How to Find an ADHD Support Group

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If you or your child have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may have heard advice suggesting that you should join a support group. However, you might be left wondering what a support group is, how you might benefit from one, and where to find one to join.

Support Groups

Support groups involve groups of people who share similar concerns and experiences. These groups meet regularly to offer comfort, advice, encouragement, and advice. These groups can play an important part in filling in social support gaps between an individual's medical treatment and emotional well-being. 

Let’s explore ways to find an ADHD support group, including some of the best places to look. Understanding what these groups can offer and how you might benefit from participating in one can help you choose the right group for your needs.

Finding ADHD Support Groups

If you are interested in finding an ADHD support group, the first step is to assess some of the different available resources. In the past, support groups were frequently held in person. Such face-to-face meetings are still an option, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to the increased availability of many mental health services, including support groups.

Some places where you might start your search for an ADHD support group are listed below.

CHADD ADHD Support Groups

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is an ADHD organization that offers information and resources, including both in-person and online support communities.

Contact CHADD

You can contact CHADD by phone at (800) 233-4050, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM EST.

They also have a parent-to-parent educational support program where parents can learn more about their child's condition, understand treatment approaches, and discover effective parenting strategies and interventions.

If you are looking for a local, in-person group to support children or adults with ADHD, you can search by state to find meetings in your area.

In addition to looking for support groups through a local CHADD chapter, the organization also offers two online communities. One community focuses on providing advice and support for the parents and caregivers of children who have ADHD. CHADD's other online group is designed to provide support for people who have adult ADHD.

ADDA ADHD Support Groups

The Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) hosts many resources for people with ADHD, including workshops, support groups, and a peer-mentor program.

Contact ADDA

You can contact ADDA by phone at (800) 939-1019.

To join a support group offered by the organization, you must first become an ADDA member. Options include virtual groups for people who have ADHD and are also women over age 50, parents, adults, LGBTQIA+, men, Black, and South Asian people. They also offer a group for non-ADHD partners of individuals who have the condition.  

The organization also offers workshops on friendships, mindfulness, money management, and healthy habits, among other topics.

Start Your Own ADHD Support Group

If you can't find an ADHD support group in your area, you can also start your own. You might start by modeling your group after others you've seen online or talking to your child's doctor or therapist for advice.

Talking to other parents of ADHD children in your child's area, including those that attend your child's school, can be a great way to learn about what resources might be available to support your new group and what other parents are looking for.

Reasons to Join a Support Group

There are many ADHD resources, from your doctor to online articles. But sometimes, one of the best sources of information, support, and encouragement is to talk to other people who have had the same experiences as you.

For Kids

For kids and teens, support groups can act as a source of connection to others. Research has found that children and teens with ADHD often feel different than their peers. They also tend to be more likely to experience bullying and peer exclusion.

The connections they make through a support group can help them see that they are not alone.

For Parents

For the parents of a child with ADHD, a support group can be a place to share concerns and find advice. Other parents can be there to explain situations they have faced and describe what worked for them. 

Peers can provide insight on topics such as making your home more ADHD-friendly and fun activities for kids with ADHD.

Having that kind of example can be a great way to find effective solutions and find social support to combat feelings of isolation. Parents who previously felt that they had no one to talk to can find—often for the first time—a group of parents to understand and share many of their concerns, experiences, and goals.

For Adults With ADHD

If you are an adult who has been diagnosed with ADHD, a support group can be a valuable source of insight and support. Adults with ADHD may have spent years struggling to understand their symptoms and behaviors.

A diagnosis can often be a relief, but it can also open up new questions, and people strive to understand how the condition affects their lives and what they can do to cope.

Support groups can provide a wealth of information from the lived experiences of other people who have been through or are currently going through the same thing as you. Because social support is pivotal for mental well-being and can improve coping with chronic conditions such as ADHD, having people to lean on can often serve as an essential helping hand.

For Partners and Family Members

If you are a non-ADHD partner of someone with the condition, you might struggle with knowing how to understand your partner’s behavior. You might wonder whether some behaviors are related to having ADHD, and you may wish you knew more about how to respond and how to offer support.

You might also feel isolated at times, especially if it seems like your friends don’t face some of the same challenges as their partners.

Support groups specifically aimed at non-ADHD partners can be an excellent way to find information and an understanding ear. Peers can share their experiences and offer tips to help you in your relationship.

Effectiveness of ADHD Support Groups

There is a lack of research on the benefits and effectiveness of support groups, but anecdotal reports often suggest that such groups can be helpful. Increased interest in online interventions for various mental health conditions has also led to some research on whether online support groups and communities may be helpful as treatment or coping tools. 

In many cases, these online groups boost well-being and quality of life, but some studies have shown that they may also improve functioning and reduce symptoms, at least for some conditions.

Research has found that mental health support groups can be useful for improving coping skills, increasing self-esteem, reducing symptoms, providing social support, and improving self-efficacy.

Things to Consider Before You Join

Before joining an ADHD support group, there are a few important things to think about.

Support Groups are Not an Alternative to Treatment

An ADHD support group can be a great resource, but it is important to remember that it should not be your only source of information. Support groups can be helpful when they are included as part of a comprehensive plan that includes professional treatment.

Support groups are not treatment. They can be used to complement medication, therapy, skills training, and other interventions, but they should not be used on their own.

Be Aware of Potential Risks

There are some potential risks to consider. In one study looking at support groups for depression, people who participated in support groups reported symptoms of anxiety and distress related to being unable to help others in the group more.

Consider the Source

While support groups are intended to be supportive, not all groups are created equal. Clinician-led groups that adhere to evidence-based recommendations may be more helpful than some online groups that are unmoderated and more likely to offer questionable or even potentially harmful advice. 

If someone makes a suggestion in a support group, whether in person or online, consider asking your pediatrician or therapist first.

A Word From Verywell

ADHD support groups can be a valuable resources, but it is important to find a group that is suited to your needs. Looking locally can be helpful if you are interested in meeting others face-to-face, but online groups are also a great option. Always remember, however, that many of these groups are peer-led and you should always check with your doctor or therapist if you are concerned about the advice that may have been shared in your group.

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