Living with ADHD could be challenging for a lot of people.
ADHD is an acronym for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
It is a common mental disorder or neurodevelopmental disorder.
In people with ADHD, the part of the brain involved in the organization, concentration, and execution of tasks works in a different way compared with neurotypical people.
The disorder affects how a person controls their behavior, pays attention, and even sits still.
Having ADHD could be limiting in various ways, although, it could be an advantage if rightly managed.
Keep reading to know if you can be a police officer despite having this disorder.
Table of Contents
- Types of ADHD
- Medications for ADHD
- Can You Be a Police Officer with ADHD?
- Can Police Officers Take ADHD Medication?
- Tips for Working with ADHD as a Police Officer
Types of ADHD
People with ADHD often have issues with being in a static state and are restless in situations that require focus.
It is genetic.
If you have a family history of a person with ADHD, it is most likely to occur in another person.
The various types are discussed below.
1. Impulsive and hyperactive type
People with this type exhibit impulsive and hyperactive behaviors without paying attention.
They can also be quickly drawn away from whatever they’re doing at a particular time.
2. Combined type
This is a combination of hyperactive, impulsive, inattentive, and distraction. It is the most popular type.
People with the combined type are easily distracted and cannot concentrate on things or situations.
They also exhibit behaviors that are hyperactive and spontaneous.
3. Inattentive and distraction type
People with this type of ADHD have great difficulty paying attention to things, completing tasks, obeying instructions, and can generally be aloof to things or situations
Medications for ADHD
Although ADHD cannot be cured, there are several options to help people manage the disorder.
Effective treatment of the disorder may include therapy, medication, a combination of both, and setting behavioral checks and measures in place.
With the help of a doctor, the appropriate treatment can be recommended to the patient.
The major types of medications for ADHD are stimulants and non-stimulants.
They’re the most popular type and are also called central nervous system stimulants.
Stimulants are used to increase the dopamine hormone in the brain.
The use of stimulants helps to improve concentration in ADHD patients. Most stimulants are administered orally and may have an effect almost immediately.
Examples of these stimulants are Amphetamine, Methamphetamine (Desoxyn), and Methylphenidate.
These have a different effect than stimulants.
Non-stimulants are recommended mainly after stimulants have not been effective. They’re also used to avoid the side effects of stimulants.
They don’t have a fast rate of effect compared to stimulants.
Some examples are Strattera and Clonidine ER.
It is crucial to take ADHD medications legally as prescribed by your doctor.
Can You Be a Police Officer with ADHD?
Yes, you can be a police officer with ADHD. Living with ADHD doesn’t prohibit people from functioning in different roles and capacities. If you have ADHD, you are not restricted from being a police officer, as long as you meet all the requirements and pass the screening process.
You might even find being a police officer appropriate for your condition because you are not required to do the same thing every day.
People with ADHD have been found to analyze and perform in complex situations due to the disruption of the executive functioning ability resulting from the disorder.
They can also be practical and creative at their jobs by thinking outside the box for solutions.
And they are known to take risks. We all know that being a police officer comes with many risks.
It is essential to learn how to manage ADHD to be efficient.
You can do this by developing discipline and learning to be aware of yourself, symptoms, and situations to function appropriately as a police officer.
You must make sure that you’re honest about your condition during the recruitment process.
Can Police Officers Take ADHD Medication?
ADHD medication must be used legally by anyone.
The only way police officers are allowed to use ADHD medication is if a doctor prescribes them.
The dose of medication used must be just as prescribed by the doctor with no form of abuse.
It is advisable to avoid the use of ADHD medications with side effects, and seek alternative types of treatments such as therapy.
Your doctor can recommend using your medication when you are off your working hours.
Also, your employer must be aware of your condition.
It is not right to hide your condition during the recruitment process.
Remember to ensure that every medication you use, is as prescribed and get the best treatment method from your doctor.
Tips for Working with ADHD as a Police Officer
Working with ADHD can be easy for you if you find and implement effective strategies in your daily activities.
It would help if you spotted your weaknesses and made improvements to them.
As a police officer, you’re expected to be proactive and protect people and properties by enforcing the law.
It has been established that you can be a police officer despite having ADHD, but you require discipline to be effective on your job.
Below are some hints you can bear in mind and follow.
1. Build a connection with co-workers
Teamwork is an integral part of the police force.
You will be better off having a positive connection with your team members.
Having a connection with your team members will help you to effectively deliver your duties. It will also help to provide guidance if need be.
2. Reduce your significant tasks into smaller portions
Having a lot to do could be overwhelming for you.
You can divide your tasks into smaller bits and take them one at a time. The best hack for this is to put the critical and urgent tasks first.
Working through them will help you even in carrying out the smaller ones.
3. Resist multitasking
Carrying out different tasks at the same time could lead to confusion and nothing being done at the end or a lag in performance.
You must learn to concentrate on one task at a time.
4. Perform comforting exercises
Remember to take short breaks to put your thoughts together and slow down.
You can also carry out breath exercises to help calm you down when agitated.
5. Stay organized
Learn to stay organized by setting goals for each day.
6. Focus on the goal
Always remind yourself why you opted for working in the police force. What is your drive for the job? This is up for you to determine.
7. Take your medication
Use your prescribed treatments and schedule regular visits to your doctor.