate yourself with may dictate whether you’ll get assistance or struggles. 

If you're constantly around people who DON’T have a deeper understanding of your neurodivergent disorder, chances are, they'll also make your life more difficult than it should be. We certainly don't want that to happen.

But, when you surround yourself with a loved one or a friend willing to try to understand everything that you're dealing with, you'll experience a positive difference immediately ❤️. It may not be a walk in the park, but you'll feel more at ease and comfortable discussing your symptoms, seeking help, and managing your ADHD.

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Helping Adult ADHD Friends with their Everyday Struggles

Many people with ADHD may deal with hyperactive symptoms, inattentive adult ADHD traits, and impulsive behaviors - all at the same time. These can get overwhelming 😵‍💫, so we may find ourselves in need of more self-care.

Still, many things can make us feel good despite the ADHD struggles in our lives. We can be good at something particularly when our intense focus kicks in. We can be resilient in anything that we do even with limited resources or enthusiasm.

However, the negative side of our ADHD traits and symptoms can still significantly impact our lives and others. And when everything seems to be unbearable - even after handling things as best we could - remember to seek help from our family, friends, and loved ones for additional support.

Here's the list of things people can do to support an adult with ADHD:

Supporting Us Through Our Daily Struggles

Any ADHD effect we struggle with mostly involves our daily functioning, like cooking meals, finishing a task at work, and doing chores. These activities can be simple; in fact, some people may even find them soothing and relaxing. But some adults with ADHD cannot do these activities well because their actual symptoms may hamper their ability to fulfill any given task.

For example, staying organized is something that I have trouble with. No matter how much I want to declutter and put off unnecessary things, I find this task challenging 😢. It's not because I am lazy or stubborn, but my ADHD brain can get in the way. I usually perceive that there are more exciting things to do than staying at home and cleaning up every mess I see.

This is where we can get the right motivation and support from our parents, family, or friends. There may be daily challenges, but it can be much easier when we have people to share these struggles with. I am not saying we always need to depend on the people around us to do things for us, but the thought that we are not alone in these daily challenges can boost our confidence. They can make daily routines enjoyable and fun, rather than a burden we must carry daily.

Be a Friend, Not Another Parent

Many adults with ADHD can have difficulty processing their thoughts and emotions, make careless mistakes, and get easily swayed by impulsive decisions 😣. Because of these symptoms, we often find ourselves in sticky situations, and people around us can get easily frustrated. 

We may get into tons of trouble, but we don't need someone who'll press us more or lecture us on what we did wrong.

We need people who will understand where we're coming from, be patient when we make mistakes, and help us improve every aspect of our lives. Our loved ones as well as our friends can have our backs and support us throughout the troubles we encounter. Instead of adding to the anxiety that we'll feel, we should seek people who would comfort us and make us feel at ease.

We're human beings that want to be accepted and loved, even with all our flaws. So, when you know an adult with ADHD, try to see things from their perspective. It's not going to be easy, but it'll be worth it once you create a stronger and more meaningful bond with them.

Be Patient and Have Our Back

We encourage everyone to be more patient and understanding with us when our ADHD symptoms get the best of us 🙏. 

For instance, in a relationship, we might get too entangled with different struggles, and our non-ADHD partner might feel left out. We may do things that go against what they want, which may result in a lot of tension between us.

Another thing: our family might feel that we aren't trying hard enough and plan things that may not work well. Our friends might get distracted by the frequent “light bulb'' moments 💡 that trigger us to behave impulsively, making them feel exhausted or annoyed. The people in our environment may treat us like a burden and someone who cannot finish tasks effectively.

What we need is mostly patience as we try to do our best to sort things out. We need your support as we make decisions that may or may not be the best for us. Most importantly, we need you to have our back during sticky situations. Even if we fail with everything in life, as long as you guys are around, every failure can be bearable.

Talking to Us Equally and Avoiding Harsh Comments

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not a disease or a disabling condition that needs fixing, and the last thing we want is people who treat us as if we are someone “at the bottom of the food chain.” We want to be respected and not pitied as we go through different aspects of our lives. Being treated as a partner or friend instead of second-class citizens uplifts our mood and confidence. It allows us to contribute more to whatever we do at work or home.

We understand that we cannot control a person's behavior, but a little kindness from your end can significantly help us ❣️. When people speak ill to adults with ADHD, I sometimes feel invalidated. There are even times when our struggles are bearable if not for how some people look at us. It's not easy dealing with ADHD, and we don't want to be talked down upon or be given the shorter end of the stick.

Aside from talking to us with respect, we'd greatly appreciate the support of speaking with us with kind and encouraging words and not treating us like we're fragile. We don’t want to be wrapped in cotton wool and be told what to do all the time, as it'll only make us feel more incompetent. Likewise, harsh comments and excessive criticisms will only make us feel more down about ourselves. We accept feedback to help us improve in different aspects of our lives, but there are more appropriate ways to tell us that we are in the wrong.

Be Informed and Know More About ADHD

The most essential effort that someone can make for people with ADHD is to equip themselves with enough knowledge about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), as this can eliminate a lot of misconceptions and wrong information about it. It can save us a lot of trouble, explaining and defending ourselves from our ADHD diagnosis. We can also be ourselves freely and show our own behavior without being afraid of judgment.

A non-ADHD partner or friend who is more aware of what ADHD entails, like having strong emotions, forgetfulness, hyperactive behavior, and even difficulty in doing tasks, can better support us in having harmonious relationships.  This often results in more relaxed feelings and less tension. The possibility of anxiety can also be minimized because the person knows more about what to expect from us 👌.

Awareness can also help in managing expectations. Many individuals with untreated ADHD may struggle with a lot of things. But when the people around them are aware of the difficulties and possible behaviors, it becomes easier to manage expectations. This often results in less conflict and more understanding. We then tend to perform better at tasks, practice self-care, or be more productive when we feel that people around us understand us.

All These Can Make No Sense

Even the best-laid plans or the kindest request may not mean anything if we aren't able to have the proper communication skills needed to reach out to our potential support system. They may offer their help and concern to us, but if we don't do our end of the bargain and reciprocate their actions, it'll only be a one-way street.

It is important to remember that we need to do our part for things to work out for us. We can't just rely on the people around us and hope they will understand what we need without explicitly telling them about it. We need to improve communication 🗣️ so that we can better explain our thoughts and feelings, as well as what we need from the people around us.

It is also essential to be proactive in asking for help when needed. We shouldn't wait for things to happen or for people to offer assistance before taking action. We need to remember that we are not alone in this journey and that there are people who care about us and want to help us. 

How To Support Someone with ADHD: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why is having a support system important when you have ADHD?

Having a support system is important when you have ADHD. It's hard to remember that you're not alone, and it's easy to get lost in your own head when you have ADHD. That's why having someone there who understands what you're going through, and who can help you out of the rut of negative self-talk, is so important.

What’s the best way to support someone with ADHD?

One of the most important things you can do to support someone with ADHD is to be patient. Remember that there will be struggles along the way; this is normal when dealing with someone who has ADHD symptoms, since it's such an individualized illness (no two people experience it exactly alike).

How do you best talk to someone with ADHD?

The best way to talk to someone with ADHD is to be direct and nice. Many people with ADHD tend to have a lot of self-doubt, so it's important that you help them feel comfortable and confident in their abilities.

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