So I’m 16 and I’ve had ADHD for seven years and have recently be having impulse problems. I take Adderall and my main trouble with ADHD is probably a little bit of impulse and mainly attention. I do things that I don’t think about which is and yes I know it’s a treat of ADHD but I want to know how I can make things better because I do things without thinking and then I get in trouble for them and then the next minute I regret doing it I get in a lot of fights with my parents because of some of the impulse things I do because I argue with them a lot or backtalk or just not do what I’m supposed to do or whatever and some of them yes are impulses and some of it’s not so I was just wondering if any of you have any tips on how to help with it and maybe hyperactivity or attention or on all. whichever will help. Thanks. And this is been going on for a while but it’s starting to get a little bit worse on it and I’ve talk to my doctor about it and there’s not much she can do she can’t increase my medicine because it won’t do much and I’ve done a whole bunch of stuff counseling and books I’m talking to them whatever
Impulsivity is hard, because you have to do so much in advance to limit the risk of it. For me, I have to make sure I’m not only taking medication but also sleeping enough, managing my stress, going to my appointments, talking about issues that bother me, and doing self care throughout the day. I find that if I don’t do those things I’m more irritable and more reactive. I also find that for me I get in trouble with impulsive spending, so I have to have limits on things in advance.
The other thing that I’ll say that has really helped me with people is, “Find a way to say yes.” People can be very irritating, especially parents, and it’s easy to get upset and fight or argue. I try to keep telling myself anytime someone asks something of me, “Find a way to say yes.” Even if I can’t do what they’re asking, I try to find a way to be helpful or meet some of their need. It can be tough if you’re not in a place to be kind, but that goes back to self care.
It’s been noted too that you may also need to take a look at whether or not you’re getting enough of the right stimulation. Impulsivity can be tied to trying to meet an immediate emotional or neurobiological need. Also, arguing and fighting can actually be rewarding to the ADHD brain. So, make sure that you’re getting the “right kind” of stimulation so that your brain can tolerate the boring or frustrating stuff. Find stuff to do during the day that challenges or engages you. Exercise is always recommended, even if it’s just a quick walk somewhere, maybe taking the long way to class or stretching before it begins.
It’s been my experience that the best defense against impulsivity is planning ahead.
Mindfulness/meditation has helped me a lot with this. The ap Headspace is what I use but i know there are others out there that can help.
At 16 you’re impulsive because that’s what you’re supposed to be. All adolescents are, in some manner, impulsive. It’s useful to learn to notice your own impulsivity now during adolescence, and it’s probably the case that you’re super-duper-impulsive if you have ADHD, more so than the average adolescent, so, don’t stop with the self-control lessons and learning! But in the meantime, cut yourself some slack! You can’t be a fully fledged adult yet, you don’t have the brain chemistry or physiology and you won’t until you’re well into your 20s or even early 30s.
Today when I went to the grocery store, I was considering whether to get cookies or candy. Really, I shouldn’t get either, I’m supposed to be losing weight. Well, I’m very proud of myself, I bought sugar-free peanut butter, some pure dairy fancy cheese (Port Salut, love it!), and a couple of boxes of Atkins brand meal bars. No sugar! I don’t know why I was able to resist the impulse to buy cruddy sweets, but I didn’t do it. And when I got home, I slathered an Atkins bar with peanut butter and wolfed it down and loved it, and it hit the “cookie” spot JUST RIGHT. Reward! Quarter! I am AN OH SO GOOD BOY! Wahoo!
One impulse resisted. Only a jillion more to go …