ADHD

WHAT IS ADHD?

 

ADHD, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, is a pattern of behavior marked by inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity that interferes with daily life or developmental milestones.

 

Inattention means wandering off task, lacking persistence, difficulty sustaining focus, and disorganization. In the case of ADHD these problems are not a result of defiance or lack of understanding. Hyperactivity means restless movement or talking, and impulsivity means acting without considering outcomes, and the inability to delay gratification.

While it is normal to have some of the characteristics mentioned above, in some cases people experience them as very severe, consistent, and disruptive to daily life.

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I OR MY CHILD HAVE ADHD?

 

An official diagnosis of ADHD requires a thorough evaluation by a specialist. Feel free to contact us for a referral in the Austin area.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health provides a thorough list of signs and symptoms of ADHD that may be helpful. If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms persistently, such that daily activities are impacted, you may wish to seek further evaluation or support.

People with symptoms of inattention may often:

  • Overlook or miss details, make careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or during other activities

  • Have problems sustaining attention in tasks or play, including conversations, lectures, or lengthy reading

  • Not seem to listen when spoken to directly

  • Not follow through on instructions and fail to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace or start tasks but quickly lose focus and get easily sidetracked

  • Have problems organizing tasks and activities, such as what to do in sequence, keeping materials and belongings in order, having messy work and poor time management, and failing to meet deadlines

  • Avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework, or for teens and older adults, preparing reports, completing forms or reviewing lengthy papers

  • Lose things necessary for tasks or activities, such as school supplies, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and cell phones

  • Be easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli

  • Be forgetful in daily activities, such as chores, errands, returning calls, and keeping appointments

People with symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity may often:

  • Fidget and squirm in their seats

  • Leave their seats in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom or in the office

  • Run or dash around or climb in situations where it is inappropriate or, in teens and adults, often feel restless

  • Be unable to play or engage in hobbies quietly

  • Be constantly in motion or “on the go,” or act as if “driven by a motor”

  • Talk nonstop

  • Blurt out an answer before a question has been completed, finish other people’s sentences, or speak without waiting for a turn in conversation

  • Have trouble waiting his or her turn

  • Interrupt or intrude on others, for example in conversations, games, or activities

HOW CAN PSYCHOTHERAPY HELP?

 

Psychotherapy can help in several ways:

 

Emotional Processing: Struggling through life with persistent symptoms of ADHD is not easy. ADHD can make success in academic and work settings deeply challenging. Family relationships can become strained. Psychotherapy can help by reducing shame and increasing the capacity for the very real and natural frustrations inherent in working through these challenges.

 

Behavioral Strategies: Psychotherapy has been shown to be an effective tool in developing behavioral habits that minimize the impact of ADD/ADHD on daily life. Even in cases when remembering details, completing tasks, and regulating behavior seems impossible, it is possible to develop routines and habits that make success more likely.

 

Cognitive Training: In addition to managing the symptoms of ADHD, psychotherapy can provide cognitive training to strengthen the brain functions that underlie those symptoms. Attention and impulse-control are cognitive skills that can be developed through practice.

 

Family Counseling and Parent Coaching: Family relationships are often strained when kids are struggling with ADHD. Effective psychotherapy can provide insights and tools for parents to empower their kids in their growth towards well-being, and relieve some of the frustration and anxieties that often arise.

 

Lifestyle Counseling: Put plainly, when we feel healthy, everything works better. We help our clients address issues of diet, exercise, sleep, and social connections as essential components of a healthy life. When we’re feeling healthy, adapting to our environment and overcoming our challenges becomes much more likely.

LET'S WORK TOGETHER

We've helped hundreds of teenagers and adults work through ADHD and related issues. We would love to hear your story and brainstorm ways we might be helpful to you.

CONTACT US TODAY TO GET STARTED!

Clear Springs Counseling

2525 Wallingwood 
Building 9, Suite 900
Austin, TX 78746