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ADHD in Adults


ADHD is a condition that affects behavior. You may be overactive and have a short attention span. ADHD interferes with how you function in your daily activities at work, school, or home. ADHD may also cause you to have problems getting along with other people.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You feel like hurting yourself or someone else.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a seizure.
  • You have trouble breathing, chest pains, or a fast heartbeat.

Call your doctor if:

  • You feel you cannot cope at home, work, or school.
  • You have new symptoms since the last time you visited your healthcare provider.
  • Your symptoms are getting worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • Stimulants help you pay attention, concentrate better, and manage your energy.
  • Antidepressants help decrease or prevent the symptoms of anxiety or depression. It can also be used to treat other behavior problems.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage ADHD:

  • Reduce stress. Stress may make your ADHD worse. Ask about ways to calm your body and mind. These may include deep breathing, muscle relaxation, music, and biofeedback. Talk to someone about things that upset you.
  • Learn more about ADHD. The more you know about ADHD, the better you will be able to help yourself. Read books, work with your therapist, and find the support of other people with ADHD.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol may make your symptoms worse.
  • Create a regular sleep schedule. Sleep can help decrease your symptoms. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. Do not watch TV, use the computer, or play video games before bed. Electronic devices can make it hard for you to sleep or to stay asleep.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Healthy foods can help increase your concentration and make you feel calmer. Healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, whole-grain breads, and cooked beans. Ask your healthcare provider if you need to be on a special diet.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about ADHD in Adults (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.