View Full Version : What is the #1 most helpful non-med strategy you've implemented in your life?


zaremskya
01-26-12, 12:27 AM
It could be anything to do with lifestyle changes, organizational/motivational things, social changes etc...

I just want to know what is the #1 most helpful thing people here have done to manage their ADD that wasn't medication?

(p.s. I'm not anti-medication in the slightest fyi)

trishcan
01-26-12, 12:34 AM
Easily, lists. With environmental restructuring and clutter minimizing a close second.

CheekyMonkey
01-26-12, 12:38 AM
Behaviorally modifying my anxiety. Lowering my anxiety made it a lot easier to actually use lists and stuff. :nod:

babidi
01-26-12, 01:14 AM
To-do list and Calendar on a smartphone

Hotshot007
01-26-12, 02:26 AM
These guys got it..lists..i have them everywhere..stickypads, back pocket mini pads, my hand...call them crutches but everytime I quit doing my calender and lists in my life I have screwed things up.

Another thing that really got me going and it is second to lists is EXERCISE. Although before medication the days after the gym were some of my most equally productive but also impulsive and restless. It was after a 45 super detox cardio all natural diet no caffeine test that I really thought i was going crazy..I started exploring options.

fracturedstory
01-26-12, 03:05 AM
The daily to-do list which is pretty short and sweet and involves doing chores, plans of how to get the most out of my meds, reminders for shopping or appointments and even meals and leisure activities are written down. I had about 8 items on it today.
Sometimes I may have to add "have shower" if I still haven't even done that yet.

Eating healthy and a weekend exercise routine is helpful too. On the weekend because I'm not on medication (fast heart beat) and because it give me more time to do it.

Mostly I plan for everything. Lack of structure means I'm going to be watching TV all day.

spunkysmum
01-26-12, 03:10 AM
You know, I'm not sure I could really tell you at this point.

SpaceSprocket
01-26-12, 03:50 AM
I also agree with the lists...although, I must admit, I just spent 10 minutes digging around for my forum password which I had written on a list. I just couldn't remember which list.

Going along with the lists: If I think of something that I want or need to remember while doing something else, I write it down immediately. Then I do not have to worry about the circular "remembering to remember" which is a distraction in itself. I can forget it and get back to what I was working on.

Keeping a calendar is also big for me, especially computerized with reminders.

Getting enough sleep. Still trouble. The time just slips away.

A white noise machine to block out the extraneous sounds and noises. TV from another room, someone talking on the phone, neighbor edging his lawn, etc. I find them very distracting and intruding mentally. Forget the repeating raindrop or crashing wave electronic machines though. You can hear the spot where the sound repeats which, for me, was just as annoying. The Marpac models are just a "white noise" fan that drowns out the distractions and just fades into the background. I don't even hear it anymore. This is somewhat new to me. I love it. I wish I had bought one years ago. I used to use music for this, but that was only good for certain tasks. Didn't work with reading.

Unmanagable
01-26-12, 04:01 AM
Meditation

-Nick-
01-26-12, 06:03 AM
Lack of structure means I'm going to be watching TV all day.

I know, right! But having structure in my life is like constantly walking a tightrope! Eventually, I always fall off...

-Nick-
01-26-12, 06:06 AM
Meditation

I CAN'T meditate.

I've been to meditation classes, CBT-style meditation workshops, even a 10-day vipassana retreat...

My brain can NOT concentrate! It's desperately frustrating, because I really want to re-find my spirituality - probably the most important thing in my life, but it's gotten lost at some point.

Nifferka
01-26-12, 06:43 AM
Lists, and being ever-hopeful.

The weather in November here is the same as the weather in March: rainy and in the low 60's. The difference is, in November the leaves are falling and it's getting colder, whereas in March trees are budding and the world is thawing out. It's the hope of Spring that makes me want to get out and splash in the puddles. I'm not doing that in November.

When I feel like things are never going to get any better, that I'm just going to have one failure after another, then any fresh evidence of my forgetfulness and disorganization saps what little motivation I had to begin with. But when I have hope, however unfounded, that this project, this week, this day, this hour will be a good one, I take my never-ending stream of little failures in stride.

cameron90
01-26-12, 08:47 AM
I CAN'T meditate.

I've been to meditation classes, CBT-style meditation workshops, even a 10-day vipassana retreat...

My brain can NOT concentrate! It's desperately frustrating, because I really want to re-find my spirituality - probably the most important thing in my life, but it's gotten lost at some point.

I'm the same way, I never understood it. I just can't seem to get thoughts out of my head or stop them from popping up. This makes it difficult to sleep a lot of times, let alone meditate.

The most helpful thing for me, personally, is being open with people that are close to me about my issues so that I don't feel like I'm offending or neglecting them.

seraphynx
01-26-12, 09:01 AM
Off the top of my head...putting a dry erase calendar on the top of the fridge/freezer. I write down everything and I look at it regularly enough to not forget. Probably second is apps on my phone like any.do and evernote.

String
01-26-12, 03:18 PM
I can't write one thing, but I'll give you my current list:

1. Sleep
2. Writing a short to do list (I try to keep my lists with no more than 4 items)
3. Staying physically active (feeds my brain with all the good chemicals)
4. Meditation (or at least some mindfulness, relaxation techniques, etc.)

TheChemicals
01-26-12, 04:20 PM
It could be anything to do with lifestyle changes, organizational/motivational things, social changes etc...

I just want to know what is the #1 most helpful thing people here have done to manage their ADD that wasn't medication?

(p.s. I'm not anti-medication in the slightest fyi)

I have become more social. Its a forced thing. My add makes me a recluse and i love it but it turns into depression and hopeless lonelyness, which are bbbbbadd. You really have to find a partner out there you can relate to. This is by far the #1 non-med answer. I can always keep it up and my whole being hates it but the results are always good

SpaceSprocket
01-28-12, 04:08 AM
Mind Maps are another tool I find very helpful.

I love their conceptual based, non-linear format. They help me get my jittery, hyperactive, lateral associations out of my head and down on paper. Then I can actually put them to some use, and return to them later, instead of having them disappear into the ether as the next idea comes crashing in.

Piper30
01-28-12, 04:13 AM
Post Its...I keep them in my pocket, purse, everywhere. I have lists as well. Sometimes a thought pops in my head and I have seconds before it will disappear. Post its...greatest invention ever lol

pitchw
02-12-12, 06:26 PM
1. Exercise

2. Vitamins - D, B-Complex

Fuzzy12
02-12-12, 06:49 PM
Exercise. However, even though I know how much it helps me I can't motivate myself to do it so I very rarely actually do any exercise.


I CAN'T meditate.


I don't meditate but I know that there are lots of different ways to meditate. One very simple way is to just watch your thoughts. Don't try to control them, modify them or influence them in any way. You can just observe them, observe the chain of thoughts, the way they jump around, etc. When I do that, I often just go blank because of course the process of observing your thoughts influences them -> Observer's paradox. But then you can observe the blank..or the observing..and so on....

wiffy123
02-12-12, 08:25 PM
playing my guitar spending time with my litle girl she a smart little cockie she now how to calm me ok not all the tim e but most .the other bikes bikes and bikes it calms me after its my drug. xbox and keping fit.

pechemignonne
02-12-12, 09:08 PM
Not being afraid to be redundant. I have a calendar and I put things in my phone scheduler.

I set two alarms when necessary.

Anything that is important is "backed up" several times.

I also have an alarm to wake up, and an alarm to "get going". I have alarms to remind me to get back to work when I'm taking a break.

I even have alarms to take my medication.

Also, if you are having trouble doing something, start small. Avoiding dishes? Wash one dish. Avoiding exercise? Put on your gear and just get out the door.

Sometimes you can trick yourself that way to avoid the overwhelming effect of thinking of doing something that seems "too much".

bizarre101
02-12-12, 10:16 PM
overwhelming

This word is the key, for me, and - from what I have read - I believe for a lot of others here too.

What you suggest is a logical conclusion, its in Kaizen (japanese management technique) too, imo.

tortilaman
02-19-12, 04:16 PM
Not being afraid to be redundant. I have a calendar and I put things in my phone scheduler.

I set two alarms when necessary.

Anything that is important is "backed up" several times.

I also have an alarm to wake up, and an alarm to "get going". I have alarms to remind me to get back to work when I'm taking a break.

I even have alarms to take my medication.

Also, if you are having trouble doing something, start small. Avoiding dishes? Wash one dish. Avoiding exercise? Put on your gear and just get out the door.

Sometimes you can trick yourself that way to avoid the overwhelming effect of thinking of doing something that seems "too much".

This is huge for me. My "Master List" is in My Life Organized (a program: http://www.mylifeorganized.net/) I use this to keep reminders for every little small thing that needs to be done. Reminders for the gym, reminders to go to staples and buy pencils, everything has a due date etc. I also have Google Calendar in my phone for appointments and anything that concretely has to happen at a certain time. I have a desk calendar with this as well. There is a whiteboard, there are the paper lists so I can "Cross Off" what I've done (this is very satisfying) Reminders and redundancy. I am a fish out of water without my smartphone though.

ADDisme2010
03-04-12, 12:08 AM
Regulating my schedule, specially sleep schedule. This was hard to do, as I worked evening and night shifts for alot of years. Finally got on a normal schedule, and that helps with my overall mood.

andy78
06-20-12, 06:39 AM
I would say the Astrid To Do App on my android phone has help me. But I still have a long way to go. I seem to end up having 2-3 Apps on my phone with same tasks and then the Sticky notes on my PC and Post its at office desk. This gets confusing.
Does anyone have trouble with ending up having multiple ways to track but not able to do much?

AbsentMindProf
06-20-12, 09:04 AM
Marrying a wonderful, understanding woman that doesn't have ADHD. :lol::p She takes care of all of the things I would screw up.

Lunacie
06-20-12, 10:52 AM
I CAN'T meditate.

I've been to meditation classes, CBT-style meditation workshops, even a 10-day vipassana retreat...

My brain can NOT concentrate! It's desperately frustrating, because I really want to re-find my spirituality - probably the most important thing in my life, but it's gotten lost at some point.

Sitting completely still and emptying your mind of all thoughts is only one
way of meditating. It doesn't work for me either. Moving meditation is
something that I can do. I discovered that when I'm mowing the yard, or
mopping the floor, or folding the laundry, or just walking, the part of my
mind that needs stimulation is busy and it allows the introspective part of
my mind to sort out how I really think/feel about what's happening in my
life without that clutter of thoughts getting in the way.

Google for more info on "moving meditation" or "walking meditation."
Labyrinths are great for this, a couple of churches in my area have
permanent labyrinths set up.


1. Exercise

2. Vitamins - D, B-Complex

I add Omega 3 fish oil supplements to the Vitamin D3 (make sure it's D3)
and B complex. The number one thing that helps me is Omega 3.


Marrying a wonderful, understanding woman that doesn't have ADHD. :lol::p She takes care of all of the things I would screw up.

In my case it's my daughter, as we're both divorced and live together. She
gets a little overwhelmed and I hate to ask her to take care of things for
me, but when I really need her I know she'll jump in. And vice-versa, I take
care of some the things that she struggles with or just hates to do. Huge
change from when I lived with her daddy and he was so judgmental.

andy78
06-20-12, 11:23 AM
Marrying a wonderful, understanding woman that doesn't have ADHD. :lol::p She takes care of all of the things I would screw up.
It should be atleast Understanding+Non ADD. My wife doesn't have ADD but is understanding only when she is in good mood. Otherwise it's not that good. :(

Buffie1313
06-20-12, 11:55 AM
I am new to ADHD but I am 34 and made it this far....When I had kids I realized I can no longer remember anything. So getting a calender you can write on is a big help for apointments and upcoming events. Routine is always a big thing with me. I make dinner the same time everyday kids go to bed the sametime everyday and so on. When I get taken out of that it does mess me up. I didn't know why before now I do lol
My house is a mess I manly make sure dishes are clean at night if I can and we have clean clothes. If they get folded and put away that is a different story...Lucky me I am always on time with all by bills...Don't get me wrong I use my credit cards way to much and owe a lot but, I get them payed on time.
At work..when I did work at GEICO, I kept a note pad and small calender to let me know I have to call someone back. Note pad gave me the info so I can find the person in the computer to call. So when I fisrt get to work I check those things. For me keeping a promise of anykind is a big deal..witch ever calling people when I say I will, paying bills things like that. Now a promise of cleaning the house to my husband lol he'll get over it ;)

