View Full Version : ADD Survival Tips (Women ONLY)

12-18-03, 08:18 PM
Hi Everybody,

Terry Matlen from is in the process of writing a book for women with AD/HD. Right now she is looking for topics for survival tips that women would like to see covered.

What types of things would women with ADD like to see covered?

Please list you ideas here!!

FYI - She is looking for actual tips from women with ADD. These tips will be published in her book along with the names of people who submitted them.

She will also hold a drawing of the women who have submit tips. 30 women will win a free copy of her book.

If you would like to submit tips please send them to me via pm and I will pass them on to Terry.

12-18-03, 10:07 PM
Is being a woman with ADD really a seperate condition from being a man with ADD? Somehow I take offense when even a condition as universal as ADD is going to be gender segregated into seperate treatment plans, seperate books, seperate therapy groups. Is this a marketing angle? Or a legitimate need to additionally seperate the two genders - once again.

12-18-03, 10:16 PM
Actually there are quite a bit of differences in men and women when it comes to AD/HD. If you would like to learn more about the differences try going to the site

Please keep this thread limited to ideas for survival tips for women.

Thanks :)

12-19-03, 07:23 PM
Terry hopes to write a book specificaly for men after this one.

12-19-03, 07:24 PM
So, do any of the women have ideas for things you would like to see covered in the book??

01-05-04, 05:27 PM
If you have any tips for the following areas please let me know.

1. Organzing/cleaning home-housekeeping (kitchen, pantry, kids' rooms, closets, school papers, etc)
2. Shopping: groceries
3. Cooking and entertaining (what and how to cook, etc)
3. Clothes: what to wear, how to shop
4. Laundry tips
5. Chores
6. Parenting (when parent and child have ADD; keeping your cool, etc)
7. Relationships- how to keep them; boredom/intimacy issues, sex
8. Personal habits (hyper talkative- too quiet, returning phone calls, food, exercise, hormones etc)
9. Work issues; boss, co-workers, organizing office (filing, papers, deadlines, etc)
10. Time management, procrastination, distractions: how to manage them
11. Hypersensitivities (touch, smell, visual, etc)
12. Memory tips (post-its, planners, timers, remembering to take meds, remenbering special occasions)
13. Social Skills
14. Plusses of having ADD

01-05-04, 06:31 PM
frequently good at "letting go" of anger rapidly.
4,5,6,8,9,10,11,12 ... actively recruit and involve others: to have code words and notify of special problems, etc.

01-05-04, 06:39 PM
Thanks David,

For Women who would like to have the tips published in Terry's Book you can send them to me VIA PM or submit them at

Right now Terry is only looking for tips from women. She is planning on writing a book for men after the one for women is done.

01-05-04, 06:56 PM
Sorry... I PM you but I'd like others to know...

Your message says (Women Only) but the thread title omits those two words.

I'm sorry i missed reading those where they do exist.

I agree, there are a number of gender specific issues with ADHD.

01-05-04, 07:11 PM
Nothing to be sorry about.
I am helping Terry with the book that she is writing for women with AD/HD. I don't think there is any harm in men posting tips on the board but the she is looking for actual tips for the book to be from women.

01-14-04, 11:08 AM
Thanks to all of you who have submitted tips. We have received some great ones. I think it's going to be a great book.

Keep the tips coming!!!!

01-16-04, 09:04 PM
Organizing is big for me. I can keep school work organized. I finally got that together when I was in college, but keeping school, work, and my room organized yeah right! LOL I can only focus on one and the others go crazy. So that if there are tips on how to get it to work in more than one area at a time that would be of help to me.
Also I think that it would be nice if books gave more step by step guides...........amybe with a sugestion of another way to do it if the first doesn't work for you.

01-16-04, 09:07 PM
maybe* Is there a way to edit your own typos if you sent it before checking? I do that too much.

