Does it often feel impossible to focus on one thing at a time? Or to sit still without feeling restless or fidgety? If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then it’s possible you could have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts up to 5% of U.S. adults.
For those who don’t know, ADHD is characterized by symptoms of inattention (difficulty staying focused), hyperactivity (often fidgeting or finding it hard to stay still), and impulsivity (difficulty controlling impulses like interrupting or talking excessively). ADHD symptoms most often appear at work, home, and socially — and occur in two or more of these settings.
If there’s one thing the past few years have taught us, it’s that change is inevitable, and we need to be flexible and ready to shift gears at any time. The stress and uncertainty can sometimes result in a feeling of being overwhelmed in today’s world. And for adults with ADHD, transitions of any kind can be hard due to the added planning and coordination they require.
Fortunately, there are ways that can help make managing your ADHD symptoms through these transitions easier. Read on for some tips to help the millions of adults in America diagnosed with ADHD manage their symptoms in today’s world.
1. Take It Slow
Adults living with ADHD can experience difficulties with paying attention, planning ahead, and managing their time, which is why having a simple, structured routine can help as you navigate social and professional relationships, both IRL and online.
Dr. Ellen Littman, a clinical psychologist who specializes in identifying and treating complex presentations of ADHD, explains that the key to making a successful transition is to take it slow and stay attuned to whether your symptoms are feeling difficult to manage. She encourages individuals with ADHD to view the reopening of society as an opportunity to rescript their participation in it — creating a better fit for managing distractions in the post-pandemic world.
2. Experiment With A Hybrid Working Environment
While many folks have returned to the office, a plethora of companies have established a hybrid working environment to accommodate their employees, many of whom have gotten used to the ease and flexibility of working remotely over the last couple of years. In other words: Being in the office 9 to 5 may no longer be a mandatory company requirement. If you’ve found that you have been able to meet the demands of work from home without the distractions of a commute and some of the typical office interruptions, you may want to ask your manager if a hybrid working environment is an option.
Interweaving days in the office with fully remote days can be a great way to make the transition back to the office less intense, all while experimenting with the working style that works best for you. A couple of pro tips for managing your ADHD symptoms at the office? Get a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones to tune out distractions, and find a quiet meeting room in your office where you can escape to help you focus.
3. Be Patient With Yourself
Some adults living with ADHD may find it easy to get down on themselves or get stuck in a negative feedback loop, but it’s important to remember that there are ways to cope with your ADHD symptoms — like medication and therapy. Littman recommends seeking guidance from a therapist to help cope with uncertainties you may have.
“Part of a commitment to better self-care could include speaking with a therapist, whose objectivity can help those with ADHD not feel judged or criticized,” Littman says. “An advocate, however short-term, can help. Staying in touch with your doctor is important as well. Together, you can help map out a treatment plan that’s right for you.”
4. Talk To Your Doctor
It’s always important to talk to your doctor and now could be the right time to discuss starting an ADHD treatment plan. MacKenzie*, a 24-year-old living with ADHD, is taking that advice to heart.
MacKenzie went off her ADHD medication when she couldn’t get a doctor’s appointment during the height of the pandemic. When MacKenzie was once again able to schedule an office visit, she discussed her condition with her doctor who reevaluated her and recommended that she revisit her previous treatment plan that included Vyvanse® (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) (CII), a prescription medicine used for the treatment of ADHD in patients 6 years and older.
“As we discussed my treatment plan, my psychiatrist reminded me that Vyvanse may make me feel jittery and she recommended I take it in the morning to decrease the possibility that I would have trouble falling asleep at night. She worked with me to make sure I felt comfortable in the decision. It’s important for doctors to go over all the potential risks and benefits of taking Vyvanse.”
Doctors should explain that Vyvanse is not for weight loss and that it’s not known if it is safe and effective for the treatment of obesity. Doctors will also ask if you have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medicines since Vyvanse is a federally controlled stimulant medicine that can be abused or lead to physical or psychological dependence.
Doctors also want to know about any history and family history of heart conditions, and suggest regular blood pressure and heart rate checkups. Patients taking Vyvanse should tell their doctor right away if they have chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Vyvanse.
Scroll below for additional Important Safety Information, including Boxed WARNING for Abuse and Dependence. Click here for Medication Guide and discuss with your doctor.