Good Luck

Blimey
06-29-12, 10:25 PM
I make lists but I don't find it very helpful, as I keep making more and more lists, re-prioritising existing things on the list (as well as adding more) and then I give up altogether.

greygreygrey
06-30-12, 03:47 PM
Programs or browser extensions that block certain websites for hours of the day that I specify. I've used and had success with leechblock for firefox, stayfocusd for chrome, and more recently I've started using SelfControl, which has its problems but works no matter what browser I open. All are free.
These have made an incredible change in my life. Can't imagine how many hours of work I've completed because of them, hours which would otherwise be killed on time-wasting sites. I never miss an opportunity to recommend them to people, ADHD or not. :)
Typically after the program kicks in, I'll spend 5-10 minutes being angry that I can't check facebook for the umpteenth time, after which I'll go...alright then. Guess I'd better get to work.
ETA: Ical, too, to write down and schedule absolutely everything, often with alarms set as reminders.

Slo-mo a-go-go
06-30-12, 09:59 PM
loving & accepting myself with ADHD-PI

All my life, I've felt so much guilt and anxiety over my constant "failings" that it consumed me. But luckily, I have such a joy and zest for life that with my BF's help, I'm slowly unloading that weight off my shoulders and that's improving my poor working memory.

TheChemicals
06-30-12, 11:19 PM
Willpower.

NATIVE762
06-30-12, 11:31 PM
acceptance of myself (then lonerism)

johngalt
07-01-12, 02:15 PM
Hi,i am doc with recently diagnosed ADD.My best way to tackle frustration of failure to study or to concentrate was to play my Guitar.It was my savior.Regarding planning still not able to find a good way to remember:o

slowride
07-03-12, 02:51 AM
Lately the best little thing I've done was to set an hour aside every week and put all of my deadlines in my phone with reminders. I usually do it Sunday night before the work week. I work overnights (I'm off right now) so I try to do it as early as possible so that I can talk with my gf about stuff and she points out things I might forget about. I use the time left over to sort and prioritize tasks for the next day. I like to do my lists day of and not get carried away. Sometimes I feel a little OCD-ish when I get too far into making lists. When I over-plan, I feel like I'm wasting time planning because it feels good to plan and I don't want to stop... if that makes sense to anybody. I try to keep it general... 1.)work thing x 2.) work thing y 3.) pay bills 4.) go to store, and so on.

ADDinHDefgHi?!
07-03-12, 07:26 AM
I try and stay in tune with my intuition, it's ultimately the most effective non med tool I have.

I try and keep things simple and make sure I'm living an inspiring life (inspiring to me).

I feel like I have an internal GPS system of sorts, except it doesn't give me exact directions it just gives me a picture and a feeling. I've noticed that when I stay in tune with myself and keep those images in my mind I'll come to a place in time where I've realized that particular vision.

If I don't pay attention I'll wander off and notice a sense of meaninglessness pervading my life. I've noticed a pattern as far as being out of tune with myself and being depressed. I know it may sound like some new age c@#p but it's just what I've learned from my experiences.

So basically my main navigating system in this world is my intuition. When you're engaged in something that is important to you you're less likely to get off track.

The little details become less overwhelming when I have a better idea of what I'm aiming at in life.

smoothsailing
07-03-12, 05:46 PM
I have been taking hula hoop dance classes for several months, and it's the perfect combination of stress relief, meditation, exercise, and allowing my ADHD energy to flow! I'm hooked on the hoop. Also makes a good party trick ;)

Calendula
07-03-12, 08:29 PM
Nature, exercise and supplements such as B vitamins calms me down

Candlewax
07-05-12, 06:04 AM
for me it was getting off sugar. I used to be quite addicted to it, I'd buy a bottle of coke, a bag of candy or a box of icecream and finish the whole thing in one go. now I don't eat any sugar anymore at all, only naturally occurring sugars in fruit and milk etc. mood is much more stable, more energy..

alisno1fan
07-19-12, 07:08 PM
I wish I could meditate but I can't focus lol. I like one of the doctor's I saw's answer to insomnia and really fast thoughts.
"Just clear your mind."
O_O
Really....
Well in that case....
Ahahahaha!!!! :D

Irishrose79
07-19-12, 07:35 PM
This may sound silly, but I stopped trying to be "normal" and focused more on being functional. Now if something works for me, I don't care how strange other people find it.