02-29-04, 07:56 PM
OK, two things in particular

1) single women handling their own finances with no one to split the household chores with and little discretionary income to pay organizer/account for financial chores (like filing) other than taxes

2) "assertive v. aggressive" issues at work - how to express your opinion in the workplace when the general (UNSPOKEN, mind you) atmosphere is that either women shouldn't have opinions OR that their opinions should only be expressed in a "pretty-sweet-nicety-nice" way when your contralto voice does not lend itself to that type of communication, BUT if you smile when you attempt to communicate objections or opinions you are criticized for not being sufficiently serious

03-10-04, 12:03 AM
How about medications and or supplements that help women with ADD.

03-15-04, 03:31 PM
I emailed Terry my thoughts...but never heard anything from her, here is what I remember...actually I dont remember what email address I sent it from...*oh bother*

1. finanaces!!! How to keep track of them. How to save. HOw to NOT live rom paycheck to paycheck etc...
2. Support systems-what is out there? who to contact. HOw to educate your significant others and how to get them to work with you instead of against you...
3. How to stay on task-I personally work in an enviorment that is very do you get things to just flow?
4. to get financial help here. How to find schools that are ADD friendly. Things that help-learning centers etc... How to get your degree with the help you need-how to educate your educators...success stories are always a plus...
5. Diet & Excerise-what is good what is bad...why do we go for the foods we do...

Livingwithadd...could you see if Terry got my email from before? Thank you!

03-15-04, 04:29 PM
You can submit it again at

03-17-04, 08:53 PM
How some tips on learning to accept your limitations and organize your life style around that somehow.

04-11-04, 12:09 AM
Hi all,

Thanks all for your tips. I am busy gathering them up and organizing them. But I need more!! Please continue sending them via Tara's form. (thanks Tara!).

30 random submitters will win a free copy of the book.

....back to work...


05-08-04, 10:23 AM
For Terry --

I'm a little confused. It occurred to me that I'm not sure whether you're looking for tips from people that are surviving the madness OR whether you're looking for topics to cover where people haven't yet figured out how to conquer the madness. Or both. Could you please clarify?

05-08-04, 01:10 PM
She is looking for both. There is a list of the different topics that she is looking for here

05-23-04, 02:53 AM
I'm a newbie ~ this is a great forum. Have found lots of information ~ mostly realizing that all the things I don't like about myself are typical for many of you, and I'm "normal" for a woman with ADD.
One of the biggest things that has helped me with home organization is the website <> She speakes a lot of breaking things down into little jobs, i.e. set the timer for 15 minutes and do the task at hand. Her motto is, anyone can do anything for 15 minutes. It has also worked great for my kids. we set the timer for 15 minutes, and they run around the house and see how many toys they can find to put away, or straighten up their room, etc. It is a game for them. Also being very specific. For 15 minutes, I'll work at cleaning the kitchen. When the timer goes off, I'll set it for 15 minutes and straiten up the living room. Then for 15 minutes, I'll fold laundry. Then for 15 minutes I take a break and play with the kids or take a break. When I spend just 15 minutes in 1 zone, I see some accomplishment, which encourages me to do more, or at least keep that clean. And when I get behind, I try not to beat myself up and spend all night catching up. I just spend 15 minutes doing 1 little job, and see what I can accomplish. It has really been a lifesaver for me.

05-23-04, 04:49 AM
hi and welcome, leann!


wow - why haven't *i* been able to figure than one out?!
"anyone can do anything for 15 minutes" - i think i'm going to try to actually *believe* in that!

i tend to get "stuck" in whatever is interesting to me at *this* moment, and so this timer thing seems to be worth trying - without some form of "alarm signal" to sort of "wake me up" i'm afraid i'll just keep doing whatever i'm doing, instead of doing whatever it is i *"should"* be doing...
(like right now, for example - what i *"should"* be doing is taking out the trash, but here i am, surfing the 'net instead!;-)

i'll buy a timer first thing tomorrow morning!

05-24-04, 01:11 AM
Hi, Gabriela

Yea, my problem is, I start cleaning the kitchen, find something to put away in a drawer in the desk in the living room, notice the drawer needs to be cleaned out, dump it out on the floor and start away, then the floor needs to be vacuumed, but I havent' finished vacuuming the bedroom, so there I go, and so on, and on, and on. With this *15 minute* thing, I know that I can wait to clean out that drawer and do it in my next 15 minute spot. By the end of the 1st 15 minutes, I've lost the desire (or forgoten) to clean out the drawer...

