ADHD During Times of Crisis

What does ADHD in the era of coronavirus/COVID-19 mean? 
ADHD is a neurobiological disorder with majority of its symptoms being due to a deficit in the executive function of the brain. This is one of the most treatable disorders, however, when left untreated the individual may face many unpleasant experiences depending also on the degree of the severity of the disorder.
ADHD does not discriminate – it affects people of all ages, genders, and races. The majority of people (both adults and kids) who have ADHD live in a state of overwhelm, stress, and uncertainty. When there are external factors that raise their level of insecurity and overwhelm, such as this current health crisis, life can become doubly hard for them compared to the “neurotypical” population.
Anxiety and depression both have a very high prevalence amongst individuals with ADHD. ADHD is also highly genetic, which means that the probability that more than one person in the family has it is extremely high. Therefore, when dealing with this disorder I include the whole family since the whole family is affected by ADHD.
There are some important facts to keep in mind for both kids and adults dealing with ADHD, especially during these difficult times:
  1. People with ADHD are generally extremely sensitive and issues that may not affect the neurotypical population may affect them to a greater degree.
  2. Movement and even fidgeting help them process information better when.
  3. Exercise is highly beneficial.
  4. Structure and routine are extremely important.
  5. Many people with ADHD have sleep issues – difficulties with falling asleep and/or staying asleep.
  6. Some kids with ADHD, especially teens, may be oppositional and have trouble following instructions or abiding by rules.
  7. Thinking about the future and consequences of actions is difficult for people with ADHD.
  8. Boredom is a big issue.
  9. It can be very difficult to initiate and terminate tasks.
  10. They are very good at procrastinating and are consistently inconsistent.
As parents, partners, and educators of people with ADHD, we can offer help by doing the following in the era of coronavirus:
  1. Be direct. Make sure you tell them the things as they are – don’t hide anything from them in order not to cause more uncertainty for them.
  2. Encourage them to take breaks and do some physical activity a few times a day. Even a 15-minute walk can help.
  3. Have them listen to relaxing music to bring down anxiety and stress.
  4. Make sure that TV, especially the news channel is not on 24/7.
  5. Set up a routine together with them – this will make them follow through with it better and it also empowers them.
  6. Let them to be in control of some things since during these times, they feel in less control than ever in their lives.
  7. Let them talk about their fears and work with them to separate the logical ones from the irrational ones.
  8. Try to avoid getting into power struggles with them over small things – the saying goes: “don’t major in minors.”
  9. Try to set up sleep hygiene – i.e, no electronics at least an hour before going to bed. Instead you could suggest that they read a book or listen to relaxing music.
  10. Try to play more and laugh more together  – humor is fundamental at this time and especially with this population.
  11. Meditate alone or together. Meditation has been shown to help calm the brain down, especially the ADHD brain. They can also do “walking meditation,” which does not require sitting down.
  12. You have all the time in the world to have your partner or child declutter their space, which in return will help them declutter their brain.
As they say, we are all in this together and I KNOW as a credentialed  Life and ADHD Coach that ADHD can be more difficult to deal with in difficult times. But, if we listen to our loved one with ADHD and learn their language, we will get through this better and be stronger together!
If you are interested in receiving additional support through this time, please set up a complimentary consultation to talk about family coaching or individual coaching. I’m here to help right now and always.


Schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation