Recently Diagnosed With Adult ADHD – What Happens Next? 

Woman with ADHD

After being newly diagnosed with adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you are likely experiencing both relief to have a diagnosis and confusion or apprehension about what happens next. After a lifetime of struggling with impulsivity, excess energy/restlessness, concentration, and organizational ability, you took control and sought professional advice and that takes tremendous courage. You are not alone; millions of individuals worldwide have adult ADHD .  As symptom recognition and diagnostics progress, the number of adults diagnosed with ADHD is rapidly growing. 

In short, ADHD is a neurobehavioral mental health disorder characterized by impulsivity, hyperactivity, and short attention span. No two people with ADHD express the disorder exactly alike. Learning as much as you can about the condition is the typical first step after receiving a diagnosis. Your professional diagnostician will most certainly provide resources to you, but groups such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the Attention Deficit Disorder Association,  CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), along with online ADHD treatment providers also offer easy to understand information that you can access and digest at your own pace.

Seeking the proper treatment is typically the next step. ADHD is a complicated medical condition and there is no “one size fits all” approach to treatment. The most effective treatment options are tailored to the individual patient and his or her needs. In general, patients benefit from a multi-phasic treatment plan consisting of diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, counseling, behavior modification techniques, and ongoing care from an experienced mental health provider. Many individuals with adult ADHD have responded positively to treatment and report greatly improved satisfaction in their work and personal lives.

Lifestyle changes have also been shown to benefit individuals with adult ADHD. Common changes include:


Adding physical activity to your routine can help you manage ADHD symptoms such as excess energy and restlessness. By having a physical outlet to expend this energy, you can more easily focus on your tasks and responsibilities. Adding in changes incrementally can help you both psychologically and physically. You don’t need to add too much at once. Take your time and enjoy the process. 

Healthier Diet

Diets that limit sugars and heavily processed foods can assist individuals with ADHD. Sugar has the tendency to contribute to spikes and crashes in energy. These highs and lows in energy can negatively impact your mood and increase irritability. While a healthy diet change is not a substitute for medication and therapy-based treatment, it does help to reduce ADHD symptoms. 

More Sleep

An average of 7-9 hours of sleep is generally recommended for adults with ADHD. The body and brain benefit from the time to rest and refresh. Turning off electronic screens at least 1 hour before bedtime, along with meditation techniques, can help you get to sleep faster and promote a more restful sleep. 

Enhanced Recreation and New Hobbies

As you settle into the post-diagnosis phase and begin to see the improvements resulting from your treatment, you will likely find a new zest for life. Finding new hobbies and opportunities to enhance your social life can help you to manage your impulsivity. Many people with adult ADHD find that they have greater joy when they like what they do. You also have the opportunity to expand your social circle and improve your relationships. 

Communicating your condition to others can help them as much as it helps you. Once you understand your condition better, talking about it to those close to you, such as friends, family, and your employer, can help them to understand some of the behaviors that you might have been embarrassed to speak about before. Being open about your condition also helps others to help you keep your symptoms under control. 

At Home

Simple changes such as making a daily “ to-do list” can help you to stay organized and focused instead of obsessing about what needs to be done. You can also put a basket or key holder at the entry to your home so that you can locate your keys and other small but important items without worrying or constantly searching for them. 

In the Workplace 

ADHD is recognized as an eligible condition under the Americans With Disabilities Act and many state laws. Workplace accommodations might be available to you that will enhance your productivity and overall satisfaction at work. Your manager can guide you on the procedures to follow in your company. 

Support Groups 

You are not alone and have no reason to be ashamed of adult ADHD. It is often beneficial to talk with others who have the same challenges and hear their stories, advice, and successes. Support groups can be large or small, online or in person. There are many options available. Ask your treatment professional for recommendations.



About the Author

Roni Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area.