What a mad, mad, world we live in ;>)

05-27-04, 06:39 PM
One of my biggest hurdles to overcome after I was diagnosed with ADHD was gaining control of my laundry situation. I found I had enough clothes to dress a small village of people and it wasn't easy to get it all organized. I started with donations to the Salvation Army. Believe it or not I got rid of 10 bags of clothes and 2 bags of shoes - these were hefty garbage bags too. I could still stand to donate a bit more. It wasn't an easy task to tackle and it didn't happen over night. But little by little I went through every article of clothing and sorted it out. Anything I haven't worn in the past year, anything that looked a little worn, anything that was no longer in style, and anything that no longer fit me well.... went to the less fortunate.

Also, another laundry problem I had was completing the laundry cycle. I don't have a washer/dryer and have to go to a laundromat to do laundry. That was a huge effort and I often put it off until I had 6 loads to do. Then I'd get home and be so sick of looking at laundry I would never put the clean clothes away. I would live out of the laundry basket, put the dirty clothes on the floor and usually everything ended up wrinkled so I would be constantly ironing something to wear. My solution that seems to be working is I MAKE myself go to the laundromat every weekend. It's a lot easier now since I don't have SO MANY clothes. Also, and here's a great tip if you have problems like me.... I take hangers to the laundromat with me and put my work clothes on hangers as soon as they come out of the dryer. Then, when I get home I hang them up immediately in my closet. Sometimes I still slack on putting away the socks & undies, etc. But, it's a system that seems to be working for me.

Regarding keeping track of financials... I am a single girl, 29 and keeping track of the bills is a nightmare for me. I went to Staples and got myself 2 folders for 50 cents a piece I think. I keep all my paid bills in one folder and my unpaid bills, checkbook, envelopes and stamps in another. I keep the unpaid folder in the living room and try to go thru it two or three times a month. When I have to pay bills everything I need is in the folder. Also, since I started my meds it's been a lot easier to consistently use a dayplanner, so I mark down in my datebook when a bill is due and how much it is. Especially those bills that only reoccur every 3 months like car insurance. I write them all in there for the whole year so I know when a payment is coming up. I also got an accounting book at Staples (like a ledger notebook) and I write down my checks that I write in there. I always lose those little books they give you at the bank to balance your checkbook - the ledger seems to be a lot easier to keep track of. Also, ONLINE BANKING. Thank god for that. I check my bank account online and put an X next to the checks I wrote after they clear my account.

As far as medication and supplements go, I had to get a pillbox. No way I would be able to keep track of my meds without it. I take Strattera, a birth control pill, a multivitamin and DHA in the morning - all at once. DHA is a pretty nifty supplement to complement adhd meds. It's a harmless gel cap that promotes brain function and I've found it counters the lethary/rebound effect that meds can have. It is naturally found in breastmilk and formula companies are now adding it to baby formula for mom's who don't breast feed. I take Nature's Way DHA. Make sure you get it from a credible company - otherwise you may not get a product with reliable contents. I also drink Ensure High Protein for breakfast every morning. Gotta get your protein to feed your brain!

I also make myself go to the grocery store every weekend. I had this weird phobia of grocery stores all my life and never knew why until I learned I have ADHD. Since I started meds I don't get so overwhelmed in there anymore and my diet has improved a great deal since I always have food in my cupboards. It's an effort to cook dinner for myself - it just seems so silly to cook a complete meal for just me, but sometimes I will cook up 2 or 3 pork chops and a whole batch of veggies so the next day or so I can just reheat it.

That's about all I've tackled so far. I have found, as Sari Solden said in Women with ADD, if you make small adjustments in your life, other aspects of your life will fall into place accordingly.

Hope I didn't rattle on too much here - and I hope there's something helpful in my ramblings!

Take Care,

05-28-04, 08:45 PM
I found that doing bits helps... forget taking on cleaning the whole room at once.

