Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention-deficit disorder (ADD) is normally characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity. It is a chronic condition that usually consists of forgetfulness, poor impulse control, severe procrastination, poor concentration and being easily distracted.


Student Disability Center, UC Davis 160 South Silo Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Voice: (530) 752-3184

Community Psychiatry Associates 2055 Anderson Road Davis, CA 95616 (530)-297-7500 General Psychiatry, diagnosis and treatment of AD/HD

ADHD Research & Clinical Programs at the MIND Institute. 2825 50th Street Sacramento, CA 95817 At the UC Davis Medical Center


  • "Driven to Distraction" by Dr. Ed Hallowell
  • "Delivered from Distraction" by Dr. Ed Hallowell


Coping Strategies

  • Get a proper diagnosis from a professional mental health care provider (i.e. a psychiatrist, preferably someone who has lots of experience with patients with ADHD),
  • Find a support system
  • Eat properly (good nutrition). Breakfast is essential.
  • Exercise regularly (particularly some form of cardio).
  • Connect with others who have ADHD. Creativity and fun will ensue. You might benefit from this.
  • Get rid of the overly critical [of you] people in your life.
  • Figure out what is making you miserable and eliminate it from your life.
  • Be careful who you disclose your learning disability to—some people are extremely judgmental and hold on to old stereotypes. Steer clear of these people.
  • On a similar note, find a patient and understanding significant other.
  • Don't let your piles of paper get out of control!
  • Have lots of waste baskets around your house/office.
  • Simplify your filing system.
  • Do it now or write it down.
  • Develop a caffeine habit (although this is controversial).
  • Keep your desk clear of clutter.
  • Get one of those weekly calendars (like At-a-Glance) and write down everything you MUST get done (i.e. class, assignments, etc.).
  • Use Post-Its, highlighters, Sharpies to make reminders for yourself around the office and home.
  • Some people use Marijuana to cope with their "ADHD" rather than pharmaceuticals.
  • If in school, consider using medication (Adderall, Welbutrin, Ritalin, Strattera, Concerta, among others) and see if you qualify for accommodations.
  • Get some tutoring.
  • Break tasks down into manageable chunks. So instead of "pay bill," you would think of your task as: 1) get bill. 2) get checkbook. 3)get envelope. 4) get stamp. 5)write check. 6)etc.

    Instead of "do homework" you would think of your task as: 1) get books together. 2) get assignment. 3)open word processor. 4)get internet links 5) turn off internet. 6)write paragraph.

  • Homework hack to get started on your homework: make audio recordings of the concepts and then transcribe them. Voila! Rough draft!
  • 10-15 minutes of homework, 5 minutes of break. or use if you can handle 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break.
  • Get enough sleep! Seriously!
  • Check out "The Lighter Side of ADD"
  • Find a sense of humor


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2008-04-11 00:16:38   I didn't like this guy at all. —NickSchmalenberger

2008-04-11 01:04:17   People need to get over ADD. It's not a valid excuse for being lazy. It's so unbelievably overdiagnosed that perhaps maybe a tenth of those diagnosed with it really have it. Hyperactivity is not synonymous with ADD. Having it doesn't mean that you can't concentrate on things, just that it is harder to concentrate on some things. Drugs are helpful, but not necessary. I have it; I live with it. If you use it as an excuse for something, I'm liable to slap you. </mini_rant> —WilliamLewis

I feel that because these issues are usually just a list of traits that a person may have some of, along with money, to be diagnosed, that the traits should be dealt with individually regardless of diagnosis. I feel that the most good I got out of going to various doctors, regardless of their diagnosis, was that I became able to describe my feelings fairly well. —NickSchmalenberger

2008-04-11 11:49:13   No need for violence, William! No one is saying that ADD is an excuse for being lazy. However, if not addressed people can suffer some very real consequences (unemployment, drug addiction, getting booted out of school, etc). All we want to do is create a space for support/discussion and perhaps suggest some coping strategies. I don't think everyone who has trouble focusing is ADD. We tend to throw this around and doctors are so quick to diagnose certain people with it. Hey, you could have ADD OR you could just be a crappy student. At any rate, we just want to throw up some information and help some people out (and by "people" I do mean me). Heh. —CurlyGirl26

William just likes to be a mean conservative. Also, I might be wrong about the page getting finished. Since there's so many people with ADD maybe they will all contribute and make something. I was trying to think of something to contribute but "Get adderall" isn't very good. I seriously don't know any good ways to cope with like, not being able to have conversations (even that you're interested in) cause you keep forgetting what you and the other person have said...—BradBenedict

2008-04-11 19:09:05   Radical, this place is already crackling. I created it some days ago and completely got side-tracked by work that I forgot to add to it. Its nice to see people from all sorts contributing. —SunjeetBaadkar"]

2008-04-14 16:32:56   Caffeine may help at times, but you'll find yourself needing increasing amounts to do the job. Or at least thats how it was for me until I realized I had a caffeine addiction back in 1998. Going cold turkey wasn't as delicious as it sounded... —SunjeetBaadkar

