Journaling for ADHD

Guest Post by Megan Mansyr


ADHD manifests itself differently within the varying populations of those who suffer from the disorder and is largely dependent on the victim’s age. While children with ADHD seem to respond best to stimulant medical intervention, adolescents and adults seem to be able to adjust using behavioral therapy, either in conjunction with or without medical intervention. Among these, cognitive therapies such as self-reflective journaling appear to hold great promise in treating ADHD later in life.

            Under the Cognitive theory,

  • “learning is constructive…not repetitive… ,
  • “self-awareness” and “self-regulation” are essential to learning and “cognitive growth,” and
  • “the ability to think about ones own thinking;” is necessary for guiding behavior.

Studies show that individuals with ADHD can benefit significantly from the development of these cognitive strategies. Journaling about oneself and reflecting on one’s thinking, therefore, enhances the way individuals learn about their behavior and thought processes. Most critically, journaling can be used as a method and guide for self-regulation, an important attribute of adult behavior sometimes less well developed in individuals suffering from ADHD.

In a study that used “personal strengths” to develop “self-determination” and sounder “social-emotional levels” in postsecondary students with ADHD, it was found that successful students possess the ability to “understand their strengths and weaknesses (also termed self-determination).” Activities that contribute to developing these skills help both adolescent and adult sufferers of ADHD succeed in school and beyond. Journaling is one such activity, especially in so far as it enables those with ADHD to better understand themselves.

Furthermore, it is important for therapeutic interventions to target cognitive areas in which ADHD sufferers are typically deficient. These include, but are not limited to, an individual’s capacity for:

  • organization
  • self-regulation
  • overcoming procrastination.

Through positive, hope-inspired journaling, ADHD victims can further develop these and other skills needed to succeed in academics and life.


Megan Mansyr: As a child diagnosed with ADHD, I vividly recall the shame induced upon me by peers and teachers on account of my attention difficulties in school. Yet despite shouldering this societally deemed, “handicap”, I have persistently made it a point to overcome the impediments reinforced by the academic and psychiatric communities.  Join me in an exploration of ADHD at




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