I'll just put the clothes away in the bedroom, then move to the bathroom and wipe the counter, then I'll wipe the stove top.

Maybe have one specific action and move from room to room?
eg. wipe, throw out.
If you have to declutter, choose one category of things to pick up... (things that belong back in the bathroom, gather them from the TV room, then take them to the bathroom and put them away in their own spots in the bathroom). Clothes that need to be put in laundry basket... go from room to room and gather them up (quickly). The trick is not to do too many 'rounds'. Usually just one or two in a row.

As for tips SPECIFICALLY for women... how to deal with mood swings, and keep track of regular appointments is good.
If the women are finding themsleves to be the household manager (scheduling and organizing...) then how to keep that under control (I find that I'm usually the one who keeps tabs on what things we need to buy when we run out...).

09-18-04, 10:58 AM
is there an update about this book?

10-07-04, 02:06 AM
1. Organzing/cleaning home-housekeeping (kitchen, pantry, kids' rooms, closets, school papers, etc)

Answer: Buy a pet rat and let it roam freely and bring the dog in to vacuum frequently

2. Shopping: groceries

Answer: Get the husband to do that.

3. Cooking and entertaining (what and how to cook, etc)

Answer: Dont bother, because it is too hard.

3. Clothes: what to wear, how to shop

Answer: What ever is clean, and dont bother trying to shop, just borrow from your sisters.

4. Laundry tips

Answer: Try really hard to remember to hang out the laundry after you have washed it for the 3rd time.

5. Chores

Answer: I thought they were only for kids.

6. Parenting (when parent and child have ADD; keeping your cool, etc)

Answer: Understand they probably have ADD too and they cant help it either.

7. Relationships- how to keep them; boredom/intimacy issues, sex

Answer: AAAAAHHHHH now I am speechless - wouldnt have a clue.

8. Personal habits (hyper talkative- too quiet, returning phone calls, food, exercise, hormones etc)

Answer: Regret Regret Regret

9. Work issues; boss, co-workers, organizing office (filing, papers, deadlines, etc)

Answer: sheessh - just pretend!

10. Time management, procrastination, distractions: how to manage them

Answer: Wait a minute I will get back to this one ........

11. Hypersensitivities (touch, smell, visual, etc)

Answer: Shut up and dont touch me.

12. Memory tips (post-its, planners, timers, remembering to take meds, remenbering special occasions)

Answer: forgot the question.

13. Social Skills

Answer: Lost all my friends over the years - dont need to worry about that one.

14. Plusses of having ADD

Answer: You have to learn to love yourself, because no one else does


10-07-04, 09:49 AM
pregnancy while taking meds....
i'm on adderall and wellbutrin, they have been a lifesaver
but i'm also wanting another baby...i will probably
get pregnant next year
i don't want to get off wellbutrin b/c i think i would
become extremely deppressed (as i am a deppressive
and its the only drug that has helped me at all) but
adderall would be an easy sacrifice..

10-07-04, 08:30 PM
um.. i just take ritalin and im just hte same as anyone else around me..

10-14-04, 09:42 AM
suggestions that i have as far as cleaning and organizing:
if you live in a two story home ( i do) and if you're like me- you will clean less upstairs b/c you have to go run downstairs and gather cleaning gear
it is extremely helpful if you make yourself cleaning stations around the house.
for example:
if you have a linen closet upstairs, put a bucket filled with the items that you normally use i.e. gloves, cleansers, sponges, brushes whatever.
this way you don't have the hassle of running around and losing motivation just get your cleaning on its way.
also: let your vacuum cleaner be your FRIEND.
i had an old vacuum for awhile and i detested it. plus it was just not very functional as far as multitasking...
well i bought (quite reasonably priced for those on a budget, bought a great one at walmart for about $120) another vacuum and i use the extensions all the time. examples: the attachment with the brush on it: use it for getting dust et all off of base boards and walls. i found that cleaning the base boards was a nightmare, thus i would never do it. i had tried cleaning wipes and it would end up smearing those linty dusty stuff around instead of being really clean, sponges cleansers blah blah..this is my new tactic ladies:
swipe all of your baseboards w/ vacuum attachment. smile at how easy it was.
next: i use that teflon cleaner i think its clorox..its foamy and repels junk..i spray a bit on there and wipe it down the whole baseboard. ohhh my goodness. clean gleaming wonderfully clean baseboards. looooww maintenance. yay!

