A Pragmatic Lifestyle Is Essential

Pragmatic Lifestyle on the Treatment WheelWhat does it mean to live a pragmatic lifestyle, and why is this so important for managing ADHD effectively?

Firstly, lets look at what the word pragmatic means. The venerable Oxford Dictionary says this, “Dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.” Pragmatic and practical also mean that any emotion takes second place in how you manage ADHD. This is difficult because we are pretty emotional beings.
Managing ADHD effectively is in every way a practical effort - some might say struggle - it’s something you do every day, all day.

There is some theory involved, but that is primarily in the form of principles, for instance, reducing the distractions that surround you. To manage ADHD effectively we need to DO a lot, and THINK less! You will find that reducing the distractions completely is impossible, the real world we live in doesn’t allow for that. Another aspect of avoiding distractions is that even silence is a distraction!

So you need to make some “pragmatic decisions” as to which ones you eliminate and which ones you manage as best you can. Many parents - and adults - make decisions about managing their ADHD in an idealistic way. They will use words such as “like” and “idea” in their decision making. “I don’t like the idea of medication” is a good example. Whether the idea is practical, or even desirable, is not even considered.

It’s difficult enough living with ADHD every day without complicating life with arbitrary and idealistic decisions. A pragmatic lifestyle is also a "contented" one.

One of the areas that is most often forced on ADDers is diet. This has come about due partly to the fad that diet can “cure” all number of diseases and ailments, this of course is absolute nonsense. The creators of ALL diets impose severe restrictions on what you can and MUST NOT eat! Some foods have been demonized quite erroneously over the years.
ADDers have an additional complicating factor when it comes to food. We are often labelled as “fussy eaters,” yet it is not the taste that is the problem. It is the texture of the food, which can make us gag.

Delicious pragmatic foodAs an example, the diet Nazis will seize triumphantly on the fact that the ADDer will ladle on the tomato sauce, but refuse to eat fresh wholesome organic tomatoes. In the ADHD world, that is a real problem. You see, fresh tomatoes have pips and are slimy, and can make one vomit up the rest of the food.

A pragmatic dietary lifestyle for ADHD is one that ensures the right amount of food is consumed to keep a person healthy, and importantly, without unnecessary trauma. It is difficult enough dealing with ADHD without having dietary twaddle inflicted on you.

If there is a food that upsets you - there always are - then don´t eat them. I have seen an ADHD child turn into a hyperactive can-of-worms when drinking a red coloured cool drink. I have also seen plenty of other ADHD children who don´t bat an eyelid when drinking the same cool drink.

I can drink more than 5 cups of coffee and tea daily, but I have had two clients who really struggle with caffeine. Pragmatic means if it bothers you, don´t drink it. If it doesn´t, enjoy your life.

Do what the dictionary says, lead a practical and sensible life. This principle applies to every aspect of managing ADHD.