ADHD and Family: How To Create a Supportive Environment

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For family members of those with ADHD, it is often tempting to search for a quick fix for the affected person’s anxiety and other behavioral problems. You can buy anxiety medication from pharmacies, which may help curb some issues, but the only way to effectively treat ADHD is with proven therapy and support. A supportive home environment is often needed most, and it is relatively simple to create within a loving family.

Communicate Openly

While OTC anxiety meds can help negate some of the mild symptoms of ADHD, your family member will need more support. Unfortunately, people with ADHD may have difficulty explaining their needs because they feel ashamed or simply because they do not know how to express them.

Family members can help by creating a communicative environment, which means delving into insightful communication strategies, not just normal dinner table conversation. To practice open and honest communication, you must focus on open-ended questions, meaning you should avoid questions with yes or no answers, such as “Are you feeling OK” or “Are you upset?”

Questions should invoke dialogue. You can still ask questions like the above but with open phrasing. For example, say something like, “How are you feeling today?” You can also observe with a follow-up question, like, “I noticed you seem angry. What is upsetting you, and how can I help?”

By developing open communication strategies, you help nurture an environment of trust and honesty. An ADHD individual may feel more susceptible to discussing their symptoms and asking for help when in an environment where they feel no judgment.

Commit to Structure and Routine

Family members and friends must understand that people with ADHD are not acting out or choosing to behave in specific ways. The condition involves brain development, meaning some actions or difficulties are beyond control; therefore, anger or demands have little effect on ADHD patients.

One way to help someone with ADHD is by committing to structure and routine. If an ADHD individual knows what to expect from their day, it is easier for them to use the tools and techniques they learn from professionals to manage symptoms. For example, they can often focus better if they know that they get to relax or run around in so many minutes.

The Pomodoro method is typically helpful for learning new skills or studying. The process uses set increments or times sessions of focus and play. The standard settings are 20 minutes of focused work and 5 minutes of play; however, you can adjust and customize this to suit your needs. Also, you will have three 20-minute sessions before having a longer break.

The specifics of structure and routine are different for every family. An ADHD specialist can help you set rules for your household, but you and your family must commit to them.<

While trying to medicate symptoms away is tempting, you must also be careful. For example, Brillia is an excellent OTC medication, but you should consult a physician before using it because of possible Brillia drug interactions. An ADHD diagnosis is often a relief and a challenge. Knowing what is causing behavioral issues is welcome, but it is only part of a solution. The diagnosis will change family life to ensure a supportive environment. Talk to a medical or ADHD professional to learn more.

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