another: let cleaners work for you!
cleaning toilets: put cleaner in them and walk away. clean your bathrooms like an assembly line. use the cleaning wipes for keeping the toilet surfaces clean throughout the week. use bleach tablets which reduce any buildup of dirty toilet. walk to each bathroom and spray soap scum remover all over the shower surfaces -walk away and let sit..when you're doing the chemicals for toilet and shower..when you wait for them to take action- spray the mirrors and wipe down. and vacuum the floor!
yes. its so much easier than breaking out with a broom. i hated the disgusting stuff that accumulates on the bathroom floor..the vacuum gets all of this out and quickly and efficiently.
once cleaner has worked on your shower tub, depending on what kind of surface your showers stalls are: use the 3M heavy duty scouring pads. they are great b/c they actually work. you don't have to sit there and scrub for a long time. they actually require very little time.
if you do not have a shower head that detaches as a sprayer..get one. this way you can rinse off your bathtub shower when you are cleaning it with greater ease.
i always freaked out when i used a bucket b/c i would have to lift a totally heavy bucket of water and try to rinse the walls w/ out getting water you think that happened? heyall no. the water splashed back at me and ran off of the ledges and got onto my floor. so the sprayer rules.
also: if you do not have a squeegee then get one. if you have shower doors they rock b/c you just get rid of the water on the walls and you have less maintenance as far as actually can do this on regular shower walls too. water is your enemy..wipe your walls down.
you should spray after getting in the shower w/ the anti soapscum spray...if you don't want to use that you can certainly use that hints for heloise-ey vinegar concoction that i don't know the recipe for that inhibits mildew also.

i know this seems stupid..but seperate laundry
automatically. have seperate hampers for whites, colors and so on so you can just do loads w/ out having to seperate.

for general pickup. its easier to organize if you have a place for everything. if you don't have a place for it ..or a 'home' than you need to consider how it fits into your life and how you can deal w/it..
having a basket w/ a handle or a pretty floor container in most rooms so that you can toss stuff that need to go to other rooms. and then when you go to the other room pick it up and deposit items where needed...
for example:
my son will bring toys upstairs to his bedroom and we keep all of his toys downstairs so he won't play when he's supposed to be taking a nap or going to i put a basket up there and i can just pick it up and bring it downstairs when i am actually going down there instead of making an individual trip.

for big cleaning tasks. you must live by your calendar. choose one detestable item you hate doing but needs to be done to have your house clean and do it w/ your spouse/ roomate or yourself once a month..things like thoroughly clean out fridge, garage, dusting ceiling fans, washing windows, cleaning laundry area or under major appliances like fridges and stoves....
this way there is a regularly scheduled maintenance of this random stuff but you don't have to do it in one day!!!

plus you can break down areas of the house by day. on wk/ends i do bathrooms.
during the week i vacuum.
throughout the week i do little tiny cleaning stuff so i don't feel overwhelmed but my house stays clean.

thats my tip.

10-14-04, 12:22 PM
FYI just an update about this thread: Terry is no longer looking for tips for her book. She is in the process of writing the book now which should be published in the spring of 2005.

Feel free to keep using this thread to give each other tips though :)

10-14-04, 04:34 PM
I like to cook from scratch, but like it to go quickly and easily. One thing that I have found very helpful is to keep measuring spoons or cups in the containers where I store my ingredients. I drop plastic measuring spoons into storage containers for baking powder, salt and such. For flour, sugar, etc. I toss in those measuring cups used most frequently for my favorite recipes. I also keep all my baking ingredients in one cupboard, with the appropriate bowls and whisks nearby. I find that now I can bake something from scratch just about as simply as from a box.

I like to cook from scratch because just a few ingredients make so many, many different things. Life is simpler with fewer items to buy.