October is National ADHD awareness month and it is estimated that 4.4 % of adults, ages 18-44, have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The population of college students with ADHD has increased substantially in the past 20 years — from roughly 2 percent of the student body to about 11.6 percent (Kevin Antshel et al., 2022). Know that you are not alone and that the best strategy to cope with ADHD as a college student is to first identify symptoms that you may be experiencing and implement practical coping skills to help you manage those symptoms.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is a condition whose principal trait is continuous hyperactivity-impulsivity and inattention, which interferes with development and functioning (Xu et al., 2018).
Know the signs:
Hyperactivity and impulsivity:
- Experiencing extreme restlessness
- Talking excessively
- Interrupting or intruding on others
Inattention, such as challenges with:
- Paying close attention to details
- Following instructions and finishing duties
- Managing time and staying organized
Furthermore, ADHD symptoms may manifest as disorganization or forgetfulness. For instance, failing to meet deadlines and forgetting assignments, eyeglasses, or school supplies. You may also struggle socially as ADHD can make social interactions more difficult.
Implement Coping Skills:
- Guided meditation
- Binaural beats playlists
- Regular physical exercise
- Use of a planner to keep track of assignments
- Creating and utilizing a support system of friends and family
- Creating and implementing a regular self-care regimen: (hydration, sleep, eating)
- Divide time spent on assignments
- Plan to study/complete assignments during times that you are most attentive
- Schedule breaks throughout the school day
- Schedule a psychotherapy appointment with your school counseling center
- Schedule an appointment with your school’s office of disability services
- Schedule a medication evaluation appointment with your school’s clinic
- Use of applications such as Headspace and Calm
If you think you may have ADHD you do not have to go through it alone!
Download and subscribe to the Kiira Health app to meet with a licensed mental health care provider that can help you with learning more about ADHD as well as with identifying and managing symptoms.
Kevin Antshel, P. D., Anne Stevens, P. D., Michael Meinzer, P. D., & Will Canu, P. D. (2022, June 15). How can we improve outcomes for college students with ADHD? ADDitude. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.additudemag.com/college-students-and-adhd-improving-outcomes/
Xu, G., Strathearn, L., Liu, B., Yang, B., & Bao, W. (2018). Twenty-year trends in diagnosed attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among U.S. children and adolescents, 1997-2016. JAMA network open, 1(4), e181471-e181471. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2698633