ConcertaParent
08-01-12, 11:08 AM
Easily, lists.Wow, of the numerous things tried over the years, the #1 most helpful are only lists? So the alternative treatments such as Learning Breakthrough Program/Dore, Interactive Metronome, neurofeedback, cognitive training, brain/AV entrainment, etc. turned out not to be as helpful overall?

What about for children? What has been the #1 most helpful treatment for your ADHD kids besides drugs and behaviour modification/accomodation?

phantasm
08-01-12, 10:08 PM
I try and stay in tune with my intuition, it's ultimately the most effective non med tool I have.

I try and keep things simple and make sure I'm living an inspiring life (inspiring to me).

I feel like I have an internal GPS system of sorts, except it doesn't give me exact directions it just gives me a picture and a feeling. I've noticed that when I stay in tune with myself and keep those images in my mind I'll come to a place in time where I've realized that particular vision.

If I don't pay attention I'll wander off and notice a sense of meaninglessness pervading my life. I've noticed a pattern as far as being out of tune with myself and being depressed. I know it may sound like some new age c@#p but it's just what I've learned from my experiences.

So basically my main navigating system in this world is my intuition. When you're engaged in something that is important to you you're less likely to get off track.

The little details become less overwhelming when I have a better idea of what I'm aiming at in life.

WOW, I totally feel the same way. I call it my "inner compass". Except I have no clear goals or direction, I just can tell when I'm going the wrong or the right way. So I basicly live by my intuition and how I feel in the moment.

Luckily, I am married to someone who is NOT AT ALL like me. In fact, we are complete and utter opposites. He is goal orientated, achieves everything he thinks or wants, manages all our finances, and provides stability. I keep him laughing (with me or at me :giggle:), and grounded. He is soooo serious, and i don't tend to be...:eyebrow:

I digress..

The secret to my ADHD life, is to keep it simple, keep it routine, and check in with myself and my gut. If i feel something is off, I take inventory, cry about it, then start over the next day. Like Groundhog day. I also like to have "rewards" like a yummy meal to cook, or fun things to look forward to in the week. That is my inspiration to keep going in the moment, in the day, or that week. Plus, I have a 5 year old that will correct me I mess up. Now that's embarrassing. :doh:

phantasm
08-01-12, 10:25 PM
What about for children? What has been the #1 most helpful treatment for your ADHD kids besides drugs and behaviour modification/accomodation?

That's an excellent question - I have one of the most well behaved kids because i keep her on a schedule. I have since she was 6 weeks old. Call it my ADHD, but I had a spreadsheet of her natural habits, I charted the times that she needed to eat, sleep, play ect. and then I figured out her natural rhythm and modified the times to fit my schedule. (She was a colic baby and slept during the day and stayed up all night. so I needed to switch her schedule)

Anywho...in charting her natural schedule and over time getting it in better sync with the rest of the world, i kept her on that same schedule.

Basicly, she wakes at the same time every morning, eats at 8am, noon, and 5pm everyday, goes to bed at the exact same time everyday and such. I plan my whole day around her schedule and if something comes up where the schedule is interupted, I make accomodations.

Because of this, she has had 2 public tantrums in her entire life. :eek: Having such a schedule helps me key into her moods and feelings, since she knows what to expect in her day. Thus the reason she won't have a tantrum, because she never goes hungry and sleeps adequatly everyday. As she starts sports and school and extra curricular activities, I just add it into the schedule. Simple as that. She means everything to me and is my hyperfocus if you will, and if I have anything to say about it, she will never be like me.

Don't ask me why I can't do this for myself :scratch: