What is ADHD?
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (or, ADHD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects how a person is able to regulate attention, manage impulsivity, and control hyperactivity. ADHD affects approximately 8.5% of children and 2.5% of adults (Danielson et al., 2018). For some people with ADHD, medication is a beneficial treatment for some of the more severe symptoms.
When diagnosed in children, symptom management may involve medication, strategies for externalizing tasks, and restructuring the physical environment to manage distractions. There may also be an adjustment period to learn how symptoms may affect how children interact with their peers. Having the right supports in place can help.
For adults who have received an ADHD diagnosis, there is often an adjustment to "Life After Diagnosis" that occurs. Clients who receive a diagnosis of ADHD as adults frequently share feelings of grief over the life they feel they have lost, sadness, and confusion when trying to sort out what an ADHD diagnosis means for them. Another aspect of managing ADHD as an adult is acquiring new skills to help navigate your life with ADHD.
What is ADHD Therapy?
ADHD therapy is a type of treatment that helps individuals with ADHD manage their symptoms and develop coping skills to improve their daily functioning. Therapy for ADHD typically involves a combination of strategies that address both the behavioral and emotional aspects of the symptoms.
Common approaches to ADHD therapy include:
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS): IFS therapy allows the client to understand themselves in more meaningful ways. This is important for people with ADHD because it allows them to connect with their creative sides. IFS works with your ADHD brain instead of trying to force it to adapt to a neurotypical way of thinking. (Spoiler alert: that doesn't work.) Most importantly, however, IFS therapy for ADHD lets you understand how your parts are working for you and allows you to manage your life in a way that makes perfect sense to you.
Mindfulness-based therapies: Mindfulness-based therapies focus on developing present moment awareness and acceptance of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. These therapies can help individuals with ADHD develop greater self-awareness and emotional regulation skills, leading to a reduction in symptoms.
Medication management: ADHD medication can be an effective tool for reducing symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. Psychotherapists can work with individuals to monitor and manage their medication use, and provide support around any side effects or concerns.
With the right support and strategies, individuals with ADHD can thrive, not just survive, in a neurotypical world.
If you are considering ADHD therapy in Kingston, it is important to find a therapist who is a good match for you. Look for someone who has experience working with clients with ADHD, and who you feel comfortable talking to. Many therapists offer a free initial consultation, which can be a good opportunity to get a sense of their approach and determine whether they are a good fit for you.
Sorting through these feelings can be difficult, and having someone to talk to about them can help.
To learn more about ADHD, click here.
Danielson, M.L., et al. Prevalence of Parent-Reported ADHD Diagnosis and Associated Treatment Among U.S. Children and Adolescents, 2016. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, Volume 47, 2018 - Issue 2.