Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to promote treatment advice, but rather act as an information guide. Please consult with your primary physician, a psychiatrist, and/or a mental health professional to understand what method of treatment is the best fit for your experiences.
Whether you’re seeking support for your child, teen, or yourself as an adult, this blog shares information on treating ADHD. While there is no cure for ADHD, there are several methods in which you can manage your ADHD, or support a loved one who struggles with ADHD.
Individuals can receive an ADHD diagnosis beyond childhood. Adults with common symptoms of impulsivity, trouble with focus, and negative self-talk can find themselves struggling in various areas of their lives. This includes in relationships, in work settings, in social settings, and within views of themselves.
Children and teens with ADHD may exhibit behaviors of inattentiveness, behavioral problems, anger issues, and impulsivity as well as other symptoms. The need for exploring whether your child or teen has ADHD may also come up in school settings, social settings, and within the household.
When ADHD is not treated, individuals may experience low self-esteem, difficulty in relationships, and struggles within school or work settings, as, unfortunately, the world is not designed for neurodivergent people. Coping with symptoms alone can be overwhelming and frustrating. By seeking out the proper support and taking the necessary steps, ADHD can be manageable.
Our Simi Valley therapists specialize in offering teen therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, or parenting therapy for those seeking additional support for managing or understanding their ADHD symptoms.
Contact us today at (805) 774-1506 for a free, transparent consultation on getting started with one of our therapists in Simi Valley.
Treating ADHD in Children, Teens, and Adults: What is ADHD?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can include symptoms of attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. It is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, but can be diagnosed in adulthood as well.
There are predominantly three types of ADHD:
- Inattentive presentation
- Hyperactive/impulsive presentation
- A combination presentation
The inattentive presentation refers to individuals having challenges with organization, focusing, and staying on task. They may have difficulty listening to directions, paying attention to instructions, being easily distracted, and forgetting daily tasks.
The hyperactive/impulsive presentation refers to excessive energy, not being able to sit still, talking excessively, or always being “on the go”. Individuals may struggle with waiting their turn, interrupting others, not being able to stay seated, or fidgeting.
Finally, a combined presentation would involve a combination of these symptoms when the criteria for both presentations are met. It’s important to keep in mind that other psychiatric disorders or learning disorders can produce similar symptoms of ADHD.
Being diagnosed by a medical or mental health professional is the only way to be certain that you or a loved one has ADHD.
Treating ADHD in Children, Teens, and Adults: Medication Options
Make sure to check out our blog on Do I Need Medication or Therapy?
Consult with a pediatrician or psychiatrist for understanding whether medication would be the best fit for you or your loved one’s needs. Oftentimes, a combination of medication and therapy can help address symptoms effectively. It’s important to understand the type of medication that could be beneficial, along with any side effects.
Depending on the symptoms your child or teen is experiencing, there are two different types of medication paths: stimulants and nonstimulants. For those struggling with hyperactivity, stimulants (such as adderall) are thought to produce a “calming effect” to reduce hyperactivity. This is thought to improve concentration and focus.
Nonstimulants may be considered if stimulants are not working to calm the ADHD symptoms, or if side effects are too severe. Adderall may not produce the intended effect of feeling calm overall, but can leave individuals feeling too focused and eventually burnt out.
It’s important to keep track of how you or your child/ teen are doing while on medication. Making necessary changes to dosage or type of medication is crucial upon signs that it may not truly be helping to relieve or reduce symptoms.
Medical professionals such as psychiatrists and pediatricians will be able to provide you or your child/teen with information on whether or not medication is the right fit.
Treating ADHD in Children, Teens, and Adults: Therapy Options
Therapy can be a great source of support in helping individuals open up about their feelings of coping with ADHD, or any barriers in doing so. There may be experiences of having issues within school settings, in the home, in friendships or relationships as a result of some symptoms or developed negative internal beliefs. Therefore, therapy can help establish ways to best navigate these common issues.
There may be certain behavior patterns unique to you, your child or teen. When there is a greater understanding of the negative outcomes of certain behaviors, individuals can begin making changes moving forward. One example could be acting on impulse and having little self-control.
When you are able to notice and monitor these behaviors, you can begin to control them more effectively. Are there certain areas, during certain activities, or times of the day when these behaviors come up? You and the therapist will work together to better understand ADHD or ADD, and develop and implement alternative, healthier methods of coping with and managing symptoms.
As mentioned, individuals with ADHD may experience low self-esteem as a result of their symptoms. In therapy, you can reduce negative self-talk and negative patterns of thinking. You will learn to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and reframe how you feel about yourself and your symptoms.
Make sure to check out our blog on Therapy: Where to Start. Anxiety therapy in Simi Valley, CA uses evidenced-based practices and interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral methods, mindfulness, and exposure-based activities.
When you become more aware of your thinking patterns, you’re better able to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and overall feel more confident.
Treating ADHD in Children, Teens, and Adults: Alternative Options for Parents or Adults
As a parent, you may experience feeling stressed or overwhelmed. You want to understand ways to support your child or teen struggling with ADHD, but you are not sure how to go about it. Outside of consulting with providers and mental health professionals, there are some things you can do now in the home.
You can begin trying to understand their behavior. Ask them questions about their experience, and help them with self-reflection. At times, they may not even notice if they are fidgety, frequently getting up and moving around, or getting distracted. Understand if there are certain things that produce these reactions in them, such as a type of homework assignment.
Another way to support your child is by providing immediate rewards for good behavior, which could be verbal praise, some reward like a snack, or simply high fiving them or patting them on the back. Good behavior may look like finishing a portion of homework, finishing a chore, or communicating their emotions/thoughts.
You can spend quality time with them and help highlight their current strengths and abilities. As individuals with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem, being a beacon of positivity and support will help them greatly. Finally, you can help them with emotional regulation skills. This can look like identifying emotions, connecting emotions to certain events, and finding ways to calm themselves down.
As an adult struggling with ADHD, you may notice feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated, or easily irritable at times. You may feel the need to act on impulse and make rash decisions without considering potential consequences first. Recognizing behaviors or states of mind you’re wanting to change is the first step into being able to cope with your symptoms.
One method is through stress management. It’s important to exercise personal boundaries, such as with work or within relationships, to ensure that you are able to take time to yourself. This looks like incorporating being active into your routines, practicing relaxation or self-care, or working on breathing exercises.
There are books, such as self-help books tailored to those with ADHD. This may include exercises you can practice on a regular basis, or writing prompts for self-reflection and greater self-insight. Coping skills for self-regulation can also be found in these types of media that would be beneficial.
Finally, you may find solace in connecting with those who are also struggling with ADHD, whether that be through support groups or within social or familial relationships. Knowing that you have people who can understand what you’re going through can be comforting and validating.
You do not have to feel frustrated or overwhelmed managing your ADHD symptoms alone.
Consider starting individual counseling in Simi Valley, CA to begin feeling relief from your symptoms, and learn ways to cope and manage them successfully.
Call our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free and transparent consultation on how you can get started in parenting therapy, individual therapy, or family counseling! Our intake coordinator will guide you to finding the best fit service and therapist for your needs.
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.