2008-04-15 11:38:37   I've actually seen studies where caffeine will make you tired and groggy if you have too much (before it wears off). I guess it's a fine line between the right amount and too much. I think it's even more of a problem if you're already on stimulants. But if you're already on stimulants you should probably keep an eye on your caffeine intake. —BradBenedict

I wasn't talking about the crash. I guess it's kinda like how stimulants calm down people with ADHD. But is more than calming down and makes you groggy. Doesn't makes sense to me. —BradBenedict

2008-04-26 18:51:44   So I don't have medical insurance. I'm wondering if anyone knows a way for me to still get mediciation. I have the funds to pay for it without insurance, but I don't know many doctors that will work with someone who doesn't have it. I used to have a doc in Fresno, but don't really have the time to drive all the way down there for that. Anyone know of someone in town? —SunjeetBaadkar

  • Go see a doctor at CommuniCare Health Center. They take people without health insurance, no problems. You'll pay for your visit, but it isn't too expensive. —TaniaG
    • Thanks for the tip, TaniaG! I completely forgot about CommuniCare. Great service! —CurlyGirl26
    • Awesome! I know where I'll be going this week. Thanks so much. —SunjeetBaadkar

2008-05-10 12:41:44   Never knew this page existed. Anyway, my two cents is to advise an avoidance of Strattera. While I realize side effects occur to some and not others, my experience was one out of the movie Total Recall ie I became very nervous, looking over my shoulder all the time and thought that the cop were after me etc. Stopped taking after one month, been medication free since. —ChrisThompson

I also found that Ritalin and Adderal sapped my creativity and curiosity. -wl

2008-06-04 15:36:20   My mother was convinced I had ADD simply because I tended to procrastinate on homework. She basically flat-out lied to the doctors about my ability to focus, and every time I told her, "Mom, look, I'm focusing REALLY WELL," she insisted that one of the symptoms of ADD is "hyper-focusing". (Funny, then, how I hyper-focused on EVERYTHING.)

So she forced me to take the pills. Between sixth grade and eleventh grade, she had me on Dexedrine, Concerta, Ritalin, and Adderall. I think it was in that order. Funny how they made me do worse in school, actually. But the worst thing was, every single one of them suppressed my appetite. I was already too skinny (I still am, but I've put on about fifteen pounds since high school!), but during the times in high school when I took the pills, I never went over 82 pounds; during the times where I managed to avoid them, I even made it up to ninety pounds once.

Use these pills with care, because they are NOT healthy if you're like me. —KarinaSummers

2008-08-23 13:55:12   Also, remember to go on "medication vacations." Times where you don't take your medication to allow your body to relax and not be on edge... —SunjeetBaadkar

2008-12-31 14:09:58   Anybody know how good the people at Cowell Student Health are at diagnosing ADD? In specific, their GPs? —J.D.Penguin

  • Back when I was going to school, it was Dr. Joy who was the key person for diagnosis. As far as "being good," he did know the proper amount of medication I would need (which was corroborated with my shrink). Currently, I believe Dr. Andrews is the lead person and I have no idea if he/she is good or not. They only ever have one doc do the ADD stuff. —SunjeetBaadkar
  • I went once. The initial person I went to talk to was nice, and reassured me that there were options other than drugs, or that I could go on them once in a great while (rather than twice a day like when I was a kid). The psychiatrist I talked to wasn't a good listener and told me that lots of students try to get diagnosed as ADD because the pills help everyone focus, not just folks with ADD. Then she tried to prescribe me pills that weren't for ADD instead of re-diagnosing me because I wouldn't let her to talk to my parents. She was a horrible listener. I stopped going because I felt like she was projecting rather than listening. I hear they now have actual counselors available instead of only people who just sit there trying to prescribe meds, so that's good.

2008-12-31 17:15:24   Thanks Sunjeet...yea, I was referring to Dr. Andrews...I'm not sure how he is...I was trying to get a referral to a shrink here in Davis, but they said I needed to see him first before I could get referred and covered by SHIP. So we'll see what happens. —J.D.Penguin

2009-03-12 18:58:01   the wiki is the devil when it comes to procrastinating. How do you think i got here? —EricaMacGregor

2011-03-13 10:56:37   "Driven to Distraction" is based on the premise that medicating is the only answer. —Angel.York

2011-05-27 00:11:36   I've been disappointed in the lack of ADHD support at UCD. There are no ADHD-specialist counselors, no support groups, and no workshops that I've been able to find. The psychiatrist I saw at the student health center was incredibly condescending, misleading, and wasn't too knowledgeable about ADHD treatment. Maybe I was been spoiled by my undergraduate institution (large public east coast university) and I have unreasonable expectations. Maybe UCD has just dropped the ball on this. I don't know.

After years of trying (and hating) stimulants, I'm self-treating by eating well, staying physically active, trying my best to get creative about scheduling, and drinking Red Bulls. It's incredibly imperfect, but it's the best I can do for now. —AsmaMaryamMohseni

2013-09-06 07:50:28   Next topic: Studying. Work through the syllabus. —CurlyGirl26