A treatment plan helped MacKenzie get her ADHD symptoms more under control.
However, it’s important to remember that every patient’s experience with ADHD is different and there’s no “one-size-fits-all” way to treat this disorder. Whether you’ve used coping mechanisms to manage your ADHD for years, or recently found a new one, it’s really important to work with your healthcare team to find a treatment plan that could help better manage your ADHD symptoms.
*MacKenzie is a paid spokesperson for Takeda.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION (CONT’D)
Abuse & Dependence. Vyvanse, other amphetamine containing medicines, and methylphenidate have a high chance for abuse and may cause physical and psychological dependence. Your healthcare provider (HCP) should check you or your child for signs of abuse and dependence before and during treatment with Vyvanse.
Tell your HCP if you or your child have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs. Your HCP can tell you more about the differences between physical and psychological dependence and drug addiction.
Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it contains lisdexamfetamine dimesylate that can be a target for people who abuse prescription medicines or street drugs. Keep Vyvanse in a safe place to protect it from theft. Never sell or give your Vyvanse to anyone else because it may cause death or harm to them and it is against the law.
Who should not take Vyvanse?
Do not take Vyvanse if you or your child are:
- allergic to amphetamine products or any of the ingredients in Vyvanse. See Medication Guide for a list of ingredients.
- taking, or have stopped taking in the last 14 days, a medicine called a Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor (MAOI).
- being treated with the antibiotic linezolid or intravenous methylene blue.
Vyvanse may cause serious side effects, including:
- Heart-related problems including: sudden death, stroke, and heart attack in adults; sudden death in children who have heart problems or heart defects; increased blood pressure and heart rate. Your HCP should check you or your child carefully for heart problems before starting treatment with Vyvanse. Tell your HCP if you or your child have any heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, or a family history of these problems. Your HCP should check your or your child’s blood pressure and heart rate regularly during treatment with Vyvanse. Call your HCP or go to the ER right away if you or your child have any signs of heart problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting during treatment with Vyvanse.
- Mental (psychiatric) problems, including: new or worse behavior and thought problems; new or worse bipolar illness; new psychotic symptoms (such as hearing voices, or seeing or believing things that are not real) or new manic symptoms. Tell your HCP about any mental problems you or your child have or about a family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression. Call your HCP right away if you or your child have any new or worsening mental symptoms or problems during treatment with Vyvanse, especially hearing voices, seeing or believing things that are not real, or new manic symptoms.
- Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children. Children should have their height and weight checked often during treatment with Vyvanse. Vyvanse treatment may be stopped if your child is not growing or gaining weight.
- Circulation problems in fingers and toes (Peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon). Tell your HCP if you or your child’s fingers or toes feel numb, cool, painful, change color from pale, to blue, to red, or if they are sensitive to temperature. Call your HCP right away if you or your child have any signs of unexplained wounds appearing on fingers or toes during treatment with Vyvanse.
- Serotonin Syndrome. A potentially life-threatening problem called serotonin syndrome may happen when Vyvanse is taken with certain other medicines. Stop taking Vyvanse and call your HCP or go to the nearest hospital ER right away if you or your child develop any of the following signs and symptoms of serotonin syndrome: agitation, flushing, coma, loss of coordination, dizziness, seeing or hearing things that are not real (hallucination), high body temperature (hyperthermia), fast heartbeat, seizures, sweating, confusion, tremors, stiff muscles, or muscle twitching, changes in blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
Before taking Vyvanse, tell your HCP about all medical conditions, including if you or your child:
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Vyvanse may harm the unborn baby.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Vyvanse passes into breast milk. You or your child should not breastfeed during treatment with Vyvanse. Talk to your HCP about the best way to feed the baby during treatment with Vyvanse.
What are possible side effects of Vyvanse?
The most common side effects of Vyvanse in children 6 to 17 and adults with ADHD include:
- loss of appetite (anorexia)
- trouble sleeping
- decreased appetite
- stomach pain
- dry mouth
- weight loss
What is Vyvanse?
Vyvanse is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in patients 6 years and above. Vyvanse is not for use in children under 6 years of age with ADHD. Vyvanse is not for weight loss. It is not known if Vyvanse is safe and effective for the treatment of obesity.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov.medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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