Four key strategies for ADHD (and everything else!)

It is common for people with one neurodevelopmental or mental health condition to also have other ones. While there are some treatments that are specific to the individual condition you have, there are also some treatments that are helpful across a wide range of conditions. If you have more than one health condition, this page will present you with some strategies that can, over time, reduce the symptoms of multiple health conditions at once.

Whether you have ADHD, depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, other health conditions, or combinations of these, there are things you can do to effectively improve your health and quality of life. Some treatments are specific to the conditions that you have. But there are also some strategies that will be helpful across a wide range of conditions at once. 

By investing in the strategies listed below, you can expect improvements across multiple domains of your life and across many (or perhaps all) of the conditions you have. These strategies may seem surprisingly simple, but don’t dismiss them unless you’ve tried them! Many people know about some of these strategies, but the key thing is to consistently incorporate them into your life. 

If you aren’t using any of these strategies yet, we don’t recommend trying them all at once – talk to your psychiatrist or therapist about which one you’d like to start first. Something is better than nothing! 

Strategy #1: Develop a healthy lifestyle.

Below we list four key components (though they’re not the only components) of a healthy lifestyle. Many people don’t yet have healthy habits in these areas. But every improvement you can make should prove helpful. To read more about how to do this, see here.

1) Develop healthy exercise habits.

2) Develop healthy sleeping habits.

3) Develop healthy eating habits.

4) Cut down on alcohol and tobacco use.

Strategy #2: Learn more about the conditions you have.

Regardless of which conditions you have, we recommend learning more about them.

Beyond Blue provides helpful resources on common mental health challenges: provides helpful resources on complex mental health challenges:

Black Dog Institute provides helpful resources on similar topics to Beyond Blue:

Our Resources page provides information about multiple conditions, including ADHD (which receives much less coverage in the pages above).

Strategy #3: Try cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with your therapist.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a recommended part of treatment for ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, substance use disorder, and multiple other conditions.

CBT involves a range of thought-based (cognitive) and behaviour-based (behavioural) strategies for reducing the negative impacts of mental health conditions and improving your daily functioning. The specific CBT strategies that are used will vary depending on which conditions you have.

Strategy #4: Keep everyone in your treating teams in the loop about any new symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments.

If you have multiple health conditions, you probably have multiple doctors and allied health professionals in your life. The different conditions you have can interact with each other, and having one condition can even change your treatment options for other conditions you have (even seemingly unrelated ones). It’s important to make sure that all your doctors know about all the symptoms and conditions you have, including any new ones since you last saw them. That includes your family doctor, your psychiatrist, and any other specialists involved in your care.

It’s also important to let your doctors know all the medications that you use, as well as your use of any supplements and over-the-counter products. This is because all these substances can interact with each other, and your doctors need to know about them to make sure that any combinations are being taken safely.

If you start a new medication with your Call to Mind psychiatrist, they will help you to keep an eye out for its effects and side effects. It’s important for your psychiatrist to know all the medications that you’re on (including any that you started before seeing them, or any supplements or other products that you take over the counter).