Sign up today and get 50% off your first session!

ADHD in Men: Symptoms and Management Tips

June 10, 2024
Written By: Hero Journey Club

13 percent of men will be diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at some point in their lives, which makes males almost three times more likely than women to get an ADHD diagnosis. Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed or think you might be dealing with ADHD, you’re not alone. 

We’re here to help you understand the basics of this common diagnosis and help you find the resources you need to feel confident and move forward in life.

What Are the Common Symptoms of ADHD in Men? 

Men often get diagnosed with ADHD as children — the average age is seven. However, you might not realize that you exhibit signs of ADHD until you’re an adult. The primary adult ADHD symptoms to look for are:

  • Inattention: The biggest symptom associated with child and adult ADHD in men is trouble focusing and paying attention. As an adult man with ADHD, you might deal with compulsive fidgeting, find your mind wandering throughout the day, and experience forgetfulness.
  • Hyperactivity: This symptom separates ADHD from attention-deficit disorder (ADD). Men with ADHD tend to experience bouts of restless energy, which can be tough to control.
  • Impulsivity: Poor impulse control — making hasty decisions that might have negative consequences — is also associated with ADHD in men.
  • Disorganization: Men with ADHD often struggle to keep their stuff tidy and organized.
  • Distractibility: Adult ADHD makes it hard to pay attention to tasks that take a lot of intense focus, like reading a book, writing a paper, or doing chores.
  • Difficulty Managing Time: Men with ADHD often struggle to show up on time due to forgetfulness and distractibility. Procrastination is also a big aspect of the profile of a man with ADHD.
  • Emotional Dysregulation: Men with ADHD experience irritability, mood swings, and low self-esteem more regularly than others. 
  • Problems With Self-Motivation: ADHD can make it hard to start tasks and projects — and finish them later.
  • Difficulty With Relationships: ADHD also affects the connections a man has with friends and family members. Loved ones may feel like a man with ADHD isn’t paying attention to them and feel neglected at times due to forgetfulness and poor time management.

Why Is ADHD Often Overlooked or Misdiagnosed in Men? 

An ADHD diagnosis from a mental health professional isn’t as common for adult men as it is for young boys. There are several reasons why this condition is often overlooked or misdiagnosed in men: 

  • The Societal Perception of ADHD: Many men feel afraid to talk to a healthcare professional about ADHD symptoms. Since ADHD is associated with impulsive behavior, low motivation, and procrastination, some men may experience a decline in self-confidence. However, know that ADHD isn’t a weakness or a sign of moral failure.
  • ADHD Sometimes Looks Like Other Conditions: ADHD is often misdiagnosed as depression, anxiety, or even bipolar disorder. 

Late diagnosis or misdiagnosis of ADHD can seriously affect a man’s mental health. Dealing with confusing and frustrating symptoms without clarity or the right support options can be incredibly hard, which is why an accurate, prompt diagnosis of ADHD can change a man’s life.

How Can Men Manage Their ADHD Symptoms? 

Managing ADHD as a man starts with understanding the symptoms and acknowledging their presence in your life. From there, you can manage your symptoms with healthy habits, professional help and support, and, if necessary, medication.

Regular Exercise

Exercise can release some of the pent-up energy that men with ADHD often experience. When you channel that energy into something constructive, like fitness, you may find that your head feels clearer, and it’s easier to focus on the tasks and projects that need your attention. 

Balanced Diet

Eating well fuels your body and mind, leaving you better equipped to deal with symptoms like mood swings, hyperactivity, and distractibility. Limiting your caffeine and sugar intake can be extremely helpful, as these stimulants can bring out more symptoms of hyperactivity and irritability.

Adequate Sleep

Getting enough sleep also equips you to handle the symptoms of ADHD as they appear throughout the day. Sometimes, sleeping well means keeping distractions like your phone and TV out of the bedroom, freeing up your mind to wind down and rest.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Racing thoughts can make it hard to calm down and find peace, but mindfulness and meditation can help. By training your brain to slow down and focus on something simple, you can build up your resistance to distractions over time. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Doing CBT with a licensed therapist can be life-changing if you deal with ADHD. This evidence-based form of therapy can help you find the beliefs and feelings that hold you back from growth, giving you the tools you need to become the person you want to be.

Joining Support Groups

Partnering with a professional therapist and like-minded men who share your struggle can help you better cope with ADHD symptoms. If standard support groups aren’t up your alley, consider joining a virtual group like Hero Journey Club that meets within one of your favorite video games.

Using Organizational Tools

Staying organized can be hard, with or without ADHD in the mix. Using organizational tools like a planner, a to-do list, and a calendar can free up some mental space and help you avoid stress. 

Limiting Distractions

ADHD can make it hard to stay focused on an important task, especially when you’re in a stimulating environment. Try to work in a space that’s quiet, peaceful, and free of distractions — maybe including other people. If you’re tempted to talk with friends instead of focusing on your work, going solo when you need to get something done might be the right move.

Regular Breaks

Staying focused is more of a marathon than a sprint — it’s all about sustaining your attention rather than relying on short bursts of energy. Sometimes, the best way to get your mind back on track is to take a break. Schedule downtime into your day to avoid getting burnt out, overwhelmed, and distracted.

Seek Professional Help

There’s no shame in seeking professional help for ADHD. In fact, it’s a sign of strength — it shows that you value yourself enough to invest in your future. 

Sometimes, professional help looks like a prescription for a medication designed to support your ability to focus. Sometimes, it’s therapy. Often, it may be a combination of support from a psychiatrist and a therapist who help you stay on track with a strong plan for coping with ADHD. 

Not sure where to start? You can find a list of providers in your area online and make an appointment. If this sounds overwhelming, consider having a friend or family member make the call for you — they’ll be happy to help you out.

How Can Hero Journey Club Support Men with ADHD?

You’re not alone as you walk through life with ADHD. Hero Journey Club can help you stay motivated, inspired, and connected with weekly support groups held within the virtual worlds of games like Minecraft and Animal Crossing. 

Led by therapists and grounded in evidence-based practices, Hero Journey Club can complement other forms of professional help. By meeting weekly inside one of your favorite video games, you get an emotional outlet, a safe space to share your wins and setbacks, and ongoing connection points throughout the rest of the week. 

Sign up for your first session today to get connected with our supportive, inclusive community.

Embracing the Journey: Reflecting on ADHD Management For Men

Now that you know how to recognize and manage the symptoms of ADHD as a man, it’s time to seek the help and support you need to thrive. We always encourage men who deal with the symptoms of ADHD to seek out a professional diagnosis and ongoing support from a therapist. The habits we listed above can help you organize your life as you move forward from there. 

With healthy habits and professional support in place, the next step is joining a weekly support group with Hero Journey Club. Sign up for 80-minute sessions within one of your favorite games to build valuable relationships, find new ways to cope with your symptoms, and get guidance from a professional Guide. While our groups don’t replace one-on-one therapy, they can be an impactful addition to the care and support you get throughout the rest of the week.

Join Hero Journey Club today to get started.

Sources:

Data and Statistics About ADHD | CDC

Public perceptions of adult ADHD: Indications of stigma? | PMC

ADHD and Sleep Problems: How Are They Related? | Sleep Foundation

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? | American Psychological Association