Skip to content

3 Tips for Controlling Your ADHD During Rehab

3 Tips for Controlling Your ADHD During Rehab

For those with ADHD, rehab can feel impossible, particularly if medication to manage the disorder is not an option

Rehab is never easy for anyone. However, for those with ADHD, it can feel impossible, particularly if medication to manage the disorder is not an option. However, by applying a series of targeted strategies while considering your personality and the things that trip you up, you can overcome both your ADHD and your addiction, and achieve a sober and healthy life. If you or a loved one in Des Moines is having difficulty managing ADHD in rehab, learn how you can thrive in an addiction treatment environment.

Understanding How ADHD Manifests in a Person

It is important to note that ADHD does not present in the same way for each person, as is the case with most mental disorders. Also, it is not uncommon for an individual to be undiagnosed. Many individuals with ADHD develop personal coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms. Indeed, this is often the root of a drug or alcohol addiction – seeking to escape the hyperactive tendencies.

However, there are some common symptoms. If you are uncertain if you or a loved one should be considered ADHD, the following checklist will provide some guidance.

  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Impulsivity
  • Difficulty completing tasks
  • Disorganization
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Hot temper
  • Trouble coping with stress
  • Unstable relationships

While it cannot be overemphasized that no two people who have ADHD look precisely the same, it is likely that this mental health condition is present if many of the symptoms listed above are present. The presence of ADHD can compound the difficulty of attaining a successful rehabilitation process, particularly when drugs are part of the coping mechanism for ADHD. It is also of note that ADHD is much more prevalent than one might believe, with nearly 5 percent of the US adult population regularly experiencing the above symptoms.

Use Visual Cues

Because this mental health condition results in haphazard thoughts and a sense of being scattered, individuals often feel frustration, confusion, or even. The emotional responses to ADHD often lead to unhealthy choices such as seeking escape through drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, this tendency is only increased when medications to control the mental health condition are disallowed.

One of the best ways to counteract ADHD is through the use of visual cues. A visual cue can be a sticky note on the mirror reminding you to breathe slowly, or to focus on a task that needs to be completed. You could use a bracelet with key phrases on it, like “Love Your Wife” or “Stay Strong.” Some important things to consider when creating a visual cue are:

  • Putting the visual cue in a place you will see it often, or even in multiple places as needed
  • Using visual cues that will encourage or inspire you, rather than create aggravation or frustration
  • Limiting the visual cues to no more than three statements

Using visual cues can help you stay focused and motivated in the unfamiliar environment of rehab.

Give Yourself Permission to Wander

Often the person struggling with ADHD feels overly self-conscious about every unfocused moment or lost train of thought. However, everyone has moments when concentration becomes difficult or a wonderful thought simply disappears into thin air. Another key to thriving in rehab with ADHD is to give yourself permission to have a wandering mind. One of the biggest battles every individual in rehab fights is shame and unworthiness. So be gentle with yourself during this difficult and stressful time and let your mind wander if you need to.

Use Tools to Stay on Track

Instead of being at the mercy of an unfocused mind, an individual can identify tools to stay on track. One example is to always carry a small notebook that will easily fit in a pocket or purse. When an important thought intrudes in the midst of an activity, she can simply write it down and choose to deal with it later. In this way, she has given the interrupting thought time, and promised to address it, but is able to stay on task.

Find Addiction Treatment that Meets Your Needs

Many are far too quick to assume failure once a Dual Diagnosis of addiction and a mental health condition like ADHD are uncovered. Dual Diagnosis does create additional difficulties, simply because there are more factors to consider. But by applying the tips listed above, successful rehab is possible.

The risks and the cost of addiction are too high. If you or a loved one in Des Moines is struggling with addiction and ADHD, we can help. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction. They can help you find your way.